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Topic: Discussion: On Alts (Read 4394 times) previous topic - next topic

Discussion: On Alts
Greetings,
The short answer is that: yes alts are an advantage, but their days are counted.
We have addressed the subject of alts a few times over the months, but it was as replies rather than an easy to find post and there are many new players that might have missed the previous discussions.
This leads to an impression that we do not see the issue, while what we are saying is that there are bigger ones.

And that's the question: Would you rather have us implement reasons to fight and sink resources, or address alts?

Our position up until now is that between finally adding some actual content to the game (watchtowers/warfronts/etc) OR spending the same time reworking some systems to make them alt proof, we choose the former.
The majority, in our view, would be better served by having stuff to do and reasons to use/break things.

With that said, we did prioritize at least some anti-alt measures.
Our current short term roadmap is more or less addressing all forums concerns.
Though, never in ways that would penalize the majority.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

The issues with alts:
The main issue with alts is that, economy wise, they allow to bypass the intended split of resources per player per time unit.
Where a regular character would be owned by a single player with stuff to do and places to be, an alt can just remain wherever it is needed.
This means that the earning of an alt owner can be multiple times higher than the earning of a non-owner with less efforts.

Another issue with alts is that they can be used to avoid consequences.
Keeping an alt logged off with siege material or as an invulnerable mobile strongbox is a definitive issue.
There is of course the general issue of being able to log off to evade consequences that feeds into this too.

Now on to solutions:
We generally design systems to turn out the best for "regular" players.
That's why we reward groups and numbers, because that's how you get clan events and potential fights at hotspots.
This unfortunately empowers alts, but any solution we implement will have to not harm the players that are having fun as is.
We cannot stress this enough: a vast majority do not use alts and should not be punished for those who do.

- The first changes coming are to the markets.
A portion of the alt pressure comes from markets not providing enough. From the way listings get sold very fast, we interpret that there is too much demand and not enough supply for goods.
Given the feedback received, it was a mixture of risk-aversion and inconvenience, because we know that the output of crafters outside of large clans is sufficient but still hoarded. We actually observed a drastic drop in new listings after we announced these changes.
We're trying to get this in for this weeks patch to get markets back in gear.

- The next changes coming are to VCPs, as outlined in the progress update thread and roadmap.
Essentially, lower base reward, diminishing returns and the need to travel back with the loot should make them more contested and reduce alt viability.

We nerfed the gold with release, but should have removed the safe ongoing instead of the instant reward.
We also based the reward off of medium to higher end PvE, which created a local maximum which detracted many from exploring.

- On logging off characters, that one is the most technical heavy issue and we cannot make any comment on it yet besides affirming that we do know it is an issue and will be working on it.
At the very least it will require a proper reconnect system in case of crashes/disconnects to avoid it being a frustrating feature for unlucky players.

- The final point we wanted to address, and the one most talked lately, is spawn scaling.
This is the one the most at risk of harming regular players if we over-correct. We want to focus on making this a positive change for all.

The general trend will be to make players "earn their scaling".
The end goal being to enforce the diminishing returns that are meant to keep power creep in check without nerfing those without alts.

We've noted that players want their efficiency to be rewarded, and we believe that is how we can make it something fun rather than mpunishing.
The current scaling value could be seen as the ideal to reach, should you be efficient enough, with some margin of error.
The faster you wipe a spawn, the closer you'll be to the loot scaled at your current level.

Which means anyone using alts would have a lesser efficiency, hence lower loot, than if they were scaling at their actual player counts.
This is a best of both worlds, we have our "per player" economy, with enforced diminishing returns, and players have a more fun experience trying to be as efficient as possible and being rewarded for it.

There are many more smaller tweaks we could do, but they would just be polishing on top of that main change:
- Making remaining engaged harder, by increasing the actions needed to be engaged and having dynamic descaling.
- Uniformization of downtime for all group sizes, which would also improve the solo experience.
- Adding health regen scaling alongside xp caps to reward efficiency even more.
- Some "champion" mobs with higher chances of spawning when efficiency is high. Higher level of difficulty and of loot.
- The scaling/challenge totems, craftable items to be placed at the center of a spawn to have a higher scaling/special conditions.

The advantage of most of these methods is that they also make PvE more engaging, interesting and fun.
But they take time. Time that might be better spent elsewhere at this stage.


Please note that this discussion will be heavily moderated.
Please use a collected tone and avoid asking people to go to other games.
The Darkfall: New Dawn Dev Team.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #1
An "easy" solution would be copying what another game that started having a lot of issues due to having one player play several accounts simultaneously did - namely Everquest on their progression server. They called it "True Box", in that you can only run one client per computer. If you want to control several characters at the same time, you need several computers. This way you avoid the issues of pure IP locks, and you still allow people to have multiple accounts should they want to.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #2
Fixing VCP and spawn scaling is enough to deal with alt issue. Go for easy fixes instead of ideal fixes. Put rest of the energy in new content so players are retained. Once cities are built, crafting maximized then not much left to do beside PvP for the sake of PvP. New content is needed to continue giving people reason to play and start organic conflict.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #3
Also harvesting/crafting tools should be existing again to help gold sink a bit. They shouldn't be craftable/droppabe and the only way to get them should be by bying from vendors (and they should be pretty expensive). That could stop those afk harvesting alts a bit.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #4
The suggested changes are good but I wouldnt spend any more development time than necessary. Game needs content.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #5
Great write up and good insight. I imagine it to be very hard to distinguish feedback from troll farm comments. Alts should be looked at. But getting players engaged in racial wars when unclanned seems like a much more promising path for all parties.

It's time for Darkfall to have new content. We all love the game and have been playing it for ten years.
Don't take forums seriously; Astroturfing is real, and has ruined the freedoms of speeches we share online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ-ZZtEU

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #6
The suggested changes are good but I wouldnt spend any more development time than necessary. Game needs content.

This , has you pointed Uber alts are meaningless in the spectrum of things , just focus on the magic, arac and late game content.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #7
This sort of game is my hobby and I am retired with wifey now in full time care for dementia,

I came from Mortal online with 3 a/c's .Why on earth do folk have to spoil my fun.I will repeat I do not have an alt I have 2 accounts which I pay for so both are mains.

Regards Gramps
 Ringfain Coastal Traders

Agur Snowdeep
One Eyed

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #8
Now this is the Ub3r I remember that gained their player bases confidence in indev though quality communication and explaination and though i understand you cant communicate like you did in indev because of time constraints, neither can you afford to not communicate like you did the first few weeks.

Good will is what gets MMOs through tough times which most indys have, because if the base has confidence in the devs they know things will get taken care of and though us indev players know you guys well enough to be less concerned, there is a whole host of new players who had nothing to go on but your almost silence those first few weeks and that is not the way to create confidence.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #9
increasing the actions needed to be engaged and Uniformization of downtime for all group sizes would probably be enough. that way big group would still have bigger lvl mobs and so better reward but solo/small groups would not be punished anymore for playing the game

about vcp changes the need to travel back with the loot can easily be countered by simply trading the resources gained with the alts, diminishing return will help sure but gold should be given only to the clan, its the clan that need massive gold to wardec. isn't free meditation and rare mats already a great reward for individual players ? you say clans economy don't interfere with market economy but at can tell you at least one thing that give a great advantage to big clans because of gold : housing, if you want all big clans to buy all houses then you could continue to reward them with gold on an individual level.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #10
Make remaining engaged harder. This is required for Pve. Also makes loot steal griefing harder
150-200 damage to start engage at least
  • Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 09:43:58 am by Aglorien

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #11
Maybe the spawn scaling fixes, the rest after content. Because alts in remote VCPs won't be affected anyway, so not much difference here... We need new content really

  • Niburu
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #12
Also harvesting/crafting tools should be existing again to help gold sink a bit. They shouldn't be craftable/droppabe and the only way to get them should be by bying from vendors (and they should be pretty expensive). That could stop those afk harvesting alts a bit.
This would harm an regular player gain. I love the harvesting change
Darkfall is the best experience on PC with my pants not unzipped.

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #13
Greetings Ub3rgames and peers, 

These are the two issues you bring up: 

Quote
"The main issue with alts is that, economy wise, they allow to bypass the intended split of resources per player per time unit." 
"Another issue with alts is that they can be used to avoid consequences."
 

The ideas and plans you have to counteract these issues sound good so far. The only thing that bothers me as a new player entering Darkfall is timegating. I pay to play the game and I hope that you don't increase the timegating I already face when I play to tackle issues of things I have no control over. An example would be spawn timers. I know that it would affect the economy to alter them but it is already very boring to wait for mobs to respawn. Sitting and staring at my screen waiting is not what I pay a subscription fee for.

Whatever it is you do decide please realize that waiting to play your game is not fun. There are probably many ways to use timegating efficiently without forcing me to sit and wait but I am not smart enough to think of any at the moment.  

Quote
Would you rather have us implement reasons to fight and sink resources, or address alts?
 

I think whichever decision you choose will be good as long as it doesn't involve timegating the playerbase in a negative form.
  • Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 10:03:14 am by mondo

Re: Discussion: On Alts
Reply #14
I don't think spawn scaling should exist as it currently does.

Being able to just scale the loot on mobs endlessly just makes it so you can farm any spawn or any place in the game. Spawns that are ideal for solo or small groups should exist in certain areas, and separate spawns should exist in high traffic areas that attract larger groups. People need to be funneled in to places for PvP and conflict to happen. Isn't that kind of the point of localization? To have things regionalised in such a way to people have to fight over things to take control of them?

To put it plainly, if people can just go to basically any part of the map and have access to everything they need within a short distance to them, and they can just scale that mob to tailor their needs, why would anyone put themselves in to confrontation with other players? Why would anyone fight over control of a region?

Materials need to be regionalised, and the difficulty of pve encounters needs to be regionalised. To add to that, materials also need to be scarce enough, otherwise there's no reason to fight over anything.