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Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

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Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:18 am

A while back, I created the sparring arena craft system, to alleviate a problem that we were seeing in the game.

The Problem

Because of incorrect building techniques, or perhaps part of the code being broken, SOI's sparring system allowed characters to spar each other (or a Sparmaster NPC, which is even more effective) all the way up to master/legendary skills. The code is designed so that sparring should only allow you to reach 50 (bottom of Talented) in a skill, and the rest should be earned through actual (dangerous) combat.

Because this wasn't working right, people realized that they could skillgain at 3-4x the rate by avoiding going out on patrols, engaging in dangerous combat, and improve their characters much faster just by twink sparring all the time.

They would hide themselves away, spar down to three stars of health, then treat themselves and idle until they could repeat the process again (and their skillgain timers had gone away). They would actively avoid roleplay or proactive activities to spar.

It was one big arms race of meaningless twinking that absorbed the vast majority of combat players' time on the game.


The Solution

So, I created the sparring arena. It had some great benefits.

- It rewarded roleplaying while sparring with another character, by giving you a boost to your likelihood for skillgain.
- It told you when you gained in a skill, so that you stopped sparring and could go do other roleplay, instead of wasting your time by "over-sparring" for the skillgain you wanted.
- It offered much better skillgain for new characters than anything else, for less time put into sparring.
- It used crafting timers, to help encourage players not to double down on twinking by pursuing twinking crafting and combat skills in the same day.
- It injured PCs far less than code sparring did, so that they would heal very quickly and never need to miss a patrol. It did not allow characters to spar beyond the "injured" level of health, ever.

It had one drawback (or positive, depending on your POV):

- You could only get your skills levels to 50 (low talented) through it, because that was the engine's intention for sparring, period. This is to help new players reach moderate levels of skill through roleplay, and then encourage them to use those skills proactively in real combat, to continue to advance.


The Result

It worked, for a while. People used the arena and stopped sparring non-stop via code. Over time, this has changed, and now sparring is back and worse than ever.


The Now

More characters have master/legendary combat skills now than on any incarnation of this Engine. That includes Atonement ALPHA, where PCs were bombarded with constant danger, invasions, etc. And nearly every single one of them got this way by spending hundred(s) of hours doing nothing but twink sparring.

Do you really think people should be able to hit each other with wooden weapons until they are "legendary" swordsmen?

While there are patrols that go out in Utterby now, they're less common, and combat characters interact and roleplay a lot less now than they used to. People basically spar whenever they possibly can.

It's not good for the game. In fact, it's sort of a plague. If there was more combat activity to be had outside of the walls of Utterby, that might help give folks another outlet, but the real truth is this:

Sparring (via code) is broken. It's not supposed to work the way that it has worked for all of SOI3's existence. It encourages the opposite of interactive, good use of time. It's a vampire, and it's one of the absolutely most self-destructive and draining things to this game.

What's more? Now that so many PCs are Masters/Legendary through sparring, taking away sparring weapons and the Sparmasters would just be putting new players at a disadvantage. Ideally, there'd be a PWIPE (or just a blanket reduction of all PCs' combat skill levels to '60') when the game moves to Laketown, while simultaneously removing Sparmaster NPCs and sparring weapons from the game. Based on the decisions made by staff so far, I don't feel confident that they'd be willing to roll up their sleeves and do this.

And so, to be competitive as a combatant, you have no choice but to apply hundreds of hours to meaningless sparring. Talented is no longer an above-average/average level of skill, when every other PC is a Master/Legend. And when everyone's a Master/Legend (without earning it), no one is.


The Future

We all eventually leave for Laketown. We arrive. Old players return, and staff likely fills Laketown clan leadership positions with new apps. But, oh, wait:

The Utterby arrivals are twice as skillful, wealthy, geared up, and have already established meaningful character relationships. What do you think is going to happen to Laketown without some sort of PWIPE or global skill reduction (to '60', or around the level that the highest RPP character can enter the game with)?

Utterby PCs are going to walk all over Laketown PCs, and the players who returned to try Laketown are going to start quitting because they won't be able to compete with legacy characters. Utterby PCs will stick together, since they all have common history/roleplay, and Laketown leadership PCs will eventually stop trying to compete.

Utterby PCs will transplant Laketown leadership, and Laketown will become restringed Utterby. It will have failed to draw back old players, largely.


A New Solution?

Take out spar weapons. Take out Sparmaster NPCs. Start being willing to kill off some of these legacy PCs through plot and challenging, REAL PvE activity. Rely on the sparring arena.

And either PWIPE, or reduce every single PCs' skill levels to 60 tops, perhaps even 55, when we get to Laketown. Even staff PCs' skill levels, and staff darlings' skill levels. Everyone's. Describe it as, "Well, in Laketown, your skill is really only Adroit/Talented, comparably."

Make Laketown confiscate all oquality+/metal armor upon arrival, to ensure safety from the refugees. This is a common practice in these situations.

Don't ever let there be a Shadows of Sparville 3. Create real, meaningful PVE content, and kick the Sparmaster NPC/weapons to the curb. Keep the arena; it works as intended.

Power creep is BAD. This is one of the worst problems with SOI3.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Gobbo » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:23 am

I pretty much agree. Though I've never personally hit adroit in any skill. I've always felt at a slight disadvantage because I know others who have twinked out are way stronger.

I think the number one problem is 'legacy' pc's. Pc's get strong and they just never die. This was kinda a problem in atonement amongst a few. But you always had guns as an equalizer to hose down someone who was too strong, Pvp in this case managed to kill PC's that staff could no longer take down in plots.

I've always wanted to see weapons, armor and skills reeled in a bit so that an amateur soldier would get beat by an adroit swordsman but three amateur soldiers could take down someone much tougher. Less disparity between skill levels would be nice. Equipment too.

Radioactivejesus can go around and 2 shot players in oiled leathers. He's a god now, I'm not telling staff to kill him..but maybe if the top level wasn't so deadly it would be less of an issue to have legacy characters.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Justanothacivy » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:18 am

This sounds like punishing players for time played. A good read. Gave me a chuckle. :mrgreen:

Disparity is reality. Quit worrying about putting kid gloves on all the time. If over-sparring is happening the admins will see it and flag no gains. Legacy characters should not be punished. They are the players who feel most invested.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:29 am

My suggestion's not a punishment. It's pretty standard procedure when moving from ALPHA to BETA of a game, actually, to PWIPE. Since I doubt a pwipe's going to happen, knocking those gear/skill levels down talented/adroit/pquality so that new Laketown characters can actually compete (which is necessary for the success of Laketown) is key.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong on this. Staff have ignored over-sparring for the entirety of SOI3. It's a huge detractor to meaningful roleplay and proactivity (which is necessary for the health of the game).

Additionally, sparring is broken; it's not supposed to let you reach beyond low talented skill levels. That's how the engine was designed, and for a reason.

The idea that people who spend hundreds of hours twink sparring are somehow more invested than other players who don't want to engage in that activity is offensive.

Was I not invested in my previous characters, like Bjarndyr? I didn't do sparring, then. I instead went out and did more proactive and plot-driving things.

Your knee jerk reaction just sounds to me like, "No, I don't want to lose my crazy high level of skill that I gained without any risk to myself by simply typing 'hit sparmaster' and 'stop' several times a day --- even if that sort of activity is harming the game as a whole."

I understand that reaction, but it's not exactly comprehensive of a global view of the issue.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Gobbo » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:35 am

Songweaver wrote:My suggestion's not a punishment. It's pretty standard procedure when moving from ALPHA to BETA of a game, actually, to PWIPE. Since I doubt a pwipe's going to happen, knocking those gear/skill levels down to levels so that new Laketown characters can actually compete (which is necessary for the success of Laketown) is key.

I'm sorry, but you're wrong on this. Staff have ignored over-sparring for the entirety of SOI3. It's a huge detractor to meaningful roleplay and proactivity (which is necessary for the health of the game).

Additionally, sparring is broken; it's not supposed to let you reach beyond low talented skill levels. That's how the engine was designed, and for a reason.

The idea that people who spend hundreds of hours twink sparring are somehow more invested than other players who don't want to engage in that activity is offensive.

Was I not invested in my previous characters, like Bjarndyr? I didn't do sparring, then. I instead went out and did more proactive and plot-driving things.

Your knee jerk reaction just sounds to me like, "No, I don't want to lose my crazy high level of skill that I gained without any risk to myself by simpling typing 'hit sparmaster' and 'stop' several times a day --- even if that sort of activity is harming the game as a whole."

I understand that reaction, but it's not exactly comprehensive of a global view of the issue.


I know sparring isn't 'suppose' to let me go past low talented. But I want to be able to get to adroit AT least before I'm going out to try and solo warg packs for skill gains.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:42 am

You can reach Adroit vs boars/wolves/etc. All of my skill levels that I've reached, I gained that way.

It doesn't start getting harder, really, until Adroit.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby ThinkTwice » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:54 am

Gobbo wrote: But I want to be able to get to adroit AT least before I'm going out to try and solo warg packs for skill gains.


This is, literally, the exact argument that Songweaver is arguing against. You can solo spar your way to Adroit without ever being forced to go and interact with anyone else. This is bad. Being forced to go and interact with people to get your skillgains is good. MUDs thrive on social interaction. This is an RPI, it should not be a combat engine with the emote command attached.

If all you want to do is skillgrind by yourself, play something else. :evil:
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Melkor » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:56 am

The arena prog only allows you to gain skill until you hit talented in deflect. When this happens you get a message that you cannot gain further regardless if the other skills you're using have not gotten to talented yet. I'm guessing this is a bug by your description.

I theorize it would do the same with any skill you use in it that has hit talented, but once talented deflect is hit, that's all you get because deflect will be used with any weapon combination. I bet you could still train brawling and dodge though.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Gobbo » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:03 pm

I'd actually argue that by soloing bears/boars/wargs for skill gains you are being more of a recluse and not interacting with ANYONE. AT least a spar needs one other person (if you remove the stupid sparring npc the guard gets.)

On a side note, I find that real sparring is more consistent with skill gains than the arena. The arena is great for learning a new weapon skill or bumping up a skill from beginner/novice. But when you hit familiar you might only get a skill gain every 2-3 arena matches. That is 15 minutes for nothing more than half the time. You can spar 5-10 rounds which takes a minute then BAM, skill gains across your weapon skill, your weapon-style and your deflect.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Real » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:11 pm

It really does sound like punishing people for putting time into the game. Having skilled characters is not ruining it for anyone. Nor should it be a thing that we lose the gear we work hard for.

It takes an absolutely ridiculous amount of effort to acquire/craft riveted iron. If you're going to wipe effort from alpha, expect yet another falloff of players who worked hard. You're going to piss off a lot of people, maybe for the wrong reasons but we all play this game for a variety of them.

Also; the polestar these days seems to be consistency and building a foundation that lasts, and this flies right in the face of that.

Fix sparring, but if we're doing anything like a wipe before Laketown I will probably join those that have moved on. I've invested a lot of hours, point finale.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Canawa » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:12 pm

Honestly Songweaver, you don't know me but I remember you and I for the most part don't trust most of what you say or do.

However, this. I was just complaining about this to a friend that I have played this game with since high school. It used to be the norm that once you hit four stars in a spar that the spar was over. Now you have people going down to three, or two... I've even seen someone go down to one star and pass out.

I'm not one for sparring because it takes away from other things. Such as being able to hunt, or go on patrol. At four stars you are injured. At three stars you are MORE injured than you were before.

I do like the idea of the training arena because it makes people interact with one another more than just typing 'hit <target>' and 'stop'.


My Proposal
1.)Pwipe on transition to Laketown. Then each combat skill can only go up once per 24 hour period (which is about 4 hours in game). Personally I don't think you should go from novice to master in a year. I have worked in the same industry for fifteen years and I am nowhere near a master at it.

2.) The more possible of the two proposals: Just make it so future characters can only get one combat skill gain every 24 hours.



Legacy Characters
Legacy characters are fine, but most of them got there by spam sparring down to three stars or less until they got to be -elite- fighters, and now they just know when to run away so they don't die.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Bones » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:29 pm

Just because I can.. Seriously SW. I love you like an excised tumor, but this seems like a wonderful opportunity to be spiteful. As leader of Camp Twinkamungus on Slaughterhill in Utterby's open area, aren't you very guilty of twinkery in all its horrid forms? Hiring away an armorer and a weaponsmith. Making yourself a bastion against bastions? Stinking with plague, or just poor hygiene?

I'd give this more weight if I didn't know what your silly little Hill-Goblins.. People.. Whatever.. What they were up to. Mind you.. Heh.. We found out what else they were up to when we picked through the burned corpses.. But you know what I mean.

Why not go a step further? I mean hell. If we're wiping skills, or characters.. Or both.. Why not RPP? I mean.. SW has the right of it, right? NO RPP FOR ANYONE IT ISN"T FAIR!!! AFter all. If I get to Utterby with my 30 RPP that Staff have given me cos I cheat and stuff like everyone says, won't that give me a distinct and unfair advantage over new players? Joe Newbie won't have any RPP. In -fact-.. We can get rid of RPP all together> So no one ever has advantages again. Or Roles. Nimrod! It's time for us to all make normal humans and goblins!
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby tehkory » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:33 pm

Why not go a step further? I mean hell. If we're wiping skills, or characters.. Or both.. Why not RPP? I mean.. SW has the right of it, right? NO RPP FOR ANYONE IT ISN"T FAIR!!! AFter all. If I get to Utterby with my 30 RPP that Staff have given me cos I cheat and stuff like everyone says, won't that give me a distinct and unfair advantage over new players? Joe Newbie won't have any RPP. In -fact-.. We can get rid of RPP all together> So no one ever has advantages again. Or Roles. Nimrod! It's time for us to all make normal humans and goblins!

Because he's discussing a problem with skills and skillgains and not a problem with RPP. Don't equate arguments.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Bones » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:36 pm

A pwipe destroys a character. Hacking down that person's skills from what they've earned through hard work also diminishes that character. Joe Somebody the Badass Warrior worked hard. Went on all the patrols. DID RP out a lot of spars (I know I've done it a -ton- with the arena in its heyday). Now. We go to Laketown. Joe the Badass has his weaponskills cut by 40%. Sure.. He can grind all the way back up to Badassdom.. But why should he have to?

And.. If you're going to do that, and destroy the character and hard work, to keep from 'advantages', you may as well take out RPP as well. And have everyone start fresh.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Real » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:36 pm

Agree with Bones.

I swear, every day there's a new work-destroying idea going around that threatens the integrity of characters that have been around, working hard for weeks/months. They mostly come from people who don't play often.

To go out and fight reasonably well against stuff, you must spar your skills to a surprisingly high level, given the recent boost to the wilderness. Soloing is one of the only ways to consistently have fun on the game in its current phase, let's examine why;

Patrols are 90% boring and happen rarely
Everyone is too afraid to do anything
If you log in at offpeak time, you're faced with 4-5 players online
^ gl going anywhere
Again, numbers are so low that getting stuff done is uncommon and the realm of clanleads, which I am not


----- ----- ----- -----

What I see here:
"My character is not up to scratch at the moment"
"I don't want to train my skills"
"I should not have to spend time training to be as good at fighting as those who do"
"People with better gear than me should be brought down to a fair level despite efforts to obtain that gear, because power creep"

You know what? We should just all move back to a one-room barge to preserve balance in the meanwhile, take away everything everyone has except the clothes on our backs, all our gold and gear etc. - drop all our skills to Familiar and show up in Laketown with our ****s in our hand. That way, it would really be fair.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Canawa » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:43 pm

Real wrote:Patrols are 90% boring and happen rarely
Everyone is too afraid to do anything
If you log in at offpeak time, you're faced with 4-5 players online
^ gl going anywhere
Again, numbers are so low that getting stuff done is uncommon and the realm of clanleads, which I am not



Depending on what you want to accomplish, you don't have to have 5 people... Unless you want the bog. There are things that can be done outside of that with 2-3.

Real wrote:What I see here:
"My character is not up to scratch at the moment"
"I don't want to train my skills"
"I should not have to spend time training to be as good at fighting as those who do"
"People with better gear than me should be brought down to a fair level despite efforts to obtain that gear, because power creep"


It's more like one day, I saw someone use the training arena multiple times. Then they went into a spar JUST TO GET IN THAT LAST LITTLE BIT OF TWI...training.

Real wrote:You know what? We should just all move back to a one-room barge to preserve balance in the meanwhile, take away everything everyone has except the clothes on our backs, all our gold and gear etc. - drop all our skills to Familiar and show up in Laketown with our ****s in our hand. That way, it would really be fair.


Sarcasm (hopefully)? Sure does help and contribute to the conversation.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby TheEbonPlague » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:48 pm

While I agree with Songweaver about his points on sparring I am guilty myself of twinking sparring just to be able to keep up with the curve of new PCs who come in and continue to spar themselves up to master and whatnot.

I do love the arena prog though since it does ensure that players must at the very least find another pc to jump in there with them and I have even used it with other PC's more as a RP tool since I wouldn't get any skill gains from the craft. The only issue I have with the arena is that is seems to make teaching combat skills with the teach command unnecessary so it makes other PCs wish to not RP in that way so much.

I agree that the way sparring and skill ups work should be revisited by staff and the player base so that blatant twinking is not a necessity for players to stay relevant as combat PCs
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:55 pm

Hmm. I struck a nerve or two. Gonna respond to everyone, so long post.

Melkor wrote:The arena prog only allows you to gain skill until you hit talented in deflect.


That's right! It's not a bug. It's how the engine is supposed to work. The reason it doesn't work this way is either because builders are building sparring weapons wrong, or something's become broken in the code.

Sparring was never supposed to take you above Talented levels in skills. You're supposed to go out and do real combat to get there.

Certainly, more PvE content would help with this.



Real wrote:It really does sound like punishing people for putting time into the game. Having skilled characters is not ruining it for anyone. Nor should it be a thing that we lose the gear we work hard for.

It takes an absolutely ridiculous amount of effort to acquire/craft riveted iron. If you're going to wipe effort from alpha, expect yet another falloff of players who worked hard. You're going to piss off a lot of people, maybe for the wrong reasons but we all play this game for a variety of them.

Also; the polestar these days seems to be consistency and building a foundation that lasts, and this flies right in the face of that.

Fix sparring, but if we're doing anything like a wipe before Laketown I will probably join those that have moved on. I've invested a lot of hours, point finale.


It's not helpful to hear, "Well, if my character has to sacrifice at all to make sure that the transition to Laketown works, I'm not playing the game anymore."

It's much more helpful to hear counter suggestions, because what we're talking about is a real issue that needs to be addressed before it's too late. I know that you know that, Real. :p

Gobbo wrote:I'd actually argue that by soloing bears/boars/wargs for skill gains you are being more of a recluse and not interacting with ANYONE. AT least a spar needs one other person (if you remove the stupid sparring npc the guard gets.)

On a side note, I find that real sparring is more consistent with skill gains than the arena. The arena is great for learning a new weapon skill or bumping up a skill from beginner/novice. But when you hit familiar you might only get a skill gain every 2-3 arena matches. That is 15 minutes for nothing more than half the time. You can spar 5-10 rounds which takes a minute then BAM, skill gains across your weapon skill, your weapon-style and your deflect.


You don't need to solo PvE content to increase your skills or reach Adroit. You can do it in groups.

You're right, though, twink sparring is more consistent -- because it's broken and not working as intended and every legacy combat character in the game right now has benefited from a bug that has never been fixed.

Canawa wrote:Honestly Songweaver, you don't know me but I remember you and I for the most part don't trust most of what you say or do.

However, this. I was just complaining about this to a friend that I have played this game with since high school. It used to be the norm that once you hit four stars in a spar that the spar was over. Now you have people going down to three, or two... I've even seen someone go down to one star and pass out.

I'm not one for sparring because it takes away from other things. Such as being able to hunt, or go on patrol. At four stars you are injured. At three stars you are MORE injured than you were before.

I do like the idea of the training arena because it makes people interact with one another more than just typing 'hit <target>' and 'stop'.


Hard to know how to respond to the first point, since I don't really know you. But, I appreciate your ability to agree with me on this stuff even if you don't like me.

Bones wrote:Just because I can.. Seriously SW. I love you like an excised tumor, but this seems like a wonderful opportunity to be spiteful. As leader of Camp Twinkamungus on Slaughterhill in Utterby's open area, aren't you very guilty of twinkery in all its horrid forms? Hiring away an armorer and a weaponsmith. Making yourself a bastion against bastions? Stinking with plague, or just poor hygiene?


I didn't twink up my characters' skills through sparring. I ... paid for gear. Just like everyone else. Back then, it was pretty cheap too -- there wasn't any good armor in the game. It's a very different game now, in terms of the quality of armor.

I also didn't choose to move the clan to that camp/fort. We were forced to do that by the staff, though they never really accepted responsibility for that fact when players got angry. Our idea was just to camp in the open wilderness, and I would've been absolutely happy with that.

I'd give this more weight if I didn't know what your silly little Hill-Goblins.. People.. Whatever.. What they were up to. Mind you.. Heh.. We found out what else they were up to when we picked through the burned corpses.. But you know what I mean.


Did you jump back on this forum just to remind everyone of what a shitty person you are? If so, I commend you on your dramatic entrance.

Are you still angry for me outing you for cheating and conspiring against players on old SOI while you were on Kite's staff? I would assume so based on your needless offenses here.

Why not go a step further? I mean hell. If we're wiping skills, or characters.. Or both.. Why not RPP? I mean.. SW has the right of it, right? NO RPP FOR ANYONE IT ISN"T FAIR!!! AFter all. If I get to Utterby with my 30 RPP that Staff have given me cos I cheat and stuff like everyone says, won't that give me a distinct and unfair advantage over new players? Joe Newbie won't have any RPP. In -fact-.. We can get rid of RPP all together> So no one ever has advantages again. Or Roles. Nimrod! It's time for us to all make normal humans and goblins!


Your inability to think globally isn't really helpful here. How would you suggest they open Laketown successfully, with local Laketown characters in leadership roles, if the new sphere receives an influx (see: the vast majority of the playerbase) of legacy characters that are far more powerful/capable/connected than any Laketown characters will be? What do you think the affects of that would be on the new sphere?


-----

More on point, I think that a skillcap and removal of twink sparring capabilities is pretty much a no-brainer. The equipment issue can be handled one of two ways, one of which means more work for staff (but probably less complaints from players):

- Reduce the equipment that Utterby refugees move into Laketown with.
- Make the equipment that the refugees roll into Laketown with the new standard for new PCs (easier/cheaper/more accessible), and introduce new tiers of armor and weapons for everyone.

If it were me, I'd probably kill a lot of folks off in the finale of ALPHA, too, just so more players would roll into Laketown characters to fill out Laketown's atmosphere. Doesn't really make sense for Utterby PCs to outnumber Laketown PCs after all, does it?

But, SOI's not currently one to kill a lot of characters off in this way, so other options need to be looked at too.

If the idea is to get players to return to play Laketown, we need to consider how we can keep them playing once they return. This is a very real issue that needs to be considered.

There is a reason why games PWIPE between phases like ALPHA and BETA. I don't think SOI needs to go that far, but it needs to actually put some thought towards this issue.
Last edited by Songweaver on Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Melkor » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:04 pm

Songweaver wrote:Hmm. I struck a nerve or two. Gonna respond to everyone, so long post.

Melkor wrote:The arena prog only allows you to gain skill until you hit talented in deflect.


That's right! It's not a bug. It's how the engine is supposed to work. The reason it doesn't work this way is either because builders are building sparring weapons wrong, or something's become broken in the code.

Sparring was never supposed to take you above Talented levels in skills. You're supposed to go out and do real combat to get there.

Certainly, more PvE content would help with this.



That's not what I mean. Say you have talented deflect, amateur small-blade and amateur dual-wield. You type train small-blade shield (or dagger shield or whatever it is, i can't remember) to train those skills. You will not be able to get any points at all because your deflect is already at talented. Instead of giving those two amateur skills a chance to skill up, it just gives you the can't train message.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Bones » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:07 pm

Songweaver wrote:
I'd give this more weight if I didn't know what your silly little Hill-Goblins.. People.. Whatever.. What they were up to. Mind you.. Heh.. We found out what else they were up to when we picked through the burned corpses.. But you know what I mean.


Did you jump back on this forum just to remind everyone of what a shitty person you are? If so, I commend you on your dramatic entrance.

Are you still angry for me outing you for cheating and conspiring against players on old SOI while you were on Kite's staff? I would assume so based on your needless offenses here.



Aww, Puddin'. You never outed anything. :) I'm glad you think I did though. I mean, tickled pink.

As for being 'forced' into it. No one forced you into anything, Swiffer. Choices. In game choices, in game consequences, etc etc.

But you're right. I am a shitty person. Even if you don't realize you've never actually outed anything.. Ever... Unless you played Sharline.. Were you Sharline!? WERE YOU TUCKING IT IN ALL THIS TIME?! Oh wait.. You got fired.. or quit.. or something.. Something stupid, I can't remember.

However, I think you're right, actually. Legitimately, that Legacy and Laketown might have an issue. However, these leadership roles you're speaking of, will likely be filled by RPP players. As they're supposed to be. Just like when the Lodge had Foremen.. I think required at first 2rpp to apply? You'll likely be able to do the same and get a role with comparable bonuses. However, of COURSE they won't be up to snuff of the legacy characters. They'll be NEW CHARACTERS. However, with time, dedication, etc, etc, rhetoric rhetoric, they'll be badasses ere long.

When Laketown is announced, and those who have not had their chance in the limelight, but have RPP hear what roles are offered, I bet you see a mass of players deciding they'd like to be Laketown Pimps. And will be suitably set.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:13 pm

@Melkor

Oh, really? That shouldn't be the case. If it is the case, it should be a really simple fix (shifting an "if check", if I had to guess). I'd just submit a ticket.

@Bones

Well, no, the staff actually approached me and told me that I had to move the clan there. I just took all of the heat for their decision, because they wouldn't own up to it and I wasn't trying to out who I was playing at the time. But it's neither here nor there.

I don't really feel the need to dig up the past. I think folks here, largely, remember your laundry list -- and my old Northlands blog is still on the web for anyone to refer to.

Beyond that, I don't think that your prediction is very likely, based on my own experiences in moving spheres and opening new phases of games.

Eventually (perhaps way down the line at the current death rate), with no direction on this issue, Laketown will finally be filled by mostly Laketown characters. By then, many players returning to see if the game has changed will have left again because Laketown clans and leadership will play second fiddle to the refugee Utterby characters.

In short, the move to Laketown will have failed to re-populate the game. That's my prediction without someone posing a solution.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Real » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:16 pm

Thank you for locating and quoting the sarcastic paragraph at the bottom of my post, Canawa, it was equally helpful.

If you're doing a 2-3 person romp, you had better have great skills, stats and gear unless you personally enjoy staying a couple rooms within range of Utterby and pumping out the hunting crafts or chopping wood.

Nor is it anywhere even close to likely that even one or two of the five people online want to sally forth into the wilderness. It's tough to put a group together with 10-12. Don't believe me? Fine, I probably have no idea about this game's meta anyways.

Especially if someone is using the training arena, which has a six-hour timer, there's really no reason to complain. Career soldiers, professionals, they would train to excess because their life consists of killing things with swords and not dying to these same swords. A powerful motivator.

It's as simple as this; with Familiar and Talented skills, you have pretty crap chances against wargs and bears, the way things work right now. With what's common ingame, seg and oiled, you're looking at taking grievous injuries in most serious combat circumstances.

If you grind to get refined mail, you seriously deserve a gold star. I will mail it to you - it takes an RL week to make a single piece of this stuff. This will keep you alive, finally, you can get into combat without worrying about getting a horrendous bleeder from an alpha warg's non-crit max damage attack.

If it seems strange that I'm so concerned about things that are not "how realistic training this much a day" is or "whether long-lived PCs will be more influential than newly-rolled ones", it's because I've played combatants without means of powering up and it is a long trudge, a very boring trudge, when you have to get injured to get anywhere. If there is a player here who enjoys sitting in the infirmary waiting for a healer to log on, please, raise your hand.

----- ----- -----

Grumble.

I'll do my best to be constructive here, but invalidating hours put in is not going to find itself in my suggestions.

- Alter code to make it so sparring won't raise your skills above Talented, like it was supposed to be. Make sure to have this include brawling, because training against an unarmed sparring NPC is common
- Make it okay to have some functional gear given to Laketown RPP characters (NOTHING THAT CAN NOT BE CRAFTED)

To be clear on the topic of armor creep. There is one PC on each side who can make good armor, and with the way timers are set up it takes forever and a ton of expensive materials to make good armor. Don't even get me started on weapons, and their availability. The problem lies in Master/Legendary coming from sparring. That I can agree with.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby radioactivejesus » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:01 pm

Songweaver wrote:If it were me, I'd probably kill a lot of folks off in the finale of ALPHA, too, just so more players would roll into Laketown characters to fill out Laketown's atmosphere. Doesn't really make sense for Utterby PCs to outnumber Laketown PCs after all, does it?

This is the only right way to go about it. Force setting peoples skills down is dumb as hell and will frustrate people, rather than making people even more hyped for the game like what would happen after a well performed staff RPT. Making it so people can take everything including the kitchen sink in the laketown move is also dumb as hell. Staff should look at the grungetown to Atlas spaceship sphere-move RPT and get a good idea of just how this could be done properly. The combatants that survive the RPT will have then earned their high skills and equipment.

As for sparring... My character has been alive since the very first hour of the game, had 60+ days playtime, participated in nearly every combat RPT to exist and fought in dozens of duels and pvp combats, but stopped sparring almost entirely after he hit talented skills. When I finally hit master deflect, I was super pumped about it, and went onto AIM to brag (yea, I know, shame on me). I was then told congratulations by my AIM buddy, and informed how similarly pumped they were to have hit master deflect a week before me. On their 7 days played PC who has only stepped outside the city walls a handful of times to hunt wolves.
Last edited by radioactivejesus on Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Songweaver » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:02 pm

It also worked well for alpha-to-Grungetown, as well. I do agree that the preference would be a "few survivors" scenario. I just dunno that that's the option that SOI's staff would be likely to choose.

So, alternatives.
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Re: Shadows of Sparville II: Grind, Twinks, and Power Creep

Postby Patty » Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:23 pm

I loved the arena sparring Songweaver. I honestly wish all combat was like that.

I would be in favor removing all sparring npcs and sparring weapons as Songweaver suggested personally or figuring a way to limit how much you can learn from it.
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