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Tinnis

Todd's thoughts on community feedback for skill training between VIP and non-VIP

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In short Tod sad that argument that if you want to be 100% effective means you have to get up at 3am is a good one and right now they are implementing a grace period for skill system.

For example VIP could have 30 days (he sad this number but as example not as concrete plan) grace period where they can always catch up with lost time (if instant catch up or like 2x modifier we don't know)

non-VIP will have the time shorter but he gave no number.

.

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They've got to be careful with this and not give Non-VIP too much buffer time. This will be very difficult/impossible to retroactively take away without people completely losing their minds.

The thing with giving Non-VIP a big buffer zone of 24 hours or greater means that dedicated crafters/harvesters will be undermined by the ease of how manageable doing those tasks will be on an alt account. Logging in once every 24 hours and queuing up skills on all my crafters is not that hard to manage. However if they make the grace period 8 hours to where the time changes day to day then managing it is considerably more difficult.

Another thing they could do is give Non-VIP something like 72 hours of buffer time per month to use as they need. That way people could use their buffer as they need it and won't feel bad if they can't check back in for a day or two. It's much more dynamic. Obviously VIP members would have no cap on buffer time.  

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5 minutes ago, Zybak said:

They've got to be careful with this and not give Non-VIP too much buffer time. This will be very difficult/impossible to retroactively take away without people completely losing their minds.

The thing with giving Non-VIP a big buffer zone of 24 hours or greater means that dedicated crafters/harvesters will be undermined by the ease of how manageable doing those tasks will be on an alt account. Logging in once every 24 hours and queuing up skills on all my crafters is not that hard to manage. However if they make the grace period 8 hours to where the time changes day to day then managing it is considerably more difficult.

Another thing they could do is give Non-VIP something like 72 hours of buffer time per month to use as they need. That way people could use their buffer as they need it and won't feel bad if they can't check back in for a day or two. It's much more dynamic. Obviously VIP members would have no cap on buffer time.  

Annoying people is not an ideal way to deal with alt accounts.

I do like in principle the 72 hour buffer per month idea, but I would like to see some math in real world terms on that.  How quick do you burn through it when you are just starting would be my primary concern.  If you end up burning the 72 hours on tier one training in a week, simply because you want to sleep a sane schedule, I would much rather see a 24 hour buffer implemented.

This buffer sounds a great deal like the time bank I was hoping for, lets see how it's implemented.

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1 minute ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

No, you make them pointless and not give an advantage to have.  

Literally impossible to accomplish unless you make a single account capable of everything at all times, which will destroy gameplay experience. 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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It would be a mistake to think that optimal training efficiency should be used as a stick for non-VIP or alt-account owners, rather than purely as a carrot for VIP. One does not inherently or automatically mean the other. Trying to kill these 2 birds with 1 stone will only leave you with a lot of dead crows, and dead crows don't bring you shiny things like good reviews, referred customers or money.

Todd's comments make clear he understands the basic issue with the proposed system, and plans to address it. All that remains is determining what the minimum period of time is after which a non-VIP player must login to not take an efficiency hit in regards to their training, to be forced to choice between avoiding disadvantage (not just inconvenience) and disrupting their lives, with it not even being a choice for some people. Given his comment about waking up to move skill training along, I think we can safely assume the low end of the scale would have to be the typically recognized number for a healthy amount of sleep per day - 8 hours.

I think it should be slightly longer, as sleep is not the only non-negotiable time commitment most people have, work must be considered as well, therefore I would rather see something like 12 hours. While 24 would be a nice round minimum, even as someone who disagrees that you need to use this as a stick as opposed to just a carrot, I can at least sympathize with those who might feel that a number that high might be the beginning of going too far in the other direction.

So, 8 hours minimum, 24 hours as a maximum, with perhaps 12 or 16 hours being a nice static sweet spot to consider. If a dynamic system is to be chosen, through some sort of accumulated 'grace period time', a time bank or some other similar method, perhaps go with the minimum new base time of 8 hours, and a pool of time you can draw from each month, a certain amount for non-VIP, and an amount an order of magnitude larger for VIP.

In any case, the question of whether the system was 'punishing' or not to use Todd's own words, has been settled. Let that debate end. Now it's purely a question of that variable - how much interrupted sleep should all Crowfall players be allowed to have before they must login to avoid falling behind, in any amount, when it comes to their training efficiency, and as a result, their relative effectiveness?

8 hours seems to be the absolute reasonable minimum here.

Edited by Anthrage

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It's this kind of consideration for feedback that makes me a Crowfall fanboy. 

@Zybak Crafting currently requires a lot more than logging in every 24 hours. Perhaps this changes with mass production, but currently it takes many hours to make decent gear, and that's active playing time where you are managing resources and crafting each component. It also requires knowledge about how to most effectively utilize resources and where to focus for each piece of gear. 

Causing a lot of pain to one population (non-VIP), a moderate amount of pain to another population (VIPs with alts), and a little bit of pain to the final group (VIPs) is probably not the ideal system. No one benefits as designed. 

It seems like you think the existing system encourages people to buy VIP. It may for some, but for me, it discourages from buying any further accounts, all of which I had intended to VIP. This is because even with VIP, the current system requires about 30m per day to actively train five accounts, split up sometimes into ten or more 'sessions' per day. With more accounts, this is going to be an unconscionable amount of time to allocate to an activity that is neither fun or relaxing. Being at my desktop 10+ times per day throughout the day is most assuredly not the game I want to play, but not doing it makes me feel negatively about my experience and less likely to allocate time and effort to Crowfall.

I personally have no opinion about alt accounts -- I don't have enough knowledge to evaluate the alternatives. What are the problems in the current system?

By owning a bunch of accounts, I am supporting Crowfall, and also making the limited amount I get to play sometimes as efficient as possible. It doesn't make me inherently more powerful, it just removes my reliance on other crafters as gatekeepers, and reduces the premium I have to pay for their labor. Likewise, with gatherers, it allows me to switch my 'specialty' to a gatherer account and utilize that -- but I can't, say, defend my gatherer with a combat account, I can only play one simultaneously. 

So we're trading $$/support for flexibility, in the current system. What is the alternative design that you would propose, and is it even remotely realistic given what Crowfall has already built? 

Edited by Orleans

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1 hour ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

Literally impossible to accomplish unless you make a single account capable of everything at all times, which will destroy gameplay experience. 

But that's what that design encourages... Whereas the existing design encourages specialization, either yourself, through multiple accounts, or through your guild and alliances. 

If you want specialization with no alts, it would require identity verification and/or connection analysis algorithms and likely result in a lot of people whining about being false flagged as alts.

What is the alternative? It's easy to socks on other people's ideas, but perhaps try generating some of your own and tossing them out there?

Edited by Orleans

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16 minutes ago, Orleans said:

But that's what that design encourages... Whereas the existing design encourages specialization, either yourself, through multiple accounts, or through your guild and alliances. 

If you want specialization with no alts, it would require identity verification and/or connection analysis algorithms and likely result in a lot of people whining about being false flagged as alts.

What is the alternative? It's easy to socks on other people's ideas, but perhaps try generating some of your own and tossing them out there?

We are talking about making alt-accounting annoying and some people thinking that is the wrong approach, when it is really the only realistic approach to deterring people from alt-accounting.


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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11 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

We are talking about making alt-accounting annoying and some people thinking that is the wrong approach, when it is really the only realistic approach to deterring people from alt-accounting.

Is that the objective? If it is, the training system needs to be changed. 

The training system as it stands encourages VIP alts, which also supports Crowfall. 

So you think annoying people who support Crowfall is the most effective strategy to discourage an activity Crowfall tacitly promotes in their system design... I think I am missing something. 

If they don't like their system, why wouldn't they just re-design it? Why would they start by annoying the very people playing their game? 

Furthermore, I still want to know what you think is a better system. 

Edited by Orleans

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2 hours ago, Orleans said:

Is that the objective? If it is, the training system needs to be changed. 

The training system as it stands encourages VIP alts, which also supports Crowfall. 

So you think annoying people who support Crowfall is the most effective strategy to discourage an activity Crowfall tacitly promotes in their system design... I think I am missing something. 

If they don't like their system, why wouldn't they just re-design it? Why would they start by annoying the very people playing their game? 

Furthermore, I still want to know what you think is a better system. 

The training system based on the most up-to-date information we have does not encourage VIP alts.  It encourages non-vip alting over VIP singular accounts. 

They've already said this is not their ideal business model as VIP gives them much more steady revenue over time than buying an account for 50 and never having to use VIP on it. 

You are definitely missing a lot, I don't think you understand the intricacies of the design yet.


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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I think that folks are confusing fixed costs and variable costs. 

Consider the classic case where I need to get up at 3:00 AM in order to start training a new node.

  • The fixed cost for this act is setting the alarm and getting up at 3:00 AM
  • The variable cost is the number of skills / characters that I need to click on.  This takes what?  A minute to switch between characters?

As long as I am smart and keep my alts well synchronized with one another, the variable cost of having 10 or so alts is going to be completely insignificant.

This type of system isn't going to have any real impact on alt proliferation.

Here's why I like the concept of VIP's getting big training pools

  • I'm going to be on vacation in China for three weeks starting on October 4th
  • Which, of course, means that 5.3 will ship on October 6th
  • I'd prefer not to be complete screwed out of three weeks of training when I get back

That is something valuable enough for me to pay for

 

 


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17 hours ago, Zybak said:

They've got to be careful with this and not give Non-VIP too much buffer time. This will be very difficult/impossible to retroactively take away without people completely losing their minds.

The thing with giving Non-VIP a big buffer zone of 24 hours or greater means that dedicated crafters/harvesters will be undermined by the ease of how manageable doing those tasks will be on an alt account. Logging in once every 24 hours and queuing up skills on all my crafters is not that hard to manage. However if they make the grace period 8 hours to where the time changes day to day then managing it is considerably more difficult.

Another thing they could do is give Non-VIP something like 72 hours of buffer time per month to use as they need. That way people could use their buffer as they need it and won't feel bad if they can't check back in for a day or two. It's much more dynamic. Obviously VIP members would have no cap on buffer time.  

That's all true. Its the reason I prefer adding actual value to VIP by simply offering additional content ... just like buying additional accounts offers additional content ... on a similar value basis in dollars to alt accounts.

Manufacturing perceived value using a training stick is better than doing nothing to motivate players to buy VIP and de-motivate players from simply buying alt accounts, but it seems overly complex and artificial to me.

That said, who knows what Todd has up his sleeve to add to VIP that might push that VIP purchasing motivation over the hill.

Edited by coolwaters

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16 hours ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

Literally impossible to accomplish unless you make a single account capable of everything at all times, which will destroy gameplay experience. 

Which if you follow to it's logical conclusion, makes ATL's and people willing to buy them, destroyers of the gameplay experience.

Either ALTs provide something that destroy the gameplay experience, or if it does not. 

If it does, something should be changed. If it does not, then altering the mechanics so every account can contain the same ability does not.

So which is it for you? Do ALT's destroy the gameplay experience or not?

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On 8/16/2017 at 6:38 AM, narsille said:

As long as I am smart and keep my alts well synchronized with one another, the variable cost of having 10 or so alts is going to be completely insignificant.

This is not true currently, even with VIP. Managing 5 accounts takes about 30m per day, and sometimes requires checking into your computer 11+ times per day. 

Here are some screenshots of my calendar and spreadsheet over the past week. This is five accounts across two environments. 

 

1*3sVFT0Sa45yKd2utBlr3Dg.png   

Regardless, they've already committed to fixing this, so I'm really not sure why it's still being debated. 

Edited by Orleans

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6 minutes ago, Orleans said:

This is not true currently, even with VIP. Managing 5 accounts takes about 30m per day, and sometimes requires checking into your computer 11+ times per day.

That's cause you are over complicating it... takes me about 5 minutes for 9 accounts with the current training system.


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