Not Implemented - Removing Randomness from the Grind | Star Wars Galaxies Restoration

Not Implemented Removing Randomness from the Grind

This idea/suggestion has been flagged as Not Implemented because of a lack of popularity, lack of interest, lack of feasibility, or other determination by the Development Team, so the suggestion will not be implemented. Once a suggestion has been flagged this way, the decision is final. Although the issue may be raised again in the future after a six month cooldown. A response explanation from the Development Team can be found in the thread.
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Proposal
In summary, we propose vendors -- like token vendors and the Mustafar vendor -- that would enable players to trade in items, tokens, currency, or other items, in exchange for certain items with low drop rates. Rather than merely increasing the drop rates, our goal is to allow players to trade effort or time in order to negate randomness. Ridth is a good model for this.

Make all items in scope available to trade in exchange for things other than credits, so that this exchange does not impact the player credit economy beyond increasing the potential item supply. More items will be in general circulation, but will still require certain pre-requisites to obtain from the vendor, and can still be sold for credits between players for those who are unable to obtain them from the vendors.

This also gives us another way to acquire and spend tokens that are otherwise not being spent, which in turn encourages player to participate in other game modes such as PvP.

Junk Exchange Vendor
  • Make literally ALL Junk items in the game available to trade for.
  • Allow players to trade X stacks of any Y junk item in exchange for any Z Junk item. Generally this should be a somewhat consistent but uneven exchange for all non-combat related junk, something like 5 stacks of Item Y in exchange for 1 stack of Item Z, and vice versa (i.e., all junk items not used for crafting or slicing any combat-related item, can be exchanged for each other at a 5:1 ratio).
  • For junk required in crafting or slicing combat-related items (such as interframes, simple tookits, etc.), then perhaps the ratio should be significantly higher, such as 10:1 or even 20:1 (Y:Z), where Y is a non-combat related junk item and Z is a combat-related junk item.

"Rare" Item Exchange Vendor
  • Make literally ALL "Rare" items (items with the Rare label) in the game available to trade for.
  • Make literally ALL decorative items in the game that have very low drop chance but are not labelled "Rare" -- such as holograms -- available to trade for, at a lower cost.
  • Include area-specific items as well (such as Dathomir items needed to craft decorations), at a higher cost.
  • Allow players to trade X tokens of type Y in exchange for any Z Rare item. Generally the ratio should be commensurate to how difficult it is to acquire that type of token. For example, sample base ratios below based on Rare item label (which should be increased for area-specific items, and lowered for non area-specific and not Rare label):
    • 1 Galactic Fortitude token for any 1 Rare item
    • 5 Base Tokens for any 1 Rare item
    • 5 Battlefield tokens for any 1 Rare item
    • 10 GCW tokens for any 1 Rare item
    • 20 Restuss Commendations for any 1 Rare item
    • 50 space duty tokens for any 1 Rare item

Collection Item Exchange Vendor
  • Similar to the above ideas, we propose making most collection items available for exchange as well, using both token exchange as well as a collection item exchange ratio within the same collection, very much like how Ridth works. For example, trade 100 each of Weed I through Weed VIII in exchange for 1 Weed IX.
  • We agree that certain collections like Ridth should be left as is. No strong argument for changing how Jedi/Sith collections work at this time, given balance implications.

Combat-Related Item Exchange Vendor
There is discussion about making combat-related and area-specific rare drops (like interwovens, speed stims, cybernetics, weapons, ship chassis, etc.) similarly available for exchange from a vendor. Frankly, this is a much bigger discussion as it has game balance implications, and is not in scope for this initial proposal. I recommend starting with the above as a Proof of Concept first, and then we can open it up to combat-related items, prioritizing limited time-gated availability first (such as Acklay drops).
Justification
The proposed solution would free up average play time by at least hundreds of hours per player, allowing players to trade time and effort in place of random chance, in order to acquire items that do not significantly affect game balance. This would allow players to experience and enjoy content that is otherwise cut off from them -- either because they have exceedingly low drop rates or they simply have never dropped -- while still requiring players to put in effort (of a different kind) to obtain them.

In other words, this proposal would help maximize the value this game holds for most players, which is the sandbox creative element, so that even players with limited time can enjoy the game rather than give up and go elsewhere. This design rewards players rather than punishes them for their time and effort investment.

This would increase items in player circulation allowing for more consumption, crafting, and sales. It would also give players other ways to spend tokens that they might not otherwise be spending. And it also give players more incentive to participate in other game modes to acquire those tokens, such as PvP.

By utilizing existing game mechanics, there should be low dev effort required to implement this proposal, so this should be a win/win for both the devs and the players.
Motivation
Some items in the game (detailed in proposal) require much more repetitive and time consuming grinding than is fun for many players (as discussed and agreed on Discord between many Senators and players), with little benefit or balance implications to such grinding, and in some cases these items might never even drop due to the random nature of those drops.

Said another way, some parts of the game actively punish rather than reward the player for their time and effort investment, and currently the only workaround (as stated by the devs) is to encourage AFK macros or grinding while dual boxing. For players who already have limited time to play, this distracts them from enjoying the real content and value of the game -- sandbox creativity -- or otherwise discourages them from playing at all. (refer to Discord senate-public channel for player testimonials, including folks who stopped playing this server)
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Detailed Explanation (as discussed on Discord)

A good game doesn't require someone to play it AFK at all. (That's not really playing at that point.) Generally a good game design to me is one that accomplishes the following:

  1. Progress requires effort, effort should require and enforce (more than diminish) player agency / choice, and effort is rewarded commensurately (in a way that encourages further progress)
  2. There is a competitive element (whether it's players vs. the game AI or players vs. other players) that encourages (more than discourages) further gameplay (or encourages you to progress so you can be better than the AI or other players)
  3. It is very replayable (gameplay is not boring or stale, there is always something new to do or new variations to try out that make it seem like you are doing new things to get new experiences you didn't have before)
The challenge is defining 'effort' which is rewarded with progress. In old game design school, 'effort' or 'difficulty' meant time. And so designers would just add HPs to bosses, random chance of good loot drops with significantly low drop rates, increase currency costs, etc. Essentially they use grind as their definition of difficulty.

Randomness is the enemy of player agency and creativity, which defeats the purpose in a sandbox game like this which attracts players because of the freedom to choose. For example, I could build all kinds of ways of killing NPCs together with a group of players, but none of it matters if the rewards are random and never drop. Meaning, the game in that case is actively punishing me for trying to be creative, rather than rewarding me for my effort.

Using both time and randomness as a gate is what I consider frustrating and bad design, and is not specific to SWG, as games like WoW suffered from the same design. Given the typical game player (not specific to SWG) doesn't want to spend the time anymore, especially if there is a strong chance of simply never getting the reward due to how randomness works, they will either automate or just not play at all. Thus it becomes a meaningless measure of difficulty.

So most games nowadays define difficulty based on challenging the player to use their skills and abilities (both real and game-based) to overcome obstacles. Whether that's bosses that use player abilities and AI like what a player would do, or puzzles that require solving (not simple fetch quests). And those games also reward players for their level of participation, meaning the more you do the more you get, the less you do the less you get. For example, games like Guild Wars 1 and 2, when you take a group of people to kill a boss that has special loot, there is a 100% chance for it to drop one piece of relevant loot for each player who hit the boss or healed someone hitting the boss or took damage from the boss (and greater quality depending on how much that player hit the boss or healed someone hitting the boss or took damage from the boss).

Not saying that's possible to implement in an old game like SWG, just suggesting that I would rather re-define what are the things that should be gated by time vs things where time shouldn't matter, and how those time gates work. And ideally, try to eliminate randomness altogether where possible, so we are rewarding rather than punishing effort.

In terms of the "things" we are talking about, I mean rare loot drops that don't affect game balance. I'm not suggesting that "Rare" shouldn't mean rare, I'm suggesting redefining how rare works, using Ridth as a perfect model, which allows players to eliminate randomness by trading in things they accumulate over time and effort.

I think the easiest to implement compromise is a vendor that works in very much the same way, but also accepts tokens that already exist in game. Maybe add a new token to the game that drops with maps, so you still have to do the foraging but you're not stuck with RNG drops, you can trade in the tokens you get for that particular helmet or hologram you're looking for.
 
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The base version of the game should be left untouched.

Keep that grindy(where do I go, what to kill) kind of feeling.

Any new/revamped content could be tied with a token system allowing the player to buy end game stuff.
 
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This is an interesting one.. I believe in some of it but not all of it.

The junk vendor is a good idea and I feel that as you are trading more 'X' than 'Z' there is still a net reduction in the loot so it's a good return overall. It allows more access to different bits which takes away some of the frustration, although at the same time there are some junk spots where people farm hundreds / thousands of stacks of the same item/s so if this was to happen I think the ratios should change over time - as in if 'vocabulators' are always being traded then their ratios are tracked and their cost increases to punish that from being abused by a limited pool of common loot.

The rare item vendor I kind of disagree with, especially with the ratios you specify there. 1 fortitude token for 'any' 1 rare item is a bit ambitious.. there should at least be categories like there is with the rare loot system that scales their trade value.
Also, to get an exact item is probably too much.. perhaps if you could 'trade x for a champion of mustafar glowy box' from the vendor which would give a random glowy of the loot tables in the mustafar instances, or 'trade x for champion of mustafar weapon box' which is any weapon.. that way you can still progress to a drop and if it doesn't land you can sell it or trade it to a friend and vice versa. If you get the hand out straight away you will stop doing that content to get it so it's a bit friendlier to the population as a whole to do it that way I feel and is also a bit more 'fun' to see what you get out of it.
I like that GCW tokens could in theory be used to get this stuff as it opens the gates for PvPers to get PvE exclusive items but it should come at a higher cost - and as such the opposite as well, where the PvP weapons are accessible by PvE players but at a larger cost than a PvE item.
 
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Gonna call it what it is. You want the game adjusted for the lower population. While that may not be a bad thing, it isn't something that is reversable. While its unlikely the server will bounce back to 1.0 populations, adjusting the drop rate is not only far simpler than creating new vendors, currency, and sources but is entirely reversible, and capable of being modified for whatever the current needs of the server may be. Unless multiple currencies are adapted for this purpose (even more work) your forcing the population into a specific activity. No matter how you slice it there are negatives to currency systems that aren't present in drop chances. Improve on what the game already has going for it, not modifying it to systems ever modern game uses... that most dislike.
 
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Theres really three proposals here:

Junk Item Exchange: I would prefer having existing RE bit etc system fixed so there aren't useless stats etc then by trying to add an exchange system.

Rare Item Exchange: Generally, I think rares should be rares. I do think there is room for a pity system, although this could be my ff14 bias speaking. For example have a boss in like DF give a token to everyone in addition to a drop. For something like 10-20 tokens you can buy a specific drop(maybe more for rarer drops etc). The system should be tied to the content the item is from.

Collection Item Exchange: I'm mixed on this. On one hand its just Ridith/pity system, on the other its not needed outside a few select major offender collections.
 
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Gonna call it what it is. You want the game adjusted for the lower population. While that may not be a bad thing, it isn't something that is reversable. While its unlikely the server will bounce back to 1.0 populations, adjusting the drop rate is not only far simpler than creating new vendors, currency, and sources but is entirely reversible, and capable of being modified for whatever the current needs of the server may be. Unless multiple currencies are adapted for this purpose (even more work) your forcing the population into a specific activity. No matter how you slice it there are negatives to currency systems that aren't present in drop chances. Improve on what the game already has going for it, not modifying it to systems ever modern game uses... that most dislike.
I apologise if I've given you this impression, but I'm not trying to adjust for any particular population size, nor do I believe the problem I am calling out is specific to any population size. I am saying that I do not like randomness determining whether or not my time and effort was meaningful. I want to be rewarded for my time and effort, not punished for it. Even if the server had 1M players I would still have the same problem.

With that said, I understand that there are many players here who agree with me (such as Reevesy, Pete, Revenant, Solo, etc.), but there are also many players who disagree with me and actually want randomness in their game, just at higher drop rates (and with more spawn points and fewer time gates) than what we currently have.

I'm OK if my proposal to remove or mitigate randomness in loot drops isn't accepted by the majority, but I would hope that it at least encourages conversation about drops and maybe drives some change that helps some things that never drop (like a YT-1300 hologram, for example) to at least drop a little more frequently.

Thanks
 
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This is an interesting one.. I believe in some of it but not all of it.

The junk vendor is a good idea and I feel that as you are trading more 'X' than 'Z' there is still a net reduction in the loot so it's a good return overall. It allows more access to different bits which takes away some of the frustration, although at the same time there are some junk spots where people farm hundreds / thousands of stacks of the same item/s so if this was to happen I think the ratios should change over time - as in if 'vocabulators' are always being traded then their ratios are tracked and their cost increases to punish that from being abused by a limited pool of common loot.

The rare item vendor I kind of disagree with, especially with the ratios you specify there. 1 fortitude token for 'any' 1 rare item is a bit ambitious.. there should at least be categories like there is with the rare loot system that scales their trade value.
Also, to get an exact item is probably too much.. perhaps if you could 'trade x for a champion of mustafar glowy box' from the vendor which would give a random glowy of the loot tables in the mustafar instances, or 'trade x for champion of mustafar weapon box' which is any weapon.. that way you can still progress to a drop and if it doesn't land you can sell it or trade it to a friend and vice versa. If you get the hand out straight away you will stop doing that content to get it so it's a bit friendlier to the population as a whole to do it that way I feel and is also a bit more 'fun' to see what you get out of it.
I like that GCW tokens could in theory be used to get this stuff as it opens the gates for PvPers to get PvE exclusive items but it should come at a higher cost - and as such the opposite as well, where the PvP weapons are accessible by PvE players but at a larger cost than a PvE item.
Just to clarify, the ratios I listed are just examples, feel free to recommend different ratios if you like the concept overall. Thanks for commenting!
 
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I apologise if I've given you this impression, but I'm not trying to adjust for any particular population size, nor do I believe the problem I am calling out is specific to any population size. I am saying that I do not like randomness determining whether or not my time and effort was meaningful. I want to be rewarded for my time and effort, not punished for it. Even if the server had 1M players I would still have the same problem.

With that said, I understand that there are many players here who agree with me (such as Reevesy, Pete, Revenant, Solo, etc.), but there are also many players who disagree with me and actually want randomness in their game, just at higher drop rates (and with more spawn points and fewer time gates) than what we currently have.

I'm OK if my proposal to remove or mitigate randomness in loot drops isn't accepted by the majority, but I would hope that it at least encourages conversation about drops and maybe drives some change that helps some things that never drop (like a YT-1300 hologram, for example) to at least drop a little more frequently.

Thanks
I don't necessarily disagree. What I do disagree with is a permanent solution that detracs from the sandbox nature, and turns it into a daily/repeatable grind like any other game. The idea has merit, just needs to be tuned to swg, and specifically something easier on the dev team. At this point new content to bring players back in is more important than qol, so making it an easy implementation improves the chance itll be adopted.
 
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I don't necessarily disagree. What I do disagree with is a permanent solution that detracs from the sandbox nature, and turns it into a daily/repeatable grind like any other game. The idea has merit, just needs to be tuned to swg, and specifically something easier on the dev team. At this point new content to bring players back in is more important than qol, so making it an easy implementation improves the chance itll be adopted.
That's great and basically what I was going for. I figured a Ridth vendor, or basically another vendor like any of the GCW vendors, would be an easy implementation. Not sure what I'm missing though, I can't speak for the devs or what the code looks like, so maybe I shouldn't assume it's an easy thing to re-use an existing mechanic with some tweaks.
 

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Not really a fan of this proposal overall. The idea that you can exchange any sort of item for other items, even at some sort of deduction ratio, seems a little senseless to me.

For one, this would completely undermine the rare loot system as a whole making it useless. The amount of 'rare' stuff in circulation that is complete garbage is somehow now tradeable for the 'more rare' stuff would make nothing actually rare anymore.

You'd basically stripping value of rare items in general to appease people that don't like RNG. So those people who get a rare collection piece, or a rare item, or something of value, no longer hit the jackpot - because the other dude who farms it all day has already traded for 10 of the 'rare' item and it'll be impossible for them to make some credits off of.

There is more rare junk as well - as it is typically on weird mobs or even more difficult mobs. Instead of spending time killing those mobs - people can just stand outside Mos Eisley or in some droid room and accumulate stacks of 10k of 10 different kinds of junk, and now have access to all junk in the game without having to actually do anything.

It doesn't sound like a good solution to me.
 
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Anything related to gearing up for the Galactic Civil War fits this bill perfectly, but I think it's cool to have rare cosmetics and stuff.
 
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Not really a fan of this proposal overall. The idea that you can exchange any sort of item for other items, even at some sort of deduction ratio, seems a little senseless to me.

For one, this would completely undermine the rare loot system as a whole making it useless. The amount of 'rare' stuff in circulation that is complete garbage is somehow now tradeable for the 'more rare' stuff would make nothing actually rare anymore.

You'd basically stripping value of rare items in general to appease people that don't like RNG. So those people who get a rare collection piece, or a rare item, or something of value, no longer hit the jackpot - because the other dude who farms it all day has already traded for 10 of the 'rare' item and it'll be impossible for them to make some credits off of.

There is more rare junk as well - as it is typically on weird mobs or even more difficult mobs. Instead of spending time killing those mobs - people can just stand outside Mos Eisley or in some droid room and accumulate stacks of 10k of 10 different kinds of junk, and now have access to all junk in the game without having to actually do anything.

It doesn't sound like a good solution to me.
But why is someone farming this stuff (non-combat related items) for hours? My entire premise is that this type of farming is not fun and is a waste of player time, most players who do this are doing it while AFK because they don't actually want to do it, they would rather have something or someone else do it for them, they only do it for the end result of getting the drops. And my point is that those drops are only valuable because people don't want to waste their time trying to get them. Instead, my premise is that players should focus on the core reasons why they play this game to begin with, which is crafting, decorating, PvE, PvP... not farming.

If your entire premise is that this takes away a source of credit income from players, then I would challenge that notion as well. What about resource farming, mining, space loot, combat gear, BH missions, etc.? Those are completely unaffected by this proposal. If anything, the only thing that perhaps normalizes is the crafting market, but again my proposal is for non-combat related items only for now, so it really only affects decorative things for the most part. Which means, theoretically, we should have a much more beautiful and less empty environment across all planets with more decorative items in circulation.
 

PhilmorALF

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But why is someone farming this stuff (non-combat related items) for hours? My entire premise is that this type of farming is not fun and is a waste of player time, most players who do this are doing it while AFK because they don't actually want to do it, they would rather have something or someone else do it for them, they only do it for the end result of getting the drops. And my point is that those drops are only valuable because people don't want to waste their time trying to get them. Instead, my premise is that players should focus on the core reasons why they play this game to begin with, which is crafting, decorating, PvE, PvP... not farming.

If your entire premise is that this takes away a source of credit income from players, then I would challenge that notion as well. What about resource farming, mining, space loot, combat gear, BH missions, etc.? Those are completely unaffected by this proposal. If anything, the only thing that perhaps normalizes is the crafting market, but again my proposal is for non-combat related items only for now, so it really only affects decorative things for the most part. Which means, theoretically, we should have a much more beautiful and less empty environment across all planets with more decorative items in circulation.
If you are unable to see the issue with your suggestion for rare items - then I think we're going to be at a disagreement regardless because that is the most obviously bad part of your proposal.. There are different levels of 'rare items', and many cases people like to chase after them because they are....rare. Why even have different types of RLS boxes if you can just trade for anything your heart desires?

Also - I'm not sure where you would get the idea that your proposal would stop anyone from needing junk loot and farming it still. The only thing that you would be addressing is the people that are too lazy to go grab 5-10 less common junk loot for exotics. The bulk junk loot that accounts for 99% of junk loot is still going to need to be farmed. Not sure if you have actually done RE - but you're not actually solving any real issue.

and I don't know if my ENTIRE premise was that this takes away a source of income from players, but the fact that it is so easy for you to brush that aside because there are other ways to make credits is a bit shortsighted. Just because you don't like to do certain things or don't find value in certain activities, does not mean that others feel that way. Content is content - and to some collecting rare items or decorations or what have you is why they play this game - so what happens when everything is easy to get or traded for instantly? Doesn't sound very fun.

Trading/selling should be done amongst players - not the system.
 
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If you are unable to see the issue with your suggestion for rare items - then I think we're going to be at a disagreement regardless because that is the most obviously bad part of your proposal.. There are different levels of 'rare items', and many cases people like to chase after them because they are....rare. Why even have different types of RLS boxes if you can just trade for anything your heart desires?

Also - I'm not sure where you would get the idea that your proposal would stop anyone from needing junk loot and farming it still. The only thing that you would be addressing is the people that are too lazy to go grab 5-10 less common junk loot for exotics. The bulk junk loot that accounts for 99% of junk loot is still going to need to be farmed. Not sure if you have actually done RE - but you're not actually solving any real issue.

and I don't know if my ENTIRE premise was that this takes away a source of income from players, but the fact that it is so easy for you to brush that aside because there are other ways to make credits is a bit shortsighted. Just because you don't like to do certain things or don't find value in certain activities, does not mean that others feel that way. Content is content - and to some collecting rare items or decorations or what have you is why they play this game - so what happens when everything is easy to get or traded for instantly? Doesn't sound very fun.

Trading/selling should be done amongst players - not the system.
That's fair, I'm definitely making an assumption that having / using the item is more fun than getting the item. You are saying that for many people, getting the item is more fun than having / using it. I can't disagree because I can't speak for those people.

But, my proposal doesn't prevent people from still getting items in the same way they do today. I'm not proposing to change drop rates nor remove any existing methods of farming. So players can still choose to do it the way they have always done it. The only impact to them would be credit value of these particular items as there would be more items in circulation.

So, to my point earlier, the question to you is, are the credits more important here, or is it the act of farming and collecting? If it's the credits, then that is why I suggested there are far easier and more profitable ways. If it's the act of collecting, then players can still do that. So I'm still not seeing how this really hurts anyone.
 

PhilmorALF

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That's fair, I'm definitely making an assumption that having / using the item is more fun than getting the item. You are saying that for many people, getting the item is more fun than having / using it. I can't disagree because I can't speak for those people.

But, my proposal doesn't prevent people from still getting items in the same way they do today. I'm not proposing to change drop rates nor remove any existing methods of farming. So players can still choose to do it the way they have always done it. The only impact to them would be credit value of these particular items as there would be more items in circulation.

So, to my point earlier, the question to you is, are the credits more important here, or is it the act of farming and collecting? If it's the credits, then that is why I suggested there are far easier and more profitable ways. If it's the act of collecting, then players can still do that. So I'm still not seeing how this really hurts anyone.
I believe some of the fun for people is having an item that not everyone has. The process of acquiring it is also fun/frustrating/satisfying (after you get it).

I don't know if it's fair to say whether credits or farming/collecting is more important. They accomplish different things for different people. I don't necessarily think it's right to take an element of select parts of the game (Luck/RNG), remove the potential value from it, and then tell people 'well - go figure out something else to do to make credits'.

Also - It probably doesn't take much imagination to see that if you have one way of attaining something from the game itself, people will only have that one option. As soon as you introduce a second option that is significantly easier and predictable - it's obvious which way people will lean. Why would anyone want to spend more time trying to do something if they don't have to? At a certain point if the time sink/value outweighs their desire for an item they are looking for, they just go do something else.

This whole thing could take us down a rabbit hole of 'what is important content', 'what is end-game', 'what should people be doing'. The answer is - whatever they want it to be. As soon as you start saying certain activities and time spent on them are not as important as others - you start funneling people in a game where it really is about doing whatever you feel like. When you start finding ways to give people whatever they want, when they want it - they'll get it and run.
 
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I believe some of the fun for people is having an item that not everyone has. The process of acquiring it is also fun/frustrating/satisfying (after you get it).

I don't know if it's fair to say whether credits or farming/collecting is more important. They accomplish different things for different people. I don't necessarily think it's right to take an element of select parts of the game (Luck/RNG), remove the potential value from it, and then tell people 'well - go figure out something else to do to make credits'.

Also - It probably doesn't take much imagination to see that if you have one way of attaining something from the game itself, people will only have that one option. As soon as you introduce a second option that is significantly easier and predictable - it's obvious which way people will lean. Why would anyone want to spend more time trying to do something if they don't have to? At a certain point if the time sink/value outweighs their desire for an item they are looking for, they just go do something else.

This whole thing could take us down a rabbit hole of 'what is important content', 'what is end-game', 'what should people be doing'. The answer is - whatever they want it to be. As soon as you start saying certain activities and time spent on them are not as important as others - you start funneling people in a game where it really is about doing whatever you feel like. When you start finding ways to give people whatever they want, when they want it - they'll get it and run.
"At a certain point if the time sink/value outweighs their desire for an item they are looking for, they just go do something else."

My problem statement is that grinding has driven players to do something else, including playing other games. So I think I'd like to focus our discussion on that -- do you even agree with the problem statement. Because if not, then it's a waste of both our time discussing the proposal.

The real questions I'm trying to get at are: what is fun, what is not fun, and are there only "not fun" ways of doing certain things (and if so, how can we change that).

Those terms can be defined -- and have been defined by the original game creators -- otherwise we wouldn't have a game. What I'm asking of you and others reading is an open dialogue on those terms and where they might need to be updated to suit a 2023 culture of players which is very different than the 2003 culture of players. This means being more specific than "do anything", because the game doesn't actually let you "do anything" for those reasons -- the creators implemented rules based on their definitions.

One case at hand is, do you believe randomness of rewards is an integral part of having fun. Put another way, is gambling the core element of fun here, and should everything be a gamble, or only certain things? I'm open to your answers either way.

And thank you for focusing on the topic, I would appreciate you leaving out bias or personal commentary (such as "you can't see" or "it's obvious" or "imagination") -- I'm not making any assumptions about your faculties, and I appreciate if you don't make assumptions about mine. :)
 
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"At a certain point if the time sink/value outweighs their desire for an item they are looking for, they just go do something else."

My problem statement is that grinding has driven players to do something else, including playing other games. So I think I'd like to focus our discussion on that -- do you even agree with the problem statement. Because if not, then it's a waste of both our time discussing the proposal.

The real questions I'm trying to get at are: what is fun, what is not fun, and are there only "not fun" ways of doing certain things (and if so, how can we change that).

Those terms can be defined -- and have been defined by the original game creators -- otherwise we wouldn't have a game. What I'm asking of you and others reading is an open dialogue on those terms and where they might need to be updated to suit a 2023 culture of players which is very different than the 2003 culture of players. This means being more specific than "do anything", because the game doesn't actually let you "do anything" for those reasons -- the creators implemented rules based on their definitions.

One case at hand is, do you believe randomness of rewards is an integral part of having fun. Put another way, is gambling the core element of fun here, and should everything be a gamble, or only certain things? I'm open to your answers either way.

And thank you for focusing on the topic, I would appreciate you leaving out bias or personal commentary (such as "you can't see" or "it's obvious" or "imagination") -- I'm not making any assumptions about your faculties, and I appreciate if you don't make assumptions about mine. :)
"What I'm asking of you and others reading is an open dialogue on those terms and where they might need to be updated to suit a 2023 culture of players which is very different than the 2003 culture of players."

Therin lies the problem. This isn't a 2023 game. It wasn't designed around instant gratification demanded today or the arcade style implementation used. That's why the bulk of us play it. Else we would be on WoW, ESO, ff13, etc. That is exactly what I meant by changing the idea to fit the sandbox nature. You'll drive away more than you attract by trying to "modernize"
 
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"What I'm asking of you and others reading is an open dialogue on those terms and where they might need to be updated to suit a 2023 culture of players which is very different than the 2003 culture of players."

Therin lies the problem. This isn't a 2023 game. It wasn't designed around instant gratification demanded today or the arcade style implementation used. That's why the bulk of us play it. Else we would be on WoW, ESO, ff13, etc. That is exactly what I meant by changing the idea to fit the sandbox nature. You'll drive away more than you attract by trying to "modernize"
Ok thank you, this is helpful. In this case I'd rather just close this ask instead of push for something that the current player base doesn't want. Going forward I would ask folks to first debate the validity of the problem statement before getting into the proposal. Thanks!
 

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"At a certain point if the time sink/value outweighs their desire for an item they are looking for, they just go do something else."

My problem statement is that grinding has driven players to do something else, including playing other games. So I think I'd like to focus our discussion on that -- do you even agree with the problem statement. Because if not, then it's a waste of both our time discussing the proposal.

The real questions I'm trying to get at are: what is fun, what is not fun, and are there only "not fun" ways of doing certain things (and if so, how can we change that).

Those terms can be defined -- and have been defined by the original game creators -- otherwise we wouldn't have a game. What I'm asking of you and others reading is an open dialogue on those terms and where they might need to be updated to suit a 2023 culture of players which is very different than the 2003 culture of players. This means being more specific than "do anything", because the game doesn't actually let you "do anything" for those reasons -- the creators implemented rules based on their definitions.

One case at hand is, do you believe randomness of rewards is an integral part of having fun. Put another way, is gambling the core element of fun here, and should everything be a gamble, or only certain things? I'm open to your answers either way.

And thank you for focusing on the topic, I would appreciate you leaving out bias or personal commentary (such as "you can't see" or "it's obvious" or "imagination") -- I'm not making any assumptions about your faculties, and I appreciate if you don't make assumptions about mine. :)
No - I don't agree with the problem statement.

..and I don't think I'm the one making the assumptions. You're making big assumptions and generalizations to drive a big change to the core of this game based on a few conversations in discord.

"The proposed solution would free up average play time by at least hundreds of hours per player"

Not sure where you pulled this from - but I can say with a large degree of confidence you don't have the data to back that up. If you do I'd love to see it.

Randomness and/or gambling your time, is a key part of fun and economic stability. I've seen the economy change up and down for almost two years based on population and in game activity. That is how things should work. The proposal is on par with price fixing for the economy, and fun killing for people who appreciate the challenge of attaining/collecting less common/rare items.
 
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