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25th Anniversary Skills Changes

Posted May 31, 2014 at 02:51 PM by Jacob

If you haven't already, read the News post on some rule changes for Skills here. I'll wait.

All good? Good.

I'm going to turn off the fluffy grandiloquent voice and cut to the chase here by announcing that there are a lot more things in the pipeline for the Skills System than what that post revealed. Prepare to be bombarded:

5/3/3 and 4/4/3/3/3? Gone. Replaced by a simple new rule: you may have one Level 5 skill and all other skills may progress to 4.

That comes with a counterbalance: the maximum number of skills you can track progression in is 8. But yes, it's entirely possible to one day hit 5/4/4/4/4/4/4/4 in your skills.

Hedgemage is becoming a SINGLE skill capable of going up to level 5. While the overall spell power will not be changing much, the higher levels will provide new unique mechanics available only to the Hedgemage that provide the class with a definite utility, both solo and in parties.

Experience point numbers will eventually be multiplied by 10. This is to facilitate the big kahuna change: moderators will be able to award experience on a per post basis.

This will be made possible by the implementation of a forum module that handles the awarding and tabulation of your experience points. No more counting points yourself. Moderator presses button, your account has experience points. Huzzah.

And now for the unpopular assertion that will get tomatoes thrown at me: self-mod will, when all is said and done, end. This game is about interaction and challenge. Self-moderation is antithetical to that goal. We are opening the spigot on experience so that you can earn it from doing a lot of small things, but you will do things.

This will also make more sense when we reveal the full shebang of what will become the new Character Sheet. Next month you will be seeing a drastic change in how we keep track of player Wealth and business income. I am not going to steal other people's thunder on making those announcements prematurely, but I will assert this: when you see the whole of what we have been designing, as a single intraconnected system, you will see that this is all designed to work together to create a player experience unlike anything we've had before.

Our simple goal with where we end up is this: a new player will be able to, in minutes, create their account, set up their character, and start posting without having to read complicated guides and primers to everything. Our systems will be geared to promote interaction and action and the best, most efficient, most effective way to play the game will be, in fact... to just play the game. To just go out and post things.

That's our endpoint with these changes. These are just the beginnings of that.

And this is my moment to make the obligatory comment: with the compression of total skills you can have, changes in certain skills, and other possibly "scary" things, be aware that you will keep what you have earned, in one way or another. Nothing you do right now is meaningless, so don't let that get in the way of just jumping back in and playing right now.

Floor is open for yall to tear me apart now. Have at it.
Posted inDeveloper's Diary
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    I've self moderated what now seems like a ghastly number of threads with my various characters, but nonetheless I hate self-modding with a white hot passion. I've only ever done it because of not being able to find other people to do it.

    I guess my question though is do threads in which there are multiple PCs with one of them moderating count as self-moderated threads? Because if so, I hope we can instill in players the notion that some portion of their thread list ought to be peer-modding for others.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 12:02 AM by Madelyn Twist Madelyn Twist is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Madelyn Twist View Comment
    I've self moderated what now seems like a ghastly number of threads with my various characters, but nonetheless I hate self-modding with a white hot passion. I've only ever done it because of not being able to find other people to do it.

    I guess my question though is do threads in which there are multiple PCs with one of them moderating count as self-moderated threads? Because if so, I hope we can instill in players the notion that some portion of their thread list ought to be peer-modding for others.
    That's nominally a peer-mod, but really could be classed as a "loose mod" situation: you can have a moderator watching it and approving the rewards and require no other moderator intervention.

    Run a search for "Secyclion Deathmatch" to see a thread like that in action. Those are perfectly okay to do as long as they are interesting.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 12:06 AM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Parreyon Syndicus's Avatar
    So I assume someone is getting the daunting task of going through current character sheets to input current XP for players so that this new XP button pushing thing works?

    How long with this take and when will this new system be implemented?

    I love the no level up thread requirement for lvl 1 & 2, and the idea of a 'Click XP' button.
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    Posted June 1, 2014 at 07:30 AM by Parreyon Syndicus Parreyon Syndicus is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Of course, I know the technical part (the amount of xp one has) is not the only required thing needed to progress to Master or Archmage; Fortunately, in my Role Play, I try hard to develop my character's background, in order to 1) be known; 2) develop his skills in the process and 3) be known by his skills and what he did with them. A good example of that is the amount of PCs Lightem taught sword, for example, his services to the Stardust's edge, and what he was doing in Solace Island with his magic.

    I agree a player must do something... remarkable in order to be promoted. That is why I always searched for a job of power to help myself and my character in that development side.

    I will wait to see the other changes! Good job so far ^.^
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    Posted June 1, 2014 at 08:17 AM by Lightem Massani Lightem Massani is offline
    Updated June 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM by Lightem Massani
  5. Old Comment
    Lyr Tlansson's Avatar
    HUZZAH indeed! Seems like this system will heavily promote what you're calling "loose mod" situations, which imho should be the bread and butter of this game.

    I imagine this is going to take a lot of (much needed) behind-the-scenes work on the interface and the site in general, as also the changes to the wiki+lore: huge, huge kudos to the MT for tackling this problem.

    Will this system be able to accommodate skills that are not in the lore? I like the fact that the new system (as I'm understanding it) will streamline things, but I also like the fact that mods can give out ostensibly "useless" skills/lore (Lyr, for example, has XP in crowd-surfing) - perhaps I should rather say 'achievements', or 'experiences' rather than 'skills'. There's also a lot of skills that people may wish to specialize in that don't have write-ups. But I would really like to be able to have an easy way of tracking this kind of experiential stuff beyond browsing through a pc's thread history, which can get really spotty depending on how anal-retentive that person is about their CIR.

    Edit: That last paragraph may be confusing. I guess there are two questions there: 1) what about skills that do not have a write-up? 2) will there be a way of tracking achievements/experiences/stuff-thats-not-a-skill?
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 09:54 AM by Lyr Tlansson Lyr Tlansson is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Nimh's Avatar
    I can speak to your last series of questions, as I am tackling the Lore/Wiki over the next couple of months.

    1. Skill write-ups are going to mostly be a thing of the past, barring things like sphere write-ups and magical skill types. Needing a write-up has never and will never be what "makes a skill." I don't see why the question would come up now about having a write-up or not. It never mattered in the past. It really won't matter in the future either

    2. Lore experiences (such as business or crowd-surfing) will continue to exist. They won't count towards leveled skills, but will merely be something your character's good at without being something that will be notable beyond "hey, you did this, kudos!" For instance, Lyr will never be the Silver Surfer of crowd-surfaces. He did it, he experienced it, but it doesn't mean it's a skill or something he can improve upon as time goes by. Will these be charted necessarily in an automated system? I can't say--that's more for Jacob to say. I think it's something people can still track in the CIR manually or be rewarded with by a moderator in a given post or thread. I don't see why, just because there's automation, people can't still track what they want in their CIRs. Significant events? Achievements? Lore experiences? Why not...?

    So...basically useless experience doesn't really go away. It's there for flavor, mods can still give it. It just doesn't add anything either which way.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM by Nimh Nimh is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Oh boy, see, now people are starting to drag out of me all the other pieces of the new Character Sheet as planned... going to spoil it all if we keep going at this rate...

    Yes, we will be tracking notable life events, fantastic and unique artifacts, and other fun and whimsical "stuff" in an achievements-like tracking system. There won't be a numerical component to this but it will be there in a way that moderators can quickly add these entries to your profile.

    (And yes, moderators, before you ask: there will be a "Hidden" section for you guys to note other stuff, too).

    There will be sections of your profile (it's actually tied into your user profile, here) that will organize this and other stuff (to tease: ever wanted to keep track of how you're related to a bunch of other PCs? There's going to be a section for that.). Everything else is still fair game to document in the very first "page" of the sheet, which is your Biography sheet, that gives you the same rich text write-lots-of-stuff experience you have now with CIRs, without having to inject all the math.

    As for the timetable/ETA on this all: when it's done. What you will be seeing now and for the next few months will be changes we can accomplish inside our current systems without needing the new software platform underneath it. Once we're closer to showing some more of these things in a functional fashion, you will be seeing them, but I also don't like popping all of this stuff up at once because it can be overwhelming given the amount of stuff getting done, and we're doing things that touch on basically every part of the site you visit and use here.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 12:20 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  8. Old Comment
    So, when the Information about Hedgemages will be available? Maybe I missed that, but I want to make sure I am above the matter
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 04:26 PM by Lightem Massani Lightem Massani is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Lua Gil'dae's Avatar
    So it's a little hard to keep track of what's already been answered... Anyway, I'm confused about two things.

    1) Do we automatically get xp for skills we used in a thread or do we get to control which skills to level up in? Eg. I recently did some singing in a thread, but I don't really want to make singing one of my major skills, so I'd prefer not to get xp in it.

    2) So I assume this change doesn't apply to grandfathered threads currently being written, only to threads posted within the current season... right?
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 04:49 PM by Lua Gil'dae Lua Gil'dae is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Theldor's Avatar
    This is great! Specially the automatic XP system, it's something I always had wished... and now it becomes true!

    A question about the limit of 8 skills: will there be a way to forget (willingly rustify) skills in order to make room for other skills? I learned 4 combat skills before becoming a priest of Srennius.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 04:55 PM by Theldor Theldor is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Everything in this blog post is a distance in the future. I don't announce rule changes in blog posts. This is just a heads up. Actual changes are in the linked News post.

    Keep doing things as you do it right now. You will be duly compensated for your efforts. This is built into the design. =)

    Hedgemage information is a ways in the future. All I can say is "when it's ready" because I don't want to provide a time/date when we're not near enough for me to be certain and then to overshoot it and disappoint everybody.

    Sorry for being terse. Between trips moving boxes here.
    permalink
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 06:00 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  12. Old Comment
    alright, thank you for your answers. I'll wait for it and in the meantime, keep playing as always ^^
    permalink
    Posted June 2, 2014 at 05:33 AM by Lightem Massani Lightem Massani is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Ein'nasar Mythranthil's Avatar
    I'm not sure how I feel with self-mod being gone. In general, I think self-mod really falls into 3 categories:
    - mundane stuff no one cares (purchases etc)
    - self training for quick L1 or L2
    - story-telling purpose (exposition-ish) that you already have in mind how you want to play out

    I imagine the first will still be allowed to some extent (although I dunno if shops will still be around once the money revamp goes live)

    For the second, I'm a bit divided. I guess more interaction even at L1 or L2 is always good, but mod shortage (both A/GMs and peers) means threads might have no mods, or will get posted to at slow paces. And even with the new XP system, won't GMs still be able to just review the thread at the end and press the buttons for XP when stamping?

    But my main concern is the third one. While having GMs throw new things at you will open up interesting developments, there will be some stuff you would want to keep under your own control to decide where your character with develop. Will people be unable to self-mod these once the time comes?

    In general I'm a bit unsure with this since I think there are some good reasons for why self-modding is allowed, and I think those still hold true right now. More important things are not allowed to be self-modded anyways even in the current set up, so I fear we might be losing some things if self-mod is removed in its entirety.
    permalink
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 10:45 AM by Ein'nasar Mythranthil Ein'nasar Mythranthil is offline
  14. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ein'nasar Mythranthil View Comment
    I'm not sure how I feel with self-mod being gone. In general, I think self-mod really falls into 3 categories:
    - mundane stuff no one cares (purchases etc)
    - self training for quick L1 or L2
    - story-telling purpose (exposition-ish) that you already have in mind how you want to play out

    I imagine the first will still be allowed to some extent (although I dunno if shops will still be around once the money revamp goes live)

    For the second, I'm a bit divided. I guess more interaction even at L1 or L2 is always good, but mod shortage (both A/GMs and peers) means threads might have no mods, or will get posted to at slow paces. And even with the new XP system, won't GMs still be able to just review the thread at the end and press the buttons for XP when stamping?

    But my main concern is the third one. While having GMs throw new things at you will open up interesting developments, there will be some stuff you would want to keep under your own control to decide where your character with develop. Will people be unable to self-mod these once the time comes?

    In general I'm a bit unsure with this since I think there are some good reasons for why self-modding is allowed, and I think those still hold true right now. More important things are not allowed to be self-modded anyways even in the current set up, so I fear we might be losing some things if self-mod is removed in its entirety.
    First one will be handled by the Wealth revamp.

    Second one (a) emphasizes people's idea that they need these skills too much (b) is addressed with the removal of the level-up requirement (which is now in effect). XP, being generic and awarded more granularly in the new systems coming, is not going to be something that requires doing more than just writing. Going into the perceived moderation shortfall (there isn't, frankly people just don't like modding boring stuff or rubberstamping boring crap and just don't have the heart to say so out loud), there will be other things occurring to mitigate this as an issue.

    And the last is exposition, not self-mod. Exposit all day long, just don't expect to gain XP, wealth, connections, possessions or the like from it.

    None of these changes are planned or are occurring in vacuum. All of these concerns have been considered and will be addressed. The bottom line, however, is this: in a game based on collaborative storytelling and role-play, rewarding solo gameplay is not conducive to creating a community that actually interacts, collaborates, and tells stories together.

    It's not that the system technically can't handle self-mod. It's that it shouldn't have to if people just play the game. A lot of these changes are to get things out of the way of people just playing the game so they can do just that. And this preview is just a fraction of what we've been working on and what you'll see in the coming months.
    permalink
    Posted June 9, 2014 at 11:01 AM by Jacob Jacob is offline
 

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