What do we really mean by risk vs. reward?

Feedback, bugs, and general gameplay related discussion.
Gurns
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What do we really mean by risk vs. reward?

Postby Gurns » Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:37 pm

I keep reading posts talking about "risk vs. reward". That phrase has always bothered me, when talking about the mud.

For one thing, there's really no risk anymore.

There used to be a real risk that corpses couldn't be recovered. That they'd rot, leaving equip on the ground, and then the mud would crash. And that gear was gone forever. When was the last time that happened?

There used to be a real risk on ress. You might lose a CON point. That risk is gone. There used to be a risk of losing hps if you died and lost level. That risk is gone. And so on.

So, with no risk, if things were strictly risk vs. reward, all gear should have about the same stats.

So what people are talking about is not really risk, but time vs. reward. Time in the zone, and time spent leveling up to be able to successfully finish the zone.

But what is a mud? It's a game. Unless someone is paying you to play it (in which case, can I have your job?) or there's some other extrinsic reason to play (your boss plays, and you're sucking up), you're playing it to have fun. There's no other reason to play a game, no other reward. (I'm counting the thrill of victory as being part of the fun, so "fun" includes the competitive aspect.)

So "having fun" is the reward. The more time you spend playing, the more fun you've had, the more reward you've gotten.

By that argument, then, the stuff that's harder to get should have worse stats. You're already had all that additional fun playing all those hours, so the reward of "good stats" shouldn't need to be as large.

Since I rather doubt people would agree with that, what is it we're really talking about?

It's not "risk vs. reward". It's not even "time vs. reward". It's "time vs. fun". What people are really saying is that the fun of playing plus the fun of getting gear should balance out the time required.

Putting it in these terms will be more useful than continuing to talk about "risk vs. reward". The people who say the gear isn't good enough, the xp isn't good enough, or whatever... What they're really saying is that they didn't have enough fun for the time they spent doing it, whether that be the fun from the sheer joy of battle, exploration, challenge, victory, or whatever, or the fun from getting and having a fancy item or more xp.

The only reason I can see to talk about "risks" and "rewards", really, is for roleplay reasons. To view any of this as "risk", you have to pretend to be your character, where your death might matter. Where you're wary, maybe even afraid, of fighting a dragon. To view any of this as a "reward", you have to pretend to be your character, where "gold" and "gear" are all tangible and valuable. In other words, it's your character, in character, who is evaluating risk vs. reward. Fighting a dragon isn't fun, it's a serious, dangerous business. There's the thrill of victory, if you win, there's the adrenaline rush during the fight itself. But if you don't have some reason to do it, some reward, whether it be loot or the favor of your god or whatever, then you would never, ever bother with it.

But that's only if you're into RP. If the mud is just a game, like any of a million other games, then the real comparison we're talking about is time vs. fun.
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Postby Thilindel » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:30 am

It's effort vs. reward. When you spend hours and hours in a zone like magma, it's pointless to try to replace wording 'risk' with 'effort'.
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Postby Lathander » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:22 am

Personally, I think Gurns has a good point. There is not enough risk.
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Postby Gormal » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:26 am

Remember before illusionists when cave city was the end all of dangerous zones?
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:21 am

You're overthinking the question. When it comes down to it, these ones and zeros have no real bearing on actual events, so technically there isn't any risk OR reward, and everything is a crapshoot.

But that's not satisfying. You can't design games around the idea that everything is pointless... why bother? So you invent consequences. However, there are really only two kinds of consequences you can inflict on a player. The first is some kind of permanent effect, detrimental and unrepairable. The other is a timesink, either a loss of exp/wealth or a finite-duration penalty to the character's capability that slows his ability to progress.

Permanent consequences, no matter how trivial, stack up on a player who plays the same character for a long period of time. One point of con loss for a failed ress isn't serious, by itself. But over months and years of play, those individual points add up to irreversible damage. Eventually, given enough time and enough failed resses, any character can be rendered impotent. In a game like Toril where characters are played for a long period of time, permanent consequences lead to a situation where the player is forced to decide whether to play at a big disadvantage or scrap his character and start over.

But timesinks... who cares about timesinks, really? Losing 4% of a level after a successful ress isn't much of a penalty. Even the loss of a moderately powerful item isn't crippling to a player whose bags are overflowing with wealth. In the end, timesinks aren't much of a risk.

So what do you do to add risk to a game like this?
- Ragorn
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Corth: Go ask out a chick that doesn't wiggle her poon in people's faces for a living.
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Postby Thilindel » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:31 am

Hmm, I don't see using hours of one's life in a zone with marginal eq, despite much frustration and utter chaos (such as magma) as inconsequential. The game has to yield enjoyment. To stick with Magma as the example - Who finds it enjoyable to dump so much time and responsibility, assuming nobody has to leave for work, friends, loved ones, other RL etc's...and at the end, get eq that's 2nd to lots of other zones. I'm not trying to pick on magma, but it's the only one that comes to mind about LONG time and effort, but everybody grumbles at the end.

Kudos to zonewriters, cuz I sure the hell couldn't balance anything like that.
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Postby Areandon » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:56 am

When I was still in university time wasn't valuable. I had more than enough of it to play games, and get drunk and chase women after. Nowadays my spare time is valuable, I work 60-80 hours a week, I have a wife that want attention, and I have friends that I like to talk to as well. That means I only have a couple of hours a week left to play this game.
In that context having to get 4% xp back (1 hour of xp) is a severe penalty. Having to redo a quest which has taken me a year because my eq got zapped is simply too much.

Think of it this way. An hour of my spare time costs about $200. Doing magma for 7 hours would cost me $1.400. In that time, I want to have as much fun as possible. A bit of risk, such as losing bids or xp, only enhances the fun, but if the risk is losing the next 2 months of spare time because I have to redo a quest or do a lot of xp, I'd be better off getting my weekly dose of fun elsewhere.
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Postby Corth » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:06 pm

A lot of us can relate to what Areandon describes..

As Ragorn notes, the game has changed since previous incarnations to remove permanent risk (con loss, loss of corpses, etc). I believe this narrow change is indicative of a broader tendency by the powers that be to accomodate people like Areandon and myself who can no longer sit around mudding all day as we once did in college. As a group, the players and gods have made an unconscious decision to keep the place interesting for our friends (who play two hours a week), instead of making the place hospitable for 'power gamers' who are in college now and have lots of cheap time. Its a valid decision, and simply means that our mud is mature and not as inclined to grow as it has in the past.

Corth
Having said all that, the situation has been handled, so this thread is pretty much at an end. -Kossuth

Goddamned slippery mage.
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:20 pm

Interestingly, I think the reduction in penalties has catered to both casual gamers and powergamers alike.

The added safety concerning corpse rot is certainly a bone thrown to those who are on a limited time budget. For those who are relatively new to the game, player corpses used to rot after 2-3 hours, unless preserved. So if you spanked deep in a zone, you had to scramble to get your corpse out immediately. This led to a lot of 2am spanks that turned into 4am corpse recoveries... and yeah, when we all in college, that wasn't much of a big deal. You just slept through class the next morning and had a great story to tell :) Can't do that anymore.

But the removal of con loss is a change meant to benefit the hardcore gamers, the ones who are out there dying and ressing every day. To the casual gamer who plays a couple hours a week, con drain wouldn't really impact their character very much at all. But to someone who zones every day, those little con drains add up to something very big and real, and after a couple years of constant ressing, you find yourself having to add more and more +con gear just to keep from losing hit points.

So I wouldn't say that the game has "wussified" or gone soft on us... I think risk has been removed in a variety of situations, to help gamers of all kinds.
- Ragorn
Shar: Leave the moaning to the people who have real issues to moan about like rangers or newbies.
Corth: Go ask out a chick that doesn't wiggle her poon in people's faces for a living.
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Postby Lilira » Mon Nov 14, 2005 3:05 pm

I agree heartily with Gurns on this one.

After taking 10 years (Yes I know I've mentioned this before) to get ONE level 50 character, I now have 1 level 50 character, one 47/48th (Eya obviously by the yo-yo) and one 47th level ench. And I'm actually in the minority. How many people have multiple level 50s? Lately it seems as though the game has turned into one big XP grind with everyone having several high level characters that get swapped out in zone groups and every one of them having a set of uber gear. So basically what happens?

Incoming ICQ: "Hey Heather.. I'm running SPOB tonight, you want to come?"

"Sure, who ya need?"

"Uhhh.. Bring the bard."

*Get into group, short a voker. Look at the who list, three 48-50 vokers on, two of which are already in group, third is unknown and a bard who is the alt of someone well known.*

"Ya know.. grab Eya for vokerage, I'm gonna ask So and So to come bard."

Yes I'm aware that I de-railed a little. Follow with me.

By doing this, we've removed the newbie factor, which as everyone knows can add to the chaos of a difficult zone.

Also. If we die, we now have 18 hours of rl time to grab our carcasses as long as nothing is moved, noone scries it etc. Don't get me wrong, that has come in handy in some of the huge spanks like a certain BC swat that occurred some time back.

Don't change this please!

For times where the corpses are going to be in a tight spot for longer than this, we have people with interesting past-times like Sotana who love to strip and jump into the terrasque to make sure corpses are pressed like mad. In instances where REALLY bad things happen, we have gods that will pres for us. (I do think god presses should have a two week limit so people will quit leaving their corpses lying around for a year... *halo*)

Con drain. Bring it back! Make it so we all have to get fully dressed and STILL have a chance to get fubared. Yeah, so Lilira will have a 20 con in no time, but HEY, that's adding some risk back into the game. BUT, let’s do this. Add a quest that is a real pain in the butt (NO DRAGONS PLEASE!) that will get you 10 con points back. Not sure how the coding would work, but make it so you can only do the quest if you have suffered from con notch drain, not so you can roll a character with crappy con and do the quest to make up for it.

EQ vape... make it happen more often. Protect the high-end quest items and Tia stuff by coding them !vape, because frankly the Tia items are too special and the quest items WAY too precious (time wise and the darn dragon parts again...) and let the rest rip. Oh damn, there went my silver octopus earring.. ARGH.. ah well I can get a new one I guess next time I go to Izans. It sucks but its not like it is THAT hard to replace. BTW, in no way am I suggesting that anything questable should be !vape. Maybe just stuff that requires dragon scales/heart or beholder parts. Dragons really are a pita and no one likes to play with them unless they absolutely have to, so the rewards should definitely be safe IMO.

As for XP, I hate doing it. I hate loathe and despise doing XP, especially in trains. There have been a couple of occasions I really enjoyed doing it, and both of those were times we did XP and managed to do it in an RP manner, in a non-standard XP zone, which frankly isn't to be expected often because simply put, not many on the mud try to RP. Otherwise XP is just a huge grinding waste of time, because simply put, there is no real need for doing it once you hit 50th and max skills. With the addition of maxing your skills and keeping them maxed even against level loss, I could drop to 48th as Lilira yet all my music skills are still maxed at 99.

My fave XP zone? Believe it or not, Izans, especially the entry fight. To this day I still get a rush when we jump into the entry fight and there's three patrols sitting there. Hot DAMN is that fun! Even more so when ALLL the boys and girls come jump into the fun. I think that was the fastest we've ever done that zone.

Bring back food/drink requirements. If you don't eat or drink, stop regenning.. fix it so you can't mem, make it mean something again!

If your time is restricted (yeah I spend alot of time online, but with two kids not as much is really at keys as most people think, I have an AFK bell that tells me if someone is talking to me) choose wisely. I won't go to the huge zones like Magma, BC, or full IC2 and its not because I'm not invited. Its because its not fair to the zone leaders when my kids are awake and running around I might have to get called away unexpectedly, and sometimes I don't even have time to hit AFK, though I try REALLY hard to at least send the leader a tell. Can I babble that sentence on longer? I thought not.

Yeah, the odd case of people loosing all their gear happens. When it does, how many people are there to try and help them recoup the losses? *laugh* When Sotana got turned into a concubine, a ton of people were there to loan her some gear until she got her own back. I think her comment was something to the effect of "Holy C#@&! The loaner gear is better than my normal set!" I chuckled at the time, but this is so true! How many of us have 10 sets of gear floating around? I was sternly telling myself I would force my two mages to share gear. Didn't happen long, and mostly because my mages are of differing alignments. Yes it makes a difference.

As for gear/zone rewards. Answer me this one question…

Why do people zone?

If it’s purely for EQ, I can understand the gripes about reward in the high-end zones, but most of the people doing these already have their “perfect” sets of gear, or three or four of them actually. What’s the point of going then? To have fun? For the challenge? To PLAY A GAME?!?
Because when you come down to it, that’s all this is, a game. It’s a little more realistic and important to many because it is also a community, but when push comes to shove, it’s a game. Sure with games like BG and IWD or NWN you can hit save and walk away. There’s still the risk of death. If you could walk in and mow through everything there, would it be fun? Or would you do what I’ve done and shove them in the drawer somewhere to pull out if the mud breaks for a while?

Yes there should be challenge. Yes there should be risk. For a lot of people, there isn’t either anymore. I almost think it’s because most of the little stuff that people find annoying and the imms removed actually fit together into a larger puzzle that made the game a smidge more challenging.

You have to be willing to loose something to keep on gaining, and frankly there isn’t much to loose anymore.

/end rant
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Postby Yayaril » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:21 pm

8)

I have as much free time now as I did in college. Why would anyone want to work 60-80 hours a week?
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Postby Hsoj » Mon Nov 14, 2005 4:28 pm

$$$
-==~ Tafah Auvry'ar'lyl | Fatah Fire Bath ~==-
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Postby Dalar » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:19 pm

There always has and always will be risk. In Sojourn, the risk was the experience you lost, the equipment you could potentially lose, and con loss from resses. Let's look at all three of these in today's scheme.

1) Experience you lost is essentially the same. In Sojourn I could exp pretty fast due to monks doing tower exp (when it was actually good), wall elites, or lighthouse elites. No real change here, don't need to discuss this.

2) Equipment loss was never that big of a problem. The only time I remember significant equipment loss in Sojourn is a roots spank which almost happened again earlier this wipe. Some zones can simulate this kind of ownage, like wiping deep in Hulburg/BC (Look, !gate zones!). If you want more equipment loss risks, remove sneak/hide crap off rogues and remove illusionists/druids nontrack stuff.

3) Con losses from res. Only risk here is having to make a new character depending on what class you are.

Also, let's not forget how much easier this game is due to "sorcerer specializations" in the form of enchanter/invoker. Same risk to me if you actually do the "hard" zones rather than the common zones like seelie/spob/izan. I can just exp in DS.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.
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Postby Lahgen » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:20 pm

Another way to look at it is:

Is there any time where a player should have to risk near-certain permanent loss?
Kesena OOC: 'i wish my daddy bought me power tools'
Dorgh group-says 'damn, even with Cofen helping Mori, they STILL can't kill someone
Hekanut says 'I know level doesn't matter much, but most won't take seriously if a level 2 claims to be the best thing before, during, and after sliced bread.'

Rather than seeing "subpar race/class," see "challenge."
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Postby Gurns » Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:56 am

Ragorn wrote:When it comes down to it, these ones and zeros have no real bearing on actual events, so technically there isn't any risk OR reward

Exactly. Perhaps the best reason why "risk vs. reward" isn't a useful concept for a game. And why "time vs fun" is more useful.

It's not the "risk" of losing your xp, your corpse, your gear that's problematic. It's the time required to get it back. The time, presumably, when you aren't having fun. Because if you were having fun, it wouldn't matter. You'd enjoy the time spent getting it back.
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Postby Dalar » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:56 am

According to that logic, then the rewards should increase in stats as the zone is done over and over again. Why? I'm willing to bet that people will find the 50th SPOB run less fun than the 1st one.

Also, I believe I'm entitled to a full set of artifacts because I spend 0 time playing and had 0 fun. Please don't quit your day job and become a MMO developer.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Postby Dalar » Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:07 am

Gurns wrote:
Ragorn wrote:When it comes down to it, these ones and zeros have no real bearing on actual events, so technically there isn't any risk OR reward

Exactly. Perhaps the best reason why "risk vs. reward" isn't a useful concept for a game. And why "time vs fun" is more useful.

It's not the "risk" of losing your xp, your corpse, your gear that's problematic. It's the time required to get it back. The time, presumably, when you aren't having fun. Because if you were having fun, it wouldn't matter. You'd enjoy the time spent getting it back.


Also, go gambling in Vegas.

Let's say you had a job of banging hot chicks (if your name is Gormal, then korean chicks who look like guys) for 500 bucks an hour. You make a bet of $500,000 and lose. Trust me, it still matters if you lose 500k.

It still matters if you lose exp or lose equipment. Doing exp could be the most fun thing in the world, but if you are at lvl 50.09 and are going into Tiamat you have to get buffer exp. Doing exp could be fun, but you run into the problem of being able to do enough to prep for the next scheduled run. Ask people when do they have more fun? When they finish a zone in record time, not when the prolong the zone by wiping or having retarded bards and old school rangers who never play.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'
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Postby Lilira » Tue Nov 15, 2005 2:32 pm

Congrats Dalar!!!

You managed to loose all credibility on this thread by "flicking your bic".

Go turn your flames on someone who deserves them instead of being insulting to people who are making constructive additions to the thread. Even if you don't think they're constructive, at least they're keeping it civil and not being rude to people.

*****

As to the whole "Having fun while XPing.." If I'm having to XP my butt off to reach a 'respectable level' so a zone leader will even consider taking me to a zone, then yeah, I want to have fun with it. Why? Cus its something that will consume my time for the next 3 or 4 months. Even longer if you DON'T have a ton of time to play. Less if you can stomach the whole nothing but XP 24 hours a day.

Hence my time vs. reward... the reward is the enjoyment I receive while playing the game. Why haven't I disappeared with many of the others who have flocked to the whole online-graphics thing??

Because its even more boring to XP there than it is on the mud. I also receive my "time reward" through RP, of which there is pitifully little that I've seen on graphics, even on a so-called RP server.

I play around with EQII, so what? I'll easily go a week w/o touching it and don't feel at all bad, well except for the fact that I still have to PAY for that week... But its not nearly the community that Torilmud is (For free no less). I play EQII to group with my husband. He plays EQII because he has been disappointed by alot of the attitudes of people on Toril. I have been fortunate in that for the most part, I haven't had that problem. Again another reward... a sense of community and friendship with several people on this mud.

Guess what? That's what keeps some of these people who don't play anymore poking their heads in to check on us, and continue to comment on the BBS. Sound familiar?

Heck... some friendships I've made on this mud have translated into life-long friends irl. Anyone remember Tayros? Gort??? We still keep in touch and talk on a regular basis.

My apologies if I hijacked the thread, though I like to think it has some basis on what was started here.

Lilira
Last edited by Lilira on Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Gurns » Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:00 pm

Ooo, Dartan is giving me the opportunity to talk about my own ideas more!

Dalar wrote:According to that logic, then the rewards should increase in stats as the zone is done over and over again. Why? I'm willing to bet that people will find the 50th SPOB run less fun than the 1st one.


That is a logical conclusion, predicated on a lot of assumptions. Some of those assumptions are:

1. Doing the same zone numerous times gets less fun.
2. Getting and having gear with better stats is more fun.
3. Although you spend less time in a zone after you've done it many times, eventually the rate at which fun declines is faster than the rate at which time in zone declines. (Plus time spent recovering from a zone. If you die several times, and have to recover that xp, and doing xp isn't fun, that all has to be worked in.)

I think most mudders would agree with all those.

But there's at least two more assumptions to get to that conclusion, which prevents something like this from being implemented:

4. The imms think repetition should be encouraged, and so they actively mess with the normal "time vs. fun" trends in doing a zone, by rewarding repetition.
5. Better gear can always make up for a boring time in a zone.

The first would be interesting to see, tough to implement, and would probably really screw up game balance, so I can't imagine it being done.

More importantly, though, I strongly disagree with the latter. If the game is boring, giving me better gear, even an artifact, isn't going to make it less boring, long-term. Sure, I'll enjoy being more powerful for a little while. Then I'm bored again, and what are you going to do? Give me another artifact? Keep giving them to me, until I can solo anything on the mud?

I think most mudders would agree that part of the fun of the game is the challenge. There are differences of opinion about just how challenging the mud should be, but if there's 0 challenge then, very quickly, there's 0 fun.

Dalar wrote:I believe I'm entitled to a full set of artifacts because I spend 0 time playing and had 0 fun.

Your point escapes me.

The best game in the world would provide near-infinite fun every second you played it. Nothing can do that. But looking at this game, comparing different parts of the game to each other, and comparing it to different games, one can see where there's too much time spent and not enough fun had.

This assessment can be done from the imm perspective: Where are the time sinks, and what purpose do they serve? I personally believe that some time sinks serve a useful purpose by increasing the challenge of the game. I figure the imms think that way too, since they've left some in. Ress effects, for instance, give one a reason, a challenge to avoid dying (provided one thinks sitting around in ress effect is boring). Is the increase in challenge, which makes it more fun to succeed, balanced by the boredom of the time sink, which means less fun during the inevitable failures? (Some failure is inevitable, unless there is no challenge.)

The assessment can also be done from the player's perspective, and certainly players do this. Where do I have fun? What's worth my time doing?

Dalar wrote:Doing exp could be fun, but you run into the problem of being able to do enough to prep for the next scheduled run. Ask people when do they have more fun? When they finish a zone in record time, not when the prolong the zone

You are making my point. You are saying that the time vs. fun ratio of doing xp is less than the time vs. fun ratio of rolling a zone. My main point was that this is the way to assess things, by using time vs. fun. The corollary was that if xp was as much fun as zoning, then there's no "problem" of "prepping for another run", because you're still having fun.

Dalar wrote:Let's say you had a job of banging hot chicks for 500 bucks an hour.

There are some other corollaries to the point, and I'd love to discuss this more, but I've got to get back to work.
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Postby Dalar » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:48 pm

gurns wrote:4. The imms think repetition should be encouraged, and so they actively mess with the normal "time vs. fun" trends in doing a zone, by rewarding repetition.
5. Better gear can always make up for a boring time in a zone.


4. Repetition is a must in every MMO. You need to keep the players busy in order to buy yourself time to create new content. Without new content, you will probably lose your playerbase. Think of WoW, Sojourn3 etc.

5. Better gear always makes up for a boring time in a zone. You assume that by giving better gear, people will endure the most boring and stupid tasks. This is very true. Why doesn't anyone want to do vault? Rewards suck now. Why doesn't anyone do KT? If they don't know how to, why doesn't anyone try to actively search it out? Because the reward is a worthless badge and a board where only 5 different groups have ever posted on.


Gurns wrote:Dalar wrote:
Doing exp could be fun, but you run into the problem of being able to do enough to prep for the next scheduled run. Ask people when do they have more fun? When they finish a zone in record time, not when the prolong the zone

You are making my point. You are saying that the time vs. fun ratio of doing xp is less than the time vs. fun ratio of rolling a zone. My main point was that this is the way to assess things, by using time vs. fun. The corollary was that if xp was as much fun as zoning, then there's no "problem" of "prepping for another run", because you're still having fun.

No, I'm saying that to have more fun in a zone, you bulldoze it as quickly as possible. Why is that more fun? Because you get the same rewards and can go off to do another zone or possibly go to bed earlier. The problem in my above statement is that you need to prepare for a zone to zone.
Last edited by Dalar on Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Postby Hsoj » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:54 pm

There's a board to post on?! Hell yeah, leading KT, whatever that is, this evening!!!
-==~ Tafah Auvry'ar'lyl | Fatah Fire Bath ~==-
Areandon
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Postby Areandon » Tue Nov 15, 2005 5:59 pm

Gurns,

I agree more with your second post than with your first one. I think that what separates us is the definition of challenge and maybe fun.

To you a challenge might be the risk of losing things. To me a challenge is solving quests, or exploring, or trying to beat a zone and even to gain new eq. Sure, risk can add to the fun, as long as the risk is within limits.

The problem with some of the "lost risks" is that they result in repetative things, xp or killing mobs over and over again, trying to reacquire a piece of eq, or even relevelling a character. These things are simply not fun. And I simply refuse to do things that are not fun, for hours and hours in my spare time.

For some reason everybody assumes all characters have tons of eq, zone every day. Sure a lot of people have multiple alts, but often that's because levelling alts is about the only thing that can be done with 1 hour a day playing. In other words for the me the current risk is more than enough.
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Postby Dalar » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:03 pm

Gurns wrote:It's not "risk vs. reward". It's not even "time vs. reward". It's "time vs. fun". What people are really saying is that the fun of playing plus the fun of getting gear should balance out the time required.

Putting it in these terms will be more useful than continuing to talk about "risk vs. reward". The people who say the gear isn't good enough, the xp isn't good enough, or whatever... What they're really saying is that they didn't have enough fun for the time they spent doing it, whether that be the fun from the sheer joy of battle, exploration, challenge, victory, or whatever, or the fun from getting and having a fancy item or more xp.


Risks determines time. This is why there's a risk versus X statement. Risk is a variable because Risk/skill = time. High risk + High skill < High risk + Low skill.

Rewards are equipment. Why is that considered fun? Because MMOs are attractive to players because they have some sort of character progression. The basis of an MMO is to progress your character. This is the "fun" in the game. Remove character progression and I can guarantee that people will have alot less "fun". This is why reward is being compared to risk. Rewards lead to fun. This is why people never do KT or Hulburg or Magma because the rewards aren't good.

If the immortals used time vs. fun to do the zone, things wouldn't work.

Let's play the "what if" game.

Tons of time, fun, great rewards = everyone
Tons of time, fun, no rewards = 0 players
Tons of time, no fun, great rewards = everyone
Tons of time, no fun, no rewards = 0 players.
Low time, fun, great rewards = everyone
Low time, fun, no rewards = Some (KT)
Low time, no fun, great rewards = everyone
Low time, no fun, no rewards = nobody
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'
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Postby Botef » Tue Nov 15, 2005 7:15 pm

I liked KT, and tried many many times to get people to do it for fun...But most people don't just play for fun, they play to develop their characters which in this game is almost 100% eq gathering. KT probably wont be done for a long time though with dragon changes as they are.

KT is a good example IMO of risk vs reward...with dragon changes there is a lot more risk and a lot more challenge, but the reward -which was minor to begin with- is no longer worth that investment and risk. My point, without the proper rewards no matter how much fun or challenging a zone is it will collect dust. I believe Productivity is key to keeping a players interest, and its hard to warrent multiple deaths to a corpse eating, eq swallowing dragon when the only productive result is a badge and your name on a board that most likely won't be seen by many.
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// Post Count +1
Gurns
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Postby Gurns » Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:47 pm

Areandon wrote:I think that what separates us is the definition of challenge and maybe fun.

Actually, I've tried to be very careful not to restrict a definition of "challenge" or "fun". :) I've used a few things as examples where most people would agree, but I agree with your general point completely: There are different types of challenges and different types of fun. Partly because there are different types of people, who enjoy different things.

Dartan has said that fun == rewards == gear:
Dalar wrote:Tons of time, fun, great rewards = everyone
Tons of time, fun, no rewards = 0 players

That is, the only reason to mud is to collect gear. Even if you're having fun, if there's no gear, it's not worth doing.

I, personally, would not agree with that statement. I like a nice "bright and shiny", but for me, the fun the mud provides is a lot more than that. And if I'm having fun, I don't notice the time or care about gear.

I have fun when I'm in a group that's working well together. Being part of a group of people fighting through a zone, skills meshing, challenges of the zone being met and overcome – for me, that's fun. Whether we get gear or not.

I enjoy parts of the social aspect of the game. Meeting nice, interesting people who I'd never meet in RL.

I enjoy the RP aspects of the mud. It's like doing improvisational community theater, which I'd never do in RL, btw. With some really great scenery and special effects suggested by the mud and provided by my imagination. The RP aspect of the game has also given me a reason to do some creative writing, which I enjoy having done. The writing itself is often a painful struggle, but having done it is.... Words fail me. ;)

I know some people like doing hard-coded quests. I don't, but they're clearly a "fun" part of the mud for some.

There are probably more types of fun in the game. And you could make up a similarly long list of challenges.

Areandon wrote:The problem with some of the "lost risks" is that they result in repetative things.... These things are simply not fun. And I simply refuse to do things that are not fun, for hours and hours in my spare time.

Exactly. So a good thing for the imms to look for, and that players should be suggesting, is ways to make the repetitive things more fun. Not eliminate them, because they (usually) serve a purpose in the game. This is and has always been a (somewhat) challenging mud. It's not one of those single-player games where you go powerup, chew through a bunch of little mobs, try the boss fight, and if you lose, you re-load at the last save point and go powerup some more. It's not one of those games where you find the cheat codes and become invincible. The game has a theme, it has rules, it has an integrity, and the stuff that gets repetitive is a part of that. Eliminating the repetitive stuff would greatly change the game. There may be ways to make some things less repetitive without turning this into a different game. But certainly it would be good if there's a way to make the repetitive things more fun.

One thing that's always mentioned as boring and repetitive is xp. Me, I think the game would be more fun if xp were more difficult. Where you can't do mindless xp at the high levels. Where high-level xp requires a group of more than two or three. Where the whole group must actively exercise their skills to get positive rather than negative xp. I don't think this can be done just by making mobs harder in simple ways – more hps, better defense, harder attacks. That's boring, just more of the same old thing. I think it can be done by making the mobs even more intelligent (which has indeed been done once in this incarnation of the mud). And by making mobs more random, so players don't always know what to expect. And by implementing a really harsh trophy system so that spending hours in any one zone becomes worthless.

On the surface, it sure doesn't sound like this would be more fun! Why do I think it would be? Because it means you have to group, which increases the potential fun from the social aspect of the game. Because you'd have to do your job well, which increases the satisfaction you get. Because if everyone is at the keys, not in another window, that will increase your interaction with other people. Because you'd end up seeing more of the mud than half a dozen zones, and exploring and learning where things are for questing is fun. Overall, it would work because it would mean that when you're doing xp, you'd actually be playing the game. After all, playing the game is fighting mobs, solving puzzles, and interacting with other people. That's what a mud is. And so presumably we all enjoy some of those things, or we wouldn't be mudding. The way xp is now, it's none of those. You're not interacting with others, you're not solving puzzles or exploring or similar things, and you're not even really fighting mobs because you're letting zmud do it all.

I do recognize this way of increasing fun is from my perspective. Those who find fun in having no risk of losing level 50 wouldn't like it, because you could lose 50. Those who find fun only in gear wouldn't like it, because it would end up taking longer to get gear. Those who find fun primarily in the social aspects of the game probably wouldn't care one way or the other. So it's an idea that would provide fun for some, but take away fun from others. Perhaps not the best idea, then, for that reason.

There are other ways to increase fun, and not all require immortal action. I gotta say, the Olympics that Lilira, Ashiwi, and Sotana are putting on looks like a lot of fun! I was even tempted to dust off Gurns for it, but alas... *shrug* But I am having fun hearing about the events, and reading the poem contest entries. And having even more fun reading about the various stories that are developing around the Olympics! :)
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Postby Lathander » Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:53 pm

High lvl xp requirments also serve to give small groups of folks something to do until a zone group gets up and running. Quite honestly, I don't know how it goes now, but when I played alot, we'd do xp with 3 or 4 folks. Once people logged in and started asking to join or joined our xp group we'd say, what the heck, let's do some zones. Big xp groups = a zone group. XP creates a purpose for small groups of players to get together and have something to do. Also, xp groups of 3 to 5 folks at high lvl's provides an available pool of peple for leaders putting a zone group together to pick from. At least, this is how I have seen the pattern work.

Personally, I have never liked the "game" thing. Retail games are something you buy and play for a short time. How many of us play the same game we played a decade ago? Retail games also are designed to be quicker with some replayability, but not too much where you don't buy the next expansion or version. Games are designed for the player to finish or quit eventually.

I have always seen toril as a society. I agree with Gurns that we're doing a good job on the RP front as a staff. One reason we merged was because HL never really developed a Quest or RPG sphere. With that said, not every plays for RP or just RP, powergamers are people too.
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Postby Lilira » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:13 pm

Gurns wrote:I enjoy the RP aspects of the mud. It's like doing improvisational community theater, which I'd never do in RL, btw. With some really great scenery and special effects suggested by the mud and provided by my imagination. The RP aspect of the game has also given me a reason to do some creative writing, which I enjoy having done. The writing itself is often a painful struggle, but having done it is.... Words fail me. ;)


Words fail you?? *gasp* Never!!! *tease* That will happen the day I quit getting into trouble...

Gurns wrote:There are other ways to increase fun, and not all require immortal action. I gotta say, the Olympics that Lilira, Ashiwi, and Sotana are putting on looks like a lot of fun! I was even tempted to dust off Gurns for it, but alas... *shrug* But I am having fun hearing about the events, and reading the poem contest entries. And having even more fun reading about the various stories that are developing around the Olympics! :)


It really means alot to have you say that Gurns. Several of us who have been participating in the RPQ stuff have seen how much work you put into it in your spare time, so praise from you is high indeed.

As for the stories developing around them.. ROFLMAO.. when things cool off, logs will be posted I'm sure. We just require that deep breath and cooperative sigh of relief before we can spare the time to revel in the memories. *grin* Some day the log of Lilira being beered to death will make it to the surface. Kadislan slapping Ashiwi to wake her from the nightmare, Nonox perm blinding the bard (who waited til he was gone before dispelling herself... *halo*), my stupid Found me trigger that kept going off on poor Adriorn before I could turn it off... Sotana being a clever little snake who groups walked by 10 times (one of which was dragging me...) before someone realized a snake in the garden on smoke plane??? LOL All kinds of fun.
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Postby Lilira » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:17 pm

Lathander wrote: With that said, not every plays for RP or just RP, powergamers are people too.


We kinda tried to take that into account, and were attempting to use these games as incentive for some of them to try RP. Some of the pure RPers are finding out more about the game as well I hope. Heck.. I've learned alot from doing this. Some of the obscure stuff Ashiwi knows. Sheesh.
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Postby Areandon » Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:02 pm

Me, I think the game would be more fun if xp were more difficult. Where you can't do mindless xp at the high levels. Where high-level xp requires a group of more than two or three. Where the whole group must actively exercise their skills to get positive rather than negative xp.

This would be true if it was easy to find an xp group. Nowadays on off-peak hours it's virtually impossible to find an xp group. Due to lack of playerbase soloing has to be a viable playstyle, especially for xp. Obviously it's more fun to do xp with a group, and it's even more fun to do xp in a zone, but the mud doesn't encourage that. Zone xp isn't worth it most of the time.

What might be an idea is to yank all xp zones and make zone xp the only form of xp. To help off-peak players who can't get a group we could introduce quest zonelets where you do a short quests for xp that utilizes your skills.

For example a rogue would have to sneak into a building, steal some item and return it to his guildmaster for some xp, or an enchanter who has to acoompany an NPC to Mithril Hall and protect him from raiders. That would make xp a bit more fun, and it would require some skills to do.
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Postby Lilira » Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:45 pm

I'd love to see a zone where the end result was three or four books you turn in to a mob for a chunk of XP...

And you can't take the book out of zone, so no giving it to an alt.
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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 18, 2005 4:49 pm

I like the way Duris does it. People can get artifacts, uniques, and ioun stones that require "feeding". To feed them, you either have to pvp, or do zones and get epic points. To get the epic points, you touch a monolith at the end of a zone (a Toril equivalent would be in Izan's chest room).
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:14 pm

time vs fun, wtf kind of dumb concept is that.

the eq calcr is basically an "time/effort" vs reward calculation... which is to say a "risk" vs reward factor since death translates directly into time your always risking your previous effort (measured in hours of exp), but that typically has more to do with who you choose to follow with the exception of certain high end fights where your virtually guaranteed death (bel, dresk). maybe eq rewards should be based on who you follow.

and dalar is pretty much exactly right all the time, just some of you aren't wise enough to realize it. dalar lose all credibility rofl, when your chin reaches as high as the person who's shoulders he's standing on you can have an opinion.
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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:40 pm

kiryan wrote:and dalar is pretty much exactly right 99%, just some of you aren't wise enough to realize it. dalar lose all credibility rofl, when your chin reaches as high as the person who's shoulders he's standing on you can have an opinion.


fixed
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'

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