Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
# 241
01-29-2013, 05:19 PM
I'm pretty certain the timid creature grinders will be going away soon. If so, it will be clear it was an exploit. If they're still here 2-3 months from now, then I guess we can consider them fair game.

I do agree that scaling mission rewards would do a lot to help this problem. One two hour mission should provide rewards equal to four 30 minute missions, and so on.

The current reward system was designed in a way that this was bound to happen. The short grind missions were the obvious replacement for the clickies under the new rules. There are enough people who just want to gather resources as quickly as possible, that they'll always default to whatever comes easiest. The only good thing about the clickies is that people at least had the decency not to rate them up, probably because they were pretty clearly an exploit and having them at the top of the list would just bring more attention to them.

At this point I'd say we don't even know whether people really want grind more than story, because it's not a level playing field. The reward/time is stacked so much more in favor of shorter missions, that they'll dominate simply based on that.

That being said, I think that different categories is still necessary so it's easier for people to find what they want. The whole search tool is not enough. There is too much inertia involved in people using the search. You need a quick list that draws them in, and once they feel there is worthwhile content for them, then they'll eventually learn how to use the search.

Also, if the Foundry really is about story, something needs to be done to encourage that. In addition to the featured missions, which are pretty rare as only one is added per week, maybe when Branflakes plays through missions to see if they qualify for the feature, he can also tag them as being "story qualified" (whether good or bad), which means they would qualify for an extra reward. Even if that's kind of subjective, at least it would help try to throw a bone to story authors. If that's really what the Foundry is supposed to be about, then I don't see why it's unreasonable.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.

Last edited by nagorak; 01-29-2013 at 05:26 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 242
01-29-2013, 05:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
I'm pretty certain the timid creature grinders will be going away soon. If so, it will be clear it was an exploit.

I do agree that scaling mission rewards would do a lot to help this problem. One two hour mission should provide rewards equal to four 30 minute missions, and so on.
I really hope so. I wouldn't be sad to entirely lose timid behavior. The trade off is worth it to me. There are workarounds to beam over bombs and destroy a friendly ship. The only thing that I think we'd really lose is the ability to hid a passive ship inside of a station and attack the station's defenses before beaming down.

But, yes, it's been obvious for a very long time that such a rational rewards systems would work better.

If someone is going to grind 75 boss battles for 4 hours, I'm fine with that. I don't think it would be possible to create a 2 hour AFK mission. The player will be booted from STO.

I'm at the point of saying that if they can't finally implement a system like this, then they need to nerf the Foundry. They can give drops on the vetted spotlights. Otherwise, the only thing clogging up the top-rated will be the top-rated stories, played by players who just wanted a good story for story's sake.

I was pushing for Foundry rewards. But, if this is what it looks like, no thank you.

Last edited by kirksplat; 01-29-2013 at 05:35 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 953
# 243
01-29-2013, 05:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
So if there is a place in a video game where a player can use a bug, glitch, or design flaw to skip a level, get free gear, and save the princess, it's not really an exploit if the devs of the game don't announce: "Hey, you're not supposed to to do that!"

This is really what you are saying?
In the 2nd Level of the original Super Mario on the NES you can do exactly that :p though of course it was designed into the game as a way to skip levels.

For something to be a legitimate exploit it has to defined as such by those that made the system. You simply can't call it one until they say it is. Which is why I don't call it an exploit. You yourself have probably benefited from a number of things in the game that allow you to skip something or to make EC quickly in one way or another, that doesn't mean their exploits until Cryptic address them as such.

Otherwise you could argue that any new found way someone has come across to make easy money or dilithium is an exploit without it actually ever being accepted as such by the developers.

You see this is the point about regulation, the regulatory body has to cite the behaviour as an infringement of regulation. As of yet they have not done so. That does not mean they won't in the future class it as such.

But I see all this talk of "exploits" as being largely irrelevant.

With regards to scaling rewards I'm all for it, but you must understand there are only a tiny minority of the userbase that will ever play your 2 hour long mission no matter what incentives you put it in (within in reason, if Cryptic offered 1000 zen for it I'm sure everyone would play).

Also you didn't answer my questions

Quote:
What i see here is misdirected rage and frustration, so answer me a question or two... In what way are these passive grinder missions doing any damage to story missions? and if you believe they are.. In what way are they doing more damage than active grinder missions that you are fine with?

Last edited by thisisoverlord; 01-29-2013 at 05:40 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 244
01-29-2013, 05:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thisisoverlord View Post
In the 2nd Level of the original Super Mario on the NES you can do exactly that :p though of course it was designed into the game as a way to skip levels.

For something to be a legitimate exploit it has to defined as such by those that made the system. You simply can't call it one until they say it is. Which is why I don't call it an exploit. You yourself have probably benefited from a number of things in the game that allow you to skip something or to make EC quickly in one way or another, that doesn't mean there exploits until Cryptic address them as such.

Otherwise you could argue that any new found way someone has come across to make easy money or dilithium is an exploit without it actually ever being accepted as such by the developers.

You see this is the point about regulation, the regulatory body has to cite the behaviour as an infringement of regulation. As of yet they have not done so. That does not mean they won't in the future class it as such.

But I see all this talk of "exploits" as being largely irrelevant.

With regards to scaling rewards I'm all for it, but you must understand there are only a tiny minority of the userbase that will ever play your 2 hour long mission no matter what incentives you put it in.
It's amazing how it is so ambiguous for you.

Maybe the devs are just thanking you for playing STO be giving you a million ECs per day for no work!
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 245
01-29-2013, 05:47 PM
Quote:
In what way are these passive grinder missions doing any damage to story missions?
Have you looked at the list of "top-rated" missions? Imagine looking at that list from the point of view of an author who put over 100 hours of work creating their mission, because they wanted to tell a story in something resembling the franchise they love. They wrote their own episode of Star Trek as a labor of love and now they want to see folks play it.

The number 1 Foundry mission: "Easy money, any lvl." That list is how most players find a Foundry mission to play. When it's clogged with that stuff, they can't find our missions unless they know what to look for.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,183
# 246
01-29-2013, 05:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
I really hope so. I wouldn't be sad to entirely lose timid behavior. The trade off is worth it to me. There are workarounds to beam over bombs and destroy a friendly ship. The only thing that I think we'd really lose is the ability to hid a passive ship inside of a station and attack the station's defenses before beaming down.

But, yes, it's been obvious for a very long time that such a rational rewards systems would work better.

If someone is going to grind 75 boss battles for 4 hours, I'm fine with that. I don't think it would be possible to create a 2 hour AFK mission. The player will be booted from STO.

I'm at the point of saying that if they can't finally implement a system like this, then they need to nerf the Foundry. They can give drops on the vetted spotlights. Otherwise, the only thing clogging up the top-rated will be the top-rated stories, played by players who just wanted a good story for story's sake.

I was pushing for Foundry rewards. But, if this is what it looks like, no thank you.
I don't see removing Timid Creature as the best solution. But it's an easy one. A better one would be making timid Creatures not pay out loot and Xp.
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 247
01-29-2013, 05:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by markhawkman View Post
I don't see removing Timid Creature as the best solution. But it's an easy one. A better one would be making timid Creatures not pay out loot and Xp.
I'm just not sure that is technically possible. Maybe it is. Maybe it is, but it would require a programmer. Maybe that programmer has other priorities or a very long list of bug fixes to deal with.

Seems like the best option would be to remove the functionality ASAP and then try to work on what you suggest. Perhaps it could be reintroduced at a later date, after a programmer has time to tinker with what you suggest.

I'm skeptical that the devs can easily do something that ties the loot drops to NPC behaviors. The two might be worlds apart from a programmer's perspective.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 844
# 248
01-29-2013, 05:59 PM
I think the fix for timid creatures not dropping loot is necessary in the long run for NW and STO, so they should implement it.

However, for the time being, I can accept the removal of the feature. It's being abused too badly at the moment. We got by for many months without it, and we can do without it for a few more months if necessary.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 953
# 249
01-29-2013, 06:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
I think the fix for timid creatures not dropping loot is necessary in the long run for NW and STO, so they should implement it.

However, for the time being, I can accept the removal of the feature. It's being abused too badly at the moment. We got by for many months without it, and we can do without it for a few more months if necessary.
This will fail, because frankly there are mission that are basically passive but don't use timid creatures they use active ones in a field where their shields won't work and you can simply drop mines on them and boom. They will attack you but they have no shields, so the effect is much the same.

Honestly there is no point in playing Whack-a-Feature because before long there will be no foundry features left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
Have you looked at the list of "top-rated" missions? Imagine looking at that list from the point of view of an author who put over 100 hours of work creating their mission, because they wanted to tell a story in something resembling the franchise they love. They wrote their own episode of Star Trek as a labor of love and now they want to see folks play it.

The number 1 Foundry mission: "Easy money, any lvl." That list is how most players find a Foundry mission to play. When it's clogged with that stuff, they can't find our missions unless they know what to look for.
So lets remove the emotion from this I understand you put a lot of work into your missions, not only that you put a lot of effort into offering up tutorials for others. I understand this, but I also understand something about art, you can put in 100 hours on a painting and you may find I beautiful those in your sphere of the artworld may find it beautiful but that doesn't mean the majority of people will.

The truth is the grinders be they passive or active will always be more popular because the majority of the playerbase don't care about your story missions nor ever will because they playing the agenda that cryptic have set out for them, grind till you drop. Indeed many of them still wouldn't bother with story missions even if this wasn't the case.

Even if you removed the passive grinders today the active ones would find their way to the top of the list. The reality is you don't have a problem with the grinders you have a problem with the way foundry missions are presented to the user, it's a UI issue.

The thing is as I have said and will continue to say only those that have an interest in community created story missions will play them and invest time in them, you may attract the odd casual player but the fact is your audience is a relatively small group of enthusiasts, it's a niche a cult phenomena, it was never meant to compete with mass marketed grind missions.

The solution is not a flame war between those pressured by time and cryptics grind agenda and a clique of dedicated foundry authors. Indeed that method of discussion has already led to resentment on both sides and some of the vitriol spilled across these pages by foundry authors has damaged the reputation of the group.

I suggest the solution is a UI change that protects the Story Mission Assets we have by first ensuring that grind mission be flagged us such in the editor. I.e. a tick button that says "story mission content" or "combat engagement content". Secondly that the search function can perform advanced queries to the published mission database and sort or show missions by type, date, rating and that it can use at least 3 of these queries to narrow down the search.

I believe the latter is the only way that will finally resolve the issue.

Last edited by thisisoverlord; 01-29-2013 at 06:07 PM.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 13,183
# 250
01-29-2013, 06:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
I'm just not sure that is technically possible. Maybe it is. Maybe it is, but it would require a programmer. Maybe that programmer has other priorities or a very long list of bug fixes to deal with.

Seems like the best option would be to remove the functionality ASAP and then try to work on what you suggest. Perhaps it could be reintroduced at a later date, after a programmer has time to tinker with what you suggest.

I'm skeptical that the devs can easily do something that ties the loot drops to NPC behaviors. The two might be worlds apart from a programmer's perspective.
My best guess is that the current code looks at the rank of an enemy, then goes to a loot table to decide what to drop. There does seem to be more than this, though, but not a lot. I'd just add a check that skips going to the loot table if it's a timid creature.

It would definately be more work than simply disabling that behaviour.
HAIL HYDRA!

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
I can haz joystick!
MMOs aren't charities. Corporations are supposed to make a profit. It's what they do.
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