Chris' R11 abbreviated brain dump!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Chris, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord SOTA Developer

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    Wow! Concurrency, first time users, total hours, average hours, and pretty much all the other stats were through the roof for this release. Everyone of these metrics was up at least 50% over release 10, which was up something like 50% from release 9! We spent several days cleaning up exceptions, spammy log messages, and getting down to the bare minimum log messages for this release to make sure we’re only looking at real data. Even after all that, our metrics box recorded 19,937,381 events in the first 24 hours the servers were open! Yowsa!

    Before I jump into my usual fun stats and then my stream of babbling, I wanted to throw a few theories out for you guys to discuss as to why numbers were so much higher.

    So I think a large number of the 1000+ first time users in this release were an unexpected side effect of getting onto Steam. For whatever reason, many people were just not interested enough to deal with figuring out our downloader, but Steam made it easy enough that they were willing to install and play. Maybe it was people now believing that because we were on Steam we were somehow a more legitimate game? Maybe the Steam “collectors” who just like to collect more and more games and decided to give it a try since they already had it installed?

    I believe that it also had to do with progression finally being in the game, if only in a limited way. Many people don’t like playing without feeling like they are accomplishing something so playing a game with no advancement is just not fun. I think word got out pretty quick that we were also leaving the servers up for a few weeks, which also got a few more people interested.

    Ok, now for some numbers! Most of these won’t be shocking.

    Most popular weapon categories with number of attacks:

    • Blade 1-handed = 897,635
    • Bludgeon 2-handed = 309,226
    • Polearm = 188,841
    • Bow= 152,381
    • Blade 2-handed=141,851
    • Bludgeon 1-handed=84,052
    • Wand=48,036
    • Staff=37,216
    • Crossbow=4,917
    Also somewhat interesting is seeing how the use of weapons changed over time.
    [​IMG]

    There is lots more data adjusting that needs to be done to this graph to make it 100% clear as to what is going on since it does not compensate for concurrency numbers, but it is still telling. Blades are what people use the most, but that is largely skewed by the fact that players all start with a sword. Also, after the servers had been up for several days and concurrency had dropped down some, the number of bludgeon and polearm attacks did not drop off.

    I was actually surprised by this data. I expected one-handed blades to account for 80% of all attacks. I think people started discovering that once you level and increase your strength a bit, bludgeon suddenly becomes a viable option. For R12, I believe all weapon categories will be viable options. They will all have a number of attacks. I’ll gather this same data for the next release and we’ll see how things spread out with the new changes.

    As for active skills, they were used about as many times as auto-attacks at a bit over 2 million uses! Again, very surprising data for us. It means people are being very active in combat. I was expecting something more like a 2-to-1 ratio on auto vs. active attacks. Good stuff as it means people are enjoying using skills!

    As for killing stuff, I was surprised that out of 7000+ characters, only a bit over half bothered to go kill things even though far more left the starting town and travelled around the world. More than 2500 players made it to level 10 though and more than 1000 made it to level 20 which is plenty of data for us to dig into.

    Total number of slain creatures so far

    • Elf = 224,495
    • Wolf = 203,207
    • Bear = 187,043
    • Skeleton = 141,075
    • Kobold = 98,364
    • Chicken=26,619

    Honestly, I’m shocked. I totally expected Chickens to be the number one kill by a mile! I think Chickens are limited by the spawn rate more than anything. The Elf number is also shocking, but I think that shows that people discovered that nothing beats Vertas pass for leveling in the current build. The spawn rate and reward on the elves there is crazy... and will definitely be adjusted in the next release!

    As for counts on what was used, not many surprises there. Melee and blades on top by a mile:

    • Thrust = 219,598
    • Double Slash = 172,818
    • Rend =114,479
    • Healing Touch = 111,116
    • Crushing Blow = 95,440
    • Knock Back = 76,942
    • Fire Arrow = 76,411
    • Riposte = 75,500
    • Death Touch = 68,677
    • Knock Down = 66,084
    • Whirling Blades = 62,837
    • Puncture = 58,866
    • Death Ray = 56,761
    • Push = 54,295
    • Flame Fist = 56,626
    • Healing Ray = 49,817
    • Offhand Attack = 43,763
    • Inner Strength = 30,736
    • Light = 28,378
    • Body Slam = 25,872
    • Defensive Stance = 22,472
    • Deflect = 18,587
    • Ground Pound = 16,521
    • Dodge = 16,220
    • Aimed Shot = 15,095
    • Shield Bash = 14,548
    • Fiery Decay = 8569

    I think the big take away from this is just a confirmation of what we already know. Magic is underpowered. Bows are underpowered. Spells with reagents need to be more powerful to justify their use. Combos need to be more powerful to justify and reward the extra work and skill.

    More than 12,000 groups were formed! More than a million items were looted. More than 200,000 messages were sent!


    On the leveling front, have no fear, we know the difficulty and reward curves were way off. We’ll be improving them for R12, and a bit more each release afterwards.

    Ok, I’ve stalled long enough, time for the list people really want to see… Time for the highest level players after the first 2 weeks on the live server!

    So to make the top 25 list, you had to get to at least level 54. The top player on the list was a cool level 70! In reverse order the list is….


    25 - Parallelogram
    24 - Uther Pendragon
    23 - Jinx O'Sonoma
    22 - Kazar McKillin
    21 - Sophi
    20 - Mata
    19 - Vignir
    18 - Manerd
    17 - Trokip McLarren
    16 - GoldenWing
    15 - Arianna
    14 - Lord Lonn
    13 - Jiirc Overshoes
    12 - Net
    11 - Invidia
    10 - Vajra
    9 - Moonshadow
    8 - OldMan Weinie
    7 - Saesa
    6 - Traveller
    5 - Athanil
    4 - Star Lord
    3 - Turin
    2 - Eks
    1 - Archaon Avenguard

    So I think the good news is that the leveling power curve seemed to work out about as projected. Leveling for this build is probably faster than it will be in the final game, but we still had more than 50 players reach level 50 in the first week. By level 50, players should be able to compete with anyone in the game without being at a huge disadvantage.

    Also, I have some anecdotal proof that some elements are working as planned and that skill is playing a large factor. During the test, a well known developer, lets just arbitrarily call him DaveSmith to protect his identity, was beaten in a duel a player half his level! From what I saw in the screen shots, it wasn’t even close really! Again, only anecdotal evidence, but I wanted to bring it up to make sure this DaveSmith character knows he needs to spend more time practicing and less time talking to players and entering bugs!

    I’m going to keep my post for this release a bit shorter since we’re short on time this release. As always, I’ll watch the post for a few days. Also, I will keep trying to do my surprise chat Ask Me Anything sessions when I have some time to kill!

    Looking forward to seeing you guys in R12 and beyond!

     
  2. Jatvardur

    Jatvardur Avatar

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    Or we are horrible button bashing min-maxers. :D
     
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  3. Sindariya

    Sindariya Avatar

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    No wall of text, but a wall of numbers.

    What I like to know is how crafting got along? We searched a long time for wooden plates to start cooking but never found the flasks for the potions. How many armor was repaired? Did even one used this expansive kit?

    I really hope to see a little more development for mages. So far I only spend around 15 points maximum on light armor to avoid slugs. Nothing else keeps me close to the other skill trees and as a mage I still don't understand why each magic skill tree starts with a near range spell, what a mage can't really use because he will be killed in no time.
    And the next thing what I really don't like as a mage is the disadvantage in the beginning of a fight. A melee can start with the weapon and make damage while a mage has to wait for the first spell to appear. Why don't we start prepared in a fight?
     
  4. NRaas

    NRaas Avatar

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    Marvelous, I'm very glad this is a known issue.

    I love me some combos, but frankly performing the action really did not feel like it was worth the effort.

    And as for reagent usage : Those vendors were gouging me to no end this release. Hopefully some proper gathering skills will alleviate my future dependence on those criminals.

    ----

    Excellent wall of text Chris, as always. :)
     
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  5. Weins201

    Weins201 Avatar

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    Just FYI Chriss as I posted in the Bugs forums Combos as of the last 3 days only doo about %10 damage as the indivual move Icy Puncture / puncture etc. This seemed to be across the board I tested it witl Pole Arme, Swords and Archery aND ALL SEEN TO BE BROKEN , BAH fat fingered caps lock :-(
     
  6. I'm done with this game

    I'm done with this game Avatar

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    Chris, as a long time Steam player, prior to getting the super nice computer I have now I used to have problems with various Steam games loading up. The games would download but I could never get them started (on my old PC). I think this is a problem with Unity because this seemed not to happen with games with self developed platforms.

    I don't doubt that many other players may have this same issue. So if you're seeing a significant number of players that purchased the game yet aren't playing it, that may be the reason why. Typically, I think this has to do with older video cards (and drivers) that prevent players from getting a game started up.

    If you think this may be the case, it's probably a good idea to develop a strategy of how you might keep these players engaged for the time when you have the game optimized to allow more players into the game.
     
  7. jiirc

    jiirc Avatar

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    Nice information but I wonder if the only problem with magic is that it is underpowered. I've heard you say a few times, Chris, that magic's problem is numbers. But I think that is just the surface of the problem. A deeper problem exists in that if I want to use magic as my main damage dealer, I need to delve into multiple trees. If I choose to use a weapon in the combat tree, I have the opportunity to build my deck with 4 or 5 damage dealing skills. If I want to use magic instead, I usually have 1 ranged spell in the tree. There may be one or two more damage related spells, but they are usually multiple target spells. And the other couple of spells are usually weapon focused, they deal close or mid range damage that indicates they are intended for weapon use and not really usable by a ranged magic user. This typically forced you to go outside a spell tree and go deep to get damage spells in other trees. Is this, or was, this the intention? Or is, or should, a Mage be able to specialize I one tree, like combat characters can?

    It is interesting to note that only combat skills seemed to be tracked. Or was it that nobody used magic spells? Other than flame fist, fire arrow, death ray, and death touch none of the other spells made the list? (Not counting healing spells.)

    Some numbers that would be interesting to see is how many people tried magic, but gave it up? What were the popular magic spells that were used? How many high level mages were there? I'm sure there are other Mage related questions that can be asked.
     
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  8. redfish

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    It would be interesting to see how the numbers would look adjusted for DPS, with multiple targets in mind too, at least for attack moves. Naturally, if an attack causes more damage, its going to be used less.
     
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  9. Blake Blackstone

    Blake Blackstone Avatar

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    I attribute most of the increase in stats to the game looking better and functioning well. It's made huge strides in the past few months and people are probably more inclined to suggest it to friends.
     
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  10. I'm done with this game

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    I don't want to dwell on this too much more than I already have in MANY other posts, but I'm glad I'm not the only one that is seeing this.

    I'm very frustrated with the idea that "tweaking numbers" are going to solve the combat and magic problems. The system itself is not balanced regardless of what the numbers are. This is not an attack on the "deck system", I'm in favor of that and have supported it since its inception. But it is an attack on the "damage" vs. "cool down" mechanics that are at the heart of the design.

    I believe there are three major factors that will keep the combat system from EVER being balanced. They are as follows:

    1. Latency. This is a technical reality that can't really be "solved" in my opinion. You have to design around the realities of the internet. That means that giving players free unlimited movement will always give some players a significant edge over other players because of latency. Either the players with bad connections will have the edge, or players with great connections will have the edge.

    2. Ranged weapons (both spells and archery) must be able to take down an opponent before they reach them. This is a considerable difference to how we play the game now. You simply can't have a guy with a bow shooting at close range or have the expectation that a mage will run away (back turned to take extra damage) where either (mage or archer) will have time to get off more shots.

    3. Players need the power to BLOCK all kinds of attacks. Players must be able to COUNTER attacks. If you don't have this, then you have created a system where the only thing that matters is DPS (damage per second) and that's all about creating the "best build". Because blocking and countering are also impacted greatly by latency, you have to design this in a way that "makes sense" and likely as "turned based elements".

    I'm confident that this post contains the high level solutions to combat and magic. I hope in the future builds we can work towards achieving balance and competitive play in PVP by applying these concepts.
     
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  11. redfish

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    Ranged weapons do need to be able to take down an opponent if fired by a skilled person and hit on target. Otherwise, they don't make sense at all. They're useless.

    Though I want to make a point that archers and mages could always take out a second weapon if they need to, and should be expected to do just that, or run, or hide, or do something else, if they aren't skilled enough to make a sure shot. The idea of a 'pure build' just doesn't make sense to me unless the character is skilled enough to get away with it. Archers are going to miss their shots. If they miss, and an enemy comes up to them, they better be prepared to do something.

    I agree with everything you're saying otherwise, though.
     
  12. I'm done with this game

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    If magic or bows can't do the job they were designed to do at range...then swords should not be designed to do the job they were designed to do at melee. That logic only leads us to everyone being a hybrid. I don't support that.
     
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  13. redfish

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    Definitely they should do the job they're designed to do. I didn't say otherwise.

    What happens if you miss all your shots though? Its only logical for an archer to have a second weapon on him, just like its only logical for a mage to have a backup weapon (imo). The advantage a bow gives you from a distance gives you an advantage over a pure melee fighter, even if you have a few blades skills.

    Hybrid what? I'm assuming if we're thinking about this in real world terms, characters have classes or "kits". An archer might be a ranger, and also have sword skills. Or an archer might be a rogue, and also have sneaking and hiding skills. These aren't "hybrids," they're pure classes. There was never an "archer" class in AD&D.
     
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  14. I'm done with this game

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    If you have to be a mage that also has a secondary weapon, then you have to be a hybrid. I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to do that, I'm just saying that you shouldn't be forced to.

    It makes far more sense for an archer to have a secondary weapon for close range. But a magic user should have close range magic spells they can use, not something from the combat skill tree.

    Rangers, Paladins, Clerics even...they should all be viable, and since this is a classless system, so should pure mages.
     
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  15. redfish

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    Secondary weapon could be the staff that he uses to cast magic with. Though even in AD&D mages carried daggers and short swords. Think about your view that even first-level spells have reagents, which I happen agree with. What happens if you're out of reagents? I know, we're not getting that, but still...

    Its just, imo, as they're designing these skills, the devs should be thinking how they work realistically, for role-playing purposes... more than artificially buffing up some skills just to make pure classes equal against each other.

    Still, that said, I agree with you, archery needs to be much more powerful than it currently is. We were having this discussion in other threads.... higher ability of critical damage, longer range, etc, etc.
     
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    Mages could never use short swords in AD&D until recent versions and through specialized kits.

    Staves, wands, daggers...those two should be choices in a classless system. I choose no secondary attack, just magic. No dagger, no staff, no wand, just magic. In a classless system, I should have that choice and it should be viable.
     
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  17. redfish

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    @Drocis,

    What happens if you run out of reagents (supposing they were required)? Might not need a weapon, but you'd need to figure out something else.
     
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    A good mage wouldn't run out of reagents. A good mage is prepared. A good mage has contingency plans that can be enacted before one ever gets close to running out of reagents.

    But in the event that someone were to run out of reagents, what is the worse thing that would happen? They would die and respawn? Who cares? If it's too much of a burden for people to COUNT how many reagents they have, then I would suggest that spell casting may not be the best profession for them to be involved in.

    Just like being an archer requires arrows, a smith requires a hammer, and a warrior requires a weapon. If you don't have the tools of your trade, then you're not very good at it, are you?
     
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  19. redfish

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    Yea, it means you might be low-level (novice) at archery and might have only be able to logically carry a certain amount of arrows in your pack, or have come against more enemies than you expected :> Skill increases with level progression, as does the chance of functioning well as a pure archer.

    I'm thinking about this from a role-playing perspective, not really taking in account re-spawning. As a role-player, I just think it sounds foolish for someone to go out into danger without some type of backup defense. :>

    I know we probably won't have reagents for low-level spells, I'm just trying to make a point. I hope you at least see the point I'm trying to make.
     
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  20. I'm done with this game

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    @redfish

    I understand the point you're trying to make. But from a roleplaying perspective, it doesn't make sense that you would go out on some grand adventure by yourself with but a few arrows or minor spells. It doesn't make sense that you'd walk out into the world by yourself unless you could protect yourself.

    So I don't fear for the new people or the low leveled fools, the game will take care of them just fine without allowing them to have easy access to real power.
     
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