Game system changes for R35

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chris, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Greetings avatars! Last release I promised I would document the reasons behind major changes in future releases. Prepare yourself for my usual wall of text! As always, my dream is that players don’t think about the details of exactly what is happening and just play the game but for those who insist on seeing behind the curtain, here you go and enjoy!

    So first up, Decay has now been enabled but with tighter limits on how much it can accumulate. I’ve written many pages on the why and how of decay in the past but since there are probably some new readers out there, I’ll give a shorter summary.

    What is decay? When players die they will lose a tiny fraction of the experience off of all their skills. The current maximum that can be lost in a single death is 0.04% of the experience applied. Not 4% but 0.04% or 0.0004 times the amount that has been applied to the pool. So if you had a skill that was at 80, you would lose around 82 experience points off the skill. If the skill was at 100, you would lose around 500 experience points. Doesn’t sound like much but that amount is lost off every adventurer skill. Also, the penalty is roughly 0.0001 per hour so dying multiple times in rapid succession isn’t extremely punishing. Currently we have the max accumulation set at 0.0004

    If you have the skill set to maintain or train then the experience will be pulled from your pooled experience assuming you have any. This is part of why last release, the application rate of experience from the pool was reduced. That change made it so players would generally have more experience in their pools to help buffer versus decay so they would be less likely see skills lose levels on a death.

    Why have decay? There are several reasons to have decay. First, death should not feel trivial, even for an avatar. Second, when we decided to switch to a use based skill system we had to make some decisions on how to limit players. We could have gone with hard cap for max number of skill points like UO but few people were fond of hard caps and it didn’t really make sense with our larger skill sets and more complex combat systems. We had to have someway to limit players progress so everyone doesn’t end up with 150 skills at GM.

    So instead of just making so players couldn’t progress any more as they banged against hard caps, we chose to go with a system of gentle decay. The decay is small but, since it is based on a percentage of a player’s total experience, over time they will get to a point where they are earning and losing roughly the same amount.

    So next up is the change to shield spells so they no longer stack. For those unaware, in previous releases players could and would stack 5+ shield spells all the time. The results dwarfed the effectiveness of armor and made the best tanks in the game people wearing cloth armor. The spells affected are Shield of Crystal, Death Shield, Immolation, and Shield of Ice. Shield of Air couldn’t be made exclusive just yet due to how our channel systems currently works but it will be on that list next release.

    During this change I also addressed some balance issues in Earth magic. The shield spells in each group were supposed to also grant an attunement bonus and in Earth magic, Earth’s Embrace actually had the bonus. I correct that and also re-evaluated the HP bonus on Shield of Crystal and bumped it up significantly to get it more inline with the target of it adding 20% extra health for players. Those sad to lose the bonus on Earth’s Embrace should still be happy because Earth’s Embrace can still stack with any shield spell. Also, Earth casters can now gain attunement without losing move speed.

    On to the next major change, Interruptions! The existing interruption system was actually placeholder code. When you got hit while casting some spells, it did a random 1 to 100 and if that was less than the damage you took, you were interrupted! This didn’t scale in any way. That meant that low level players rarely got interrupted and high levels frequently got interrupted. Players with 80 hit points who took 50 hit points in a single shot had a 50% chance to get interrupted and players who had 600 hit points who took 50 hit points would have the exact same 50% chance!

    The new system now scales the interrupt chance based on the player’s max hit points. There is also now a skill that decreases the player’s chance to be interrupted. This release interruptions will probably happen at about the same rate as in the past or possibly a little less BUT two new changes will go in for R36 that will likely increase the number of interrupts.

    First, a new value was added to all spells/skills that determines how likely they are to interrupt. This was added for this release but only a few skills had it set. The idea being that some effects interrupt more and others less. Second, the window where spells can be interrupted is currently small to non-existent for most spells. These will be tuned in R36. I would have tuned them for R35 but I wanted to give players a chance to level up the concentration skill.

    Last major game system change for this release was encumbrance! This is a change we tried to make many times but always ran into situations where it might end up leaving someone permanently stranded. Old system would slow you to a walk speed at most no matter how much you carried. It also used focus but that focus burn didn’t scale with weight. The result was carrying 2X or carrying 2000X your encumbrance limit had the same result. Worse yet, there was a bug so running out of focus didn’t stop your movement.

    So, with R35 the lower end of movement speed will be much slower than a walk. It will though so just being 2X over will probably move faster than before but slowing down to a crawl at higher levels. Focus use will also scale based on how overloaded they are. Finally, players who are overloaded and out of focus will not be able to move and have to wait to catch their breath a bit.

    This change was important for realism, local economies, and to block botting. There were players who were carrying 10,000+ weight in ore out of mines at a time without breaking a sweat.

    Sorry if there are any typos or unfinished thoughts in this wall of text but I’ve been typing on this while multitasking! Thanks for reading and now I’m off to fix some bugs!
     
  2. Vasflam2

    Vasflam2 Avatar

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    Well put! Thank you for the explanation
     
  3. Xeen Dread

    Xeen Dread Avatar

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    Holy crap 10k weight of ore.... I've done some crazy mining sprints, but never more than I could easily port out with. Always had to throw away granite.

    Bots!


    Everything looks pretty good. I think crystal shield is nice with just the double hp, I get the attunement swap too. I think Earth's Emrbace is pretty weak now without attune and the still very heavy movespeed penalty + you have to use 2 slots to buff both or constantly drop out of combat.

    Making blink range scale down with respect to % overweight would be a good idea instead of '0.01 wt over, cant blink'

    Death tax is all fine and dandy, but if the server ever drops me into the pit-of-doom mages (corner clipping and rubberbanding happened all the time in R34 parties) and I'm shot and killed through walls in another room because the server thinks I'm there when I see myself someplace else... So not cool. Hope that problem is fixed now that the tax is in.

    PS - Still getting an HP false-cap bug where I stop at 55 or so below what appears tto be full. I noticed that the HoT spell from the Sun School would cause the problem if it was up whenever and HP-affecting buff (such as str or earth shield) faded. This bug is still around, and I'm pretty sure I read about it being fixed awhile back. It ain't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  4. zedin

    zedin Avatar

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    Everything makes sense except immolation being considered a 'shield' spell.
     
  5. Rada Torment

    Rada Torment Community Ambassador (ES)

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    Thanks for taking the time to write this @Chris.
     
  6. 2112Starman

    2112Starman Avatar

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    So in short from a PvP perspective.

    Melee already has an extreme disadvantage. Im not going into detail since I have posted on this many times.

    So now with these changes, top lvl melee PvP'ers who are say all above adv lvl 80 (where everyone has 700-900 hp) have it even WORSE against mages. Now they will actually interrupt them far less with hits.

    Nothing was done to help Melee at all. Sure, I am a melee/Earth so these changes help me a bit (I get more HP) but the reason why I had to become earth (which is a mage and again) is because of the issues with melee.

    Now I have to go up against mages with far less interrupts.

    uhg!



    Edit: I'm actually wrong a bit here. Mages now cant cast multiple shields on themselves so that helps a bit... however I also use those same shields so it kind of balances out. I cast over 6 shields on myself before PvP combat.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
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  7. Xeen Dread

    Xeen Dread Avatar

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    It's to prevent stacking of many attunes, in part, and immolation has the fire schools attune.
     
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  8. Themo Lock

    Themo Lock Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Seems like interrupts are just less random now, also mages no longer have every shield spell in the game active
     
  9. Waxillium

    Waxillium Avatar

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    @Chris consider renaming Immolation to Shield of Fire? Be easier for new players to understand the trees with more clarity.
     
  10. MrBlight

    MrBlight Avatar

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    But if its only on death isnt this easy to avoid? I so rarely die in PVE, that this means all i would have to do is play a liiiittle bit safer, and suddenly i can GM everything without limitations? Wont this also kill the little PVP there actually is because players will choose to farm safely to GM everything, then gather a safe amount of pool before going in? Making PVP strickly * god like* players? Sure the deck limits players .. for the whole 30 sec of combat. I could GM everything and just adjust deck accordingly with what im doing no?
    Wont this eventually lead to everyone having 150 GM skills by just not die ing and over farming easier stuff?
    Also how does this impact anyone who exploited EXP and is ALREADY GM'd well above what they realisticly should be? Cant they just do a few hours of farming and then hardly be phased by the 1 or 2 deaths a week they might get when they screw up?

    Unless im mis understanding, this will mean in a few weeks, everyone will have a redicoulous amount of GM's with no real consequence as long as they play it moderatly safe ( i play recklessly and so rarely die unless im trying to solo boss's n crap just screwing around).

    Wont this kill PVP as no one will go in, till they have the top 10 PVP skills GM'd , and a safe amount of pooled exp to cover ?

    Is there something in place making your total EXP gained, make each skill take more? (Example i have 10 things GMed, the 11th would take more total EXP then the 10th, and the 12th will take more then the 11th) To at least SLOW progression? Especially since the further along you get the easier it is to bump up any old skills?
    EX - You GM ranged.. now u can easily get 500-600k experiance in one sitting, so when you decide to switch armor and use firemagic, you can gm that in 1/4 the time it took you to work ranged.
    Now im GM Ranged and GM fire mage.. i can gather 750-800k in one sitting. And its 1/5th the time to GM something else.. only getting easier. ( Because as i pick off skills right now 1 at a time, it sure seems easier and easier)

    I like the rest of the changes.. but unless im misunderstanding, theres going to be a ton of godlike characters running around, and will shortly be the norm.

    Edit * Altho maybe the exp cost to maintain skills is massive and im completly wrong in the skill gain and cost? Tho ive never seen a skill actually USE exp to maintain? I could just be a rambling noob.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  11. 2112Starman

    2112Starman Avatar

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    Aye, you posted this right as I edited my post with this, good call though. But for me it actually is a wash.
     
  12. Waxillium

    Waxillium Avatar

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    Or

    Death Shield
    Crystal Shield
    Fire Shield
    Ice Shield
     
  13. Soylent Green

    Soylent Green Avatar

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    I like reading the details. Thanks!
     
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  14. Oba Evesor

    Oba Evesor Avatar

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    Not a total wash tho. You still have heavy armor. The mage [should] be in light.
    This change makes armor matter more.
     
  15. Alfa

    Alfa Avatar

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    Thanks for the explanation @Chris

    But this just makes the game less casual. Will happen the same when you mess with gold Drops. Lots of casual player will quit(like they did ) some of us like will stop playing until you fix it. But usually those players dont come back. So we will have less players to interact and lets not say how hard has become to bring friends already.


    This Decay should be the last to add, The Skills are not finish ,Combos are missing, the Game is not balance, Mobs spawn is ridiculous right now(you loot them they respawn right next to you), Scene are not finish, Stats are not balanced, etc etc.If all that worked right now i wouldnt say anything but they are not finished so that means ill die more that means ill loose hours of skill. Or to lvl up i would have to stick to a 3 skull lvl and grind even more (If the game wasnt enought about grinding already)
     
  16. danjacobsmith

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    I was really hoping that decay would force players to make choices about their characters and would set soft caps on the amount of GM skills a player could get. When this game is eventually released, new players are going to flee like crazy if they see all the old players have 100 GM skills. Why not implement a system like this one below?

    IF decay is maximum 0.04166% why didn't you just set this up as a variable based on total skill points?

    You could of easily just made it so for the first 2000 skill points the maximum was 0, and then as a characters total skill points increased beyond 2000, that maximum got higher and higher.

    Now new players aren't exposed to decay, and old players have an incentive to raise fewer skills higher.

    In the example above an archer with 10 archery skills at 150 and 20 skills at 50 would have 2500 total skill points. Which is 500 over 2000, and might apply 0.02% exp loss.

    Now another character with 100 GM skills would have 10,000 total skill points, which is 8000 over 2000, and it might apply a .15% exp loss.

    Both these characters above might have the same total experience, but the game has made the players make choices about what they focus on. Not only that it wouldn't be punitive towards newer players.

    Mathematically this system is not complex and it solves almost all the issues people have with people accumulating too many GM skills.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2016
  17. Roycestein Kaelstrom

    Roycestein Kaelstrom Avatar

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    One hour of skill decay does not equate to one hour of XP grinding. I just tested my death, I lost 3k XP at level 67, which I only need to kill 3 mobs I normally kill under 10 mins. If I were to die again in 10 mins later after the first death, the skill decay would be whatever it computes for 10 mins, which would be much less than 3k xp.

    Those who will get hit hard by the decay will be those who had someone else did the one-time power level for them or those who obtain huge XP in some way that can no longer be done anymore.
     
  18. Zapatos80

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    I found this weird as well. Unless i'm missing something it doesn't offer any protection.
     
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  19. Zapatos80

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    I guess we'll have to see in practice but on paper, no shield stacking seems a huge nerf to mages, which is fine. The usual trifecta of mage < archer < melee < mage will apply a lot more if cloth wearers (usually mages) take a lot more physical damage from bows whereas heavily armored melees will take a lot less. Good ol' paper/rock/scissors. Granted though, melee in all PvP games is usually at a disadvantage, but IMO this is an indirect buff to melee & archers. Would love to see numbers in practice to confirm/deny though.
     
  20. Zapatos80

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    Someone else mentionned a shield of fire idea (maybe with a thorns-like effect) that has the attunement and leave immolation as is.
     
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