Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Talk about the game. What game? The game with the power? What power? The power of ... aw, skip it.

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Patojonas
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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Patojonas »

I know how you feel, however, as far as I know Ryme promised not to do that and in the slight chance he were to do it they'd only come back if the price were proportionate to their age.

I propose a much better solution, both to the players and to the management:

A 1 time only purchase WOK item (only 1 per account, like the owner's manual in the nocturne) called something like "Cellar Pass" ( thumbs up for my lack of imagination), which grants you a wonderful trip to the WOK cellar, where you might admire the relics as well as help the owner clear the dust.
As reward you might take one of the leftovers from previous months (allowing you to pick the item/set of items awarded in any of the previous months).

Since its a 1 time only and has such a wondrous effect I suppose the price shouldn't be less than 20 stars.

This is a better way because:

*It limits the loss of value (only 1 per account) of the iotm the older players bought to sell later which are now so expensive that they will never sell (and so lowers their values to prices people are willing to pay, promoting donations for such trades);
*Reduces the scarcity of some IOTM, promotes trade and gives a chance to new players to get this or that item;
*Older and profitable iotms being possible to be acquired again will certainly draw donations in general;

* Its a win/win

What do you say?
Spoiler: show
(the only thing I didn't account for is how to handle the yearly talismans, but I'm sure Ryme/Kinak would come up with a reasonable option :mrgreen: )

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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Hardware »

I also favor making older IotM available to the newer players. I understand that the older players don't want this to happen, but I don't buy any argument that it's about “item value.” As it stands, these items have little to no realistic value, because there simply isn't enough players in Twilight to buy or sell them with any regularity. The items in the mall are grossly overpriced, because there's only one or two of any IotM on sale at any time, if that. I've certainly seen a few that I've looked up that actually had zero entries. Since there's so few players in the game to actually peruse the mall (and even fewer with the capital to buy these overpriced items), they sit in their player's store for untold amounts of time. Also, the most reliable way to normally build capital in a game like this (the mall) isn't a viable option, because there's no one to buy your stuff. You can't expect there to be a genuine sense of supply and demand in a system if there's neither supply, nor demand. At the busiest, I've seen about 20 people in the game at a time. That's just not enough to maintain a viable store system that determines market value.

So, if it's not value, then I can only imagine that the real reason that these players want to maintain their monopoly on these items is as sheer status symbols. So, why not take a different approach, then? Instead of making old IotMs available, again, take a page out of KoL's book and make new ones that closely mimic their old counterparts, but with a minor change in focus. This would allow new players to get items that closely fill the shoes of past items, but still maintain the “value” of old items.

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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Harry Dresden »

Hardware wrote:Instead of making old IotMs available, again, take a page out of KoL's book and make new ones that closely mimic their old counterparts, but with a minor change in focus. This would allow new players to get items that closely fill the shoes of past items, but still maintain the “value” of old items.
This is already being done with many items. Every year, for instance, we have at least one item that is similar to the Hero's Cape, usually with +item% and another effect or two.

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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Cristiona »

Thorak wrote:-15 s turn reduce for pants (3 speed bicycle)
-15 s turn reduce for shirt (Letter t-shirt)
In a retcon environment, the letter shirt is pretty much useless; there's far better choices. At level 11, it's only -6 seconds. I'd take the Murk's Shirt or even a Xentrium plate. The shorts are flat out over-powered.
-stat gain for gloves (mummer's gloves)
-stat gain for head (virtual helmet)
This was addressed by adding stat-gain accessories. We're not going to just flat out copy everything.

Although that would make my job a lot easier.
-2/3 hp damage and 1 round stun (tnt) maker (recyclonizer kit)
TNT is insanely overpowered. It will never be repeated. There's a reason we split it for the digitzer.
-3 round stun (recognizer bot) maker (AT/RI Digitizer)
Not on demand, but several *ouches can make them. Endless handkerchief and both holiday wreaths are 3 round stunners. The magic deck of cards stuns for 2-4 rounds. Crush Dreams stuns for 4 rounds.
If someone is playing with 50% better eq (letter t-shirt and 3 speed bicycle shorts compared to the normal items which gives -10s turn duration) it will make a difference. Especially considering there aren't even any high lvl equipments which does the same.
Anyone can get a race car driver that gives -15 seconds at level 15 instead of level 30. Overclocked gives -15 seconds at level 6 for 2 hours without taking any slots. IotM can certainly give players more options, but that's largely the point.
I would say that these players would possibly be playing in another division because these 2 items are just too powerful
Recognizers less so than TNT, but as I said, TNT is stupidly overpowerful. Really, truly, insanely stupid. I don't know what I was thinking.
The stat gain equipment won't make so much of a difference nowadays that there are camp camping camp, but they did before that was added.
Eh. Even before CCC, there was Cannonball. And before that, stats were... pretty pointless. The dirty little secret is that we added it to the VR helm because it looked awesome but was a throw away bonus. The increased computer firing and XP were the big bonuses; which is why the robo cap followed so close on its heels.

Granted, it's more important now, but that's why we added the alternatives.
Not surprisingly, the players that do posses these old IOTM:s doesn't want the new players to have them
That's disingenuous.
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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Harry Dresden »

Cristiona wrote:TNT is stupidly overpowerful. Really, truly, insanely stupid. I don't know what I was thinking.
You were thinking how cool it would be! Obviously. If it weren't for an area like S7G, no one would even use TNT outside of boss fights and maybe to fight above their level when they need a few hundred xp to hit the next level. They wouldn't want to blow 800 chips when they could spend half that to buy a stunner and PP regen for whatever spells they used.

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Re: Creative player ideas for in-game items, zones, etc.

Post by Cristiona »

Thorak wrote:But some items (like tnt and 3-speed shorts) I think should be balanced out somehow.
3 speed shorts are in limited supply, and that supply will only decrease. They're close to three years old, so the advantage they give is limited if only because there aren't many people using them. Also, in a retcon environment, their use is somewhat limited, since they only give -15 at level 10.

There's nothing that can be done for TNT. That ship has sailed. It won't be remade (too powerful) and we're not going to go and nerf existing gear, especially when supply far outstrips demand (there's quite a bit of it in the mall with a minimal markup, and most Recyclonizer owners will turn grist into TNT for free).
As for the discussion regarding TNT:s/3 round stunners. Holiday wreath, handkerchief, magic deck comes from IOTM (and in limited supply as well).
Limited, but not impossible to acquire. The ouches can generate them every day. However, I'm aware that there's a lack of non-IotM derived multi-round stunners. I'm looking to address that.
Crush dreams is extremely limited (recharge time and not against robots).
Any player can use Crush Dreams.
The churches are empty / The priest has gone home / And we are left standing / Together alone
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Harry Dresden »

Thorak wrote:If you compare this to KoL the difference is that in KoL there is actually a market with a supply of old IOTM:s. Here however, there are items which are not gettable at all.
I'm sure that's why there are tons of Jill-O-Lanterns and Hand Turkeys available in their mall, and why my Jekyllin Hide Belt and Pilgrim Shield sold for 25m+ meat each after only 18-24 months from being in the Mr A store. Not to mention the navel ring of navel gazing that I sold for ~22m just 12 months after being in the store. All this at a time when Mr. A's sold for 4-4.5m meat. Under your reasoning, no one should ever have had to pay more than 8-9m meat for those items and should have been able to demand they be reintroduced into the game for a mere 2 Mr. Accessories.

The reality of gaming is that if you don't buy an item when it's available, or if you're not playing the game when that item is available, you just have to deal with it and move on. Would I love to have a chance to pick up another Hero's Cape or two, perhaps another Aegis? Hell yeah! But I know it's not going to happen unless I find someone selling it, and I deal with it. Like Cris said, item effects will appear again in the Wok over time. Probably never the same combination as before, but probably in a form a group of players will like better than the older items. I don't hear anyone complaining that they can't find a Roderick's set, and yet it was only the third IOTM introduced and one of the "prestige" items if you own it.

Also, there are plenty of examples of items like Seppia's - available in the store just before retcon when almost all the complainers could have bought it, but no one did because it was "lame" and "underpowered". Time changes many things.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Theo »

Most KoL IotMs have been replicated *very* closely or are simply not efficient to use anymore compared to normal items. I would actually consider donating if I could have a pick at one old IotM, but as of right now I feel so far behind in that type stuff that I've been hesitant to donate any.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Cristiona »

The big difference between our old IotM and KoL's old ones is power creep. Nobody wants a hand turkey for its utility. Its only value is rarity. I have Snowcones and Candy Hearts on my character, but when I look at speed runs, nobody uses either. KoL has some serious issues with some pretty extreme power creep. Not only are mechanics reintroduced, but they're reintroduced and made categorically better. Who even cares about Green Pixies any more?

I have tried very, very hard to avoid power creep. The down side is that older items retain value beyond novelty (it also makes designing stuff a lot harder). I can see how it makes it frustrating for newer players who look at older items longingly, but really dislike the idea of IotM constantly marching to newer and higher levels of absurd power.

It's a difficult line to walk from a design standpoint, because any deviation from the standard really stands out. Bike shorts stand out because they're potent. The boomerang/ring/shield set stands out because they're really pretty weak. Of course, there's also the matter of perception vs. reality on what's actually useful. Like Harry mentioned, the Skullcap was viewed as worthless right up until Retcon hit, when it became huge. And then others are just overlooked for some reason, like the Quiver or the Jester.
Theo wrote:I would actually consider donating if I could have a pick at one old IotM, but as of right now I feel so far behind in that type stuff that I've been hesitant to donate any.
We try to keep power at a relatively even keel, especially for things that have a big impact like item drops. The current sidekick has the same +items as the Smuggler. Every year, we release an accessory with the same +item as the Hero's Cape (except for the Mask which has other things going for it). While the +8 psychic damage of the Index is weak sauce compared to the PP regen of the Cape, other offerings can compete with the Cape.
Thorak wrote:My reasoning is that it is ALWAYS better to give players a chance to even out the playing field.
See, here's the problem.

Group A: Newer players without access to old items outside of the secondary market
Group B: Older players who have said old items because they were around for introduction

Group A: Wants to be able to buy older items from the game at a set price
Group B: Was promised that this would never happen and, potentially, bought items as investment based on this

One group is going to be disappointed.

And if you want an even playing field, we have that: no item retcon.
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Theo »

Power isn't the thing for me, I like content. Things like the one helmet that lets you do stuff at the arcadey/internet cafe/whatever place, the recycle thing, the digitizer, those do neat things other than just give numbers! I hate numbers! I don't ascend/new game+/transmogify in a way that is competitive or optimal, I do it for fun. *points to UR thread* I'm pursuing URs right now because it's entertaining me, not for the power.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Cristiona »

The VR helmet doesn't unlock anything at the VR Center. That's the ARF VIP card, which is relatively cheap, and the ARF passes which are mall minimum.
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Theo »

Ah, well, that item thingy. I can't say I know every IotM by name, at all.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Ryme »

Thorak, in a way it sounds like you may be advocating for (and happy with) more high-level items. There's probably room for some good pants and shirts at level 25 or 50 that split the difference between xentrium and the IotMs in utility. You think that might help address the issue for you?

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Cristiona »

Thorak wrote:flourish of great scottish kilt (avoid current enemy at no time cost a few times/day)
Replicated via various free run away combat items.
Ectoplasmic chains (from the Ectoplasmic container, replicate a foe)
Deja Voodoo Doll, Bungee Lasso.
I would probably still use something with +2% xp (=~240 xp at the moment) over +86 xp/turn but some slots doesn't have this ability. ;)
So... boots, gloves, and ranged weapon.
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by xKiv »

I would trim the above list to xp, items and time (with time being priority #1), and also add combat frequency modifiers.
Many things can be made up for by making combats less convenient (as long as I can win combats and heal up afterwards, it doesn't matter if I was doing 50 damage per turns or 500 damage per turn, and most in-combat modifiers are much less interesting (to me) than *that*).
Stats only really seem to matter in a few quest-related places (Cochise, Camp Training) and kung-foo (if intellect modifier for spells is really sqrt, increasting intellect is a joke at best; breakpoints for more attacks from reflexes are really far apart; and strength does some damage but again, if I keep hitting, I also keep not being hit so much, so more damage per hit is not as relevant).

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Harry Dresden »

mara wrote:I fail to see the problem with a clear gap between donation and non-donation items. Isn't that the point?
Yes. Yes, it is. Donation gear requires you spending your own money, thus rewarding you with an easier path. It is the same in every game in the free-to-play model, yet someone always finds a reason that it's not "fair". Entitlement has been around since the first caveman found a bigger stick, and the guy next to him thought it wasn't fair that he couldn't have a stick just as big.

It's not up to game developers to make sure that every single donation item is available for whoever wants it. It's up to the players to buy it when it's there to be bought. If you're not around at that time, and no one is selling it to you later, welcome to reality.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Theo »

Harry Dresden wrote:
mara wrote:welcome to reality.
Most people don't play games for reality. If games were reality, I'd never play them. I almost died in January from my liver failing, I've been sick for 4 months straight now, and my girlfriend left me last night. Reality? Yea, fuck reality. People play games to escape from the harshness of reality, not to be stuck being miserable. If I was told "No matter what, you're less than everyone else here. You stand no chance in becoming anyone, you weren't born with the silver spoon." I'd be pissed and leave the game. Everyone *should* have the same opportunities, not everyone can be a hipster on the downlow about every new game that pops up and starts asking for $10 for items. There are more than enough games that die/stop being supported very rapidly that I wouldn't want to donate $10 to one unless I know it has been around a while/I know I'll be playing it for a while. People are still offering to pay stars for items, which *does* mean they're still willing to pay money. People aren't asking for stuff for free, they're asking for the ability to purchase them, even if they can only get one. I wouldn't call that the same level of entitlement the average WoW player has.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Cristiona »

Thorak wrote:I feel the playing field is best when it is equal.
Except, it never is. Ever. If nothing else, intelligence and player skill will make for an uneven field. In game skills and the number of skill points each level 1-11 will make a difference. Likewise, access to items makes a difference.

I have a crib sheet. It's a silly item that was largely useless until the level 12 quest came out when, suddenly, +10 to each stat was a boon. Does that give me an advantage? At times, yes. Does it make the playing field uneven? Technically, yes. Is it something that anyone is going to spend even a second worrying about? No.

If the effects from IotM were constantly recycled, or were replicated in non-donation items, what would be the point of donation items? Nobody wears bicycle shorts for the PP regen or the +5 DA. You want the -15 seconds because the -10 for the Xentrium breeches just isn't good enough, and you won't pay to get bicycle shorts because their perceived value is above the arbitrary limit you've set. And frankly, your 20 star limit is absurd. A '68 Charger cost about $4000. Do you really think you could get one in any kind of working condition today for 8?
Thorak wrote:Also, everyone I talked to considers this game to be about the retcon lvls (I personally strongly disagree to this but that is what I have been told every time I asked for high lvl content). If items are added at lvl 25+, it shouldn't affect your game in a negative way then, but it will certainly make my gaming experience more enjoyable.
This game is about the retcon levels because that's what we, the designers, are focused on. We're writing, balancing, and creating content for retcon. The vast majority of players are doing retcons. The number of active players above level 50 is quite small. The number above 75 can probably be counted on one hand. We aren't stopping people from power leveling, but we also aren't going to be creating more content for handful of people at stratospheric levels. I created high level content: the clock zones are designed for levels 40, 55, and 70. There's also 2-stage metals at levels 16-18 (or so) that provide percentage boosts.

Finally, it's really easy to say "if items are added", it's more difficult to actually do so. We have a few plates spinning right now involving a large block of new items (spanning levels 1-18 or so), and I really should be working on the next quest. And more B-quests. Creating a new level 25 zone would push all that back, benefit a minority of our players, and be something of a pain. Once you start trying to balance things above level 15 or so, it becomes much more complicated; especially if it's just a straight power jump from 18 to 25, and it makes adding anything between those two levels that much more difficult to balance. It's far easier to slowly march up than to go back and fill in the gaps.
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Hardware »

In KoL, I will eventually own every IotM that has ever been made, and I won't do it by donating to Hell and back. I'll do it simply by playing the game. By farming and then selling my spoils, I can easily build up the capital to buy anything in the game, and in a relatively short amount of time. I have a few items that I've donated for (or had someone donate for me), but I've been playing only a little over a year, and already have a decent number of older IotMs to use.

In Twilight, though, no matter how much I play or how much I donate, there are some items that I'll simply never own. They aren't for sale in the mall, whatsoever. Even a lot of the ones that are in the mall are so ridiculously overpriced that it would be insane for me to even think about buying them. I just can't build up enough capital, since all that I can really do is autosell my items for a pittance.

What I can do in KoL, I can't do here, simply because there's no realistic market economy. There are no buyers, and there are no sellers. I could farm all day, but there's no one to sell anything to, so I have to resort to autoselling. At the same time, the lack of sellers prevents any real sense of supply and demand, so prices stay at a continuous level of jacked up. Only a few stores that keep some basic items (which, often, they seem to sell at a loss) seem to have any real business in the Twilight economy.

So, I'd like a chance to get some of these items, even if I have to work my ass off to do it. Those bicycle shorts, with the +10 pp regen that Cris doesn't think people would use it for, would be a boon to me. I start play with a gold-plated poncho just for the +2 pp regen. As it stands, though, I'll continue to rely on that poncho each retcon until I'm high enough level to use the pod blaster.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Cristiona »

Supply's more difficult, yes, but we're a smaller game.
mara wrote:Maybe what needs to be done is the creation of some secure way of loaning iotms. It's not like kol where expensive items can be liquidated quickly and blown on the mmg.
I think we've kicked around a couple ideas for such a thing, but it never went anywhere. Perhaps we should revisit it when we get a chance.
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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by acidcat »

Really good arguments here on both sides. I'm slightly on the side of the people who want to maintain status quo: I think those who supported the game back in the day deserve an advantage.

I'm just wondering though - does this argument really apply to all old IotMs, or is it more that there are a few old ones that are overpowered? There's only a handful which are named in this thread. If we were able to buy the old ones at a premium (20 stars), wouldn't we just have everyone using that to buy 3-speed shorts, Seppias, letter shirts (and the odd recycloniser and digitiser)?

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by acidcat »

Thorak wrote:Correct, there are a few ones which really has no alternativesI am personally more for introducing new ones which actually closes the gap instead of reintroducing old ones.

Many old IOTM:s make a small difference but some of them makes a whole lot of difference. I doubt many players wants the letter t-shirt though because it is simply only good at high lvls and according to Cris most players play at the retcon lvls (not sure if this is true or not but I take her word for it for now).

The three speed bicycle shorts on the other hand outclasses everything else on the same slot on every lvl in the game and the alternatives are not even close IMO...
You have no argument from me there Thorak. Three speed bicycle shorts are useful from in any gear, start at level 1 (bonus xp and time modifier), and the -15 seconds in high gear is excellent. You can't even wear xentrium shorts till you're level 10 anyway, so there's a big gap before that point.

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Re: Old IotM Reintroduction and Old/New Balance [Split]

Post by Hardware »

@mara... When I truly set my sights on farming (as I recently did while waiting for a "four-shadowed" event that still hasn't coalesced), I can pull in a mil or more of meat in a day, easy. True, to get something like the March Hat, it would take me about five months of intensive farming, which isn't something that I'm planning on doing anytime soon. However, even when I'm not farming, I put five transponders, three Temps, at least four pastes, and a couple dozen resolutions up on the market, plus a Diary of a Vampire, three peppermint sprigs, and whatever else I come across. Those add up fast.

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