Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Super Pip?

I was going back through the old Wizard101 Post-Mortem column, and I read item number 5 here on the "what went wrong" list:
"Poor Player Growth Strategy. This
was a rookie mistake, and we should have
known better. MMOs grow over time, and have
a lifespan of five to ten years. A smart designer
would plan for plenty of room to grow the game
and grow the characters along with it. We, however,
chose to box ourselves in and make it difficult.
The first basic problem is that we chose to
use a percent scale for many of our equipment
and advancement modifiers. Accuracy, damage
increase, damage resistance, and other attributes
lie along on a scale of 1–100 percent (some with
caps lower than 100 percent). This means that we
have a hard ceiling on how much power we can
award the player through the course of the game.
Here’s an example: players use power points
(pips) to cast spells in combat, and more powerful
spells require more pips. Players gain a pip at the
beginning of each turn in combat. As players earn
power and equipment, they gain the chance to
get a double pip. Here’s the sad part—the double
pip chance is on a scale of 1–100 percent, and we
launched the game with players able to achieve
near 90 percent. Given that 100 percent is the max,
we have very little room to make more powerful
equipment or grow the player beyond what they
could achieve when we launched. Additionally the
equipment upgrades we designed ended up not
being very compelling. With only 100 points to
grant, we have upgrades that go from 2 percent
Fire Resistance to 3 percent—not very exciting.
The second problem is that we didn’t give
characters very many attributes. We thought
that because we were making a collectible
card game, we wanted the majority of player
power to come from
collecting cards
and building decks.
However, when you only
have a few attributes
on the character, you
don’t have many ways
to create valuable
equipment, so your loot and advancement
options become very limited.
The last major problem related to player
advancement was that we didn’t launch the game
with any true boss fights. Really, the only way we
had to make fights more difficult was to increase
the health of the monsters, which just resulted
in longer fights. Additionally, we added some
scripted boss fights after launch, and there was a
huge backlash from our player community.
Now that we’re well past launch and it’s
quickly becoming time to increase the power
scale, we’re faced with some difficult challenges.
The prospect of building and testing a new
equipment and character development scheme is
daunting, not to mention re-balancing thousands
of pieces of gear. The anticipated community
response alone is enough to make me cringe"

You know, it made me think why is 100% as a power pip chance considered bad? I guess I always saw in my mind the "super pip" (a pip with the value of 3) as being the natural evolution of the power pip. Wouldn't it make sense that once a power pip chance reaches 100% that then it would "unlock" a percentage chance for a super pip? And after level 50, power pip counts get applied to secondary schools? To me it just kind of seems like a non-problem for power pips.

As for resistances, I'm hoping astral magic balances the playing field there.

Do you guys have any ideas or theories on how this challenge is going to be met in game? What do you think about the super pip and power pips applying to secondary schools post-50?

From reading this, it makes me think Celestia might be bringing some major changes to the entire game, not just to Celestia.

Happy dueling!


Blaze Silverfist said...

Hey Friendly! Tell the Mrs. Happy Mother's Day for me ;D

I always wanted there to be a more powerful pip. I believe there is a thread over at the central that calls it "The Purple Pip" or maybe that's a blog... Either way, the could make the three pip pip purple :D I would love it if it would use secondary spells also. Because it really annoys me if I have to cast a colossus that I have to wait six turns! But after a while of increasing pip count pips (4 pip pips, 5 pip pips etc), it would be hard to use 1 pip spells and other low pip count spells because it would destroy our super awesome mega pips (7 pip pips? O:) So what I think would fix that would be just expanding the amount of pips we can have at once. Say, make there just be a circle of pips around us instead of just in front of us. That's be pretty cool.

I feel bad that the game won't last forever in the sense of making better gear. Maybe they should just make new styles of gear (the look of them) but keep the gm stats the same... then the whole quest thing would be thrown of... I have no clue, maybe I'm onto something, but I doubt it. ;D

Great post once again, Friendly!


Wolf MoonSinger said...

Another alternative would be powering cards with materials, although that might get to be insane for the players if those materials are consumable.

But, if we level up our new fangled pets in the hatchery, why couldn't we also level up our schools and spells?

AutumnalDusk said...

Great observations, Friendly! I think you're on the right track!

(And Happy Mother's Day, bailey!)

Heather Emeraldflame said...

I've thought about that before too, Friendly; a super-power pip.

I'm no mathematician, but it "seems" like if they could or would have held it to being on a scale of 1-50 first, then a scale of 51-100. (And since I don't know math, I don't know that this makes any sense, so forgive me.) But If you could earn regular power pips up to 50 on the scale, and then once you got to 51 and above you could get a chance for super power pips as "seems" like that would help greatly. I mean how many people even, really, have 90% power pip chance? And I am pretty sure no one has 100...or at least I've never seen it, and that is an area I, especially, have always paid great attention to(along with wanting my wizards to have higher health and resistance than what might be "normal" for their schools(with Grand gear).)

To get even higher power pip than what some of mine have/have had, you would be giving up a lot of other things; like health, mana, etc. I mean some clothes and gear will give even more but it's not real suitable for questing. It's better for the Arena.

Also, the new pet thing, maybe they are "forcing" us to breed pets in order to raise our power-pip chances up higher with the newer generations of pets. It doesn't make a lot of sense when you look at your level 48 pet and he/she is now only giving you 4% instead of 5%...or, it seems, in Death's case...none(if I am correct...hoping they change(ed) that)?

But maybe what needs to be done is find others with like pets who have different abilities and can be bred into our pet's lines to stack the different types of power pip talents given.

If you look at my blog you will see my two Stormzillas have different types of power pip giving talents...which I really didn't recognize the names being different until Kevin pointed it out, but there they are.

Maybe these really should be bred together to see if the talents will stack. Which, unfortunately, means I would have to go into the TR and train Duncan up to adult...and somehow get Emeraldflame more coin since most of her's was used on a not-so-great hatching experiment already. Then I could breed Taz and Duncan together to see what happens. But, still...whatever comes out, they will be babies and it might not even show up right away for what they will give. It would take a looonnnng time to really see what happens, and for all I know it might all be for nothing.

But if it actually worked out, well, then there is my new way to get more power pip chance. But, even then Emeraldflame, still, probably would not have 90%...but she might be very close. And this is only if she DOESN"T wear her Grandmaster gear. Which, honestly, has worked fine for her in the situations she has been in. That little bit of extra health and global resistance really have made a difference(and when used with her defender pig at times, even better.) It helped her from having her health drop to the scary mark and let my healers and balance people do more than worry about her health.

If the pet thing IS the way to get any more power-pip, or even super-power pip, they are making it incredibly difficult, time-consuming, risky, and expensive to be able to get a pet that MIGHT help you enough later on. I mean I might have to breed Duncan and Taz's babies babies(or even farther down the line) before I would get one that really worked right. That is extraordinarily time-consuming...even for me! Not to mention the cost of that between the two wizards!

Lenora NightWraith said...

I always just figured they would knock down the stats on the gear we have currently in the game. But I think that would take forever. I definitely like the idea you brought up about having the power pip be applied to the secondary school after you hit level 50. It would make choosing a secondary seem less like a waste of time for the people that aren't worried about having certain protections just for pvp, ya know? As it is, once you hit a certain level secondary schools, except for shields, pretty much become uneconomical to use.

Blaze Goldenblade said...

I've always wanted to see the summoning system put to better use. Like maybe put three smaller battle circles in front of each player, which they can then summon creatures into that each have select spells they can use. Each turn the player could choose what spells the creatures in his "army" could use, those creatures could draw power from either turns or from your own pip supply, which would make the idea of a super power pip more feasible. You could even tie this idea with the new pets by having them become your own breed of warrior which you can send into the fray. All of this would add a whole new level of strategy to the game. And to make it easier to implement you could also only have the duels in the upper worlds because most wizards probably wouldn't be able to control an army fresh into wizard school. By adding another Sub-ring to the battle circle a whole new dimension in strategy and fun could be brought into Wizard101. There could be shield minions, healers and more the possibilities are endless.
~Blaze Goldenblade~
~Pyromancer with a passion for pie~