Ideas for balance to bring in a larger player base

Discussion in 'Skills and Combat' started by parallelogram, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. parallelogram

    parallelogram Avatar

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    So I took a bit of a break from the game because I got pretty angry at the direction. After playing some other games and pondering a bit, I decided to sell my level 122 account and play my level 110 account. My thoughts were that if Portalarium can remove the barrier to entry for new players then my level 110 account would be worth playing again. If the barrier to entry for new players were removed then we would have more players sticking around and the player base will grow and the game will be worth investing time into again.

    My main concern with Shroud is that it is becoming a lot like the grind in Asheron's Call. The only way to catch up to players that have been grinding every single day for the last few years is to bot your character to catch up. Botting is against the TOS, so you will never catch up. In PVP and PVE this is horrible as you get a MASSIVE advantage from levels. This was not intended in the design of this game. Attenuation has ruined the game for new players.

    Level means nothing but total XP means everything as you have the ability to take a skill to 160 and one shot everyone that does not have a high-level counter. This is not okay. I did this for months this year and it was boring.

    Currently, there are a few level brackets. 80+, 100+, 120+, 130+ and soon the 140+ will emerge.

    A level 80 vs 100 = The level 100 kills the 80.

    100 vs 120 = 120 kills the 100.

    120 vs 130 = 130 kills the 120.

    130 vs 140 = you get it.

    Level 120 = 1000 hours of grinding in Upper Tears or whatever boring place they come up with next. 1000 hours of grinding just to hit base level PVP is NOT fun and it will not draw in new players.

    All you need is a basic PVP deck and basic gear to replicate the above results. A level 120 will hit the 100 for 600+ damage and the 100 will hit the 120 for 200 damage. All the 120 has to do is heal some.

    In my testing, a level 100 vs 120 has at least a 50% advantage. The level 120 will have several skills at level 140 and the level 100 will be lucky to have 1 skill at 120. Everyone that understands end game in Shroud knows that 140 skill is a massive boost in power, not a moderate boost in power, and certainly not a slight boost in power. A level 160 skill is an EXTREME boost in power. We are entering an era where 170+ skills will become a norm.

    In my testing, a level 130 will have a few skills at level 160, this an even larger boost in power. In my testing, Meteor Shower, Ice Arrow, etc will have at least 200% more power than a skill leveled to 120. 700+ damage meteor ticks, 1000+ damage ice arrows, 2000+ damage death rays.

    I was able to test a level 140 in QA before launch but I was not able to push a skill past 165-170 because unlearn did not exist then but I can hypothesize that skills continue to scale in power similar to the difference of 100 vs 160 that I have actually tested.

    Once people hit level 140+ then there is no chance of catching up to end game PVP or PVE that these characters can accomplish. A new player can not hope to reach end game without cheating, buying an account, or for the developers to balance the game.

    My proposal is this: 100 should be set as the baseline for "End Game" and skills leveled to 120 should only give a 2% advantage over level 100 skills. 140 should give a 4% advantage over level 100 skills. 160 should give a 6% advantage over level 100 skills.

    Here is an example of a level 160 skill in practice:

    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/558749566745444364/588768172363087873/unknown.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  2. Saevio Vehemens

    Saevio Vehemens Avatar

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    Maybe the Oracle gives exponentially more XP to newer players and less to older ones.... Or.... RESET!! You'll find that's my mantra.
     
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  3. Saevio Vehemens

    Saevio Vehemens Avatar

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    RESET! will bring us all back down to the broken systems and quests and have portalarium make it fun for everyone instead of just legacy players as they fix them instead of throwing up Tartarus, while some of us still can't do Rise.
     
  4. parallelogram

    parallelogram Avatar

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    I am all for a reset. Or 5m attenuation for the newest players and 500k attenuation for the top 100 xp players. Or just scale the benefits of skills as I suggested. Anything other than the current system imo. Xp decay was great but it was removed :(
     
  5. Saevio Vehemens

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    I'm a dead man if I ever flag pvp now
     
  6. Saevio Vehemens

    Saevio Vehemens Avatar

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    XP decay sucked, higher players wouldn't play with lower for fear they'd die.
     
  7. Saevio Vehemens

    Saevio Vehemens Avatar

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    I couldn't believe netting two ancient dragons gained less xp than UT. This is so wrong. Dragons should shower you with XP.
     
  8. Saevio Vehemens

    Saevio Vehemens Avatar

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    A RESET! will force the older players to go through "the experience" and see what the result of changes, "THEY CAUSED" incurred...
     
  9. Erand SkyHawk

    Erand SkyHawk Avatar

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    A reset will cause the "old" players to quit rather put all that time back into the game again.
     
  10. Mac2

    Mac2 Avatar

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    A reset will also cause a HUGE problem for those who bought exp, you know, those players who have extra income and supported the game. Ya, crap all over the people who helped fund the game, that is a great way to make sure your game makes money.

    Then a few years down the road again when you are the old player and other players are the new players and they want a wipe, well, lets wipe again and make all the time you spend playing count for nothing. Will the wipe solve anything? Nope, power gamers still going to get ahead of non power gamers till they wine again.
     
  11. Antrax Artek

    Antrax Artek Avatar

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    I remember that as soon as I started playing, the gap between the various levels was really small. Even with skills level 80 i was able to compete against people with several gm+ skills.
    I personally would point to specializations and wardings, these two elements are in my opinion the ones that gave rise to the problem (without counting the current exaggerated mitigation of death shield).
    In any case, I agree, I believe that diminishing return should be revisited in the light of the news to return to the old balance and minimum gap given by the level.

    I believe the basics of the system rock, paper, scissors are still there, but with the help of specs and wardings a rock can crush the paper and scissors can cut the rock.

    Perhaps after a certain level the skills should get more marginal bonuses that do not exaggeratedly influence the fate of the fight.

    Increasing XP Bonus or attenuation for low levels can be also a good start, but since the XP is shared between characters of the same account they should arrange so that this cannot be abused.

    BTW I do not agree on the mathematical certainty that skills with 20+ levels win 100% against the lower one, for sure it will have an advantage but there are different factors and variables that influence the fight (I fought and won against people with more than one level 150+ skill without me even having one at 130).

    @Saevio Vehemens If you could enclose all your messages in one it would be great for the linear reading of the thread.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  12. Bambino

    Bambino Avatar

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    This has long been a critically decrepit issue. Since I came across this thread, I'll just reiterate what's been said in the past.

    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...trospect-into-the-dumbing-down-of-pvp.132604/
     
  13. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    So, what happens after the reset when the experienced players grind up to high levels once more? Reset again? How many people will join in knowing that all their hard work could be completely wiped out on a whim?

    Resetting would be the most phenomenal fail ever.
     
  14. Fetid SirDidy

    Fetid SirDidy Avatar

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    I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
    Round and round they sped.
    I was disturbed at this;
    I accosted the man.
    “It is futile,” I said,
    “You can never —”

    “You lie,” he cried,
    And ran on.

    SC
     
  15. Bambino

    Bambino Avatar

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    There is a reason why player's aren't sticking around. One example, correspond the game updates to steam charts (Yes, I know this isn't the best measurement due to local clients). Point blank, there simply isn't enough players currently playing. If you deny the facts or feel SotA should have been simmered down to the size of a small UO shard, there is no use in having a conversation.

    A wipe or reset would be irrelevant. People have spent countless hours decorating towns and houses.

    Instead, get rid of the infinite grind system, place a skill cap, unlearn all avatar skills and place the XP into a pool. Convert XP to skill points and let us delgate to each Avatar on our account.

    Then pull up all the old code for the skill system pre-R19, post-R12. Give these players a feel for what competitive SotA PvP was all about and should still be about; Player skill.

    Blizzard is busting out their old code for WoW Classic. Perhaps it's time Portalarium did something along the same line.
     
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  16. Deep Sea Dobber

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    I have a suggestion, but bear in mind that I literally know nothing about coding so unsure how difficult it would be to implement.

    Would it be possible for an Avatar to have 2 profiles? Keep your regular PVE exp pool/stats & have a second PVP profile with a cap on Adv lvl*** & be able to switch between these just like we do when swapping decks? (I understand that there would be issues here with flagging pvp, but this it's a good starting point)

    This would put everyone on a level playing ground when it comes to PVP while keeping the PVE content interesting & drive the Devs to make the encounters progressively more difficult.

    I think it would also boost the market for player crafted gear as the capped PVP'er profiles would be looking to push the limits of their Avatar.

    At the moment, I just cant compete in pvp. I want to, but I'm aware that I will never catch up in adv lvl with the population that do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  17. parallelogram

    parallelogram Avatar

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    You are correct, but there are only 100 “old” players and UO has a massive fan base that you guys do not appeal to. If this problem was fixed and 100 of you were angry so that the game could appeal to the millions of players that it could appeal to then I feel like you all would suck it up for the greater good.

    My characters in alpha were wiped countless times, I loved it. The feeling of a fresh start and the competition at launch was amazing. Adding in a feature like ancestoring could be an answer. A small 1-5% buff to abilities for each wipe would be more than sufficient.

    Take Albion online for example, it was a dead game for a while that went f2p to reduce the barrier to entry and reduced the grind to max out. I maxed out in 2 months and helped take the main city from people who owned it since launch. When I login during peak there are 60k concurrent players. I’m sure 100 people who maxed out and supported the game felt like **** when the grind was reduced in this game but then quickly became happy when a large player base swelled the servers.

    I want to see this game become wildly successful and unfortunately that future means 100 of you guys are going to be a little mad so that a great magnitude of more people can be happy.

    I think hard caps and removal of the level system is the best way to do this. I’m UO I was probably 30x GM or something before skill caps were introduced. I lost everything when that patch went in. I was reduced to like 20 of each skill. In the moment I hated OSI and wanted to quit but it fixed the game and I saw more people come to enjoy the game.

    Unfortunately the argument that players who paid to win should keep winning is a horrible concept and we will find this game become smaller and smaller until it’s just you guys enjoying the game because you bought xp or grinded it like a job for money. I am sorry but no thank you.
     
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  18. parallelogram

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    I agree that there should be a balance akin to pre R-22. The game was so amazingly balanced then, I could invite a friend to the game and have them end game in under a month. Even though the game wiped every few months people kept coming back and playing because it was fun. I am glad you mentioned those releases, those memories are what keep me in the game today. I keep telling everyone of the zone capped battles we had and the fun and comradely experiences we all had. No one seems to remember that time or all of those people stopped playing. Now pay to win and grind to win have become the norm and those types of players have no place in the game.
     
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  19. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    I don't see that just this one thing will bring in more players. The issues are multi faceted. There are many types of players.

    For example We don't even have a basic raid system. We have no mounts which are important to some even if only for show, perhaps horse-races.

    To bring in more players means we need to have some more of the basics added in. Players can grind all they want in this game until they are sick to death of it. Once they get all the rares what is left, oh yeah then we need more xp, more grinding, more rares. Bigger and tougher grinding mobs, more artifacts.

    For PvP there is no faction system, no bounty system, no pvp titles, and daily quests. There is no Wintergrasp type battle grounds with quests and flags and areas to take over by the raid groups. It would be great if these scale players during the timed events.

    Really and truly frustrated with the lack of imagination and details coming our way for this game at this point.

    Cooking has one skill and no masterworking to it to making it more interesting. Perhaps we can enhance those lower tier recipes to be worth any thing. Alcohol should be added to more recipes to give them a kick and to give more reasons for brewing. Come on guys.

    Who is with me?

    Where are the Episode 2 unique bundles that showcase the 'what's coming'. For example the Pirate Bundle includes a ship, a captains mate npc, some cannons that shoot, and more piratey things.

    Why oh why are we not addressing anything for the future of this game but just slowly release by release hanging in there?

    Truly I believe it does not have to go this way. What is going on? Where is the excitement for the future?

    Again I ask Where are Episode 2 bundles that we were suppose to be getting. Give us a Mount bundle with a special mount, saddle, horse racing supples, hurdles to jump and more for example.

    I thought by now we would be ramping up for Episode 2 with hiring Devs not just struggling along release by release. If the Devs need ideas and are stuck without ideas and excitement for this game we are here still rallying for this game. All we hear is that they are making no promises or setting any agendas and just doing it release by release per player requests. Well this player requests that no one gives up or does it this way. Being here since 2013 I want more. This game deserves more.

    @DarkStarr please advise.

    edited
    I know of quite a few players waiting in the background to hear something exciting to them but I can only tell them we just go release to release with no new news that something big is going to happen.

    Edited
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
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  20. Beaumaris

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    The thread's thesis went off track right there. Worrying about 'catching up' in an MMO is a fallacy. Someone who started earlier and keeps at it naturally will keep progressing ahead. There may never be 'catching up' in a game where players advocated for no experience cap. Besides, this is an MMORPG, not a competitive FPS shooter. The MMO is supposed to be about your character's personal journey, done at their pace. Its not about what someone else is doing. The real need to rushing to keep up with others is another style of game. If you make an MMORPG into a competitive grind, that really is your doing, not necessarily the game's.

    With two level 120 and 110 adventure level accounts, the numbers suggested you have made it about the grind a few too many days a week and got burned out? There are long time players here nowhere near that of adventure level experience who really enjoy the game. Which raises the real question: Are you asking for a system change to make it easier for you to grind?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019