Vernal Ascendant Mechanics Critique

NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
Abstract: Over time, a number of changes have occurred with how demigod and ascendant powers are acquired and maintained and how much power can be generated by an organization, making it worthwhile to review how Vernal Ascendants are raised and maintained by an organization. Currently, it costs an org 2 million power to raise their first 2 ascendants, the cost doubling for each ascendant thereafter. In addition, any player below demigod who is raised is immediately promoted the requisite number of levels to 101 and demigods lose 2/3 of their essence upon becoming a Vernal. However, this was when both the Ascendant and demigod skills were static and not customizeable. It is my belief (correct me if I am wrong) that the original system intended for Ascendants to be raised of many flavours (exceptional combatants, diplomats, storytellers, researchers, etc) but what we have in the modern environment is a system where combatants (particularly those whom enjoy holding domoths) hold the lion's share of Ascendant spots compared to those who excel in other areas, to this I feel the system falls short of the original intent. In addition, it is a tremendous, often stifling, responsibility to an organization to continually hold domoths and otherwise carry the weight of an organization on one's shoulders...not for a day, month, or year but for as long as one holds the title of Vernal Ascendant. This can easily lead to player discontent and burnout as the implied and explicit responsibility takes enjoyment out of what otherwise should be an entirely voluntary activity: enjoying the game when and how one wants.

Potential Solution
: In place of the current system, consider the following -

  1. Allow each organization Vernal Ascendant "slots", the first of which is free. Subsequent slots cost 2 million power, doubling thereafter. Any Vernal Demigod may occupy this slot and be raised to a Vernal Ascendant, gaining access to any Ascendant powers as is available currently.
  2. Instead of the current system of raising individuals straight to Vernal Ascendants, instead change it to raising Vernal Demigods from normal Demigods for 1 million power each. Individuals below the level of Demigod would no longer be able to be raised by this method.
  3. If an organization has an Ascendant "slot" free, they may raise any current Vernal Demigod to an Ascendant at the cost of 250k power. If no slot is free, a current Ascendant must either step down or be descended to free up the slot - this process would no longer refund power to the organization. The process of going from Vernal Demigod -> Vernal Ascendant or Vernal Ascendant -> Vernal Demigod is limited to once per game year.
  4. Remove the 2/3 essence loss incurred by individuals who go from Demigod to Ascendant.
  5. As is the case currently, Ascendant powers in excess of the first free one go dormant once one becomes a Vernal Demigod along with the other perks available to Ascendants.
  6. Current Vernal Ascendants would be grandfathered under these changes, however, an organization with more active Ascendants than the current number of slots available would have to descend individuals or increase the number of slots until one is free.

Example:

Let's say it's a fresh start under this system and Magnagora wants two Vernal Ascendants. Since Thalkros is already a Vernal Ascendant, he would be grandfathered and remain a VA. Then let's say, Thoros would want to be a VA again and the city approves. Since in this situation, Magnagora only has one slot, they would first have to spend 2 million power to free a second slot. As Thoros is already a Vernal Demigod, it would take an additional 250k power to raise him to VA.

Now let's say Thalkros wants to take a break and instead of punishing his org for the inactivity, decides to ask to be descended to a Vernal Demigod. The Iron Council does this and makes him a Vernal Demigod, essentially causing all except one of his ascendant abilities to go dormant. They then can raise another individual to VA at the cost of 1 million power to make that individual a Vernal Demigod, then spend an additional 250k power to make this individual a Vernal Ascendant for a total of 1.25m power. A year goes by and things are (tainted!) peaches and cream but Thoros and Thalkros want to switch spots. The Council mutterrs and groans but allow it...thereby descending Thoros (for 0 net power) and ascending Thalkros (for a 250k power cost), once again activating Thalkros' ascendant skills.

Conclusion:

The purpose behind this change is to allow more flexibility for an organization to choose whom to ascend without the severe punishment in power cost for making such changes while still limiting the amount of Vernal Ascendants available at any given time by essentially time-sharing the slot. In addition, an organization is more free to acknowledge the accomplishments of individuals with Vernal-hood without the overburdening thought about whether said individual will increase the combative (damn you domoths!) strength of the organization as a whole as this should maintain a small pool of Vernal Ascendants with a larger pool of Vernal Demigods.

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Comments

  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    I will be able to do a more in-depth analysis and response when I get home, but I am pretty sure that Demigods no longer lose two thirds of their essence when raised.
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  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    Oh, if that's the case, that's a good change whenever that happened then. (Would love to have the essence I lost when that wasn't the case back though! :P)
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    edited June 2013
    I believe it was within a month of raising Sidd (or possibly Celina); it was right after we raised someone, at least. To my knowledge there was no refund there, either.

    Edit: Actually, pretty sure it was right after we raised Vadi.
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  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    To be fair, I imagine there is zero way at this point to know how much someone lost when they were raised, which makes restoring it just a bit tough.
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  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    Yeah, I wasn't being terribly serious with an essence refund. Glad it was changed for future ascendants though.
  • DraylorDraylor Member Posts: 373 Capable
    You sure about the no essence loss? I am not finding anything to this effect so far.

    Saracen Combat & Utility System: Undergoing rewrite. IRE-wide single system coming in due course.
    HTML game logging site: http://www.logsty.com ([email protected])
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  • SilvanusSilvanus The Sparrowhawk Member Posts: 1,659 Transcendent

    ANNOUNCE NEWS #2003

    - o There is no longer a 66% essence loss when ascending a demigod via a
    Nexus of Power.
    2014/04/19 01:38:01 - Leolamins drained 2000000 power to raise Silvanus as a Vernal Ascendant.
    2014/07/23 05:01:29 - Silvanus drained 2000000 power to raise Munsia as a Vernal Ascendant.
    2015/05/24 06:03:07 - Silvanus drained 2000000 power to raise Arimisia as a Vernal Ascendant.
    2015/05/24 06:03:58 - Silvanus drained 2000000 power to raise Lavinya as a Vernal Ascendant.
  • DraylorDraylor Member Posts: 373 Capable
    Neat, thanks mate.

    Saracen Combat & Utility System: Undergoing rewrite. IRE-wide single system coming in due course.
    HTML game logging site: http://www.logsty.com ([email protected])
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  • SsalissSsaliss Member Posts: 3,575 Transcendent
    Personally, as a non-com, I'd love to see this change happen. It sometimes feels a bit disheartening to know that ascendancy is solely available to combatants; orgs would never raise a non-com under the current rules, and there is basically no chance of a non-com becoming a TA.
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  • ThalkrosThalkros Member Posts: 216 Expert
    So, just so I understand the maths here, and using me and Magnagora for an example: We have the freebie slot that I'm grandfathered into. We then want to raise Silvanus. We need to pay 2 million power to purchase a second slot, in which case we would then still need to pay 1 million power to move Silvanus from Demigod to Vernal Demigod first, and then an additional 250k to make him full Vernal Ascendant.

    In total, for a second VA it would cost us 3,250,000 power, 1.25m up from the current system.

    Same process surrounding a 3rd. Let's say we raise Ixion, we need to pay 4 million for the 3rd slot, 1 million to elevate him to Vernal Demigod, and then 250k to slot him into Vernal Ascendant.

    This makes the 3rd VA cost 5,250,000 power, up 1.25m from current.

    I assume the tradeoff is that under idea we could raise an infinite amount of Vernal Demigods for 1 million power, and swap them around as we felt like it. Which I suppose is not a terrible thing, but would the initial setup costs for slots and first time Ascendants really be worth all this?

    I don't know yet if something like this would put less of a burden on orgs/individuals, It's something I feel is a real problem at times. I fully understand your sentiments about being a VA, it's certainly something only a few of us can agree on where most others who play the game will likely never understand. I can't speak for every org, but the position of Vernal Ascendant has always felt more chore than fun, people love you when you're 100% active and hold down Domoths and leading the charge in defenses/raids, but the moment you need a few days break its suddenly "RA RA WORST ASCENDANT EVER!"

    I like where your thought process is going, it really would be nice to see some changes done to allow Vernal status to be open to a wider range of people and put less strain on us existing ones, while keeping everything from getting to out of hand. We certainly don't need 20 people in a group all with fearaura ticking or destro bombing folks.
  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    It'd be better if you just gave every org 1 VA slot by default, first one from there costs 1 million to buy, doubling up from there.  Then you're paying 1 mil for the second slot + 1 mil to Vernal Demigod.

    I don't see why organizations wouldn't get a number of slots equal to the number of VAs they already have though, since they already paid the scaling cost for those VAs.  They just wouldn't get a refund for the ones they've raised / dropped (that power's "gone" at this point).
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  • ShedrinShedrin Member Posts: 905 Transcendent
    1 million for the second slot sounds better.

    I'm not sure this will be used to raise non-combatant VAs, instead of raising a bunch of combatant VDs.
  • KioKio Member Posts: 992 Mythical
    Shedrin said:
    1 million for the second slot sounds better.

    I'm not sure this will be used to raise non-combatant VAs, instead of raising a bunch of combatant VDs.
    That last bit made me giggle.  Then again, I'm a bit immature at times.  Oh well.

    *titter*
  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    Well, the idea is that every org has 1 slot by default. It's additional slots thereafter that cost 2m and so on.

    I think it's reasonable if a new slot allows for 1 individual to be raised as a Vernal Demigod to be free of cost to put it more in line with what the current costs are for raising VA's. (So at most, it'd cost 250k power more than what it does currently for the first VA using that slot, which isn't too bad). I'll add that once I figure out how to edit my own posts in this new forum setup.

  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    You have to stop being Inept first.

    Getting badges, likes, and agrees will eventually let you edit posts; at a lower point value you can only edit for the first hour or so.

    Hover over the top right corner of your newest post and you'll see a little gear icon, click on it and you can then press Edit.
    image
  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    Well, that's pretty inconvenient, guess I'll just have to make due with it as is for now.
  • VivetVivet , of Cows and Crystals Member Posts: 2,223 Transcendent
    The numbers might need some fine tuning, but I like the general idea.

    While this would be mechanically pleasant, though, I'm unsure if it would be considered. I think this is always supposed to be a weighty investment, which is made all the more frustrating by the fact that not having one puts your org at a very real and distinct disadvantage, so there is a kind of need to have one if you want a more levelled playing field.
  • AlbanAlban Member Posts: 93 Apprentice
    edited June 2013
    I like the premise behind this, but I'm not sure how much it will help.

    Instead of getting 2 combatant VA's, won't you just get more combatant DA's? While it would encourage orgs to raise more people, nothing has really changed to encourage those people to not be coms.

    This is mainly because being a VA doesn't really provide you any tools to increase your prowess at diplomacy, scholarship, etc. It's all combat focused, as are taking domoths.

    And I do think domoths are starting to get stagnant to a lot of people. Justice went into play the other day and no one took it until Ixion realized that no one else felt like doing it.

    I helped out with a domoth the other day and was pretty much bored out of my mind for an hour. I have no interest helping again unless it's a combat situation to try and take it from someone. I can't imagine being responsible for doing it constantly.
  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    edited June 2013
    Well, Vernal Demigods aren't that different from a normal demigod. Their advantages mainly include 50 more weight for powers and a choice of 1 VA power (still costs essence/weight, of course). If it becomes an issue, it's just a matter of stripping Vernal Demi's of one or more of those advantages so that the main reason for their existence would be to provide a pool of people whom are able to become VA's at a reduced cost. Frankly, I'd be fine with Vernal Demi's being exactly the same as a normal Demigod except for the different honours and a path to VA.
  • VivetVivet , of Cows and Crystals Member Posts: 2,223 Transcendent
    There's actually a fair few powers that have nothing to do with combat, like influence/amnesty powers and listening in on rooms by line of sight. The thing is, the combat buffs are nice enough that you'd end up feeling rather silly spending the majority of your weight on them. Some of them are also pretty darn expensive essence wise, compared to the combat stuff which you're more likely to get better mileage out of.

    There's a whole slew of Ascendant powers that don't really see the light of day.
  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    RE: Alban

    You do make a good point regarding how VA skills don't really assist terribly much in diplomacy, scholarship, etc. I think that's another issue altogether that can be addressed by massaging the pool of available VA powers to help in those areas. (For instance, I was always a big fan of stuff like judicious presence over more individualistic skills like destruction since it offers a nice temporary advantage to the whole org and gives a nice presence to an Ascendant) At this point, there's probably fairly good data on which skills are chosen most frequently and it should be just a matter of picking less-used skills and sprucing them up to be useful for non-comm activities.
  • LeradLerad Member Posts: 2,405 Transcendent
    The idea behind this suggestion is basically, keep VA mechanics as is, but turn VDs into spots that non-coms can be elevated into, by lowering the cost to make a VD (as compared to making a VA).

    The rationale is good, but the execution will be flawed. As pointed out, you won't see much of an increase in non-coms VDs being made just because you lowered the "punishment" for an org to give recognition to their non-coms. In the current system, to give recognition to a non-com via the VA system, an org "punishes" itself by wasting at least 2 million power, and the opportunity cost of having a combatant VA. The suggestion lower the power to 1 million, and change the opportunity cost to that of not having a combatant VD instead (VDs are less "valuable" than VAs in a combat scenario, so the opportunity cost is lower, so to speak). Yes, overall, the punishment is lower now, but it's still 1 million power gone and having other orgs have 1 VD more than your own org.

    The only way to resolve non-coms being permanently sidelined from the VA system is to overhaul not the costs of the VA system, but the perks and the purpose of it. Until and unless people's perception of VAs and VDs are changed from "it's a combatant position!" the goal of allowing the system to recognize non-coms will never be achieved. Until orgs no longer feel "punished" for raising a non-com, they will continue to be sidelined. As it is, VAs simply give far too much tactical and combat advantage to the org, with the vast majority of perks they gain access to being geared toward said combat and tactical purposes. The pure value of the VA/VD makes anything that would reduce or slow down the acquisition of VA/VDs for combat purposes by an org undesirable.

    Any attempt to recognize non-coms using this system must meet the following criteria to meet successful implementation:
    1) It must not draw from the same cost-pool (org power, in this case) as raising the current VA/VDs.
    2) It must not have perks that lend it to being a combatant position.

  • XenthosXenthos Shadow Lord Member Posts: 6,012 Transcendent
    All that VD really gives is +50 weight and +1 purchasable Ascendant power.  So it's not really a huge combatant position.  You don't get better Domoth abilities with it.

    I believe that is the point of this idea.
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  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    RE: Lerad

    I definitely understand the problem you are highlighting involving non-combatants and their standing in the current VA system along with the potential flaws in my proposal however I think it would be difficult to have separate "pools" for raising an individual to either be a non-com VA or a com VA for the following reasons:

    • You'd be artificially pushing folks into one camp or the other. Often what you'd see is someone who might be more known for one avenue more than the other but will dabble in both.
    • It'd make the system far more complicated (how will nexus power be calculated for this cost?)
    • How do you reconcile disparities behind the responsibility of combatant VA's (who are expected to hold domoths/constantly lead/have good power input) to that of a non-combatant VA (which, I assume, would not have the same responsibilities)?

    As briefly mentioned earlier, I think a part of the problem involves how the domoth system and the large difference in claiming speeds between a demigod and an ascendant on top of additional powers, weight, and advantages to essence loss. It's really a whole different morass of issues that I can't hope to address alongside this for fear that the main thrust of the change I'm hoping to spark here gets lost in that morass. I think, though, if we were to either reduce the advantage that Ascendants have in claiming speed/claiming time or increase both for demigods, it would just be a matter of making the current Ascendant powers more attractive for non-comms (and more attractive for orgs to consider non-comms as VA's) to make it work.

  • MalariousMalarious Member Posts: 592 Gifted
    What if ascending/VA allowed you to indicate WAR or PEACE where it gives a discount to specific powers (PEACE gets cheaper trades, influence, diplomacy, etc) and penalty on the other side. Meaning a war ascendant would have pretty much the same powers they do now (maybe slightly more with lower weights) but would have a more vested reason to have a peaceful ascendant.   To mechanically encourage having peace ascendants, maybe have WAR and PEACE tracked separately or allow raising a PEACE ascendant to be cheaper if done after a war (the nexus is easier to handle the balance).

    Not a very fleshed idea, but nothing says if you are going that far you cannot make some changes to the system to encourage it.  Problem is, why raise a tradesman/influencer?  Maybe they get perks in village influence to make them speshul!
  • ThalkrosThalkros Member Posts: 216 Expert
    Lusternia: It is the 4th Century... and there is only WAR
  • LlandrosLlandros Member Posts: 457 Gifted
    I think it would be better to find a new mechanic for noncoms rather than forcing them into the ascendant structure.

    As long as ascendant has a lower domoth claiming time people will freak if they refuse to help claim domoths simply because they are noncoms.

    Maybe something like each city can pick one every 15 years to serve for 15 years, which is like 6 RL months. They get a village influencing buff and can perform city rites like guilds can perform guild rites. And they are seen as the cultural bastion of the org.

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  • NymeryaNymerya Member Posts: 131 Master
    I agree that there just needs to be something along the same theme as a reward for non-coms. It doesn't matter how many people say that it should be a reward for anyone and it should be based in RP, it very very clearly is not. Not in any way, shape or form

    . A completely different set of skills and abilities would be brilliant. Maybe with the potential to perhaps submit small event ideas, be involved in running them for the city, etc. 
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  • NydekionNydekion Member Posts: 14 Novice
    edited June 2013
    Actually, I like Llandros' idea of a different (though also limited) post for non-comms to aspire to that would also grant an Ascendant type status (having natural flight but without the domoth claiming bonus - instead the city rite bonus would be innate). The temporary status would be a good way to limit both burnout and allow greater participation in what is otherwise an endgame scenario. It should probably be mutually exclusive with the current ascendant skillset.

    Potential skills could be:
    • 15 minute city-wide buff to village influencing (15%) that is re-useable once per hour.
    • 15 minute city-wide buff to debate damage defense (10%) that is re-useable once per hour
    • small power tithe per X amount of esteem generated via influencing
    • ability to bless an event once per game year that doubles cultural activity calculations depending on the number of citizens present in the room at a time. Echo for the skill could be customizable but subject to admin review.
    • ability to temporarily censure the culture of another org, lowering their cultural activity generation by 50% for one game month, useable once per game year, does not stack.

    These should probably be mutually exclusive with each other:

    • ability to boost the comm production of a village scaling with village feeling level (5%, 8%, 10%), persistent. Effect is boosted by 50% if the org also has a commercial governing policy.
    • ability to boost power generation of a village scaling with village feeling level (5%, 8%, 10%), persistent. Effect is boosted by 25% if the org has a religious governing policy.
    • ability to convert a small portion of total conquest pool power into nexus power (2%) per month, persistent. Effect is boosted by 50% if the org has a conquest governing policy.

    I imagine a number of skills from the current ascendant power set could also carry over (peaceful mind, sanctity of body, judicious presence, havoc cry, etc) and would likely have the same structure insofar as having 3 powers per seal type. If I were to envision this, I'd say an org should first have to raise an individual to a Vernal Demigod, after which conversion into a "Vernal Transcendant" (inb4 other names!) would be free and limited to 15 game years per term, limited to 1 slot per org. In addition, instead of spending "essence", a Vernal Transcendent could accrue strength via number of books, plays, etc. personally written and successfully submitted for learning their powers. This tally is ideal because a persistent record is kept of an individual's submissions and could remain despite the temporary status of the position.

    Post edited by Nydekion on
  • LlandrosLlandros Member Posts: 457 Gifted
    I don't see any org raising a vernal demi for any purpose other than ascension. If anything they new post should not be open to vernal anythings to make sure the noncomms have a shot at it.

    I would avoid things like your censure idea. I'd rather have these people raised above squabbles like that. The cultural imact of other orgs is beneath them even noticing.

    If they are temporary appointments, which I like to make them sufficiently different from ascendants, having improvements that they could work toward only to take them away at the end of their term through no fault of their own is kinda mean. Also, if there is a power cost to raising one, it should be minimal.

    I do like the idea of them gaining something from the org's culture score and maybe have that as a new kind of currency that they can spend on city rites and handing out influence buffs and stuff.

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