Sadistic game?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Witcheypoo, Sep 14, 2018.

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  1. StrangerDiamond

    StrangerDiamond Avatar

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    @Chris confirmed a while earlier, the hard cap is set @200 ... but as others have pointed out, the amount of XP to get there is itself a hard cap. Also some would argue that the benefit of getting to this point is marginal at best.

    Case closed... :)
     
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  2. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    @FrostII

    Thank you for your post. It was a good reminder for me to reflect back on my statement (which I do feel was a bit harsh, but still stand by) and go through the mental exercise of trying to ascertain when/why my interest in Shroud has diminished and dwindled. Before I elaborate, I would like to say the following...I think the Portalarium team is doing their absolute best, working their asses off, to "right the ship" and make the game we all have hoped for. I do worry that at this juncture it may just be too Herculean a task to achieve, but no one can deny their work ethic and resolve. It is because of their commitment and all the friends I have made here that I stick around.

    That means you: @EclipseMaiden, @Stella Moon, @Sean Silverfoot, @margaritte, @Woftam, @Peabo, @Hylax, @Draugur2, @Sher Shadowleaf, @Lord Andernut, @Violation Clauth, @Tahru, @Lesni, @Kara Brae, @Earl Atogrim von Draken, @Vladamir Begemot, @rild, @Winfield, @Sir Cabirus, @Sir Frank, @Lord Baldrith, @Asclepius, @Numa, @StrangerDiamond, @Jaanelle DeJure, @By Tor, @Greyfox, @Fionwyn Wyldemane, @Amber Raine, @Rustic Dragon, @Gabriel Nightshadow, @Lady Addy, @Womby, @Vyrin, @Mad Hatter, @Obsidian Tempest , @Tad Murakami, @majoria70 ,@Olthadir, @Sophi, @FrostII, @Spoon, @Ice Queen, @Budner, @Audacity, @Sara Dreygon, @Sheamus McGuinness, @Time Lord and yes even you @Rufus D`Asperdi ;), and countless others. Their are so many of you please forgive me if I left you off my list, my love for you is by no means de minimis.

    I mention all of you (and the many others I did not :D) because if it weren't for you I would have left long ago. You all have come to mean something to me, whether we have met IRL, chatted on the phone/discord or adventured in game. It's all of you, who make this obstinate Scotsman never give up and log in every now and again, to hang out and say, "Hi!". :)

    "Great Cordelayne, so WTF is your point!?!?" :p

    My point is, that my interest in the game started to diminish with the introduction of decay. It made no sense to me and quite frankly, it still doesn't. I am not alone in this mindset, as you pointed out @FrostII. Many friends and Avatars gradually drifted away from the game due to this mechanic. The punitive nature, just being untenable and therein lies the rub. Folks began to play less, myself included, and those that did play wouldn't want to tackle anything too challenging out of the fear of a huge XP hit upon death.

    Over time, my frustrations only deepened. Not due to decay so much, but rather the myriad of bugs and broken quests that never seemed to get fixed. I know to some this is a minor thing, but for an Avatar like me, who loves the thrill of adventuring and completing quests with friends, its HUGE! Moreover, many quests (NOT ALL) were dull and uninspiring, "boss fights" dropped 5 gold, a candle, 7 diamond fragments, a recall scroll and a broken shovel...WHOOPIE! We've all been there...in discord, chatting with each other about taking on Torc Dawl or a dragon(s) only to opt for yet another round of Deep Ravenswood because the boss loot stinks and the risk of death, due to decay, just isn't worth it.

    Then came the moderation. As I have stated in other posts, this is a private forum under the ownership of our overlords Portalarium ;). As such, there is no free speech here and they can moderate as they see fit. At first, things were ok, but as more Avatars started voicing their concerns the tighter the vice of moderation became. So much so, that many of us left, or were banned, or even worse...lost heart:



    We must never lose heart. Yet what is to be done when your voice is stifled, your devotion infringed upon and questioned? You leave...and I don't want any more friends to leave.

    Most of you all know me, and I hope view me as voice of moderation (and more importantly silliness ;)). I try to listen to all sides and understand the viewpoints of all my fellow Avatars. So when the moderation lessened and people felt compelled to voice their concerns, respectfully, and debate one another, it gave me heart. That too was not to last...which brings us to where we are today. I still love this game, but I am frustrated. I recognize the extremely precarious position Portalarium is in, but we need to focus.

    If my wishes meant anything, which sadly they don't, there would be no introduction of new features until the following is completed:

    1. Combat and skills are balanced (yes, I know this is extremely difficult given a limitless skill system)
    2. NPC's have schedules, names and dialogues
    3. All bugs are squashed
    4. All quests are finalized
    5. Performance and Polish is completed
    This is what matters! I know it's not sexy, I know it's not a revenue driver, but it is absolutely imperative to have done before we move on to Episode 2! If Episode 1 is not complete, bug free and giving us 60 FPS, how can we really expect new players to want to buy the game and more importantly dive in to Episode 2? We can't.

    In summation, we must keep hope and mostimportantly stay focused; so that I can adventure and journey with all of you for many, many, many years to come. :)


    Your Friend,

    Cord
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  3. Morgoth redbeard

    Morgoth redbeard Avatar

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    one of the reasen idont go out hunt hard sones is i dont want to die and i feal its conter productive as you suposed to go out and try new sones and have fun i dont have fun wen i go dragon and die in 2 hits because i dont have the right skills and or some in grup go afk so i stick to tir 4-5 sones and this days i dont hunt much as well hunting bears for 1 year kinda gets tedius
    with out decay i would not have an issue going out and hunting new stuff is just this decay stops me from wanting to
     
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  4. Floors

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    Can't completely agree with you Cordelayne.

    First of all, Death decay barely affects lower level players and it hits higher level players hard - but you can literally gain 1 million xp - far beyond any death penalty in one 30 min UT session which is trivial for AL 100 + players.

    The bugs - and broken items - that is a bigger deal. Especially items being broken and staying broken for so long. That was fine during the alpha but it's not really acceptable, not with every month 50-100k of our money going into the game.

    The forum moderation I also agree, but it's their forum, their rules. it could be worse I guess. I know i'll probably outlast the latest community manager as I've gone through 3 already.

    I think the real reason people may be leaving is just because there's not enough content. They knew this - even in the UO days they know players consume content faster than they can create it.
     
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  5. Anpu

    Anpu Bug Hunter

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    What specifically should be in place instead of the death penalty, and what would that effect?
     
  6. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Avatar

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    I 100% agree with you. Death decay does not impact me as much as others; since I'm only AL 85 and have two GMs, but it still frustrates me when I lose 50,000 xp in a night.

    You're point on UT is valid, but it can cut both ways. I have made great xp gains running with my guildies and then lost thousands of xp in pick up groups.

    I concur with you about the content as well, there isn't enough. Specifically in regards to repeatable high level content. This is what keeps you playing (or at least me :)). High level bosses that drop cool loot that you can enjoy the adventure with friends. In such a manner it's not a grind. It's a social, gaming experience that let's us feel like:



    Again, these are just my humble thoughts and opinions. I think we have something inherently great here, and would hate for it to be lost.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  7. Lars vonDrachental

    Lars vonDrachental Avatar

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    With 1000+ hours of ingame time I'm just around adv level 80 with no GM and last time I looked at it the first death was somewhere around 15k exp. I die a lot and really don't care and simply try it again and again if I fail to survive but still see a chance to overcome the obstacle. I guess if I continue somewhere around level 90 or 100 my progress will stop.
    Could I have a higher level to make enemies easier and death less probably? Of course by simply joining one of the grind groups this would be simple but I prefere to stay around the level I feel comfortable with and without a decay that might start to worry me and I guess everyone should do the same as most of you already said you do not need hundreds of GMs to play the largest part of the game and if you want to play also the last percentages...well you have to take the risk and deal with the possible consequences.
    But as far as I can read nearly everyone is just hunting the next level as fast as possible and complains that their losses on death get bigger and bigger. I guess this will not change out of different reasons and so I think too that the current system might have to change. Some short ideas:

    - First possibility would be if one or more parts of your gear would instantly get broken on death...so to say with the deadly blow also your gear is falling apart. This would mean everyone has to have at least some repair kits on their adventures and the gold loss (falling duration) would be the penalty.
    - A second possibility would be that a part of you inventory get lost on death. So to say the monsters are plundering your corpse. Maybe in a similar kind of way it is with PvP that you have the possibility to buy the lost items back.
    - A third possibility would be the many times suggested fixed number of skills. E.g. each avatar can just train 2000 skills.
    - A fourth possibility would be to stop the general progress of skills at skill level 100. You could maybe still level up to 100+ but without any worth mentioning benefits just as it currently would be by reaching skill level 200. You would just get minimal more attunement and a little bit more health on reaching a new adv. level.
    - A fifth possibility would be to adjust the way we get experience. Currently you always get e.g. 1000 exp on killing an enemy and this would change by comparing your adventure level with the one of the monster/scene. In this scenario you would till adv. level 50 still get the 1000 exp but in the range between 51-60 it would be just 500 exp, in the range of 61-70 just 250 exp, in the range of 71-80 just 125 exp,... and so on. Basically you could still level up everything but it will take more and more time gain experience. This way planning of your skill advancement would be essential. E.g. if you want to be a fire mage it would be most reasonable to first raise all fire skills to GM as gaining the experience for a new GM skill will get more and more difficult the more skills you already have.
    - A sixth possibility would be to use scene caps. By entering a scene your avatar is downgraded to a defined max level e.g. comparing the defined max level with your avatars level and reducing all skills by a percentage based on this comparison. Just as an example in a scene the max level is 100 and you are adv. level 120 and on entering this scene every skill is temporarily losing 20% of its skills points.
    - Or as a seventh possibility a somehow reverse model to the sixth suggestion the enemies level raise if you are stronger than the suggested level for the scene. They do not offer more lot or exp they simple get stronger to stay a reasonable obstacle.

    The first two examples have the problem that they just costs gold but do not hindering/slowing the progress of the more active avatars of getting all skills to 200. But with very strong avatars also the content has to be difficult but this also means a new player has to grind years till he is able to participate in high end content and if high end content is designed to be for avatars in the range of 80-100 it is getting too easy for stronger avatars and so I think these two are no real solution as we need something that is e.g. at least trying to slow down the exp gain of the strongest avatars and I'm not confident that the loss of gold would do that. Also as we could read in many threads a lot of people simply do not expect/accept a larger penalty in todays games.
    I personally would prefer something in the direction of suggestion four even if that means everyone will be basically alike but maybe the skill specialisation could be used as factor to encourage different play styles if e.g. just these specialisation skills can still raise beyond 100 and still get benefits. And as a side effect I guess this would make adjustment of PvE and PvP content easier for the devs too if they can design high end content to be a callenge for everyone with most skills around 100.
     
  8. Mac2

    Mac2 Avatar

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    I have not died much in the game, so if I did get all the exp I lost back, I dont think it would come out to be a lot. As soon as persistence hit, I practiced not dieing, I dont think I died for like a month or 2, and at the lower levels, that was not easy, I did a lot of running away. I knew from having the maintain ability on skills that death decay was coming.

    Now, from my perspective, I dont mind death decay, even at 4.2 mil, 4 hours to get back is not bad at all in comparison to knight online, you died at high levels in that game and it took days to weeks to get it back. BUT, the #1 reason most of the people that I knew left the game was death decay, and that does bother me. If we want the game to succeed, it needs players, and I want this game to succeed. I just dont know what the solution would be.
     
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  9. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Yea, @Mac2 - it bothers me too.
    If some "mechanic" in our game is causing many people to look elsewhere for fun, then shouldn't that "mechanic" just go the freek away ?
     
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  10. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    And thank you @Cordelayne for taking the time to bring your thoughts to this discussion.

    I too agree that Port is working hard to "right the ship" and it is my fervent hope that LB, DS, et-all will read this thread and understand how detrimental this death decay is to the future of SotA.

    We (you and I and everybody I know) are on the same page here.
    We would love to be excited to adventure nightly, but decay has all but put an end to that feeling.

    I hope that THIS TIME they finally listen and understand the error of their ways......

    Otherwise, I'm afraid we'll all be doing something else than SotA a year from now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  11. FrostII

    FrostII Bug Hunter

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    Of all that's been said, @Cordelayne .... you have spoken my truest feelings....
    Thank you.;)
     
  12. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    Well, you're right, @Lord Trady of Blix,
    you can earn a lot of XP in UT. But let's think about:
    we lose XP while exploring the world, trying to look around, having fun, because we want to find out, with what kind of enemy we can rival and have success, because we want to try different decks with a higher tier enemy to get better understanding - this game provides so much of this. But the death decay prevents this.

    Well, running one time a week to UT and making "hack'n slay" for 1/2 hour to "win" back the lost XP?
    What sense makes this? I mean: people who want to run out for 1/2 or 1 hour a day are really scared about death decay.
    See my calculation above, please!
    If I would have more time (like in the 80s), okay. Stand up and fight.
    But today? After work I have 1/2 or 1 hour, or on weekend 2-4 hours.

    After decay came in, I reduced my time because of that:
    Dying and fghting back the gained xp. That makes: hardly no progress at that day.
    Since that moment I am thinking twice, what I want to do. And free exploring only if I can spend a few hours (weekend).
    At the moment I play (I mean really, exploring, looking around in different zones, having fun) only 1 day a week. And if I am dying, I fight to receive back my loss so I don't have to fear the first death next day I am playing again!
    Take that in mind: we are fearing to play (that's what is happeneing over time ... and it is drifting us away ).
    Well, I have to confess it is better with double xp now.

    But: how death decay works at the moment is unfair, equal if you can stand up and teleport to UT and earn it back.
    What kind of sense makes this behavior we have to do? Is the goal, the Dev. wanted to have with death decay reached?
    I Don't think so! Often exactly the opposite: High lvl player lvl up faster than before! ;)

    It's not every one's fulfillment to do it that way ...
    And it takes time to do this, too. Time I wish to spend for other activities ...

    One last suggestion, @Chris:
    What about, if death decay depends on amount of Adventure Grandmasters ? --> This would be closer to what you wanted to do with the death decay ...
    For power gamer it would be equal, they would do like they do now. But for a lot of people trying to get a few GM and build a fine Avatar and not using every skill, it would be great.
    Give us an amount of Grandmasters we can have (like Specializations), may be 1 for each skill tree which will not calculated in death decay - fine!
    And again, as asked before also in a few threads from different players:
    It would be great to have the title MASTER with 100, and Grandmaster with at least 120!.

    Let there be a meaning to have a Grandmaster! May be 5%/10% more power for only ONE Skill in a skill tree?
    Yes, one special thing with a Grandmaster, but also the risk of death decay with a lot of them ...
     
  13. CatweazleX

    CatweazleX Avatar

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    Death need to have meaningful consequences so everyone takes care of his/her "live"/avatar.
    In UO there was no skill loss on death (pre Renecaince). But you needed to get your belongings back, also it was full loot without looting rights. There was a chance to loose your inventory (including what you are wearing) upon dead.
    But UO has skill caps. With the disadvantage that you are not free to build you avatar like you want. A GM Mage/Warrior/Archer was well defined.

    SotA do not have skill caps. (ok at skill 200) So they need some way to keep players at a certain max level. Removing the XP loss on death only, does not solve it.

    Here are some ideas:
    Give everyone a memory. Comparable to the 700 skill cap in UO. But also introduce something that this memory can be expanded. To allow hybrids and further progression.
    This memory should be organized in short- and long-term memory. Skills you often use do not decay (short-term memory). Skill that are not used for a longer time decay, but you can re-learn them faster (long-term memory).
    Skills should be marked if the are in the short or long-term memory.
    The timers for decay should based on game time, not real time. So if you have a extended offline period, nothing will decay. That is also fair for causuals.

    Upon death a gravestone should be generated. Using the ransom system. More preferable the corpse is lootable.
    If you got killed by a mob, the stone has looting rights. Only the mob and the owner are able to loot this stone. Same timers as one has looting rights on the corpse a mob left behind.
    When the timer runs out the corpse/gravestone is lootable by everyone until it decays.
    When the corpse/gravestone decays the oracle picks all up and one can get the belongings from there. For free. Same as someone has given up the ransom.
    When someone else picked up the ransom the oracle pick it up and you can buy it back. Same as the ransom system.
    Some mobs are able to loot the corpse/gravestone. It is the same as another player has taken the belongings. You can buy it back from the oracle.
    When the corpse/gravestone is looted 4 items are displayed, but one can take only 2 of it. The "Take all" button is not shown.
    The corpse/gravestone remains as long items can be taken from there. (eg. one has taken only one item)
    When the owner loots his own gravestone/corpse everything is immediately given back.
    To get body parts someone has to field dress the corpse. The field dressing skill should taken into account what and how much body parts one get. (May restricted to PvP only)

    Edit:
    The loot after field dressing the corpse can contain:
    body parts - for trophies
    (chance) avatar carcass - to use on butchery table or sell on vendor
    (chance) skeleton bone - already in game
    (rare chance) pristine avatar head - to craft a mounted avatar

    When the carcass got butchered. You get:
    avatars meat - to get a cooking recipe for it you need to visit the barbarians
    (chance) avatars bones - same as animal bones
    (chance) fat - already in game
    (chance) sinew - already in game
    (chance) skeleton bone - already in game
    (semi rare chance) pristine avatar head - to craft a mounted avatar or a rug

    Mounted Avatar or Rug:
    Same recipe like all other mounted trophies or rugs
    It shows the original face from the avatar in question. (Mounted Head of <name>)


    This is only fair, because your are doing the same with mobs and animals.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  14. Arradin

    Arradin Avatar

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    A couple of people reached out to me privatly to discuss this in order to change my mind , which is great and civil!

    But i am not saying that death XP penalty should stay , so i agree with pretty much everyone here. What im saying is that SOMETHING is needed, and im not too sure that hard cap ( max 8000 in skills total for example ) is a good Idea.

    And if we all want to be constructive , we cant say that ” x feature suck ” without coming up with how to change it and to What. Because it Will not just be removed
     
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  15. Arkah EMPstrike

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    As long as whatever is in place keeps people from wanting to die or not caring about dying.

    Every rpg on the snes i played time warped you to your last save point when you died. Something like that i would be fine with (warp you to your bind point and forfiet all loot acquired during that adventure)

    I was incredibly annoyed when the monkey room was the fotm scene, an entire group of 8 in there and they still reccommended “just die and res near the monkey room”. Instead of fighting thier way to it. Thats dumb and i dont want death to become more appealing than fighting
     
  16. Spungwa

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    I think there should be a penalty for dying.

    I generally have found that this is working as intended, i'm level 107 and still can get my death decay back in 30 mins (not using UT). I can see that at some point with attenuation that will not be the case, but at that point i will be very high level.

    If people don't like losing things, maybe the answer is to put the death decay XP that would have been taken out of your pool into a another pool, and all the XP you earn 50% of it goes to reducing that pool until it is zero again. If attenuation is done only on the XP that goes into the adventure pool (or skills) then this allows higher level players to earn more XP than attenuation, but only to pay back death decay not for faster progression.

    This way death does not take things away it just slows you down for some time after the death. And for very high level characters they still have a chance to gain back their death decay in less than an hour.


    Regards
    Spung
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  17. kaeshiva

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    Decay is -not slowing down the high level grinding machine-. It simply isn't. Its just causing frustration for everyone who follows in the wake.

    I think @Spungwa is spot on here. You could achieve wasting the same amount of players' time by implementing a "experience debt" system as opposed to an "experience loss" system but it would be a lot easier for people to stomach and work much better from a PR perspective.

    But really at this point, with the significant boosts to player progression added by UT and by doubling the xp rate across the board, I simply don't understand why the decay system is still here at all.
    Grinding UT may be seen as a "necessary evil" by some players to progress, level up, and train skills. But it should never be a forced punishment - ie, you died, this will cost you xx UT runs.

    A game that says to you, you can 1. explore and do what you want and have fun BUT, if you die, you must now go do number 2. this boring content for X amount of time, you will either
    a) avoid activity (1) that gets you killed (play it safe) or
    b) avoid activity (2) because its a waste of your time (ie, continually go backwards or stop playing completely.)

    For me I've chosen A. I don't do anything that can potentially get me killed unless I assess the desire to participate in said activity against the KNOWN amount of grind its going to probably cost me. I think I've died possibly twice? 3times possibly? since release in March, and all of it was fiddling with aether creatures or unicorns or other crap and I knew the cost going in. The rest of the time, I avoid it. Would I like to get a group together, to kill harder content, to learn its mechanics, to possibly after dozens of iterations of kills maybe get a nice item? Sure. But when everyone in the group is risking, essentially "gambling" hours of their time just to be there, its really hard to raise enough interest. Sure, the lower level players would love to come. When you're under level 100 and you lose 50k xp or whatever, you really wanna do this stuff and people in our guild just don't understand sometimes why the higher levels don't want to come. If they continue to play the game, they will understand.

    That's the problem with this mechanic. Its causing players to be choosier about who they will group with (ie, I will take this person instead of that person because we're less likely to die because they are a healer or a tank or whatever). Its leading to a more elitist and exclusive mentality, absolutely. It is making players feel like a daily quota of grind is required if they want to step outside their comfort zone at all - in terms of where they go, builds they try, etc. It causes a whole raft of frustration and disillusionment.

    And what does it give to the game? Nothing whatsoever. It is not slowing down the top grinders and never will.

    If death is to have a penalty, let it be something that certainly slows you down, makes you consider your tactics, sure. I have zero issue with this. Many good suggestions have come and gone in the 2 + years this decay issue has been brought up again and again and again. I think one good idea would be if you die, you instantly max-attenuate - you can't gain xp for a while. If you're rezzed, then you instantly soft-attenuate (the xp is halved). I think this alone would encourage people IN GROUPS to avoid doing something stupid and getting killed, absolutely 100%. They potentially stand to lose a LOT more than their 50k penalty if they die in a UT group and suddenly aren't gaining the XP anymore. That's a pretty hefty penalty if you're out doing stuff, but wouldn't punish people who were trying to kill a boss for example, since you're not doing that for xp to begin with.

    Making players go backwards, losing items, trashing gear that took months to make ettc, are all poor options.

    Despite the quality of life improvements recently added this game is still very much about punishment - everything you do either costs you in time/tedium, gold, item durability, etc. Every time you step out of town to do anything you can almost see the little cash register next to you adding up expenses - you used a scroll, you burned reagents, your sword got damaged. Ou, you killed a boss creature and gained 52 gold worth of stuff! -subtract that off-. In most modern games, the player stepping out of town to DO stuff is going to EARN them something - xp, gold, loot, whatever. In Sota its quite possible to go adventuring for an hour and depending on what you're doing, fail to even cover the cost of consumables used unless you really optimize what you go and do. Nothing too hard, you'll burn potions/regs/time staying alive for little benefit. Your best bet is to grind the densest, highest content that is trivial to you, over and over and over and over again, to reduce the amount of money (or xp) tax its costing you during the play session so that you hopefully come out ahead. While the economic issues are separate, I don't think they'll ever go away, as its part of a much larger system that adds tangibles to the game. The death tax however has no such dependency. It is merely a stain on the game that I can't believe we've not cleaned up by now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  18. Arkah EMPstrike

    Arkah EMPstrike Avatar

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    I also like the 50/50 debt idea.

    A similar effect that would be easy to impliment i think would be to have death itself trigger a half hours worth of attenuation, and have the ressurect skill reduce attemuationfrom death
     
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  19. Scanphor

    Scanphor Avatar

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    +1 to the many saying death decay needs to go - the exponential growth in XP cost of levelling skills and the fact that there are only so many hours to play is sufficient as a soft cap - and it makes people not want to play = bad design.
     
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  20. Chris

    Chris Tech Lord Moderator SOTA Developer Ambassador

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    Guys, Starr and I already said decay would be going as part of our "Quality of life" work AKA make the game less punishing work. The challenge is figuring out how to replace it or limit our.
     
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