Any appetite for player-based Combat Advisory Panel?

In the early days of the PS3 I was invited to be part of the Gamers’ Advisory Panel. We did special stuff, participated in game development, gave feedback, ran special Linux on our Phats, and on at least six occasions helped shape the future of the console and its flagship games. Not a brag, just a citation and a slowly-disintegrating t-shirt.

I propose a Combat Advisory Panel, made of PvP and PvE-C players who are willing and nominated.

Full disclosure: I’m your man in Amsterdam as far as being an occupant of PvP servers. I do not have very much PvP experience – actual fighting – which is the seat of all the world’s problems as far as I’m concerned. This disqualifies me from such membership.

Ten players, Kill/Death ratio of at least 1:1, with more than 3,000 hours in Conan Exiles.

Seeking feedback.

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Cool idea would look forward to seeing the results.

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I would support this - provided that this Combat Advisory Panel is absolutely limited to only being allowed to discuss combat matters that apply exclusively to PVP/PVE-C. Any overlap into matters that affect the rest of us should be free to be discussed by the rest of us.

To put it another way - a 3k+ hours player-killing veteran does not, cannot and will not know what the combat experience is like for a day 1 noob (very few will remember the experience, if they even truly faced it - since many PVP veterans are veterans of multiple games, with at least some transferable skills) - or indeed for anyone that is not themselves. We all experience the game differently, have different reflexes, different aptitudes - focus on an ‘elite advisory group’ will inevitably drive the game in directions that suit specifically that sort of player. Opinion needs to come from a true cross-section, not from some specialised grouping - such a group might have useful information, but they also create serious dangers.

We regularly see comments from experienced players that ‘the game is too easy’ ‘pve content can be done naked with stone gear’, ‘the base game needs to be made harder’ - and yet we also regularly see newer players (and even not so new players) complaining the precise opposite. This proposal would essentially place the opinions of one side of this debate as having far greater merit than the opinions of the other side - and I don’t see how that can be good for the game.

It also looks a lot like a different version of the ‘only PVPers should be allowed to talk about combat’ trope. I presume your intent would be that such a group would simply be one advisory body, not a sole source of opinion - but it would still be a very clear example of elevating one game mode and one type of player as having opinions that are more important than all others. Hence my initial point - such an advisory body could not be allowed to even discuss any matter that has any broader impact than purely their specific area - and I don’t believe that could or would be done.

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Thank you Dan for as always a thoughtful reply.

The CAP would be an advisory unit. Effectively a heads-up system for trends, issues, metas and even glitches. In my experience, PvP players by necessity must know all the latest, or die – which makes this game mode a perfect notifier of emerging threats.

My preference would be no impact on the Forum’s structure, titles or anything else other than user-submitted content. Players are players, just like now. Occasionally, the CAP Scribe will put out findings.

Centrally, the CAP Scribe will also make proposals that must be actively posted and discussed here. Winning proposals will be re-conformed into a poll, and a vote will be taken. Approved Winning Proposals will go straight into the Circular File at Funcom. (kidding, sort of)

I 2nd this. And I would love to be part of the panel tbh. I can dedicate 20 hours a week. Right now I just lolling on pvp servers. Would love to experiment with ideas. what would it hurt to have a 1 month server dedicated to this?

@biggcane55 is our first nomination. Glad to see you, I have you at the top of my invite list.

Perfect!

And even have a few PVE players on it. As long as they understand the server would be pveC and raid. Granted they don’t have to participate in those 2, but the idea imo should focus on testing out ideas, like @CodeMage idea of upkeep. See how it impacts the daily grind. Or my idea of farming villages that can be closed off with walls, where controlling clan has access to basic materials that are “farmed” by the NPCs there.

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We may need to have a modder as well. Maybe to help implement these ideas, even in a crude way.

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I see what you’re getting at - certainly high-level PVPers do tend to keep a closer eye on the edge cases and advantage plays, which could certainly provide earlier notification for Funcom. I would argue that ‘emerging threats’ almost invariably means ‘emerging threats to PVP’, since such threats rarely impact PVE, but they could probably provide guidance over which directions of attack to expect next from hackers, undermeshers and exploiters - which would then enable Funcom to be that bit further ahead in fighting them.

I do think there is some potential danger in discussion of ‘metas’, unless ‘imaginative problem solver’ was also added to the requirements for membership of the group - as attempts to resolve perceived metas inevitably spill over to have effects beyond simply PVP. But provided it is understood that identifying a potential meta does not mean any change is necessarily required - and provided these group members are imaginative enough to see that a meta can shift in response to player solutions rather than necessarily game changes (they certainly won’t always, but some can) - then again, the advance warning aspect could certainly have value.

By way of an example - had a CAP existed, potentially the issue of fence foundation stacking could have been brought to Funcom’s attention far earlier. But, absent a better solution than to simply make the technique impossible, we end up in the same place we are now, with the building technique itself being prevented because the exploit couldn’t be - we just get here sooner. I’m honestly not sure what the answer to that is - and it isn’t my intention to discuss the issue itself (there’s plenty of discussion on that elsewhere) - I just wonder if there is anything that could be achieved to actually avoid these outcomes in some situations.

Looking at the rest of it, I’m still not sure exactly how it would work - but so long as issues remain openly discussed, and the opinions of the CAP weren’t given greater weight (by virtue of being ‘an official group’ if nothing else), then it would seem to have overall benefit.

One area that would also need to be addressed - the CAP scribe would have to be like Caesar’s wife - above reproach. Not only would it be essential that they can avoid bias in what issues are discussed and commented on at large, and what issues are debated by the CAP - but they would also have to be able to avoid even the possible appearance of bias. A tall order for any mere human, but we can all imagine the arguments that could erupt, even if people just think there is some unfairness. (In my example above regarding fence foundation stacking - had this change been made earlier, as a result of reasoned recommendations from the CAP, it is certainly possible that it would be perceived as interference/bias - which could lead to even greater bad feelings over the change.)

One area I can see something like the CAP working quite well would be if shown speculative weapon designs being planned by Funcom. If they were shown something new, lets call it ‘Naroxic Flaggers’, they might have a clearer image of how heavily that could impact PVP and could suggest a redesign at an earlier stage. This doesn’t just get round the ‘nerf it’ debate (in fact, if that was all it did, then it would be disingenuous) - this also encourages a situation where Funcom can go back before committing to a design, and thus come up with things that are interesting for PVE without being damaging for PVP.

It certainly can feel that way - or at least that it’s the worst ideas that seem to bounce back out… I’m trying to be optimistic today, so I’ll try to focus on the good proposals that also make it in :wink:

(And I can’t like any more posts today, because discourse has funny rules…)

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After playing Planetside 2 for a number of years. I can honestly say KDR has no bearing on how good of a PVPer someone is. In that game, it wasn’t uncommon for a 20KDR ‘vet’ to not know the mechanics of certain equipment because they sat in a lucrative spot plinking off people unawares and contributing nothing to the actual fight.

You can see that here in Conan. Take your typical duelest or offliner and put them in an actual siege with dozens on each side and watch them crumple. Its like taking Mike Tyson and putting him on the beaches of Normandy. They don’t do so hot when the opponents aren’t singular, using different weapon as they are, and there’s arrows, axes, orbs, and trebs flinging stuff back and forth. Mean while jars are exploding everywhere.

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Yeah I was thinking that KDR thing might be holding a lot of people back from responding. I’ve been in loads of PvP fights (on official servers not private PvP servers) and have killed the other player precisely four times (not counting when my thrall jumped them before either of us realised). Oh and I’ve made them flee maybe half a dozen times. The thing is, I’m a solo who is pretty much always out-equipped and/or outnumbered. One of my four kills was the deputy head of an alpha clan known for their fighting skill. I convinced him to fight me with steel weapons and basic armour. Credit where it’s due he killed me more than once in that session.

Anyway lookng at KDR I am terrible at PvP. But I have a lot of real experience PvPing and often holding my own when not buffed and hyper-equipped, which is something that I’m sure would be useful to a panel like this right? Not that I’m nominating myself - I’m not. Writing on this forum is about the level of commitment I can manage to support the game and community. I just think there are a lot of ways to play a game like this and it’s easy to end up with an elite group with similar styles unintentionally shaping things in their direction. For one thing they’re probably going to naturally assume that everyone’s going to be fighting in perfect circumstances with the best gear. Which I guess is what @DanQuixote and @Taemien were saying.

I don’t want to be critical of what seems basically to be a cool idea but I dunno… I just have a bad feeling about how it might actually play out. Which is not to say don’t go for it. I’ll just be here pointing out things to consider.

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Honest question, not trolling: whose feedback? I’ve stayed away from this thread because I don’t want to be told yet again that I shouldn’t offer my opinion because I’m not a PVP player. So I guess I’m asking whether it’s okay to give my honest opinion here.

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What be missed os even with a pvec/pvp raid f9cus, the players will still be engaging in about 90% pve t8me. And if anything, pvp players find the most efficient ways to go thru pve (whether exploiting, cheesing, or meta). This info could be used by FC to try and make it more engaging, and not just a farm run. Which is what most of, if not all, PvE has become. Very little is structured to entice lore experience. Sure RP community finds a way, but most have to impose self/server restrictions to guide that gameplay. FC should be looking for ways to make it part of the game loop. If you kill npcs in a city/village, they don’t ever remember that when you come back the next day. Red Dead Refemption had a wanted level. Maybe that is something that can be crafted 9nce FC sees how pve is just farming, and in turn, dont we all win if the gameplay loops are more lore centric and not just button mash farming?

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Legitimate concerns, I appreciate your feedback. This is the sort of information I was seeking. Also, both of your answers are especially illuminating. Thank you, Gents.

I want to know what you think. No one can tell you not to, and you will not be flagged.

This is intended to be Advisory. If I can’t take advice on the trial balloon of the Advisory thing, it might be indicative of a failed pursuit.

Frick yeah. Put a Cimmerian vendetta on my head, whereupon I must seek a lore fragment to appease the waves of wrath.

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probably not the place, but oh well.

I also would love to see in-game bases for NPCs. Where they have doors and draw bridges that must be blown thru. Even in PVE. Makes use of explosives. Inside these castles are higher rng of named thralls, fragments, Just a random high end game tier of things. Not a necessity, but give the feeling of raiding the villages. All cities should have areas that function as mini dungeons. Archer towers that take more than a kite and kill mentality. Then all players could at least scratch that barbarian itch to dominate, and not just be a farming/building simulator. Esp. since the building is getting nerfed by overbuild bans.

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Good enough for me. Wall-of-text warning for anyone reading this. Also, contrary to the popular wisdom, I’ll start with the negative and end on a positive note.

What I think is that it sounds like an interesting idea, but I have some very big reservations about it. Those reservations all have to do with this bit:

And the reservations I have stem from this:

My personal opinion – propped up by experience, but still just an opinion – is that there’s virtually no proposal that can be made strictly for PVP without affecting PVE, or vice versa.

If I propose something that changes PVE gameplay or introduces new PVE gameplay, it will invariably affect the players on PVP servers. All PVP players are admirably aware of that.

However, many PVP players are not aware and don’t agree with the flip side of that: almost every PVP-oriented proposal will end up affecting PVE players. I’m sure there are those who understand this, but many don’t, which is why I’ll spend a few paragraphs elaborating on it. Anyone who already agrees can just skip until they see a horizontal line separating paragraphs.

First, let’s get the terminology clear: PVE game mode and PVE gameplay are not the same thing. This is extremely important, because a common argument on these forums is that “PVP is superset of PVE, therefore PVP players know about PVE, but PVE players don’t know about PVP, therefore PVP players know better”. This is false.

For example, some PVE aspects of gameplay are fighting bosses, or building bases. Both PVP players and PVE players will engage in these. However, there’s a big difference in how a PVP player approaches them and how a PVE player approaches them. For PVP players, the important thing is fighting other players. That’s what they enjoy in the game, and that’s what their main focus is. All the PVE stuff is just a means to an end. For PVE players, these aspects of gameplay are how we enjoy the game.

This is why I believe that it’s almost impossible to propose something that affects PVP players without affecting PVE players. Just about the only thing I can come up with, off the top of my head, is a proposal to change raid times, or activate DBD, or something along those lines.

Likewise, the current state of the game implementation makes it difficult to propose a change to PVP gameplay that won’t affect PVE players, because most PVP gameplay mechanics aren’t separate from PVE gameplay mechanics. For example, nerfing the poison damage or duration isn’t strictly about PVP gameplay, because it also affects PVE combat.

I hope that was clear enough and that it explains why I believe that a proposal that affects only PVP is highly unlikely.


Getting back to my reservations, what bothers me is the discussion of CAP proposals. Since I think it highly unlikely that CAP proposals won’t affect PVE players, I believe that those proposals will merit including the PVE community in discussion.

My first concern about that is the PVP players’ attitude in those discussions. I’ve already mentioned one of the common tropes in the paragraphs above – “PVP is superset of PVE, therefore PVP players know better” – but it’s not the only one. I’m not going to go into details, but the PVP community on these forums has established a very firm track record of elitism, hostility, and exclusion.

My second concern is about the PVE players’ attitude in those discussions. I’ve seen several examples of PVE players boldly asserting their opinions about PVP aspects of the game, with utter disregard for their own lack of experience and expertise. I’ve also seen examples of PVE players offering their opinion without making it clear that they’re talking about the PVE aspects of the discussion. The PVE community on the forums is far from perfect, and we have our own deal of people who lack humility or who don’t communicate properly.


In short, I fear that CAP will publish their proposals, PVE players will jump in to discuss them, and then all sorts of rudeness and toxicity will ensue.

That said, I like the rest of your idea, about CAP being a “heads-up system for trends, issues, metas, and even glitches”. I wholeheartedly support that and I think that it would be extremely valuable for everyone. And I mean everyone, including PVP players, PVE players, devs, community managers, etc.

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There are conditions where this is not accurate.

Please understand I am 1.8 hours away from 6,000 the vast majority of which have been spent on PvP servers. The only tiny exceptions have been TestLive and Developer servers. They’re still PvP, but PvP-lite.

When you’ve been active on servers for as long as I have, and as widely, you recognize there are many different types of PvP players. A great preponderance of them like to play in game loops, which seem to make them happy. We farm them, like great, happy batteries.

Sometimes we try to provoke a fight by pretending to be PvE. Sometimes we have to sidle up to partners who ARE more PvE, just to gain access to a good fight.

So Good Sir, you might be surprised at just how PvE-ie we really are!

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Most generalizations have exceptions. I am not talking about those exceptions. I am talking about the general principle that playing on a PVP server won’t automagically grant you insight into what PVE players care about.

I’m glad that there might be PVP players who grok PVE play styles, I really am. But I’m not going to change my mind about letting PVE players be excluded from discussions of PVP proposals. In real life, I am forced to delegate certain decisions about my future to people who are far from competent to do so. That doesn’t mean I’m happy about it, or willing to do so in a video game.

As far as I’m concerned, any group that aims to publish proposals for this game – regardless of whether I think Funcom will pay any attention to them or not – needs to either plan to include PVE players or face the fact that we won’t politely stay silent.

I hope that helps clarify my opinion without provoking any hard feelings.

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Not that I would be opposed to a more general player counsel, but do you suppose that if a theoretical CAP included responsible PVE-C members they would not sufficiently protect the interests of PVE at large? Asking genuinely, never been on a non PVP server - are the two (PVE&PVE-C) so dissimilar?

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My apologies, I think I didn’t communicate my point clearly enough. I’m not really concerned about whether CAP will come up with good proposals or not. I’m concerned about the discussion of those proposals, here, on these forums.

Here’s the part where I picked that idea up:

Posted and discussed here. And we all know that discussions can get … complicated. That’s the part that I’m most concerned about.

That said, my answer to your question would be that I’m certain having PVE-C players on the CAP would help protect the interests of both PVE and PVE-C players :slight_smile:

No, they’re very similar. I’ve spent most of my time in this game on PVE-C servers, and substantially less (but enough to understand the difference) on PVE servers.

For me, one of the most frustrating things on official PVE servers is that if you die, you can’t ask someone outside your clan to grab your stuff for you.

On the other hand, the most common complaint I’ve heard from pure PVE players who try PVE-C is that doing dungeons with others during PVP hours is a pain :slight_smile:

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