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Aspects of the Unified Moon

EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
edited October 2019 in Imperial News
This thread serves as a general discussion topic for the new aspect system. What do you like? What don't you like (be constructive, please)?

Please file bug reports in-game for anything that is broken or not working as expected. Otherwise, feel free to post here!

ANNOUNCE NEWS #3896
Date: 10/20/2019 at 0:22
From: Dec
To  : Everyone
Subj: Aspect Changes

Changes to the aspect system have gone live!

Please read HELP ASPECTS for detailed information, but the highlights are:
   - All aspects are now aspects of the unified moon and may gain access to any of the fifteen original aspect skills
   - With the unified moon, access to the Moon Forge has opened. GAZE FORGE to travel to it.
   - At the Moon Forge you may choose an elemental AFFINITY. Having an elemental affinity allows you to travel to the four elemental planes
   - Elemental planes mirror places on the prime material plane, but damage is considerably different based on the plane and your affinity
   - Aspects can build STRONGHOLDS on their chosen plane and fortify it against invasion
   - Aspect powers use and drain SPIRIT, which you gather by gaining experience or converting lessons
   - Monoliths still exist, but now they focus on the affinity of the holder
   - Players may choose which of the fifteen skills to power, but higher level skills cost more monoliths to power (1 to 5)
   - Each affinity is automatically given the equivalent power of two monoliths. For example, if fire controls 1 monolith, fire affinity players have the equivalent of 3 monolith points to choose powers from
   - Previously purchased permanent monoliths and monolith powers have been converted into vast amounts of spirit

Happy Plane Hopping!

 - Dec
 
Penned by my hand on the 1st of Artificium, in the year 205 AM.
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Comments

  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 181 ✭✭✭
    This is really neat, thanks for keeping things interesting and changing up the mechanics in novel ways. I really like this as an idea.

    Is there a disadvantage to everyone just picking the same affinity to get all the powers? Is being a contrarian interesting? Otherwise, much like with sects, I think over time you'll see everyone gravitating to one side because it's clearly stronger.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Responding to a question from Discord
    > So, what was the idea behind the change?

    The reasoning for the change had a lot of pieces. The biggest was that it just wasn't compelling for most players anymore. We also wanted to make the endgame conflict mechanism meaningful again, which meant needing to delete permanent monoliths or changing monolith control entirely. And, by making all powers available to all players, balancing the three sets of powers against each other isn't necessary - now we can balance them all as one set which makes it easier

    The Lore direction changed a few times during design. I always knew I wanted to make the new aspect an Aspect of the Unified Moon, and have a lore tie-in to the Forges that we've given some information about over time. The elemental theme sort of naturally followed from there, based on what the Forges are and how they relate to the planes.

    The actual implementation and mechanics behind everything that isn't the monoliths and aspect powers was an idea that Dec put together and I really like it a lot - strongholds that you can defend/attack are a really interesting give-and-take that players can start to get into (at the expense of time and upkeep)

    Another core part is that we DID need upkeep. It was clear that the aspect powers and perks as they existed weren't really a reasonable sink (because they're a one-time cost, and they were such large goals to hit). So the clear answer was to create some meaningful choice where players have to make a cost benefit analysis. Do I go for another power, which increases my upkeep?


    Hopefully that answers the question!
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  • GlijijeGlijije Member Posts: 33
    Could you open up the monoliths so that people can have powers please? Right now some of them are in the hands of players who barely log in.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Glijije said:
    Could you open up the monoliths so that people can have powers please? Right now some of them are in the hands of players who barely log in.
    Yes, I plan to clear any monoliths held by aspects that haven't chosen a new aspect type at 2359GMT today.
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  • GlijijeGlijije Member Posts: 33
    Ah, great, thanks.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Naruj said:

    Is there a disadvantage to everyone just picking the same affinity to get all the powers? Is being a contrarian interesting? Otherwise, much like with sects, I think over time you'll see everyone gravitating to one side because it's clearly stronger.
    Yes, but nothing considerable. It's an issue I definitely want to (and plan to) address.

    I want to avoid any (or at least significant) mechanical PVE or PVP bonuses, though, for a few reasons.

    First, I want to avoid introducing anything new that undermines the attempt to remove needing to balance the aspects separately - that's part of why we unified powers to begin with.
    Second, I want to avoid MECHANICALLY causing everyone to pick one affinity due to even perceived advantage of a single affinity.

    So that doesn't leave a lot of options top of mind. It's something I'm going to keep trying to brainstorm and I welcome ideas, though
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  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 181 ✭✭✭
    Good to hear! I like this type of development. Even when it takes some time to get 'right', I like the way it shakes things up.

    I think you'd just need a slight malus based on percent membership size or something to fix it. If 75% of the Aspects are one affinity, spirit could either generate slightly slower or powers could cost slightly more for that team. You could also tie resurrection in with affinity and give the less popular groups a slightly faster resurrection timer (based on their elemental plane being able to rekindle their spirit faster). We will just need a slight mechanical advantage for picking the weaker affinity, in exchange for it being easier to hold and maintain powers as the stronger affinity.

    Fake double post: Any chance we murder the Sect system and replace it with something like this? If you're looking to replace boring mechanics that no one care about, Sects would be a great second choice.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    Naruj said:
    This is really neat, thanks for keeping things interesting and changing up the mechanics in novel ways. I really like this as an idea.

    Is there a disadvantage to everyone just picking the same affinity to get all the powers? Is being a contrarian interesting? Otherwise, much like with sects, I think over time you'll see everyone gravitating to one side because it's clearly stronger.
    They didn't "change" the mechanics in a novel way at all, it's literally the same stuff we had before just has a new look about it, which is honestly far less than impressive or good.
  • NarujNaruj Member, Beta Testers Posts: 181 ✭✭✭
    Arach said:
    Naruj said:
    This is really neat, thanks for keeping things interesting and changing up the mechanics in novel ways. I really like this as an idea.

    Is there a disadvantage to everyone just picking the same affinity to get all the powers? Is being a contrarian interesting? Otherwise, much like with sects, I think over time you'll see everyone gravitating to one side because it's clearly stronger.
    They didn't "change" the mechanics in a novel way at all, it's literally the same stuff we had before just has a new look about it, which is honestly far less than impressive or good.
    Because they haven't changed the powers yet? That's a very minor thing.
    You grabbed my hand and we fell into it
    Like a daydream.. or a fever
  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    No, because all they did was add a few things to make it look shiny while everything else remained the same just "edited" a little bit to make it "look different" but what do I know.
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    I'm confused a bit by the new system.

    Why has eveyone picked fire?

    I'm working my way through the changes and the main changes I'm seeing are:

    1. It doesn't cost gold any more. Much cheaper and easier to get all the powers I want.
    2. No perm monoliths which would potentially counter point one. Under the old system with enough gold I could unlock and have all the powers I want on at any point in time. Under new system I am a bit more limited but not so much because everyones fire and I have 11 points to spend.

    3. ???? I don't really understand the spirit power. Does it cost spirit power to have a passive power active? If so how much? I can't see to find much info on that. I don't want to pick a bunch of powers only to find my spirit drained to northing tomorrow.

    4. The powers are the same but now limited so you can't have everything. Not a bad thing I guess.

    Yay more gold for other stuff.



     
  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    That is one of the main issues I currently have with the "new" aspect system. The only "distinguishing" thing about the different aspects now is that when on the elemental planes you get a buff/debuff depending on what plane you are on. IE: If you are on Fire Plane and are a Fire Aspect, you get a bonus and Fire Plane is easier to bash. However, if you go to Water Plane as Fire Aspect you will have a harder time bashing. (At least, that is my understanding. I personally have no desire or want to even visit the planes so I haven't even bothered with going to them to see what all happens.)

    There is nothing preventing anyone from being X element aspect over Z element aspect.

    Spirit itself is still being worked on (at least as far as the help scrolls go for providing more information on what costs what and such I do believe) It was also stated that they are unsure if they are going to put the spirit costs into a help scroll or not. (I believe anyway? I could be remembering wrong but I don't really feel like scrolling through the Imperian discord to find out for sure @Eoghan would know however since I do believe he is the one who said it.)

    I'm just going to put this here for people who are confused about how the powers now work though @Eoghan please correct me if I'm wrong in understanding how the new power system works, because I don't want to provide people with the wrong information.

    Old Life Aspect Powers:
    Regeneration: Level 1
    Liferoom: Level 2
    Clearsight: Level 3
    Vision: Level 4
    Resurrect: Level 5

    Old Change Aspect Powers:
    Mimicry: Level 1
    Changeroom: Level 2
    Changerace: Level 3
    Modulation: Level 4
    Warp: Level 5

    Old Terror Aspect Powers:
    Immune: Level 1
    Terrorroom: Level 2
    Terrify: Level 3
    Inhume: Level 4
    Absorb: Level 5

    Monoliths of your Type == Effect One
    monolith == one level one power (terror immune, regeneration, mimicry)
    Two monoliths == one level two power (gaze rooms) or two level one powers
    Three monoliths == one level three power (clearsight, terrify, reincarnate) or any combination of one level 2 and one level 1, or three level 1 powers.
    ETC for 4+ monoliths

    (Thanks to @Lachlan for providing that information when Aspect changes happened since he is the one who did the work to figure it out)
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    Whats the point of the elemental planes?

    I didn't even know they existed as proper areas until you said here. I thought they were just concepts like the old moons.

    Went exploring in them, not much in them atm. There plans for including stuff in them?


  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    More bashing areas, there are different parts to each plane. However (from my understanding) you can't just jump into an elemental plane and expect to be able to go to all of them. It looks like you have to enter and exit the elemental plane quite a few times and hopes that you get into a different area every time if you want to explore it and find out what each has to offer.
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    There's random mobs on the planes that don't seem to be linked into any elemental concept.

    Tanari thugs on the plane of fire
    Cave goblins on the plane of water.


  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    From my understanding all they did was take areas that we can reach on the normal plane and move them to the elemental planes, not entirely sure -how- it works myself... the idea of it seems pretty legit, but how it was implemented seems half-thought out.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    edited October 2019
    I think I've answered the questions.

    Regarding planar lore

    Prior to the attunement with the Moonforge, mortals had no way to access the Planes. They could only travel naturally between the Physical Realm and the Spirit Realm (which contains the Underworld). Now, Aspects that are attuned to the Moonforge are able to use it to follow the threads between the Moonforge and the Elemental Planes. These are the same threads that Eloweth used to allow Elemancy and Healing to exist (though for Elemancy, the elements were further modified due to the Broken Diachaim formed in The Breaking. The elemental power used by those with the Healing skillset also came from the Moonforge, but was purified by the Antimagick Divine for use by clerics).

    The Moonforge is the only known Forge (with a big F) to have been created by someone other than Avasyu. The Forge of the Physical Realm created by Avasyu is the Core. There is also a Forge in the Spiritual Plane placed there by Avasyu for use by Thanatos. It is currently unknown whether a Forge exists in the Demonic Realm, but Demon Rifts are unnatural breaks through the Diachaim, and allow limited travel without using a Forge. They are, thus, inherently dangerous and considered by many to be "evil" (for whatever Evil means in a world that isn't black and white)

    Regarding planar travel

    When you enter an elemental plane, you land in a random area within that plane. This could be a given bashing area, it could be a stronghold. There's nothing linking the different areas (right now; we're considering adding something but are undecided).

    Regarding why you would choose one over another: Right now the largest thing is the elemental attunement and bonuses/maluses based on which plane you're on. Ideally this would mean people spread across different types so that they weren't all fighting for one set of bashing areas. In practice this isn't the case and we need to add more reason to differentiate. This is something we're planning to do, as soon as we decide what that thing is.

    For powers:
    Each power costs a certain number of monoliths to have active. This is cumulative. The number of monoliths a given power takes is based on its order in the HELP LIFE POWERS, HELP TERROR POWERS and HELP CHANGE POWERS scrolls. For example, liferoom requires "feeling" two monoliths. If you want both liferoom and changeroom, you need to "feel" four monoliths. Just for being an aspect, you "feel" the power of two monoliths - this is one of the powers granted by being an Aspect of the Combined Moons, and is as close as you can get in the new system to having permanent monoliths.

    Monoliths
    As far as gaining and keeping monoliths goes: right now there aren't enough to go around. With the majority of players choosing Fire, this means that effectively no one else has powers. Both of these things are issues that we want to solve.

    One of the things that we've planned from the beginning is the introduction of additional monoliths. We're going to do this, but we didn't want to do it when the system rolled out so that people could get a feel for things first and (in our ideal vision) fight over the monoliths that already exist first. We'll roll out more monoliths soon.

    Regarding the bashing
    The planes introduce a ton of "new" bashing areas and Doubloon areas. This is, among other things, an attempt to make the limited bashing available in the game easier on lower level players. These aren't end-game bashing areas per se, but they ARE only reachable by Aspects.

    EDIT: Oh, and I'm a they, not a he.
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  • FanglorFanglor Member Posts: 193 ✭✭✭
    I was hoping to see something new come out of this change in the form of powers or something. I don't want to be a downer but I'm super underwhelmed
    Arach
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    ANNOUNCE NEWS #3897
    Date: 10/24/2019 at 17:07
    From: Eoghan
    To  : Everyone
    Subj: Monolith Adjustments

    Hello, Imperian!

    Today we've made a major change to the way held Monoliths impact Aspects. This change is intended to give a bit more meaningful weight to the decision of which Element to join, and balance out the numbers a bit.

    Starting now, Aspects will feel an inversely proportional amount of power from captured monoliths, as follows:
     - If you hold a monolith, you will always feel its full power (one monolith)
     - For monoliths held by other members of your element, you will feel an amount proportional to the number of ACTIVE aspects of your element.
     
    If all of the elements have a roughly equal number of members, then the full power of the monolith will be felt by all Aspects of that type. If one Aspect has more than others (with a margin of error to allow slight differences in numbers), then held monoliths will begin to be less effective. For example, at the time of writing, the aspects are split up as follows: 26 fire, 6 water, 4 earth, 3 air. The Fire aspects hold 6 monoliths. However, they only gain the influence of two of those monoliths. Adding the two that they naturally have for being an Aspect, they're able to make use of up to four monoliths' worth of powers - roughly half of the 8 they would have had previously.

    This is proportional - the more you have over 1/4 (plus a margin of error), the less effective held monoliths are.

    Penned by my hand on the 13th of Letum, in the year 206 AM.
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  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    I'm still not seeing why you wouldn't just stay with the main most popular element.

    Is this the first change of many to make the elements more competitive?
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Eochaid said:
    I'm still not seeing why you wouldn't just stay with the main most popular element.

    Is this the first change of many to make the elements more competitive?
    Staying with just one popular element means you'll never get much use out of powers, with this change.
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  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    edited October 2019
    Yet staying with that element also means that those who don't pick that element are at a disadvantage to getting monoliths currently. I get that there is plans to add more monoliths in (not specified how many just yet) but it feels like the changes that were made, even though they were meant as a "punishment" to those who all just pick the same element just becomes a "punishment" to those who don't pick the most popular one.

    Edit: I get that the change only recently took effect, however I'm trying to look at where this -could- go and how this change could effect things as they are.
    Rokas
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    With the addition of more monoliths, the hope is that things balance out so that it's actually possible for any given element to actually get more than one or two powers.
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  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    Well, here is to hoping then I suppose. I'm not holding my breath though, if I'm completely honest.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Monolith loss due to Aspect inactivity now occurs daily, based on a running average of online time.

    This is three changes in one:
    Increases the activity you need by 1/3
    Means that you can create a buffer more than a week in advance if you absolutely need to (by padding your daily average)
    Means that overall monoliths won't be held by inactive players as much
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  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    Picking any aspect other than fire right now means you get less powers.

    How would increasing the number of monoliths change that?
  • ArachArach Member Posts: 29
    It gives the other elements a chance to grab a monolith. That said, that is also assuming that the changes that were just made by @Eoghan are actually going to cause the population to shift so that people are more spread out across the elements and not just clinging to fire because the cool kids are there currently.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,045 mod
    Right now, someone else having a fire monolith is worth having 1/3 of a monolith for you. Conversely, for the other aspects, it's currently 1:1.
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  • BronachBronach BronachMember Posts: 43
    Noting that this thread is mostly left-brain mathematics and mechanics so far, and I get that. From the right-brain, social science side of it, the newest change feels less of an enticement to DRAW elite folks to other elements, but to PUSH subpar combatants from the most popular one. Given differing personality types, this temporary "fire entrenching" (akin to org entrenching) could also be counteracted by having something theme-related sparklies (e.g., bashing - you mentioned, shardfalls, caravans, earth drops, plane champions, I dunno) that only happen on those other planes. At the moment, the Moonforge leads me to Llus, an area that I heavily I bashed on my way to Aspect. Hopefully, later we will get an upgrade. Exclusive Powercall islands exist now, but I don't see folks ever going to them, cause there's not a lot to do there (except summon plagues). I'd like to see this new initiative succeed, and avoid the pitfalls and eventual decay and boredom seen with the previous ones. ,I'd like to avoid Moon Arena, cause I already have the Coliseum. For me as an RPer, there should ideally be a compelling reason for me to WANT to go there, to fight over it, to commit to PK "for Earth" (other than for the sole reason of being arbitrary, LOL, or whatever). I realise that programmers are still trying to get their numbers sorted out (which is good and important), but from the non-numerical side, I'd like to see (and contribute here, or another appropriate thread) to see if this can take us as to something (potentially) new and fun.
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 147 ✭✭
    Yea I don't feel any motivation to switch.

    I stay fire and I get 5 monolith powers passivly I switch to something else and I get 3.


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