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An RPP system with increased granularity

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An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:52 pm

Since pretty much forever, 1 RPP has been pretty easy to get, 2 if you hang around, and numbers beyond that depending if staff happen to notice you, I guess. The jump between each, with regard to how hard it is to get, is bigger the higher you get, or that's been my experience, at least.

It also led to issues such as this.

1 RPP, you can be a lowly private somewhere, or a recruit in earlier days.
2 RPP, you can be a lowly private somewhere, because this was never consistent.
3 RPP, you can be a journeyman, complete with your own workshop to start out with.
4 RPP, you can be a Dunadan, complete with super expensive arms and armour, a private house and a horse.

I wonder how it would look if all existing values were to be doubled, or even tripled, so the average Corporal or Journeyman role might be 9 RPP, and so on. Of course, it would require RPP to be handed out much more frequently. But it would hopefully enable such things as spending just a single RPP on modest skill boosts, or making subtler adjustments to costs on things in chargen, to stop an issue from the past where two roles of equal cost came with drastically unequal perks and responsibilities.

Is it vaguely sensible? Feasible? I had some thoughts about the restriction of races to when staff specifically need an elf or a dwarf for plot stuff, then they can announce it, and interested parties with some certain number of RPP, but not as many as the 5 or 6 they'd have needed in the past, can apply, and staff can pick whichever. A little like Armageddon's system.

On top of that, personally, I'm not fond of RPP roles which land people with anything above Private rank in clans. It can get messy. (The person who has expended 4 RPP on some Dunadan coming along and mocking everyone for being so inexperienced because he had been doing whatever for forty years got old too. :P )
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Brian » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:15 pm

Easier to look to Atonement for this concern I think. Roles were standardized where 1point of RPP was worth a static amount of skill boosts and equipment across roles. I don't remember the exact numbers but it was something like 1 RPP would get you plus 10 skill points and that was it. In many cases the options would be defined by role as well. A combat role cold choose plus 10 to a combat skill, while a crafting role would have to apply the boost to a craft skill.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Throttle » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:00 pm

Standardized skill boosts do go a long way towards ensuring relative fairness, but awarding RPP more frequently is difficult because it's almost impossible for staff to macromanage in-game activities on a very short scale. Usually it's a monthly thing at best where admins (and sometimes clanleads; we occasionally asked them on PRPI) throw out names of players they think might deserve a point and then each name gets discussed staff-side. Even with a month between each batch, it was pretty hard because you just hadn't seen enough of most of these players to know. When you've got maybe five people overseeing the roleplay of 50+ players, even a month is rarely enough to really determine if any given player deserves an RPP. Some are more noticeable, but many of the nominations were more a case of 'any objections?' than any real discussion, to be honest. I don't know how they plan to handle it here, but I doubt it can be made any more frequent than once per month.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Letters » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:06 pm

Staff could always give out more than one at a time. Wasn't really an option before because of the big step each one represented.

The rate at which most people gained RPP on SoI was probably about a third to a fifth of that at which they were given out on Atonement, wasn't it?
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Burke » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:40 pm

Please ignore this suggestion if it's something that's already done.

Most of the games I've played on that have a staff-managed point system have usually relied on staff reviewing logs. I've forgotten how logs work on SoI, but I seem to remember that you couldn't really publicly submit any logs with your character until that character was retired or dead. However, if there was a staff-only logs repository and a system for players to submit logs that time/day/account name stamped the submissions, then those logs could be available for wider staff review.

Problems I've seen happen with this kind of system:

1) Players submit a log and expect to get a point right away, so increased hassle for staff when they don't. Players will likely need to learn that submitting a log does not guarantee a point, and that submitting five logs does not guarantee a point.

2) Players fudge logs... well, in theory. I don't think I've ever seen or heard about that happening. If you're going to put in the effort to fake a log, you might as well RP.

3) Players submit inappropriate logs: bar RP, TS logs (dear sweet God, no).

Still, if there is an interest in having the awarding of RPP become more possible by giving staff more opportunity to review RP without having to stay logged in and watching (and burning out), then logs might be a way to do it. Logs also could serve as a record of what's happening in the game, what mechanics are working and being used, and what might need tweaking.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Hawkwind » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:07 pm

Perhaps a system where a quota is to be distributed per week? Perhaps to get people on the first step of the ladder (arguably the hardest step) one could be given after 50 hours of accrued gameplay?

Another idea would be to have staff play a little bit fast and loose. Perhaps with the idea that every time they go on the playerport and look around, they award an RPP or two to some of the best and brightest they see? Up to a limit, say two? Since nothing can really be game wrecking or clan-crashing with anymore.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby tehkory » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:23 pm

I think a lot of people's(read: Letters) concerns have been ported from SoI-that-was, and are unique to SoI's previous setting. Dunadan? Nope. Noldor? Nope. Sindar? Nope. It's silvan elves and dwarves; the relative power level is much closer.


Between that and a look at Atonement/Parallel's system(standards for what RPP do and how you get them), concerns are pretty well solved. You don't need 9RPP because the 1-5RPP system covers all the races we might like to see in-game. Stats go from 88 sum to 92 sum over there(so a +4 total, at most), and skillboosts go from +10/+5 at 1RPP to +15+10+10+10+10 at 5RPP(addendum: this is conjecture given nobody got to 5RPP, based on the fact that 2 is 15+10, 3 is 15+10+10, etc.). Skill-wise, you can't ever come in-game any better than playing the game will grant you, given enough time. You can't really crash a clan over on Parallel, either: the highest you can app in at rank-wise is lower than clanleads still.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Drew7uk » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:53 am

As a former RPA of SoI and ARPI I've seen this debate come up quite a few times. I think the general consensus between staff and players (at least in the case of SoI) was that the system is certainly in some need of reform - hence the move to monthly reviews for ARPI I believe.

My view is that you'll never have enough RPAs with enough time to effectively check every player and reward them effectively, no matter how you implement review periods etc. As earlier posters said, anything beyond 2 or 3 RPP can become quite a challenge unless you're visibly leading a clan and participating in staff plotlines regularly.

One other angle is that the system should really facilitate new and old players alike having the chance to prove themselves equally for roles/races, providing they do so responsibly.

With that in mind, reserving important roles or races for those over 3 RPP means you're relying heavily on long-term players sticking around for a long time (which we all hope happens), and hoping the newer players stay around long enough to make the same happen.

I've brought this up elsewhere, but I strongly believe the "special application" system ARM uses could be decent solution and would provide a nice little balance.

When there is need for a particular role - primarily leadership orientated, and sometimes requiring a special race - staff will release details of the role and what it requires, inviting players to send in applications for the role, and from there filtered down to the best based on player experience, general game records (factoring in their success with other special application characters they've played), and possibly a measure against some kind of point system.

I believe another system which could've been better utilized (which was implemented in one iteration or another in the SoI codebase) was the ability to recommend certain players for points.

RPP were always a measure of the staff's trust in a particular player - for roleplaying reasons, and for leadership, and setting an example. I think there can be some element of this trust system - maybe we return to a system where RPP is hidden completely, and these are only taken into account for special applications so staff have a very rough indication of what the player has done. Alternatively, we'd use RPP purely for racial picks and handle the rest with special application.

Just a little food for thought!
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Evilone » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:40 am

Staff calls for roles I think is a pretty good way to handle things... if said clans have no suitable PCs to step into the shoes. I dont think you want a huge number of RPP, as id rather staff had more time to animate and drive story and create new things, than worrying wether said pc needs their 10th or 15th RPP. Just need a clear list of what you need to deserve each level of RPP. Longevity, Leadership, World Knowledge.. etc?

Do we want people to be starting in clans at private ranks and trusted positions? Perhaps RPP is only for races, material gains, restricted skills increases etc. From memory it was easy to add a role on the fly in chargen.. maybe only add certain positions when staff need them.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Emilio » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:01 am

In my opinion, a RPP system should an admin/staff tool and not something that players should see. They will get really frustrated if their RPP score doesn't go up and they want to play a special character or race. Besides, they will quit their current character by asking to retire or killing it the moment they have enough points to play something they think it's better. Then they become bored once they reach their goal and they barely show up in the game again.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Brian » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:16 am

I think Emilio is right; RPP if anything has always seemed more divisive than anything else. The thing about RPP is that every player seems to believe they deserve more RPP than they have, and that they are being neglected/going unnoticed/staff hate them, when this is usually not the case. The other tough pill that most people don't seem to be able to swallow is that maybe they have been seen and staff don't think that they're deserving of the RPP that the particular player feels that they're entitled to. With a system like SoI, and most MUDs for that matter where the staff are former members of the community and retain a friendly and more or less personable relationship with the player base, this usually leads to divisions and strife. It isn't like at work where upper management is truely divided and set apart from the people they lead (in a lot of cases) and don't give a damn what they're employees think of them as long as things are getting done effectively.

Everyone has their own tastes, but my own interactions over the course of SoI has often been that I wonder why and how the people playing particular high RPP choices got the RPP that they did and why they're cocking up a restricted race. Again, I'll stipulate that this is only my own perspective and is entirely based on how I think certain races should be played. Others might have thought they were amazing, however, for me, there were many elves and dunedain in particular where I was really not impressed.

That's where I think that the standard RPP system doesn't really work here where it does in a place like Atonement and special application might be a better process to follow. On Atonement these other races were made up from in game lore, so it wasn't like a lot of people had years and years of reading and thought to develop a very strong identity of what an elf is like. Here though we have so much lore and background that I feel you need to study and understand before you can do something like an elf correctly. If you don't, I personally don't want you to be playing that role as it is more immersion breaking for me than if that character had not appeared.

tldr: Players aren't as good as they personally think themselves to be, RPP is divisive, special applications should be considered
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Throttle » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:43 am

It's a system that can't ever really be perfected, it's always going to have shortcomings. If I was to change it, I'd split it into Roleplay Points which denote a player's actual talent at roleplaying (anything from emoting well to being fair in PvP to portraying realistic, believable characters) and Leadership Points which are earned by leading clans and, to a lesser extent, being a leader of the roleplaying environment in such ways as orchestrating RPTs, heading group outings and so on, even if one isn't the actual leader of a clan.

RPP then lets you pick races that are difficult to roleplay, roles that come with a dose of extra power, and anything else that requires a skilled and trustworthy player. LP lets you step into leadership and authority roles, start new clans, things like that. Someone who is an exceptional roleplayer but has never led a clan might be allowed to play a dwarf but would not be given the opportunity to roll a high-ranked officer in the military clans. Someone who has diligently led several different clans for months at a time would be allowed to roll straight into another such role, but if he barely emotes and his characters are bland, he probably shouldn't be playing an elf.

Players have a tendency to have one quality or the other, quite rarely both, and they're too different to really combine into one commodity. On SOI, too many people got to play high-RPP races by essentially just making it to an officer rank in the Batts and staying alive for six months, and some were allowed to take on roles with considerable responsibility just because they were good storytellers and emoters, only to prove that they had no affinity for running a clan. It led to problems more often than not.

It'd be a bit like the badge system that was originally planned for ARPI but never happened.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Feawen » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:08 am

I actually like Throttle's idea for this, even though one would hope that most people would understand where their limits lie. If life has taught me anything, though - people need to learn more about limits and self-reflection.

That said, while I don't have much to add to this conversation, people are going to complain no matter what system is put in place. People are going to get jealous, feel self-entitled, so on and so forth.

Staff, put into place something you are most happy with and feel is balanced (there are some good suggestions here), and stand by it. Because people will complain no matter what.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Drew7uk » Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:50 am

I'm quite keen on a separate system for roleplay and leadership, but think that they should be invisible to players until they're picking roles in chargen or applying for a special application on request.

For leadership, ranks such as "basic leadership", "advanced leadership" and "master leadership" could be better indicators, left permanently, instead of a point system which can mentally be deceiving or leave people wanting more.

All in all, I'm still in favor of some kind of hidden system which staff can use to gauge roleplaying characteristics (the pnotes system could also function just as well for this BTW) which fully utilizes a special application process for all roles specifically advertised by staff.

Afterthought: it's very possible for the special application process to work completely without the leadership points (as ARM does), given that you're bound to find good and bad IG leaders by their nature. As long as said player has had decent game experience, has been playing for X months, then why not give them a shot at those roles?

Afterthought 2: I'm actually not overly fussed with IG leaders joining through special application/role taking, given that this is also very possible in real life and adds a whole new element of potentially rich RP with all kinds of divisions and political aspirations. Anyone that has had someone hired over them at work in RL will know what I mean!
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Octavius » Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:01 pm

Feawen wrote:Staff, put into place something you are most happy with and feel is balanced (there are some good suggestions here), and stand by it. Because people will complain no matter what.


Thanks, Feawen. :) I think that is a wise summation.


I'll caveat this up front - I don't speak for the staff on this issue. I'm sure that Nimrod, Meneldor, Frigga, and Icarus have discussed RPP, and will announce the game's system when it is ready. I'm not part of those conversations here (and happy to not be lead staff, as it is a pain in the butt, particularly where complaints about things like RPP come in). I was lead staff on Atonement, and will address some of the comments about ARPI above.

RPP was deliberate on ARPI because ensuring a transparent and fair approach was core to what its founders desired. We did set bonuses that were levelized across roles. There really wasn't special gear or property to be given, so that ended that issue. We then did regular RPP reviews - we tried for monthly. We began with objective data - pulling a report of all characters who had login time but no RPP gain during a given period. For the purposes of brainstorming here, I'll add a few of my observations.

  • A volunteer staff is a precious resource. It needs to be balanced regarding where it is invested. It can build new content, run storylines in depth, or observe players across the spectrum, but it can't often do all three.
  • We will never have enough staff to be omnipresent and ensure people get "seen" without compensating them. That's a job, not a volunteer hobby.
  • Therefore, any system that is based on staff noticing you has a biased form of subjectivity built into it that invariably leads to dissension. Care must always be taken.
  • This also serves to influence players into staff-attention-getting behaviors, which is not necessarily what is desired.

Brainstorming Ideals that may or may not be implementable...
  • There will always be an element of subjectivity required; a value judgment MUST be made on a scale like RPP, at some level. That doesn't mean that the subjective element is the total.
  • I would recommend increasing objective measures at the lower levels. The first RPP, for example, could be based on playtime. Someone who shows consistent activity over time is someone that needs to be recognized. This doesn't require someone NOTICING that they are playing regularly.
  • We need to define what actions are desired and thus worthy of recognition and reward. For me, I'd aim at those things that build the community. Throttle makes an excellent point - we need to be clear about what is for "portraying a role well" and for "leading and benefiting the game well."
  • Players that generate activities and involvement for others without burdening the staff are FAR more important to me than those that attract and require the attention of the staff.
  • Players who go out of their way to involve those with a New Player tag and hook them into the game provide a lasting benefit to the whole. If we had a "commend <person>" command that allowed new players to thank those that help them (and we told them about it during COMMENCE) it could help make this something trackable and worthy of a second or third RPP.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Feawen » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:55 pm

Wasn't there some sort of Nomination command on ARPI, a while back? I believe this should be kept; and if it's not there, implimented. A form of player review is always good; but that doesn't mean this should be a sole determination. If someone is constantly being nominated by the same person subsequent nominations shouldn't matter - unless it's something big, in which case staff can look into it. Likewise, any one that's given any weight should have substance to it. People will nominate their friends just because.

That said, I think that getting noticed should partially be in the player's hands. It's relatively easy to do the following:

*Make board posts about activities
*Use the 'think' command - when I was RPAing, this was surprisingly scarce. And sometimes people really should have been using it.
*Do more than just stand around during staff scenes - again, I don't know how many times many people had almost no reaction... or had reactions that made me go "...Where did that come from?" This is great in conjunction with THINK.
*Push forward ideas on the forums.
*Schedule times to do player activities.
*Make up stories and post them on boards.
*Put things into their OOC Journals with the JOURNAL command.

Honestly if people aren't getting noticed, I feel like that partially falls on their own heads.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Meneldor » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:31 pm

Burke wrote:Most of the games I've played on that have a staff-managed point system have usually relied on staff reviewing logs. I've forgotten how logs work on SoI, but I seem to remember that you couldn't really publicly submit any logs with your character until that character was retired or dead. However, if there was a staff-only logs repository and a system for players to submit logs that time/day/account name stamped the submissions, then those logs could be available for wider staff review.


The ability to send to staff without publicly posting them is easy and has always been there. PM them.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Brian » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:30 pm

I really like the badges idea, or a split idea where one is for how well you lead and involve players and the other is for storytelling or immersion. As someone said above you usually have players that excel in one or the other of these but very rarely excel in both of them at the same time. I think that is a very true statement and that roles and races rely on different things. I believe that to play a good elf or dwarf you have to be a very immersive storyteller and have a really deep knowledge of Tolkien's intentions for those races. Leading the military clan, or keeping a tavern staff running and busy and involved doesn't have much to do with those things (though they are incredibly valuable!) just as being able to involve your environment in every emote and knowing every poem and song that Tolkien's written won't make you good at commanding a hectic combat scenario.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Rivean » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:53 am

The trouble with RPP (well, aside from the larger problems of how they're almost impossible to fairly distribute, and that most people are chronically unhappy with the numbers they've got, with the possible exceptions of Brian, Kestrel, and myself :P) is that the RPP score is trying to do several things at the same time, by being:

    A measure of RP ability
    A measure of staff trust
    A measure of one's ability to play a given race
    A measure of one's leadership and 'plot generation' abilities
    A measure of one's ability to effectively organize on an OOC and IC level
    A meta-level tool allowing administrators to regulate the scarcity of higher 'level' races, stats, equipment and skills in the game world

As others have pointed out, these abilities and values are, though in some cases related, NOT readily interchangeable with one another. Nor do they easily conform to a scalar model of 0 - infinity RPP wherein one graduates from one ability to another at different RPP levels. These skills work in parallel, not series, which means that it is possible to be wildly good at one skill and very poor at another.

Furthermore, it's not even as simple as 'good/great/excellent RPer' vs. Organizer or leader or plot generator. Not only does playing an elf, as Brian points out, and playing a military leader take vastly different skillsets, but playing ANY race/role well takes a different skillset.

So just because I happen to play an excellent BN, it doesn't necessarily follow that I can play an excellent Noldor. Or, god forbid, a Hobbit. While it's true that a good RPer is a good RPer, a talent for one race/role does not necessarily translate to a strong showing in ALL races/roles.

Also, the nature of RPP as an expendable currency does not really make logical sense, when considering it as a measure of ability. One's 'ability' to do action X, does not magically diminish as a consequence of one's choosing to spend RPP in avenue Y. Plainly, this particular anomaly exists because in addition to being a measure of ability, RPP is also a regulatory tool. The expendable and finite nature of RPP compounds the problem of fairly allocating points and puts additional strain on staff because it's much harder to continually monitor someone's progress than it is to make a good decision and then forget about it for a while.

All of which brings me to some suggestions:

    1. Remove the numerical model of RPP entirely.

    2. Move to a system of badges that are (in general) permanently awarded based on observed behavior


    So, a badge for good/great/excellent RP ability, a plot generator badge, a military leader badge, an Elf badge (or make it a two level elf badge if you think the skills required for different elven races are significantly different), a Dwarf badge, a Hobbit badge, etc. Badges can be diverse and multi-level, and designed in such a way as to encourage certain types of behavior - think of them as a different sort of administrative meta-tool.

    3. Regulate scarcity and power creep by a combination of badge requirements and case by case application oversight by staff.

    So your GD and NotATwink Badge can allow you to apply for your House of Hurin GD with a +5 greatsword of twinkbashing, but whether or not you get it will ultimately depend on whether or not the staff believes that your GD/sword will adversely affect the gameworld.

    4. Not a suggestion, but significant anyway: the above represents a significant shift from the old RPP policy.

    Whereas in the old days, if you had the RPP, you would get the character - a system of earned entitlement - the badge system does not guarantee that just because you are considered capable of RPing a giving role, that said role or race should be made available to you at the present time. I would recommend, if this policy is considered, that in order to minimize hurt feelings, all applications be accepted unless there are clear and demonstrable reasons why they ought not to be.

Also, there's no reason why there can't be badges that are purely cosmetic either. A newbie-helper badge, and a frequent contributor badge might not directly translate to access to IG opportunities, but are worth having nonetheless - an example of encouraging desirable behavior.

To deal more specifically with matters of stat, skill, and equipment boosts, my take on matters of 'who should get what' is something like this:

a) Does this character, as applied for, seem like an interesting and valuable addition to the game world?

b) If so, is the player responsible enough to handle the character/stats/items?


If both questions are answered positively - and question b can be answered by the presence or absence of a given badge, then I feel that the character ought to be outfitted in a manner that accurately depicts the given background. It's fairly annoying to have a 50 year old front line war veteran with a novice or low adroit combat skills.

A shift away from the linear RPP model and the non-linear badge/achievement model has several distinct advantages in my view:

    1. Makes awarding badges/points easier - it's easier to make static decisions, as compared to continuous ones.

    2. Eliminates entirely the problem of interchangeability of RPP - unlike numbers, badges represent specific skills. Also, badges allow for trees and branches, whereas numbers are strictly linear.

    3. Allows for more specific skillset targeting when creating roles - roles can require a combination of multiple badges, or none, allowing for a much greater degree of design control.

Just my two cents.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Drew7uk » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:27 am

Rivean - good to see you back in action, and glad you've weighed in on a topic as important as this.

Overall I'm on board with Rivean's suggestion, providing it doesn't explode with ten thousand types of redundant badges. Technically it's possible to do this entirely without any additional coding, but if there's a little support for this further on down the line then why not - it need not be too complex.

From a staff perspective I see potentially the greatest gain, allowing RPAs to focus on certain aspects of people's RP, nurture various elements of their gameplay, and award according to said person's strengths when and where it makes sense. I see this being much more streamlined and bearable for RPAs, which in turn will give players a greater experience.

One note on races which I believe has been partly overlooked is that everyone will always be a beginner to a race at some point. There's no way to guarantee if one person will succeed at the race or not (and I don't suggest anyone is assuming this). In the past, RPPs were used to best determine how likely it would be they could succeed, but like a badge system, it wouldn't determine this outright. I'm absolutely in favor of the badge change and throwing RPP out the window, but how would you determine if someone is legible for an Elf badge, or their Dwarf badge?

The answer in my opinion is that you'll never know how good someone is at said race until they dive in and try it - the best indicator of that would be a comprehensive application with background and storyline discussion with staff to determine at least a basic direction for the race and/or role.

If said person succeeds and has a field day with the race, then they are awarded the badge - which makes them far more likely to be picked/accepted for the race again in the future. The only downside to this is that if staff overlook elements of good RP in that race and don't award the badge based on no time spent doing so, that person won't be very likely to play the race ever again.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

TLDR - I'm 100% on board with a badge system but races still need tweaking.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Eugene » Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:18 pm

I agree with Rivean.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Throttle » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:31 am

I'd note that the reason SOI tended to have a lot of bickering about RPP was that the RPP races were strictly (and often vastly) superior to the basic ones. Everybody who cared at all about coded power became obsessed with these races because it was like a whole new game mode you'd unlock where your potential was so much higher that lowly humans felt like newbie mode. The races often had little to no social handicaps -- quite the contrary, they tended to be fawned over and spoonfed opportunities just because of their race.

One of the few things I like about Armageddon is how solid the starting races are in this regard. They of course do things differently, having four starting races and only three advanced ones, but still it's critical that the human race isn't at the bottom of the totem pole. Your human warrior isn't the weakest kind of warrior there is, your human merchant doesn't have the least opportunities and options, and the exclusive races come with such severe social restrictions that they aren't merely a power upgrade with no disadvantages.

This meant that players could be satisfied with their human characters and didn't constantly covet the exclusive races. There wasn't this desperation to try something better, and many players never even played anything but the starting races despite being around for years and having other options. The lack of a glass ceiling for these races meant that they actually were essentially the best races. Armageddon then has the magick classes which cause the exact same problem races did on SOI, but that's besides the point.

Obviously you can't quite decide that elves are no more powerful than common humans, but what you certainly can do is not have multiple layers of 'human +1' races, and I also think that dwarves should be much closer to humans stat-wise than they were in SOI's past. Additionally, make sure that there are real disadvantages and handicaps to playing non-humans in a human society. The canon doesn't permit outright racism against elves and dwarves, nor would I want to see it, but it would be entirely possible to design Laketown's culture such that humans are socially on top while elves and dwarves might find it more challenging. Of course, there being more dwarven and elven PCs would also help whereas they used to be so rare that other players would fall over each other for their attention.
Last edited by Throttle on Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Tepes » Sun Dec 29, 2013 7:28 am

I agree with Throttle about races.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Octavius » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:58 pm

Also, there's no reason why there can't be badges that are purely cosmetic either. A newbie-helper badge, and a frequent contributor badge might not directly translate to access to IG opportunities, but are worth having nonetheless - an example of encouraging desirable behavior.


On the contrary... I'd personally make Newbie Helper a required badge for any advanced role. If you aren't regularly showing an ability to help the game by involving and retaining other players, then you don't have a primary qualification for leading a clan or deserving an advanced race.

I'd note that the reason SOI tended to have a lot of bickering about RPP was that the RPP races were strictly (and often vastly) superior to the basic human. Everybody who cared at all about coded power became obsessed with these races because it was like a whole new game mode you'd unlock where your potential was so much higher that lowly humans felt like newbie mode. The races often had little to no social handicaps -- quite the contrary, they tended to be fawned over and spoonfed opportunities just because of their race.


This.

The rebalancing in the core code helps this. Attribute bonuses for race created a gap that could never be closed without that race. Now the emphasis is on skill over attributes (so can be achieved through play) and the new command to shift attributes over time allows for players to advance their long-lived characters as well. So, no matter what is done with races and RPP, it won't be the same dynamic as in the past.

Races should be about roleplay, but about the level-up of point-spread.
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Re: An RPP system with increased granularity

Postby Rivean » Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:58 am

Octavius wrote:
Also, there's no reason why there can't be badges that are purely cosmetic either. A newbie-helper badge, and a frequent contributor badge might not directly translate to access to IG opportunities, but are worth having nonetheless - an example of encouraging desirable behavior.


On the contrary... I'd personally make Newbie Helper a required badge for any advanced role. If you aren't regularly showing an ability to help the game by involving and retaining other players, then you don't have a primary qualification for leading a clan or deserving an advanced race.


Respectfully disagree - A person who does not actively go out of their way to assist new players (which I think is what the badge ought to be for) is not necessarily an unhelpful person.

There are countless IC scenarios in which certain PCs may NOT be helpful to other PCs, new or otherwise. This really does not mean they are not in other ways making noticeable contributions to the game via clan leading or RP generation.

It may be your view that all PCs should make exceptions to their current RP to accommodate new players, and you may penalize them for not doing so (I wouldn't). However, it would be factually incorrect to suggest that because those PCs are NOT making exceptions for new players, they have not made (or will not in the future make) significant contributions to game.

Also, more simply put, being a new player helper and being a Blood-ring operative/Rogue/Noldor Ambassador all require different skillsets.

Completely agreed about the race rebalancing.

One of the things I always found ironic was that the ones most likely to get the points for powergaming PCs were usually the ones that least wanted to make them.
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