Lusternia Activity Levels

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  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Saran said:
    Just with all the mentions of combat, probably also worth noting that it's feeling like it's been prioritised for years now.

    Something like a proper economy rework could be more far reaching than combat, but done well it could tie into systems across the game offering incentives to traders, bashers, and combatants.
    I'd love to do an economy rework but I think focus on combat is more important right now. Also, no one seems to know exactly best way to approach economy and every time we open up an ideas thread on it, opinions seem to really clash. Anyway, if there were some simple coding tweaks that I could do myself, that could be doable. I'll give it a think.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,416 Transcendent
    Shaddus said:
    Estarra said:
    Saran said:
    Just with all the mentions of combat, probably also worth noting that it's feeling like it's been prioritised for years now.

    Something like a proper economy rework could be more far reaching than combat, but done well it could tie into systems across the game offering incentives to traders, bashers, and combatants.
    I'd love to do an economy rework but I think focus on combat is more important right now.

    We've had a focus on combat reworking for many years now. Meanwhile, our version of fixing the economy was reducing gold drops and increasing comm requirements for items. Can you give an explanation as to why you feel a combat rework is needed more than an economy rework right now?
    Yeah, was posting basically the same thing. The combat overhaul started five years ago it's lead to the current state of the game. Also, let's be honest, combat has always had a high focus thanks to the envoy system.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    We did reduce gold drops! Wasn't there blowback from crafters about increasing comm requirements? Anyway, if that's all that's on the table for economy, we can certainly do those things (reduce gold drops more and increase comms for crafting).
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  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    Estarra said:
    We did reduce gold drops! Wasn't there blowback from crafters about increasing comm requirements? Anyway, if that's all that's on the table for economy, we can certainly do those things (reduce gold drops more and increase comms for crafting).
    .....

    Alright, small words.


    We have been working on making combat better for a very long time. We have not worked on making the economy better very much aside from some small things which didn't help. Doing them more will not help. We need to decide on different things. 
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Small words helps!
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  • ShangoShango Member Posts: 181 Adept
    STOP. DROPPING. GOLD. DROP. RATES.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Anyway, I believe the best focus for Orael's time would be on combat which is his expertise. Again, if there are economy tweaks that I can do, I will. I did have an idea of crafted items having a 'value' (not gold value just general value) that could be increased by the crafter (increasing the value of a piece of jewelry or clothing by investing more comms into the item), then being able to 'trade' crafted items to certain trader denizens.
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  • VatulVatul Member Posts: 265 Virtuoso
    Estarra said:
    We did reduce gold drops! Wasn't there blowback from crafters about increasing comm requirements? Anyway, if that's all that's on the table for economy, we can certainly do those things (reduce gold drops more and increase comms for crafting).
    I've noticed a drop in public designs. It takes longer for me to collect gold for cartels, and things take longer times to sell without seriously undercutting and going in the red to invest in my shop. I'm not sure how to fix the economy as more people are aware than me. I'd refer to the Economy thread for any ideas and suggestions.
    The cool night-time breeze shivers in the arid caress of the streets of the capital city, brushing the earthen taste of dust across your lips.
    *
    A blessed silence falls upon the city for the moment, most activity confined to the towers and the
    theatre due to the snowy weather.
    *
    Pinprick points of light twinkle in the deep black overhead, their brightness full of a cold,
    hungering malice.
  • ShangoShango Member Posts: 181 Adept
    ...would make for an interesting twist. Value of gold return based on comm cost+elaborate quality of the item in question with a value granted by the Crafters critiquing it? (so that it's not just length=gold, I have a super atrocious Axe I tried to win Beauty with I never want to see the light of day again, hate my work)
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    So, just so we're understanding each other...we get a shiny anomaly to work on one of the things we're not complaining about as much, but nada on the stuff most of the people are complaining about?
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • RiviusRivius Your resident wolf puppy Member Posts: 1,681 Transcendent
    Never really played other IREs but do we have a model for a good economy to reference? What works there and how can we adapt it to Lusternia?
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Er, you honestly think no one is complaining about combat, wonder items, hallifax skills, mage update, etc., etc.? Yes, maybe on this thread, several of you are bringing up economy but, please, let's check ourselves on the hyperbole.
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  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    @Rivius - I think we are in free fall in finding a model for a good economy. But I am open to ideas or formats if anyone has any. You can search these forums for threads about the economy we've had before.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,416 Transcendent
    For a quick high level overview of what I've thought of so far for an economic system

    Trades:
    * Move trades out of the skillflex system
    * Rework skills with varying balances of generative skills (creating basic comms, skinning corpses/mining/etc), preparation skills (converting basic comms into advanced comms), crafting skills (actually making items), bonus skills (other benefits for having the trade)
    * Rework crafting itself to make comms matter in various ways (a simple example, basic comms result in inferior items) or provide modifications based on special comms.

    Bashing/Exploring:
    * Introducing methods linked to the generative skills in trades to create basic comms, as well as more generally available methods (drops, general skills, etc)
    * As part of that, have rarity be a function. I.e rare drops, or drops from boss level mobs.

    Orgs/Conflict:
    * Separate the conflict systems from the rewards they produce, instead the conflict systems produce org/guild comms that are used to create the rewards. (i.e domoths give domothean energy of <domoth> that you can then use to craft constructs and the like which provide the benefit with an upkeep requiring that comm)
    * Provide an option for an org or guild to set up a raid to steal these "org comms" from a org or guild.
    * Provide an option for orgs or guilds to trade these comms
    * Some org comms are/can be generated through trades rather than just conflict
    * Potentially, have some guild/org specific comms

    Traders:
    * Potentially... get rid of comm shops, traders could take care of supply through improvements to shopping mechanics.
    * Incorporate some gold generation into this, traders could have quests/requests that just take advanced comms out of the system. The ideal would be that they then pay other players for getting basic comms and the like.


    Front loading trades with generators and preparations would give newer players the ability to run around and get stuff for players further invested in the system, spreading comm generation through the various systems that exist would provide rewards for engaging in them. Working out the conflict mechanic properly could provide a reward for engaging in raiding with some disincentive for unhealthy actions (kick and running) and potentially incentivise shifting alliances by rewarding more successful orgs to target each other rather than working together.
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    Estarra said:
    Er, you honestly think no one is complaining about combat, wonder items, hallifax skills, mage update, etc., etc.? Yes, maybe on this thread, several of you are bringing up economy but, please, let's check ourselves on the hyperbole.
    I know they are. I'm simply saying that we've spent years trying to rework combat, balance around power creep (ie wonderitems and whatnot), balance around a curing change, and so many more things. It's an ongoing process that's never going to end. I just feel like we could devote some resources to things other than combat, Estarra. Maybe change the tires on your car instead of hanging a set of plastic testicles from the trailer hitch ;)
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    A random older player whose name won't be mentioned asked me to post this for him.


    "I stopped playing the game, because everything that interested me mainly, disappeared or stopped being fun, from my god, my guild, and combat in general. There's nothing keeping me coming back to play, because everything that is left just doesn't hook me."
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Don't mess with my testicles, @Shaddus!

    I like some of your ideas, @Saran but:

    *Why move trade out of skillflex? Do you mean everyone who should be able to have every tradeskill regardless of class? Or that you can only have one tradeskill ever and have to forget a trade to take a new one?

    *I have had experience with games where you mine or otherwise produce comms and I am not a big fan. It is monotonous churn for players (worse than old forging) and encourages AFK scripting.

    *I think it'd be disastrous to have a mechanic where orgs can steal comms from other orgs. That's a grief fest waiting to happen.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,416 Transcendent
    Shaddus said:
    Estarra said:
    Er, you honestly think no one is complaining about combat, wonder items, hallifax skills, mage update, etc., etc.? Yes, maybe on this thread, several of you are bringing up economy but, please, let's check ourselves on the hyperbole.
    I know they are. I'm simply saying that we've spent years trying to rework combat, balance around power creep (ie wonderitems and whatnot), balance around a curing change, and so many more things. It's an ongoing process that's never going to end. I just feel like we could devote some resources to things other than combat, Estarra. Maybe change the tires on your car instead of hanging a set of plastic testicles from the trailer hitch ;)
    Also, is there really ever going to be an end to those things? The very design of the skill choice system, combined with the majority of skills being completely shared, and then in the context of the envoy reporting system all seems to work against that. Especially when you can get something balanced then someone turns up later and finds it boring so they start envoying changes.
  • ShangoShango Member Posts: 181 Adept
    Yes to removing tradeskills AWAY from class restrictive gating. But from all reports, that's apparently too big a task with how it's coded, so eh...not sure how it could be done even though it'd be best overall.
  • EstarraEstarra Administrator, Moderator Posts: 1,076 Creator
    Shaddus said:
    A random older player whose name won't be mentioned asked me to post this for him.


    "I stopped playing the game, because everything that interested me mainly, disappeared or stopped being fun, from my god, my guild, and combat in general. There's nothing keeping me coming back to play, because everything that is left just doesn't hook me."
    Thanks for sharing and thank the player for me.
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  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    Saran said:
    Shaddus said:
    Estarra said:
    Er, you honestly think no one is complaining about combat, wonder items, hallifax skills, mage update, etc., etc.? Yes, maybe on this thread, several of you are bringing up economy but, please, let's check ourselves on the hyperbole.
    I know they are. I'm simply saying that we've spent years trying to rework combat, balance around power creep (ie wonderitems and whatnot), balance around a curing change, and so many more things. It's an ongoing process that's never going to end. I just feel like we could devote some resources to things other than combat, Estarra. Maybe change the tires on your car instead of hanging a set of plastic testicles from the trailer hitch ;)
    Also, is there really ever going to be an end to those things? The very design of the skill choice system, combined with the majority of skills being completely shared, and then in the context of the envoy reporting system all seems to work against that. Especially when you can get something balanced then someone turns up later and finds it boring so they start envoying changes.
    Exactly my problem. I'm not saying we don't need envoy-type work on combat, I'm just saying that it's never going to be "done" or "good enough". Meanwhile, we have other things we could be working on that need fixing, underlying problems and issues that people complain about but never seem to get fixed.
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • KalnidKalnid Member Posts: 560 Fabled
    Here's the thing: it doesn't matter if IRE mandates something or not. If it's bad for game health, it's bad for game health. It's just that IRE is mandating something /bad for game health/. If you can't communicate that, well, enjoy your charge of the light brigade.
    Addendum to Portius's thing: not logging reject reasons for books somewhere player-viewable is awful for a variety of reasons. Fix that. Solutions are easy and obvious.
    A for-profit game subsisting heavily on volunteer effort is terrible(also probably illegal under DOL regs). As long as lusternia's shackled to IRE, I'm not sure that's something that can be fixed. Mag hasn't finished its guild overhaul events. Guess what? That's not the fault of volunteers, because they're /volunteering/. And even volunteering is hard as hell, by all accounts! Why are there barriers there, when it's so much of the game's lifeblood? Helpedit is a fantastic first start to this, but it's not enough. Add it to roomdescs for typo fixing, add it to AB files. Shit, figure out a way to let players do mob occupation.
    Cost of entry is still awful. Lusternia calls itself free, but to actually make use of the class you picked is an 80$ buyin. God forbid you want to play another class in your city, that's 200$ at standard rates. And that's discounting any artifact or general skill taxes - noses, contemplate for mana kills, tumble. I'm in firm approval of tritrans at demi at minimum. Alternatively, give a way to generate lessons in game. Bound goop's already generated by a ton of stuff, glue it onto quests (there's already a goop gen cap daily) and let people turn it into lessons.
  • ShaddusShaddus , the Leper Messiah Outside your window.Member Posts: 8,210 Transcendent
    edited October 2018
    Estarra said:

    *I think it'd be disastrous to have a mechanic where orgs can steal comms from other orgs. That's a grief fest waiting to happen.
    Isn't this generally what we're already supposed to be doing with the dwarf kingdoms/angkrag and the kingmaker quest, stealing commodity influx? Not technically stealing, but close enough.


    Shaddus has been trade minister for a while, and it's boring. I think something I'd like to see is a bit more information on comms flowing into my org. Say....

    REVLOG MAGNAGORA

    Vatul has turned in a rockeater to AngkragRockGuy.

    Enough of these may give you 

    Your vassals gifts of gems has increased due to their hard work!

    Whereas "Some thief has stolen the spiders from Angkrag, reducing the donation of silk you have gained." might show up, obviously not naming the sneaky person. Give us some insight into the comms process, as well as who is actually working to further our org .
    Everiine said: The reason population is low isn't because there are too many orgs. It's because so many facets of the game are outright broken and protected by those who benefit from it being that way. An overabundance of gimmicks (including game-breaking ones), artifacts that destroy any concept of balance, blatant pay-to-win features, and an obsession with convenience that makes few things actually worthwhile all contribute to the game's sad decline.
  • MinkahmetMinkahmet Member Posts: 104 Capable
    Estarra said:
    In case you didn't see it:

    ANNOUNCE NEWS #2859
    Date: 10/17/2018 at 3:43
    From: Estarra the Eternal
    To  : Everyone
    Subj: Introducing Orael the Anomaly!

    I'd like to introduce Lusternia's new coder: Orael the Anomaly. He understands
    combat and is familiar with balance and, more importantly, knows Lusternia
    combat like very few others. His first mandate is to balance the combat,
    including artifacts (including promotional artifacts like wonderitems). He will
    be given veto power (even over me!) to take whatever actions he deems necessary
    to bring balance to the game, including reviewing any new potential artifacts or
    powers.

    Further, we will be discarding the envoy system (don't cry!). Rather, we will
    allow anyone to write reports, and allow players to vote on reports, and those
    reports that rise to the top will be addressed. (This is a simplistic overview
    but details will be explained further later.) For the time being, we will keep
    the envoys themselves as a group for feedback.

    After the Anniversary Battlechess Tournament this Sunday (2:00 p.m. PST), Orael
    and I will meet with whoever wishes to meet with us to discuss any topic of your
    choosing.

    Hope to see you then!


    That has to be one of the best moves in the right direction, by getting rid of that envoy system. I used to mention over the years in various incarnations that Lusternia really needs to scrap that system, as I saw just too many negatives coming from that as many times as I've been an envoy in a few characters over the years. I'm finding it hard to believe its coming to fruition.  
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,416 Transcendent
    edited October 2018
    @Estarra

    *Why move trade out of skillflex? Do you mean everyone who should be able to have every tradeskill regardless of class? Or that you can only have one tradeskill ever and have to forget a trade to take a new one?

    As someone with an AB output large enough to not always be able to see the top of it, skillflexing enables self-sufficiency especially with the relevant artifacts to swap around quickly and for free.
    Extra slots aren't as bad without skillflexing because you still can't easily access the majority of trades.

    *I have had experience with games where you mine or otherwise produce comms and I am not a big fan. It is monotonous churn for players (worse than old forging) and encourages AFK scripting.

    A monotonous churn that encourages afk scripting is basically the description of bashing and influencing that is encouraged through the demipowers system. However, what differentiates the generative systems is the entire experience.  Guild Wars 2 and Eve have their buy and sell order systems so you can make a pretty guaranteed profit, almost all of them have some form of market or auction system. It can be incredibly profitable to do that monotony which encourages players to do it.
    Similarly, monotony can be easy if everything is too close, but something like FFXIV often sees you trekking across the world to grab stuff from different places. And again, this provides a way for players to turn their time into money by selling comms to players with less time but more money.


    *I think it'd be disastrous to have a mechanic where orgs can steal comms from other orgs. That's a grief fest waiting to happen.
    The idea I was toying with was that orgs would be able mechanically to launch an attack, resulting in a conflict event. Depending on the outcome of the event you can steal a certain proportion of comms but given (lore reason) you're also risking the defenders "reversing the polarity" and nabbing some of yours instead. With appropriate limitations it'd take a while to actually drain an org to 0 and with mechanics that disincentivise going after weaker orgs, if you're just constantly stomping the same org(s) it'll become less and less worth it over time while it becomes more worth it to go after that bigger org you've been ignoring. (edit: realistically, I imagine the many combatants can probably come up with a way to make this work)
  • MinkahmetMinkahmet Member Posts: 104 Capable
    I have to say the decline of the playerbase actually began about May or June I want to say. It's just lately it took a very DEEP downfall. It was extremely eye-opening to hop on a few days to see literally 5 people who were logged on regardless if they were visible or on prime.  Though yes, your players are your blood and customers, and things need to be planned, organized, and make it happen one at a time. This reminds me of my friend who's like that, Just having all these octopus's arms of projects and not getting anything or barely anything accomplished because he's not focusing on one OR maybe two tasks ahead. In fact, I would suggest that your next move would be to fix Hallifax back up with the reports/issues that have been placed aside and look into any issues that Celest may have concern of. That's purely from pvp/pve standpoint of my concern.  However yes, these concerns the rest of the players have had discussed(even I have) on the nature of Lusternia are rather valid. Just again, this is good progress that I like in the right direction at least.
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  • SaranSaran Member Posts: 2,416 Transcendent
    Anyway, economy is a core system of any game like this one, it provides rewards and incentives for doing things, it has the potential to impact and be impacted by basically every major system in the game.

    As potential examples. Imagine if cold buff enhancements required mats that dropped from creatures in Icewynd, maybe you need stuff from there or snow valley to make cold defence stuff? What if there's a rare comm that could give a stronger buff or maybe even let you craft a weapon with the relevant enchantment damage conversions?

    Your bashing isn't just bashing then, it's hunting down that comm to make something for yourself, to make those items, or to just sell for profit. It's clearing out aggressive mobs that are preventing you from gathering the comms you need. Wanna get fire damage on your weapon, if you make org stuff maybe gaudiguch citizens have something that lets them just make those buffs from fire plane drops.

    Want to add in monetisation, you can drop in denizens similar to XIVs retainers who you can send out to different areas and that return with some gathered comms, with the right time frames for those task lengths you'd be encouraging people, even without elite, to log in every day to see what they've received.
    Obviously with limitations to prevent the previous issues and it's not going to replace what a player could do on their own (would supplement dedicated gatherers though). Though you could even make it a small gold sink by tying stuff back into manses (maybe each of those npcs needs their own room, maybe you can improve their functionality by putting artisan stuff in there)
  • ElrynGreythaneElrynGreythane Member Posts: 114 Apprentice
    I think there are some amazingly well articulated points here, and I'm impressed by pretty much everyone contributing. I agree with a lot of what's been said - for what that's worth coming from someone who probably isn't giving much insight into the majority of players who go inactive over time.

    Personally, what usually tends to lead to my giving up on Lusternia (temporarily) is feeling burned out.  For example:
    • I get lured in by the random promotion of the month and then realise just how much investment is required to get the thing I want most out of the RNG machine (or the NEXT thing if I were just to spend a little bit more maybe...), then can't believe I've committed more money in a month to a game with 30 average players than I would in a year to a multi-million dollar AAA graphical game with hundreds of thousands of players. Despite all my (frankly ridiculous) paid advantages, I still look at the endless lists of artifacts and wonder items and upgrades and so on and see the deficiencies in what I don't have, can't do or do worse than others. And every month it feels like I will just get that little bit further 'behind' if I don't keep up the spend.
    • I want to enjoy the RP atmosphere of a city or guild, but then get worn out spending RL weeks trying to find someone to induct, satisfying a stream of written assignments, essays and interviews to progress, and then feeling like there's a daily commitment to various unfun tasks just to be a good team player. Instead of enjoying the thrill of occasionally discovering a little piece of lore or getting to meet another interesting character, I end up concentrating on city conflict systems that need to be managed, requirements to be met and intricately time-based quests (seriously, 7+ hours continuous playtime to complete something is just irresponsible).
    • I start down the path of trying a new tradeskill or collectible trading system, then quickly find that in order to make a difference in an overheated economy that is vastly over-supplied I am going to have to make infinitesimal markups at best, if not losses, and still likely always be behind the artifact advantage curve (which doesn't stop me trying to go down the artifact path anyway). The same goes for any of the interesting 'world' systems that are not directly combat related - they all seem to require huge amounts of investment and dedication but deliver a fraction of the value/engagement that just being an ace PvP/basher would give.
    • I start to identify something that I feel is clearly an issue or a system that's not working well, and want to contribute towards coming up with solutions or fixed or improvements. I write up forum essays (the fun kind for a change!), and have pointless arguments about fine details of an idea, but then there's almost always no appetite for actually seeing an implementation. Unless it has a direct impact on the PvP viability of a particular class or nation, it's likely to get a 'maybe one day' response at best, if anything, and all those ideas languish and disappear (unless they become an artifact for sale). Then I get frustrated at having spent energy on things that most likely won't change for years, if ever.
    • I start trying to code/understand some sort of combat system, then realise just how big a task that really is for someone who doesn't really get PvP anyway.
    As a result, I can easily end up lurking in a manse not really knowing what I actually want to do other than minor dailies, and often I'm doing nothing other than reading forums or looking at helpfiles.

    Honestly, there's a lot in all this that could be solved solely by a change in mindset and behaviour on my part. So maybe this isn't that helpful from a game design point of view. But I do think there's a way that Lusternia's design could be adjusted:
    1. So that it much more readily gives the impression of being a fun experience for casual players and casual play sessions. 
    2. So that cash investment is still rewarded with convenience and utility and moderate upgrades, but the economic model is weighted heavily towards horizontal accumulation of more alternate character advantages rather than never-ending vertical accumulation of compounding power/advantages. 
    3. So that all of these amazingly intricate, complex systems and economies and conflict mechanics are balanced with simple, low buy-in aspects which are solidly rooted in character role-centric, worldly activities that can still be fun in and of themselves.
    4. So that players of all foci (PvPers, crafters, achievers, roleplayers, etc) can *see* that they have some attention being directed to improving their experience over every development cycle - not just being offered new toys to buy once a month, and a massive rework of combat once a year.
    Anyway. I'm not near that point of burn out right now, and am trying to focus on enjoying the little systems that I am still having fun with and exploring. So hopefully that continues, and there are positive changes to come to the Basin of Life outside of the usual (and endless) combat balancing.
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