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Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Sascha's upset about character imbalances "caused" by some characters being "rich" while others are "poor". I want to challenge the concept of "rich" and "poor" characters.

Every character starts with 100 dinars. Whatever their incomes after that is the result of how they're played.

So where does the concept of "rich" versus "poor" characters come from? And what does it have to do with whether one newbie gains con eq and another doesn't? These results depend on what the player does. There's no built-in imbalance in income. It's all about player choices for their characters.

Mark says it's a Thief's world, and I disagree now that I think about it. My Warriors all have more Dinars than my Thieves. Thieves can steal about $2000 Dinars per server boot -- well I mean I've found that many, there are probably more. But Warriors being stronger can loot McDougal's every single time it repops, which is usually a lot more often. I never send my Thieves in there, they're just not strong enough to carry much loot. The trip isn't worth it.

So Sascha I really think the only reason one Warrior has 200 energy while another has 800 is that the players played the characters differently. And I think that's what character differentiation means.

Over to you for rebuttal.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, I certainly agree that a character's wealth depends on their actions, but it also depends on the actions of previous characters as well. A player who has had many characters over time and who has amassed a great deal fo capital can provide an advantage to his or her new characters that simply isn't always possible. A newbie is almost always 'poor', both in knowledge and dinars, i.e. lacking a full suit of cobalt or ruby and the knowledge of how important they are, whereas a longtime player usually has the funds and experience necessary to acquire most of the suit - so it becomes less a question of choices and more a question of fortune, and this, although different, seems undesirable. back to you! ; )
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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I can see how it might happen that players might use existing characters to help new ones. I never have, myself. By this sense of the word all my characters have always been "newbies". And I'm happy with their "imbalances".

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Perhaps you are happy with them, but I doubt that everyone would be - it's not always a matter of choice, as it is for you.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Additionally, while your characters were 'newbies' in terms of cash, you were nevertheless an old hand when it came to 1. knowing that ruby and cobalt were the varieties of items that need to be worn at levelups and 2. how to raise enough money to get sed items and where to buy them, etc. etc.
In the end, even if your characters don't help each other out, experienced players still wield a huge advantage over other players.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Yes, sure. This is where we disagree. You're proposing to change things to reduce advantages from experience. Isn't this the point of your examples of how "imbalanced" things are for poor newbies? I'm replying that imbalances from experience are natural and good. They'll always exist in some form, and I really dislike the suggestions you've made so far because they force characters to be too much alike.

You guys want to make it easier for newbies. Agreed. But it's not right to penalize experienced players for being experienced!

Instead why not focus on getting info about eq and whatnot into newbie heads as soon as possible? That's what the Game Wardens are for, yes?

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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First, and once again, I really don't see how making sure all people advance in power/level at a similiar pace is going to make them all "too alike". I point to such systems as D&D, and just about every other pen and paper system as examples in which a person's power at any given level is designed so as to be (in theory) equivalent with the power of others of that level, regardless of role. A level 10 Ranger and a Level 10 fighter should both be roughly equally capable in their businesses (fighting and whatnot) even if they go about it in totally different ways. I advocate a systems in which two characters of the same level and same basic thematic idea (i.e. both big dumb warriors) will not have a 2:1 or worse difference in terms of power, as is the case right now since one of them might just somehow end up with more cobalt.

Now sure, there will always be an advantage from experience - no argument. but I don't think that's any reason to blow the existing adavantage out of proportion by making it tremendously important, as it currently is! most new players, even if they were told to get their con and int up, would not know how to do so (not within 100 xp, anyway, and by then it would be too late), and if they were told that they needed ruby and cobalt, wouldn't know where to get it, and if they were told that, wouldn't know how to get enough cash to get it, and if they were given that, would have trouble putting it all on at once (weight/items carried limits) and when all this was finally accomplished for every newbie before they hit 100 xp, then we would basically have the system I described in the latest thread, where players simply get a number of points equal to (max number of stat-boosting item slots x 2) to freely spend amongst con and int, except that the automatic system
1. does not have to be 'taught' to every new player and require game wardens to be on 24/7 bombarding newbies with complex instructions and AG bags
2. does not require the considerable inconvenience of removing and reapplying a suit of jewelry before every single levelup
3. ensures that characters will be exactly as customizable as they would be if they were simply given the eq ( in fact, more so, since they can spend the points to exactly reflect their idea for their character)

Now I don't really support the 'free points' system all that much, but I do view it as being more simple and effective than if we maintain the current system and simply give the newbies full suits of whatever they like.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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I strongly feel that your language of "ruined" and "too late" is false. None of my characters have ever been able to buy con or other eq before reaching level 1. None is "ruined".

It seems as though your focus is on comparing numbers between characters and if one is higher than another you feel the lower one is "ruined". I don't accept that at all.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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I suppose that one might say ruined is a strong word, but fundamentally what happens when you have an empty equipment slot that could have held a stat-boosting item is that your character is permanently set back by that amount. Since no player is interested in having a character who is always exhausted (especially if they are a non-thief) or who lacks practices, this is a very serious setback, since it can never be corrected by any means, and it encourages people to level up as slowly as possible while hunting for money, which I find very counter-intuitive even now and I can only assume comes as quite an upleasant shock to new players. Every lost stat boost can be viewed as accuring a penalty, and since it is irreparable (is that the correct spelling?), it doesn't seem like too big a stretch to me to equate a cumulative penalty such as that with 'ruining' a character, albeit by degrees. The idea that a character will be held back forever simply because they weren't wearing cobalt at their level seems arbitrary to me and does not equate with customization in my mind at all.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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I've never had a character who could afford stat-boosting eq before about level 3 or 4. It's not a big deal and it's not a penalty and they're not set back and they're not always exhausted and they're not encouraged to level slowly and I have no idea what you're on about.

Once stat-boosting eq becomes available after a certain number of levels it's a nice bonus which helps you get on a little better. Twisting that into a "penalty" for not having it at lower levels seems really odd to me.

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Weren't you suggesting that we provide new players with items ASAP? that means that a player who levels many times before getting their items will forvever lag behind other characters for no good reason. Sorry if it seems like I'm 'twisting' the stat increasing system into a penalty, but the fact of the matter is that it's feasible to have afull suit of cobalt or whatever and to wear it from level 1 onward (say in the case of a charcter who has rich friends). Now when a player first makes a character, they are probably tempted to decide on statistics by finding the average for each statistic assuming equal distribution, i.e. 5.

Now say a person wished to be a warrior, and knows that energy is a important part of fighting and wants to be a useful party member to their fellows, and so chooses to but a whopping 10 points into their constitution. Now if they level once this way, they'll get about 10 energy. If they wear a full suit of con boosting items, they'll have about a 34 constitution. That's over triple the rate of increase. Maybe that seems like 'a nice bonus' if it happens once, but the fact of the matter is that that player will end up 1/3 as powerful than their rich friends and be useless in a party if they don't wear that cobalt. In the interest of keeping all players comaparable and thus groupable, I think that the radical imbalances that are fostered by the stat boosting item based levelups should be done away with. what I'm on about is that this really is a pitfall for characters and that it's unnecessary and irritating. I don't think that stat boosts are nearly as minor as you make them out to be - they are crucial in setting a character's potential and usefulness (dare I say, fun-ness?) and should not be casually overlooked when they are in fact immensely relevant.
Lisa Chau



Joined: 2003.06.02 00:00:00
Messages: 563
Location: Kalaheo, Kauai, HI
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Clearly we have different ideas of what's fun. Personally I think that getting one's knickers in a knot because certain characters have turned out to have better numbers than others is a waste of emotion. Seems to me you're focused on competing with other people's characters and I'm not interested in that.

Characters aren't ruined because other characters got earlier access to eq. Characters don't have to be comparable to be groupable. It's not in the least bit irritating that some characters end up with higher numbers than others. Your language doesn't reflect my experience.

Players who feel it's crucial to squeeze every possible attribute boost into every level are welcome to borrow eq from me. I'm sure there are a lot of other players who will do the same. Hopefully many of them are game wardens. I think that's really about all that's needed.

And -- I think we've argued ourselves purple! So I'm going to sign off. Enjoy your stat-hunting!

Chiensha, Moorea, Vicodin, Xanax, Zoloft.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well then it seems that we do indeed have a difference of opinion on a fundamental level. I believe that keeping characters similar will solve much frustration and encourage teamwork as opposed to the current lone-wolf style of play. I understand the appeal of a more laissez-faire attitude toward character growth, but I think that this problem is going to aggravate itself if not addressed. The fact of the matter is that most characters end up with enormous disparities in temrs of energy even they have the same role and level and grouping becomes a chore rather than a beneficial idea as the high-energy player is forced to babysit the weaker one. I think the problem is that this system is beneficial to those that already understand it if they are interested in 'competing' with other players, since they are mlikely to have three times as much energy or more as someone not in the know.

Far from being interested in competing with the other TC players, I'm interested in being able to find people to group with and having more players join and stick around - and that's what I'm on about. I wouldn't mind signing off either. Why don't we let other people say a few words on this?
Michael Rathbun



Joined: 2003.10.28 00:00:00
Messages: 63
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I sat on the sidelines watching for most of this one - and here's what I think what Sascha and I were interested in from the start was this:

A way to remove the need to carry around equipment ONLY for level up purposes.

A way to make it so that new players aren't "reduced", or "weakened" (I've run into several level 10 characters who are warriors and thieves but have under 100 energy and almost no practices, and they don't know why.)
Now, I know, stats aren't everything, and so on... however, I feel that balance is important. I don't know, it almost seems "unfair" to the little guys who don't have any stuff. Anyway, there must be a way to satisfy both parties, here. I just can't see it.
Sascha Lecours



Joined: 2003.10.24 00:00:00
Messages: 446
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Well, I must have been carried away, because a lot of what I was trying to convey is right here. Lofty debates aside, this is pretty much the point, well said.
 
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