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Eaden

The apple snatchers and other offline mules

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I think part of the solution will be that the amount of materials you can bring in with an alt will be such a small fraction of what is actually needed for the campaign that it's irrelevant. Sure you brought in a .0005% of what you'll need for the whole campaign on an extra alt, does it matter that much? That's also assuming you can safely get it to where it needs to be.

Whether they do this sort of limitation via restricted or just less inventory space, or by limiting import allowances will have to be seen. But it's probably far too early to say it's a problem, we'll need a real pass of the import/export system first. At the moment it's worth noting as something to check later. 

Edited by Duffy

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24 minutes ago, Thubub said:

Doesn't matter why really.  The game encourages alts by its design.  If you want to craft at all, you need at least a harvester alt.  Most will have three accounts, pvp. crafter, and harvester. 

This is factually incorrect.

The best crafters in our guild get feed raw materials from the best harvesters.

I do gathering because there's only so many tools a day that I am willing to make...
 

 

Edited by narsille

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16 minutes ago, srathor said:

The early basic stuff should be trained very quickly. Like Minutes and hours at first. Make the last 20% for basics take a day tops. For the basics of combat, crafting and gathering/exploration. And the basics skills need to influence the novice, journeyman, expert, and master levels too.

The current system has it where you training the first 50% of a skill node in about 1/4 of the overall train time.  So the mechanic is in place; however what I don't seem to like is how T1 trains still cost 3 days total instead of a single day.  Then I would make T2 cost 3 days, and move out like they currently have the nodes setup.  We may see a few different things once the skill training re-work is released.

The biggest hindrance moving through training is having to train a skill to 100%.  EvE used a system where you only had to train to level 3 or sometimes level 4 in order to proceed to the next "low" tier skill.  Advanced skills normally required level 4 or level 5 in prerequisite skills.  So I'm hoping that with the new 1-5 skill nodes that moving forward on a path will be quicker.

The above allows players to rush to the content they want to train, instead of being forced to train everything.  It has a secondary effect of not having every character be the same in skills.


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24 minutes ago, narsille said:

This is factually incorrect.

The best crafters in our guild get feed raw materials from the best harvesters.

I do gathering because there's only so many tools a day that I am willing to make...

So you are saying that in your guild, one group of players is ONLY going to harvest for the entirety of the game's life.  Another group of players is ONLY going to craft for the entirety of the game's life.  The rest of your guild will enjoy the game as pvpers and reap the benefits of their harvesting and crafting slaves?  That's ridiculous.  You already stated that you had an alt account.  How many in your guild are planning on running multiple accounts?  My guess is somewhere near 100%.  The game's design almost necessitates it.  You can try and dance around that all day with less-than-clever semantics, but that is the reality.

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55 minutes ago, Thubub said:

Doesn't matter why really.  The game encourages alts by its design.  If you want to craft at all, you need at least a harvester alt.  Most will have three accounts, pvp. crafter, and harvester. 

If you want to pvp exclusively, that is the only reason you would only have one account.  Even then it makes sense to have a second account for harvesting just to make it easier to survive (food and what-not).  The only way a pvper will be able to sustain themselves without an alt is pretty harcore pking.  So if you are support, you will need to be in a very active group.

This is true, but the point to the system is that players can train as many characters at one time as they can pay for but they are not easily going to be able to harvest the best wood, leather and ore and craft the best bows and plate armor without sacrificing all (not ALL but a lot! I've spent a lot of time chopping trees to get what's needed) their combat play time. You're going to be better off knowing someone who get's lots of great Heartwood and another person who's getting great gems than trying to do that yourself AND still have time to fight?

srathor makes a good point about how early skills should train fast so that everyone can do basics in quick order but they should scale up fast once you get past the basics to keep this dependency mechanism viable. So back to "alts as banks", I guess a mule is a thing but is it a problem? The case described uses them as long term storage and I think building storage in forts etc. will outweigh that benefit provided their size makes an alt feel like a 6 slot bag. In the short term, storage for crafters and such may benefit from alt stockpiles until they have built up needed defenses and storage facilities.

I don't like the inventory decay idea because it hurts more casual (weekenders) players, but banks are a sure thing.

 

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On 6/13/2017 at 2:53 AM, scornoflife said:

I think having a player limit per faction could help alleviate this, each and every player needs to matter in some way.

Seeing someone write in global today about how they felt special due to their perception training in Harvesting made their Harvesting superior to my own was a good thing, this is the way the game is designed and should be going imo.

Having additional inactive accounts clogging the system would actually hurt your side in this scenario, though it would likely lead to multiple smaller size campaign wars on going at the same time. Which could help shape the world and game story in a different way.

Too easy to bypass.  Form a guild on the enemy side with all your alt accounts that plays nice with the main guild.  Weaken your opponent, AND have a pile of resource mules.

On 6/13/2017 at 1:37 AM, Groovin said:

This is how I read it. Food is easily solved if it starts to rot over the campaign, but what about resources? Will they be as easily stacked as they are now? Maybe we'll have a little less inventory space in the future

On a Q&A, Blair said that ore and stone nodes are the same in all seasons.  I think the only things that become scarce/difficult is food and animals.

They also said that characters won't eat while offline.

Less inventory space means greater value in mule alts, plain and simple, unless there is an easy way for everyone to store nearly unlimited supplies without them.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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34 minutes ago, Thubub said:

So you are saying that in your guild, one group of players is ONLY going to harvest for the entirety of the game's life.  Another group of players is ONLY going to craft for the entirety of the game's life.  The rest of your guild will enjoy the game as pvpers and reap the benefits of their harvesting and crafting slaves? 

Yes.  (However, I differ with your claim that the harvesters and crafters are "slaves".  Personally, I find the economic aspects of the game for more interesting than pure PVP)

Moreover, I will assert that the designers of this game view this as a feature rather than a bug.


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I have played MMOs for years. When DAoC launched, it was more common to see a character with a "healbot" than without it.  This was due to the nature of DAoC's design. In other games it is much more uncommon to see people with multiple accounts.  But in those games, characters can easily fulfill lots of roles on one account.  Crowfall won't have that option.  Regardless of what the designers are aiming for, the result will be a substantial portion of the player population will have multiple accounts. 

I am not saying this is necessarily good or bad, but if you don't believe that multi-accounts will be the norm then just aren't being realistic.  I am saying we should understand that MOST players will be multi-account holders.  We shouldn't bury our heads in the sand and pretend that won't be the case because "that's the glorious vision of our designer overlords." 

Once we get that out of the way, do we really need to make all sorts of systems to counteract or limit people if they play more than one account?  I say no, it is a waste of time.  People will get on their harvesting alt, when they want to harvest... but they won't be on their pvp alt so they incur greater risk of losing any fights if they are discovered.  Then they will get on their crafting alt, to make the most out of the materials they collected.  Then they will get on their pvp alt when they want to go fight and are sick of doing nonsense.  That is absolutely going to be the norm.  Why do we need to create some sort of balancing system if the vast majority of people have multiple accounts?

Edited by Thubub

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58 minutes ago, Thubub said:

When DAoC launched, it was more common to see a character with a "healbot" than without it.  This was due to the nature of DAoC's design.

*buffbots* ruined classic DAOC. Long live Uthgard's stance.


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I still wonder how much they considered going subscription based. As a game trying to throw back to old MMORPG social structures, it remains a major question mark whether that can happen when people do not need to pay a continuous fee to maintain multiple accounts. If you want people to be committed to things like their reputation, there is no better way, IMO.

As far as VIP goes, any attempt to straddle the P2W line will leave some people complaining that it is P2W and others complaining that it is not worth the cost. Meanwhile, alt accounts can do all of what VIP can do and more, for cheaper long term cost.

It feels like people will go bonkers if they announced a subscription or even a meaningful VIP. But, I am personally very concerned about this problem. I understand the financial ramifications, but in the long term easy alt accounts may break the game in ways that are financially crippling.


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Extra accounts to just get the value out of the game is a bad design. But oh well, I think that ship has sailed.
Hell if we get a wipe I might go up to 6 accounts, just to get early training for some friends that would not stomach having to wait months to get some decent training. If it stays as 3 days for the start of skills and only goes up I will probably end up with 10 accounts and only 1 VIP.

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23 minutes ago, mctan said:

It feels like people will go bonkers if they announced a subscription or even a meaningful VIP. But, I am personally very concerned about this problem. I understand the financial ramifications, but in the long term easy alt accounts may break the game in ways that are financially crippling.

Short term, alt accounts provide ACE with $$$ during the pre-launch.

Their incentives might change once the game launches

 


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So I guess I'll join back in to beat the poor horse carcass.

Who even cares? Having multiple accounts gives some measurable advantages, but it doesn't give any individual one of those accounts an advantage over any other player's any one individual account, which means that there is no functional minute-to-minute difference between someone with multiple accounts and someone with one.

So why does everyone care so much? It doesn't take anything away from the people who don't use it, and it adds value for the people who do use it, and it means more money in ACE's pocket. If it ain't broke, why spend so many freaking hours arguing about how to fix it?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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9 hours ago, goose said:

So I guess I'll join back in to beat the poor horse carcass.

Who even cares? Having multiple accounts gives some measurable advantages, but it doesn't give any individual one of those accounts an advantage over any other player's any one individual account, which means that there is no functional minute-to-minute difference between someone with multiple accounts and someone with one.

So why does everyone care so much? It doesn't take anything away from the people who don't use it, and it adds value for the people who do use it, and it means more money in ACE's pocket. If it ain't broke, why spend so many freaking hours arguing about how to fix it?

I care, because this game is not about individual advantage.

Specifically with mules, it means you can purchase team advantage in the winter months, when resources are supposed to be scarce and hard to find, by simply having ALT banks to avoid storage limitations, and provide a secure location for resources. That alone could be the difference between winning an entire campaign world, and losing it. This isn't a game about player vs player, this is a game about group vs group. Throne war simulator and all that.  Any tipping of that scale via money, especially late game, and that entire game concept as being about groups of individual players goes right out the window for whose guild can purchase the most accounts.

If we are going to have winter and starvation, EVERYONE needs to be subject to it in the same degree. 

There are fixes other than targeting ALT's specifically, such as certain inventory items simply drop when you log out with them, or specific slots and limits for certain kinds of inventory that you can't exceed to reduce the value of offline bank accounts, but ALT accounts do need to be considered in the game design.

No matter how ACE slices it, likes or doesn't like it, in a team game ALT's are going to be a cat and mouse problem, and something they have consider when they design. Because you can bet your favorite coffee mug, some players already have game plans for those ALT accounts that will give their team a significant advantage.

Some games can get away from ALT's having any impact, like League of Legends and Overwatch, because no matter how many you have, you have the same power in an individual game.

This game's core model of long term guild vs guild, will be greatly impacted by the ALT account players if those accounts have ANY advantage at all, certainly far more than I think ACE anticipates.

I hope I'm wrong, and they are right, but until I see it working, I'm going to hold my opinion that based on my experiences in the past and the words of those with ALT accounts, that ALT accounts either have to be integrated into the plan, or they will devastate the balance in a throne war game.

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10 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I care, because this game is not about individual advantage.

Specifically with mules, it means you can purchase team advantage in the winter months, when resources are supposed to be scarce and hard to find, by simply having ALT banks to avoid storage limitations, and provide a secure location for resources. That alone could be the difference between winning an entire campaign world, and losing it. This isn't a game about player vs player, this is a game about group vs group. Throne war simulator and all that.  Any tipping of that scale via money, especially late game, and that entire game concept as being about groups of individual players goes right out the window for whose guild can purchase the most accounts.

If we are going to have winter and starvation, EVERYONE needs to be subject to it in the same degree. 

There are fixes other than targeting ALT's specifically, such as certain inventory items simply drop when you log out with them, or specific slots and limits for certain kinds of inventory that you can't exceed to reduce the value of offline bank accounts, but ALT accounts do need to be considered in the game design.

No matter how ACE slices it, likes or doesn't like it, in a team game ALT's are going to be a cat and mouse problem, and something they have consider when they design. Because you can bet your favorite coffee mug, some players already have game plans for those ALT accounts that will give their team a significant advantage.

Some games can get away from ALT's having any impact, like League of Legends and Overwatch, because no matter how many you have, you have the same power in an individual game.

This game's core model of long term guild vs guild, will be greatly impacted by the ALT account players if those accounts have ANY advantage at all, certainly far more than I think ACE anticipates.

I hope I'm wrong, and they are right, but until I see it working, I'm going to hold my opinion that based on my experiences in the past and the words of those with ALT accounts, that ALT accounts either have to be integrated into the plan, or they will devastate the balance in a throne war game.

So oddly enough, despite my stance on alt accounts not being a huge game-breaking deal remaining largely unchanged, this is one very specific situation where I agree with you. But the point I was trying to bring attention to in this particular thread was that, rather than beating a dead horse, proposing ways to prevent this from making the alt-account epidemic worse was probably a better idea.

If there's a method available that doesn't cost $50 and everyone can access one way or another, it won't stop the people who are going to use alt accounts as mules from doing so, but it will probably stop some people from buying alt accounts just for that purpose. I think working toward that in a thread about mules is a better use of time than rehashing the biggest thread-derailer on the forums yet again.

Edit: that said, I realize that the post you quoted seems to directly contradict my previous post in this thread, but again, that's because I'm much more interested in discussing solutions to the problem than losing a whole other thread to explaining how it contributes to the problem, which is where all of these threads eventually end up.

Edited by goose

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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10 hours ago, goose said:

So I guess I'll join back in to beat the poor horse carcass.

Who even cares? Having multiple accounts gives some measurable advantages, but it doesn't give any individual one of those accounts an advantage over any other player's any one individual account, which means that there is no functional minute-to-minute difference between someone with multiple accounts and someone with one.

So why does everyone care so much? It doesn't take anything away from the people who don't use it, and it adds value for the people who do use it, and it means more money in ACE's pocket. If it ain't broke, why spend so many freaking hours arguing about how to fix it?

Yeah feel the same way. Honestly haven't seen anything that can be done with alt accounts that one can't do with just one. Might be able to accomplish something faster or easier in a different way but using social networking and in game storage mechanics you could also store resources for later in the campaign. Bottom line for me as always with these "alt accounts are the worst thing to happen to humanity" threads is smart, organized play by individuals and guilds, and groups can accomplish the same tasks and arguably better and more efficiently. So if someone wants to support ACE by buying dozens of accounts so be it, people have been doing so since the fist MMOs, but yeah at the end of the day its not going to be a big deal as some claim.

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7 minutes ago, pang said:

Yeah feel the same way. Honestly haven't seen anything that can be done with alt accounts that one can't do with just one. Might be able to accomplish something faster or easier in a different way but using social networking and in game storage mechanics you could also store resources for later in the campaign. Bottom line for me as always with these "alt accounts are the worst thing to happen to humanity" threads is smart, organized play by individuals and guilds, and groups can accomplish the same tasks and arguably better and more efficiently. So if someone wants to support ACE by buying dozens of accounts so be it, people have been doing so since the fist MMOs, but yeah at the end of the day its not going to be a big deal as some claim.

Right, and that's my position on it in a nutshell. This is one of the very few issues that I feel warrants some actual work to prevent abuse, even if that comes in the form of something as simple as craftable, lockable chests or the inability to store perishable items indefinitely, but I'd like to see how people want to fix this a lot more than any more discussion about why alt accounts give an advantage. Because if you're paying an extra $50, you SHOULD have an advantage. It just shouldn't be an advantage that single-handedly wins you the game. So, as long as the effects can be replicated by other people or in-game means, the fact that it can also be replicated with money becomes irrelevant to both the outcome and the discussion.

Also, to an extent that I am entirely unaware of, there's the concern of server loads? I know that in Diablo 2, Necromancers being able to summon 349508345834985980345 friendos caused some ridiculous problems, but I vaguely remember the proliferance of mule accounts also being problematic for server stability. Not sure if that memory is legit or not, though, let alone how relevant it is to Crowfall.

Shut up, spelling-correcter-thing. Proliferance is a word. So is craftable. So is single-handedly. WHO DESIGNED THIS NONSENSE?

Edited by goose
dysparent aplexia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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Actually, now that I think on it, I kind of like the idea of storage chests that are indestructible within the range of a Tree of Life or whatever comparable semi-safe-zone-generator they end up with, but that can be looted by enemies when the tree is destroyed. Dunno how feasible it is for them to code something like that at this point, but it's an idea.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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38 minutes ago, goose said:

So oddly enough, despite my stance on alt accounts not being a huge game-breaking deal remaining largely unchanged, this is one very specific situation where I agree with you. But the point I was trying to bring attention to in this particular thread was that, rather than beating a dead horse, proposing ways to prevent this from making the alt-account epidemic worse was probably a better idea.

If there's a method available that doesn't cost $50 and everyone can access one way or another, it won't stop the people who are going to use alt accounts as mules from doing so, but it will probably stop some people from buying alt accounts just for that purpose. I think working toward that in a thread about mules is a better use of time than rehashing the biggest thread-derailer on the forums yet again.

Edit: that said, I realize that the post you quoted seems to directly contradict my previous post in this thread, but again, that's because I'm much more interested in discussing solutions to the problem than losing a whole other thread to explaining how it contributes to the problem, which is where all of these threads eventually end up.

One thing they could do, is a mechanic I saw in another game (Star Sonata) for critical resources that decayed, is to give all food a half life (spoil rate) based on hunger.

The way it worked was, after (spoil rate) amount of time 1/2 of your item stack was lost to decay, and the time that it took to lose one item was calculated based on how many you had in a stack.

Let's take apples as a possible example and give them a spoil rate of 20 hours:

  • 1 apple would take 40 hours to decay
  • 2 apples would lose 1 apple in 20 hours.
  • 4 apples would lose 1 apple in 10 hours.
  • 8 apples would lose 1 apple in 5 hours.
  • 20 apples would lose 1 apple in an hour.

Then you simple run a half life script when someone logs in, to count all the food decay that happened while they were off line. This effectively removes or reduces stockpiling of food on alts, because when you finally logged back into them, they would have lost all stores to decay.  

Base each food types decay rate on the hunger level, and make prepared food last longer.  So apples could be gone in a day or two, but roasted meat could have a spoil rate of weeks.

When hunger hits, crank down the numbers on the spoil rate, so apples start spoiling in 10 hours instead of 20, etc.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Just now, KrakkenSmacken said:

One thing they could do, is a mechanic I saw in another game (Star Sonata) for critical resources that decayed, is to give all food a half life (spoil rate) based on hunger.

The way it worked was, after X amount of time 1/2 of your item stack was lost, and the time that it took to lose one item was calculated based on how many you had in a stack.

Let's take apples as a possible example and give them a half life of 20 hours:

  • 1 apple would take 40 hours to decay
  • 2 apples would lose 1 apple in 20 hours.
  • 4 apples would lose 1 apple in 10 hours.
  • 8 apples would lose 1 apple in 5 hours.
  • 20 apples would lose 1 apple in an hour.

Then you simple run a half life script when someone logs in, to count all the food decay that happened while they were off line. This effectively removes or reduces stockpiling of food on alts, because when you finally logged back into them, they would have lost all stores to decay.  

Base each food types decay rate on the hunger level, and make prepared food last longer.  So apples could be gone in a day or two, but roasted meat could have a spoil rate of weeks.

When hunger hits, crank down the numbers on the spoil rate, so apples start spoiling in 10 hours instead of 20, etc.

I like that one. It also adds an incentive for having someone who can cook, not just pick apples, and gives them a reason to collect varied recipes so they can cook more different ingredients into things with longer shelf lives.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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