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 Post subject: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:42 pm 
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Hey skyrates,

Here are some charts from the plane rebalance spreadsheet I've mentioned in chat several times.

The core element of this rebalance discussion is the new CKPH progression.

As you can see below, the old CKPH grew exponentially. This was due to CKPH multiplying speed by cargo. Because speed and cargo each increased linearly, their combination increased exponentially, causing huge differences in the earning potential of higher-end planes. In the old system, the CR-4P had a CKPH of 4000, while the Kingfisher had a CKPH of 176,000. Under the proposed system, the CR-4P would be 5962, while the Kingfisher would be 79,750.

Image

Here's a look at cargo and speed as separate values:

Image

The goal of my rebalancing was to allow players to feel big increases in stats as they leveled the early planes and then to slow down those increases at the higher tiers, causing a logarithmic shape to the CKPH curves. This should do a number of things:

1. Cause new players to feel like they're really improving when they move to the new planes.
2. Give planes varying personalities while still giving them very planned earning potentials.
3. Keep elder players from earning astronomical sums of money.
4. Give elder players the ability to be relatively comfortable in a wider variety of planes (e.g. 16-19 of the 35 planes now have CKPHs between 40k and 80k, where in the old system, only 7 earned between 90k and 180k).

And because I know there are a lot of you number crunchers out there, here are the real numbers:

Image

Please take a look and let me know what you think.

Here are some of the questions we have:
1. What's your overall impression? Is this as awesome as we think?
2. What additional aspects of the game would be affected by this? (e.g. Since overall travel and profit are slower, we may want to reduce the size of the map; lower earning potential may cause us to lower plane cost; etc.)
3. Anything else that comes to mind (and is on-topic).

Thanks,
-- Archon :thumbs:


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Just off the top of my head, have you run the same graphs assuming creative storage is maxed out? I'm thinking it would skew the graph for anything with very large cargo (like the Levi or Cuda), but I'm not sure by how much.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:13 pm 
Min-Maxer

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This is excellent. It makes a lot of sense, gamistly and narrativistly.

Re: your goals - I don't see how (1) is satisfied, at least comparatively? Someone moving from tier X to tier X+1 in the new system is going to improve less than they would have in the old system.

To your questions:

1. Yes. Very much yes.

2a. How would upgrades impact this progression? From my reading of the data, perf and trade planes are strictly specialised in their roles - they get the majority of their ckph from their relevant multiplier. Allowing them to increase this multiplier unreservedly will have a disproportionate effect on the ckph of the perf and trade lines over the combat and other lines. Is this intended? Is it even possible to balance upgrades for ckph? (Of course, this is a lot easier to fix in a model where you decouple stats from slots >_<)

2b. Like Karhallarn points out, percentage skills have would have the same disproportionate effect. However, since there is no +speed skill, and since so few planes have a cargo hold that deviates highly from the baseline, I think I'm okay with that being a bonus of buying a zep. Are you dev-like people okay with that? Are other players okay with that?

2c. On that note of large cargo being a lot less common... How does this impact the economy? Mission cargo requirements? Cartography is a bit more valuable maybe, and maybe you could really emphasise price curves now that a lot fewer people will hit the start-buying-at-green-end-up-buying-at-red issue.

3. It'd be neat if we had a similar up/down shape to the perf-speed line that we have for the trade-cargo line. Would there be neat flavour here? Perf = Speed, really, unlike Trade = Cargo + Speed... Maybe the potential exists to make "perf" mean something else as well? A "high-performing" plane could maybe also be one that's fuel-efficient, or something?

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:01 pm 
Moostro

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Speaking from an inf standpoint, I like this. If the "tiers" have some kind of unique flavor vs their neighbors for upgrade options and stat variation for how the upgrades work, then I see this giving a lot of end-game choice potential. Naturally, a lot of this depends on the upgrades, but since we need a nice stable set of planes to even have you start fiddling with the upgrades, this looks like a very good system to start from.

If there's not enough 'magnification' feel, I would really like to see it solved along the upgrade path, to allow people at higher levels (money, influence, whatever) the opportunity to upgrade even older tiers a bit more, something that would also work so well with this kind of stat progression.

This would also provide users the ability to make a more notable effect while influence running earlier on (instead of 'just keep going to T8/T9 then do inf.')

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:13 pm 
Moostro

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As for size of the map, a couple of numbers you could test for as far as influence, and if anyone has different ideas of 'hit points' please toss them in:

For the perfiest perf, it's nice to be able to cross the map in around 2-4 hours, this gives the ability to make several custom stops and adjust your pattern ongoing throughout the day. For the ckphiest ckph, I like about a 12-18hours cross the map, this usually produces about a once-a-day, sometimes more or less, which can be pretty convenient. (cross in this case ignoring the outliers like the current grotto/uur.) The inger/KF do this about perfect as bookends.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:13 pm 

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My impression: I love this so much. The flattening of the speed curve, especially -- speed is a huge thing in this game, what this currently means is that higher tiers utterly wreck slightly lower tier planes. It is very, very good to see the Havoc compete with the Ingersoll (83% as good, versus 57%). The changes in speed make the game a little more believable

Although I suppose I'm slightly sad that our retiering hasn't been accepted.

Things affected: Performance planes are now even faster, relatively. Speed plays a large part in the influence game, and the changes to T9 are going to have a big impact on the choice of plane for the influence game. Large cargo missions will need to have their inf/crate bumped up to compensate for the loss in speed. Performance planes will be able to react to distant threats much faster, giving an additional bonus. The Lancaster may become a better mission runner than the KingFisher (this is not a bad thing, but it is interesting.) Influence is going to change dramatically, but largely, I think it gives runners more choices in aircraft. This is good.

Assuming the combat system remains the same, our choice in combat planes grows much larger. This round, I think the Seahawk/Dauntless is the absolute minimum tier plane required to reasonably defeat level 70+ combats, and only their lackluster speed holds them back. The new progression puts the Valkyrie near the top of the combat speed charts. (Faster than Mkii? WTF?) The Seahawk is even reasonably close to the Tbolt; this fails to encourage players to tier up, particularly when the Seahawk delivers more damage than the Tbolt. Performance planes are now much faster than their combat counterparts, and this will make combat more tedious and frustrating. However, as CKPH drops, combat becomes a better method to earn money, and this is good.

Trade income will drop, of course. With the way traders currently rip through tiers, plane prices may not need to be dramatically slashed, this slower progression is likely a benefit. Trade point earnings will be sharply cut, though. Currently, high end trade skills require enormous amounts of profit. With the new CKPH ratings, trade skills will take more than twice as long to max.

Other thoughts: The Barashiki. It needs a complete overhaul; it needs to be faster than the KingFisher, it needs to carry less. Right now it's statted as if it were a blimp, but the game wants a plane that fits between the Tbolt and the KF. I'd slot the Shiki at about 350kph, and push the Spectre to around 450.

I'm not sure how combat planes are going to improve over tiers -- if they don't improve by speed, then they must improve dramatically by firepower or armor. The combat system will need to change if this is true; if this is untrue, there won't be many reasons to tier up a combat pilot.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:23 pm 
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Sluor wrote:
Re: your goals - I don't see how (1) is satisfied, at least comparatively? Someone moving from tier X to tier X+1 in the new system is going to improve less than they would have in the old system.


If you look at just the first couple tiers, the improvements are greater than in the old version. The way that the logarithmic scale works, it's got more improvement at initial tiers than an exponential scale.

-- Archon


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:26 pm 
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Honestly, I like it better this way - You NEED improvement at the beginning just to get competitive. At later stages it felt like I had to level up just to get better, but I had to leave behind planes that I really liked. This way, it's not as necessary to get ultimate - but if you do, you ARE ultimate.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:32 pm 
Min-Maxer

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Archon wrote:
Sluor wrote:
Re: your goals - I don't see how (1) is satisfied, at least comparatively? Someone moving from tier X to tier X+1 in the new system is going to improve less than they would have in the old system.


If you look at just the first couple tiers, the improvements are greater than in the old version. The way that the logarithmic scale works, it's got more improvement at initial tiers than an exponential scale.

-- Archon


Oh, I see. That makes sense, thanks!

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Manager of Post Aviation. "We don't make planes. We make planes better."


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Thanks for all the comments. So many things to respond to...so little time tonight.

Amira Navaras wrote:
Although I suppose I'm slightly sad that our retiering hasn't been accepted.


Actually, this was work I did before this round started, so it didn't take your tiering into account. However, I am willing to consider it. :)

Combat: In response to some of the combat questions, I was thinking of speeding up combat across the board. There's basically a multiplier which takes the plane speed and turns it into a number of pixels/second on screen. With out ridiculously high speeds, I can increase this multiplier, which I think will make combat more fun for everyone. Additionally, the tier 1 planes are all at least a little faster than the CR-4P, which should make them feel more fun in combat.

Upgrades: I've actually got a whole other worksheet in there that handles upgrades across all planes.


Thanks for all the feedback. Sorry I don't have time to write more now.

-- Archon


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:41 pm 

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The size of your cargo hold doesn't help when it comes to creative storage,

Speed x (Cargo x CS) = (Speed x Cargo) X CS

If anything high speed low cargo planes have the advantage. There are no plus cargo mods that don't effect speed, and other than to +5% mods that fit in hull slots all the plus speed mods are engine mods which perfs have more slots in. Most of the hull and wing cargo mods give a percentage to cargo but take off a set amount of speed which is a major advantage to faster planes.


The other problem I see is some of the stock and upgrade planes seem a little low on ckph. The stock/upgrade planes are supposed to be more rounded but that is not always the case. I'd choose a Loki over a Excelssior, or a Havoc over a Seafire for combat easily.

I don't think it is too unreasonable for the high tier tiny perfs like the Nova and Inger to actually have their ckph actually go down.


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:19 pm 
Min-Maxer

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James Colburn wrote:
Speed x (Cargo x CS) = (Speed x Cargo) X CS


...duh. I hereby retract my okay-ness with how creative storage affects the balance.

[Edit] I R Dumb. CS just exacerbates the curve, then - it can be considered a multiplier on CKPH directly, and thus I think it's fine. Upgrades are the real issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:44 pm 

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I did notice an odd change. This round, our two trade blimps have a bonus to CKPH that puts them very close to the rating of the next tier. It's a good bonus, as blimps aren't fast enough to react to a changing market. That bonus disappears in the proposal. The 'Cuda loses 5000 CKPH, while the Bullfrog only 3000 CKPH; Levi 50 thousand, Lancaster 47 thousand.

While looking at the exact changes between CKPH, I also noticed another potential change. If plane prices remain the same, we'll move through the early tiers much faster -- a trip to the Halifax would take half as long, and even today it's under a week.

The Nomad packs 65 crates. If it were to trade wood at purple to red between neighboring core skylands, it would make about $15K per hour. That means 3.5 hours to Kittyhawk, if it fights no combats and runs no missions.

That's a mass of low-tier planes which players will skip over in a very short amount of time. The solution would, oddly, be to make low-tier planes more expensive. If Nomad to Kittyhawk is minimum 24 hours, it would need to retail for six times its current price.

Sluor wrote:
3. It'd be neat if we had a similar up/down shape to the perf-speed line that we have for the trade-cargo line. Would there be neat flavour here? Perf = Speed, really, unlike Trade = Cargo + Speed... Maybe the potential exists to make "perf" mean something else as well? A "high-performing" plane could maybe also be one that's fuel-efficient, or something?

I think this is necessary, since the Mantis and Ceta are still in Perf line. Or: the Mantis only holds three more crates than a Loki? The Skywhale holds five more crates? Really? Slow them down and add cargo!

Archon wrote:
However, I am willing to consider it. :)

plzzzzzzzzzzzz :remylove:

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Awesome! I really like it! I may have time to come back later and stare harder at the numbers, but a first reading looks great.

Sluor and Navvy are of course right about everything they say. I'd like to build on Navvy's proposal for the Barashiki, if we are retaining the current tier structure:
  • Premise: We're retaining the current tierings for all planes.
  • Premise: The Barashiki is going to stay heavy, rather than light. (I concede T9 is otherwise short of heavy planes.)
  • Change: The Barashiki is now designated a combat plane; its collision area and its arcs are double-checked, and its stats are overhauled per Navvy's suggestion.
  • Change: The Thunderbolt is now designated a perf plane. It remains the beautiful lovechild of the Phantom and the Havoc.
  • Change: The Ingersoll is now designated a stock plane. This gives the freedom to adjust its stats without worrying how it fits into the P line: in particular, it can have an unreasonably high speed, with cargo etc. tweaked down accordingly.


Archon wrote:
Actually, this was work I did before this round started, so it didn't take your tiering into account. However, I am willing to consider it. :)

We love you, Archon!


Edit: Everything Navvy said while I was typing is good, too. Make the low-tier planes more expensive than they are, and the high-tier planes cheaper; since the T1s suck less than they used to, it's okay to spend more than a day in one. Mantis and Ceta should receive the outlier treatment the Barracuda and Leviathan already get.


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:27 am 
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Now that we've run a full round with these plane stats, I'd really like to get some feedback on them after-the-fact. Anything would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
-- Archon


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Archon wrote:
Now that we've run a full round with these plane stats, I'd really like to get some feedback on them after-the-fact.

T9s sucked last round, so I never sold my Lancaster. And I recently complained in another thread (on Suggestion board, I think) about T1-3 perf planes having more cargo than the combat planes.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:35 pm 
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I thought the Barashiki was rather disappointing; even after the plane shape was shrunken down from its bugged too-large version, it remained too slow and too high cargo (300 cargo, 200 kph) compared to the Kingfisher (290 cargo, 275 kph). I haven't seen the new Barashiki in the current round, but IMO the trade plane should be the highest cargo carrier of a tier, not the stock plane, especially since its sprite is now smaller.

I'd suggest cutting the Barashiki's cargo to 200 and raising its speed to 300kph.

Also, I think in general stock planes should be regarded to have upgrades 'built in' and thus should have fewer upgrade slots; for instance, you could give the 'Shiki 4-5 upgrade slots of each type instead of 7. As it stands, the Spectre only has 1 more slot of each type.


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:54 pm 
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Remark: The Devs did not design the Barashiki as a stock plane. Designating it Stock is just something I made up to tell it easily apart from the other T9s. I'm told the Devs designed it as "Combat/Trade".


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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Kalin wrote:
Archon wrote:
Now that we've run a full round with these plane stats, I'd really like to get some feedback on them after-the-fact.

T9s sucked last round, so I never sold my Lancaster. And I recently complained in another thread (on Suggestion board, I think) about T1-3 perf planes having more cargo than the combat planes.


tl;tr - 'Fisher pilot in 2.5 who stayed consistently above 20million influence, could barely hold 12million in 2.6, flying a 'Caster.

Same, I did little to no combat either, the Fisher was just more amusing when it was a hurtling bus bristling with guns pointing in all the wrong directions.

Since a 'Caster could carry a whale with ease the twice daily player could just toss one in the back and come back twelve hours later for the next one. The Fisher took many more hours to cross Skytopia. 16 hours might as well be a once daily.

Suggest, some giant 450 cargo mission for the big planes that a 'Caster couldn't carry, that gives a wonderful inf/km return to give the blimps and monster planes some love.

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 Post subject: Re: Plane restat thread
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:58 pm 

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Personally, I'd like to see more separation as the tiers go up. I understand the planes were fit to linear progression, so I'd either like to see the slope of that line increased so the tier 9's have more separation in stats/CKPH. I don't think there should be quite as much overlap as there is. And I'm not just implying the CKPH - I'd be interested in the combat planes all getting more AC, etc.


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