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DeanOMiite
11-04-2013, 05:32 PM
This one turned into kind of a rant, so if you'd rather not read the whole thing, just scroll down to the main point, which is in red, and read the rest if you want.

When AC4 came out I was having a hard time adjusting to the new playstyle, rules/changes, etc. Whatever, that happens for me when any new AC game comes out. But as I started to unlock more abilities, the game got easier...OBVIOUSLY. The more tools I have at my disposal, the more effective I can be. But for whatever reason I started to think a little more deeply about the way abilities unlock and I think it's inherently unfair to new players.

NOTE: In no way am I a new player, I was in the top 100 on XBL in ACB, I reached prestige 6 or 7 in ACR, and I reached prestige 13 in AC3 and was ranked as high as the 40s. So I know what I'm doing in this game.

But, for NEW players, especially given that the matchmaking in this game does NOT do a good job of separating noobs and experienced players, they're just at a complete disadvantage in every single game, and that disadvantage has just as much to do with the way the game is set up as it does with anything else, and that's a problem. It's not like this is a shooter where a player just has to have time to learn how to strafe and learn maps, and it's not like CoD where you unlock things as you level up but (for the most part) the guns work pretty similarly and low-level rifles are effective for a long time...in THIS game, it's set up in a way that's like "screw you noob, you don't have access to the same tools that better, more experienced players have!"

I mean...when I use a time phase that's crafted two points for range and has a bonus point in range against somebody who is like level 5 or something and doesn't even have two random perks unlocked yet...I just feel dirty. (I still DO it, I just don't feel great about it!) Basically, again because of the matchmaking not adequately separating veterans and rookies, noobs are forced to bring a knife to a gunfight.

Now I'm not saying that everything should be available to everybody right away. That would be stupid...and it would remove some of the fun because I think everybody, myself included, enjoys level progression and unlocking things and all that. What I am saying is THIS:

All abilities (and the option to craft each ability) should be assigned a price, forcing you to earn credits to unlock them, BUT with the caveat that you can unlock them whenever you have earned enough credits to do so. For example, smoke, decoy, blender, revelation kill streak etc, they should all cost a set amount of credits, but NOT assigned a time/level where they can be unlocked. When you've got the credits, you can buy the abilities in any order you see fit.

For example...why do I have to wait until lvl 48 or whatever to unlock smokebomb? Or level 30 something for the determined perk? Or why do I have to make it into the first prestige before I can start crafting abilities? That set up creates an inherent disadvantage that goes beyond the fact that experience in a game makes you better. I mean...if I play Gears of War a lot and I get really good at it, that's fine, I should be able to destroy someone who has never played the game before...but I shouldn't just be handed a superior set of weapons/abilities/whatever in order to do so.

I just think it's unfair that many players come into this game without a realistic chance to compete with higher level players. I'm not saying high level players should be handicapped or that noobs need some crutch, but to me having a multiplayer setup where the best tools aren't even available to certain players...well, that's what makes it so that new players never come back and get better.

The points we unlock really should be used for crafting abilities and for character customization unlocks and things like that. I don't think that mission-critical gameplay elements should be tied to how much you've played the game.

DeanOMiite
11-04-2013, 05:33 PM
And just to add if it wasn't clear...I don't think that character customizations should be available at any time. Those fun little aesthetic things like prestige uniforms, new costumes, improved gear, THAT kind of stuff should only be made available at a certain level. The abilities/perks/streaks though...what I said above.

SquirrelInDaSky
11-04-2013, 05:37 PM
One of the reasons is the existance of erudito credits. You want a smoke bomb at level 1, you pay.
Also, as it was stated in of the sticky threads, ability crafting is available after 1st prestige so that newer players could buy as many abilities as the could and experiment with them, rather then spend money on customisation.

DeanOMiite
11-04-2013, 05:54 PM
One of the reasons is the existance of erudito credits. You want a smoke bomb at level 1, you pay.
Also, as it was stated in of the sticky threads, ability crafting is available after 1st prestige so that newer players could buy as many abilities as the could and experiment with them, rather then spend money on customisation.

That's not a solution to the problem. Also..."pay REAL money or be at a complete disadvantage" is dumb, in my opinion.

If they want to save crafting for prestige, fine. But the abilities themselves? It creates a separation in fairness of just about every single match online. I'm talking about a solution to what I think is not just a problem, but an OBVIOUS one. We all know that the game constantly puts high level players and low level players in the same match. If a skilled player crushes a noob, that's to be expected, that's fine cuz the talent wins out, but the fact they ALSO have access to a better set of tools than the newer players? That's silly.

ColdKill18
11-04-2013, 07:58 PM
Completely agree. IF the matchmaking would work it wouldn't be that of an issue, but since that is not the case it really doesn't make sense.
And an additional thought: why are the abilities that really require experience and skill in order to be effective (I guess moneybomb isn't a good example but I'm sure you know what I mean :p ) unlocked very early, while other abilities that do not require much knowledge of the game (e.g. smokebomb - although that's a bit different in AC4 as it seems) are unlocked at a way higher level, by a time you should be capable of using a variety of different abilities effectively. (but I don't want to turn this into a smokebomb discussion now :) )
At least that's how it was in AC3 and previous games, not sure about AC4 since I'm a PC guy ;)

DeanOMiite
11-04-2013, 08:19 PM
Completely agree. IF the matchmaking would work it wouldn't be that of an issue, but since that is not the case it really doesn't make sense.
And an additional thought: why are the abilities that really require experience and skill in order to be effective (I guess moneybomb isn't a good example but I'm sure you know what I mean :p ) unlocked very early, while other abilities that do not require much knowledge of the game (e.g. smokebomb - although that's a bit different in AC4 as it seems) are unlocked at a way higher level, by a time you should be capable of using a variety of different abilities effectively. (but I don't want to turn this into a smokebomb discussion now :) )
At least that's how it was in AC3 and previous games, not sure about AC4 since I'm a PC guy ;)

Right?! If we were all similar in level it wouldn't bother me as much. I mean, I would still be annoyed that one person could craft something and another person couldn't (still feels unfair to me) but I could get over that.

And you're totally right about money bomb. It was unlocked early in AC3 too, and it's the same in AC4. I mean...the ability is a total joke. I actually like the idea of a crowd control ability like that, but MB is just lame. If someone uses it offensively against me, I pretend I'm an NPC and jog to where the rest of them are going, and then almost always get a naked stun out of it. And if you're a new player and this is one of the only abilities you can use, it's like "well, nuts to this!"

I've honestly felt this way about the abilities for a long time (never liked the concept of having usable items be locked in an MP game, even in a game like CoD where it doesn't feel like it's a huge advantage one way or the other.) But the reason I'm just thinking about it more now is...my buddy and I were playing manhunt the other night. We played a ton of MH in AC3 and we were awesome together, won the VAST majority of our matches, and typically by huge scores. And the other night it's he and I and some other random guy who has already prestiged, and we get paired up against 4 noobs, nobody ranked higher than level 7. And here we come with our poison darts, crafted time phases, disguises and decoys and all that, and just STOMPED these poor kids. They actually stayed in the lobby for a couple rematches and we eventually came within 15 seconds of completely shutting them out for their entire defensive turn (and not by running around point starving, either.)

So my friend and I started talking, like "can you imagine if you were one of them? It just isn't fair, you're against a set of better players that have been playing together since ACB that are working together and have access to abilities that you've never even seen before, maybe even never heard of if this is their first AC game...no wonder people give up on this game so fast, they're getting crushed by things they can't even use"

And he was right to say that...so here I am, talking about it now.

lBamitsMichael
11-04-2013, 08:45 PM
You can always count on Dean to have long-arse posts! Anyways, I'm not a fan of the way you unlock taunts since I can't progress in the challenges required because I mainly play Wolfpack ='(

DeanOMiite
11-04-2013, 09:33 PM
You can always count on Dean to have long-arse posts! Anyways, I'm not a fan of the way you unlock taunts since I can't progress in the challenges required because I mainly play Wolfpack ='(

haha, yeah, I'm pretty longwinded! And trust me, it's not just when I type, I talk this way too hahahah

I actually KINDA like the way they do taunts, playing as the character to unlock them. At the same time though, that prevents me from playing as my favorite character whenever I want so...if I had my way though, I'd treat these the same way I treat other customization unlocks (which is actually just the way they treat costume/gear updates now)

E-Zekiel
11-05-2013, 10:16 AM
I actually agree with most of your points - good ideas. I don't like level-gating stuff in any kind of competitive PVP game. I think the playing ground should be purely about skill and not who's played longer. Generally they're one and the same, but not always. You get my point.

But I'm more radical than that. Maybe the socialist in me. I think everyone should have access to every ability, perk, streak, etc straight from the start. You want unlocks? You unlock weapons, armor, avatars and symbols. Those are your unlocks.

TonberryFeye
11-05-2013, 04:56 PM
This kind of garbage is yet another reason for me not to waste time in the multiplayer. Ubisoft don't want to give us a compelling gaming experience - they want to squeeze even more money out of us.

There is no excuse for Abstergo Credits. At all. You want to monetise a multiplayer game we already paid 40 for, then you do it via customisation - DLC skins and the like. You don't make the game a ballache to play and then charge people more for a gaming experience they were entitled to right out of the box!

DeanOMiite
11-05-2013, 09:42 PM
This kind of garbage is yet another reason for me not to waste time in the multiplayer. Ubisoft don't want to give us a compelling gaming experience - they want to squeeze even more money out of us.

There is no excuse for Abstergo Credits. At all. You want to monetise a multiplayer game we already paid 40 for, then you do it via customisation - DLC skins and the like. You don't make the game a ballache to play and then charge people more for a gaming experience they were entitled to right out of the box!

I agree with you in principle BUT...abstergo credits are free, earned by paying the game. I have no problem earning these and using them to unlock character customizations and stuff like that, I just don't think they should be required to unlock things that effect balance and gameplay (abilities, perks, etc)

I think what you mean though is ERUDITO credits. In that case I agree with you, I HATE the idea of using REAL FU*KING MONEY as a shortcut to unlock items in ANY game, not just this one, and I'm worried that this is a growing trend that we'll see in future games and that it will grow to a point where you almost HAVE to spend money to be able to really enjoy the full game or to be able to compete in a multiplayer environment.

Carbiner
11-06-2013, 09:23 AM
You can always count on Dean to have long-arse posts! Anyways, I'm not a fan of the way you unlock taunts since I can't progress in the challenges required because I mainly play Wolfpack ='(

You can just afk games in any mode to unlock the taunts, might be mildly time consuming but hardly an issue.

luckyto
11-06-2013, 05:01 PM
For everything they've done to help lower level and less-skilled players, how do they not see that there level system is completely discouraging?

FieryGhost
11-06-2013, 05:07 PM
My main reason for getting into this multiplayer was because some low level person could actually get a score on a higher level person x) I mean, how awesome is that! :D Ability or not, if you surprise them, you won. I tried a different multiplayer once and hated it. I felt ganged up on and quit soon after. Yes the matchmaking is a bit crummy (why am I against Prestige whatever when I am level 17 o.o Fine, challenge accepted), but I can deal with that.

I agree to an extent about unlocking abilities. I like the idea that the more you play and level up, the more tools you have to use. I like reward systems like that. This is the way I see it: If everything was available at once, depending on how much you saved up, that would really cater to those who already knew what they were doing in my opinion. Since I have played all the multiplayers, I would definitely go for smoke bomb or poison where as someone who has not played would probably go for something else or choose smoke bomb just because. Who knows?

When I first started playing I used the abilities that I had access to and actually had to learn what they did due to those being the only things I could use. If everything is unlocked from the get go, what do I save up for? Those are my precious credits and I want to spend them wisely. Personally at that point, I would either grind in wolfpack (If I knew to) to get everything or play with others and see what they have and use to see if I would even want it.

It is very aggravating to go up against people with abilities that you can't even defend against though I agree. I played for a good long time in AC3 before my sister joined me. When we would play together, she would get so annoyed at how hard it was to keep up =/ I don't blame her... as much fun as it was to pick on her when we were split up, sibling torture can only go so far x)

DeanOMiite
11-06-2013, 05:23 PM
My main reason for getting into this multiplayer was because some low level person could actually get a score on a higher level person x) I mean, how awesome is that! :D Ability or not, if you surprise them, you won. I tried a different multiplayer once and hated it. I felt ganged up on and quit soon after. Yes the matchmaking is a bit crummy (why am I against Prestige whatever when I am level 17 o.o Fine, challenge accepted), but I can deal with that.

I agree to an extent about unlocking abilities. I like the idea that the more you play and level up, the more tools you have to use. I like reward systems like that. This is the way I see it: If everything was available at once, depending on how much you saved up, that would really cater to those who already knew what they were doing in my opinion. Since I have played all the multiplayers, I would definitely go for smoke bomb or poison where as someone who has not played would probably go for something else or choose smoke bomb just because. Who knows?

When I first started playing I used the abilities that I had access to and actually had to learn what they did due to those being the only things I could use. If everything is unlocked from the get go, what do I save up for? Those are my precious credits and I want to spend them wisely. Personally at that point, I would either grind in wolfpack (If I knew to) to get everything or play with others and see what they have and use to see if I would even want it.

It is very aggravating to go up against people with abilities that you can't even defend against though I agree. I played for a good long time in AC3 before my sister joined me. When we would play together, she would get so annoyed at how hard it was to keep up =/ I don't blame her... as much fun as it was to pick on her when we were split up, sibling torture can only go so far x)

Just some quick answers to this:

You say, "I felt ganged up on and quit soon after." I think A LOT of people have that feeling, which is why I feel the way I do about the way abilities are unlocked. I'm sure there are people out there who never wanted to play an AC game again because of some of the things people (myself included) did to them in manhunt or wanted or any game mode. I think this system...maybe "deters people from playing the game" isn't the right way to say it, but I DO think that it makes it very very difficult to get into it. You mentioned your sister, I bet her experience is pretty common amongst new AC players.

About spending your credits, I'm suggesting that they be used for crafting and for character customizations. I don't think they should be used for the abilities themselves. Maybe even crafting is going too far...but I think not having access to certain abilities is too difficult for new players.

It's nice to "have to learn" how to use new abilities, but honestly I think that choice should be up to the player. I like to experiment too (i don't post much to youtube anymore but I put up some videos of how to play with money bomb and glimmer in AC3...and glimmer was MUCH more difficult to use in AC3 than it is in AC4). But anyway...I don't think the benefit of having to learn different abilities is enough to counter the fact that a) the ability set you're given includes money bomb b) only has one perk and c) doesn't compare to anything higher level players have already unlocked.

At the end of the day the issue is one of fairness. And if you have a multiplayer platform that isn't FAIR to all players, then you have a multiplayer platform that is doomed to be a failure in the eyes of all but the most dedicated players.

SleezeRocker
11-06-2013, 08:58 PM
I defeintely agree that Aesthetic customizations (Costume, bracelets etc) should be unlocked just for being at a certain Level. I would much rather spend like 900 credits in buying an Ability than a hardly noticeable (and pointless) Scar on my character :P

FieryGhost
11-07-2013, 04:31 AM
Like I said, that was a different multiplayer. I forget which game exactly, but that tells ya it didn't impress me much x)

Oh, I thought you were saying to have the ability to buy abilities at any time x) Whoopsie. I still think leveling to unlock is fine. It does make it difficult, but Wolfpack helps. Solo or with other people, you can level pretty quickly. That is what I did for AC3 and probably will again for this one.

When I started Brotherhood for the first time, the whole new experience kept me going. Yes some abilities were annoying, but you learn who is using them that round and switch up your own playstyle.

DeanOMiite
11-07-2013, 08:08 AM
Like I said, that was a different multiplayer. I forget which game exactly, but that tells ya it didn't impress me much x)

Oh, I thought you were saying to have the ability to buy abilities at any time x) Whoopsie. I still think leveling to unlock is fine. It does make it difficult, but Wolfpack helps. Solo or with other people, you can level pretty quickly. That is what I did for AC3 and probably will again for this one.

When I started Brotherhood for the first time, the whole new experience kept me going. Yes some abilities were annoying, but you learn who is using them that round and switch up your own playstyle.

I AM saying you should be able to unlock abilities at any time...or at least they should be unlocked for everybody from the get-go. Either/or. Having the system set up this way creates a noticeable competitive imbalance.

And this isn't about learning and adapting. Many of us learned and adapted. But I'm sure many players are discouraged immediately and don't pursue the game further, and I think the reason for that is because they hop into a multiplayer match and get steamrolled by people can do things they can't. I think most people except to get their tails whipped while they're learning a game but I mean...if you're not even ABLE to use weapons/abilities/etc that are being used against you? That's very frustrating. Imagine playing halo and not being able to use a sniper until you reach a certain level, or not having access to the gnasher in Gears of War until you chainsaw 10 people, or only allowing prestige players in CoD to use certain weapons. I'm not saying that it's too hard to learn the abilities or to learn the game or to play long enough to unlock what you need to be competitive...I'm saying it's a stupid to have such a system in place in the first place.

Honest question to everybody reading this thread....if you were to create a brand new mulitplayer experience, whether it be like AC, or a 1st person shooter, or a 3rd person shooter, or a strategy game, or a flight simulator or whatever else it could be...would you have CRITICAL GAMEPLAY ELEMENTS only be available to players who've reached a certain level? Would you intentionally set up your multiplayer platform in such a way that many of your players are at competitive disadvantage that has nothing to do with the skill gap or their experience playing the game? If you say "Yes Deano, that's how I'd set it up" then...frankly, I think you're nuts.

FieryGhost
11-07-2013, 06:12 PM
I'm nuts then :P
I am of the opinion that the abilities are not as critical because they can be used in such a large variety of ways. Just because someone else is using a different ability I can't use does not make or break the game session. So in my mind, leveling up to unlock other abilities just adds to your strategy from before.

I do agree it is frustrating, just not to the degree you do I guess x)

DeanOMiite
11-07-2013, 11:02 PM
I'm nuts then :P
I am of the opinion that the abilities are not as critical because they can be used in such a large variety of ways. Just because someone else is using a different ability I can't use does not make or break the game session. So in my mind, leveling up to unlock other abilities just adds to your strategy from before.

I do agree it is frustrating, just not to the degree you do I guess x)

You don't have to agree with me, as long as you don't mind being wrong hahahahha :cool:

I'm just kidding of course. But I guess my last thought on the matter is...start a second account and hop into a lobby of any game type against people who have unlocked all of the abilities and let me know if you think you stand a fair chance. If you do then...well I guess you're a better player than I am!

FieryGhost
11-08-2013, 05:30 PM
Nah, not better x)
I mean, now that I know how to spot pursuers and the like, I think I can do pretty good. Shall see in AC IV since I have barely started it. But first, I must unlock everything in single player because that is what I do :P Must collect everything.

ZorboidOrbb
11-08-2013, 09:29 PM
IF the matchmaking would work it wouldn't be that of an issue, but since that is not the case it really doesn't make sense.;)

THIS. Also, in certain modes, I don't think its really a handicap. :) Like for instance, Deathmatch, I have played so many games with only Disguise and knives and no kill streaks. Its a way I challenge myself to get better at the game. Honestly, I haven't felt too much of a handicap.

cjdavies
11-09-2013, 11:48 AM
I agree with this, when playing AC3 I was a prestige and in a full deathmatch lobby and the highest level being a 10! I have everything utilities unlocked, and crafted, it was unfair to these "newcomers" with lack of abilities.

When I first started the MP in AC3 - late starter, I was playing in simple deathmatch - no abilities, so everyone is the same with no ability advantage, when I start Blackflag MP I will do the same.

With newbies new to the MP it can put them off constantly losing badly due to the disadvantage, MP (like any other game) is meant to be fun, when I don't find it fun I quit and never play it again.

ColdKill18
11-09-2013, 12:00 PM
THIS. Also, in certain modes, I don't think its really a handicap. :) Like for instance, Deathmatch, I have played so many games with only Disguise and knives and no kill streaks. Its a way I challenge myself to get better at the game. Honestly, I haven't felt too much of a handicap.
True, deathmatch, wanted and I think domination are the mode where "skill" still kind of matters, these are not so ability based. But assassinate without smoke, AA without teleport etc ? Especially for new players nearly impossible.