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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
    Shei'yein Neydremi's Avatar
    I think this looks good. I think self-mod has been used mostly in the past for crafting and non-interactional things, so if those needs are covered, its removal becomes a non-issue.

    Simplification of the overall structure of skills has been long needed.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 02:56 PM by Shei'yein Neydremi Shei'yein Neydremi is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Alexis Sapientia's Avatar
    Straylor, did you hear that?!

    YOU GET TO KEEP WHAT YOU HAVE EARNED!

    Provided you maintain one set of books. And the taxman is ALWAYS watching! No more offshore laundering for you!
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 02:57 PM by Alexis Sapientia Alexis Sapientia is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    We are going to be providing some guidance and tweaking things to make the crafting skills more involved and more rewarding, while also simplifying the things that should go without saying. A Grandmaster Alchemist making a quaff of his favorite Novice potion shouldn't have to make a thread to do that, for example, unless there's something Grandmaster-y about it.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 03:13 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  4. Old Comment
    hmm, so if they're being multiplied by 10 then that means approximately that the xp needed for levels will be 20/60/120/240/360. Will be interesting to see at least.

    As for skills, well its hard to complain about being allowed to drive hedgemagery up a few levels and still have enough room to raise arms up significantly.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 03:16 PM by Nanai Nanai is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Right, and the per-post XP award -- if your post fits the criteria and isn't treading water or just ridiculously terse and non-interactive -- can be 1 or 2 in that setup.

    Basically on a per-thread basis people will end up earning the same kind of XP, but they'll get it in a more immediately gratifying manner and it means you don't have to drag out a thread to "make it worth 2 XP" like I know some people have. If your climb to the top involves a lot of small incidents and a couple big ones for the level ups, more power to you, as long as you're doing stuff and bumping into people along the way.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 03:19 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Sounds interesting to me - and yanno - it means that we're dynamic and changing - which is, in my humble opinion, better than stagnant and stuff.

    Yay.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 03:57 PM by Hay'aan Malinconico Hay'aan Malinconico is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Silvia D'Olive's Avatar
    Hmmm... I have one doubt: And in that skills a player already has and doesn't want to be level 4 in them?

    And in my personal case? I guess Lightem has more than 8 skills...

    The new system seems.... Interesting. I am curious about it.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 04:27 PM by Silvia D'Olive Silvia D'Olive is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Silvia D'Olive View Comment
    Hmmm... I have one doubt: And in that skills a player already has and doesn't want to be level 4 in them?
    Don't level it up then. Level-ups are still a requirement for levels 3, 4, and 5, and if you don't do them, you remain at whatever level. Just note this isn't changing the total skill cap.

    Quote:
    And in my personal case? I guess Lightem has more than 8 skills...
    You'll be asked to pare down the skill list. An equitable refund in experience will be offered to make up for it.

    Additionally, some "mono-dimensional" (read: one-trick pony) skills will end up getting merged together to make comprehensive skills with breadth and depth. That may simplify the choices.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 05:28 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Question. With self moderation gone (can't argue with that one), and mods therefore having to read every post in every thread that a PC wants XP in,

    1. Who qualifies as a "mod" who can award per post XP?
    2. I assume, but would like confirmation, that XP awards do not have to occur for every post, and in fact, should still be awarded judiciously for when they are deserved (ie skills used, etc...)
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 05:54 PM by Shalafi Shalafi is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Straylor Leonard's Avatar
    This is the best news I've heard in a long time.

    Thank you, MT

    I definitely love the idea of awarding Exp per post. This is something I've wanted to do since the beginning of the exp system. As for 5/4/4/4/4/4/4/4 .... well, let's just say that I'm glad to be back!
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:00 PM by Straylor Leonard Straylor Leonard is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Oh, thanks a lot!! That makes sense.

    So, another doubt: Currently Lightem has, as a Hedgemage, 33 XP Points: 18 in Druidism and 15 in Mysticism. So, That means I have to do a Level up thread to Master Hedgemage? Then I will have 35 points (assuming he gets 2 xp points). So, technically I will have enough xp for level 5... Is this right? But, if this is right, I have to wait a few months to do level 5, due to the Primer thing, right? <.<

    Sorry for the questions, just trying to understand everything completely!
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:02 PM by Lightem Massani Lightem Massani is offline
  12. Old Comment
    This looks pretty awesome. Can't wait to see the full load of changes to the system in place already!

    Cheers,
    Tyler
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:19 PM by Cubby Cubby is offline
  13. Old Comment
    Nimh's Avatar
    Quote:
    Question. With self moderation gone (can't argue with that one), and mods therefore having to read every post in every thread that a PC wants XP in,
    You should be doing this anyway--reading every single post in every single thread that a PC wants XP in. There should be no change in how you're doing business. If you're not doing it this way now, you're doing it wrong.

    Quote:
    1. Who qualifies as a "mod" who can award per post XP?
    The moderator of the thread. This means peer-mod, AGM, GM. As ever, guidelines will be put forward dictating who is allowed to mod what when the official guide comes out. In cases of peer-mods, a GM will have to sign off approval at the end still.

    Quote:
    2. I assume, but would like confirmation, that XP awards do not have to occur for every post, and in fact, should still be awarded judiciously for when they are deserved (ie skills used, etc…)
    PCs should only earn xp when merited, such as the case is now. This obviously will not happen every single post. But people should be more liberal with experience reward, yes. You are rewarding people for doing things. But if a Master Mage casts an Initiate spell? No.

    Quote:
    So, another doubt: Currently Lightem has, as a Hedgemage, 33 XP Points: 18 in Druidism and 15 in Mysticism. So, That means I have to do a Level up thread to Master Hedgemage? Then I will have 35 points (assuming he gets 2 xp points). So, technically I will have enough xp for level 5... Is this right? But, if this is right, I have to wait a few months to do level 5, due to the Primer thing, right? <.<
    I don't understand Jacob's Hedgemage approach so I'll let him answer that. Suffice to say "I have to wait a few months" made me lol since NO ONE skips from level to level at that rank that way--you're doing it wrong if you are.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:24 PM by Nimh Nimh is offline
    Updated May 31, 2014 at 06:27 PM by Nimh
  14. Old Comment
    Bang on. Great job. Yay no more self mod. Interaction FTW.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:30 PM by Celeb'rilith Thamion Celeb'rilith Thamion is offline
  15. Old Comment
    Master Six Months
    Archmage Twelve Months

    The only reason I said "a few" it was because I didn't want to enter in details. I am merely trying to understand the new rules. Sorry if my comment made you "lol".

    Next time I will try to be more straight with my questions. Thank you though for your answer to me.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:36 PM by Lightem Massani Lightem Massani is offline
  16. Old Comment
    This does look really promising. As someone who tends to veer away from threads specifically created for the purpose of “levelling up” I’m really pleased with what has been put forward here. Also the wealth system sounds fantastic!

    At a guess it would be the discretion of the Mod but it does beg the question: Are there going to be preventative measures to stop someone from theoretically just sitting in a room and power posting their way up to godly levels?
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 06:44 PM by Aeredith Verlaine Aeredith Verlaine is offline
  17. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    I see some questions have popped in that I need to address. I currently have to go sign papers and acquire keys for a house to move into, but when I return I will address those and more. Keep 'em coming!
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 08:26 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  18. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shalafi View Comment
    Question. With self moderation gone (can't argue with that one), and mods therefore having to read every post in every thread that a PC wants XP in,

    1. Who qualifies as a "mod" who can award per post XP?
    2. I assume, but would like confirmation, that XP awards do not have to occur for every post, and in fact, should still be awarded judiciously for when they are deserved (ie skills used, etc...)
    Moderator accounts count as mods. There will be changes in how these are structured as well, but the awarding of XP per-post as currently prototyped consists of you pressing the button on the post, putting in the number and a reason if you so choose, and hitting Accept. It then creates a small banner under the post noting the XP award and adds the XP to the character's account.

    If you want to stay out of the way and let PCs play off each other and such, that's perfectly valid. You have to make zero actual posts yourself as a moderator to award XP in this setup.

    As for not necessarily awarded... there's a small manifesto on the philosophy of rewards in Aelyria that'll be in a prominent place. Part of that is the understanding that haggling moderators is a great way to reduce your rewards as well as the number of people willing to moderate you. There are a lot more elements behind that, though, largely involving building a moderator community capable of saying "no" and providing them with the support so they feel confident in their decisions in doing so.

    We're making rewards ridiculously plentiful. People shouldn't have much in the way of quibbles with this, when all is said and done, and people who still want to quibble are people who are draining moderation bandwidth and need to be made to rethink that decision. This is supposed to be a game and a fun activity, for players and for moderators. Haggling and number crunching are two things that drain from that.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 10:47 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
    Updated May 31, 2014 at 11:25 PM by Jacob
  19. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightem Massani View Comment
    Oh, thanks a lot!! That makes sense.

    So, another doubt: Currently Lightem has, as a Hedgemage, 33 XP Points: 18 in Druidism and 15 in Mysticism. So, That means I have to do a Level up thread to Master Hedgemage? Then I will have 35 points (assuming he gets 2 xp points). So, technically I will have enough xp for level 5... Is this right? But, if this is right, I have to wait a few months to do level 5, due to the Primer thing, right? <.<

    Sorry for the questions, just trying to understand everything completely!
    You added these up correctly, you'd have, in the final system (NOT RIGHT NOW) a total of 330 experience points. If, during the course of your adventure to Master Hedgemagery, you acquire the requisite points to hit 360, you will indeed be eligible to attempt quest for Archmage Hedgemage.

    Keep in mind those that levels 4 and 5 in particular are moderated on discretion, because we want to see your character acquire renown in their aptitude with the skill as part of the package. The number is the technical gate, but moderation discretion continues to trump here.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 10:53 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
  20. Old Comment
    Jacob's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Verlaine View Comment
    At a guess it would be the discretion of the Mod but it does beg the question: Are there going to be preventative measures to stop someone from theoretically just sitting in a room and power posting their way up to godly levels?
    Large heavy anvils and moderators out of a job for allowing it.

    There's a heavy philosophical element that's going to go into the resources we provide moderators with.

    Getting into a mini-rant: the current system is haphazard and cobbled together and glued together from multiple iterations of various things that've gotten new coats of paint repeatedly over the years.

    The goal of the Working Group is to unite these systems under a cohesive contiguous setup, and for this setup to be guided by a philosophy that emphasizes interaction, collegiality, and just doing what comes naturally.

    Artificial "grinding" behaviors are antithetical to this and will get stomped on. Support will be provided to moderators because an identified issue right now, to be blunt, is the lack of will to be the bad guy and say "no" themself. I understand where they're coming from, but it needs to stop because it's damaging what integrity the game has and we can't allow that going into the new system that has a lot of grounding in discretion and trust.

    But that's another entire digression I could make many walls of text on. Needless to say, we know it could be an issue and steps are being taken, but in this case it's something we need to address at the cultural rather than system level if we're going to hash it out once and for all.
    permalink
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 11:01 PM by Jacob Jacob is offline
    Updated May 31, 2014 at 11:03 PM by Jacob
 
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