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FenrisDDevil

[Brainstorming] Passive & Active skill training

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Passive training is not perfect and it suffers from a problem that we shouldn't ignore, which is: new players are increasingly discouraged to join the game after its release. Yes, the problem can be ignored (considering how a player can be competitive with less trained skills, bla bla) and yes this is a niche game and in theory we don't need big numbers.. but that's just an excuse for not fixing an obvious flaw in the system.

Even if you are not, there are players that don't like being disadvantaged by even a decimal skill point.. so please spare us your sermon.

 

EVE recently did something about it, basically introducing a skill trading system, which is somewhat smart but it's a solution that comes very late to the party and still resources for the new players (and sounds a bit p2w). Also, imho, it's not a solution that fits fantasy MMORPGs.

 

Lots of users here came to the same conclusion and created threads to suggest a change in passive training, but I don't think that's necessary.

An hybrid passive+active training system does the trick, and it doesn't impact veterans.. let me explain.

 

Passive training is there to let us deal with resources managing, politics, and usually end-game mechanics right at the start, without the need to grind levels. In the spirit of this, here I wonder about the possibility to give an head start to passive training over active training.

 

 

KnightSkillTreePrototype_d3.jpg

 

 

How does the idea work:

 

If a player starts playing at release, he'll never have to use active training, and he'll be passive training for how long as he wants (note: this isn't related to a possible active proficiency that might or might not be there).

A new player, that joins the game 1 month after release, has the option of using passive training (as it is now) OR the option to use active training, when he's online at least, to catch up the 1 month of passive training that he missed.

 

That one month of passive training, could take two months of active training, or 1 month, or half a month.

There's not really the need for a specific value, it's all up to the DEVs and how much "head start" they wanna give to passive training.

I suggest active training to be equal to passive training at the beginning, and maybe make it shorter while time passes.

 

Example: The player that starts 1 month late, can catch up with active training in 1 month (if he has time to play that is, and that's time that he's wasting compared to players that are deep in end-game mechanics), so that by the end of the second month, he's on pair with veterans.

A player that starts 1 year late, can catch up in 6 months or even less (3?) of active training.

 

I want to hear your opinion on this hybrid system, and if you have a better idea yourselves.

Edited by Fenris DDevil

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What about the players that play at the beginning, leave for a while, and come back? Is the game going to track time not spent passive training? Or is it simply if you start playing X days after launch you get Y active training?

 

It sounds a bit cumbersome in either case, and encourages players to grind rather than play, which I think is a bad thing.

 

I think a mentor system would be better. A player can mentor any other player who has trained less than they have. The mentoring will increase the rate by which the other player trains, but the trainee can never pass the trainer.

 

So if I have a total of 2000 points trained and someone new comes along, I can mentor that person. 6 months later, I may have 3000 points and the other player 2000, but they are catching up. Like you said, the exact numbers can be tweaked.

 

A mentor can only have one trainee and a trainee can have only 1 mentor. The benefits can be limited based on skill trees, so that in order for someone to get faster training in crafting, they have to mentor with someone who has trained crafting. It could even be limited based on specific crafting profession/archetype. You want to train faster to be a necromancer? Mentor with a necromancer. 

 

Personally, I think that's a more elegant solution. It doesn't add any need to grind and it creates more social interactions.

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Adjusting the amount of active training depending on how long the game has been going seems like an interesting idea.

 

I don't remember ACE discussing active training at all recently though, I wonder if it's still getting used.

 

Also ACE talked a long time ago in an interview about a way to catch up on training. Not sure if it was supposed to be an item we purchase though.

Edited by courant101

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I think the way this needs to be looked at, is not

"What works best", but instead "what appeals to new players the most"

 

With arkade's suggestion it's still "I can never catch up"...

with fenris' suggestion it might really be people just grinding without actually playing...

 

 

I dunno... doesn't seem like a problem that can be fixed without opening a whole other can of worms

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What about the players that play at the beginning, leave for a while, and come back? Is the game going to track time not spent passive training? Or is it simply if you start playing X days after launch you get Y active training?

 

Yes, I apologize if I wasn't clear enough.

A player that left the game has the same opportunity to catch up the passive training that he lost through the active one.

 

It sounds a bit cumbersome in either case, and encourages players to grind rather than play, which I think is a bad thing.

 

Well it's completely optional, and it's a risk-reward situation. A new player might take the chance to use his time to catch up with veterans in terms of skills, or he can just play the game as it was supposed to with passive training. I do agree that easier measures might be better, but they all come with low or no expenses.

 

So if I have a total of 2000 points trained and someone new comes along, I can mentor that person. 6 months later, I may have 3000 points and the other player 2000, but they are catching up. Like you said, the exact numbers can be tweaked.

 

It's an interesting alternative, but the new player can't catch up anyway so the problem remains even if smaller.

And he needs to have a mentor in the first place, which isn't ideal for many...

 

with fenris' suggestion it might really be people just grinding without actually playing...

 

Yes but new players are not forced to use active training.

 

If you're a new player, you're going to want to speed up your training to the point where you feel you reached a competitive level, and then the grind is basically over, like in any MMORPG, until you decide otherwise. Or you can wait for the passive training to kickup.

Still better than the current system without options (imho).

 

The point, though, is giving players the opportunity to do so. That's all it takes to convince them to play.

Edited by Fenris DDevil

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I think the way this needs to be looked at, is not

"What works best", but instead "what appeals to new players the most"

 

With arkade's suggestion it's still "I can never catch up"...

with fenris' suggestion it might really be people just grinding without actually playing...

 

 

I dunno... doesn't seem like a problem that can be fixed without opening a whole other can of worms

Why can they never catch up? If the trainee is training faster than the mentor, then they will catch up to their mentor at some point. The amount of time it takes can be tweaked. The rate of increase can be tweaked based on the disparity in training between the mentor and the trainee.

 

Yes, there may be others who have trained more than their mentor that they have yet to catch up to, but that encourages people to keep mentoring with players above them. 

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@Arkade, we referred to your sentence:

 

"The mentoring will increase the rate by which the other player trains, but the trainee can never pass the trainer."

 

Which means that a new player won't catch up with someone that started playing at release.

I guess the mentor system could be made so that the trainee can catch up with the trainer eventually, but it would be effortless from a point of view (making some veterans unhappy), and player-dependant from another.. meaning that someone with no friends won't be able to catch up unless he doesn't pay for it***, which is still a reason not to join the game late.

 

***it's also a system suscetible to money. You can pay others to mentor you..


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Why can they never catch up? If the trainee is training faster than the mentor, then they will catch up to their mentor at some point. The amount of time it takes can be tweaked. The rate of increase can be tweaked based on the disparity in training between the mentor and the trainee.

 

Yes, there may be others who have trained more than their mentor that they have yet to catch up to, but that encourages people to keep mentoring with players above them. 

 

I really like both of your ideas, but always have my interest piqued by the potential for social interactions.  What, in your mind, encourages a vet to accept a new player as a mentor?  Is it a pay-to-catch-up system?  If so, it's a challenge to get new players to invest even more in a game about which they may be skeptical.  

 

Is there any incentive for the mentor?  In the case of existing guilds, I can see the social interaction happening much like power-leveling because we want our friends to catch up.  But, for the truly new player, how will they get a mentor?


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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@Arkade, we referred to your sentence:

 

"The mentoring will increase the rate by which the other player trains, but the trainee can never pass the trainer."

 

Which means that a new player won't catch up with someone that started playing at release.

I guess the mentor system could be made so that the trainee can catch up with the trainer eventually, but it would be effortless from a point of view (making some veterans unhappy), and player-dependant from another.. meaning that someone with no friends won't be able to catch up unless he doesn't pay for it***, which is still a reason not to join the game late.

 

***it's also a system suscetible to money. You can pay others to mentor you..

"Never pass the trainer" doesn't mean "can't catch up".

 

It means that if the trainer has 3000 points trained, the trainee can't have 3001, but he can get to 3000. The trainee trains faster than the trainer, so eventually yes, they will catch up. But once they are equal, the faster training stops. If the player wants to continue training faster, he needs to find a new mentor with a higher training level.

 

I thought about the money aspect, but it isn't P2W. More like P2CU (Pay to catch up). If someone wants to do that, they can I suppose, but who are they paying? Someone not in their guild? What's stopping the mentor from taking the money and running? Why not just train with a guildmate? Is their guildmate going to charge them? The same thing happened in Shadowbane. Vets would take newbie guildmates out to help them level up. I don't recall anyone paying for it with real money, but maybe it happened. This would be essentially the same thing, but without the need to babysit the newer players.

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I really like both of your ideas, but always have my interest piqued by the potential for social interactions.  What, in your mind, encourages a vet to accept a new player as a mentor?  Is it a pay-to-catch-up system?  If so, it's a challenge to get new players to invest even more in a game about which they may be skeptical.  

 

Is there any incentive for the mentor?  In the case of existing guilds, I can see the social interaction happening much like power-leveling because we want our friends to catch up.  But, for the truly new player, how will they get a mentor?

We already know that guilds will be very important in this game. Maybe not as much in the outer bands since they are faction based, but certainly in the inner bands. So there is already a lot of incentive for players to join a guild.

 

But maybe the desire to help a guildmate isn't enough of an incentive. Maybe the mentor could also receive a small boost. It could be a slightly increased training time. The trainee will still train faster, but the mentor will train slightly faster than someone who isn't a mentor.

 

Or maybe the mentor could receive a slight combat, crafting or harvesting buff when their trainee is nearby.

 

There are lots of ways it could be incentivized. 

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We already know that guilds will be very important in this game. Maybe not as much in the outer bands since they are faction based, but certainly in the inner bands. So there is already a lot of incentive for players to join a guild.

 

But maybe the desire to help a guildmate isn't enough of an incentive. Maybe the mentor could also receive a small boost. It could be a slightly increased training time. The trainee will still train faster, but the mentor will train slightly faster than someone who isn't a mentor.

 

Or maybe the mentor could receive a slight combat, crafting or harvesting buff when their trainee is nearby.

 

There are lots of ways it could be incentivized. 

 

I originally didn't like the concept of catch-up training, because it sounds grindy and I'd hate people to feel obligated to do it (plus, in an ideal system, skills shouldn't be the be-all end-all by any means)

 

however your idea sounds really pretty cool, mentorship as a mechanic really tickles my fancy

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We already know that guilds will be very important in this game. Maybe not as much in the outer bands since they are faction based, but certainly in the inner bands. So there is already a lot of incentive for players to join a guild.

 

But maybe the desire to help a guildmate isn't enough of an incentive. Maybe the mentor could also receive a small boost. It could be a slightly increased training time. The trainee will still train faster, but the mentor will train slightly faster than someone who isn't a mentor.

 

Or maybe the mentor could receive a slight combat, crafting or harvesting buff when their trainee is nearby.

 

There are lots of ways it could be incentivized. 

 

I really like your idea but its the incentive part that makes it difficult to nail down.

 

There is nothing a new player can "offer" for a mentorship because they are new and have either nothing or the most basic of things. So if bonuses are the way to compensate for that, what kind of bonuses could we introduce to mentors that wont break the game? (Im not getting into RMT, i dont care, if someone wants to waste money on some shady crap to get scammed its not my problem or ACEs)

 

And even before that, how can we stop people from abusing it? If i have 3000 points and my friend has 2500 could i not just mentor them to help them catch up while also benefiting from whatever bonus i get?

 

What about 3000 points and a friend with 2990? It might only last a day but depending on the bonus (ie +10% combat or siege damage) for me alone that means nothing, but if we can get a good chunk of a guild to do these close level mentorships the day of a siege, that small bonus for me is a large bonus multiplied across the whole guild now.

 

Also will there be a limit on how someone maintains mentorship?

 

If i have a friend that kinda plays CF every 3rd CW or so and doesnt take it seriously, can i not just have my 3000 point character mentor his 200 point character he hardly plays so that i just constantly have my bonus. You did give a suggestion for this about having to have the trainee nearby to get the bonus, but then why would a mentor ever stick with a trainee? If im on and my trainee isnt on (scheduling problems or w/e), or is on but isnt nearby to give me my bonus Why would i continue to give them a training speed boost if i am gaining nothing from it?

 

Im just one mind and i cant think up all the answers or even all the problems, and i like the concept but i cant see anyway to implement it without leading to a whole galaxy of new problems. Also depending on how its implemented its not really helping new people get anywhere, its just helping larger more organized guilds gain even further leads on other players.

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In any of the passive + active hybrid progression systems I've thought up, I find it too difficult to nail down exactly how the active part works. There are going to be a ton of skills that don't translate well in actions-performed for granting XP for X skill and to keep the gains balanced across all skills would be insane. Passive training completely avoids that pitfall. I'd definitely suggest some way to add a training speed modifier (x1.5-x4) like the mentorship idea instead.

 

Mentorship

What about having to set a minimum time to mentor and being lock into that until it expires? Example 1-5days I'm imaging a contract is made between you and another for the timeframe and optional compensation.

 

Instead of gameplay affecting bonuses, what about cosmetic or other benefits instead as a reward for mentoring?

 

Couldn't 2 vet players constantly mentor each other in the skills they haven't trained yet?
 
 
Personally, if the power curve is such that a new player is competent in the first week or two, it's not such a big enough problem to fix. If it's not, then I think the focus should be put into giving only new players a training boost until they can be.

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First off, I think these are some pretty good solutions to a problem.  I like them.  My only issue is that I'm not really sure there is a problem.  At least not to the extent some seem to think there is.

 

I'm not sure anyone here really knows exactly how the system's going to work so it's hard to know for sure if there's actually a problem.  Maybe there is and I'm just not seeing it.

 

I guess I would ask, how do you guys think this system is going to work?  Why do you think a vet is going to get this insurmountable lead in skill points that a new person wouldn't be able to catch up?

 

I really think people are overlooking that a vessel is really what determines a players power.  If all vessels have a limit on how much skill they'll allow, doesn't it stand to reason that all a new person has to do is put enough training into one archetype to max out the best vessel they can get in order to be caught up?  Anything above that just gives you more options on how to spec that vessel or to play "alts".  You guys do realize that even if you max out a full archetype on your crow that you'll never find a vessel that actually allows all that skill don't you?

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But Crowfall already has both active and passive skill training, as per the FAQ:  http://crowfall.com/en/faq/characters-and-advancement/  (look at #5)

 

The system is designed to give new players a faster development curve.  Also, you're forgetting that the power curve is insanely shallow.  Basically, they already thought of that, and it's already in the game.

Edited by Kithslayer

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Mentorship

What about having to set a minimum time to mentor and being lock into that until it expires? Example 1-5days I'm imaging a contract is made between you and another for the timeframe and optional compensation.

 

Instead of gameplay affecting bonuses, what about cosmetic or other benefits instead as a reward for mentoring?

 

Couldn't 2 vet players constantly mentor each other in the skills they haven't trained yet?

 

 

I think a lock-in or CD is good to keep from a potential hopping/dropping problem and Cosmetic bonuses are a good incentive.  

 

I also don't think people should discount the social incentives.  Friends already have an incentive to mentor friends, and at this point in MMO gaming there are few people that venture into a game (especially one like Crowfall) 3-6 months after release without some social contacts.  Guilds have an incentive to mentor new players as that will provide an additional bond to the guild, especially if there are longer term contracts/CDs involved.

 

I also think the mentor program should only give bonuses (or have harsh diminishing returns) to players under a certain overall skill progression point, which would prevent veteran players from just mentoring each other.  Just a quick example, say the maximum skill points a normal account could have is 3000, then only players with less than 2000 points would get full benefit from mentoring and everyone from 2000-2500 would see significantly reduced benefits, and everyone 2500 and up could not be mentored.  

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Hmm.. i dont think that it is a really big Problem in EVE. And it will no Problem in Crowfall.

In Eve you can play every way you want and have success even with lower skill numbers.
To get most out of a char in a spezial part of the Game you only need ~ 5mill SP in EVE. You can make good PVP with only 2 Mill.
~ 1 Month Training.

So the only difference between a new player and a old player is the Ammount of possible Play Options.

In Crowfall the New Player without VIP is limited to his First Archetype. 
The Older Player can choose from more Archetypes and may fight and craft and trade 

I Think that every Kind of active Training will break the whole balance of the skill system.
I dont like the Idea that a new player can skill up so easily. Why should a player ever use the passive Training ? As a normal Player i will use the active Training to, because i can get the double ammount of skill Points in the same time. I am stupid if i just train passive.

As Freeze said before... it would just open a bunch of new problems.

 

If the Game is released and the first few month are over.. there is time enough to think about it.


Bavarie Blue / Happy Tree Friends (HTF) and Pirates of Carribbean (POC)

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First off, I think these are some pretty good solutions to a problem.  I like them.  My only issue is that I'm not really sure there is a problem.  At least not to the extent some seem to think there is.

 

I'm not sure anyone here really knows exactly how the system's going to work so it's hard to know for sure if there's actually a problem.  Maybe there is and I'm just not seeing it.

 

I guess I would ask, how do you guys think this system is going to work?  Why do you think a vet is going to get this insurmountable lead in skill points that a new person wouldn't be able to catch up?

 

I really think people are overlooking that a vessel is really what determines a players power.  If all vessels have a limit on how much skill they'll allow, doesn't it stand to reason that all a new person has to do is put enough training into one archetype to max out the best vessel they can get in order to be caught up?  Anything above that just gives you more options on how to spec that vessel or to play "alts".  You guys do realize that even if you max out a full archetype on your crow that you'll never find a vessel that actually allows all that skill don't you?

Yeah this.

 

While obviously the sheer number of skills trained will be in the veterans favor, based on the system ACE has proposed that doesn't mean you'll have insurmountable power that can't be caught up to. They mention shallow power curves and diminishing returns. So yes power wise new players will be able to catch up.

 

So as always good discussion and ideas I just feel like the problems being brought up won't be(hopefully) as severe as some might think.

Edited by pang

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