Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 131
10-31-2010, 07:52 PM
the problem with reimbursement is how would it be distributed fairly, if it were on a per mission basis, I could release a hundred really simple missions in order to get more CP, while, if it were deturmined by committee, or through popularity, it would be subject to bias and exploitable.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 132
10-31-2010, 07:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camoron View Post
And you still don't see the problem this creates? It's going to be something of a popularity contest WITHOUT rewarding people for popular missions. Doing so would only make it worse. Expect to see people saying things like "WILL PLAY UR MISSION IF U PLAY MINE" and just basically people running through each other's missions solely for the sake of bolstering each other's C-Store points.
So?
That means people are playing the game, which is kinda the point. That's how Cryptic makes their money.

Besides.. it would take a huge coordinated effort to make any one person a notable amount of C-Points; 2400 play-throughs of unique characters (if there's a 30-minute max per-character-per-mission) just to get a single T5 ship from the C-Store. Make it per-account-per-mission and it'd be even harder to do.

Quote:
If the missions offer skill points or other rewards, giving C-Points could completely skew the balance of players into playing nothing but Foundry missions. When the Mission Architect came out in CoH it was completely exploitable, you could get to level 50 in a day, and even after they removed the exploits, it continued to be more popular than standard dev-created content because it was still faster and easier since you didn't have travel times and you could custom-tailor enemies to fit your playstyle or powersets. It was only after they took a nerf bat to the rewards that most people went back to playing ordinary dev-created missions. Adding C-Store points to the equation would only make this problem much worse, I would think.
Indirectly, maybe... you're comparing rewards that players get to rewards authors get. Cryptic can nerf the rewards players get down to nothing if people are leveling too fast off UGC... that's another topic.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 133
10-31-2010, 07:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACES_HIGH View Post
the problem with reimbursement is how would it be distributed fairly, if it were on a per mission basis, I could release a hundred really simple missions in order to get more CP, while, if it were deturmined by committee, or through popularity, it would be subject to bias and exploitable.
With my proposal the reimbursement is based on the amount of time playing the missions. So if missions are easy, they'd be finished quickly and wouldn't contribute much to a reward.

The remaining issue would be people idling the missions to inflate the amount of time, which is somewhat countered by having a 30-minute max per-character-per-mission. It's perhaps not the most intelligent counter... maybe the max time is the average completion time if it's lower than 30 minutes. I'm certainly open to suggestions on how to make it more exploit-proof.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 134
10-31-2010, 08:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camoron View Post
And you still don't see the problem this creates? It's going to be something of a popularity contest WITHOUT rewarding people for popular missions. Doing so would only make it worse. Expect to see people saying things like "WILL PLAY UR MISSION IF U PLAY MINE" and just basically people running through each other's missions solely for the sake of bolstering each other's C-Store points. If the missions offer skill points or other rewards, giving C-Points could completely skew the balance of players into playing nothing but Foundry missions. When the Mission Architect came out in CoH it was completely exploitable, you could get to level 50 in a day, and even after they removed the exploits, it continued to be more popular than standard dev-created content because it was still faster and easier since you didn't have travel times and you could custom-tailor enemies to fit your playstyle or powersets. It was only after they took a nerf bat to the rewards that most people went back to playing ordinary dev-created missions. Adding C-Store points to the equation would only make this problem much worse, I would think.
If we're trying to determine which missions are the best...then what's wrong with a popularity contest? If the best missions get played the most often, then I say mission accomplished. Marketing will be involved--authors who promote their missions successfully will get more hits, but again, what's wrong with that?

Maybe people will start swapping playthroughs as you describe. I think that sounds boring, but if people want to spend their time that way, then congratulations--we've just added another reason for people to play Star Trek Online. People would probably be doing that even without a reward system. I don't think the fact that people are getting paid dirties the whole process, if that's what you're implying.

As for your points about people exploiting the system to level up quickly, or whatever, Cryptic says they've balanced that through play-testing. Until I see the result myself, I've got nothing to criticize. If UGC becomes more popular than stock missions, then I guess we have evidence that UGC is more fun than stock missions, don't we?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 135
10-31-2010, 08:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikaelus View Post
With my proposal the reimbursement is based on the amount of time playing the missions.
What about the inevitable farm missions? People love those accolades, so we know there will be dozens of missions that involve nothing more than wading through tons of enemies just to rack up kills. Those would take awhile to complete, but not really be 'good' missions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 136
10-31-2010, 09:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hravik
What about the inevitable farm missions? People love those accolades, so we know there will be dozens of missions that involve nothing more than wading through tons of enemies just to rack up kills. Those would take awhile to complete, but not really be 'good' missions.
Depends how you define 'good' I guess.

For the purposes of my system the compensation is based on an author giving other players something to do, and so the reward scales with the amount of play time the mission offers. If people pay $15/month to play farming missions, so be it. Cryptic is still getting their value-add for those missions and the author still gets their "commission" for having made them.

Ultimately the system mimics capitalism. A quality product will naturally sell well, but there might be other products which aren't great but suit a specific need, so will also sell well. The effect is the same: the author has given players something to do.

Maybe that makes the proposed system less attractive... I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder.

P.S. Thanks for the good question. It's nice to have an honest discussion and people not just replying WTFNO!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 137
10-31-2010, 09:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikaelus View Post
Depends how you define 'good' I guess.

For the purposes of my system the compensation is based on an author giving other players something to do, and so the reward scales with the amount of play time the mission offers. If people pay $15/month to play farming missions, so be it. Cryptic is still getting their value-add for those missions and the author still gets their "commission" for having made them.

Ultimately the system mimics capitalism. A quality product will naturally sell well, but there might be other products which aren't great but suit a specific need, so will also sell well. The effect is the same: the author has given players something to do.

Maybe that makes the proposed system less attractive... I suppose it's in the eye of the beholder.

P.S. Thanks for the good question. It's nice to have an honest discussion and people not just replying WTFNO!
But my real question comes down to quality. Why should the guy that spent 10 minutes dropping mobs at random on a map get more than the guy that spent hours writing his script, planning placement, and trying to work in effects / puzzles what have you?

There has to be some kind of check for actual quality as opposed to mindless slaughter that just happens to take longer. Otherwise it just encourages a certain type of person to crank out the schlock missions just to score some c-points.

Edit: And what about the faithful play testers? Sure they get missions to play, but they could just wait for someone else to weed out the broken / obscene missions, and even rate them so they know which ones to try. But what about the ones that actually take the time to choke through all the crap to find the gold?

Surely they need something to encourage people to actually test these things instead of sitting back and waiting. If not, we can end up with the situation I fear: Far more missions than can be tested with the available number of people doing the testing. I'm sure there will be a lot to start with as people check things out, but that will drop over time without something to encourage them to keep at it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 138
10-31-2010, 10:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hravik
But my real question comes down to quality. Why should the guy that spent 10 minutes dropping mobs at random on a map get more than the guy that spent hours writing his script, planning placement, and trying to work in effects / puzzles what have you?

There has to be some kind of check for actual quality as opposed to mindless slaughter that just happens to take longer. Otherwise it just encourages a certain type of person to crank out the schlock missions just to score some c-points.
I'd be all for accounting for quality more reliability. My system catches some of it since quality missions would likely be played more often than crappy ones but, as you point out, there are specific types that my system would reward for that aren't about quality. So yeah... I'd have to revise my description of it some.

At the end of the day, though, people will play what they find enjoyable to play, and they're paying Cryptic to do that. So that's where the value-add is from an income standpoint, so that's what my system is catching in order to give the authors their "commission", as it were.

If we can find a reliable way to programmatically detect actual quality, I'd support a system for it or would try to find a way to account for it in mine as well.

Quote:
Edit: And what about the faithful play testers? Sure they get missions to play, but they could just wait for someone else to weed out the broken / obscene missions, and even rate them so they know which ones to try. But what about the ones that actually take the time to choke through all the crap to find the gold?

Surely they need something to encourage people to actually test these things instead of sitting back and waiting. If not, we can end up with the situation I fear: Far more missions than can be tested with the available number of people doing the testing. I'm sure there will be a lot to start with as people check things out, but that will drop over time without something to encourage them to keep at it.
This presents a unique challenge.

If they're somehow rewarded for the number of missions they approve, or get their own commission based on how much the missions they approve are played, it would actually encourage them to just approve everything. This applies to any kind of reward, from achievements to C-Points.

The only way to offset that would be to actually punish them for approving missions that shouldn't be approved, and that opens up a whole can of worms in itself. The sheer possibility of punishment might dissuade people from reviewing in the first place.

I agree with what you're after.... but at the moment I'm at a loss as to how to do it.

P.S. Yeah... reviewers who abuse the system like that would lose their reviewer status, so there's some protection there... but it's reactionary and will need to be done manually by Cryptic. By the time Cryptic gets to it, damage might already be done.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 139
10-31-2010, 11:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikaelus View Post
At the end of the day, though, people will play what they find enjoyable to play
Will they? Or will they just sit around waiting for someone to advertise a "u play mine ill play urs" scenario, go into a single-mission campaign that's incredibly easy to beat, and then have the person whose mission they just played come do the same in their mission, in order for them both to earn C points? Some guy spends hours making a mission, and it's good and well written, but it's long and very hard. For each play through he earns a C point, but he doesn't care about them, he didn't make it in order to get rich with C-points. On the other hand, a guy makes a quick mission with bad writing or none at all that takes you through a single encounter of some bad guys and then awards him a C-point for every playthrough. On top of that, it provides good skill points for the time invested in it. And then he advertises it as such. Which mission do you think is going to get more plays? Obviously such things can be curtailed through various means, limitations and nerfs, etc. etc. But I think adding c-points is simply not worth the hassle, from that perspective. It's just one more thing that would require balancing and monitoring.

You may think this won't happen, and if there were no exp rewards in the missions I'd probably agree, but if there are rewards, and they can still play through these to level up while simultaneously accruing C Points in some kind of semi-fraudulent C-point racketeering scheme, what reason would these types of players ever have to go back to the standard content?

This would create a void in the game. People who look for teams or PVP queues (which are already suffering) will find even less people to play with than before. You might not think it causes any harm, but if the Foundry is full of farm/C-store point exchange scheme missions and authors, it will turn some people off from it. They will then go to do regular content, and may be disappointed at the lack of people out there that are available to play with.

You might think this kind of situation is far-fetched, but going back to the Mission Architect, when it first came out and you could exploit it to level up quickly and get tickets (which could be redeemed for loot), you would have been hard pressed to find a team outside of the Mission Architect. Now, even if the Foundry isn't exploitable for leveling up or getting loot, adding C-points to it seems like just more incentive for people to flock there and more or less kill off the rest of the game. You might say it doesn't matter so long as people are playing the game, but if someone gets frustrated that the only time they can find people to play with are in foundry exploit missions, they might decide to cancel their subscription.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 140
10-31-2010, 11:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camoron View Post
Will they? Or will they just sit around waiting for someone to advertise a "u play mine ill play urs" scenario, go into a single-mission campaign that's incredibly easy to beat, and then have the person whose mission they just played come do the same in their mission, in order for them both to earn C points? Some guy spends hours making a mission, and it's good and well written, but it's long and very hard. For each play through he earns a C point, but he doesn't care about them, he didn't make it in order to get rich with C-points. On the other hand, a guy makes a quick mission with bad writing or none at all that takes you through a single encounter of some bad guys and then awards him a C-point for every playthrough. On top of that, it provides good skill points for the time invested in it. And then he advertises it as such. Which mission do you think is going to get more plays? Obviously such things can be curtailed through various means, limitations and nerfs, etc. etc. But I think adding c-points is simply not worth the hassle, from that perspective. It's just one more thing that would require balancing and monitoring.
The behavior you're describing is going to exist no matter what. And I can't imagine that many people even listening to channels where people are spamming advertisements. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if Cryptic ends up making a policy forbidding such advertising since it's going to lead to epic spam. At the very least, expect massive numbers of ignores.

At the end of the day the system is serving its purpose exactly as it should, though. Cryptic profits on people having content to play and that's the profit that's trickling down to the content authors.

Quote:
You may think this won't happen, and if there were no exp rewards in the missions I'd probably agree, but if there are rewards, and they can still play through these to level up while simultaneously accruing C Points in some kind of semi-fraudulent C-point racketeering scheme, what reason would these types of players ever have to go back to the standard content?

This would create a void in the game. People who look for teams or PVP queues (which are already suffering) will find even less people to play with than before. You might not think it causes any harm, but if the Foundry is full of farm/C-store point exchange scheme missions and authors, it will turn some people off from it. They will then go to do regular content, and may be disappointed at the lack of people out there that are available to play with.

You might think this kind of situation is far-fetched, but going back to the Mission Architect, when it first came out and you could exploit it to level up quickly and get tickets (which could be redeemed for loot), you would have been hard pressed to find a team outside of the Mission Architect. Now, even if the Foundry isn't exploitable for leveling up or getting loot, adding C-points to it seems like just more incentive for people to flock there and more or less kill off the rest of the game. You might say it doesn't matter so long as people are playing the game, but if someone gets frustrated that the only time they can find people to play with are in foundry exploit missions, they might decide to cancel their subscription.
Frankly I think your issue is really with player rewards for UGC. It's those rewards that are going to attract people to UGC for leveling; not what an author gets as a reward. Any time any new sort of content is added to the game it's going to thin out the player base and make communal content more difficult to use.

It's a pesky problem for an MMO, actually. The players demand a variety of gameplay and a lot of content, but the more variety and the more content there is, the thinner the playerbase becomes and the less fun the game becomes for many people. Based on that... one could argue that introducing UGC at all will be detrimental to the game. And they wouldn't necessarily be wrong. A lot of people are going to flock to it; both to author and to play. That'll be fewer people doing other things.

The only implication my proposed system has in any of this is through the "I'll play yours if you play mine" scenario which, yes, will exist... but it won't amount to so much activity that authors benefit that much from it. Advertisements will reach a critical mass very quickly, and per-character-per-mission restrictions will prevent repeat playing from inflating things. And if it's still that much of a problem they could always add per-account-per-author restrictions, so two authors can't mass produce new missions and inflate each others' play time.
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