Justified Super EXP

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A place for all your ideas and woes regarding game balance.
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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Sawrock » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:01 am

Neus wrote:First of all, saying the game 'isn't fun' is not constructive at all. What about it 'isn't fun'? You don't really go into detail. Secondly, speaking from the perspective of a player who has made dozens and dozens of alts, I think your opinion is going to be a little skewed. If all you want to do is make alts for PvP, then obviously you're going to want to the most efficient method with the least amount of effort involved (or like Blues said, you just want the game to change to suit your needs). This is a very unrealistic and unfair expectation, and I don't think everyone else who feels differently (including me, the developer, and my intentions) should have to give in for it.

And I'm not stating that 'grinding is boring because grinding is grinding'. I've always made efforts to try and improve the game's fun factor when requested. I do feel, however, that progression should be gradual and not tailored towards people who just want instant gratification in an RPG of all things. This is especially true for pockets of rewards that get abused by people AFKing (against level 80 enemies, even). So I'm going to be making adjustments that end that sort of non-playing. I am also interested in making adjustments that will improve the gameplay experience for actual, normal intended play, IE dungeon diving, or roleplaying/side-activities.

I think if you just want to PvP and try out different builds, that maybe there might be a way to have some sort of way to do that in game, without destroying the very fabric of the game's progression. For now I'd rather have the conversation shift towards what and why you find boring, and what would make it more fun and interesting for you.

...I did go into detail. The grinding is not fun. I even said "to clarify" in my post, and I proceeded to clarify that people AFKing and getting EXP is better than the experience of getting EXP in a different fashion. I am not aiming to insult you, but if I need to state things in a summary sentence every time I try to make a point, I shall. The concept of grinding/gaining EXP/getting to level 60 is what's not fun.

And me making alts and PvPing isn't skewed. It really, really isn't- because I haven't done this forever. And, once again: to state things in a summary sentence, not in an attempt to "gain favor" but more as evidence:
From my perspective of former GM, of a player who's spent more than $500 on the game and $100 on just one player house, from the player who caused the "rumors" tab to have a reason to exist, from the player who has had a character been executed and four non-execution deaths...
I did NOT always play like this. My gameplay has TURNED into this. I would say that telling me my opinion is skewed is a slap to the face, but I know you don't play the game yourself so I am fully aware that your opinion is skewed itself.

I was going to offer suggestions on how to fix the problem I stated (grinding/getting EXP is boring), but I was afraid you'd state it as off-topic and my worries would be thrown out the window.

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Rendar » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:03 am

It is pretty true, getting from level 1 to 60 is a slog outside of the tower. I'll admit as well, when I introduced my BF to the game, I grinded them in the tower for... a goodly while. It only was made easier when I also completed the horrendous "Kill 100 of these things" missions and told him to just hold on to them after completion.

COmplete 1 or 2 saves you a **lot** of the start-up of the "below level 45" crap.

One thing that I feel would, at least help, in getting the grind over faster, and hell.. even make more RP since is to not just make characters lose XP at the vast rate of 10% if you aren't within range. Make it so that there is a range outside of that. This won't help with the tower of power, but if you wish to, you could just nullify the ability to get XP proper from it if they're too low (same for all 1-60 grinding, but let's not just murder grinding your friend outright)

For the first 5 levels you are below the 'requirement' for full XP, you get 90%. Next 10? 75. Next 10? 50. Next 10? 25. And if you are beyond that, you get 10%, or even 0%. Whatever you care for in that regard. What comes afterwards however is that things need to be not exclusively in dungeons.

Weapon parts (mindstar, metal plate, etc) need to not be hidden away in chests. There needs to be a proper way to buy them that isn't 100+ gold per 1 at the Onigan Casino. A money sink is needed, but at this point the game's economy is so inflated that it needs a needle. Especially in the cases of certain people who have been grinding for years and selling items to folks for ridiculous prices. They have millions, if not more than that just... laying about.

Now. I'm sure as hell not advocating for just dropping the Reckoning. It brought a lot of balance and interesting mechanics to the world. However... it also killed a lot of variety between characters. You choose the best stats you can, usually roll aptitude to just beyond the soft cap. Then start pumping your stats. There is little to no variation in characters. Especially characters of the same archetype. In the old system, certain characters were stronger than others.

Fern had one of the strongest characters in the game, in terms of raw stats per level. Something like 4.8 or something? I don't remember. This was a mix of luck and also grinding the shit out of the game so that your character could be better. Legend Extending was an incentive. but also a necessity. At least a few times. Now? Now people just grind a shitton to fill their books for every possible plus that they can get their grubby little hands on. Get a lot of +stat items equipped, stack as many +STAT things as they can... and then just run into battle with huge stats.

Maybe I'm just sentimental and really miss having that sort of shit, but having some level of variance would be nice. I don't think the old system is the answer, but I don't know if what we have right now will be good or bad in the long run.

People hate dungeons. So they hate getting items as well. So people make a business out of it and sell items to people OOC. Despite there being the "NO TWINKING" rule that prohibits people from doing it to themselves. So long as someone else does it it's completely fine. Whatever. Either way, dungeons have a lot of issues with them. Spacials are just awful on the eyes. The unique battlefield for them make it better.. but it's still a headache. Crypts are even worse for this because it's hard to tell where the door is in a lot of cases. Caves are one of the best ones I can pray for having because, surprise surprise, it doesn't have any doors that slow down the process.

Also, let's not even get started on how fucking awful the random floor event of "HAHA RUBBLE EVERYWHERE" is 9 times out of 10.


Dungeons are a pain in the ass because certain builds stomp all others when it comes to merking NPCs. In the past it was CM / Magaisendo / Wretched Oil, now it's just do a giant AoE that nothing resists and be done with it. Melee people, as they always do when it comes to PVE, get the majorly HUGE shaft because "fuck you that's why" while mages reign supreme still. Though mages suck-ass in PVP a lot of the time, but that's a discussion for a different time.

Oh. Also the game's economy is shit and could use an overhaul in general.
Galeon Zviera's turn.
Critical Hit! Galeon Zviera attacks Jammer with Floating Red Letter and hits them!
Jammer takes 8420 Pierce damage.

Tiny Fawn Girl recovered 8550 HP.
Isabelline recovered 8550 HP.


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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Sawrock » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:14 am

To clarify on my own points: I am not saying grinding should be quicker. I think the opposite, actually.

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Chaos » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:54 am

If we're going to get to the nitty-gritty of why PvE is having severe issues, then I'd suggest that we move the potshots to a topic in Fruity Rumpus General.

....Anyways, to get straight to the point, I feel that the following parts are exactly why PvE is a slog right now:

1. Outside of early game, monsters lack the AI, equipment, skills and in some cases, the stats to properly challenge players and their more diverse/focused skillsets and greater equipment. Most bosses suffer from these same issues, with certain exceptions (Decarabia, while not perfect, is an excellent step towards a challenging boss)

1a. This largely has to do with high-level party content: While the Black Beast Raid's first two stages are perfectly fine, the raid boss, Seto, has a very good stat set but not only lacks both the momentum and the skillset to properly pressure and damage players, but is also vulnerable to easy shutdowns. (Silence killing his near-entire moveset, damage taking out his Isendo easily....)

2. PvE is being used as a stepping stone to get to PvP.

3. Somewhat tied into #2, but progression boils down to leveling up to 60 however many times and either hassling with RNG to get the gear you need, or (in the far more likely case) doing some OOC trading to get the gear you need. In a way, it's 'gradual', but the system's ability to provide a long-term growth for players is completely shot with the current economy and rate of EXP gain. Nowadays, you're more likely to have players lose due to meta than any real difference of power.

4. Nearly all AoEs are tremendously powerful in PvE, due to having equal or very slightly less power than their single-target counterparts, in combination with being able to hit everything and their mothers within range, all for the exact same damage. (No, this is not solely limited to mages, as Crystal Rose clearly shows)

I feel like we'd get PvE in a much better and more entertaining spot with the following goals:

1. Work towards making non-early game PvE more fit towards challenging mid-high level players.

2. Adjust/provide more content towards high-level parties. (For now, buffing Seto would be a clear start)

3. Provide an area dedicated to PvP, allowing players to test various builds without need for progression.

4. Adjust AoEs to not completely murder both their single-target peers and the PvE mobs in general. A good way to handle this would be adjusting each AoE's damage to function not unlike Lantern Bearer's AoEs (damage/effect modified by distance from epicenter), or in some cases, lower the damage dealt to all additional targets.

I'd also take a closer look at character progression, but that's for a different topic.
[12:53:15 AM] Chaos: don't hit dyst
[12:53:18 AM] Chaos: that's cruelty to animals
[12:53:20 AM] Chaos: you have to shoot it
[12:53:20 AM] Dystopia: ye

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Slydria » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:25 am

I agree that the PvE content is not enjoyable in some ways and can feel like a grind, especially when done by yourself.

Currently, most people rely on someone else on a suped up character with strong AoE capability to essentially play the game for them, people do this not just because it's significantly faster than the intended route (a boosted fight could take like a minute for what the intended route provides in a couple of hours) but also because the intended route can be very inconsistent and far more time consuming depending on your build and how lucky you are with the items you find on the way or the ones you can obtain from other players.

Another reason people accelerate the game is because they don't find it fun, this is honestly one of the things I have difficulty trying to put into words what's not fun about it and I think that's because it's quite different for many people:

It can feel like a slog:
Depending on your build, you can have significantly different clear speeds; a typical fight could take half a minute for some and upwards of five minutes for others. As your levels go on, the more fights of the same level you need only increases and thus only makes that slog all the more of a drain. This in particular can be an issue due to the next point...

Damage is King:
One of the best things about SL2 is the sheer variety of characters you could create... However, for getting through the game at a timely pace, being able to deal lots of damage is important. Not being able to do so only punishes characters that are not suited for damaging roles such as say a support focused Curate. This makes PvE feel more restrictive than it really should be.

High Risk does not necessarily mean High Reward:
Alright, let's say if you had the choice to fight a group of 3 Jammers and a group of 3 Spatials of the same level, which would you pick? If you're leveling up, you'd probably take the 3 Jammers simply because they're easier to fight.

I think this is something that contributes to people being bored because the best way to do things for experience and loot is the easiest and quickest way. Imagine if in the above scenario, those Spatials gave you twice the experience than the Jammers, that'd activately encourage players to go for the more challenging encounter and potentially put them in dangerous situations where they'd have to play more strategically to win.

So to sum up, the biggest problems I think PvE has are:

- The path to Level 60 is inconsistent and the time it takes varies greatly between characters.
- The intended way feels slow and dull, especially when compared to optimized methods.
- It rewards speed and quantity over actual difficulty.
- It encourages high damage and big AoE builds over others.

As for ideas to potentially help with this, I think you could consider things like:

Experience Changes:
Simply having it so more difficult monsters provide a higher amount of base experience given. The curve itself could perhaps use more smoothing out to make the climb feel less of a sudden steep point.

Combat Bonuses:
Bonuses the party earns for overcoming challenges or being a team player: Could be things such as a bonus for taking a lot of damage, fighting battles while being not being fully equipped, being supportive of your allies with buffs and healing, etc.

This would be ideally to help with speed being the most important factor for rewards in a PvE fight and cut back on damage roles being simply the best for leveling in PvE.

Improving Static Dungeons:
To me the Jammer Cavern is a mostly good example of a beginner dungeon that allows you to consistently reach Level 10 while providing access to some useful early game items and a couple of quests.

Ideally, I think places like either Static Dungeons like the Shilo Water Caverns or locations like the Goblin Cave, Old Iron Mines and Chinotoa could be expanded to be more like the Jammer Cavern to provide a more consistent foothold for players to progress. More floors, more chests for particular items, maybe additional quests or bosses for some extra experience and rewards, so they'll be more interesting than a just a massive BDP floor or one-use locale.

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Shujin » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:35 am

Chaos wrote:2. PvE is being used as a stepping stone to get to PvP.

3. Somewhat tied into #2, but progression boils down to leveling up to 60 however many times and either hassling with RNG to get the gear you need, or (in the far more likely case) doing some OOC trading to get the gear you need. In a way, it's 'gradual', but the system's ability to provide a long-term growth for players is completely shot with the current economy and rate of EXP gain. Nowadays, you're more likely to have players lose due to meta than any real difference of power.

I'd also take a closer look at character progression, but that's for a different topic.

I'll agree with the most things that have been said, but these points are what I find a bit frustrating in this game aswell.
I am coming and still sorta playing a game which is a so called "Longterm RP" since eleven years. The progress in that game is reaaaaally slow, but if you stick with a character, it actually shows after a while. I am sorta missing this here. Back in the days, I always remember that one scene where four people where sitting at Risus pub and suddenly someone noticed OOCly "Wait a sec...We are all level 60? Shit we could take out half the server!", while a joke it still kinda showed something. That Level 60 actually had a meaning back then. it was an achievement, something to feel good about, feeling rewaded to have reached that point. Now adays you are either level 60 or you are nothing. Many people actively avoid RP till they reach this state cause it's not taking long to reach 60 for either getting some full cleared dungeons or be Training Day grinded at the arena or now the tower. (Chaging the tower to not be worth it won't change this by the way, people just go back to Arena and full clear grind. Tower is just more steadily avaiable which is the main reason why people go to it.)

I can understand that people want their characters to be quickly on the most possible effectiveness, but the "Gradual" progress that I love aswell is kinda missing because level 60 which is the current max is just mandatory for people in a sense. But that means that the Characters that have been forged in the RP for 4-5 OOC years are always caught up to in not even one day. And that is one of the main aspects I do not like about this game. The progress of a single character basically means nothing and holds no value anymore because of a level 60(max) inflation. So I would really love a progression system that isn't just exp. Something that isn't only grind but something that can build up over time to give the long introduces characters that tiny edge over others that are just made on the fly because a new meta popped up and are suddenly the strongest guys ever seen for the next 3 weeks till the stuff has been nerfed and they suddenly vansih from existance again. (yes, that actually happend a few times now)

I, and I believe most people, aren't really sticking around in this game because of the fun mechanics (which they really are and I love) or the story, for years. But it's actually the RP and the stories between people, and the emotional bond people made with each other. The game after you have seen it a few dozen times becomes stale at some point, which is normal for most games. so people who have experinced it already just want to skip it cause it's nothing new and since they have the know how, also do not really provide a challange. RP is still always sorta changing but at the same time? SL2s world building is near non existant. I know that you, Dev, are willing to add stuff if players work towards it, like you allowed me my Laws End blackmarket (Which one day happens, I promise tm!)
or saws attempt to murder the emporer and stuff. But damm does it feel hard to climb this wall from our perspective, to actually leave a little mark in our beloved Sigrogana, because we feel utterly powerless in the world dominated by god emporers, Imperial Guard army with badass ex-Churchknight commander, Kinus, Ashes, Voices of mercala and some out of control mud mutt breeder.

Long story short, I believe that character progression should simply not boil down to just grinding, but a longterm motivations for characters to stick around and involve them more and more in the story where people actually know "Oh yeah they have been around" over that random person who pops up "I have been around 200 years! I am super strong, you never saw me!? WHAT!? -Oh yeah I just made yesterday, but check out this fancy meta-build, so I deserved to be respected ICly!". Then there are of course the points Chaos mentioned, simply some more challanging late game content, Quests that are refreshed once in a while to get some inks so you do not have to LE everytime to go through the grind again and avoid RP for the time being cause it makes no sense for you to be suddenly this weak again, so more fleshed out enemies with maybe a few more skills and mechanics.
And what I personally would love to see more? Non-combat aspects for characters that are worth it! How cool would it be to be actually a legendary blacksmith, that can forge weapons much better than anything you have seen, with traits and talents tree simply focused on THAT. Just as an example, since currently sadly combat between players is the only real late game content. (Tower is fun, but that will also just last so long cause fighting NPCs is sort of heart and meaningless.)

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby ɐʞᴉuoW ʇsnſ » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:54 pm

Grinding isn't fun for me because it's so far removed from the role-playing experience. Spending time in a maze fighting the same enemies hundreds of times isn't fun for me. Having encounters that feel like a part of my character's daily experience is fun for me, and I can endure thousands if it feels meaningful. That sense of a living, breathing world was why SL1 appealed to me. Barring player characters, what life exists in SL2's world outside of the BDPs? I have to go out of my way to grind, and I don't feel as if any of my actions within a BDP actually make a difference when it comes down to role-play. As far as grinding is concerned, that's what kills my fun. The fact that the grind and the world are separated.

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Ranylyn » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:52 pm

While I agree with what Shujin said about the gradual aspect - I actually miss RPing the gaining of strength as opposed to everyone prioritizing that rush to 60 and beating each other up nonstop - I also understand that most people don't give a crap about that, and I also like being able to get the class levels I need for the fun stuff. (Furthermore, if I don't think it makes sense for my character to be strong, I can deliberately grind slowly, anyways.)

People like PVP and they want to have access to multiple characters for it for numerous reasons, such as the stigma about omniclassing and the fact that different races have different pros and cons. (For example: Oracles are not ideal archers, for obvious reasons. And you probably don't want a Vampire that uses a build focused on non-banquet healing... although one that can heal allies can be useful.)

The thing is, actually getting a character together is tedious as sin, and a powergrind alleviates EVERYTHING:

- It can be a nightmare just getting the ITEMS you need for your build to not be useless. Do you think players are going to sell 2-5 star items for reasonable prices? Let's say I have a High San build and want to use a spirit weapon for FP drain; you can craft a Siphon, but none of the other Spirit Weapons. You could always pick up the Mugendai and Konosekai for a san scaling weapon (And thank heck for that) but seriously, do you think that'll help an archer? How about building a shotgun MG? Oh, right, you might LE 5 times (normal grind, hunting for a shotgun) before you find your first Shotgun - and it will be Fleeting - and you'll die once and lose it the very first time. TRUE STORY, BY THE WAY. This is part of why people like to powergrind to 60; so they can build for less specific gear and then LE/Respec once they get what they need.

- Some enemies can be a nightmare to fight against for some builds, and the permanent monster dens makes avoiding these enemies an impossibility. Take the aforementioned spatials; the most efficient way to grind is to pump offensive stats early on so enemies die quickly before you take much punishment. Once Corruptors can survive, however, the player is instantly and immediately boned when 3 corruptors doublecast at them (unless they get a Res scaling weapon early on and build for it.) Again, these are new characters, probably still using Tutorial Gear due to luck with drops, so it's not like they're decked out in items like a COMC, Red Letter, etc. People who don't ask friends to help them grind will often wait for Beast Raids/ Fishing Contests just to shoot ahead a bit so they can avoid the pain in the neck of dealing with permanent dens.

- Mercs can help, right? No; with the exception of Reynes against enemies weak to fire, Mercs aren't really enough to turn the table if the player's character can't go it alone already. Reynes's FP lasts about as long as someone's virginity at an orgy that banned foreplay, Protect is broken and doesn't trigger against monsters, so Alma's only good for... nothing, and Zoria... well, did Zoria not having Rising Game ever get fixed? What about monster mercs? Well the problem is, they don't level up, so unless you tag along with a high level party ANYWAYS and manage to capture something, odds are, monster mercs are about as useful to a newer player as the under level 10 trade restriction (Party of new characters, item drops for one of them that another one needs, and they can't trade despite both being under level 10 because screw the player.) Of course, Monster Mercs are good if you got a bunch of really good ones and then LE'd... again, making it beneficial to rush 60 ASAP.

- The game's content is, to put it bluntly, aimed at higher levels. Black Beasts, Argentyle, and Bai Kai may scale to the party leader's level, but seriously, lower levels are just not particularly suited to fighting these. The Mountain Raid? Yeeeeeah. Why WOULDN'T people want to prioritize speeding to 60 ASAP?

I'm not going to pretend to be a genius that knows how to fix this. But yeah, there's zero reason to not blitz to 60 ASAP, unless you're specifically a noncombattant.
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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Spoops » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:13 pm

I think a lot of what Sly has said holds a lot of merit, if you could streamline the process from 1-60 in a more fair way that promotes actually playing the game's content, I feel a lot more people could be happier.

Think of how unfair it is to say that the game 1-60 holds nothing of real value, while it isn't uncalled for, the answer is not keeping the current grinding strategy, but reforming it to breathe a bit of fresh air into it.

Revitalizing that part of the game might not be as bad as some would think, I'd request more people take Sly's post into consideration here.

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Re: Justified Super EXP

Postby Snake » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:17 pm

Same. But most likely prodding at two topics, as I've stated in my previous posts.

High Risk = High Reward, be it EXP, items, whatever... and a proper replayability in missions/quests/storyline(maybe? It's not so extensive). Raids could also be more frequent. Higher level dungeons could be more frequent.

SL2 is quite boring when nobody you enjoy playing with is online, when (and especially when) you've accomplished everything you can.
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