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New Races, Balance, and Lore

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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby tehkory » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:42 pm

Real wrote:We love you grandpa, put the belt away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AsbTBSGZOE&t=21s

ETA: Perhaps I come off as an asshole. No hard feelings meant!
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Melkor » Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:55 pm

Real wrote:We love you grandpa, put the belt away.


I'm going to put it down as coincidence that right as I read this, I was taking off my belt. :o
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.”

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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby krelm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:58 pm

Grommit wrote:I don't understand your 'all or nothing' approach. If the lore is that Team Baddie generally relies on numbers than individual epic prowess, why does that mean to you that 'well shit, let's just give up on PvP all together?'


Because, by your own posting, unless I've misunderstood (and if I have, feel free to tell me so), you're saying that a 3RPP* goodguy race should inherently be better than a 3RPP* badguy race, when the fact of the matter is that both players put the same amount of effort into their characters and that, and the end of the day, no matter how many sprinkles you put on it, one of them is going to try and kill the other.

As it stands, as it has always stood, orcs don't have the numbers that humans have, and will never have the numbers humans have, so getting the numbers to take out one elf, or one dwarf, might not be possible - or, if it is, the game shouldn't be designed around that sole possibility being the only possibility.

It's like I said, a three-days-played dwarf/elf/whatever shouldn't be able to take out a fifty-days-played 0RPP orc. I mean sure, it's an elf, and if you read any of tolkien's books, that would happen, but at the end of the day (in this hypothetical scenario) the orc player put way more effort into his character.


*Here, I'll note, that you object to spending RPP should mean that you "earned" the right to kick ass. What else could it possibly mean, however, with RPP working as it does currently? RPP's sole function, at the moment, is to allow you to roll IG as either a kickass race, a kickass combatant, or a kickass crafter. If I'm wrong, then RPP-restricted roles must not exist.


And, as another note, I realize that the gear was broken on accident. I said that. But, as Kory so elegantly put it, no gear should be better than the best, and the best gear should be craftable by anyone who takes the time to learn it. That's just how games work. You don't give crap to people that other people can't get.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby shezzarine » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:19 pm

It seems to me an underlying issue behind all this is a mistrust with the RPP system. Would people be more comfortable with higher roll-in bonuses if they had faith that the people who were using them had truly earned them in the past? Yeah, that day three Dwarf might be able to roll the day fifty Orc but that day three Dwarf put probably a hell of a lot more than fifty days on another character to earn the right to play the Dwarf, theoretically. Would knowing he had make it more fair?

Or is the current usage of RPP, as Krelm pointed it out to be, so fundamentally flawed that the whole system should be re-evaluated?

From my personal view, I'd say a little yes to both: the first because there doesn't seem to be a clearly established standard for what RPP is awarded for and the second because it seems odd to me that rewards handed out for roleplaying are so closely tied to coded bonuses. I can see the viewpoint of RPP being a measure of staff trust in roleplay and thus allowing a player to pull of harder concepts, but is it really that much harder to play a Dúnadun than a common human and are the people getting to do it really that much better at roleplay?
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Oblivion » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:33 pm

I do have to say that was always something I would grumble about in the back of my mind... Especially when playing something like a five or six rpp half-troll/olog-hai/uruk-hai/abomination...

It always felt as though, despite my having spent the rpp on these races, my setup/skill sets/abilities were never even close to on par with what the 'good guy' equivalent would be.

In the end, even as I played one of the most monstrous leaders of Gothakra, Oouezo, I could be beaten by a weak little harad in steel plate, or some gondorian human or dwarf in super steel and wielding thor's hammer of doomzors.

And as an Abomination who was supposed to have been an evil spirit warping and manipulating the flesh of an undead troll... I am pretty sure I remember being killed rather quickly at the end of the Spire, and the npcs created to bolster our numbers were pretty much paper mache while granted we were never -supposed- to live the ending of the Sphere, it would've been nice if we'd been able to put up any kind of fight.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby WorkerDrone » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:43 pm

Also, to tail-end both of what Krelm and Oblivion and Kory have said, you as an admin, or if you're a player, who was playing one of the "good guy superfriends", might say, Confirmation Bias!

But it's not so much a bias as completely goddamn confirmed that the odds were so skewed and it had nothing to do with personal effort of individual players who had similar amounts of RPP as you did. You got nicer, awesome-r, better stuff than the other side, and every excuse made in your defense sort of falls really...flat, when made.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:53 pm

shezzarine wrote:I can see the viewpoint of RPP being a measure of staff trust in roleplay and thus allowing a player to pull of harder concepts, but is it really that much harder to play a Dúnadun than a common human and are the people getting to do it really that much better at roleplay?


Tricky business here, because again, we get into how everyone has different viewpoints on how a race should be played, and also a different depth of knowledge of the lore.

For my own particular part I played Elves and I didn't always see eye to eye with how people chose to portray other Elves in game. This isn't to say they were doing it badly or doing it wrong, because we had those differing views. However, I think a lot of them also hadn't read passages like "Laws and Customs of the Eldar" or "Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (The Debate of Finrod and Andreth)" from the History of Middle Earth books, and I had. So when they roleplayed stuff that stood in contravention of the Gospel according to Tolkien I was kind of put out, until I recalled that it's probably a very small subsection of the playerbase that has ever cracked open one of the History of Middle-Earth books. Is it reasonable for me to expect them to play to knowing all of these little nuances and tid bits that are in the Professor's wider work?

I think it took me about 5 years to get enough RPP to play an Elf. It was a Sinda elf which I believe was 7 RPP at the time. I had the RPP so I was able to play the role and I was passionate about learning what I could about the Elves to try and bring the role as richly into Tolkien's conception as I thought I could, because I love the lore. So, for players that want to take on these roles, should they be able to just because they have the RPP, or should the expectation be there that they're going to scour Tolkien's letters and side publications to learn all of the intentions and nuances he had for these races? Does it just mean that these races should be at an incredibly high RPP cost, as they were in old SoI? Or should it be special application only where you show to the staff that you know how to play these races?

When it comes to these races it isn't,in my opinion, about how good of a roleplayer you are. You can be the most immersive, engaging, proactive roleplayer and not know the fact that Elves usually have at least 3 and sometimes 4 names (Essi, Amilessë, Epessë, sometimes a Kilmessi) and stuff like that. However, does that stuff really -matter- ultimately? I guess only if you know about it, and most people don't. Still, I think that there is a certain...way that these special races need to be played, a certain flavor to them that needs to be known and kept.

I'll always push for people sticking as closely to the established canon (because we're a Tolkien MUD and there IS canon, and most anyone can access it) because that's why I'm here. It's important to me, and really, it's the reason why SoI has held me. I would want people who want to play these races to know the canon, as much of it as they're able to, so that they can skillfully portray the lore and breath life into the world and make it more Tolkien. That, I believe, is the function of the races, to add that spark of magic, of the essence of the Professor's world that we're playing in.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby WorkerDrone » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:00 pm

I've always been partial to special applications combined with a requisite level of trust/decorum.

I don't think someone who can't play an Elf as far in line with canon as possible should play an Elf, although the problem is, if that really was the case, then everyone who ever played an Elf would have to be an exact copy of Brian in terms of Tolkien Scholarship, and people just...are not. There's perhaps a handful, if that, probably less, who are as fanatical.

On that understanding, I'd almost suggest no one should play Elves, because they would be particularly bad at it, and fare little better as a Dwarf. But that almost leads to me suggesting that people can barely handle playing a human, and well...they are humans. As far as I'm aware. No offense, lizard people.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:02 pm

This thread is going off, I love it!

It's always difficult to portray the numerical advantage that team evil is supposed to have. For one thing, how do you do that outside of a staff run RPT? For another, NPCs suck and bringing NPCs to fight is the worst. So without that team evil doesn't have the advantages they should have, in the old SoI setting.

I don't know what kind of numbers team evil is supposed to be packing here, since we're not right on the edge of Mordor anymore. Regardless of that NPCs still suck and who wants to use them?

Is it fair to say the thing that everyone is most worried about is PvP? Is the desire to be on equal footing the primary concern about races, armor, etc.?

ETA: The other thing that I like about WorkerDrone is that he's funny.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby WorkerDrone » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:03 pm

I am hysterical.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Songweaver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:08 pm

If it's a matter of lore being fully represented in-game, with each side achieving its full benefits, then the knife can cut both ways.

If you let in powerful races to the "good guy" sphere that aren't balanced to their "bad guy" sphere equivalents, then why was Mirkwood in trouble at all during this time?

Because of the odds. Simply put, there were more orcs than human fighters. This isn't represented in the game, because orcs are players and humans are players, and the human sphere will always be more accessible and popular.

So, if you're going to give powerful races powerful equipment and boosts that orcs will never have access to, you could also consider giving orcs the means to craft-breed throwaway, controllable NPCs. Personally, I'm not a fan of controllable combat NPCs, for balance reasons, but this is just conjecture from me.

If we're going to fully realize the magic of the "good" races in Tolkien's lore, we need to fully realize the fear and overwhelming odds in favor of the "bad" races. Let's not forget that, for the a large part of Middle-Earth's existence, it was a very bleak place with little hope against the unstoppable numbers and relentlessness of evil.

But, as Brian said, NPCs suck. And yet, so long as PVP is a cornerstone of the game, allowing players to largely create the "evil" in Mirkwood (and so removing some of the work off of the admins' plates), finding balance must be an absolute goal. I love Tolkien. I'm a Tolkien fanatic, like Brian.

But, things need to be balanced fairly so long as there is PVP. Otherwise, SOI's bound to lose interest from its orc sphere.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby krelm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:14 pm

There was another point that I meant to add, that I totally forgot about until Brian mentioned how people didn't play elves the way he did, didn't stick to canon, etc. (I'm paraphrasing, cut me some slack).

Anyway, the point is that SoI, as much as you may try to make it be, as much as you might wish for it to be, as many man hours and arguments and whatever else you put in to try and make it attempt to be even a little, it is, at its very core, past (especially) and present not canon.

I don't care to point out the minutia of ways that it isn't canon, nor do I care to hear the minutia of ways that it is canon. But I will point out the one, most glaringly obvious reason why SoI will never be 100% canon, or even really like 80% canon: orcs. Orcs were mentioned so rarely in Tolkien's works that basically anything any singular orc player does is going to be non-canon. (Also, ants. Remember the ants? I remember the ants.)

So, to tie this into my previous post, that's something you have to consider when talking about stuff like this. Sure, canonically elves should beat the shit out of orcs-- but canonically, an orc was never a main character, either.


ETA: Songweaver beat me to it, sort of, but here it is anyway.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby WorkerDrone » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:18 pm

It stands to reason, that orcs wouldn't ever be mentioned, by the way, as it's heavily implied that the Lord of the Rings and indeed the Hobbit are told from the perspective of a person, in a "history is written by the victor" sort of sense. So who WOULDN'T exaggerate the powers and deeds of people who, admittedly, did save the day?
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby shezzarine » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:24 pm

I'd say there's a stark and necessarily mentioned difference between filling in gaps and overwriting what's already there.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Grommit » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:33 pm

tehkory wrote:
multiply by X

does all existing gear have to be replaced?


Any standardization work would result in an automated updating of all gear at once, so nothing can slip through the cracks. It would also not consume staff time like doing a giant post-crash reload. It would be a push-button script that reads all items of a given type, e.g. WEAPON, ARMOR, SHIELD, FIREARM and resets their base stats to the new base stats for their item type, while preserving their side stats like "exceptional", "shoddy" etc and derived values.

Songweaver wrote:I'm not inherently opposed to increasing the variability this way, but I am aware that it means that standardization will once again become a more manual thing.


Not necessarily what I meant. You can still have four base levels, of poor, ordinary, good, and excellent (or whatever you guys were calling it? Superb?), but now instead of having to be, e.g. AC2, AC3, AC4, and AC5 which might introduce unpleasant bumps in the damage graph since AC is far from linear, you could make those four points be AC 2.0, AC 2.9, AC 3.5, AC 3.8. Or some such. Same four tier standard, but not locked in to the huge changes in outcome that a single integer change in input affects. Additionally, now you can allow +- a decimal or two from the crafter's skill whereas before the minimum change was a whole tier up via AC +1, and that was just too much.

Songweaver wrote:sometimes, volunteer admins take their leave. If whomever is the watchdog of this new system goes away, and nobody else understands how to balance the numbers, or if whomever on staff is safeguarding against admin corruption


In my experience in 2009 - 2010, it was vastly the former of the two. No guru around (Saladhin at the time), numbers get picked without awareness of consequences. I remember how upset we as a collective playerbase made Shadow when people accused her of giving her Harads maces because of the boost vs plate it had. She gave them maces because they were slavers and slavers use blunt weapons to keep the merchandise as usable as possible. I don't think she was even aware of how strong the blunt buff was. But I digress.

tehkory wrote:
I don't understand the obsession with "everything must be craftable" or the "DON'T TOUCH AC" business.


If at this point the multiple arguments across multiple threads have brought you absolutely NONE understanding, then I don't think they're going to for some time. If you're saying you have no comprehension whatsoever as to why people would say this, then there's probably just not going to be any convincing you, and there's little chance you're going to see the player-side reasonings for this while Adminning.


Ease up, champ. I'm trying to understand you, here. I hear a lot of anger in this thread, and I know the Elf incident was definitely a valid cause for some of it. Much is deeper, I suspect, but then I'm only just returning. Believe it or not, I want the game to be fun for everyone, and I'm trying to understand something I have less familiarity with.

I think part of where our perspectives different here is that I've never played the Orc et al sphere, and I think's way more focused on PvP than "Team Good." Which is why it's hard for me to get why you'd be willing to throw out some lore (I know, it's a continuum) to make PvP feel fairer on an OOC level, when lore is what makes the game awesome and PvP is just a small part of it. I think that feeling comes from the fact that as a human PC, primarily in old SOI since that's where I played, I could work as a carpenter at a private trading company, set up a country market stall, farm, make friendships, meet new people in taverns and learn interesting bits of their stories, see some of the richer lore come to life when the higher RPP people were around and were singing about Beleriand or so on and so forth. All of those things are fun to do now, and I'm glad we have some of the higher RPP humans coming in so we can enjoy those looks at what's going on throughout all of Middle-Earth and get the overall Tolkien flavor so it doesn't feel like MedievalSim. None of that has anything to do with combat, for me. But I suppose in the Orc sphere, there isn't nearly as much you CAN do that would be IC. ICly, orcs et al. are SUPPOSED to be warriors who thirst for blood, and they don't form farming communes and get new dresses for Astirian's Ball, etc etc. I personally wouldn't leave if we didn't have PvP. I don't think I engaged in PvP once in the 120+ days I played my character, and he was in a combat profession. But he had a life outside of his job. It sounds like -- and I'm not trying to say anything negative about the players -- the Orc etc sphere has fewer options that are IC and fun, and thus necessarily more of their ability to enjoy the game is hampered when PvP doesn't feel fair. Does that sound like a possible explanation for why we might be starting from different vantage points?

Re: craftable vs non-craftable. I guess this is just a proxy for "unfair" gear? It seems silly to me to say "if you're going to have an elf in the game, first you need to go through the additional design effort of making crafts for all their gear, balance them economically, and then put those crafts in game, regardless of whether it's IC for humans in a small river-side town to have the knowledge to make, say, dwarven-grade chainmail. And it's also stupid to be like "Hey guys, I'm the new Dwarf. Oh, one of the first things you learned about Dwarves from canon was our amazing craftsmanship, especially martial goods? Yeah well..I've just got these bog irons myself. Don't really know what happened." Personally I want to see that dwarf in steel chainmail so I can say "ooo steel. Dwarves are such good crafters" NOT because it makes me excited for how many orcs he can kill with it.

krelm wrote:Because, by your own posting, unless I've misunderstood (and if I have, feel free to tell me so), you're saying that a 3RPP* goodguy race should inherently be better than a 3RPP* badguy race, when the fact of the matter is that both players put the same amount of effort into their characters and that, and the end of the day, no matter how many sprinkles you put on it, one of them is going to try and kill the other.


For the reasons I listed above about my very non-PvP experience of SOI, I therefore disagree with this statement that all the stuff that's fun about the game in addition to the fact that the game has PvP is just 'sprinkles'. What I am saying is that player effort is not enough on its own. To make the game fun, we must make it so that effort means something, but it can't be a level playing field because the only way to do that is to ignore canon, and canon is what makes this game fun. Like SW said, it worked for ARPI because they were all just humans. We're not here.

krelm wrote:But, as Kory so elegantly put it, no gear should be better than the best, and the best gear should be craftable by anyone who takes the time to learn it. That's just how games work. You don't give crap to people that other people can't get.


Other people CAN get it. They can roll elves, too. In that sense, RPP is kind of like a currency, but as I explained above, the fun of playing a higher RPP race to me seems to be 90%+ stuff other than combat code.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Grommit » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:45 pm

Re: the posts between Brian's bit about reading the side letters and mine, all of which came as I was typing.

I agree that it is no fun to play a game that is imbalanced. I agree that evil is supposed to feel like it has the upper hand and that that pervading bleakness is a large part of the world's feel.

I also agree that it's difficult to show their numbers advantage here, since NPCs in combat are frustratingly difficult to balance, etc, and I'm not sure what the solution is.

I just feel like Team Evil wants to sweep away all the good stuff in the game like a troll smashing in a china shop because they don't seem to understand how awesome canon is and how little it has to do with PvP in making the game fun. And how making a game where everyone was on even footing would be bland.

I'm not saying haha humans win haha. Heck, I could go for spreading out orcs again. Gobbos at 0 RPP to catch the total newbs. Lower level orcs at 1 or 2, etc.

I'd be 100% fine with orcs at the 1RPP level starting with boosts you'd need 2 or 3 RPP for as a human, to represent them as the 'war chiefs' etc.

Image

I guess I spent too much time saying it's silly to try to make the RPP balance exactly with no regard for canon, when not everyone was saying they'd have no regard for canon while balancing, and I didn't spend enough time acknowledging the difficulties of playing team evil.

There's certainly a lot of leeway in setting up a statement like "basic humans are around the 70 percentile of vnpc humans" while "basic orcs are around the 90th percentile of vnpc orcs" to help make up for the numbers problem, with warrior boosts available at higher values for orcs etc.

We're just looking at a few of the best, named orcs who shine out for particular note above the vnpc population.

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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby tehkory » Mon Feb 23, 2015 8:57 pm

Ease up, champ. I'm trying to understand you, here.

I'm easy. I just come across as an asshole. Apologies. I do edit posts for tone, even!

Re: craftable vs non-craftable. I guess this is just a proxy for "unfair" gear? It seems silly to me to say "if you're going to have an elf in the game, first you need to go through the additional design effort of making crafts for all their gear, balance them economically, and then put those crafts in game, regardless of whether it's IC for humans in a small river-side town to have the knowledge to make, say, dwarven-grade chainmail.

It's been said/asked, in two specific ways, that you don't make Dwarves better: armor-class and damage. Nobody's asking for humans to craft IDENTICAL gear to dwarves/elves, just that in damage/armor-class, it isn't better. Make it better in other ways. Be creative. Use the fact that reduced weight/increased HP is very, very, very strong.

And it's also stupid to be like "Hey guys, I'm the new Dwarf. Oh, one of the first things you learned about Dwarves from canon was our amazing craftsmanship, especially martial goods? Yeah well..I've just got these bog irons myself. Don't really know what happened."

You can, fortunately, give iron gear to dwarves in chargen. You can give them steel if you wish, even, just create a tag/variable that is steel and grants more HP and less weight to the gear and give it to them. But remember The Hobbit, remember the POOR dwarves, remember that they were ROYALTY and that not all Dwarves are steel-coated and hyper-rich. It's okay to give us a Dwarf with a shitty cloak and a shitty weapon, and it's okay to give us a Dwarf with Dwarven-specific armor Dwarven-specific weapons made of pure iron. And if you want crafters, especially Dwarven crafters, to not use bog-iron? Well, that's a problem all crafters IG have.

Personally I want to see that dwarf in steel chainmail so I can say "ooo steel. Dwarves are such good crafters" NOT because it makes me excited for how many orcs he can kill with it.

You're confusing crafting materials with crafting skills, in this case.

but as I explained above, the fun of playing a higher RPP race to me seems to be 90%+ stuff other than combat code.

Describe these?
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Brian » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:04 pm

krelm wrote:So, to tie this into my previous post, that's something you have to consider when talking about stuff like this. Sure, canonically elves should beat the shit out of orcs-- but canonically, an orc was never a main character, either.


Here's the thing; we're put in an interesting position geographically with this. I've tried to explain many times that the elves of Mirkwood are in no way nearly as superior as the Elves of the West. The Mirkwood Elves, as an RPP race, are something that I believe can be balanced against something that team Evil can have implemented. It's the High Elves that are insane mofos.

The Elves of Mirkwood, in my opinion, would be slightly more hardy, somewhat more agile, and slightly more resistant to dark power/magic/whatever than common men. They would be able to make the finest, most protective, least encumbering leather armor available in the game -- but it wouldn't have as high an AC as any metal armor. If we go with the idea of 1 RPP = +1 stat point I would say something like +1 con, +2 agi, +1 wil if Mirkwood Elf was 4 RPP. If it was 5 RPP I'd do the same and also a +1 dex. They would have racially restricted crafts to make their leather armor which would be great, maybe the best, leather armor, but it would still be leather, and if you're going to a battle you'd want to be wearing metal.

Dwarves, in my opinion, would be slightly stronger, somewhat more hardy, and somewhat more skilled craftsmen, and possibly somewhat more resistant to magic and such. They would be able to make the best, most protective metal armor in the game. Maybe this means it has an incrementally higher AC if Grommit implements some of his suggested changes, or maybe it means they can make top tier armor with the same AC as top tier human/orc gear but it weighs 20% less. Both of those seem acceptable and fitting in with lore to me. For stats I'd say +1 str, +2 con, +2 dex if they're 5 RPP, possible +1 wil if they're 6.

Yes, in my opinion the Dwarves are more expensive to play than the Mirkwood elves, primarily because of their lore and skill. The stuff that the Dwarves are making in terms of weapons and armor is going to outclass stuff made by Silvan Elves.

How does this stack up to what team evil might have? Well, perhaps team evil has a 4 RPP Gundabad Orc? These guys could be the analog to the Mirkwood Elf, the great trackers and huntsmen of the orc (someone with better ideas about orcish flavor should design this, bear with me :P). I'd see them with something like a +1 dex, +1 con, +1 agi, +1 str or something. Hardy, agile, sneaky, and stronger than your average orc.

Then for the Dwarf analog you could have something like a Dol Guldur orc. These guys would be creme de la creme of the Necromancer's forces. They are bred in Dol Guldur and learn wickedness and craft at the seat of the Necromancer's power. They would be the guys cranking out the best orcish armor. Maybe they can do whatever dwarves do like minus 5% or something? Or if perfect balance is most desired even the same, I don't know :p. For statting them I envision something like +2 str, +1 con, +2 dex for their craftiness.

These are just throwing ideas out, but something like that could work for me, even as a lore purist.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Songweaver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:09 pm

4RPP Mewlips and 5RPP Boldog for Team Evil. Fill in the canonical gaps to give Team Evil actual equivalents (ETA: that are more unique than just 'better orc', etc). Wargs are definitely a work-in-progress in terms of balancing, but they're a nice step in this direction.

Though, seriously, be careful about agi and str boosts that allow pcs to achieve beyond peak agi/str.
Last edited by Songweaver on Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Grommit » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:13 pm

tehkory wrote:It's been said/asked, in two specific ways, that you don't make Dwarves better: armor-class and damage. Nobody's asking for humans to craft IDENTICAL gear to dwarves/elves, just that in damage/armor-class, it isn't better. Make it better in other ways. Be creative. Use the fact that reduced weight/increased HP is very, very, very strong.


Why not? For mail, there's talent in getting the rings more minute which can increase their protectiveness, for example. I don't see why the core protectiveness is a sacred cow. Is it just because there is a history of data-less bad balances once you start tweaking this number that has people concerned about it?

tehkory wrote:But remember The Hobbit, remember the POOR dwarves, remember that they were ROYALTY and that not all Dwarves are steel-coated and hyper-rich. It's okay to give us a Dwarf with a shitty cloak and a shitty weapon, and it's okay to give us a Dwarf with Dwarven-specific armor Dwarven-specific weapons made of pure iron. And if you want crafters, especially Dwarven crafters, to not use bog-iron? Well, that's a problem all crafters IG have.


Very good point, however Dain's Iron Hills crew and the Ered Luin dwarves were more established. These were recent(ish) exiles. They could have lived in more comfort with family, but they were on a mission.


tehkory wrote:You're confusing crafting materials with crafting skills, in this case.


It takes skill to make the proper material. In this iteration of the game, the two are more separate. Certainly by the time you have the metal in spools for making rings, the difference seems like it would be slight between iron and steel as far as what skill is needed to bend the rings.

tehkory wrote:
grommit wrote:but as I explained above, the fun of playing a higher RPP race to me seems to be 90%+ stuff other than combat code.

Describe these?


Grommit wrote:in old SOI since that's where I played, I could work as a carpenter at a private trading company, set up a country market stall, farm, make friendships, meet new people in taverns and learn interesting bits of their stories, see some of the richer lore come to life when the higher RPP people were around and were singing about Beleriand or so on and so forth. All of those things are fun to do now, and I'm glad we have some of the higher RPP humans coming in so we can enjoy those looks at what's going on throughout all of Middle-Earth and get the overall Tolkien flavor so it doesn't feel like MedievalSim.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Grommit » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:17 pm

Songweaver wrote:4RPP Mewlips and 5RPP Boldog for Team Evil. Fill in the canonical gaps to give Team Evil actual equivalents (ETA: that are more unique than just 'better orc', etc). Wargs are definitely a work-in-progress in terms of balancing, but they're a nice step in this direction.

Though, seriously, be careful about agi and str boosts that allow pcs to achieve beyond peak agi/str.


Yes, I will be including stats in combat sim balancing. They do a lot of stuff in weird places, but I can grep them all out and understand their role and make it part of an overall balance. I can easily decimalize these, too, if we need finer gradation.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Songweaver » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:20 pm

Also, from a design-standpoint, I think we're pulling the cart before the horse.

Before we unleash 4/5RPP Elves as a playable race, with leather armor that is the best leather armor can get, the next set of weapon/armor patches needs to go in. This means the next tier of metal armor, the next tier of hardened leather armor, and good quality weapons.

Before we unleash 4/5RPP races, we should probably balance and implement 2/3RPP races, which will be easier to accomplish - and will set the standards that can be applied for the higher level races.

There are a lot of interesting possibilities for lower RPP races that are unique and can add a lot to the game world. At the risk of starting a separate flame war, this is exactly what I attempted to do with my documentation on a) Great Spiders, b) the Read Leonas Hillmen, and c) Beornings. Beornings are actually still a supported role, though they don't see any racial benefits despite their RPP requirement.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Hawkwind » Mon Feb 23, 2015 9:53 pm

As I understand it, few people actually play Elves, or will ever be able to do so. Sad but true. More people have played dorfs and hobbits and Dunedain. Or whatever 2-4 rpp races we may have.

Perhaps a simpler solution would to remove Elves from PC play and focus on the 'younger' races. The workload, the time, the effort and the implementation and the aggro they bring (and have brought) to the opposing side does not seem to be worth the payoff against what they can bring.

That would include special one-offs too.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby krelm » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:16 pm

Grommit wrote:I don't see why the core protectiveness is a sacred cow.


There's a quote from the Venture Brothers that goes something like: "If you throw a rock, the Guild throws a knife. If you throw a knife, the Guild kills your family."

If you start giving someone armor that has a higher AC, you're going to have to give someone else a weapon with a higher damage output to compensate-- of course, this is assuming you want a game with PvP, and want PvP to be balanced. But then, because you have a guy a sword, you have to give more guys better armor, and then, shit just escalates.

This is pretty much exactly how SoI ended up the way it was, with everyone walking around in super-steel-mithril-whatever armor with crazy weapons. Someone upped the ante on one end, so someone else had to up the ante elsewhere. Of course, another contributing factor was that there was no standardization, and no policing, but when you look at your proposal, "add more AC to a piece of armor and give it to a dwarf," that, right there, is already throwing standardization out the window. Sure, it may be standardized from a coding perspective, but the point still remains that a dwarf has the most protective piece of armor in the entire game, and no one else does, and also no one has weapons that can do any damage to it.
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Re: New Races, Balance, and Lore

Postby Icarus » Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:30 pm

You can, fortunately, give iron gear to dwarves in chargen. You can give them steel if you wish, even, just create a tag/variable that is steel and grants more HP and less weight to the gear and give it to them. But remember The Hobbit, remember the POOR dwarves, remember that they were ROYALTY and that not all Dwarves are steel-coated and hyper-rich. It's okay to give us a Dwarf with a shitty cloak and a shitty weapon, and it's okay to give us a Dwarf with Dwarven-specific armor Dwarven-specific weapons made of pure iron. And if you want crafters, especially Dwarven crafters, to not use bog-iron? Well, that's a problem all crafters IG have.


I read this, and I'm posting before I read anything else and I will say that this person is an amazing tolkieneite and I love him. Because THIS is how you win an argument. Boom. I will fight tooth and nail against dwarven armor to be rolled at chargen because of THIS. BOOM. YEAH. You won here, mate. I'm going to read my hobbit now and read the rest of your arguments later.

Also Song is right. We do need to balance the higher end gears here ASAP and make them craftable. Which, my god, is what I did last time I was active... so you can probably anticipate that happening here soon.

Also, the way we are going to do stats... elves will be scared of trolls. And you will be able to play one of three varieties of trolls. And orcs will have special races too. And there will be hobbits. And no the hobbits will not have a racial pipeweed craft. And no, we will not do hobbit pregnancy rolls. And yes the trolls will have log-weapons. And by fudging god there will be Wozes who will beat the hell out of all of you.

Edit: Is Kory actually playing again?! Grandpa?! I thought I aranged for your death properly on Atonement...
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