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The Great Skotos Split Is Here [UPDATED]

The long-planned Skotos split is here. We are going to be separating Skotos into the four games that we're passing off to individual players (Marrach, TEC, the game formerly known as Ironclaw Online, the game formerly known as Lazarus Sleeping), and in the near future the core Skotos site will shutdown.

Here's how it will work:
* On Monday, we will turn off the ability to make any purchases through the main site. This will be the end of credit card purchases for Skotos games.
* We will run final automated credit card purchases on Tuesday morning. This is typical, in that our regular subscriptions are always set to run on the 1st through the 28th.
* On Wednesday, we will begin converting the games over to the new auth server that I've been working on for the last month and a half. All data will be converted over from the moment I grab the database. This means that all of your account information, including all payments (but not including any credit card information or Paypal information) will be duped to all the games: you'll be able to play any of them for the time you'd previously paid at the main Skotos site.
* We'll then start integrating the individual sites for each game with the new stand-alone setup.
* And likely I'll be resolving bugs in the auth server that only turn up through extensive usage.
* Meanwhile, we'll start handing off games to the individuals who will be running it in the future. I'm at this point over the time I'd initially committed to Skotos by a bit more than three weeks, but I'm expecting I'll need to offer support a little into May to make sure everyone is running well and that I've helped Christopher, Skotos, and the game leads deal with any intricacies of the hand-off.
* We'll request that all games remove all information from users who didn't stick with their game within a year.

I hope this will go as smoothly as possible. There will surely be bumps in the road. In particular, expect some random downtimes on Wednesday, when I convert over the games to the new servers, and expect the potential for problems on *next* Thursday, when I see how things work in the new setup.

A Few Updates as of 5/3:

1.) Castle Marrach, TEC, and Allegory of Empires are now split out from the main Skotos UserDB, which is the first (and biggest) step in separating these games. Multiversal Revelations will follow on Monday.

2.) Each site has a new login page of the form login.itsdomainname. This is the proper place to login to that game, and where you should access all UserDB functionality. Anything you do on the main Skotos users pages will no longer be reflected. Yes, that means you should be using the new pages to update your accounts, purchase months of play, and purchase subscriptions. Credit card payments are no longer possible, but Paypal is.

3.) Skotos is still running the games as of this moment, but they'll be transferred to the individual teams by this time next month.

4.) We've had some problems with credit cards continuing to run on the older UserDB system. We've refunded any bills that went through on the main system following the split, and apologize for the inconvenience. The plan is to turn the old UserDB off tomorrow, so that will absolutely stop the bills at this point. If you were accidentally billed, do note both that the amount was refunded the same day AND it isn't reflected on the new systems. [And as of Monday morning, those old charges seem to have been halted entirely.]

5.) We've discovered that about 20 accounts have credits of various amounts of them. This is a concept that is no longer supported in any meaningful way on the new UserDB, so we'll convert those credits to days of play at the most generous ratio.
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Character Traits Update - Feedback Requested

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  • Ozymandius
    replied
    Thank you for reaching out to us GM's and thank you as always to Siddhe who is always outstanding in any interaction I have with them.

    I wanted to point out a few things that will re-iterate what others have said to add my voice to the discourse more than anything.

    I will focus on mountain lungs more than others as that's the trait I have the most experience with. I think it just does not work as intended. It is a negligible increase when resting and it doesn't seem to impact any gain when not resting/laying. It seems to be negated when resting in an inn room. I feel like ML (like Elowynn) should equal athletic but maybe in a different way. If resting is halved or even more; or if the gain is the same standing as laying it would perhaps even out. As it is now, there are characters that have athletic and there are those that do not. And you can tell when you hunt with them those that do and do not.

    My other qualm is with superstitious fears and how zero/sum it is. I think it can be tweaked to be more dynamic and less F U to the character. That trait literally closes off some of the more awesome parts of the gameworld as it is, which is a shame. Instead of auto stuns maybe make it where the mob is harder the hit. Cadaes and tears drain fatigue like crazy, but you can use them. Something a little more intelligent.

    I'm for the removal of traits as I feel they are so broken right now I don't know how you'd fix all of them. I do feel like you could add -INTERESTING- free traits to ALL races and it would cause the game to be more dynamic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ilkilyn
    replied
    I appreciate that the GM's have taken more seriously the concerns of the playerbase, I just wish it didn't take several of us pulling our cards to do that. As long as this effort is earnestly pursued, I'll be returning to the game and hopefully resubbing.

    As for suggestions, mine is as mentioned in the other thread:

    1) Allow a one-time option for characters made before the change to add any number of new traits and remove only 1 negative or neutral trait. This is a minor enough change that can be seen as a character development over time as compared to a completely different character (getting over superstitions, etc). the removal option is there mainly because someone might have chosen a -1 point trait, but would be happy to take a -3 in exchange for a new +2 trait. As always, total score should be 0 or lower and at most 3 pos and neg traits.

    Leave a comment:


  • Infiniti
    replied
    Regarding traits and balancing national bonuses, what if the bonuses themselves were toned down, but each nationality received two bonuses: 1 for combat and one for non-com? We may actually see some crafters from Cinera, or a swordsman from Remath.

    Leave a comment:


  • pineapple_shoes
    replied
    Originally posted by Elowynn View Post
    Traits need to be revamped, but it is always better to add new, desirable options, than to nerf old, existing, relied on options.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a couple immediate changes, but I think that this approach ignores the massive flaws in the system and ignores a great many of the problems that a lot of players have with traits. Adding more junk on top of junk just means that now we have more to figure out how to balance. I like all of your suggestions, but I think that prematurely just adding stuff just shifts the problem to the next time.

    There's also then the issue of offering a trait re-roll and just accepting that the system is horribly flawed but has some new options within the flaws.

    Leave a comment:


  • Elowynn
    replied
    I've updated data on Mountain Lungs:

    Athletic, Mountain Lungs, Frail Lungs, Intense Nightmares, Light Sleeper, all affect fatigue regen, but do not seem calibrated to each other correctly.

    mountain lungs:
    "increases fatigue recovery rate."
    +4 trait.
    athletic:
    "reduced fatigue drain."
    +3 trait.
    increased metabolism:
    "increased HP/fatigue recovery when full. No recovery when hungry."
    +0 trait.
    base (no traits):
    light sleeper:
    "reduced fatigue recovery benefits for sitting or laying down."
    +0 trait
    frail lungs:
    "reduced fatigue recovery and increased fatigue drain."
    -3 trait
    intense nightmares:
    "reduced fatigue recovery when asleep."
    -3 trait

    Laying in a non-resting area with a tester character with 100 HP:
    mountain lungs: ~ 38m
    athletic: ~49m [raises fatigue cap rather than raising recovery time?]
    increased metabolism: ~36m
    base (no traits): ~44m
    light sleeper: 81m
    frail lungs: ~60m

    Light sleeper, as a +-0 trait, should not have a slower regen time than frail lungs.

    Mountain lungs seems effectively the same or worse than Athletic, but costs 1 point more. Needs looked into and possible adjustment.
    Anecdotally, Mountain Lungs has always seemed effectively worse than Athletic, while costing one point more. From testing just now, the "increased fatigue recovery rate" of Mountain Lungs is effectively about the same as that of Increased Metabolism, but ML costs +4, while Metabolism is a zero trait packed with HP recovery (with the requirement of carrying around food all the time.) It seems Mountain Lungs' fatigue recovery rate should be boosted, to make it truly worth +1 more than Athletic.

    ----
    • There need to be multiple "max" trait build options, and multiple desirable National builds.
      • I did my best to write some suggestions for new National bonuses that would be appealing to both coms and noncoms. I was hoping folks would contribute with more ideas here, as they could use fleshing out.
        I think the addition of the "Specialist" trait (suggested in previous thread, reducing SP cost by 25% for one non com skill) for non-coms would 1) ease the speed of making non-com characters viable, 2) and at the same time, stave off the lure of making such a character a jack of all trades.
    • Re-spec should be an option, but not a forced change. Should people prefer their old builds, that should be available to them.
      • I imagine what really gets under people's skin is when their old investments are "nerfed," AND new changes are available that can't be implemented to themselves (which disregards years of character investment.) Sometimes a little nerfing is necessary, but it really eases the pain of change to make change voluntary - lure people with new shiny options that are on par or superior to their old builds. Folks should be given the choice of: do I like my old spec just the way it is, or do I want to benefit from new Nationals (and possible free fourth slot)?
    • Traits need to be revamped, but it is always better to add new, desirable options, than to nerf old, existing, relied on options.
      • ​​​​​​​Currently, Dex is the favored build, with Steady Hands stacking on Finesse. I actually think this should stay. Personally, I consider Strength an underappreciated stat and build at the moment. (Folks are way too focused on Dex, forgetting that PVE sees 5s on most swings already. Only strength will bump your damage at that point. I personally build Ox's Grace characters.) I think both Steady Hands and Finesse traits should stay as they are, but possibly cost more, allowing old builds to keep the benefits as they were, yet requiring more balancing from new respecced builds.
        In addition, I think strength traits are lacking from the generator:
        • Brawn of a Lion: Significant bonus to strength. +3 (on par with Steady Hands.)
    • A few more trait suggestions, which could be competitive to Steady Hands, Athletic, Adrenaline Rush, etc:
      • Hunter of Men: A bonus to hit against human opponents. +3.
      • Hunter of Beasts: A bonus to hit against animal opponents. +3.
      • Rise with the Sun: Increased perception and general bonus during day hours. Reduced perception and general penalty during night hours. Mutually exclusive with 'Night Owl," and cannot be combined with "Night Vision." Neutral trait. (A fun option for Erealites, I think.)
    Last edited by Elowynn; 03-15-2019, 05:34 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Travius
    replied
    I actually disagree with the option to reroll your old character. You know how many times I started over and chopped/killed an old character because I was told there would never be a retroactive change like that? Would make me vomit to know I could still be playing Chuvros.

    Leave a comment:


  • Siddhe
    replied
    Everyone's feedback is greatly appreciated. There are some thoughtfully-written posts. I would like to encourage anyone else that has yet to provide their constructive suggestions to please share.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bruhast
    replied
    Hello fellow TEC connoisseurs!

    I usually don't weigh in on these kinds of topics any more, but I really like the direction you all are heading. The problems described here are ancient and reliably periodic; enough for me to think of them as a core feature of the game - a fun challenge to overcome. Those of you who are close to me know that I've lost years and tens of thousands of RPs on chars and ideas that were subsequently power-nerfed into the dirt, and I still manage to do really well. That being said, my point isn't to say "Just deal with it" or "This game is for masochists like me... Kinky." I'm trying to let you all know that I'm seeing what you're seeing, and I applaud this new instance of GM-player cooperation.

    However, instead of debating what color of band-aid the GMs should slap on this one, I would like to draw attention to this never-ending cycle as it continues:

    Players are driven to discover something that gives them an edge or reveals why they suck --> Players invest resources to take advantage or compensate --> GMs knowingly/unknowingly/publicly/privately change something that throws everything out of whack --> Player's plans/hopes/dreams are crushed --> Players find a way to cope, start over, or quit --> REPEAT

    This process is vastly accelerated these days for a variety of reasons. *cough*DISCORD*cough*

    ***

    With regards to the main topic of this thread, I could guess that if one of the GMs did some testing and spread the word among the others that these changes would allow certain builds to have a +57 to hit compared to formerly "maxed out" characters, some more thought might have gone into the process before implementation. What really happened though, I can only refer to my wild imagination:

    What probably happened: We know things could be better and this fix looks OK, let's do it.

    What probably didn't happen: Let's make a forum post saying that now is the time to allow fresh chars to have an unprecedented combat advantage to solidify our intent to use "power creep" to encourage @chop and the use of vetchars to help bring new player-driven storylines, and to move forward with our goal of expanding on high-level PVE. After we get player feedback and make the final adjustments, let's do it.

    ***

    Regardless of what changes come, this cycle must end if we're to keep this game alive for another two decades.

    CYCLE-BREAKING SOLUTION:

    1. GMs should reach out to the playerbase more often for ideas/opinions/knowledge and see how it measures up to what's known/popular in GM land (this is exactly what Siddhe is doing. HYPER KUDOS).

    2. Recruit more GMs (or beta test-ish equivalent) that have an exceptional understanding of chars/builds/combat mechanics.

    3. Thoroughly playtest changes LONG BEFORE they're implemented.

    4. Publicize the staff's intent and goals (of course keeping those delicious numbers close-hold) so that the players aren't so blind-sided when the change is ready to come.

    ***

    I'm trying (really) to keep from killing you all with TLDR, but simply put it doesn't matter exactly WHAT the GMs do to address these issues, it's THAT they have the interest and the manpower to maximize player's enjoyment of the game, and I truly believe the current staff aren't laughing in their offices about screwing people over. I trust that they will explore new ideas, crunch the numbers, determine a new change's impact long-term, and prudently select courses of action that the playerbase can understand and support.

    P.S... I believe that the chargen should be updated with new, more well-balanced traits, but If we only have time for a quick band-aid, just delete Steady Hands (dex is too good to have TWO traits that stack to buff it) and let chars that have it pick another trait to replace it.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArchMagi
    replied
    A Tuchean will never puke from alcohol, or noxious fumes, or smelly stuff, like dead whales washing up on shore and putting everyone else around them into a vomit spiral of doom, the Tuchean will be just fine.
    Iron gut just makes it that much better. A Tuchean will puke from poison, or raw food, but only for a short time, and if a Tuchean happens to get sick, it doesn't progress.
    You're forgetting the additional language too, that also counts against the trait choices.

    Tuchean's have two automatic, and one free, and then they are done, no negatives.
    A Tuchean is over powered when it comes to fighting things that aren't knives stabbing them, they can kick the crap out of the viruses and diseases. I do like the idea of not comaing from booze, and just sleeping it off.

    Metal Affinity is useful for locksmiths making better lockpicks, for example.

    Leave a comment:


  • Elowynn
    replied
    [My previous post got flagged as spam, so I'm reposting, with additional trait suggestions.]

    ---------------------------------

    I'm stoked to see a post like this. Thank you!

    ------

    The easiest:
    • Undo it.
    • And leave the people who rolled super Cinners. People who already rolled get to keep their grandfathered oddity.

    The most complete:
    • Implement a 10k rps option to reroll traits within your own nationality.
      • If you remove a trait that raised the cap of a stat over 200, your overage over 200 would be removed (those stats would be refunded) or disabled (hidden until you choose to regain this trait later.) (Background: a few years ago, a tweak to stats affected the normal "cap" of 200 points in stats by sometimes raising or lowering that cap. A "grandfathered" effect was that people who had a penalty with a trait like Finesse, which negatively impacts strength, were able to keep their 200/200 strength if they'd already maxed strength. If overage is removed when you choose to reroll, characters who grandfathered in benefits will have to choose between the grandfathered benefit and the option to reroll. I think being given this choice is fair.)
    • Traits needs a rehaul, and National/Fourth Traits need to be tweaked/added to other Nationalities, to address the dominance of Super Cinners and Super Altenes. I shot off a post before that suggested some trait tweaks, but I think it deserves more thorough discussion, below.
    ---------

    Now, to trait balancing suggestions... (This is be a revamped version of a previous post I wrote: http://forum.skotos.net/forum/our-ga...16#post1771416 )

    For reference, this link has all of the traits listed: http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/traits
    And this has all of the national bonuses: http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/national-bonuses

    There will always be individuals who roll primarily a "max" build - and half the gameworld will copy them. For traits to be balanced, there needs to be: 1) more than one desirable build for combat oriented folks, 2) traits need offer flavor and RP-enhancement to non-combat oriented folks. 3) Traits need to be transparent and intuitive, since we're stuck with them essentailly forever, within characters that stick around for 10+ IRL years.

    I would love to see more suggestions from folks for new National traits. Some of mine are below, albeit being more combat oriented.


    ---------

    Trait tweaks

    Athletic, Mountain Lungs, Frail Lungs, Intense Nightmares, Light Sleeper, all affect fatigue regen, but do not seem calibrated to each other correctly.

    mountain lungs:
    "increases fatigue recovery rate."
    +4 trait.
    athletic:
    "reduced fatigue drain."
    +3 trait.
    increased metabolism:
    "increased HP/fatigue recovery when full. No recovery when hungry."
    +0 trait.
    base (no traits):
    light sleeper:
    "reduced fatigue recovery benefits for sitting or laying down."
    +0 trait
    frail lungs:
    "reduced fatigue recovery and increased fatigue drain."
    -3 trait
    intense nightmares:
    "reduced fatigue recovery when asleep."
    -3 trait

    Laying in a non-resting area with a tester character with 100 HP:
    mountain lungs: ~ 38m
    athletic: ~49m [raises fatigue cap rather than raising recovery time?]
    increased metabolism: ~36m
    base (no traits): ~44m
    light sleeper: 81m
    frail lungs: ~60m

    Light sleeper, as a +-0 trait, should not have a slower regen time than frail lungs.

    Mountain lungs seems effectively the same or worse than Athletic, but costs 1 point more. Needs looked into and possible adjustment.

    ---

    Pack rat needs to be adjusted from a +2 to +1 cost.

    ---

    Weather sense needs to be adjusted from a +2 to +1 cost.

    ---

    Lucky should be removed from traits. Luck no longer functions the way it used to. I reported that Luck! did not apply to my attempts to hide in the forest - Sceadu replied that use of luck! should only affect a combat roll, and he then changed the description of luck. However, Sceadu's explanation seems incorrect as I seem to recall Luck! worked on locksmithing. Needs looked into. Trait worthless now.

    Alternatively, Lucky trait could give a 1-5 bonus in one out of every 30 (or 50, or 100) rolls.

    ---

    Squeamish (currently -1) should be a -2 trait, or even -3 trait.

    ---------

    New National Bonuses

    Each National needs to be a viable pick - and not necessarily for combat. Otherwise, we'll continue to have blade-wielding super Cinners up the wazoo, because free Steady Hands is so good (and Blade Mastery is just a nice free bonus, why not.)

    ---

    Aestivans: Natural should be renamed Steadfast , and also give an approximately +10 bonus to Endurance, raising the cap, to make Aestivans an desirable combat roll, on par with Unpredictable or Blade Mastery.

    Additionally, Hoplite Stance should include Wall Shields, not just Oval Shields, in the stance mechanic.

    Build idea: This makes Steadfast (Bonus to endurance), Iron will (free trait), Adrenaline Rush and an additional combat trait (like Vitality, Athletic, Steady Hands, etc.) an interesting gladiator or shield-wall pick.

    ---

    Add a tiny +1 (or even +0.05) to hit bonus for Altenes using Altene Skirmish Stance. Tie it into a new skill within Altene Ways, if you want to Tale-fy it (requiring 100 ranks for the bonus.) You'll have to selftrain it or teach it to one another.

    Otherwise, the Altene roll (which gets Altene Ways free and Athletic as a free trait) is currently inferior to a Cineran roll (which gets Blade Mastery as a fourth, and Steady Hands free), which is a shame.

    ---

    No change to Cineran.

    ---

    Gadaene is a good example of a favored character pick for purposes other than combat. Gadaene is the favored pick for brokers.

    Gadaene Unpredictability (fourth slot), and Innate Charm (free slot) is almost interesting combat wise, because Innate Charm raises the empathy cap over 200. It's not better than Cineran, however. Should Gadaenes be a combat pick? I think not. Thus, I think this is fine the way it is.

    ---

    Iridinian Citizenship should be tweaked as a trait, now that citizenship is relatively affordable in the VCC lounge. Call it "Fidelis" or "Long Live the Republic" or something, and give it approximately +10 to willpower over the cap, in addition to free citizenship.

    The Steps could include Anonymity as a free talent (not a fourth talent.)

    ---

    Parcines gets Battlecry Bonus as a fourth free, and Mountain Lungs as a free. Mountain Lungs is worth +4, which is a higher value than any other National Advantage. Whether Mountain Lungs is as good as Athletic is a different discussion. I think this is largely fine.

    ---

    Remathens currently get free Iridinian, Cineran and an additional language. This is very similar to Worldly Knowledge (2 extra languages), which also gets a boost to Perception, which goes over the 200 cap. I suggest replacing the Remathen free auto with Worldly Knowledge. (Psst: For those who know a li'l something about a certain combat style, this would make Remathen an interesting build.)

    ---

    Sostaera: Disciplined Mind should be switched with Anonymity as the fourth free trait.

    ---

    Safelands: The current automatic National is free Outdoor Basics and Aversion to Violence. Add the beneficial half of Peaceful Spirit (SP boost to noncoms), or replace Aversion to Violence with Peaceful Spirit.

    Or call it something new: Tender Heart, which includes Aversion to Violence and an over-the-cap boost to Empathy and Reasoning.

    Another suggestion: A Great Outdoors trait, which gives a Reasoning and Endurance boost to being outside.

    ---

    The Tuchean national bonus is Resistance, which gives immunity to nausea and disease. Tale says this is a big deal because nausea is increasingly being used in coding. The free trait is Iron Gut, which gives increased resistance against poison, disease, and improved recovery time. I think Resistance needs a little bit of a boost - perhaps something RP oriented would be an inability to coma from alcohol. A Tuchean will KO, and always just "sleep it off."

    ---

    Windward: what the eff does Metal Affinity do? :P

    Perhaps Metal Affinity could be tweaked to include: if boison/bronze/alanti/retalq/tin/etc. +1 to use/hit. Something small.

    ---------

    New Traits

    More choices hopefully increases the variety of viable builds. A few additional trait suggestions are below:

    Specialist +3
    - Choose one non-combatant skill set to specialize in, reducing SP cost by 25%.

    Impatient -2
    - Due to inability to focus for lengthy amounts of time, tasks that take more than (7?) seconds have an additional 25% penalty to roundtime.

    ---

    I hope the above is helpful to the discussion. I'm very much looking forward to reading what others come up with - with something big like this, I hope this encourages ideas none of us would have thought of on our own.
    Last edited by Elowynn; 03-15-2019, 08:34 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ariden
    replied
    It means a lot that this post was even started so thank you. And as far as Iím concerned the traits system right now is not ok. The reason people stopped talking about it was because there was an expectation that this was the way it was and why continue being aggravated by something that you cannot change?
    I think what needs to happen is like El is saying take a look at rebalancing the traits, superstitious fears for instance should be a -4 trait. Currently most people probably pick the same traits because there are only so many ways to build a combat character, I donít know anything about non-coms so I canít speak to that. And it makes zero sense to pick a trait for RP reasons that is going to limit your character.
    Then after traits are rebalanced then you should give everyone the ability to re-pick traits, one time. The people that had the old system where they could have 200 strength and 230 dex can either keep that setup or they can opt into the new system. This makes it fair for all current and future characters.
    Then like El has suggested we should be able to re-pick our traits down the road because there will still be future changes that will change your good picks into less good. Every time there is a change to the trait system you should have the ability of one re-pick like jkidd suggested.
    If the player wants to pick more than that make it a 10k RP expenditure to re-pick your traits and update to the newest system. The concern that someone will pick newbie traits and then switch to top-end traits in my opinion is a little overblown but for 10k, which is a lot of RPís that gives you an option to undo a bad decision.
    Vakrend also made a good point about stat skills and I agree with what he is saying and if there was a way to implement it that makes logical sense Iím all for it.
    Once again thank you for starting this discussion.

    Leave a comment:


  • pineapple_shoes
    replied
    This is a conversation I have been waiting a decade to have so I am very excited to see that there is actually interest in addressing this. I wish I could say that I see an easy fix but I think the traits system is irrevocably flawed without major overhaul and so therefore there's a huge pile of issues that need to be addressed for a true solution to the problem. In the immediate, I agree with Elowynn in it should need a repeal of changes with maybe a couple of "grandfathered" characters but a true and more difficult solution is a major overhaul of traits system and some sort of means of addressing existing and old characters in a reasonable way.

    Before I continue, I know that a major element of this discussion will devolve into "Well not everything has to be the best" or "Just RP it out, it's an RP game" but I think that those are arguments that accept that the system is broken and we should just work within it. I also realize not everyone wants to be "Top end" and I am one of those, but that doesn't mean that we can't still hope to make the system the best it can be for the most people involved and if you choose to RP it differently or in a pronounced/muted way you certainly still can.

    Traits have drastically changed over time and it's important that the issue is adequately addressed for all characters considering how traits have serious in-game repercussions that do overall affect a lot of players. There are major re balances that need to be made to the value and functionality of stats that are unfortunately a huge issue to the overall health and diversity of characters which is why there's likely not some panacea to recent changes. That being said, the major elements that will need to be addressed is not just the traits themselves, but the open dialogue of the players, stats, and staff that has traditionally been shutdown heavily in the past by the staff. I want to thank you Siddhe for beginning this conversation but I'll state that I am cautiously pessimistic but I hope that there will be involvement from all staff members to find and work on a real solution the game needs.

    I admire and support the commentary of the posts that precede mine because I think that Infiniti makes valid and solid points, while Elowynn has some well thought out and interesting contributions. The heart of the problem with "super Cinners" is that there's already hugely desirable stats innate to certain races (notable Cineran and Altenes) as well as then these massive trait buffs that lead a huge lack of diversity in the game and a failure to have viable options in many different ways. Each nation should really have some unique perks and or stats that are then weighed against other nations so that there's maybe more approaches to creating a top-end character if that is your chosen desire. Again I'll refer to Elowynn's post because there's some great solutions provided to that, but I think the innate bonuses outside of stats should also be looked into and balanced against other nations so that a certain 2 or 3 nations aren't the obvious choices for most every character.

    Another major issue is the functionality of a good number of traits that just have little or no real contribution to the game. Weather, Absolute Time, Metal affinity, etc. are not even good roleplay options and have no actual viability within the game while other traits are either massively huge boons/detriments over other options that further limit the options. As a result, the options of traits that are actually viable are pretty much countable on both hands when considering both positive and negative options. To balance the system there needs to be a means of addressing the super strong/super weak options, and then adding unique qualities (crowd source/test this) that can make more trait and character diversity in the game. All of this can seem daunting but with adequate communication, testing from experts and lay-people, as well as a willingness to tweak things we can improve to a system that is awesome for many different people.

    Another issue that needs to be addressed are hard penalties of traits that should likely go away as they make certain traits hugely awful/rigged. A trait like stutterer is excruciating because it is a hard change to the way a character works and deters actual roleplay options available to a player. Players have chosen to play mute, stutterers, etc and enjoyed it but many of these things are awful when there is a hard mechanic that is unyielding or very severe. Traits like Fear of magic or squeamish don't open roleplay options, they shut them down because there's no sliding scale that you get to work with, it's just you passing out and fainting from blood 80% of the time which becomes an incredibly un-fun mechanic. Fear of magic doesn't allow a player to play that role, but rather just forces them to deal with the flat out inability to do things while imposing significant penalties in other cases. Berserker is a neutral trait that just shuts down certain options and avenues for any sort of potential character-story progression and its losses are heavily outweighing any potential benefit where as some sort of sliding scale would be much more reasonable. To adjust this traits should be made to have penalties that aren't hard stops to RP. Illiterate (with mechanical tweaking hardly worth the tremendous amount of work) becomes Dyslexic and it jumbles the letters of words you read/write (that is likely a huge pain to code, i know and i'm just spit balling) . Squeamish makes you maybe fainting once in a GREAT while but has temporary penalties to actions when blood is present. It could even be on a scale were an ooze has a 1% chance to faint where as a spurting wound is a 50% chance to faint on sight. Adrenalin rush becomes a trait that is no longer explained simply with "They become the hulk at low HP" to perhaps be temporary boosts to attacks (sometimes) when a player suffers a critical blow thus making the trait trigger in more than low HP situations but in a way that can be RP'd other than hulk smash.

    On the same line as the former, there's an awful lot of stats that need re balancing for the fact that they are entirely RP addressed and are often overlooked or just ignored and thus just become something people use to further penalize a "useless" useless stat. Gullible and introverted being the classic examples of traits that require no RP and are completely ignored as far as any in-game consequences save for a minor hit to stats that are often limited in their usability. Stats like this have long since been catch-alls for easy negative points but in reality they are often benefits to a character and zero harm.Traits like this it becomes an issue of balance and this is where the communities feedback can be incredibly important.

    A major difficulty is going to be the balancing/addressing of stat-traits that just raise the potential threshold and how that then connects to stat-purchases. I will mostly ignore this one because while it's going to be important, I don't think I have enough commentary or opinion to weigh in on it in a meaningful way.

    _________________

    Ultimately the challenge here is two-fold

    1) With the system as it is, it's been imbalanced, horridly flawed, and disenfranchising players pretty badly since 2005 and has only gotten worse over time as certain traits were made worse while other traits (like citizenship that was at one point a nation bonus mandatory to take) have become available in other ways (Worldly knowledge is languages I think? and now can learn these in the library). The recent changes only further worsened what it is and while it can be reverted to being the usual level of suck, the whole thing is jacked up. There's also traits that just don't actually work as has also been mentioned.

    2) In order to REALLY fix this, it will require time, patience, collaboration and commitment from all people involved. Anything mechanic-wise has tended to be closely guarded by the GM's and input is seen as criticism which tends to make the staff defensive and hostile. Additionally, the biggest issue of all has been neglect of game functions and players which stems from some of that hostility and also apathy or staff-game disconnect. Tied to the former sentence, the idea of "That's _____'s project, I don't know where they were" has been the means for which much progress has been abandoned. The issue to this is that in order to really meet the demands of this challenge in a thorough way, it will require a lot from the staff and will actually require some relationship with the players. Players also need to understand that there's going to be a lot of opinions on this and that many voices need to be heard and your EXACT solution isn't the only one that will work.

    __________________

    As for trait adjustments. There will likely need to be some small short-term bandaid for players but maybe the simplest and most non-can-of-worms option is to just revert things. However in the long run there's a point that has been sorely overlooked and it is this: TEC is a game and people play games to have fun. There should be options to play your character however you want with some balance in mind. Traits have ruined the experience of a great many of us and the hardline 'NO' is disenfranchising to players. RP expenditure options should be a potential with elements of balance in mind when an official policy is made. There's nothing fun about making a character and being locked into game-changing things with absolutely no option of recourse. On the other hand, do it with balance in mind and prevent elements of pay-to-win. There's some pretty fantastic RP avenues that could make traits a lot of fun to potentially shift around a bit but it requires the willingess to make changes.

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  • isgrimnur
    replied
    I personally wouldn't mind a chance to reselect my traits again, as I haven't bothered doing anything statswise with any of my newer toons, other than run courses to kill off my on hand points. I'm just waiting for all the folks who've dumped thousands of rp's into traits, to get the chance to reselect them, and have them bugger it all up in doing so for making a poor choice

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  • ArchMagi
    replied
    Originally posted by Siddhe View Post
    Would simply allowing everyone to reselect traits be considered equitable? Is the main concern with Cineran characters and the extra freebie? If this was modified to be more in line with what is perceived for other nationalities, would that suffice? Is everything basically fine now that people have had time to digest things?
    .
    Re-selecting traits without keeping the "grandfathered" bonus of having stats you don't qualify for, would allow everyone to be on even footing with the new characters with free traits for automatic traits.
    Re-selecting traits WITH keeping the "grandfathered" bonus of having finesse and 200 strength, for example, would just make old characters over powered.
    The reason people mention super cinerans so much is blade mastery is now free, so you get a bonus to fighting with a blade, plus it lets you take steady hands or nimble feet for free, letting you then go ahead and pick nimble feet, and athletic, where as before, you couldn't pick all three of the preferred combat traits because blade mastery got in the way, making a cineran more of a warlord, with less weaknesses because free super trait.
    There isn't another nation that has such a lopsided advantage in combat.

    If you really want to keep the new rules for automatic national traits not being held against you in trait selection for new characters, the fair way would be to allow people to pick up a new trait or two, depending on their nationality, without removing any of their current traits, and without keeping any grandfathered stats that they do not qualify for, without refund of rolepoints, considering there's no way of knowing if that 20 points in strength were bought at 1000 rps, or 500 rps.
    If everyone wants to benefit from the new changes, they don't get to benefit from being currently overpowered because they spent a lot of role points before traits altered statistic caps.

    If you allow people to KEEP those unfair advantages, and take advantage of getting an extra trait as well, then the old characters just get that much more out of balance with the rest of the game.

    So, in my opinion, do nothing, encourage character turn-over for those who want the new hotness, after all, they're all like a hundred years old ic now. OR, do the stuff I suggested earlier in this post. But whatever you pick, no extra benefits for old characters, they either keep their stats that they don't qualify for, or they get to pick up a new trait or two, without changing any of the current traits, but lose the stats they don't qualify for due to traits.

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  • Kjel
    replied
    Originally posted by jkidd View Post
    No one really knows what BM does.
    I can tell you what my BM from this morning did. WRECKED

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