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March Forum Townhall

EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,073 mod
Tomorrow night I'll be recording my answers to January and February's townhalls, so it's high time I open them up for March!

As I mentioned in our 2020 prospective, one of the things I'm going to be doing each month is a "town hall" of sorts here on the forums. You're able to post questions you'd like answers on, and in a week or two, I'll close the thread and start posting responses!

You can post about just about any subject impacting the game, like roleplay, lore, combat, and mechanics, but please be sure to keep your questions constructive!

Please do NOT use this thread to attack (or even reply to) other players - if your post isn't a question to the administration, it will be edited or removed.

I look forward to reading and answering your questions!
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  • AlitisAlitis Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    Alright, went and reviewed the other two, I'll bite here -

    1) Any plans to address the issues with power creep or ideas how to address them?

    For context: When I first started playing over a decade ago you could stand your ground in top tier PK with just trans class skills. Some months, maybe a year, after that you needed trans survival and antidotes at a bare minimum. Average damage started going up, so you needed to trans all non-crafting skills to stand a chance after a couple years. Now when I show up it feels like you need multiple level 3 artifacts while being an Aspect to compete. With the playerbase being so small the problem is exacerbated as you are pretty much guaranteed to be facing an artifact-boosted opponent. I imagine a PK-oriented newbie would find this anathema and just quit than suffer with it.

    2) Not too long ago I recall one of the staff acknowledging that flip boots disrupted the meta in a way they didn't anticipate. Are there plans to address these? Can we expect more looks at how artifacts impact game balance in the future and will there be options for classleading artifacts in the future? Frankly the pay-to-win model is grating... and honestly I think the current system is ultimately making Imperian far less money than it could, not more.

    3) Since I was ranting on something not related to the main question I was asking in 2, I suppose I will ask it separate - will you consider adjusting the value of a credit both in terms of what it can get you and what they cost to buy? A substantial boost to the in-game value of a credit would work wonders for the bottom line. Consider the following two value propositions and ask yourself which somebody is more likely to say sounds reasonable -

    "You can grind dailies every day for a month to get that level 3 artifact, or you can pay $50 to get it now"
    "You can grind dailies every day for 75 days to get that level 3 artifact, or you can pay $450 to get it now"

    Reducing the disparities between level 1 and level 3 artifacts could also work. And you should never underestimate the value of "cosmetics" - you'd be surprised how much somebody would pay for something that makes it so no matter where they go, everybody knows they have money to burn (artifacts that tick a custom message regularly, some special cloak that waves in the breeze visibly when somebody enters or leaves, pretty much anything where the 'plebs' are reminded that one of their 'betters' walked into the room). I know the medium makes it hard to exploit the value of preening, but if you are questioning it, look at your numbers for deathglory orbs and ask how well they sold on introduction compared to other artifacts. I could be wrong, I don't know the market as well, but there are a lot of ways to make money without making your broke/free players feel totally screwed over.

    4) Circles - will we see adjustments to these in the near future? I'm fine with deleting them entirely. I see circles and affinity as merely dividing an already shrunken playerbase. I'd also like to point out that psychological studies have shown that you can sort people into random groups and put them in invented categories and it will create an 'othering' effect. I'm not saying hard circle lines are what causes bickering among the playerbase, I am saying that most of the bickering I see today (and a lot of what I saw in the past) was usually across circle lines and rarely within the same circle.

    Suggestion: maybe keep affinity but make it so the player is only hurt by cross-circle buffs. Circles have done nothing to stop alliances from being formed (like the current Khan/Ithaqua one), so trying to balance team compositions is DoA, but I see no reason why you can't keep it so an undead templar suffers debuffs that make undeath not worth it for them without stopping cross-circle citizenship, religions, or even simple meet n' greets. Making circle-specific buffs require the receiving party to accept can keep this from being used as a combat tactic.
  • GlijijeGlijije Member Posts: 39 ✭✭
    1. Do you have any thoughts on the distribution of energy? While the game is coded to have three circles, it is being roleplayed as two circles and that means one side has double the energy. Would you consider doing something to address this?

    2. Affinity, according to how it was announced years ago, was introduced to discourage cross-circle cooperation. It is not doing so effectively. Are you willing to rework it?

    3. Could we get some update regarding the monthly promo changes?

    4. Could we get updates to the achievements and their rewards? Higher achievements should give greater rewards. New achievements could motivate more activity. 

    5. Is there going to be a toa in april or may? And, if so, when will there be an announcement?
  • RyseRyse Member Posts: 146 ✭✭✭
    In a similar vein to Glijijijijijijije, but with a slightly different perspective -

    - Have you considered removing circles, or at least circle-mechanics, from the game? 

    My thoughts on circles.

    - In a well-populated environment, three separate circles with mechanically separated orgs may encourage conflict, competition, and fighting as it makes the “us vs them” very clear and easy to understand. I’m Demonic, I’m supposed to dislike Magick, hence I fight Magick.

    - Mechanics that support RP can be interesting, and promote RP. “I’m rewarded mechanically if I act Demonic and live in a Demonic area”.

    - In a Lower populated environment, the player base ends up splitting unevenly, making balance difficult and creating very swingy, lopsided PVP engagements. 

    - With a lower population, player relationships become far more important than circle mechanics, and we end up playing “around” the mechanics to accomplish RP goals. This is good! This is player agency and ingenuity.

    - Circles restrict player profession choice. When you have a small player base, swapping professions keeps the game fresh and fun. At some point, we end up burning through the available classes...and some players get bored and quit, as opposed to starting completely over.

    Just a few thoughts from the resident squid.
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,073 mod
    I touched on circles and population balance a bit in the Jan/Feb answers.
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  • AlitisAlitis Member Posts: 13 ✭✭
    Alright, so I watched the vid, and here is what I'm going to ask in response to that -

    Are you going to commit to a top-down approach on circle ideology? Or will you let the characters themselves drive their own ideology?

    I had another essay planned, but look bottom line is this: you can create ideological divides without mechanically forcing the divisions through buffs/debuffs for daring going against the pre-planned conflict, you just have to introduce what historically has driven conflict IRL - resources, power, the desire for more, and the threat of losing out. Sprinkle in unbalanced economies so everybody always has an advantage in producing something. And finally - make it so that resources and power always come with the calculus where the more you have for yourself the more powerful you are but the less others have to the point where they don't get what they need. From that wellspring comes divisions on how to distribute resources, who decides who gets what, and who rules and who has a voice in government. And from differences in opinions on these things comes conflict.

    Hell, you can even tweak this in a way that the AM/Magick/Demonic divide happens naturally just due to how resources are distributed (in theory), but the point is that conflicts should not be handed down, they should be driven by circumstances on the ground as seen by our characters.
  • EochaidEochaid Member Posts: 154 ✭✭
    Eoghan said:
    I touched on circles and population balance a bit in the Jan/Feb answers.

    Currently we have cross circle alliance because of in game roleplay. You talked about looking into ways to promote mnore circle conflict, could you expand on that? It just it sounds a little concerning and there has been worries about railroading of the current roleplay environement.

    More info on it would be amazing.
  • GaltGalt Member, Beta Testers Posts: 305 ✭✭✭
    Previously, things like ongoing cross-circle alliances without good justification would have resulted in some significant consequences. You'd have people unable to participate because their God/Order forbade it, you'd have reactions from other orgs, etc.

    Right now there's no reason to not just all team up vs one org right now, really - and as much as demonic and AM would love to claim it's justified and magick is somehow deserving, the population/arti weight/etc excuses ran out long ago. Usually by now something would have happened to make the alliance less than viable, but since we don't have gods anymore, it's just kind of... stuck around well past the time when it was justified.

    So I guess that's my question - Will we get some actual IC consequences for these things? I miss the days when you had to make a meaningful choice and sacrifice in order to maintain a cross-circle alliance. Something akin to how it used to be, with potential loss of rituals/miracles as a consequence, would be great!
  • EoghanEoghan Member, Immortal Posts: 1,073 mod
    Please do NOT use this thread to attack (or even reply to) other players - if your post isn't a question to the administration, it will be edited or removed.
    Like what we're doing? Why not take a second to vote? Vote for Imperian at
  • GjarrusGjarrus Member, Beta Testers Posts: 705 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2020
    I think the general idea of the orgcredits thing is nice, but I'd like to know what you have planned for touching up the point setup, some of the conflict mechanisms, and the veneer?

    Some of the issues I'm alluding to are:
    1 - The caravan system's Megazord of a snowball issue formed by no maintenance costs and beacons being the source of both combat support and (more importantly imo) information for caravans. Casual reminder that I mentioned this while Khandava was dominating caravans.
    2 - the oddity of raids giving points to both for a victory but neither for a loss. If the 250 is too much, it should be reduced, maybe with +100 and -100 to winner/loser with the negative reduced by number of attacker/defender kills or some bs.
    3 -  'orgcredits' being as :/ as dailycredits to discuss IC but it exists IC, so a fancified word or rp for it would be nice.
    4 - raid objectives being largely uniform with the main type being much easier to stall leading to off-hour raiding even with the bonus that gives to guards
    5 - obelisks' high energy cost and subsequent drain plus long fights leading to a point where they are rarely contested and then usually only at off-hours, so minimal actual 'conflict' is generated.
    6 - the tutor being a shoddy objective to steal without backup tutors causing an unintended negative for most cities. I think Khandava received a replacement dean since it went so long without their tutor, but it's still an issue for the others.

    And while I think the leading side of a 3-way conflict should expect some enemy cooperation (or even their own circle ally cooperating against them in recent history) that doesn't end the moment actual losses start happening, I do also wish there were objectives like obelisks that were locked to a single side of the conflict or even pre-made teams (like a yearly double elimination city-based team duels). Or something like war aides can put out challenges a la champions to other cities that need to be answered within blah time or forfeit, winner getting orgcredit points with cooldowns on frequency and all that. 

    TL:DR Are you going to touch-up some of the existing orgcredit systems, and will you consider adding more 'instanced' conflicts to even out the impact of open-world alliances as well as population downturns?

  • SumieSumie Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
    My question for January got skipped over so I'll just ask it again here.

    Would it be possible to bring back events like the valentine's festival/Halloween festival with all those minigame things. I do need to collect another crown. Guess it would Anti-magick's queen of love. I realize it is probably not as easy as flipping a switch and would likely involve having to update the spaghetti mess of code used from before, but those were quite fun and we haven't had them for a while.  
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