Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 251
06-24-2011, 02:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
The rewards are based to a minor extent on time of the assignment, but primarily on the amount of micro the player has to do to set them up as well as the risk versus reward of the assignment.

So, let's assume three different players with three distinct playing patterns, then:

Player A: The Dabbler
Dabbles in assignments. Does assignments between standard missions, but doesn't micro too much or try to min-max the perfect selections or seek out the ideal assignments. Pretty much slaps some guys in, sends them out on long-duration assignments, maybe checks back in once every day or two.

Player B: The Average Player
Does assignments between missions, but spends some amount of thought and time into putting the right duty officers on the right assignments. Checks back into the assignment system maybe a couple of times during a night of play.

Player C: The Assignment Junkie
Spends more time with assignments, min-maxing his/her gains, than s/he even does with missions. A very hard core assignments player, in other words. Probably picks all fast assignments, really thinks about the best guys to put on the best assignments.


For each of the above players, how many hours of gameplay would you think it reasonable for that player to cap out a specific commendation category if that player just focuses on one single commendation category?

Put another way, if I am a dabbler in the system (Player A), play 2 hours a night, five days a week, for a total of 10 hours a week or 40 hours a month, at what point during (or after) that 40 hours do you think I should cap out a single commendation category? If I am an average player (B)? A hard core assignment player (C)?
I'm still fond of the six weeks to progress through a category somehow.
I would allow Player A to finish his chosen category after that time even if he didn't pay real attention just does his colonize assignments twice during his play sessions..
Player B (who somehow knows what to do) I would grant the possibillity to complete two (or three / whatever amount of categories you want the average player to have maxed) in the same six weeks.
And the hardcore player C should be able to complete the categories player B did and some.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 252
06-24-2011, 03:30 AM
At the risk of sounding macabre, I like the idea of our DOffs having a chance to die, hopefully not just red...er yellow shirts. However, I would like to see a chance introduced that one of the BOff's/Department heads could die. Say a .0005% chance. Think of it, invariably a main character has expired in each of the iterations of Trek, Tasha Yar, Jadzia Dax, Kes (ok she evolved to another plain of existance,) Spock...well he was brought to life, but he did die, and we could throw Data in there.

Now that kind of gut renching realism would make the game interesting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 253
06-24-2011, 05:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
As for the first question, let me turn it around - how long do you guys think it should take, in terms of hours of gameplay, focusing on a single commendation category, with what degree of focus on the assignment system?
It should take longer to rank up the more ranks you have. So maxing one category would be quick-ish. Two would take longer and maxing all would take months.

Use something like a (cat)XP deflator perhaps?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 254
06-24-2011, 06:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
As for the first question, let me turn it around - how long do you guys think it should take, in terms of hours of gameplay, focusing on a single commendation category, with what degree of focus on the assignment system?
That cannot be answered tbh. We don't know timers/duration of assignments and the re-try cooldowns etc. There are tons of factors "on the devs' end".
That being said: I'll take Diplomacy as an example, because that is the only reference I can talk about.

Excource:
The current Diplomatic System is totally off limits and unfair.
It is a grindfest not seen anywhere in the game (ok, perhaps leveling a Klingon...)
The main problem with this proficiency is the randomness of the missions the dear Ambassador gives us.
1. You can not invest time to level your Diplomacy, even if you want to focus on it. It is totally up to Mr. Ambassador's mood.
2. The quests are too few and random. You have to grind up to Envoy until you get the chance to get an improved DXP mission. And even these missions are underwhelming.
3. Too few missions and variations. Go to: Cluster X. Initiate DI, scan data and snooze....
4. 10 DXP per mission is definetly too low. You need what over 1200 DXP only to get Ambassador from Envoy!
5. Cost + Reward =/ Balanced. What can I do with it? The only real reward maxxing out is the Uniform. The "Enenmy BoFF" is a common BoFF with no specialties.
End

That being said. If there are no limitations/cooldowns and enough missions for each branch, it would be OK if it needed say 25% less time than the current Diplomacy. It should take a while, but not an eternity. It should totally be up to us how fast we want to level. Remember it should be achievable by a casual player who has not that time. I think you developed the System to be an alternative way of playing and advancing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
For each of the above players, how many hours of gameplay would you think it reasonable for that player to cap out a specific commendation category if that player just focuses on one single commendation category?
Player A) max. 8 weeks
Player B) max 4 weeks
Player C) max. 2 weeks
We are talking about one single commendation category. Since there are many others it should not take longer. Player C) clearly invests a massive amount of time and therefore it should not take any longer for him. I wouldn't want to grind months for only one category.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 255
06-24-2011, 07:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
As for the first question, let me turn it around - how long do you guys think it should take, in terms of hours of gameplay, focusing on a single commendation category, with what degree of focus on the assignment system?
Okay, let's play with numbers!

The basic metric with the old Diplomacy system is 10 DXP per 'mission'. I know you can get more than that, but only in First Contact missions and those are rare. On average, it's going to be closer to 10.

Now, how long is a mission?

The absolute fastest way to get DXP is 'Aid The Planet'. If you buy all of the commodities and skip anomalies, you can probably do it in 5 min or so. But you don't always get those.

The bulk of the diplomatic investigation and first contact type missions should take around 10-15 minutes to complete if you're not futzing around.

Then there are the longer diplomatic missions, like mediating between the Ferengi brothers at Memory Alpha or finding a cure for a contagious disease. Or, Good Grief, having to run out to DS9 or elsewhere for a Jumja stick. 15-30 minutes, probably, but there aren't many of those.

So let's assume that the average diplomatic mission can be completed in 15 minutes. That's probably the high side, but it's probably a good number.

So, at 10 DXP per mission, how many of those do you need to complete in order to cap?

The only number I can find at the moment is 1360 DXP to Ambassador; I will assume that is the right number.

That's 136 missions. At 15 minutes a piece, we're talking about 34 hours of dedicated gameplay currently necessary to hit cap.

But wait! You can't do one after another without moving from place to place, and you can't always get one. If we were being true to life, we'd have to factor in time to travel and time to look for diplomatic missions. And I think we need to factor that in because I know it took me more than 34 hours of game play to get to Ambassador even when I was specifically grinding for it.

I would guess that the actual number of hours needed to cap is probably over 60, and that's if you're doing nothing but looking for diplomacy missions.

So let's assume I'm spending 4 hours a day, 5 days a week grinding diplomacy. That's 15 days, or 3 weeks at 5 days a week. I don't get near that amount of time myself, but we need to account for players who are putting in a lot of time on commendations; you Devs can't allow them to rank up too fast. On the other hand, it can't be out of reach for casual players either.

I think a fair benchmark is a 20% focus... The player is spending about 20% of his play time trying to rank up one commendation category.

If it took 34 hours of dedicated play to max out, that would mean 170 hours of total game play at 20% of his time. That's a lot. Assuming our 4 X 5 schedule again, that's 42.5 days of gaming in order to cap. Or 8.5 weeks.

Personally, I think you need to cut that time by at least a third. 20 - 25 hours of dedicated game play, at 20% of play time. 100-125 hours total, which would work out to somewhere between 25-30 days of gaming.

I'd rather see you cut it in half, but a third is probably more workable.

EDIT: Heretic, you're a Dev... you probably have the numbers... how close am I?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 256
06-24-2011, 08:18 AM
People may flame me, but I think the grind to ambasador was lengthy enough. I would aim for the average time to max out a commendation category to be around there, if a slight touch shorter. I expect there would be a large learning curve to managing the crew of a starship. As captain and adminstering to Doffs, with their variety of abilities and capabilities, would be a difficult excersize in logistics. Think of it like great generals of history. As alexander the great, conquered the persians, he had to leave elements of his army behind to secure the territory. Only through lots of experience, trial and error, and mistakes, would you learn how to manage effectively. I would support a system where there are not only a range of. Succeses, but also a range of experience rewards. On aid the planets, some of those diplomatic missions have to have been more successful/less succesful than other, for no other reason than the captains experience and execution.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 257
06-24-2011, 09:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
Put another way, if I am a dabbler in the system (Player A), play 2 hours a night, five days a week, for a total of 10 hours a week or 40 hours a month, at what point during (or after) that 40 hours do you think I should cap out a single commendation category? If I am an average player (B)? A hard core assignment player (C)?
See, to me this is the wrong way to look at it. I'd rather see a calculation based on how much repetition the tasks will create. So something like: Commendation category A has 100 units of variety, how many times should we make the player re-use the content before we allow them to cap?

To me this is just like a normal mission...I don't mind killing wombats (Or sector defense missions, lol) for experience, but I do mind having to kill the same wombats 5,000 times to hit my cap. If there are 50 different wombat encounters though, I'd be OK killing 5,000 total if it means my average repetition of a specific wombat encounter is ~100 times.

Does that make sense? Is it applicable? Maybe it isn't, I don't know.

TL;dr---- I don't mind a long 'grind' to cap out a skill as long as A) there is an appropriately times reward stream B) repetition of tasks doesn't break my interest. So rather than ask how long an acceptable grind is, ask how long you can stretch the grind while meeting A) and B) for the 'average' player.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 258
06-24-2011, 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
I wouldn't base it on time spent with the system.

Remember, these missions are autonomous--so sending them on a 10 hour gamma quadrant mission would be a rank up. :p
Okay. But you can still do Diplomacy in under 24 hours /played. 24 is about what it takes now. You can make it steadier with short diplomatic assignments.

I'm hoping the bulk of assignments aren't 10 hours or 10 days. I'm sure those will exist for people who don't want to fiddle too much but I'm hoping a large chunk of the assignments will be designed to be 15-30 minute deals that we can do around the edges of missions, emphasizing gameplay over logging off.

So I think a 5 tier system should be around 25 hours of closely supervised work. That may translate differently if you use longterm assignments.

If people want it to be longer, I think you need more than 5 tiers... and I think this is actually a good chance to stack an extra tier or two onto Diplomacy since people will have the means to do it reasonably and First Contact Diplo-XP could matter. (As is, by the time you get those missions, you're almost done with the system.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 259
06-24-2011, 11:33 AM
Most Diplomatic missions take me around 10 minutes. They's mostly scan and sprint. Once you learn which cluster missions are diplomatic, your best bet is to stay in one cluster, drop any mission that doesn't get more diplomatic XP, and don't travel, even for guaranteed diplo XP missions, unless they're in your cluster or you have an Excelsior/Transwarp to get there fast. The big key is dropping exploration missions fast. Also, I think B'Tran generally has fewer diplomatic missions so I don't grind diplomacy there.

I can get around 40-50 an hour in Diplo XP at present if I go into mind-numbing grind mode.

That's 30 hours.

But wait, the first tier can be had entirely with persistent missions that take an hour if you sprint and have the answers memorized.

So that's 1 hour for 160 DipXP.

26.6 hours for 1200 DipXP.

So that's around 27.6 hours.

You could shave off more with luck and in an Excelsior, cutting some time out of that first hour and, with luck, more out of the rest.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 260
06-24-2011, 12:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walshicus
It should take longer to rank up the more ranks you have. So maxing one category would be quick-ish. Two would take longer and maxing all would take months.

Use something like a (cat)XP deflator perhaps?
QFT.

This is really the only way to give player type A a feeling of accomplishment without mindnumbing grind while making maxing out all categories something player type C has to really work for.

I'm thinking just make the DOff XP tree costs similar to the skill tree costs. Each tier costs more than the last, regardless of whether or not a category is maxed out. Early gains would be doable even by Dabblers but maxing a category would require either serious focus to do in a timely (i.e., a month) manner or consistent play over a long period of time. Maxing all categories would be something worth bragging about.


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