June Login Rewards: Potion of Guidance & 250K XP

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    :rolleyes: You are quite right as you most always are with the thought of our "SOTA Gaming Immersion Qualities" picking up the slack when our technical demanding issues such as our skills management burdens, tend to drag us away from those qualities. Yet facts in player number statistics show that whatever our game has to take up that slack are not enough for our game to maintain a healthy or robust player following... "at least not enough to pay the bills" that is o_O

    Many here can clearly remember this very same issue of exp pool gains vs player happiness historically being a very hotly debated issue with many threads being closed down due to player passions from many angles. Rage Quitting and bad gaming reviews were the result of this issue for many players. Currently we can now see the long term results of the compilations we conceded to when we accepted that we could never change from it... "it's still one of our Achilles Heals within our game", so much so that we've now developed a tolerance with having to make excuses to new players about it.

    When we speak of such numbers, such as GM being 100 and 120 being something extraordinary, "these are just meaningless numbers given to a value". The 100 GM of UO is now the 120 GM of SOTA, yet we value set our measuring numbers differently which makes it appear as if it's an over the top value. In UO they upped the number so they could add more higher content to an existing world, and here we've done the same yet from our conceptual gaming onset without waiting for later.

    At this point we need to surrender as suggested to enjoy what immersions we can here, and in keeping with that spirit, then we need to a change in graphics and immersion story-line which more fits what we have come to accept. Yet we still have a need to lessen the need for providing such excuses to our on-coming players to aide them in their pursuit for hanging onto the dream.

    Currently our skill tree management artwork looks very sterile and devoid of any immersive artistic flare. There's simply little arrows to click up or down (I don't know what happened to the third option of "maintain" while I was gone but that's not important). Our skill tree management artwork is liking to operating a robot more than it is for a human, but we haven't yet embraced that it is more robot like than it is a human appearance, in a thought management way.

    We are more like the Oracle than we are Human in this regard, so if immersion is to pick up the slack, then we need to change our management graphics operating arrows to some sort of small steampunk valve and replace the lines that connect each skill in the tree's branches with steampunk styled steam pipes. We don't even then need any explanation, or any admittance that our Avatars are not exactly human. We can just leave that hanging in the air, yet such steampunk graphics applied to the trees would complement their SOTA gaming immersion. Personally I'd like to see as many option, access or off and on arrows replaced by steampunk valves. The environment of our outside world looks great, but it's out technical access panels which could use a bit of that same immersion loving style. (Sterile text or arrows placed on the Mona Lisa would never cause her to look more beautiful, and that's what we still have here).

    [​IMG]

    Yet when it comes to the levels of pooled exp input into such a more SOTA styled appealing graphics, if it didn't need more, then DarkStarr wouldn't be offering more exp for logging in and it would have little effect on our attendance "which is not the case at all". Portalarium has been quite right and correctly using the lack in hunting exp to create incentive for players to return and also acquire new players. Thus far it's the main impacting component of Portalarium's most successful (re-)advertising campaign.

    I agree. The big question now is, what's the way forward beyond our June giveaway? o_O Surely we can't be expecting different results from old ways if our exp pools run dry again. It's one of the reasons why I went gaming elsewhere the last time. It's such an old issue that I thought for sure they would have addressed it by now... and this June, "they did", but next month, what's next?

    When I returned, I found that there were many rewards waiting for me that I had missed while I was gone. I don't think I'd have even noticed the June reward when I did get around to collecting it all.
    o_O I didn't notice until I read that there was a giveaway. "I do hope you got yours, or get yours!"
    ~Time Lord~
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  2. Arkah EMPstrike

    Arkah EMPstrike Avatar

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    The “have to get billions” makes me think you are trying to max skills in a game with skills that arent designed to have a max.

    “The max is 200” is something chris revealed a long time ago as an arbitrary number you arent intended to reach.
     
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  3. Paladin Michael

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    Thank you, yes I just wondered why it was announced now ... and thought it was a new login reward ;)
     
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  4. Mishikal

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    It takes billions just to get to 150 in multiple skills. For example, 1.4 billion to get from 100 to 150 in Str. The most I've gotten anything to is 125 so far. And sure, I get that 200 is supposed to be out of reach in general. But there are people already out there with skills at 150+
     
  5. Mishikal

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    Maintain lost meaning when death decay went away. You are either training or not training now (outside of specializations).
     
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  6. Vladamir Begemot

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    IMO the XP pool struggle is part of SotA's overall messaging problem.

    First, there is no explanation in game, except in the manual. RTFGiantManual new player!

    Messaging problem.

    It carries over into other areas that I've debated with people, but it's grounded in the same problem. They don't tell you what's going on.

    Got a powerful artifact? If you're like me you didn't see it happen and will learn about it when you go through you inventory later.

    Hit GM? Probably didn't know about it.

    Played for 20 hours before someone told you you can charge skills? RTFM noob!

    Draining your XP pool at an unsustainable rate? You won't know until it's too late.

    All messaging problems. The game doesn't talk to players, it just expects them to know. Heck, before people yelled for ages, you couldn't even see your adventure level.

    To solve the learning about basic gameplay messaging problems they should just bite the bullet and put in short video tutorials. We can make the soundbite sized tutorials, but they've got to embed them in the game.

    To solve the "crap I ran out of XP again" problem, the game needs to COMMUNICATE. It can do that one of two ways. Make the XP pool it's own GUI element instead of only being found on the giant freaking skill tree, or put a little red light icon above the skills on the right indicating "You're draining your pool. Not a problem yet, just letting you know". Of course, there has to be some messaging about what that means, a blinking red light by itself means nothing.

    Yeah, I know, some of you see and know everything, only want to have info come at you in the chat window, and so this doesn't seem to effect you, but if it's affecting retention, guess what, it does!

    At some point a usability pass needs to be taken by a game designer who also puts several months of play time into the game, with no God mode, and probably from the start, not an already experienced player.

    Until then noobs are just going to have to suck it up and we'll retain the persistent ones.
     
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  7. Akandriel

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    Random comment. I go to a starting town asking newer players to join my adventure party. I receive many rejections, I get feedback that they won’t be useful because they are new. The brave ones that join find it a rewarding experience to adventure in T5, T6, T8, T10, slow progession to T10 if party composition allows. Taking this journey as a new player exposes them to teamwork to accomplish a goal where the sum of the team effort completes the journey vs. worrying about personal character optimizations that create the desire to grind out XP to achieve the difficult journey running solo.
     
  8. Vladamir Begemot

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    It also makes all the outskirts and tier 1 scenes, maybe tier 2, immidiately too easy, thus removing a large portion of content from their experience.
     
  9. liz_the_wiz

    liz_the_wiz Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    Indeed, by the time you leave the first outskirts you are borderline ready for a tier 4 area, depending on how you played your skills.. considering it doesnt seem long ago that we only had teirs 1-5...
     
  10. Mishikal

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    Yes, all of this. I would additionally add the fact that at some point (From my testing it seemed to be around raising any skill past 70 (75 for non-passives)), you want a minimum of 1 million XP in the pool at all times (if you care about getting the greatest return for your time) to max out the percentage of the pool that's applied to the skill.

    Honestly, it took me some 2 years to really grasp how to best strategize on learning my skills. @Rada Torment was a great help in this, as well as many different players on discord and the forums (you're probably one too @Vladamir Begemot). The fact that it's so detailed is neat on the one hand, but the lack of an in-game source providing this information is probably very discouraging to a lot of players. I know it was for me, for a very long time. It felt like I was just crawling. It wasn't until probably 8-9 months in I really even began to understand how important it was to keep good chunk of XP in my pool (and at that time, a "good chunk" was like 50K-100K). Now, I never let my pool go below a 1 million, and my general strategy is to store up something like 400k-500k XP, and then spend it (with a guidance potion on). Rinse and repeat ad naseum. :p
     
  11. Mishikal

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    Yeah, the general issue I've had is, that while there are a lot of scenes, there is little incentive to go into 90%+ of them because so many of them are low level. I spent a lot of time in a specific tier 3 zone initially, and then moved on to various tier 5's (some of which no longer exist as they were just clones that eventually got uncloned). But now having the knowledge I do, when I started an alt, I pretty much was able to immediately skip to a low level tier 5 after the outskirts. Which means there's a massive amount of content I have no real incentive to explore.
     
  12. liz_the_wiz

    liz_the_wiz Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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    I think I posted almost as the outskirts came out that they really should renumber and revisit the scales of the zones, while I guess everyone should have the right to forfit the outskirts, so a few lower level zones are needed, they almost need to ditch 1-3, and replace all the 1s with 4s.. etc. and ramp up scenes, so that the like teir 10+ become 6+ and then they can make harder stuff to get back to 10+ as those who basically live in UT are getting skills to 150+ they are gonna need the serious scenes to keep those people amused.
     
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  13. Steevodeevo

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    Imagine where our game could be now in terms of playability, polish and intuitive feedback interfaces if the Devs hadn't obsessively pursued features and side projects that weren't originally in the published milestones or asked for by players... but I digress. Sorry a pet irritation of mine..

    What I personally would love to see, expanding on Vlad's suggestion, is a Red, Amber or Green light against each skill that is switched to learn. That is all, and all that is needed in my view to provide all the intuitive feedback you need. A mouse over could elaborate...

    Its arbitrary to an extent, but a red light next to a skill that is active means it is barely progressing. As we know this will be due to the absolute number of skill. Points being applied to it for each kill which is based on a proportion of your total pool as applied per tree and per active skill. This does not need to be overtly stated, but is implied and folks could research into this more if they cared too. Others would just accept that there is an underlying mathematical curve accept it and be satisfied with the RAG system.

    Amber shows a more healthy ratio and Green indicates that your skill is progressing optimally, as in that a good chunk of skill points is being applied per kill as a result of an adequately sized pool, a high percentage allocated to that skill (as others are turned off within the tree and other trees). The pool itself could have the suggested red light if it isn't being maintained and is draining, or again Red, Amber Green to the same purpose..

    As has been suggested on this topic time and again, such an approach, maybe with Time Lord's steam valves, would make skill management graphically attractive, intuitive and an entertaining mini game in its own right as we tweaked and adjusted the flow of exp to optimise our learning and attempted to maintain a sustainable pool.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  14. Time Lord

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    They do need to power creep our zones, leaving fewer single skull level areas. Our SOTA single skull level zones are far too plentiful.
    This ^^^^
    While I truly like this, as it's the way of long ago UO lands, I also hate jumping over SOTA content. It always seems very sad to me when any area's content goes green to me, because I know I've actually lost that zone's fun time forever... unless a new character is added to the account to enjoy it all again.

    I'm sort of divided on what @Akandriel describes here, which is why most of my many number of characters are all sort of lone wolf players who shy away from many hunting parties, "I don't want to loose content". Our world seems small enough that I fear making it seem even smaller through jumping over content.

    Our Cthulhu and Hunting Content Expansion Problem:
    Maybe our lower level areas could be expanded just as we expand our POTs and surround the older low level content with higher content monsters. yet also, all our areas tend not to have a "Cthulhu" within them, some higher content that would seem out of place being so over powering in relationship to all else presented in them.


    ~TL~
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  15. Vladamir Begemot

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    Better then leveling new players out of low tier zones is to take them around in those low level zones?

    When I'm with new players I usually don't even engage the enemy unless things are going crazy. I might do some heals for them, give some advice, but let them have fun without power leveling them out of half the content in the game.
     
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  16. Vladamir Begemot

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    BTW, it's the same with gear. They can get by with a totally unmodified iron mace +2 for several tiers. If you hand them a Meteoric Iron Sword +14 when they are just starting, then that is their baseline for gear for the rest of the game. From then on they will think they are going backwards if they don't have that completely OP piece of hardware. They've had the upgrade joy removed, and when they have to replace it they are looking at stuff that is still OP and wondering why it is so expensive, instead of playing at their level.
     
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  17. Gorthyn

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    I have never understood why this game has a double grind. Grind to build up the XP pool and then grind again to use it up ? Both activities aren't overly rewarding experiences so why double it up ?

    Seems a case of being different just for the sake of being different and imho a really bad game mechanic. Can anyone shed any light on why it was done this way ?
     
  18. Arkah EMPstrike

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    It was done this way because player feedback requested we move to a Use based system like in UO. One issue witht he UO system was that people would stand around afk with a new character leveling skills without ever going out and adventuring until they were already high level.

    To mitigate that, the XP pool was added (and hidden) so that the more you fought, the faster your skills would raise, and the more you didn't, the more they would slow down. Its was explained to players and once we knew what was going on, we requested to make the XP pool visible so that we could game it better. So the XP pool was shown in a more subtle location than a bar at the bottom of the screen as a compromise (the skill page).

    Back then adventure levels actually made you more powerful. Since then, adventure level has been gradually disconnected from any combat calculations over time, so that the skills in the use based system thierselves and your characters strength, int, etc became the primary governors of your characters power.

    The result of "we must get massive XP" is primarily due to being able to see numbers. We see numbers, we want those numbers to be bigger.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  19. Arkah EMPstrike

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    The adventure level illusion is another thing.

    Most new players are advised to level everything to 40 then decide what they want to use. "It doesn't cost much xp to do that", and it really doesn't. BUT it also doesn't cost much XP to get to Adventure level 50 (a little over 1 million) and by the time you level every active skill (not any passives) to 40, you are over level 50.

    When you are over level 50, harder stuff turns "green" to you, which indicates to most experienced gamers that these things should be easy to you. Instead, your effective level actually ends up being 40, so finding a creature your own adventure level, its actually stronger than is being presented to you.

    "You are adventure level such and such, you should be able to do this then" is always communicated to players by other players. When someone who's SKILLS aren't as high as someone else of that same level doesn't have it as easy (or their deck isn't built well), they will often be very confused as to why they are having so much trouble.

    We want to see the numbers. They were hidden initially BECAUSE they don't perform the same duties as they do in other games. The easiest thing would be to change the words so it doesn't associate with how other games use them.


    Adventure level = Novian Age (or soemthign similar)
    Pooled XP = Skill points (because they work the same as applying a skill point to a skill in other games does)
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  20. Spungwa

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    I think there is a problem, and it a player problem, not game problem. The race to GM a skill, not sure where this comes from, maybe Uo, I never played.

    With the exception of the base combat skill, I did not get any other combat GM skills until level 95+. Why, because I always looked at the XP cost and calculated that I would get a bigger power boost investing the XP elsewhere.

    I have always found the way to open content you can't do is generally to change your deck and make a specific deck for that fight/area. Leveling skills, then just generally makes beating that content faster.

    Deck design >> skill point in skill once deminishing returns really kick in at 90ish


    Regards
    Spung
     
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