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ToA Feedback

DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
With ToA wrapping up in the next few days, I wanted to get some feedback on what people thought.  ToA was a very large undertaking for the (very few and very unpaid) remaining Imperian staff and it took a lot of time to put together.  The ultimate question is going to be: was it worth it?

A few tidbits about this ToA
 - Most of ToA was put together by myself and two other volunteers (Jeremy and Eoghan provided some drive-by support from time to time too)
 - Putting everything together took approximately eight weeks of time wherein we did very little else on Imperian. Planning took even longer.
 - Issues and approvals suffered as a result, and Jeremy stepped in to help where possible on those.  Eoghan rode up on his alpaca towards the end too.
 - We introduced some new games such as the hide game and the race game as well as a new dueling format (and worked out a lot of bugs)
 - We pushed to have unbound credits awarded rather than the typical bound credits after hearing comments about the lack of options to buy on promo market
 - We introduced a number of behind the scenes mechanics (and shamelessly stole others) to try to make it so the events could be as automated as possible to allow our off-hours players a chance to participate in events.
 - We've been pushing to include more flavor where possible to add some better event feel.
 - We had some things planned that couldn't ultimately be done because we just didn't have the bandwidth to support them. These will hopefully turn into mini-events in the future.
 - It's not yet done and hopefully you can all be there for the ending ceremony.

So please, let us know what you think with as many examples as you can give!

NOTE: Do not talk about the actions of individuals in this thread. This is for a discussion of the event, the event mechanics, and to get feedback.  This includes thinly or thickly veiled references to individuals.  If a game was taken advantage of, tell me how to fix the game not how someone ruined it.  

 - Dec
Tagged:
Naruj
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Comments

  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    I would love to see the ToA logging code utilized again, in some sort of logged training duel or competitive league format.

    In my head, players could fight a logged duel and have private access to the results for training and system improvement. Also in my head, unique artifacts could be offered on a rotating basis like the city rank prizes for placement in a competitive pvp league with logs available for anyone to read as some sort of Imperian style e-sport.

    This was by far the best new thing of the tournament.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
    As a ToA? Not terrible. 2s or 5s matches would have been nice (not that I was in shape for that). It was an IC event which is a step above the last one I was in. Also missing some kinda total point reward like a cosmetic doodad (or a mechanical thing if you really must).

    New games were okay. Hidegame is like a gemhunt where the gems stay behind, so sure cool. Racegame was a little weird, and it felt like just rerunning it would be the optimal 'strategy' since the bunny spawns seemed random? Could be wrong there. Not a bad concept.

    Seconding that the logging was a nifty addition (although it's hard not to laugh at logging text being something that was a 'project')

    As a coding priority? I would have never, ever put a ToA at the top of the list right now. There are ample broken things that could have used fixing before a distraction. I definitely made a disgusted noise when I saw it announced. I'd put money on removing speed artis alone getting more players back than the ToA.





  • RyseRyse Member Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
    I really enjoyed the event! The flavor text for the bunnies was neat, the bunny digging had excellent gold and xp, providing a great change from spawnwave bashing, the racing and collecting events were a nice change of pace. 

    Also, you created a huge demand for shovels! 

    My only suggestion would involve equalizing the duel events. Remove artifacts, or provide generic characters, or something to remove the power gap. That way newbie players can compete with the 900 year old 50k artifact value veterans. 
    Treyden
  • TreydenTreyden Member Posts: 54
    Ryse said:
    I really enjoyed the event! The flavor text for the bunnies was neat, the bunny digging had excellent gold and xp, providing a great change from spawnwave bashing, the racing and collecting events were a nice change of pace. 

    Also, you created a huge demand for shovels! 

    My only suggestion would involve equalizing the duel events. Remove artifacts, or provide generic characters, or something to remove the power gap. That way newbie players can compete with the 900 year old 50k artifact value veterans. 
    I dislike that I can only hit the agree button once.

    @Dec

    My only -real- complaint about the ToA is the Bunny Hunt was that those who have the 50k artifacts, like Ryse said, could start half way through or less and still place in the top 3. I don't entirely see that as being fair for those of us who spend the entire 3 hours bashing the bunnies just to try and get into the top 5 maybe? So maybe finding a way to make it not possible to do such a thing would be helpful for those of us who don't have the money to just drop onto Imperian to get all the artifacts we ned to be efficient at everything we do.

    Aside from that, removing artifacts and giving people generic stuff for the tournament would have been neat. Make everyone fight on equal terms, no artifacts, just skill and what you can do as the player.

    Good job though, was enjoyable to participate in! 
  • LartusLartus Member Posts: 457 ✭✭✭
    @dec thank you so much for the bunnies.
  • MathiausMathiaus PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭
    I enjoyed competing in the duels for when I could. Even though I had numerous times where the person simply used flip boots and ran so that the timer would end, it was a good try. I get that running is a tactic and not everyone wants to stand and fight, but I wasn't able to face more people in the amount time I needed to rank up in the seed.

    Overall, still impressive with the amount of people putting this all together :)
    image
  • RokasRokas Member Posts: 167 ✭✭✭
    I echo @Gjarrus about the coding priority, but I'm not sure if I'm overall disappointed now or not. It breathed some life into the game, and people that I haven't seen around for a long time started logging in again, and I had a lot of fun despite some petty behavior during events.

    I think different categories for the hunt event would be good. Artifact weight might be the best choice, since level-based wouldn't really do much, and anyone that happens to reach 100 is suddenly thrown into a pool of people they can't compete with.

    Logging code was cool, but I don't think it should log any form of communication other than says. It's hard for people to know that someone who's in a common channel is in a duel, and things may be recorded that people wouldn't wish to be shared outside of that channel.

    The race game seemed rather boring/broken. Endurance wasn't a factor, and at least once I couldn't complete it because I somehow kept getting "off path". It's hardly a race when movement seems to be limited to so many rooms a second worldwide.

    Overall, thank you for this awesome event!
  • DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
    Ryse said:
    My only suggestion would involve equalizing the duel events. Remove artifacts, or provide generic characters, or something to remove the power gap. That way newbie players can compete with the 900 year old 50k artifact value veterans. 
    This was the point of the arena hero events, but fewer people signed up and those that did generally wanted to back out.  Hence it was cancelled and more credits were made available to the main duel.
    Ryse
  • DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
    Naruj said:
    I would love to see the ToA logging code utilized again, in some sort of logged training duel or competitive league format.

    This was by far the best new thing of the tournament.
    Is part of that because it wasn't you being logged? I noticed you didn't join the event.
  • DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
    Gjarrus said:

    As a coding priority? I would have never, ever put a ToA at the top of the list right now. There are ample broken things that could have used fixing before a distraction. I definitely made a disgusted noise when I saw it announced. I'd put money on removing speed artis alone getting more players back than the ToA.

    I understand where this is coming from, but here's why we went this way.

     + People were really feeling the game hadn't done anything in a long while.  I was never supposed to take over these things, but I ended up having to and the delay between the last event made things feel stale.

     + Our volunteers needed something to get excited about.  They are not coders and needed something with lore.  Keeping them involved and interested is really important because it takes a lot of work to get volunteers up to speed.  Being an entity sounds fun from the outside, and it can be, but it's a lot of work so we lose a lot of people.

      + I really thought that Eoghan would be back and able to do more by now.  I had hoped he would be able to knock out some of the other stuff.

      + Issues, requests and messages were killing me.  I want to make this game enjoyable, but people really don't appreciate that those were literally consuming 100% of the development resources for months.  I know it sounds crazy, but investigating claims can take hours over something like killing without reason if there was a long history.  I needed something visible to point to as a reason why those weren't getting done (at least so I could justify it to myself)

      + Classleads are horrible things that no one wants to do.  You cannot win on classleads from this side.  I haven't been a player here for years, and I am supposed to understand the game well enough to sort through the valid points.  That requires a lot of research, testing and thinking.  Then, when I put in the effort, I end up with mostly complaints.  Yes, it is necessary and people appreciate it, but it sucks to do.

    So, that's where I was coming from.
    RyseRokasCordilia
  • GlijijeGlijije Member Posts: 25
    I appreciate the time and effort that went into the toa.

    The rewards for the dueling tournament were generous (I lost and lost and lost, and still got what I consider a good amount of credits), the one arena event I joined was fun, and the hide and egg games were enjoyable. 

    The race event seemed quite bugged, and the bunny hunts might have drawn more people in if they had lasted for only one hour rather than three.

    Also, I would have liked a clearer explanation of the rules and rewards. I do not like vagueness at all, and that lack of clarity has been the worst part of the toa for me.

    Having said that, thank you Dec, and other volunteers for making the events happen. I have no objections to prioritizing events like this over coding -- the game needs to be fun and involving for both the players and the volunteers, and I hope that you ultimately had fun too.
    Kamaylie
  • IcariusIcarius Member Posts: 52 ✭✭✭
    Weeks of events from a few volunteers is very impressive, I have to applaud that, was very well done. There was definitely a festive atmosphere with the games and prizes. Mission accomplished there definitely.

    I found some of the games very fun, others kinda meh but that might be personal taste. Still thumbsup for variety.

    Also the generosity with prize credits has brought a bit of life back to the promo market, which is nice.

    If I had to give some constructive feedback (and I do, this being the feedback thread) I'd have to echo @Glijije and say in the beginning the vagueness surrounding the game instructions and rules was a bit frustrating. I may have said a few unkind things about the help files while trying to find out what was what. I would have listed the games, what they were and how they worked in an announce before the TOA actually started.

    It wasn't a massive deal but it definitely made things feel rushed and incomplete. (They probably were rushed, just gave the impression there too).

    I'd also have to echo @Gjarrus with regards to broken things\classleads\other work etc, only on the principle that some of the things in that list affect the outcome of the games, which leaves a slight bad taste in the mouth. I think most players know they suck to do but a quick turnaround on them is the lifeblood of a game like this. I know it's still a paid game and as such gets the resources but Aetolia is doing this rather well at the moment.

    Lastly seeing the combat logs like an action replay of the TOA duels is great - can we get those displayed on a web page pretty please :)

    Overall a big thumbs up from me though, Imperian has felt more alive than ever with more new players over the past couple of weeks. It would be nice to see some of the TOA games held semi regularly outside the TOA.
    Rokas
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 958 mod
    Dec said:
    I understand where this is coming from, but here's why we went this way.

      + I really thought that Eoghan would be back and able to do more by now.  I had hoped he would be able to knock out some of the other stuff.


    I want to touch on this point as well. As I'm sure many of you know, I've had very limited time behind the scenes here for quite a while. This has nothing to do with IRE or Imperian, and is entirely because I've got a lot of responsibility in my day job and have had to travel quite a lot lately to keep projects running there. Every time it seems like that's on the down turn and I can start to devote more time to Imperian again, another thing comes up. I'm working to get more time to contribute here and I've been helping to get some lore knowledge into our volunteers, but it's something that is going to take a bit more time to come to fruition. I sincerely apologize for my part in the slow development lately, but it couldn't be avoided. I'll try to do better.
    Like what we're doing? Why not take a second to vote? Vote for Imperian at http://www.imperian.com/vote
    IcariusRokasRyseCordilia
  • GaltGalt Member, Beta Testers Posts: 293 ✭✭✭
    Thank you for the ToA.

    It's been fun, and I've enjoyed the events I've competed in! It would have been nice to have more instructions about them, but they've worked pretty well and they've proven to be interesting variations on the usual hunt, gemhunt etc. Like others mentioned it'd be cool if we could get some of the events (or even other event-type games!) running during non-ToA times. Gemhunts, etc. Maybe tweak them to have them be a bit more IC, like having someone seeking glowing pebbles that get spewed out sometimes from volcanoes, or something! Having them run regularly with smaller rewards would be super cool, especially stuff like a 1 hour bunny hunt, etc.
  • MathiausMathiaus PennsylvaniaMember Posts: 1,030 ✭✭✭✭
    @Eoghan I'd be willing to set Mathiaus aside for a while and volunteer as a coder, no pay needed.
    image
    RyseIcarius
  • RyseRyse Member Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
    edited May 12
    Mathiaus said:
    @Eoghan I'd be willing to set Mathiaus aside for a while and volunteer as a coder, no pay needed.
    @Mathiaus is very good, and does this professionally. 
  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    edited May 12
    Dec said:
    Naruj said:
    I would love to see the ToA logging code utilized again, in some sort of logged training duel or competitive league format.

    This was by far the best new thing of the tournament.
    Is part of that because it wasn't you being logged? I noticed you didn't join the event.

    Possibly related, I didn't do much in the ToA at all this year but it felt like I could still enjoy the duels. As someone that enjoys reading fights, those logs made the tournament into something of an e-sport.

    I certainly wouldn't want it to be a required part of combat in general, but as a secondary opt-in system like a high stakes league it would be an interesting twist. The biggest thing I think the average person could gain from logged duels is self improvement. A lot of times, a newer player will lose a fight and not even know what killed them. Being able to see the fight from the other person's point of view is a huge boon in this regard.

    Edit: I agree with the feedback that channels should be removed. There's no reason to record ringtells or personal tells during a fight.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
  • CordiliaCordilia Member Posts: 28 ✭✭
    edited May 12
    I agree with lots of things people have said here and I really enjoyed the ToA this year. It was different from the ones I remember doing so it added something new and interesting to the game, like the race game. It was kind of easy and silly but still pretty enjoyable, except when the path had shortcuts and pathfinding directly to point B would be "off the path".

    I really liked the bunnies because super easy bashing and wish we had something similar all the time. I know some people love it, but bashing for doubloons is a tedious nightmare for me personally. Maybe it's because we're all always cycling through the same bashing areas on repeat, so the bunnies were a nice change.

    My only meh about the great hunts is that they weren't separated into tiers as usual - I realize this is the reality of a dwindling population, but the great hunts were basically "who has the biggest scepter" competitions. I managed to place ~5th every time without a scepter, so it would be interesting to see more lower-level people or people with less artifacts compete in their own bunny race too. 

    For the duels, the random dueling was mildly annoying for me seeing as if we weren't in the cooldown it would put you in the ready room during bunny hunts and other things. (I don't really have an alternative to this though.) Otherwise, the logging was a nice addition and I really liked it as it helped me see some stupid things I did wrong. I don't know the best way to level the playing field but the only thing that made sense to me was hero fights. There was no way some of the B pool participants would be able to win against super artifacted people in pool A (but skill wise - they definitely could have. No shade.)

    I don't particularly care about ringtells and could skim over them easily enough while reading other people's' logs, but they don't add to a fight log in any way except maybe to learn about ring callouts if you're new to combat. I agree that personal tells should be removed.

    RyseKamaylie
  • MyrcellaMyrcella Member Posts: 82 ✭✭✭
    While I didn't get to participate for a whole bunch of the ToA, for what I did get to participate in - it was awesome! The race game reminded me of mindgames - trying to figure out which path was the correct path and seeing a lot of people get frustrated and upset over it was kind of awesome. That meant people were getting stumped! Thank you so much to all of the volunteers that put this together. We are -all- greatly appreciative of the time and effort that was put into this event.
    RyseIcarius
  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 168 ✭✭✭
    Cordilia said:
    My only meh about the great hunts is that they weren't separated into tiers as usual - I realize this is the reality of a dwindling population, but the great hunts were basically "who has the biggest scepter" competitions. I managed to place ~5th every time without a scepter, so it would be interesting to see more lower-level people or people with less artifacts compete in their own bunny race too. 

    As a fellow non-scepter holder that got 4th in the one event I stayed throughout, the biggest problem for me was attack rate. The bunnies didn't have a lot of health, so I feel I would have been much better with engineer or shaman. That isn't something you can really balance around though.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
    Cordilia
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
    Wyll was busting out that quickshot. At least Engi has something going for it.
  • KamaylieKamaylie Member Posts: 5
    edited May 12
    + As someone who has never participated in any ToA, and hasn't lived any event since I started playing again (over a year and a half ago), it was very welcomed and refreshing. Some sort of break from the routine we were stuck in. I also received many great comments about the events and credit awards, from new players who were very happy to learn/advance so quickly. It felt like a celebration and most players were very helpful and nice to others no matter the circle they were part of.

    + Many thanks to the volunteers, Dec and anyone else who helped make this happen. I appreciated the storyline and the launch was entertaining to witness. The games were fun and yes, there were some bugs or misunderstanding that probably increased the amount of messages Dec received. However, great job on adjusting so quickly, especially for the race game.

    + I enjoyed the little circle competition with the bunny in the chute, and THANK YOU for mostly fixing the horrible game lag that was causing. Less pleasant are players ganking others at the end of bunny hunts to steal corpses so they can try to get ahead in chute drops but I guess that's...people.

    + Good adjustment on the fluffle's damage after the first few ones, and the general level of difficulty based on the char's health.

    + Since I just started in pvp, the duels were a great occasion to discover the various strategies and skills people focus on. Thanks for the logs! Also, thanks to the peeps who sent me feedback after our fights to help me improve. Please remove the ring/city/clan/tells stuff?

    + Also, the schedule was very useful but it would be great if events didn't overlap.

    ~ Bunny hunts could be more accessible to less artied-up people as mentioned by @Treyden. Perhaps removing the deck and scepter from them would be helpful reducing the gap.

    ~ Arti-disabled duel option could have made it easier for newer people to participate or have a chance to win.

    - I also agree with @Glijije that the rules of the games could have been announced or defined ahead of time. The first time I saw the "going off track" message asking me to go back to a vnum, I had no idea why it was considered off-track (on-way exit room) and it was confusing, I thought it was a bug. 

    - Duel summons were happening at any moment, even during events where every minutes/seconds are essential to keep your position. I'd prefer to be able to enter the portal by myself when I'm available/ready. Even grabbing coffee became a challenge while online :wink: I'd definitely opt in a monthly competition if I get back control over when I jump in a duel. Could be that we enter the portal by ourselves, ability to unable/disable summons or be able to see in STAT when you are in possible summon period and pause it for an hour when needed.

    - I had to fight the same person over and over again (for at least an hour if not more) without much time to adjust or develop a new strategy to break the stalemate we were in. I just left through the portal after a while to make it stop when I grew bored.

    - While I understand running being part of survival, I echo @Mathiaus: the abuse of to reach timeout was very annoying. I'm not sure there is any solution to that as it is mainly the players' responsibility. Perhaps a smaller or more intuitive map? On nexus, I felt like I was flying blind trying to find my target since the map just didn't exist for me.

    Overall, a big thumbs up on this one. I think the community needed it.
    CordiliaMathiausRyseIcarius
  • KamaylieKamaylie Member Posts: 5
    Icarius said:

    Lastly seeing the combat logs like an action replay of the TOA duels is great - can we get those displayed on a web page pretty please :)

    That would be awesome. It's hard to read the logs ig with everything happening :wink: Available to those participating at least? Please please please please :smile:
  • RyseRyse Member Posts: 97 ✭✭✭
    Excellent finale! We were all standing in our cities waiting to see what happened. 

    Great fun!
    Kamaylie
  • EhtiasEhtias Member Posts: 5
    Who planned out paths for the race games, I literally just did a goto alias and won the ones I did.
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 692 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh I forgottttt.

    A baitgame started me underwater, and with the damage knocking you out instead of contact, I began with about 170/450 by the time I got out :cold_sweat:

    If not for that, though, that game takes a while. I don't dislike it, just might need like a bunny speedup or something.
  • JavonJavon Member Posts: 46
    @Dec loved the event, love all the hard work you put into this game.

    I'd like to see games less bottable. Add some trivia, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, even clockworks running into different rooms after hit, something that requires brainpower to prevent certain OOC squads from AFK botting for 4 hours and winning events. Just seems kinda cheesy to win that way. 

    Idk why race game destinations weren't put in parts of areas you couldn't path track to. That didn't make much sense to me.

    I'd have liked a helpfile for rules/directions/commands for all of the games like help promo has most promo items.

    Was not a fan of no y/n option when being sucked into the TOA arena. 



    Kamaylie
  • BronachBronach BronachMember Posts: 25
    This was my first TOA event ever, so I felt motivated to play it. Thanks for all the effort and organisation from the coding team.
    • I'm an infant PKer, so it was nice to see others just giving it a go. @Mathiaus gave me a few tips after one match that I completely botched (which happened a lot), it was a very positive interaction for me. Cheers for that. More combat out of me this RL month than ever in my entire life. I stank it up, giggled, and got 1% better. I read combat logs afterwards for the first time ever, and found them helpful.
    • Having TELLS public may have encouraged people to behave civilly. Everyone thanked me for the duel, and we went back to our respective IG lives without further incident.
    • It was interesting idea to do Engineer and Random duels, only a shame that I couldn't put together an effective combo with a new class quick enough. Winner: autocuring.
    • Fewer bottable games: yes, please. Cause, I'm a crap coder, but would give those other ones a try.
    KamaylieRyseCordilia
  • DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
    Regarding the logs:
    1. The logging was announced two days after registration opened, but before any matches were played. It wasn't mentioned earlier because I didn't think I was going to finish it in time.  You were never forced to actually play in any of the games even if you registered.
    2. Part of the reason for logging was that we have a huge knowledge gap in combat.  It's really hard to learn how to be an effective combatant without seeing battles (even the bad ones).  If you're lucky with your friends, they may have some logs that they'll let you have, but even then you can only guess as to what's really happening on the other side.  We really want to help new people get into combat.  This is also why INPUT was logged.  It doesn't help new players if they don't know how the person made xyz happen.
    3. The logged matches were DUELs.  Most of in-game combat is not 1v1.  True, your opponents could glean some information about your setup (as you could theirs if they played), but that will be of lesser importance when you throw in a bunch of other people.  
    4. The participants got unbound credits.  Each participant got at least 5 unbound credits plus up to 5 daily credits for each match that they lost.  (people that ran away got none, you only got these when you lost)  Winning earned at least 15, and in the later rounds that increased significantly (up to 1000 for the eventual champion).  People were surprised to see Javon's name at the top of the ToA score board, but a large portion of that was because he was willing to play more duels than anyone else.
    5. The logging had to be very dumb to avoid slowing down the game. That's why it was the way it was, it was literally just duplicating the input and output streams of everyone in the instance and putting it in a file.  It had no idea if it was someone talking or someone attacking.
    6. That being said, if someone has an awk/sed script that can parse and strip chatter from ANSI encoded files I'd be happy to consider stripping those things.
    7. I do hope to put the logs some place easier to read.  As I was making the log reader I was thinking "how many triggers is this going to set off?"  Or maybe have a plugin for the nexus client since that already has the converter.  
    Icarius
  • DecDec Member, Immortal Posts: 211 mod
    Also for less bot-able, what are people's thoughts on a maze runner?  Random generated paths with the goal of getting to the opposing portal the fastest? 

    Trivia is fun, but the cost-to-expense ratio is awful.  It also tends to turn into help file / news searching more than trivia.  I have considered putting in an OOC trivia question generator as an AFK tool. But then people would complain when they get booted for not knowing the name of the Queen's second corgi.  (Eoghan tells me it was Jane).

    Other suggestions would be good, but scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, etc take several times the length of the event to put together.  

    I am thinking of having some more frequent recurring games for prizes.  No where near the level of ToA, but a few games a week to give people to look forward to.  Nothing concrete yet, though.
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