New Area Bonus Proposal

Discussion in 'Balancing Discussion' started by Waldoff, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. Dinadass

    Dinadass Dalayan Pious Diety

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    No, altering the global new zone modifiers is a lot easier than going and tweaking exp/cash values/respawns/etc in every zone individually, which is why this idea is being proposed I'd imagine.
     
  2. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

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    This is a purely psychological purpose. Rejiggering numbers so they always look like pachinko-machine BONUS BONUS BONUS lines that just end up feeling unspecial because "BONUS PLUS PLUS" is your new baseline for measurement is not difficult. I bet Jumbers and I could do that in 5 minutes. (Note: Admin-Wiz made this same argument at the time these modifiers were introduced, but at least this time, there are people on staff that understand math and would do it correctly.)

    The idea is that there is an intention of simultaneously incentivizing the use of multiple zones and disincentivizing the "just use this one zone only" mindset. Setting the arbitrary baseline at a point that includes +% and -% adjustments gives a visual illustration of this two-sided encouragement.
     
  3. Dimmi

    Dimmi Dalayan Elder

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    I try not to pretend (too often) that my opinion is the opinion of everyone who plays SoD, but I don't remember new area/old area bonus/penalty ever even coming up in discussion for any xp groups I've ever been in (and I did a lot of out of guild xp with folks everywhere from mid 50s up to top of the crop).

    I mean occassionally someone would make a comment "Wow, my area penalties have already reset here twice this week..." but it was never, "No, let's not go to FR, I'm at -25%" or w/e. More often than not it was "Let's go to FR, I'm at -25% and I want to push it back to good xp before I start farming there tonight."


    IMO people go to certain zones for a few basic reasons:
    1) It's the "best in slot" xp zone/cash zone. (For xpers/plat farmer leech groups or w/e respectively)

    2) The drops. They want the citadel no-drops, or are after tomes, elds pages, vah crap, rohk pages, etc

    3) Comfort Zone. They are familiar with the zone either from Live or from SoD and it's their nostalgic zone, their familiar zone, their "Someone showed me a cool trick to split this pull" zone and that's where they feel safe and comfy doing their dragonslaying.

    Just my bent two cp
     
  4. JarL

    JarL Dalayan Adventurer

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    That is all good and fine Dimmi, however, new players will be put off by "negative bonuses". I recently got an old friend to try SoD (he had never played eq or any mmo prior to this) and this was one of the things that ticked him off. Luckily I was always around to gloss issues like this over, but to a new player without a veteran to ask questions to he would have quit within the first 30 levels.

    People truly need to stop using the level 65 player base as their sample size for changes. Start thinking like a complete noob and think about what might bother you...
     
  5. booster

    booster Dalayan Master

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    i think that the real way to "incentivize" the unused zones is to improve them, specifically.

    I also think that the zone bonus/penalty should be removed as a whole and that individual zone bonuses should be modified along with loot and difficulty on a per zone basis.

    I just feel as though if a zone is awful to be in, has poor loot, etc. this change isnt going to make that zone any more used.
     
  6. luciferblack

    luciferblack Dalayan Elder

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    To be honest the ZEM thing should have a command ( /cmd zem sbadlands ) or something... then I can see what my ZEM is. I've tried to explore at various times on several toons. Once I recall getting to Darkwoods and I'm like "shit I'm down to 0% ZEM here" because at some point on that toon I already left some other zone to go there. It sucks when I get a group and pick a zone to hang out in not knowing whether I burned up my bonus already. If the command could tell the normal ZEM as well as the new area bonus for player, that would be cool and might help people go check out other places.

    I agree with the no negatives either. Just shift the bonus and the time it's in effect upward so it encompasses 75%-0%. JarL has a good point about new players seeing a negative xp modifier and being turned off by it... For instance the newbie town zones should be a flat 0% mod instead of the negative (North Freeport comes to mind).

    I think the people who mention crappy loot (plaguelands) or annoying treks (undercaverns light blue see invis mobs) are also spot-on with their assessment of why people don't xp in certain zones.
     
  7. donfolstar3

    donfolstar3 Dalayan Master

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    This.

    As for the stated purpose, Blessed Zones can already be used to encourage exploring. If a zone is so awful that a 50% bonus does not entice people then probably time for some work.

    Further, why punish somebody if all they want to do is log onto SoD and grind in zoneX all day every day? Maybe someone is at a point in their life where killing rats in DN is all that brings them joy. Maybe they have been grinding away in Elds for weeks but have shit luck with getting medals and have had it up to here (eyebrowish?) and the xp penalty is just making their life that much worse. Maybe.
     
    Gargate likes this.
  8. Dimmi

    Dimmi Dalayan Elder

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    You bring up an interesting point. I'll preface with a boring anecdote, then roll into an amazing idea you just inspired.

    Boring anecdote: When I started on SoD I picked a rogue for my 1st toon and had never played any MMO ever ever ever other than Runescape. I vividly remember pulling the little single gnoll outside blackburrow, praying I'd win, then sitting to regen my hp to full and pulling him again because I had no idea what I was doing. tl;dr: I am a complete noob =(

    Amazing Idea: Open up a section of the forums (and direct players to said section in The Dream) for a mentorship program. Veteran players can post if they are accepting mentees along with their various areas of expertise (knights, tanks, priests, int casters, monks, warriors, wizards, min/maxing DPS, trolling forums, getting jailed *this one's for you Fidel*, farming plat, whatever) and new players can befriend and get to know veteran players.

    The potential upside:
    This would make integration into a very clique-ish playerbase (hopefully) less painful and intimidating, and make learning the ropes on a game where many of the basic functions and features are more like easter eggs than intuitive obviousalities (made a new word!) much easier. It would hopefully also take some of the abrasive out of the prima facia (used an old word!) introduction to the community.

    The potential downside:
    It could not work at all. Like at all. It could also (maybe idk, I'm just spitballin here now) lead to streamlined tier jumping in some cases...but probably not tbh. Unless people just really hit it off and are really cool and lucky with their SoD hook-up, in which case I'm not sure it's BAD because we're all here to slay dragons for fun with a group of friends. It's staying on the downside list though because of traditional staff intent.

    The potential really shitty side:
    This could very very easily lead to occassional trolls by veteran players making new accounts to tease other veteran players they don't like. Also some new people can be flat out annoying as balls to an old salt and those old salts could be puting themselves out there for some pretty gnarly inbox spamming, tell spamming, and angry new people in /ooc when they finally blow off their annoying mentee.


    tl;dr: If new people didn't have contact with veteran players, 90% of them would quit before level 30, and it would be nice to have an official and easily-located way to mesh the new and old blood.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  9. RobbyBenson24

    RobbyBenson24 Dalayan Elder

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    Would it be possible to code New Area Bonuses this way.

    1. Go into BQ and exp all day. uh oh, i have old area bonus.
    2. Go to zone 2 and get xp bonus down to 0%
    3. Go to zone 3 and get xp bonus down to 0%
    4. Repeat as many times as devs see fit
    5. Go back to BQ and exp bonus is reset!

    Seems like this might get people to cycle through (as many as devs see fit) exp zones.
     
  10. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

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    That's already how it works. That's already the point.
     
  11. Mikaruge

    Mikaruge Dalayan Beginner

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    That's how you guys would like it to work, but the way it actually works is:

    1. Go into BQ and exp all day. uh oh, i have old area bonus.
    2. Go to Kaesora and get xp bonus down to 0%
    3. Go back to BQ and xp in spite of 0% bonus because most other zones are bad.
    4. Repeat until done with tomes

    There are a lot of zones that just aren't really used for xp because either the layout is bad, the respawn timers are bad, the camps are bad, the money is bad, or even with a new area bonus it's still not as much xp/hour as kaesora/bq/citadel with an old area penalty.

    Adjustments of all the unused old xp zones really should be looked at. I appreciate Woldaff's proposal, and it's a great incentive bonus as written, but I feel in practice it won't really work out to cause any change.
     
  12. Obae

    Obae Dalayan Beginner

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    I support this. I would like them removed all together. I was pretty content that they didn't matter on tomes.

    Does someone actually have the milestone numbers as to when they change each step and reset as a whole?
     
  13. Woogie526

    Woogie526 Dalayan Beginner

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    what if just a flat exp bonus on all cobtent. no new area at all.

    then as suggested use bleesed zones to try and cause zones to be used.

    calculate the median bonus you want from new area system and apply that all the time.

    OR

    make new area bonuses reset daily or weekly or monthly whatever you see fit regardless of how much playtime. then hardcore and casual players could enjoy it. would feel like a'bonus'.
     
  14. Titanas

    Titanas Dalayan Elder

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    AA's seem to move fast enough on their own. I think they are at a good pace for new players. What about proposed exp adjust work for tome exp only?

    From 75% exp bonus to -50% exp for old area.

    As far as Citadel goes I really think there should be a Bastion of Thunder type zone for higher tiered toons. Zone mobs that are basically raid trash with a 30 min re-spawn
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  15. Shouki

    Shouki Dalayan Adventurer

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    Warning: I don't know the first thing about how this game is coded so I can only guess on how to help.

    My equation goes something like FUN = Content Quality*(EXP + LOOT). Content Quality is likely the hardest to adjust due to coding requirements. I infer that EXP is easiest to modify plus is highly visible. LOOT is also visible, but I don't know how hard to modify.

    LOOT is both pure cash and drops.

    1) Pure cash is probably least visible since it is usually random amounts that would take time to parse the difference.
    2) Tradeskill drops are pretty visible, they stack up in your inventory and vendor/resell for more known prices, and also makes more available to the tradeskill economy. Is that a good thing or not?
    3) World drop system, is this is an opportunity for improvement code wise? I haven't played much since this was implemented so my knowledge of it is limited.
    4) Zone drops rates. This affects the overall cash/drop rate. This could be interesting depending on codability. Can mobs, including rares, drop an extra item when zones are less used? This can be both comman and rare drops. Like a 24hr or more rolling rate to average out high and low playtimes.
    5) Spawn rates . Trash spawn rates can modify xp/loot/difficulty of a zone. Boss spawn rates modify mostly loot rates and fun of finding rare stuff.
    (Going to stop here, I keep going back and forth between work and I'm losing my focus. Plus this is getting to be TLDR material)

    If incentivising EXP has shown not to be enough of a carrot, how about the other factors? Buying stuff to improve characters is up there with the urge to XP (better gear improves XP rate too, especially early on in a characters career). Cash sinks can also be rejiggered from time to time to increase the outflows too.
     
  16. donfolstar3

    donfolstar3 Dalayan Master

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    Since we're talking xp bonuses what about giving a small (5%?) bonus to full groups? That would offer an incentive to bring-a-newb-to-work, which would let all those Account Drive people have a better chance of seeing more zones, especially the ones that have 2 characters, one person, in them frequently.

    Giving any kind of bonus to tome xp only is lame and shortsighted. If anything it should be the opposite. The faster people AA the sooner they are more useful to the established tome-ing community. Inversely, the faster people tome the faster they have nothing to look forward to.

    IDEA!!
    Looking at the proposed scale of +75% to -50% would it be possible to code it so that once you drop to +50% you never go above that bonus again in that zone? In other words you would be treated to a 25% extra bonus the first time you visit a zone (ideally for a fairly hefty chunk of xp) that you can never get back again. If the goal is to incentivize exploring new zones then this would definitely get some people to try out every single xp zone they can instead of just waiting longer to rotate between the same X zones.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  17. Tarutao

    Tarutao Administrator

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    In other words, it works exactly as I stated, and this is how you choose to operate under the system as the system itself functions. The proposed adjustments to the new area bonus numbers are intended to greater incentivize spreading that exp-grinding time out to more zones by giving greater initial bonuses for even brief time spent in other zones and higher penalties in the case you spend most of your time in a single zone.

    What I'm seeing in this thread are two types of comments: (1) no numbers can ever be decreased ever or I am mad (2) you should do something like the current system but different to make it work. Comments of type (1) aren't helpful to this discussion, and comments of type (2) suggest to me that the proposed changes are a step toward achieving the desired goal towards exp that will make most people that don't refuse to exp-grind in multiple zones happy by giving an overall increase in experience and decrease in monotony. Admittedly, the specifics of the numbers will probably need further tweaking, but the changes are in the right direction.
     
  18. Dinadass

    Dinadass Dalayan Pious Diety

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    Well, like I said earlier, in an ideal world every zone would be rewarding enough in it's own right to attract groups and prevent a small handful of zones from being farmed the vast majority of the time. But doing that would take a ton of work from the devs, so using a blanket exp bonus system is the best way to encourage it here and now. Hopefully certain zones will still get adjusted to be more rewarding when there is time to do so.
     
  19. Arcen

    Arcen Dalayan Beginner

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    why not have a dynamic bonus -25% through 25% based on total usage in the past 7 rolling days of manhours used.? e.g. BQ had 300 man hours usage (6 toons * 50 hours). Kedge keep had 2 hours used (2 box for 1 hour). repeat for all 65 xp zones. Spread the bonus equally so the least used zones have a +25% bonus and most used zones receive -25%. Recalculate every hour.

    Then rejigger the flat xp bonus into 2 seperate bonuses, tangibles and difficulty.

    Tangible bonus is based on how much avg vendorable plat is taken out of the zone in a given hour of use. Subtract some if the zone is heavily farmed for quest/nodrop pieces. But again spread evenly. -25% through +25%.

    Difficulty bonus: based on average # of hp + avg # of mana with a multplier based on number of kills/hour.
     
  20. Ulandx

    Ulandx Dalayan Elder

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    Excuse me,but most seem to say they dont care for the xp bonus at all,other factors are more
    important like loot,accessibility,annoyances( like underwater fighting,visibility,etc.),respawn rate of mobs and so on.
    Also (re)-read Serinar16's post on page 1 he has some very good points.

    Generally spoken,completly remove the zone modifiers,use blessed zones mechanism if you want
    certain zones to be used more.Use the time saved to revamp old(er) zones.

    Latest experience I had was leveling my Wizard from 30 to 39 in E-Badlands,I dunno how ~8
    hours spent there justifies a -10% xp malus at the end.Also this is a typical example why the
    modifier effects nothing,sitting at the Gnoll camp near the HL zone line exactly between 2 spawns and in absoluty safety is simply to good to say no to,idc if I get 2k or 3k xp there per mob.
    Ahhh,also the bandit camp in NBL is a nice example,absolute safe,fast repops,and most importantly faction loot there for the NP gate clicky - who cares for 500 xp more or less?!
     

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