Anterograde Amnesia or Game Over at Level 50

progression
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#1

Hi All,

I’m on PS4 and have been playing since the PS4 release. I love the game and want to see it succeed and grow for years to come. Most of the issues I’ve had have been mentioned in the “What turns you off playing Boundless” thread, so I’ll only add my take on some of the bigger issues for me.

Sorry for the long message - it comes from passion :slight_smile:

  • Distance view could be much, so so MUCH better.

I walked up a nearby hill to get a view of my build. It was only about 500 meters away but my build was unrecognisable - just a kind of blob. Going back and playing other games reminds me of how beautiful they all are, and how boundless is just missing the mark. I’m not sure if I’m also just getting used to 4K, but everything looks really low resolution, jagged edges, and although depth of field is quite nice, the blur effect isn’t pretty and feels unnatural. This is all just polish and I’m sure time will keep improving things.

  • Oortan model and movement is kinda cartoon-y.

I know may people have mentioned the goofy model so just a +1 from me. Also, It they walk slowly, it looks like they’re running on the spot. When they are not actually moving in water, they’re swimming their little heart to the repetitive swimming sound. It’s not a big deal, just a little detail that makes it harder to appreciate my character.

  • Personalisation / Branding

I’ve seen this mentioned in the forum a number of times - be it clothes, accessories or other vanity items, shop and item branding personalised to the user, etc. Apart from skin colour, and a small choice of “hair styles", everyone has the same cartoony model, every shop is the same, selling the same things, it’s all very homogeneous. This would go a long way to giving players as sense of ownership of their character and the things they craft, build, and buy. Perhaps even being able to upload a “logo” that could be applied to objects would be great - but I get the enormity and likely problems of implementing that. Would still like to see that, however :slight_smile:

  • Death Penalty

20k penalty usually means time to stop playing and the feeling that next few of hours of gameplay is wasted. Especially since as often as not, I get the “unplayable connection” message when on high tier worlds and the second it becomes playable again, I’m defeated. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if character progression didn’t end at level 50, which brings me to the big one…

  • Anterograde Amnesia or Game Over at Level 50

I’m trying to work out how to progress (or if there can be any further progression) since my character has been suddenly struck with anterograde amnesia - a debilitating brain disorder that means they stop learning. Very sad affliction for the Oortan people that would certainly lead to the extinction of their race :slight_smile: I just hope not the extinction of Boundless.

This is the biggest barrier to long term enjoyment of Boundless for me. An artificial construct that essentially means there is only a small amount of early game progression, then it’s game over for your character… thanks for playing.

For me, it’s pretty unsatisfying to know my character can only ever experience a tiny portion of what’s possible in boundless. So, I’m trying to appreciate the “fix” for this problem - Skill Sets and Alternative Characters. Why you would choose one over the other, or both. I’m hoping they can bring the feeling of progression back. Up front, they both feel like patching the symptom rather than dealing with the illness.

EXTRA CHARACTERS AND SKILL SETS.

An extra character is like having a kid that you can direct to their own very singular skill. Daddy learned to cook but he doesn’t know how to gather food; Mum’s a miner but doesn’t know how to make anything with what she finds. So they have kids… You do that for me kid - that’s your whole life now :slight_smile:

Personally, I don’t like the idea of having multiple limited characters, just to solve the problems created by an underwhelming skill progression system. I’m going to try to avoid that for as long as possible in the hope the character progression system will get some attention.

So the alternative to alternative characters is a kind of “brain swap” technology - Skill Sets. Having an extra skill set is like starting again - it has no skills at all until you earn them. But, you’re still you, still have the same friends and resources, you just can’t do what you used to do.

However, you can teach your new brain to do something else that your old brain couldn’t. You can only have 3 skill sets, so even after reaching level 50, then earning a minimum of 10 million additional XP (that’s assuming you never die) and completing all three sets still means you’re “bound” to experiencing Boundless in a very limited way.

The bottom line… because of the fundamental problem of the skill progression system, we probably have to have a number of alternate characters with maybe multiple skill sets. It’s the only way to experience Boundless in more than a short term and limited way. A whole bunch of unfulfilling characters, may sorta add up to 1 fulfilling-ish one. An Oortan will never be “boundless” but you kinda can if you play enough of them and only want to play one aspect of the game at a time.

Am I on the right track?

I nearly have second skill set that useable. It’s still frustrating to be building and think “I need to craft this or that” and have to switch skill sets to one that can craft, then swap back to continue building only to lose all the health and vitality my character had moments before, and suddenly be starving. Or to think I want to try a higher tier planet, maybe if I forget how to run, I could survive there. I mean there won’t be any need to run in a more challenging environment. :slight_smile:

I can’t see how Skill Sets and Alternate characters make up for the game-over feeling you get at level 50. I’m hoping if I can keep the faith for the next 7 million XP I hope I will “feel” my character again.

There are many games with great balance that have end-game tuning allowing for years of play and progression. Seasoned players publish their builds and give new players something to work towards and aspire to. The Boundless Skills website allows people to do something similar - but it’s not about tuning. It’s all about how we achieve anything with our sadly afflicted Oortans. :slight_smile: This should be sign enough that the skill progression mechanic is far from prime.

The limited cleans points (which you can also purchased for real money) are about hobbling your hard earned skills so you can achieve something else. Highly unsatisfying.

With all this in mind, I have to ask - why inflict such a cruel and artificial mechanic onto the poor Oortan people, and ultimately upon us.

There are many discussions about this on the forum, and the only explanation seem to revolve around being overpowered in combat. Personally I don’t see that as a reason to limit the entire experience of living as an Oortan, but I’m sure there’s a really well considered reason for it. I’d love to understand what it is.

I remember a comment from @James along the lines of - so you just want a character with max strength, defence and damage. Um, yes - that’s an absolute expectation of committing time to a game. If the end-game “tuning” is simply about hobbling your character to enable something new - then you can’t expect to hold players interest for long. I had some neighbours that had started fairly ambitious builds, and now all their beacons are going out. I gather they too could have reached level 50 and had the same sinking feeling I got.

Again, I love the game, and love these types of games. I love putting in the time to learn the finer details of a game. There just aren’t any finer details, or fine-tuning possibilities in the Boundless skill progression system. Just these two “patches" to make the game bearable.

Keeping the faith…


#3

Withdrew as a continued to read :slight_smile:


#4

Some interesting points. I especially enjoyed the thought of alts being your kids. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#5

Interesting points. Although the one point of game over at level 50 for me is opposite. At 50 I now can more efficiently do what I love to do. The things I love the game for don’t change at 50 thankfully. They just become funner to do.


#6

I totally agree. My character is primarily a builder and he does a pretty good job of it at level 50. I’m really enjoying that.

The “game over” feeling is about character development. I’d love him to be just as good at mining, at crafting, at hunting, at everything the boundless universe can offer. When I complete all his skill sets he’ll be able to choose between three of his life goals :smile:

I’m going to bite the bullet and start a new character. It’s gonna feel a little depressing to have nothing again for the time it takes to get him up to speed but… If ya can’t beat 'em, join 'em.

Regardless, it would be great to see character development continue well beyond level 50. I don’t have an answer to “how” right now, but I’ll put thought into it and see if I can come up with anything that hasn’t already been suggested elsewhere.


#7

The way the skill sets work bother me.
I thought when you got a new skill set, it starts your char at level 1 on that set. Instead it takes your current lvl and exp needed until next level.
What’s the point of a skill set then, if it would be faster to just make a new char? It feels completely wasted to me.

I liked how FF XIV worked with their classes and jobs (crafter, bononist, fisher ECT,–that’s what jobs were).
It’s exactly how I thought the skill sets worked, which was why I was initially excited, then disappointed. Same character but more classes and jobs than I can remember off the top of my head. Switching did have cool downs, of course. But it was so FREE being able to do anything.
Much safer, too, going out as a warrior, finding a safe place, changing to fisher, then fish. And if something attacked, change back to warrior. There were also skills to reduce mobs ability to aggro you if you had a job active, if I remember right. (It’s been 2 yrs) it worked better than the shadow(?) skill here. I snuck by things that could squish me with their little toe.
I feel really limited with the skills and lack of feeling secure doing what I want to do.


#8

Yeah, you’re spot on. I like Boundless, but I would really love this game if I could just never stop improving my main character. You hit 50 then it’s off to the Oortian Nursin Home with ye, you’ll never learn again. Also the death penalty makes ya just not want to play for a couple of hours/days. Such a complete and pointless waste. Especially since it’s usually due to an Oortian medical condition known as UNPLAYABLE.

But we are the minority here. Nobody wants any changes that make life easier :frowning:


#9

I agree on that death penalty handicap. It is my biggest turn off and I’m trying to get my thoughts together to correctly word it in that What Turns You off Boundless thread without just sounding like a whiner.


#10

@Krollbar I I’ve been trying to work out why we’re in the minority and I don’t think it’s about making life easier, perhaps rather that since character progression ends so quickly, getting there even faster would only make the issue even more pronounced.

If character progression continued, if there were myriad possibilities of fine tuning your end game character through atmosphere protective clothing / attack mitigating armour / “positive force” builds / whatever, then I don’t think the seasoned players would be so objectionable to making life more fun in the early game.

I like the challenge, I even kinda like the grind, but it’s a game and being rewarded for the effort you put in feels right. For me, much of that reward comes from character progression, and to have that end so quickly feels like something is missing.

@MysticPandora I think these are symptoms of the same issue. After reaching level 50, you pretty much have to reach level 50 again with another character or skill set to simply get back to where you already were. Become a beginner all over again… and again… and again.

Anything that drags that out - and the death penalty is the main offender - feels like being penalised twice: once for having to start again as a beginner, and once by making it take even longer to get back to where you started.

But again, the penalty slows character progression, and since progression ends so quickly… there’s a pattern forming :wink:

The challenge for the devs (and for all of us should we choose to accept it) is coming up with a character progression mechanic that allows for an extensive and highly customisable end-game experience that keeps players engaged for years.

Let’s keep thinking.


#11

I love the death penalty. Well. In comparison to losing a fourth of the durability of every tool on our person. That made me not want to play more than our current penalty ever has.


#12

While its a fun mechanic in a single player environment, it has fundamental problems when trying to make a multiplayer RPG style game. The issue is that you’re not just getting better and learning all of the skills to their fullest, everybody is. When you have a level cap, you expect to max out a select few skills, and either level an alt or rely on fellow players for the skills you do not poses yourself. You “become” a builder, a crafter, a hunter, etc. But, with no level cap, every player eventually has the same skill, and therefore has no reliance on the community. Now, nobody is seeking the services of other players because they can do everything themselves. When everybody can do everything, nobody is special. Even if a person does want somebody else to do something for them, it’s typically at a pro bono or excessively low cost because, why offer more for something you can do yourself?


#13

I would think, instead of expanding end game skill sets, deeper specialization would be more beneficial. Something to work towards for value of time and effort without making everyone clones.

For example secondary exp bars possibly that increase:
Cook: for cooking food
Hunter: for killing animals or gathering trophies
Builder: for placing so many blocks
Forger: for each forged item made
Merchant: for number of items sold or coin made or exchanged
Point of interest: for number of visitors daily
Brewer: for each brew crafted
Miner: number of ores mined
Alchemist: number of items made using mixer
Refiner: number of items made in refinery
Smelter: number of ores smelted in furnace.

Each of these can have boons to specific tiers, giving slight bonuses for gaining experience down different paths. A sort of specialization without having to build out endless skill trees, also encouraging people to focus on certain things instead of all things for those bonuses.

Just throwing out an idea

Edit: also at different tiers special epic recipes could be unlocked based on learned oortian knowledge found in their “studies”


#14

I’m pretty hard on the alt system as you may already know and I agree that players’ complaints around alts and skill pages boil down to something being amiss in the core skill system design.

Just to throw a weird idea out there, what if the game didn’t allow alts or skill pages but you were allowed to reassign 20 points per day for free? Would this provide the miner today hunter tomorrow playstyle that most want with less of the deleterious effects?


#15

Hey @Havok40k yeah I get it, but everyone has their own play style and it’s unlikely everyone will enjoy doing everything all the time… even if they can. I like to go out for dinner, but I could certainly cook myself. Why? Because more often than not, the chef has taken the time to make me something I couldn’t simply cook at home. It’s likely tastier than my home cooking.

However, if the only things to eat were identical earthyam soups and starberry pies, then you’re exactly right.

But would this again be the heart of the issue - since the skill system is one dimensional there’s no variety for anyone. There’s no specialisation - thanks @molav - exactly the sentiment I was looking for.

So let’s put that analogy in boundless language…

Let’s say I had reached the “gem” level of cooking earthyam soup by cooking it again and again. Then my well practised earthyam soup would be nameable “JJ’s Yammy Goodness”, be more beneficial (give more energy) than a soup cooked by someone for only the hundredth time. In addition, I could choose a boon based on the other skills my character has that I could put into my soup.

Since it contains earthyams and water, perhaps the options I could choose from would be something that makes shovelling soil so much easier - providing I’ve achieved a certain degree of proficiency in shovelling myself (this post may prove I have :wink:) or survive a little longer underwater - providing my underwater proficiency is high enough.


#16

This is a great concept except… a large majority of ppl already self-sustain themselves with alts. =)

I wish it was more like that, but there’s also a lot of price gouging and even though prices are indeed cheaper now, many players still don’t have the coin to support business in the first place. So they make an alt for what they need.


#17

I think the skill pages and alts treat the symptom. Giving x number of free cleanse points (I think is essentially what you’re suggesting) per day I still don’t think addresses the illness.

If the goal is to engage us for years to come and have us lining up to throw money into continued development and expansion, then character progression, specialisation and personalisation may be a big factor.


#18

I see. Maybe the leveling/skills system has done its job when players reach lvl 50, and it’s time for another type of player progression to kick in as motivation. Probably something more social and long term. With that absent, we focus on what more the leveling system could bring us. But it’s likely it can’t do anything more. Or that the effort to get it to give us more is not worth the investment.

Guilds will hopefully be a big dose of what you’re seeking. I think there’s a lot of lower hanging fruit the devs could be reaching for in the mean time though. Mostly around better surfacing for what players are already spending their time on. They could award titles for earning feats and let us tack one onto the front of our names. The people who mine a lot have rare mining titles; those with successful stores have rare shopkeeper titles. They could create a comings-and-goings channel which lets us see all the players popping into and out of our area both to make the world seem less lonely and to give us more chance to show off our personality and character progression.


#19

Some good ideas there.


#20

The more I think about this the more I like it. It’s not just a skill you put points into–BOOM–you have it. You have to work to level it.
Also prevents cheat resetting. (Leveling something easy, then resetting and putting the points into harder skills)

In fact… @james input?


#21

The system @molav has mentioned is quite similar to Skyrim and some other games ive played and works well for them. Definitely has merits but I cant see how it could be implemented post 1.0.