[split] Circle Switching Costs

GarrynGarryn Member, Administrator Posts: 527 admin
edited August 2015 in New Ideas
This discussion was created from comments split from: Improving Imperian.
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  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I thought maybe that they could expand the IRE elite to have a higher-tier subscription (say $40 per month) that lets you lose only 25% of your lessons when you transfer circle, alongside an extra phylactery and global 2% resist. Then I thought about it some more and thought maybe not many people would pick that up... (I would).
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • GarrynGarryn Member, Administrator Posts: 527 admin
    Moved to its own thread as requested, not commenting beyond that, as this'd need @Jeremy to weigh in.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    This comes up a LOT in IRE games (and by this I mean both the desire to play different circles, and also, the game's own need for them to do just that in order to have a better balance of players along with the financial deterrents that tend to prevent it from working well), and there are a lot of different ways to try to address it.  I'd like to take our time with this one, and that is if admin will even consider it (I hope they will).  

    A version of it came up recently on MKO, which I have dabbled around a bit on over the summer and like, though not as much as Imperian.  In that case, the main thrust was possible artifact sharing between chars, another huge consideration, and here is what I said there:


    This sort of thing comes up from time to time in various forms (often artifact sharing between one's chars is one example), and I do hope that IRE eventually warms to the idea in some form - even between their cadre of games.  Once in awhile, you get someone like me, who will make a substantial investment in a second, and possibly even third game, but I really do think a lot of people just fade away in their primary char/game, because the investment they've made is so huge, and has happened over a long period.  So, here is a person who is used to being artied out, and they might like their new char and/or new IRE game, but... again, they're become accustomed to having quite a few toys, and they're not going to spend that kind of cash, especially not in a relatively short time span.  So a lot of them probably fade - and these are people who would otherwise be making some purchases, maybe even fairly big ones, in addition to rounding out a game's population, which, in the smaller games, both of those things are kind of a big deal and help build the customer base.  I think very, very few people will say, have an extremely artied char in Achaea they're completely bored with, and buy 10K+ credits over the course of a year or so in Imperian like I did.  For one, very few people CAN do that.  And if there hadn't been some absolutely wonderful changes to the game not all that long before I started playing, and an especially amazing group of players that just happened to be on the rise in my orgs when I did (and good luck controlling that second part), I am fairly sure I wouldn't have done it.  A mechanism that recognizes your overall IRE investment and gives you SOME sort of significant nod/perk/benefit for that when making purchases for other chars/IRE games would be both appreciated, and probably beneficial to all parties.    


    As well, there are grinding considerations:


    It would certainly be nice if they considered your other IRE characters when it comes to BASHING, too, in a way that allows you to toggle it on when ready (keeping in mind that some of us don't want to be ushered out of newbie status too quickly in a game we're truly new to).  A lot of times, people might be interested in playing another org, possibly even in large part because populations are unbalanced and there is no one for the current "big" org to fight.  But besides the large financial investment, there is a the prospect of hours of soul crushing bashing to get yet another char where you'd want him level-wise, although I am not sure how much levels matter here.  Some people in some of the games swear they don't matter much, but the Imperianites will flat out tell you Aspect (100) or gtfo for example. 
     

    As sort of an illustration, though, for a little while we had these fairly ridiculous cairns that gave absolutely massive XP (exactly the sort of thing that some people are perfectly fine with, and some would scream bloody murder about), and as far as a lot of us were concerned, it was great, because it fleshed out some orgs that had very few people.  In short, long term players went and made alts and played in the orgs that needed people badly.  And they were able to do it relatively painlessly because of the "ridiculous" XP from cairns.  It was a tough decision for me, because we all knew there was a high probability cairns wouldn't be allowed to continue as they were for very long, but I did leave my two newb alts alone, because I've never played the other orgs/classes.  That said, if I ever do play those orgs, once I decided I was ready to get out of newbie status, the cairns would be just the thing (if they still existed in their old form, which they do not).  
  • WysriasWysrias Member Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭
    That post is kind of tough to parse, but I think it's tangential to the points I'm trying to get across. I think I can do a better job summarizing it than I did, though:

    Faction balance is heavily reliant on player participation and player momentum. For this sort of balance to be maintained, entrenched characters require some degree of mobility, so that they move to circles with lower participation/membership and maintain combat balance. Maintaining this balance actively penalizes players because of the enforced lesson cost, and this cost becomes greater the longer characters are entrenched. So, the easiest solution is to remove the penalty without removing the investment - let players hold professions from every circle, and simply render them inactive when not aligned with their current org membership.

    The counter argument would be that this just encourages players to collect every profession, but my counter to that would be, so what? A ton of creative effort has gone into making these professions, and everyone should be able to experience as many as they desire. Owning multiple professions doesn't lend any amount of combat advantage, just versatility. And let's be real - if someone wants to drop the roughly 15,000 credits you'd need to do so, excluding lesson packages/other bonuses, more power to them. The game makes money and players are happy because they can swap factions without losing anything they've invested. In addition, there are still plenty of IC barriers in play - burn too many bridges and it won't matter how many professions you own, because you won't be able to join the org necessary to activate them.

    As an aside, I'm fairly sure this is the solution employed in Aetolia, and I haven't heard anything but praise for it.


    Esmyrsia
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    Part of what I am saying is that you are suggesting a particular approach to the problem, but if we're going to discuss this, there are a huge number of possible options and considerations, and I'd like to consider them all.  Given the choice, many people would probably prefer to keep their "AM char" totally separate from their "Demonic" char, for example (personally, I see some pros and cons to both circle hopping and alting, but anyway).  
  • WysriasWysrias Member Posts: 410 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh, that's a much more unlikely scenario. IRE has never relented on the purchases-bound-to-character dogma and I don't see that changing any time soon. Making circle hopping more of an IC concern and less of a financial one, though, is a step in the right direction.


    Menoch
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    Yeah, it might come to that, for sure - although, our memberships are a notable and incredibly successful exception.  
  • RiscaRisca Member, Beta Testers Posts: 89 ✭✭✭
    I fully support some change to circle switching costs because of Wysrias' point about how a few individuals can change circle balance. 

    I do understand where Jules is coming from as my character has only been in magick. Part of me wishes that if I ever switched circles, I would want a name change option (maybe even age) where my original character is roleplayed out to being gone forever. Some people have characters where they just can't see their characters being in any other circle. Sure, people will know who you were originally (see raksha band), but I personally don't care. Unlikely to happen but I can hope.

  • ArioArio Member Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    I'd be very happy with any sort of neutral profession that could be obtained to ease the transfer between organizations, or just for flavor. Assassin/renegade is always a good choice, if you apply some cosmetic changes per circle. Monk would also work as the core skill set doesn't apply to any one circle.

    My personal wish: I want to be a Warden of Stavenn. :(

  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    One thing that I think is noteworthy here is that the circle ideologies have basically died. Antioch still fights against Kinsarmar and Stavenn, but that's just because they're there to fight. You'd be hard pressed to find any Antiochian of any significance that actually cares about magick as a thing in and of itself or that hates Kinsarmar for using magick, and going by my experience in the other circles I think you could comfortably say the same about them. Nobody in Kinsarmar is afraid that we're gonna come put them to the torch because they use magick. I mean, they know Antioch wants to burn their city down, yeah, but the anti-magick thing never really comes into play there; it's not "Antioch wants to kill all magick users!", it's "Antioch is full of dicks".

    What this means right now is that circle loyalty is pretty much based on the people and the professions; you are not going to see very many people whatsoever hesitating to switch because it would mean they'd have to summon ~~demons~~ or use ~~magick~~, because there are very few people who actually care about that stuff. The reason I stay with Antioch is because I like Jules and Ultrix and Septus and because I like the professions here, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the notional cause behind Antioch.

    This means that if you let me switch circles freely, the only constraints I will have on it will be "Can I afford it?", "Will they let me join?", and "How long before I can rejoin Antioch?". As an aside, this could actually reduce conflict in the game in some ways; when I'm sitting on Summoner/Druid/etc I'm going to be much more wary of pissing off the organizations that effectively gate that profession. I just don't think that this would end up being that good for the game, especially because, while Wysrias brings it up as a way for artifacted combatants to boost a faltering org, I think that people using it to bandwagon would be far more prevalent. 

    do think that the cost of switching circles needs to be lowered, but I'd rather see it be things like Iniar's enhanced Iron Elite or something more like "Summoner and Mage 'share' 1-2 skillsets and so circle jumping from one to the other is much cheaper" than "switch circle demonic".

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Jules
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You're right, one of the comments on magick ring was 'oh, I'll just keep joining the side with the most people then.' (paraphrased)
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USAMember Posts: 594 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    The funny thing is that the hardcoded lesson/(and implied credits, a la prof specific arties) loss should be one of the most effective gating mechanics imaginable for prohibiting bandwagon related circle hopping. In practice, over a decade of empirical evidence shows that no matter what the penalties, people are going to circle hop and there will always be swings and roundabouts in population disparity that will reflect this love of jumping on the side that is spamming deathsight the most in the "pewpewpew gg" way and not the "we all wiped for the fourth time in 10 mins" way.
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I'd really like to be looked at as my customer profile, and start from there.  That could mean so many things, but the central idea is that I'd love it if IRE had a doodad that looked at my overall purchase history (or at the very least, my overall Imperian purchase history) that helped them answer this question:  

    "This player wants to go play another char (or simply circle hop on her existing char, depending).  She in overall good standing with us, hasn't done anything too awful.  She's bored with her current char/circle.  She knows another circle desperately needs people and there's no one for her current circle to fight anyway.  And so forth.  What kind of reasonable consideration can we/should we give her in terms of new purchases and/or usage of existing purchases (and hey, bashing wouldn't hurt either) that makes sense for everyone, and addresses what I am guessing is a huge deterrent to truly committed alting in long term, well-kitted players"?  And that consideration is, of course, "Well, this is kind of neat, but I usually have like, 10-15K credits worth of artifacts.  Meh").  
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    One of the nicest things that came out in the last 12 months was the introduction of 'the No-Brainer' package. It took the cost of learning a single class down from approximately $280 to $180, or $200 to $130 if it were your first class. I thought this was amazing. I wish I could buy the No-Brainer more.

    In view of this, consider the permanent release of a website purchase called Jump Lesson Kit. Purchased explicitly for the purpose of learning a new class(es) in a different circle, it will be similar in cost to the No-Brainer, with a higher cap of 3-5000 lessons per jump. These lessons may only be used to learn profession/class skills. As a further caveat, this will only be available to current subscribers of the IRE elite.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Honestly I think they could resolve a lot of the problem just by selling lessons more often and thereby reducing the cost of circle transfers. Maybe make every 3rd/4th month a lesson sale or something.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sounds good.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USAMember Posts: 594 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    That would additionally open the option of utilizing the no brainer packages for the other necessities, survival et al, really can't lose from a business prospective... provided the price point isn't obscene (aka anywhere close to actual value).
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm just going to keep throwing out alternative solutions in case Jeremy & co like any particular one:

    Introduce an artifact item called 'Calling Card'. It will come uncharged and must be fed 1737 x 3 lessons, at which point it becomes a 'Charged Calling Card'.

    At this stage, it will contain the necessary knowledge to instantaneously transcend a single profession.

    To activate it, the player consumes 50 credits and nominates a given profession.

    Deactivation is free and removes access to the nominated profession.

    The token can then be repeatedly activated for 50 credits each time.

    This keeps the equivalent price point of the token at approximately 18 profession swaps for a full profession learnt.

    At 75 credits per activation, that equates to 12 profession swaps for a full profession learnt.

    At 100 credits per activation, that equates to 9 profession swaps for a full profession learnt.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    I think considering the lesson stuff is good, but it isn't enough.  And honestly, that is the bit IRE has actually done a decent job of addressing already (although there is still room for switching things up to make prof switches feel more appealing).  I would EASILY pick up another prof (or two!) on a second or third char.  What I wouldn't be keen on after a little bit is the following:

    1)  giving up all of Jules' current profs and basically losing a lot of that investment (if I went the circle hopping route) - also, moving Jules around in a game where... clearly not everyone is as chill about this org stuff as Antioch is, and Antioch is frankly a huge exception in IRE period.  It would be much cleaner to have three characters (one for each circle) in Imperian (so yeah, I think I really am coming down in favour of alting over circle hopping, actually).  Also, see Khizan's post, and also Wysrias' on simply locking profs.  

    2)  alting and having no gd artifacts unless I hard core kit out a third IRE char with absolutely no consideration/perks/discounts for the incredible amount of $$$ I've spent already.  It is probably just not going to happen.  The only people who do that kind of thing either have even more disposable income than I do, or are completely financially irresponsible, and possibly both.  People like me also tend to have absolutely no intention of essentially "trading in" our characters.  When I build a character, my plan is to keep it, because I invest huge amounts of money and time in it.  Why the heck would I trade it in unless I am a huge idiot?
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There is probably no need to use the word 'idiot'.

    Speaking from the point of view of having 3 Aspect characters, one in each circle, and having trans'ed 10 professions, and trans'ing 3 x Survival + 3 x Antidotes, as well as being the owner of 2 diadems...

    I enjoy the professions that I picked up for my alts. Unfortunately, the level of engagement I got to with them was poor because after rolling around in 600 - 700 health for long periods of time, there is little benefit to playing alts unless you're willing to kit them out significantly. The disparity for me was a bit too much to tolerate.

    I am now leaning towards just keeping Iniar more mobile across circles rather than kitting out three alts.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    Skye
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Fine fine... although, I have a feeling my untargeted use of the word "idiot" would have gone completely unnoticed if I were not female (unless it has somehow transitioned from "mild swear word" back to "actual slur" when I wasn't looking)... Anyway, 20+ years of being military/Aircrew can make you a little rough around the edges.  But yes, Iniar, that is why people circle hop here rather than alt.  I would be loathe to do it though, because for me, dealing with player driven in-game administrivia is incredibly low on my list of fun things to do.  I moved Jules ONCE in Achaea, and if I were ever to play her again, I'd never move her again, because moving was such a royal pain.  From what I see here, sometimes things go smooth, sometimes they are a huge pain, depending on where you're going.  Also, I am not a "super srs RP-er", but lots of circle hopping strikes me as kind of weird from an in-game perspective (but I totally get that people do it exactly because it is the only thing that makes financial sense the way that things work now).  Bottom line, the lessons aren't as much of a deterrent to me - partly because IRE has already taken some steps there, but the artifact thing looms large.  Not being kitted when you're used to being kitted is a big deal, so that feels like something that should be part of the discussion here.  
    Post edited by Jules on
  • ArioArio Member Posts: 171 ✭✭✭
    Let's revive that 'RETIRE CHARACTER' idea someone (Wysrias?) thought up forever ago. It would solve a lot of issues with switch characters if I could just retire some of my old alts towards a new character, or towards my current character. The retire command would roll into a bound credit value that would rotate over to your CREDIT REPORT report.

    Would at least give people an option to switch characters when they need to.

  • GarrynGarryn Member, Administrator Posts: 527 admin
    Ario said:
    Let's revive that 'RETIRE CHARACTER' idea someone (Wysrias?) thought up forever ago. It would solve a lot of issues with switch characters if I could just retire some of my old alts towards a new character, or towards my current character. The retire command would roll into a bound credit value that would rotate over to your CREDIT REPORT report.

    Would at least give people an option to switch characters when they need to.
    Not going to happen anytime soon, sorry. This was discussed IRE-wide some time ago, and decided against.
    Ario
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Did they say why?
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    Ario
  • GarrynGarryn Member, Administrator Posts: 527 admin
    No specifics that I would be able to share, no.
    IniarMenoch
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USAMember Posts: 594 ✭✭✭
    $$$
    ArioIniarDicene
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2015
    Garryn, can you give us some ideas of what sorts of things might be on the table here (not that people shouldn't still throw ideas out there)?  From my (customer) end, I am willing to keep shelling out money for a game I like, but once I've invested a critical mass of $$$ in IRE, or heck, just Imperian alone (and we really are talking many, many thousands of dollars here), I am really looking for that to be somehow a piece of the puzzle you are able to quickly and easily assess and give me SOME kind of break on certain things based on that.  And any player that has that kind of investment could very well be someone who just really needs some sort of reboot in order to keep gameplay fresh (so that we keep them around), even beyond the combat balance considerations that sort of prompted this discussion.  Right now that sort of reboot is exactly what is probably not going to happen with many people, because of the overwhelmingly non-liquid nature of their (very large) investment, and the fact that the impact it is going to have on their purchase behavior isn't considered at all.  
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