Balance in general

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Snowdog, May 3, 2021.

  1. necronut

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    Not in this case.

    You're 10000% right.
     
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  2. Time Lord

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    Just a simple diagram to illustrate how this works.
    [​IMG]
    ~TL~
     
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  3. Time Lord

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    [​IMG]
    Aren't we talking all around power creep? Let's look at this subject more closely.

    I'm a reasonably average lower level content type of player, not because I don't want to achieve more or push myself more, but I am limited through my physical abilities which limit my content range. On the other end of our player spectrum are talented, able and very SOTA knowledgeable players who play at our topmost levels. Each of these have their own set of problems or issues and need to always be addressed in the most balanced of ways which our game can quickly adjust to as development time progresses.

    Look at the way the new barding skills have impacted our game. At my own level of limited game, it's pushed many of my characters into higher content almost over night when adding bard power to an otherwise limited character design, of which my character skill design challenges contrast very differently from the deck builds that some of my very skilled friends need to play. Their decks will always be different than my own as we have differing talent ceilings and demands. They can manage many more decks and pound on many more keys than I can, faster than I can, and I have a need for my own content to scale for my new found ease of play in barding power, so, we both either need old content to be revamped or new content to be produced. This has happened countless times in our game with this same topic coming up for discussion.

    This is when I fall back on video game educational videos like this to help me understand more and also help the discussion get a bit deeper into this topic that's important to all of our content balancing concerns,

    The Power Creep Problem!


    I'm no professor on the subject, but that video and others help me better understand what our developers do that we may not fully understand, or they just don't have the time to explain to us.

    Our game is constantly in development and has been all our lives in it, and this issue is something we can all use a primer on just so we can think more clearly on the subject. So I hope this helps you as much as it always helps me when facing these challenges and what to expect in our continuing SOTA future.

    ~TL~
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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  4. Aetrion

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    It's a bad analogy because power is relative to how much power other's have, but prosperity isn't. You can endeavor to increase the total amount of stuff in the world through greater productivity or efficiency and make the poor richer without taking away anything from those who are already rich. But you can't give the weak more power without taking away power from the strong. Power is relative. Taking power from the strong has exactly the same effect as giving power to the weak.

    Balance in games is the balance between people's desire to express themselves by creating a unique character and their desire to experience a fair challenge or competition by having that character not suffer a mechanical disadvantage compared to others.

    Raising the power level of all characters causes a problem because it skews how they compare to the challenges in the world, so if you're pulling all character up to a place where they are overperforming compared to the monsters then all monsters have to be buffed as well. Net result: Everyone is weaker, except it's much more work than just bringing the elements that were overperforming in line.

    All that said, the way the devs are trying to achieve balance in Shroud of the Avatar leaves a lot to be desired, because they keep trying to hammer down numerical outliers, but don't address the real core issues with balance in this game. The biggest problem with Shroud is that the things that are mutually exclusive with each other don't add up to meaningful character builds. There are systems in place that make sure that you don't build a water/fire mage, but there are no systems in place that make sure that you can't build self healing DPS tank. Because the system rewards you so heavily for building a character that does it all, but punishes you so heavily for building a character that does any one thing two different ways you will always wind up with a game where characters don't find their usefulness in filling a specific role, and because of that will always be defined by their raw power and nothing else. That's what makes meaningful balance impossible in the game.
     
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  5. dayero

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    First of all, your first statement depends on whether you believe wealth is primarily a result of human enterprise - then you are right - or the distribution of limited ressources - then you are wrong.
    Likewise the second statement depends on whether you see strength as an objective measure - for example how long does it take to defeat a certain mob - or as a subjective one. For an example of the latter you could consider defeating a mob almost no one else can defeat an achievement that cannot exist when everything in the game is easy and there are strong builts that require little knowledge to built and little skill to handle.
     
  6. FBohler

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    The game has virtually unlimited progression, so this will happen no matter what.
     
  7. Violet Ronso

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    Let's be honest though, some have reached a peak right now that will be hard to surpass. Those players should still not be able to mow down T18 scenes like they are a hot knife in butter, they should need a team for T18, unless they'd have 300 in their skills.
     
  8. Time Lord

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    [​IMG] :D~TL~
     
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  9. FBohler

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    Yeah, that's true.
    There are some outliers that need addressing.
     
  10. Cora Cuz'avich

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    I dislike that argument. It's plausible if you're making it to somebody who has been playing for 3-4 months who wants to solo dragons. Telling people who have been here for five or six years (or longer) to just "go back to the Rise" is elitist and kinda mean. The argument essentially distills down to "sorry, episode 2 is not for you."
     
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  11. oplek

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    Yeah I'm definitely not on the min/max side of things. I'm not sure I've ever been to the Rise outside of of those times where I immediately got my ass kicked. The notion of making millions per hour is a ludicrous notion to me. I was making a small fraction of that. Of course, I also was trying to be a cloth-armor dual-dagger-wielding rogue-like character. Oh, boy was that a mistake. I might as well have been dual-wielding feathers.

    I don't really play for efficiency or grouping. So people like me are kinda left in the dust. I can handle maybe tier 5. Maybe I should check out one of these dynamic "easy" levels of tier 7.
     
  12. oplek

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    ...and before anyone says "you need to use poison with daggers"... I thought I could play any way I want? I don't want to use poison. But this supposed classless system keeps pushing people towards de-facto classes that exist between the trees.
     
  13. Violet Ronso

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    Episode 2 is mostly group content. You do not want to group up, it's not my fault here.

    Stop feeling attacked and thinking we are acting elitist, This game has a very high skill based gameplay for combat, not everyone can master that system (some by lack of skill, others by health issues). This game has a Gear based system which is very important as well, and deck building is very precise.

    Do you have very good/top tier gear? Are you using the optimal game mechanics? Are you decks customized and optimized? Without all that, no, you won't make it fighting mobs that are lvl 200+, this is not an elitist comment, this is just basic game mechanics. In almost every game you can't head over to the hardest lvl of the game when you are a mid-lvl player and expect to plow through it...
     
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  14. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    @Violet Ronso
    **DISCLAIMER** I am most certainly NOT one of those very, very few players.

    I agree with you, tho - that people should NOT be able to SOLO the highest/toughest scenes.

    So, how does Portalarium deal with that situation - WITHOUT hurting the vast majority of players ?
     
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  15. Cora Cuz'avich

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    I'm not. For one, I don't think your statement was aimed at me, so I wasn't taking it personally. But if you can't understand why telling people to go back to the same content they've been playing over and over for years is a bit elitist, then I can understand why you're puzzled as to why people feel you're attacking them.

    So far as I know, the devs have never come out and said "we're not making solo content anymore." Maybe I missed it? (Not being an ahole here, genuinely asking.)
     
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  16. Violet Ronso

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    It's impossible, it is literally impossible to have changes that won't affect 100% of the people who use those things that need to be changed. The thing is, those high level players are finding the "exploits" if we can call them such, and then they give a reason for Chris to fix them, otherwise, everyone would walk around as gods and things wouldnt be fun anymore.


    I know it sucks to be on the receiving end of these things, but contrary to popular belief, these changes hurt the top players A LOT, they just know its deserved and take it (like how 95% of fire mages haven't complained yet following the multiple nerfs they've gotten, only fire mages I've seen complain are those who are lower level, or some that were aiming for the minest of maxing.
     
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  17. Violet Ronso

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    It was mentioned that EP2 would be much more Group oriented content by Chris during an older stream, not all of it, but the majority of it. Myrkur and the Well of Auldur are 2 good examples of scenes that are supposed to be group oriented, but people found ways to solo them, and are provoking nerfs by doing so!
     
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  18. Cora Cuz'avich

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    That is disheartening to hear. Shroud is my first (of two, so far) online game, and I primarily bought in (and overcame my dislike of multiplayer games) due to the promise of solo play. If the devs truly don't intend to add much to the game from this point forward for those who wish to play the game solo, that's a bit heartbreaking.
     
  19. oplek

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    Was this before or after early access started being sold? It's been a couple years now. Maybe I could get a refund.
     
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  20. Time Lord

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    All these are rational answers and rational stances from rational outlooks, yet there's no fix all solutions unless as been said here, there comes solo content meant to be soloed.

    Personally I'd like to see that content come from community crafted transport for the individual to reach that high level solo unique content.


    [​IMG]

    A cannonball made for one to shoot themselves off our planet and into more sifi-styled solo play instances. The need for sinks in all types of little used raw materials and the need for the highest ends of crafting skills to the lowest to become more necessary cannot be over stated, all combined with a need for "the one" equals "team content without the need of the hunting team". We don't have encouragement for team crafting, yet it's needed just as much as team hunting content.

    One must look at the real world solutions and mimic their ways to higher content. "There are nor bus loads of people being transported from the Earth to elsewhere", there's only allot of crafting people from raw material gatherers to high level crafters making small rockets to blast a few rich talented people into orbit for very short amounts of time.

    Our Lord British is our game's highest level player and also one of the highest level adventurers in real life. He's now been to the South and North Poles and into orbit as well as to the bottom of the Marianas Trench. <---<<< "That" is no different then what we've been discussing here. There's not one thing different about it for the exception that the high level players here are in a presidio world of limited content and people like Richard Garriott are in real world limited content. I'm not trying to single Richard out, but he's of the highest levels in both, so he makes a great example.

    We already have content that pushes durability of our weapons and armor, yet when we speak of the need for more "solo exclusive or solo intended content", then the needs to prepare for that content need to be substantial and from our crafting side of sota-life.

    Solo content does not need to be places with vast instance space once the player is there. Most places I see used as examples of how to get a bunch of something have been small places taking much adventuring navigation to get to, and all those places are able to be team played, whereas a small planetary instance could not be team played, unless there's more room in whatever mode of transport gets the player there.

    I see no other solution because any new content instance will be someplace which can be team played. Solo instances are needed, or we will be sharing the same discussions for all sota-eternity.

    The real world holds the answers to how to manage solo content.
    Solo'ing content is a zen style of play that cannot be achieved in groups.



    Artistically unique and made for the individual, crafting preparation intense solo content.
    The solution can't be anymore clear in my view. Maybe someone else has a better way to present any "solo only area content". Until we have such new content, we will be stuck with the pains expressed here, which I can't say I blame anyone for feeling.

    Groups or teams don't buy games, individuals do, with individual goals in mind... otherwise our world would be full of a huge guild named "Mostly Harmless", who our developers made special efforts to try and recruit to play sota. Allot of our development $ went into such and we got just above "zero" for our efforts.
    Through providing more motive for individuals, then individuals will come, as long as it's unique content.

    This is from Portalarium long before it became Portalarium.

    Look in the credits and I'm sure you'll agree, it's Portalarium ;)
    ~TL~
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
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