Object Change Overview

A forum for discussion of the object changes...one thread per item please. Read the first post!
Cyric
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Object Change Overview

Postby Cyric » Wed Nov 05, 2003 3:46 pm

As mentioned in the Development News, changes are going in tonite, and the plan is as follows:

1. I know that I can't please all of the people all of the time, but we are wildly out of balance at present, and we have to do this sooner or later, so might as well be now.

2. All changes have been reviewed by Dugmaren and myself, with input from all of the areas staff using a well-balanced system that has been posted elsewhere.

3. I'm sure we messed something up somewhere, and I'll probably forget to move a file tonite...never fear, I'll figure it out sooner or later.

4. Generalized bitching is not constructive, although it makes many of you feel better. =] Please keep those posts to yourselves as they serve no purpose.

5. If you have a serious gripe with an item change...and I don't mean something that is unique to you or your character alone...then please post a new topic in this forum for debate.

6. The plan is to debate each item for up to a month from today. Thereafter we will or will not make changes as appropriate. Our goal is to stick to our system as much as possible, as exceptions always ruin the grand scheme of things, but we are more than open to suggestions.

So, in grand summary, post 1 topic per item in this forum, and avoid generalized bitching. The object changes are coming in, and it's better to go with the flow than try to swim against the tide, no?

Cyric
Last edited by Cyric on Sat Nov 08, 2003 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 06, 2003 12:08 pm

From the news:

11/06/03 Object Changes
- The long promised/threatened object changes have arrived! Before you
get overly excited or grumpy, please take a moment to consider the
monumental task set forth for our areas boys...to balance well over
10,000 items in over 200 zones. That said, please see more details
on the BBS where we've created a forum specifically to talk about these
changes.
- Some of the changes will be subtle, some will be quite dramatic (for
instance you may find a large drop in your hitpoints and an increase in
your other stats). Remember this is *not* a downgrade, but a balancing.
For every item that was downgraded, another was upgraded. Remember,
the glass is half full!
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:38 pm

For those that have requested a more complete accounting of why we did what we did, here is a summary from one of the god forums from a while back:

The whole eq change started because of the discrepancy between items in the game.

IE.
- Zones dropping uber eq for their difficulty.
- Difficult zones that drop multiple good items vs slightly easier zones that only drop a few items etc.
- Zone eq inflation.

Basically, all eq up until now is based on subjective comparisons. God A thinks this item is ok but is the reasonable max allowable, so it goes in. A month later, Builder A submits another zone, with an item only slightly more powerful than last time. God A thinks thats ok, it goes in. Etc.

What we were trying to do was come up with a system that takes all the concrete zone stats into account when determining the allowable stats on an item. This system includes:

- Mob levels/quantity ie. 4 warr fights, vs 2 warr 2 cleric, grouped or ungrouped
- Mob affect and ability flags as well as procs. ie double hps, class, MR
- Mob groupings and fight set ups. ie
- Zone flags, layouts and procs. ie smoke prots, !tele, fast/slow repops
- Room flags. ie single file, fly, waterbreath req
- Area "type". ie grids vs avoidable fights vs patrols

These are hard facts about a zone, and are independent of any new eq, spells or classes that might enter the game in the future. It also isn't influenced by new tactics that might be developed, allowing players the freedom to adapt while maintaining the integrity of the calc system. There is a low minimum point value which allows newbie zones to load some eq with small bonuses and is 100% in line with existing newbie zone items.

We have yet to find a zone that can't be calculated using the above method, short of zones that don't have fixed fights or fights that change composition frequently ie Musp where fixed fights consist of different classes randomly

Once we have the above data, a series of values are produced that are assigned to fights, giving us a number from which to 'purchase' eq to put into the game.

Our first broad goals for this is to:
1. lower hps
2. increase hit/dam
3. lower the number of prots and detects (ie infra/di/sense) available and increase the difficulty to get them.
4. lower the number of procs in the game.

The 2nd part of the eq system involves assigning costs to various item abilities and stats, some of which increase linearly (ie prot flags and spell saves) and some of which increase exponentially (ie hit/dam/hps).

In order to make sure that the system was fair, we used existing items that we thought were well balanced and ran them through the eq system. With enough items calced, we found further discrepancies at the high or low end and modified calcer values to take those factors into consideration. After modification, zones were run through again as well as additional zones until we reached the point where we no longer found any problem items popping up. Since the latest version of the calcer was released, approx 70% of the calced zones were done without a problem.

This 2nd portion of the calcer has gone through many revisions, some zones that were built at the beginning of the zone calcing process became guinea pigs with results that were less that optimal. Existing SPOB and Seelie items most notably.

Note that both fight values and eq costs are put through a converter, so it takes bigger fights to get more points, making the system essentially self limiting (for reasonable non-uber type zones) with no true fixed limit. This allows zone makers the freedom of putting in more mid lvl items or fewer uber items into the zone without an artificial limit (which often gets overruled 2 zones down the line anyway)

For example, SPOB gold items are 33% higher than a silver item, but costs 300% the points.
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:39 pm

Just caught 3 problems which will be addressed shortly:

1. Scorp earring was done incorrectly
2. Brass files weren't moved
3. Havenport files got lost somewhere and I can't find them (which addresses the GCD issue)


Note that I am pruning this thread a little, and will prune others as well to keep this whole discussion on track and let it be a useful exercise.
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:54 pm

Good question:

It depends on the zone. Some zones are calc'd as a single zone if they're tightly interwoven (eg. BC and avernus) or an equal portion of Zone A's points are carried over to Zone B, based on the portion of Zone A that needs to be done to get to Zone B

There are no 'bonus' points, points are fixed and are just transferred around. Increasing Zone B leads to a decrease in net Zone A points. Even though it doesn't seem fair that you have to do Avernus to get to BC, Avernus drops its own eq which makes it worthwhile in its own right...not a perfect system, but it does work, and overall will improve our gameplay substantially.
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Postby belleshel » Thu Nov 06, 2003 5:06 pm

Cyric how did quests that involve rareloads, fights, multiple zones...get calculated?

Thanks,
Belle

High Level Quests should always get the benefit of the doubt when compared to an item you can bang out in 1 zone run.
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 06, 2003 5:24 pm

Complicated but addressed in the system: Rareloads get a significant bonus to their base mob points, all fights in a quest are added, all items turned in are added, then put through a modifier to get the final point score. In other words, the modifier is fair and takes into account the number of rewards that the quest gives.
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Postby Tesil2 » Thu Nov 06, 2003 5:35 pm

So...do I get this right...there is now a solid system for defining eq stats when zones are built so we don't have to thru this BS "balancing" crap again?

That is correct, yes.
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Postby Cyric » Fri Nov 07, 2003 3:05 pm

Files/fixes for the day:

1. Supporting (non-object) files being moved for multiple zones that address some of the rareness/difficulty in acquisition issues. No more details forthcoming.

2. Drulak and Astral object files were forgotten and are being moved in. Oops!

3. Still trying to figure out why my Brass changes aren't taking as they're supposed to...I might've fixed it today.

Thanks for the support and constructive criticism. It is always appreciated.
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Postby Cyric » Sat Nov 08, 2003 3:08 am

I want to answer 2 common questions I've heard today via petition and seen on the BBS:

1. No, the object changes aren't complete...we nerfed up a few files that didn't make it over on time, we screwed up a few files that did make it over, and we realized that we ignored some files altogether. Nobody's perfect, and multiple people worked on this project over 6 months probably. I'll post here as files are added...some of you have already figured out what the obvious errors are already per your posts.

2. "Balance" doesn't necessarily mean that for every AC point you lose you gain hit/dam. "Balance" as we are using it means the balance of the mud in general, not the balance of the player stat. We had an escalation of equipment that resulted in players being much stronger than any fights we could throw at them, so some ways to fix that would be:

-Balance classes (as one of you is so fond of pointing out): realize that this is an enormous job...each class recoding takes probably 6 months, and pretty much all code that's added affects each class differently, so they all need to be constantly readjusted. It's something we're working on (if you don't believe me, take a look at what classes existed and what those classes could do 2 years ago), but is a sloooooooow and continuous process that'll never finish.
-Make mobs way harder: I've already hand-upped hitpoints, AC, and damage on mobs over the past year and it really hasn't helped...I'm not sure if you realize this, but there are mobs out there that do 10d10+100 per hit ahd have over 30,000 hitpoints, and it phases nobody. Making them harder isn't the solution, and it's potentially an even BIGGER task than tackling objects.
-Make XP tables harder: Not fair, would end up getting my lynched, and would alienate the 'weekend warrior' brand of player.
-Drop all player stats by 1/2: Again, you'd fly down to my house and fry me.
-Adjust items, which is what we've done. Think of it this way...was it fun in the NFL when the same team won every single solitary year, or was it better last year when almost every team had an even record...that was balance, and that's what we're shooting for.

Again, before the complaints and flames begin bear with us...hopefully you can see that we're responding to your comments. My plan is to watch all of the threads below carefully for a week or so before acting on them...to paraphrase one of you, some of you have "rage" that needs to abate!


And my apologies for the 4 posts that followed this one...I took the bait and bit back. It was just too easy of a target...every once in a while you have to shoot the fish in the barrel. All posts pruned (and mounted over my mantle).
Last edited by Cyric on Sat Nov 08, 2003 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cyric » Sat Nov 08, 2003 3:20 pm

OK, added more modified files this morning. Again, some were nerfed, some lost, and some ignored initially. Considering my initial move consisted of 100 or so files, I think we did pretty well! (Hey, cut a dude some slack)

Ashrumite (moved)
Calimport (fixed)
Cemetery (revived)
Duskroad (etc...)
MD Road
Swiftsteel
Temple of Dumathoin
UM1
Trader's Road

What I know still has to be done:

Hulburg
Havenport
DK
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Postby Cyric » Sun Nov 09, 2003 12:25 pm

OK, here are this morning's changes:

Elder Forest (was forgotten)
Icecrag (reworked a bit)
Brass (still trying to figure out why changes aren't taking)
Cemetery (reworked)
Few other files I can't remember off the top of my head were reworked a bit as well.


Still pending:
Hulburg/TTF
Havenport
DK


We have started the reevaluation process now in the staff-forums, and are taking each and every item you've posted and debating them. My plan is to nuke all of the posts in this forum in about a week, and replace them with one-thread-per-item for items that we feel are appropriate to change, and we'll discuss them yet again. Trying to make this as democratic as possible. ;)
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Postby Todrael » Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:45 pm

You're only considering changing individual items? Not the system as a whole?


Correct. The system as a whole is good. Weaknesses are in implementation for some items (specifically with quest items) which we're working on. We almost certainly won't be going back to the old stats. Rather we'll correct mistakes we made, and learn from them for future zones. And again, my goal for all of this is one month. If you haven't figured it out by now, I'll keep you all informed as stuff develops. -Cyric
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Postby Todrael » Mon Nov 10, 2003 1:40 am

By 'system as a whole', I meant 'point calculations for all epic quest items', 'point bonus for 2h weapons', etc. Something that would be limited in scope but still apply to many different items. An item-by-item evaluation will not produce results in the long run, as the system itself must be changed to accomodate.

Agreed, and yes, that's what I mean. -Cyric
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Postby Cyric » Mon Nov 10, 2003 10:05 pm

By way of an update, we are currently examining most of the items that you've posted here (although not all will be changed...don't get all excited). Furthermore, as Todrael suggests, we're doing a wholescale re-examination of the epic quest item calculation system since it didn't seem to work out as we hoped it would. What will probably happen with non-quest items is that they will either:

1. Get left alone.
2. Be upgraded (with the knowledge that that will require a downgrade of another item in that same zone).
3. Be upgraded (with the zone increasing in difficulty to justify increase in points allowed).
4. Be changed around, keeping same point value, but allocating different stats to the same item.

We still support the conversion/calculation/points system with the caveats I've already made, so we won't be going back to "old" stats. Note I've also posted 2 polls that will helps us with future zonemaking.
Last edited by Cyric on Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Cyric » Tue Nov 11, 2003 5:09 pm

Changes for the day:

Zhentil Keep (updated)
Plane of Fire (STILL trying to make changes stick dangit!)

Thanks for all the feedback!
Guest

epic quests

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 12, 2003 5:42 pm

Why do epic quests have anything to do at all with the points of the zones they are run in? They are all rare, they are spread out, and most of them tend to be a bit confusing and require extensive knowledge of the mud. My point is that the point system (which i have and am looking at now) should be applied to the quest item (ie add up fights, rareloads, grids/rooms yu gotta pass thru, items given, etc) and those points should be applied independantly to the item, without negating items in the zones themselves. After all, you cant get the quest item every boot (or even every hundreth boot for some of em), so why would they affect the zone(s) every boot. Leave zone points alone, and if quest items are overpowered, figure out a standardized subtraction to apply only to the quest item. As it is, if peeps arent complaining about a nerfed quest item, its probably because they are complaining about the nerfed items in the zone, instead. Lots of questy stuff out there that just aint worth it, and some zones even that lotta peeps say they wont bother going to anymore. Bummer, especially the zone thing.
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Postby Cyric » Wed Nov 12, 2003 7:05 pm

You are absolutely correct, and that is specifically why we're looking at the quest system as a whole. Why post an irate message when I've already addressed the issue? Peace. Trust us.

And for the record *IF* you happen to have a copy of the point system specifics, I do *not* want it posted anywhere.

Thanks.
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Postby Cyric » Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:12 pm

Temple of Twisted Flesh object file finally added.

STILL waiting on Havenport/DK/Hulburg...sorry for the delay. =[

All is still going according to schedule, and we're having a big staff meeting today to discuss the direction we'll be heading. Thanks for all the support!
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Postby Cyric » Sun Nov 23, 2003 10:22 pm

Please Note:

All threads in this forum (except for this one) will be locked at about 7pm EST tomorrow (Monday the 24th). Thereafter we will take all comments into consideration (as we have been all along), and revamp all items as appropriate. I'll post another message here tomorrow with a firm ETA for the object changes, but due to the holidays, we're probably going to have to slip past the initially mentioned 12/6 deadline. Again, more tomorrow. Get your final shots in while you can!

Cyric
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Postby Cyric » Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:16 am

As promised/threatened, all threads have been locked, and no new threads can be added (I think I did those permissions right).

Due to the holidays and 3 of our areas wanks going out of town for either work or vacation, I think my December 6th deadline will never happen, and I'm going to push it until the New Year.

By the New Year, my goal is:


1. Have all objects fixed based on many comments found here. I know I can't please all of the people all of the time, but I want to be able to please most of the people most of the time, so that's my plan. Changes we make might not be perfect for you, but they'll be perfect for someone else.

2. Have a new system for calculating quest rewards (actually we already have a new system that fixes everything in the quest world). What'll take time is fixing all of the quest items which we may or may not be able to get done by the New Year.

And that's it...so with that said, my goal is to have this whole object hoo-hah fixed/settled/put to rest by 1/1/04, and we'll all move on and be happy people forever and ever!

Cyric the Optimist!
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Postby Cyric » Thu Nov 27, 2003 3:46 pm

Any bluegrass fans out there? Changed minimally for my own amusement:

There's a dark & a troubled side of life
There's a bright, there's a sunny side, too
Tho' we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us ev'ry day, it will brighten all the way
If we'll keep on the sunny side of life

The storm and its fury broke today,
Crushing hopes that we cherish so dear;
Clouds and storms will, in time, pass away
The sun again will shine bright and clear.
Let us greet with the song of hope each day
Tho' the moment be cloudy or fair
Let us trust in our Forgers away
Who keepeth everyone in their care
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Postby Dalar » Thu Jan 01, 2004 8:55 pm

HAPPY NEW YEARS! :)
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.
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Postby Sarell » Sat May 08, 2004 3:23 am

are object changes finished? some pretty wierd stuff out there still....
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Postby Delmair Aamoren » Sat May 08, 2004 3:31 am

My understanding is that it is still ongoing. I have mmailed numerous "oddities" i have noticed to persons such as savras, dugmaren, and cyric. Almost all have been replied to regarding the outcome of the particular inquiry. I suggest a similar route.
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Postby Dalar » Mon May 10, 2004 2:11 am

so are these oddities gonna get fixed? i've emailed some but no reply
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 Dalar » Mon May 10, 2004 2:11 am

so are these oddities going to be 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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Postby Sarell » Mon May 17, 2004 7:01 am

ttf... change name to warehouse of twisted flesh? then we would continue using the acronym wtf to describe risk/effort VS rewards there. 3 TOP end items in 25 mins with 10 people, not too shabby....

Suggestions, have the ring mobs made !track and pack in some more stabbing skeletons in his area, give the patchwork guardian a pack of undead psi followers, and just downgrade the belt to cap it off. Upgrade slightly spider / raw energy ring / hades rings. Downgrade ttf ring.
No idea how the points system works, but this zone is ridiculous.
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Postby Gura » Wed May 19, 2004 12:07 am

but doesnt it fit the pattern of these eq changes?
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Postby Sarell » Fri Jul 09, 2004 3:15 pm

these over with?
just quested a lusty (lustrous golden-red ring)... to find out it was worse, significantly, than a gemstone ring... and i think possibly the same as unquested ring? :P

PS - ring of raw energy *touch touch*
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