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 Post subject: Condition Incoming (small bit of Apprentice)
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:48 pm 
Snuggler

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Hey folks,

In a previous thread I said I was going to try and get condition in this weekend. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to happen as some things came up and I'll also be traveling next week.

However, we have been listening to your comments in the interim, and here is the system that we plan on putting into effect. Do feel free to throw your two cents in.

Plane condition will drop as trades, combats, and flights are done. The amount that it drops over time will also be severely reduced from its current state.

For every 10% of condition that drops, your plane will get a random 'Disrepair' Status Effect. These can range from slightly bad (small reduction in your ammo capacity) to unfortunate (chance of losing some cargo on landings due to a hole in your hull) to possibly beneficial (higher combat levels).

The goal is that players would be getting one of these every day and a half or so.

Players may slow the condition dropping via hiring a mechanic or leveling up Perception.

Planes may have their condition repaired at Skyland Hangars. The cost and amount of time it takes to repair your plane will be dependent on your plane. Some of the lower tier planes may taking less time, while the higher tier planes may take more. Some upgrades may affect these times.

The amount of time that it takes to repair your plane will not be a short period of time. The exact amount of time will be a point of finding the balance spot.

When a plane is repaired, for every 'Disrepair' Status Effect that was removed, it will add a 'Good Repair' Status Effect. These will be positive bonuses. As your plane falls into Disrepair again, those good status effects will be removed. Whenever your plane is serviced at a hangar, all previous 'Good Repair' effects will be removed.

====================

Apprentices & Mentors

We are considering adding a chat channel for Apprentice/Mentor.

Apprentices will not have a limited number of levels. They earn more levels by performing missions.

Apprentices will receive a small speed boost. This number may increase slightly as they level.

Rather than a portion of Apprentice reputation, Mentors will gain a boost to their own mission running based on the performance of their Apprentices.

So when a Mentor first has their apprentices, they'll get no bonus to running missions. However, if all their Apprentices are at high levels, they will receive a boost to their mission earning.

Apprentice Levels are not static and must be maintained. If an Apprentice stops performing missions, they will gradually fall back in level.

=======================

Thanks again for your patience all. I look forward to your comments.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Ooh, exciting. I want to see how this modified apprentice system plays out. I'm not sure about that Good Repair, though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:12 am 

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to clarify: as condition drops, you lose a good effect AND gain a bad effect, or does losing the good effects count as some sort of bad effect credit? I could see it working either way, though the optimal balance point may fall in different places for either option.


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 Post subject: Re: Condition Incoming (small bit of Apprentice)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:44 am 
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
Rather than a portion of Apprentice reputation, Mentors will gain a boost to their own mission running based on the performance of their Apprentices.


I still worry about how this will affect the reputation game, but it's a lot better than piling on 30% of the Apprentice's earnings.

Is it possible that the "Mentor Bonus" can be applied only to the faction's Influence, where it actually makes sense to cooperate, and not to Reputation, where individuals are supposed to shine?

-c.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:46 am 
Dev Eyepatch

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Circle wrote:
to clarify: as condition drops, you lose a good effect AND gain a bad effect, or does losing the good effects count as some sort of bad effect credit?


Personally I hope for something like this:

100%: Two bonus effects
90%: one bonus effect
80: no effects
70: One negative effect
60: Two
50: three, and so on and so forth.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:45 am 
Snuggler

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Circle wrote:
to clarify: as condition drops, you lose a good effect AND gain a bad effect, or does losing the good effects count as some sort of bad effect credit? I could see it working either way, though the optimal balance point may fall in different places for either option.


Yes, that is correct. Although there may be some limits (as in, you'll never have more than X good effects.


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 Post subject: Re: Condition Incoming (small bit of Apprentice)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:46 am 
Snuggler

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Deyo wrote:
I still worry about how this will affect the reputation game, but it's a lot better than piling on 30% of the Apprentice's earnings.

Is it possible that the "Mentor Bonus" can be applied only to the faction's Influence, where it actually makes sense to cooperate, and not to Reputation, where individuals are supposed to shine?


This is a possibility. I'd love to get other people's thoughts here. Do you want Mentorship to play a part in Reputation? Influence?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:54 am 

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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
Circle wrote:
two options


Yes


...dangit Taft. I am just going to assume you meant the first one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 12:03 pm 

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Some thoughts:

1. It appears that the optimum time to perform servicing will be immediately after hitting a 10% mark, in order to provide an additional repair bonus.

2. I foresee whining from players who have lost X-thousand g-squigs from a cargo leak, isn't this a casual game, do you really expect me to check in at 2 AM to see what disrepair status I've been afflicted with, etc., etc.

3. Proposed mentor/apprentice change is an improvement? Why - because now the inf. gained is directly proportional to the inf. "earned" by a person. But it's still bad. Why? For all of the reasons mentioned before, that still apply. I will briefly list some here: Because you still need to be a mentor with a team of henchmen in order to compete in influence. Because a better team of henchmen will still be vitally important, at some level more important than an individual's rate of inf. gain. Because it is a penalty to those who would prefer to participate as individuals. Because it amounts to a free stat-boost for those who opt in.

If you do not see these things as problems, let me illustrate with an example: At its extreme, you could simply have a 'game' where the winner is whoever gets more people to sign their name on some web form. Because these mentors/apprentices are limited, it will not become like the example. But why you'd want to move away from a system that rewards an individual's actions and performance and toward one that rewards signing up your friends is completely beyond me. This is the 'facebook app' model of games. It has been extremely successful in some ways, and some people are invested in it, but I find it repulsive. It is the hallmark of crap.

The call from many players to reduce the mentor bonus was a call to reduce the amount of horse manure in their sandwich. If you've been handed a sandwich with 30% manure, clearly a 5% manure sandwich will seem like an improvement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:15 pm 

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I am loath to second the overheated fecal whingeing at the end of the post, but I agree with the jist of Grant's assessment. Organizing and politics should be for influence, not reputation.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:44 am 

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I really feel they should not be a part of either, personally. I'm not really sure how players can defend this sort of unbalanced mechanic for one area of inf-running if they're going to attack it in when it shows up in another area.

If you really do want to have inf-running teams, I think the natural best place to do that would be with wings. It just makes a lot more sense to me, and it seems much less arbitrary than the current mentor/apprentice system.

More examples of weird mentor/apprentice stuff: If mentor/apprenticeships are balanced, why would you need to restrict a player from having their alt be their own mentor/apprentice? If having one player running a team is too powerful, how is two players running a team significantly better? (Player A has one mentor whose multiple apprentices are all controlled by player B. Player B has one mentor whose multiple apprentices are all controlled by player A) If a mentor's inf.running success is due significantly or PRIMARILY to the bonuses they've received from an apprentice, why give the mentor credit on leaderboards, and not to the apprentices?

I think most of these problems would go away if we were talking about wings rather than M/As.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:07 am 
Combat Guru

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Personally, the rep feed makes sense to me. If player A does awesome cool stuff and they're all like "Player B taught me everything I know" then it makes sense it would add to Player B's rep by association. It gets sticky when you try to balance where and what that rep counts toward. Does it merely pile on their total, does it count toward their faction, or the governor's race there? Any, all or none of those could happen.

As for condition, is it getting reset when they go live or should I be scheduling a service soon?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:41 pm 

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Putting things in a game simply because they 'make sense' doesn't make sense to me.

Planes don't need to reload their guns, but it's still an interesting and fun addition to combat. It makes zero sense, but why let that stop you?

The plane tiers also make approximately zero sense, as far as the kinds of planes you'd expect to see, their capabilities, and respective prices. But it's more important to have a fun game where players can rise through the ranks at a certain pace.

Pirates, of course, are the biggest 'makes no sense' at all, in many ways. But we need opponents for combat, and it's convenient.

Yes, you could justify inf. bonuses by appealing to the idea of one player campaigning on another's behalf, but it doesn't make the game any better. And I'm not in favor of any changes that make the game worse, no matter how 'realistic' they may seem. In the end, trying to keep the game fun, balanced, and inclusive is the only thing that really makes sense.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 4:42 pm 
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Burrito Loco wrote:
Personally, the rep feed makes sense to me. If player A does awesome cool stuff and they're all like "Player B taught me everything I know" then it makes sense it would add to Player B's rep by association. It gets sticky when you try to balance where and what that rep counts toward. Does it merely pile on their total, does it count toward their faction, or the governor's race there? Any, all or none of those could happen.


It makes sense anyplace but a casual Flash game. If you want advancement that requires a five-man group, there are Elite quests in World of Warcraft. Expecting a player to group up to compete in the reputation game in Skyrates is a bit on the absurd side.

Influence requires the participation of an entire faction, so it makes sense that coordinated efforts should increase the rewards there. I will point out that allowing Independent/Flight School pilots to apprentice to faction members reopens the "alt-swarming" can of worms all over again.

-c.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:28 pm 

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Deyo wrote:
Influence requires the participation of an entire faction, so it makes sense that coordinated efforts should increase the rewards there.


That's what I was trying to say--but put a little more clearly.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:41 pm 

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Deyo wrote:
It makes sense anyplace but a casual Flash game... Expecting a player to group up to compete in the reputation game in Skyrates is a bit on the absurd side


I would probably say 'participating' rather than 'competing.' Because competing in reputation/influence cannot be done successfully without a very large time commitment. Maybe not as much time as WoW raids, but then again, you probably don't have to do raids every single night, but SR is quite unforgiving of vacation time.

Anyway, sorry to nitpick, carry on.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:20 pm 
Snuggler

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Grant wrote:
1. It appears that the optimum time to perform servicing will be immediately after hitting a 10% mark, in order to provide an additional repair bonus.


I'm not sure this is quite the case.

Let's say it takes 1 hour for 1%. Let's say it takes 5 hours to repair to full.

For 50 hours of play, if you were repairing at 10%, you would have 25 hours of repairing.

If you were repairing at 20%, you would have 12.5 of repairing.

Etc. I don't believe the increased downtime will be worth the single bonus.

Quote:
2. I foresee whining from players who have lost X-thousand g-squigs from a cargo leak, isn't this a casual game, do you really expect me to check in at 2 AM to see what disrepair status I've been afflicted with, etc., etc.


This is a fair point, and we have admittedly had some difficulty coming up with potential negative effects related to trading. We are open to possible suggestions there. However, in regard to the casual/hardcore sporadic/attentive divide, that itself is a tricky matter. However, I don't foresee the negative effects being so debilitating as to warrant such constant vigilance. Their goal is to be an annoyance, not a hamstring.

Quote:
Because you still need to be a mentor with a team of henchmen in order to compete in influence.


I really have no problem with the influence system involving veteran and more newbie players working together.

Quote:
Because a better team of henchmen will still be vitally important, at some level more important than an individual's rate of inf. gain.


This is a good point! And a case where balancing needs to happen. If I am misinterpreting, do please correct.

Let's say that to be a maximum apprentice, you need 500 influence a day.

We have a high level mission runner who pulls in about 5000 influence a day.

Let's say the max multiplier is +25%

So if I'm a high level with apprentices who are just good enough...

Each day I'm pulling in 6250.
The apprentices are each pulling in 500.
(my faction is getting an extra +1250 than it would otherwise)

Now let's say I have one superstar apprentice, who starts to pull in a lot more influence. Let's say, double.
I'm still pulling in 6250.
The four lower apprentices are 500.
One apprentice at 1000.
(my faction is getting an extra +1250 than it would otherwise)

Were my apprentice to go off and start mentoring (himself getting a gaggle of apprentices):
I found and leveled up a new apprentice. I'm still getting 6250.
My apprentice who is now a mentor is now getting 1200.
(my faction is getting an extra +1450 than it would otherwise)

Then for your faction, the best method is to have your highest level mission runners receiving that mission boost, and apprenticing players who are earning a good amount of steady influence, but not so much influence as to make it better (for the faction) were they a mentor.

Quote:
Because it is a penalty to those who would prefer to participate as individuals.


At this time we are looking at making influence and the end game involve more multiplayer. Does this mean they may do better than the soloers? Quite possibly.

Quote:
Because it amounts to a free stat-boost for those who opt in.


Refer to the above comments.

Quote:
But why you'd want to move away from a system that rewards an individual's actions and performance and toward one that rewards signing up your friends is completely beyond me.


A slight point. Your latter case is simply a return to the extreme example you previously dismissed, without dealing with the subtlety that exists.

We do not want to necessarily reward you for just signing up your friends. Nor do we necessarily want it to be the case that 'the group with the most people = better.'

However, we realize that part of the most compelling and interesting parts of our game is the slight multiplayer component. Because content creation is expensive, we look towards multiplayer as a means of providing depth and longevity to the game.

A key component in some MMO's (which we admittedly are not quite that grandiose, but lessons can be learned there) are fostering relations between newbie and veteran players. Certainly part of this is done socially, and part of it comes from the need to just try and convert newbies into veteran players.

However, for fostering player relations, and for newbies to feel wanted and valuable, systems like mentor/apprentice are helpful. I understand your fear of the game becoming a rush to just get as many people as possible as you can to sign the dotted line, and we do want to avoid that. I've played enough facebook games to know that just shoveling people into the player 'grindery' creates unfortunate feelings for everyone.

What we would like to create though is a method with which new players are valuable, useful, and sought after by the more experienced players. Certainly, there are other ways to accomplish this, but the Influence Game is the system we have, and as such we are experimenting with means of feeding into that. We ideally want experienced players looking for new players, and then showing them the ropes of the game and introducing them to Influence. Eventually the new players should 'graduate' and start fostering their own newbies. A potential reference point to look at is the Asheron's Call vassal system.

I am not saying that the mentor/apprentice system necessarily achieves all these lofty goals, but I do hope I've made it a bit clear the perspective that we are approaching it from.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:22 pm 
Snuggler

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Grant wrote:
If you really do want to have inf-running teams, I think the natural best place to do that would be with wings. It just makes a lot more sense to me, and it seems much less arbitrary than the current mentor/apprentice system.


Wings/Guilds are at a slightly different social level, usually reserved for a slightly more intimately acquainted grouping of friends.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:28 pm 
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:
Grant wrote:
1. It appears that the optimum time to perform servicing will be immediately after hitting a 10% mark, in order to provide an additional repair bonus.


I'm not sure this is quite the case.

Let's say it takes 1 hour for 1%. Let's say it takes 5 hours to repair to full.

For 50 hours of play, if you were repairing at 10%, you would have 25 hours of repairing.

If you were repairing at 20%, you would have 12.5 of repairing.

Etc. I don't believe the increased downtime will be worth the single bonus.


This is not exactly how I interpreted Grant. I construed her as noting that it's tactically superior to wait, if 28% damaged, for that extra 2% so that you get a third positive effect.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 4:00 pm 
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Eskay wrote:
This is not exactly how I interpreted Grant. I construed her as noting that it's tactically superior to wait, if 28% damaged, for that extra 2% so that you get a third positive effect.


I think so too.

Grant wrote:
1. It appears that the optimum time to perform servicing will be immediately after hitting a 10% mark, in order to provide an additional repair bonus.
(emphasis added)

Not the 10% mark, a 10% mark. I would go further and say that a pilot who wants to put in a few stellar days of combat, trading, or influence should let her plane deteriorate almost to the point of unflyability, then repair it, inverting a huge number of effects. Following that service, she would temporarily be a nigh-invincible competitor.

Are any or all of these aspects bad? I don't think so. It gives casual players a new way to use the little time they have to best effect, and I think that's a big plus for this game.

-c.

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Lieutenant of the Crimson Armada, formerly of the Azure League and the Earthen Order.


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