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 Post subject: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:37 pm 
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The current game has several issues we need to review and discuss. Also this will be a good thread for PJ to review once he gets settled to help with a solution to the problems. I will list the problems here and as anyone comes up with another one we can add it to the list and make this an overall sticky.

#1 - Credit Sharing with smaller players
The major problem with this is the amount of credits that is being shared as it gives the smaller player getting the credits an unfair advantage over the player that has earned it. Examples to follow:

Example A
Quote:
Player A attacks smaller players ship and gets a bounty. Player B drops a planet with the credits and player A attacks it and pays the bounty off. Granted with the new bounty code there is a limit to the number of times that this can happen, however the target of the attack worked very hard for what he had and the attacker did not.


Example B
Quote:
Player A attacks Players Bs defense, Player A takes tons of Damage. Larger Player C drops funds on planet, now Player A can continue to attack the SD with out consequence as Player C can continue to fund that player.


These are just two examples as to why this is a problem. What it creates is a bad attitude from the smaller players for these tactics. Everyone is guilty of this. My opinion is players need to earn their credits and pay their own bounties and not be given the credits. The players in question are not even on the same teams so this isn't even a team cash issue.

I'll be adding more later.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:25 pm 
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I agree with this, however, I remind that while it can be exploited, it can also be used for legit reasons, such as paying players for their services. A wealthy builder could hire an attacker to eliminate another attacker threat, and need to pay them. An attacker could hire a spy. The IGB doesn't transfer enough money for this kind of payment to work, so it kinda has to be via planets like this. If you somehow did stop this, you wouldn't just be stopping the exploit.

I'm just encouraging everyone to bear this in mind.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 9:30 am 
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Solution Ideas #1
I was sitting here trying to best solve the money transfer solution and I came up with this idea. That may or may not fix it.

Base attacking efficiency on Experience Points.
Experience can only be earned when attacking players in your score range.
Attacking smaller players will reduce your experience points.
Attacking based on a team score will not increase your exp if that player is not in your score range.
If you attack a player on a team that is a specific percentage lower than you, you will lose exp points.
Attacking players opposing alignment that is a specific percentage lower than you, you will lose exp points.
Take a bounty that is not an edgy bounty and you lose all your exp points.
The higher your exp the higher your attack efficiency becomes.


OK, now how does this effect giving a player credits? It doesn't. What it DOES do, is say a player is paid to take a bounty. Is taking a bounty worth losing his whole load of exp points. What it does, is make the player think if it is worth it or not.. See example below:

Quote:
Player A has never taken a bounty and has always attacked players in his score range so his efficiency is 100% Player B is an oportunist, he has taken bounties here and there attacked smaller players every chance he gets. So his efficincy is around 30%
Both have equal ships. Who is going to win?


Note this is just an idea, nothing in stone, just a way to combat some of this. It will also make giving new players credits and ships pretty much worthless. A player flying around in a loaded excel with 10% efficiency is pretty worthless.

Note: I am half a sleep I may read this later and say, man that idea sucked :)

Thoughts? comments? suggestions?



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:19 am 
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I would change some of it, but I actually like it a lot. First, obviously, the smaller the player, the more exp you lose. Second, the bigger the player, the more exp you gain.

Here's a possible formula. If victim is bigger, attacker gains c*((victim's net worth/attacker's net worth)-1)*, where c is some constant that can be changed based on waht you see in the game. Here I use the net worth instead of score because a player that has twice my score has four times my net worth. Three times my score means nine times my net worth. I think this is a little more fair; just going by score wouldn't be enough.

Oh, and just a starting suggestion for the value of c would be 100. Something around that range would be good.

Next, if a player attackers somone lower, they LOSE c*((attacker's net worth/victim's net worth)-1)*. With c at 100, and the attacker having twice the score of the victim, that would mean they lose 300 exp points.

However, you can't really punish a player for attacking someone who is nonbounty because of team. That's really no exploit, so I suggest not subtracting exp in such a case.

Now something else to address: When will a player reach 100% efficiency, or 0% efficiency?

I think I have a very good answer for this. For both, never. I understand if the math I'm about to put down may seem a little superfluous, but let me explain what it does. I think this would work very well. It's actually called the "Learning Curve" because that's what it simulates: a person learning something overtime. It isn't meant to go backwards, but we need that for the purposes of stopping the exploit, so I'm going to describe a way to modify it momentarily.

If experience is positive, the efficiency modifier (a number to be multiplied by all relevant values used in combat) will be 1+(1-1/(e^(s*x)))** where x is experience. S should be some small multiple of the reciprocal of c. The bigger c is, the smaller you'll need to make s. Here's a sample equation.

If c=100 and s=.0005, then once a person attacks some one of twice their net worth (1.41 times their score) five times, they'll have a modifier of 1.91792

Note that attacking someone the same size as you does not impact your experience with the definition I gave above.

Here I'll take another break to describe a little better what these numbers are. When you have not done ANY attacking, your modifier will be 1-1/(e^(0))+1=1-1+1=1. That means you're combat numbers will be the same as they currently are in the game (we must be careful not to punish builders for not attacking). This cooresponds to an efficiency of .5. The maximum it is possible to get is 2 (actually impossible to get, but you can in theory come infinitely close). Again, since they have a multiplier of 1, this cooresponds to an efficiency of .5 since 1 is half of 2.

I personally think 1.91792 is a little high for the case described above (that's like an efficiency of 95.9%). So, let's make s smaller. How about .0001.

c=100 s=.0001, after five attacks against someone of twice their size, a person's modifier will be 1.39347, which cooresponds to an efficiency percentage of 69.67%. That's a little more reasonable.

And, just so you all know, making c=1 and s=.1 would give the same results, because s is still .1*1/c.

I would actually make s still smaller, but that's just me. Bear in mind the relationship between s and c when toying with either. And of course, a player's experience should be visible to everyone else in the rankings.

Now here's how it would work for negative experience. I already explained how you would get that.

You'd have to run some test. I can program my calculator... using that format, it would be "If exp < 0, then define cmod=-(1-e^(s*x))+1 EndIf"

If you'll notice, that's the same as =1-(1-1/e^(-s*x)), so it's basically starting with 1, and then subtracting an amount equal to what it would add if the experience were positive, never subtracting more than 1.

I don't mean to do you guys' job for you, but I really like your idea, Tarnus, and I think this would be a great way to put it into effect. You could maybe double experience gained when attacking a ship or something, and maybe even have attacking SD effect experience (halve the experience gained or lost though or something like that). This way, attacking a planet would give less than a ship, and attacking SD would give less than a planet. You could do whatever.

Almost all the constants given here can be modified and toyed with, but always keep in mind what they do!!! lol. If you don't know something does, ask me, and I'd be happy to explain it.

Again, like your idea a lot Tarnus, and I think this would be a great way to put it into effect.

*the -1 in both these cases is important. It will make things a lot more sensible.
**The +1 is not a part of the normal learning curve equation, but it is important for this. Otherwise, people would start out defenseless.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:26 am 
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This does not address someone not in bounty range, or was that the intent?

That is
Player A pays player b to attack player C.
Player b will not get a bounty for attacking player C
They may not have enough firepower to take them, so A gives money to B to build up and attack C.
There is no penalty of this. Not saying there should since as a larger player you have to do something like this to attack lower players. Just noting that it is not affected.


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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 10:03 am 
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You are here discussing another change to the game, without allowing the other change to be implemented. I would recommend allowing the other change to the ship planet tech level to happen and have a chance to play out before making even more changes. Limiting attacking any further will just turn the game into a big build-A-thon and only really allow attacking of such a small percentage of the players in the game. If you truly feel that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with ASAP, make it so the planets have a countdown similar to how the bounty countdown works. Until the planets countdown reaches zero, the planets revolt and blow themselves up.

I do like this idea, and it would resolve a lot more issues than create, while keeping the game closer to how it is now. It resolves people attacking smaller players and taking bounties. It resolves hiring smaller players from doing your dirty work. All around it still leaves the option and the choice in the players hands. It resolves the issue in the sense that the player really needs to ask themselves "Is it worth it?" and more often than not it won't be. Just because you won't get a bounty will no longer be enough of a reason to attack.

This particular round I was/am my teams attack dog, stay low and have a big ship to pound on those that needed it.(or deserved it) This change would have made it much less desirable for me to have assumed that role. The result of this change would have made us pursue a different style of play. Although I would still get much enjoyment from podding Val!! :lol:

I have read phirephly's blog about his and others proposed changes, the ones that were started in Tarnus's blog. He and others have put forth some really good ideas that would be worth pursuing. Those changes would do more to advance this game and keep new players around longer. The change announced and this idea fixes problems, but continues to limit what players can do. They favor the little/new guy to heavily while tying the hands of the bigger and more experienced players. You may want to keep the new players around, but you don't want to drive away the other players either. In the 9 months that I have been playing I have learned a lot. I had 2 really good teachers in that regards and they learned from other really good players. The ideas mentioned in the blogs would allow for an environment where real teaching can occur and prepare them for the big bad realities of realspace!


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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:02 pm 
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Ash wrote:
This does not address someone not in bounty range, or was that the intent?

That is
Player A pays player b to attack player C.
Player b will not get a bounty for attacking player C
They may not have enough firepower to take them, so A gives money to B to build up and attack C.
There is no penalty of this. Not saying there should since as a larger player you have to do something like this to attack lower players. Just noting that it is not affected.


Yes you are right. This is why I created this post so we can all work together and come up with solutions. I like the exp thing as this more or less limits what a paid attacker can take. Sure he can beat the player, but its not going to be easy as his efficiency as an attacker is worthless without experience. Still something to consider.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:13 pm 
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MadMArdigan666 wrote:
You are here discussing another change to the game, without allowing the other change to be implemented. I would recommend allowing the other change to the ship planet tech level to happen and have a chance to play out before making even more changes. Limiting attacking any further will just turn the game into a big build-A-thon and only really allow attacking of such a small percentage of the players in the game. If you truly feel that this is an issue that needs to be dealt with ASAP, make it so the planets have a countdown similar to how the bounty countdown works. Until the planets countdown reaches zero, the planets revolt and blow themselves up.


Mad, thats why this post is here to discuss it. I'm not necessarily discussing additional changes I am throwing out options. Its a delicate balance in putting too many limits in the game. Like I said, I don't like them, right now it makes me feel too safe.

MadMArdigan666 wrote:
I do like this idea, and it would resolve a lot more issues than create, while keeping the game closer to how it is now. It resolves people attacking smaller players and taking bounties. It resolves hiring smaller players from doing your dirty work. All around it still leaves the option and the choice in the players hands. It resolves the issue in the sense that the player really needs to ask themselves "Is it worth it?" and more often than not it won't be. Just because you won't get a bounty will no longer be enough of a reason to attack.

This particular round I was/am my teams attack dog, stay low and have a big ship to pound on those that needed it.(or deserved it) This change would have made it much less desirable for me to have assumed that role. The result of this change would have made us pursue a different style of play. Although I would still get much enjoyment from podding Val!! :lol:


See, now your seeing why I was thinking along these lines. :)


MadMArdigan666 wrote:
I have read phirephly's blog about his and others proposed changes, the ones that were started in Tarnus's blog. He and others have put forth some really good ideas that would be worth pursuing. Those changes would do more to advance this game and keep new players around longer. The change announced and this idea fixes problems, but continues to limit what players can do. They favor the little/new guy to heavily while tying the hands of the bigger and more experienced players. You may want to keep the new players around, but you don't want to drive away the other players either. In the 9 months that I have been playing I have learned a lot. I had 2 really good teachers in that regards and they learned from other really good players. The ideas mentioned in the blogs would allow for an environment where real teaching can occur and prepare them for the big bad realities of realspace!


I think you are referring to KZ's ideas, I like them alot as well. I am very concerned that if we add too many limits it will create more problems than it solves. This is why I am asking for others to contribute ideas and discussions. PJs gonna be ready to start working on the game again here real soon, and if we have some good solid solutions we can let him try and implement them in a test game to see how well they will flesh out.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:47 pm 
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The thing is, you can't be too tough with the experience system. I really like the idea behind the system, but attackers often fight with anyone in their bounty range, higher or lower. This change will really only make a big difference either over a long time (repeated attacks on smaller players without attacking larger ones to balance) or against someone who is much lower.

But anyway, as far as the philosophy of keeping the choice in the player's hands, and them asking for themselves "is it worth it?" I really support it. Just like my idea with bounties, it allows a player to go all ship and no planets, but at the cost of fewer targets. They can do it, but is it worth it? I really do think this is the direction the game ought to take.

By the way, MM, you've yet to pod me in a real ship. Those ships before, first, were building ships, and second, all your attacks on me were made when I thought we were at peace, so you've really accomplished nothing. Pod me NOW, and you've gotten me.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:32 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
I think you are referring to KZ's ideas, I like them alot as well. I am very concerned that if we add too many limits it will create more problems than it solves. This is why I am asking for others to contribute ideas and discussions. PJs gonna be ready to start working on the game again here real soon, and if we have some good solid solutions we can let him try and implement them in a test game to see how well they will flesh out.


It was KZ"S blog, for those that may not have read KZ's bog here it is use the link.Ithttp://www.aatraders.com/readblog/dac91775fd510be6a394e6030b0aebb2e89bc15fe2f6eb8e#bottom
It discusses a game style that benefits all. PVE, player versus environment and player versus player game play.

I feel that its important to provide a system of absolute protection to those that need it. I also feel its just as important to open up the playing field more for players in the PVP portion of the game.

Quote:
See, now your seeing why I was thinking along these lines. :)


Its not that I have ever disagreed for the need of some changes, just how limiting those changes are. Its a great game that you and PJ have created. I Hope to see it around for many years to come. Thats why in other posts i have seemed really opposed to the proposed changes. Any solid idea that 1) protects those that are learning 2) Allows for players to get their feet wet and learn by success or loss 3) Keeps the game open and in the hands of the individual player.

To that end I suggest the conversation should go as follows.
1. discuss the problems in the game while discussing what works in the game. Players may bring forth problems that were not previously thought of. As well players then have a voice as to what aspects of the game they like.
2. discuss what sort of simple solutions there are to address the problems. Simple may be the best way to go so that programming doesn't take long, for PJ's sake.
3. For those problems that aren't simple to fix find bigger solutions for them.

As some of what I mentioned up there has happened, there was more participation by those that have been around for a while. To resolve that I suggest opening a part of the forum to public posting to allow those newer or unaware players to post in this forum on this particular subject only.


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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:08 pm 
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Valience wrote:
By the way, MM, you've yet to pod me in a real ship. Those ships before, first, were building ships, and second, all your attacks on me were made when I thought we were at peace, so you've really accomplished nothing. Pod me NOW, and you've gotten me.


I've gotten you. :P I just happened to beat MM to the punch...no doubt in my mind he would have gotten you sooner or later.
aka The First Horseman.


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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:12 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
Solution Ideas #1
I was sitting here trying to best solve the money transfer solution and I came up with this idea. That may or may not fix it.

Base attacking efficiency on Experience Points.
Experience can only be earned when attacking players in your score range.
Attacking smaller players will reduce your experience points.
Attacking based on a team score will not increase your exp if that player is not in your score range.
If you attack a player on a team that is a specific percentage lower than you, you will lose exp points.
Attacking players opposing alignment that is a specific percentage lower than you, you will lose exp points.
Take a bounty that is not an edgy bounty and you lose all your exp points.
The higher your exp the higher your attack efficiency becomes.


OK, now how does this effect giving a player credits? It doesn't. What it DOES do, is say a player is paid to take a bounty. Is taking a bounty worth losing his whole load of exp points. What it does, is make the player think if it is worth it or not.. See example below:

Quote:
Player A has never taken a bounty and has always attacked players in his score range so his efficiency is 100% Player B is an oportunist, he has taken bounties here and there attacked smaller players every chance he gets. So his efficincy is around 30%
Both have equal ships. Who is going to win?


Note this is just an idea, nothing in stone, just a way to combat some of this. It will also make giving new players credits and ships pretty much worthless. A player flying around in a loaded excel with 10% efficiency is pretty worthless.

Note: I am half a sleep I may read this later and say, man that idea sucked :)

Thoughts? comments? suggestions?


I like it, but I would like to have it not affect a larger player defending a lair. Suppose a peaceful builder is under attack from a smaller guy and manages to pod the aggressor..should he/she be penalized? Leaves open the "build kill" problem....


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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Well the penalty for just one offense, and especially within bounty range, would probably be very slight.

First, your ship was way bigger than mine, I'm sure, which along pretty much whipes out bragging rights. Second, you just got lucky. I was scheduled to move out of there and behind a lot of SD in a couple hours, and neither of you would have gotten me then.

Get me while I'm online and you can say something.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:18 pm 
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I like the experience idea as well. I see experience as a method of gaining levels naturally, as a lifelong RPG player. So my solution is similarly RPG based. All players are level 0 in the beginning. Every 50 experience a player gains 1 level. A players "Captain Level" if you will, compared to that players ships attack tech levels determines the efficiency of an attack.

Example 1 wrote:
LordTonto's stats
Beams : 160
Torps : 140
Fighters : 150
Experience : 7,500

Level : 150 ((experience of 7500 / 50 = 150))

Beam efficiency : 94% ((150/160 = 0.9375 or 93.75%, I suggest rounding up to 94%))
Torp efficiency : 100% ((150/140 = 1.0714285 or 100%, I wouldn't recommend double efficiency))
Fighter efficiency : 100% ((150/150 = 1))


This does create a few problem though.

1) New players starting with 0 exp under this system would theoretically never be able to attack with over 0% efficiency. I can only counter this half way. I would suggest that when attacking a player whose score is higher than yours (possibly as much higher so as he would get a bounty for attacking you) there is no efficiency penalty. This way no player is ever limited from trying to gain experience.

The problem remains half unsolved though because it does not take into account if the player with 0 experience is defending from an attack. Sure, the immense penalty to one's own experience for attacking someone with 0 experience would be enough to deter most people, but it still doesn't change the fact that the defending player was most likely a newbie struck down without anything to defend.

2) It also leaves open the potential for the builder types to be attacked in their own base and not be able to defend in any way due to the fact that he was generally not a fighter. The obvious solution for this is to allow attack efficiency to be unchanged when in your own territory. Which creates problem number

3) If you allow people to attack with full efficiency from their own territory, you will inevitably end up with plenty of prime new player targets who just drift in random sectors. Build killing them is all too easy, but a solution to this isn't too difficult or even unreasonable. Twenty-Four hours to claim a sector after you base the majority of the planets. Doesn't seem too ridiculous, does it? You base a planet in a 1 planet capacity sector with only the intent of killing a drifter and what do you know, it still isn't your territory... not yet at least. That gives said drifter 24 hours to vacate the sector, if he doesn't than that's no fault of the attacker.

Now for a hypothetical question on what merits experience. First let's introduce the characters

Player The First Horseman. 20% attack efficiency. Higher scored player.
Player Okita. 100% attack efficiency. Lower scored player. Just high enough not to be a bounty to The First Horseman.

Okita is offline, drifting in space. The First Horseman finds him and engages. Through the new system Okita manages a miraculous win, let's examine what would happen as has been explained thus far. First Horseman, the aggressor of a lower scoring player lost his ship and should lose experience as well, afterall, he attacked someone smaller. Okita, however, who was offline and had no idea he was even under attack not only gets to live even though he is recklessly parked out in the middle of nowhere, but also GAINS experience for the victory.

This, mind you, is only a hypothetical and while i believe win or lose, the attacking party should lose experience for attacking smaller foes and gain experience for attacking larger ones. The defending party however should not risk any experience as he may not even be aware of the attacks going on. This works both ways of course, if Okita attacks First horseman in the above scenario and loses, First Horseman SHOULD NOT lose exp for this, afterall, it wasn't his decision to be attacked.

These are my "off the top of my head" thoughts. Discuss, criticize, pick-apart and re-assemble them. I'll be back later to see what mutated form my idea my have taken.



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 Post subject: Re: Current Main Discussion around in game issues
PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:00 pm 
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I like the idea, but as you pointed out, it does present difficulties.

You're basically creating an entirely new system, while just adding experience (as I described, for example, though other forms work as well) are just a bit of a tweak. As you said, new players with 0 experience will be severely disadvantaged, which is why I proposed starting everyone at 50% efficiency. If you attack little guys, that goes down. If you attack bigger guys, that goes up.

And worse than the new guy problem is the builder problem. I like the idea of not taking anything into account like that for defending, and I also agree completely that the victim (whomever did NOT press the attack button) should not have their experience modified in any way by an attack.

However, I don't think it would be good to incorporate the idea of excluding efficiency for the defender into the idea as I presented it.

Just to touch on lower techs...

You explain how with higher techs you lose effectiveness if your level doesn't match. So, if you don't have the required experience, you can still buy bigger guns, but you won't know as well how to use them. You still get something for your money, and you'll get more as you gain experience, but it's not as much.

But what about unupgraded?

Level: 300
Beams: 0

Efficiency=300/0=infinity. Hmm...

And here's something else I would suggest: with one level, you don't gain the same amount of fighter space/beam weapon power or whatever each time. In fact, it grows exponentially. So shouldn't the experience to level up grow like that too? You could, perhaps, require that experience come from attacking someone of similar level to you, which would make each experience point hader to gain and worth more.

I don't know. This would be something that would take a lot of work to ensure that it's balanced and fair between attackers, and it would take even more to make sure it's fair between attackers and builders. I mean, I shouldn't be required to go around killing people in order to defend myself well, but then that gets back to whether or not to consider this for the victim...

Here's another thought: Incorporate this with NPCs. Make computer controlled ship flying around maybe independant planets forming on their own. Players can attack these for experience. This way, a builder could still maintain their level without attacking other players, and you'd still be able to consider player level and efficiency for victims.

But then you create other problems. What about players going around and farming these so that few others can get a shot at the NPCs? It would be good for builders to learn the complete basics of attacking that way, but this also favors people with more time to put into the game, while as it is now, I've seen top builders spending not much over an hour on the game a day.

Now that I've argued endlessly for and against the idea, I'll go ahead and spit it out: I like the idea in theory and the intention behind it, but I think it would complicate things too much. AAT is great because there's not much of a system, which allows the player to be freer. You can do whatever you want. The few restrictions in place just keep things fair between big and small players.

Well, I wrote a lot, but it's probably not worth much over 2 cents ;)



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