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Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Ava » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:20 am

I'm for permanent death. It was never my point to say it's bad or I'm concerned about my own character's life. I'm concerned about high rates of trivial death which don't seem to have any rhyme or reason but to construct a high turn over and give stories blunt wolf ends.

I think maybe it's a carried over sentiment from games like Atonement or Parallel, but it doesn't make sense to me in Utterby. That's just my opinion however, and if other people think it makes sense that's fine too. I'm probably playing the wrong game.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby WorkerDrone » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:07 am

To say that "blunt wolf ends" or other silly ends didn't occur in SoI is inaccurate, but it's true enough that it didn't occur with as much alarming frequency in the latter stages of the old game as it does now in this game, especially with Atonement Engine's admittedly more brutal code.

But I think we can all agree this stuff will peter out as the game is more developed, players become more experienced and preventative measures (gear/building additions like fortifications) get added in.

Though the standing issue of "skill levels being low enough that it isn't scaled too well" is in my opinion pretty relevant, because it's another issue that on its own causes people to seek ways to bump those low-starting skills up before making themselves useful in any capacity to the rest of the playerbase.
Last edited by WorkerDrone on Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Saellyn » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:03 pm

would you prefer if the forests were filled with orcs?
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Ava » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Is there a reason for a lumber town settlement to be in heavy orc territory? My only gripe is that I guess I can't reconcile the setting and the game balance. If it's an outpost for soldiers to beat back the encroachment from the Mirk, great. High danger and risk makes sense. Suicidal tendencies make sense.

Maybe there is more to Utterby's danger, and I'm sure there is storywise. Maybe I'm missing the work of RPAs that makes sense out of things.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby WorkerDrone » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:07 pm

Saellyn wrote:would you prefer if the forests were filled with orcs?


...kind of. But I know you guys aren't looking for that kind of answer.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Songweaver » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:11 pm

In my opinion, folks are taking the wrong approach to trying to figure out why their characters are in Utterby. Utterby might be a potential boom, but ultimately - we know it's a bust. Mirkwood only gets worse.

I compare it to Moria. The dwarves dug too deep there, against good judgement. Why? Greed. Same reason why people try to profiteer in the most dangerous areas of the real world (see: Africa).

Utterby isn't a bastion of civilization. It's the opposite. It's a frontier town in what is currently, and arguably, the most dangerous region of the entire world. If people start keeping that in mind as they develop their backgrounds, then the culture and atmosphere of the setting will begin to sink in.

What I think people have difficulty reconciling, at the heart of it all, is their own expectations of what kind of game SOI should be. Some prefer something more akin to Minas Tirith/Ithilien. That's not Utterby, or Mirkwood, though.

These PCs are here for profit (or for other reasons), and they are here unwisely.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Ava » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:40 pm

I think you're right, and I'm probably playing the wrong game :)
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby EltanimRas » Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:05 pm

Ava wrote:I think you're right, and I'm probably playing the wrong game :)

You may prefer Lake-town, when the setting moves that way. There's definitely some thematic overlap, but I think the day-to-day level of danger for most characters [who aren't looking for trouble] should be noticeably lower there.

What kind of game are you looking for?
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Ava » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:08 am

Songweaver wrote:I compare it to Moria. The dwarves dug too deep there, against good judgement. Why? Greed. Same reason why people try to profiteer in the most dangerous areas of the real world (see: Africa).


Songweaver wrote:These PCs are here for profit (or for other reasons), and they are here unwisely.


EltanimRas wrote:\What kind of game are you looking for?


I guess one that doesn't lead to either having a character who isn't primarily driven by greed, or one who isn't a hardened soldier/ranger, or an 'other' who is here despite all there being little to make someone logically stay. I made a flowchart jokingly, but only semi-jokingly. I think I expected a Tolkien game to feel a lot different than this, but I'll hold out that Laketown is different and maybe return then.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Matt » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:34 am

Tolkien was all about how corrupted and crappy people were.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Hazgarn » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:40 am

Ava wrote:I think I expected a Tolkien game to feel a lot different than this, but I'll hold out that Laketown is different and maybe return then.

It's become a bit of a dead horse argument, I know, but it is important to remember that this is alpha. Utterby really is just a staging area toward the end product of the game. In a lot of ways, it's the expected game in miniature, boiled down to its extremes (which you illustrated beautifully). As the game develops, it will expand and there will be more and more room for nuance.

That said, I'd hope you wouldn't give up prematurely on the current game. I don't think it's impossible to create a character whose motivations fall outside those categories.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Rivean » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:51 am

Ava wrote:Is there a reason for a lumber town settlement to be in heavy orc territory?


I believe the answer to this question (and it's a very good one) is that ALL of Mirkwood is dangerous to some extent or the other, and Utterby is NOT an extraordinarily dangerous place by Mirkwood standards.

The death you're seeing IG is a mixture of Alpha-wrongness, balance issues being worked out, and the idiocy of certain players who shall go unnamed. Despite Songweaver's thematic comparison, which I'm sure he did not mean to be taken literally, Utterby is NOT Moria.

I believe there is some confusion as to how dangerous Utterby really is, and also as to how dangerous Utterby APPEARS to be - all of this needs ironing out, and I'm certain it will be, given time.

Incidentally, it heartens me to see you ask this sort of question because thematic disconnects are one of the biggest things that bother me, and I have historically been something of a minority in that view.

Songweaver wrote:Utterby isn't a bastion of civilization. It's the opposite. It's a frontier town in what is currently, and arguably, the most dangerous region of the entire world. If people start keeping that in mind as they develop their backgrounds, then the culture and atmosphere of the setting will begin to sink in.

What I think people have difficulty reconciling, at the heart of it all, is their own expectations of what kind of game SOI should be. Some prefer something more akin to Minas Tirith/Ithilien. That's not Utterby, or Mirkwood, though.


Ava wrote:I guess one that doesn't lead to either having a character who isn't primarily driven by greed, or one who isn't a hardened soldier/ranger, or an 'other' who is here despite all there being little to make someone logically stay.


I think this is a significant problem, and one that has historically been somewhat overlooked. I feel that the present admin vision (and I believe that to some extent this is a legacy from both Caolafon and the Atonement settings) focuses very heavily on 'THIS is the game' to the exclusion of all else.

Allowing for a wide variety of character concepts has been, at least in Utterby, deliberately decided against. Admins have a strong vision of what the average PC ought to look like, and that average PC is uneducated, poor, and likely from a rural background.

For me, personally, my backgrounds have a great deal to do with WHO the PC is - and these limitations on education, affluence, and exposure all have a vastly crippling affect on my choices, and ultimately, the PCs that I can play.

And even if players are allowed to roll non-standard issue PCs, these are allowances. The game is not designed to accommodate any style of play other than the 'main theme'.

I really hope that when we move out of Alpha and into Laketown, that the larger, more urban setting is more Minas Tirith in style, and by this I do NOT mean a return to a billion-clan game, or Fellowships, or Rogues, or whatever.

I mean that it should allow for a great variety of character backgrounds and concepts to flourish.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby MrDvAnt » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:22 am

I imagine there will be plenty of options for character concepts once we move out of alpha since Laketown is an established town rather than the frontier resource gathering outpost that Utterby is.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Bogre » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:55 am

Songweaver wrote:In my opinion, folks are taking the wrong approach to trying to figure out why their characters are in Utterby. Utterby might be a potential boom, but ultimately - we know it's a bust. Mirkwood only gets worse.

I compare it to Moria. The dwarves dug too deep there, against good judgement. Why? Greed. Same reason why people try to profiteer in the most dangerous areas of the real world (see: Africa).

Utterby isn't a bastion of civilization. It's the opposite. It's a frontier town in what is currently, and arguably, the most dangerous region of the entire world. If people start keeping that in mind as they develop their backgrounds, then the culture and atmosphere of the setting will begin to sink in.

What I think people have difficulty reconciling, at the heart of it all, is their own expectations of what kind of game SOI should be. Some prefer something more akin to Minas Tirith/Ithilien. That's not Utterby, or Mirkwood, though.

These PCs are here for profit (or for other reasons), and they are here unwisely.


This exactly. The populace here are not necessarily the homey set-up a farm types. They were drawn by iron, by lumber, and by profit away from somewhere else. Not to say it's better where they came from, but through rumor or hope, Utterby is a destination for something -better-.

But it's a frontier, and it looks like the settlers are finding out things aren't as pleasant as they wanted - orcs, wargs, and danger. This is roughly the case for many boom settlements. The Mirkwood, whilst inviting - was ultimately sinister.

I think a lot of the RP concerns of like, 'oh, another death' can be reconciled with the fact that YES, people -are- dying. Maybe someone painted your character a better picture, and you're stuck, maybe someone sold you on the idea of easy money, and now you're in between a rock and a hard place. But guess what? You've got to deal with it - and I think that creates a lot of opportunities for RP. Your characters don't have to all become hardened gritty numb-to-death badasses - maybe it turns some people into basket cases, criminals, anything to try and get out to safety. And maybe some just turn into big damn heroes.

Middle Earth always seemed, at least to me, to always be about the light shining -through- the darkness, rather than the lack of danger, death, or evil, and the heroic measures the characters take to surpass it.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Bogre » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:59 am

Re: skills

I'm fine with skills being amateur->bottom familiar. Deflect shouldn't change, it's hard enough to raise. Novice skills are painful.

'Familiar' skills are pretty decent, considering that most 'good' combat chars in the RPI engine is generally when a char has talented weapon/style and familiar deflect.

And if someone already has talented deflect, then wtf, things don't need to change. It took me 1.5 YEARS to raise a char to that in Atonement (albeit from novice). Talented deflect in a month is insane.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Throttle » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:14 am

And if someone already has talented deflect, then wtf, things don't need to change. It took me 1.5 YEARS to raise a char to that in Atonement (albeit from novice). Talented deflect in a month is insane.


Well, it's probably one of the first batch of PCs. It used to be that starting skills were heavily influenced by stats, including deflect, so someone with high dex and int could start with familiar deflect. Going from, say, low/mid-familiar to talented in a month sounds much more feasible. Of course, this was hugely broken and got changed pretty quickly.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Zargen » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:03 pm

Devils advocate here. I liked it more when your characters starting skills where weighed more towards stats.


Also when outside felt dangerous. Instead of having myself a leisurely stroll about looking for anything new and interesting.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Icarus » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 pm

A character lived for 1.5 years on Atonement?! That's... amazing
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby Throttle » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:58 pm

Well, he was AFK for half of it :D
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby tehkory » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:35 am

Throttle wrote:Well, he was AFK for half of it :D


Any one of Bogre's PCs were AFK for longer than most PCs were alive.
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Re: Starting skill levels & combat skillgains

Postby BleedingEdge » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:13 am

Utterby is definitely a frontier town.

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