1. #1
    Roger Ramjet Fanboy Number 1 RogerRamjet's Avatar
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    Default Canyon Zones and Firemob Population - A Review (Roger Ramjet, University of Neocron)

    As mentioned in a previous thread I made a review of "Canyon" zones (as these seem to be the ones traditionally populated by Firemobs). There are some I consider to work fine and are well populated, and some, especially some OP zones, which are practically empty, leading me to believe runners are probably only in that particular zone when OP fighting for it or doing a bit of tradeskilling (and you could narrow this down further to only ressing and consting). Uplinks and Fortresses in this regard are pretty much redundant.

    Why have I decided to review Firemobs you may ask. The simple reason is because they are probably the best high end mobs that provide good experience and loot that are soloable. However, due to their sometimes borked damage, these need to be engaged at range. This means the traditional Warbot hunts many generations of runners have taken part in have been replaced with a firemob hunt, as PEs/Spies need/prefer all their INT in weapon lore to use rifles succesfully over hacking, and Heavy Combat tanks never could hack. (The issue with WBs probably needs it's own thread too, but that's for another day).

    The fact that range is a factor means that terrain is also a factor. To this end, probably the only zone in game that truly works is Grant Mine. It has an excellent spawn rate, lots of ridges to snipe from, open terrain, and has an OP where you can buy ammo and stash items in the gogo, and you don't drop a belt, and it's been that way since NC1. I doubt there is an OP that gets 10% of the traffic Grant Mine does. This means however that zone gets busy and is a focal point for people hunting, leaving other zones empty and underused.

    I appreciate part of these issues are to do with how the game is currently set up, but it may as well be looked at while the game is in that state.

    So the tl;dr version: Populate empty zones, encourage exploration, reduce clustering of runners in a few zones.

    Now the research part. Basically I drove around the zones I considered not to be well populated on my quad, perving on firemobs for a bit from hills and shit. Here's a nice map showing the good, the bad, and the sort of OK zones (good = green, bad = red, sort of OK = yellow). On the subsequent zone maps I have annotated in Red Xs where in my opinion mobs should be spawning, looking at similar areas in other zones.



    Let's start with Devereaux Fortress:

    Devereaux Fortress - No discernible firemob spawns. One Small Reaperspider encountered.



    Blackhill Fortress - One Terrormauler encountered at the Tower WNW of OP. One Terrormauler encountered on the road NNE of the OP.



    Tezla Factory - Encountered one Mauler and one Doomreaper just NNE of the OP.



    Gaia Mine G13 - Good pocket of mobs in West of Zone. Area infront of mine entrance poorly populated.



    Nemesis Lab - No discernible firemob spawns.



    Syncon Lab - Lots of Arachnids and some DoY Guards. Some Desert Beasts. No firemobs



    J15 - Arachnids and Desert Beasts again. DoY outpost in centre of zone. Could be put to better use?



    Cajun Uplink - Nothing bigger than a Reaperspider. Zone practically empty.



    Soliko Lab - Nothing bigger than a Desert Wolf. Cool as fuck zone with maybe the coolest OP. Excellent open areas at bottom of zone but totally unpopulated.



    Eastgate Factory - Reaperspiders. Tower in south of zone where the road loops. Ideal for mobbing but again no population.



    Awaiting constructive criticism/flaming

  2. #2
    Registered User eNTi's Avatar
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    since i am currently not active in game i can only speak from past experience:

    1. many zones seem to get populated by the numbers of mobs killed and/or players currently there. this can get pretty insane. i don't know the game logic behind this but simply driving through the zones won't do you much good imho.

    2. the problem is that many zones are so far off of any action... they are pretty much used only for epic quest lines. maybe kk's former "solution" to those zones.

    3. lots of mobs do not drop in line of their effective danger. i think the most "balanced" are probably grim reapers. desert beasts were once quite lucrative but the layout of the zones they are usually found in makes them even more deadly. i don't think you can survive their stomp even in a tank (not tried though). they were once still quite manageable and had a good drop chance. i think this was even before 2.0.

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    Roger Ramjet Fanboy Number 1 RogerRamjet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eNTi View Post
    since i am currently not active in game i can only speak from past experience:

    1. many zones seem to get populated by the numbers of mobs killed and/or players currently there. this can get pretty insane. i don't know the game logic behind this but simply driving through the zones won't do you much good imho.
    I've never heard of this before, but doesn't make sense to me. Why would you hang around a zone waiting for mobs to spawn when you can guarantee mobs are already in others? Considering I can never remember encountered a single mob in these zones I'd say it's more of a lack of spawn points, or something in these zones respawn cycle has broken. As for simply driving through a zone, i got up to every inch of terrain that was accessible to a quad to check if there was a pile of mobs hid in a crater somewhere, about ~30mins per zone, and still no mobs spawned, so I strongly doubt the spawn starts with a runners presence.

    2. the problem is that many zones are so far off of any action... they are pretty much used only for epic quest lines. maybe kk's former "solution" to those zones.
    Good, runners should have to traverse the wastes. It also shouldn't matter how far away from anything something is, it should just be worthwhile when you get there. Like I said there no incentive for anyone to visit these zones.

    3. lots of mobs do not drop in line of their effective danger. i think the most "balanced" are probably grim reapers. desert beasts were once quite lucrative but the layout of the zones they are usually found in makes them even more deadly. i don't think you can survive their stomp even in a tank (not tried though). they were once still quite manageable and had a good drop chance. i think this was even before 2.0.
    This is an issue across the board. It seems the lower level a mob the more damage it does. Maulers (the little ones) do silly damage. Hoppers are a constant nuisance. I think there's issues around the drop rate too. I've definitely had more techs out of Doomies than Terror Leapers or Terror Raptors which are a higher rank. But the damage issues are probably deep rooted.

  4. #4
    Registered User eNTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerRamjet View Post
    I've never heard of this before, but doesn't make sense to me. Why would you hang around a zone waiting for mobs to spawn when you can guarantee mobs are already in others? Considering I can never remember encountered a single mob in these zones I'd say it's more of a lack of spawn points, or something in these zones respawn cycle has broken. As for simply driving through a zone, i got up to every inch of terrain that was accessible to a quad to check if there was a pile of mobs hid in a crater somewhere, about ~30mins per zone, and still no mobs spawned, so I strongly doubt the spawn starts with a runners presence.
    I do only have anecdotal and 3rd party info on this. There are certain spawn timers and if at those timers certain spawn "groups" have been cleared out completely a new group with more mobs will spawn. I'm not quite sure what the zones population does to the spawn but I think it was factored into the equation too. Take this with a grain of salt but there's definitely something like that underlying the spawning algorithm. So if you clear all the wolves in an area and stay there you have a chance of higher level mobs spawning and in larger numbers. I've seen this in many zones in the past. Some definitive answer from the devs would be helpful in this matter so that we can stop speculating.

    Good, runners should have to traverse the wastes. It also shouldn't matter how far away from anything something is, it should just be worthwhile when you get there. Like I said there no incentive for anyone to visit these zones.
    I suppose some of the appeal of the wastes is that they are fairly empty. But as you said, some zones need more love/incentives. Identifying them would require some more work like yours of course. Part of the solution would be higher drop chances for certain rare parts in different zones. Maybe even randomized in a certain interval. That would give people plenty of reason to switch zones... trade more often or even trade the info were certain rares will have a higher chance for the given time.


    This is an issue across the board. It seems the lower level a mob the more damage it does. Maulers (the little ones) do silly damage. Hoppers are a constant nuisance. I think there's issues around the drop rate too. I've definitely had more techs out of Doomies than Terror Leapers or Terror Raptors which are a higher rank. But the damage issues are probably deep rooted.
    Doomies are among the most dangerous. Especially with their constant spawning of the little ones who drop no rares but hurt like mad. Again here's were range is key. Close range or even melee is totally pointless for farming. The poor AI can only be exploited at longer range... so melee is basically worthless in this regard. At least the the drop rate for Doomies seem somewhat okay-ish.

    As for Hoppers and their ilk. They are just worthless trash that needs to be cleared to have a chance of some other meany to spawn. It's kind of wasteful but maybe that's on purpose. The amount of rares one is able to farm with the right setup is already insanely high even if you are solo. Not mention the possibilities for groups. Way too easy. This is of course somewhat diminished by the fact that most rares are worthless atm which is not really the best of counter measures to this problem. I love that part of the game though. It ticks my skinner box addiction perfectly but it's quite detrimental to Neocrons market imho.
    Last edited by eNTi; 06-04-16 at 10:52.

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    freedom for neocron! Torg's Avatar
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    iirc: cycrow and catlock bay are also great firemob hunting zones, TG canyon, blackhill, estgate, H14 are quite reasonable. i wouldnt expect firemobs in all canyon zones, esp. not in northern J zones. and it shouldnt be a problem adding spawn points once NC is over-populated. like in early 2.0.

  6. #6

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    It's good to see that some of the sectors that we changed in R#184 coming up green.

    It's also great to see this kind of analysis and input from the community. There's a gigantic amount of work to be done in the Wasteland to make it a vibrant experience. Refinement of the Canyon is something we've put some time into, for some sectors at least. It is far from finished though - and it should never be, there should be rolling evolution - and we appreciate that!

    There may be a bit of a skew to your analysis of certain sectors though.

    The following occurs in many (not all) sectors, especially in those changed in the aforementioned patch. Mobs can indeed rotate as they're killed, where a wolf once stood, something much bigger might appear in a little while. Some level variance is large, some variance is small. There is randomisation involved based on the churn of mobs being killed in a sector. Mobs will also eb and flow across a sector, just because something spawned in a location and you killed it, doesn't mean something else will spawn there in a few moments time.

    There is a conscious decision here to encourage players to move around within a sector. Once you've cleared out a space, you'll need to move into the next clearing or valley to find your next prey. It also makes a degree of sense when compared to the natural world, creatures will scurry off to another clearing if their kin have been brutally murdered in the clearing they were previously grazing.

    I'm hoping this is what is experienced in those core Canyon sectors, across the Canyon Facility and it's neighbouring Outposts.

    You're bang on though that some sectors are wasted and some sectors are far from being optimised for drawing in players. The wasteland has many issues, especially around travel and mob placement that need to be addressed. Suggestions how we can better fill the world like yours do help us greatly when breathing new life into the world.
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  7. #7
    Registered User eNTi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivaldi View Post
    You're bang on though that some sectors are wasted and some sectors are far from being optimised for drawing in players. The wasteland has many issues, especially around travel and mob placement that need to be addressed. Suggestions how we can better fill the world like yours do help us greatly when breathing new life into the world.
    First we need to know how the sectors are actually populated. We need more information on spawns and how they are affected by what we do. This is all to help us not going in circles when assessing the single zones. Maybe we should all focus on one zone a time and try to gather as much info as possible. How those zones are used and what makes them special. Then we need feedback from players why they prefer to hunt in certain areas more than in others. We also need some feedback as to how easy it is for the development team to tackle certain issues or even how willing you are to implement them.

    There is of course the problem of the game losing some of it's hidden magic if you tell us those things. So maybe we need some different means of making people look for the right things without knowing what they are actually looking for. Maybe randomization could help?

    Could you please reply to those points with the additional info on how easy it would be to implement and if anyone else sees benefit in a particular change if applicable?

    • Are you planning to change the drop rates according to zones?
    • What are the factors that make high level mobs spawn in a zone?
    • Should spawns become more dangerous over time: Re-spawn as higher level mobs?
    • Should zones containing GoGos / GenReps be nerfed and the other zones buffed?
    • How deeply embedded in the code is the AI and could it be externalized via scripts to make mobs more variable and interesting to fight without having to resort to one shot kill solutions? The community could provide scripts you could apply (even randomly). At the moment your best bet is to bug the AI and use whatever terrain advantage you can get.
    • Give us a list of things you can do without much effort so we can compile a better list that would make zones more interesting in the short term.
    Last edited by Trivaldi; 08-04-16 at 13:46. Reason: At request.

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    Roger Ramjet Fanboy Number 1 RogerRamjet's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response Trivaldi, and it's insightful to some of the inner workings of the game. I had assumed for instance firemobs were replaced by firemobs as is the case at say Grant or Cycrow. Does this mean every mob on the ground is part of a pool of random cycling mobs?

    I have noticed that mobs do rotate positions and what spawns within a zone, but it does appear on occasion the best zones have pretty fixed and consistent spawns.

  9. #9
    freedom for neocron! Torg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerRamjet View Post
    ...but it does appear on occasion...
    Roger, no offense intended, but srsly, for how long are you playing NC? (ok, its april 04...) i really thought farming mobs was common knowledge. there are plenty of zones where you'd groom a group of raresdropping mostrosities, kite them to safety (because you know all the spawn points) and get rich quick. you can read about it even in the neocronpedia (th.org). yes, the trick is to learn which mobs are in what spawn group and where the spawns points are in each zone. it shouldnt take more than one hour meatspace time to check a zone out and own it. in terms of PvE, of course.

  10. #10
    Roger Ramjet Fanboy Number 1 RogerRamjet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torg View Post
    Roger, no offense intended, but srsly, for how long are you playing NC? (ok, its april 04...) i really thought farming mobs was common knowledge. there are plenty of zones where you'd groom a group of raresdropping mostrosities, kite them to safety (because you know all the spawn points) and get rich quick. you can read about it even in the neocronpedia (th.org). yes, the trick is to learn which mobs are in what spawn group and where the spawns points are in each zone. it shouldnt take more than one hour meatspace time to check a zone out and own it. in terms of PvE, of course.
    Take 2 years or so off it and you have about the right time frame, I had to share an account and was exiled to Saturn

    But, I know exactly where to go if I want to encounter mobs, i'd just love to go somewhere new and push potential new runners into exploring the wastes in search of those places, new and old. And every day is a school day, there are still many intricacies of the game I haven't worked out because they aren't so obvious.

    I'd personally like to see a more holistic approach to levelling/farming areas and their zones, especially when these areas are connected to OPs. Remember in NC1 when Cycrow was coveted and often owned by the strongest clans because it had the best place to level (Chaos Caves?). Or Soliko or Nemesis due to their proximity to MC5? Even Regents in NC2 was a major hub for people wanting to go to Regents Legacy (this place is another matter all together though). There is a lot of work to be done around the PVE/Exploring experience, the ideas i've thrown up are just that, ideas.

    So do you have anything to add or you going to teach me how to suck eggs some more?

  11. #11
    Huckle Beare' Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torg View Post
    Roger, no offense intended, but srsly, for how long are you playing NC? (ok, its april 04...) i really thought farming mobs was common knowledge. there are plenty of zones where you'd groom a group of raresdropping mostrosities, kite them to safety (because you know all the spawn points) and get rich quick. you can read about it even in the neocronpedia (th.org). yes, the trick is to learn which mobs are in what spawn group and where the spawns points are in each zone. it shouldnt take more than one hour meatspace time to check a zone out and own it. in terms of PvE, of course.

    And that benefits a new player how exactly?
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    freedom for neocron! Torg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
    And that benefits a new player how exactly?
    to know that the game isnt over as you capped your first char, but there's plenty to explore and learn.

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    freedom for neocron! Torg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerRamjet View Post
    ...I'd personally like to see a more holistic approach to levelling/farming areas and their zones...
    not sure if i understand you here. what is it you'd want to see changed? And
    Quote Originally Posted by RogerRamjet View Post
    Remember in NC1...
    imho NC1 was new and exciting but NC 2 is a better game. Yet i can be improved.

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