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Stat inflation

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Malachi, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. Malachi

    Malachi Cupcake-About-Town

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    Compared to a lot of other MMOs (and that, in itself, isn't a good or bad thing...my argument is NOT "this MMO does it like this, so why doesn't Wildstar do it"), the stats associated with our characters start off rather large. I forget what, exactly, your health is at level 1, but I know that after a few levels, you are already at several thousand health.

    You will also gain your performance stats at a rate such that you will have hundreds of each of these stats by the time you hit the level cap. You gain 7 of your most important stat per level as a base boost, right? That alone is 350 of a stat gained simply by leveling. It's probably more accurate to say that with all the gear you get, you'll probably have THOUSANDS of your key stats.

    And the thing I wonder is....what is the point of such inflation? My honest opinion is that Wildstar feels compelled to do this because you wouldn't feel as badass as you would in The MMO That Shall Not Be Named because when you hit a guy for 100 damage, that's just not as cool as hitting someone for 100,000 damage for some reason.

    Here are a few reasons why I wish Wildstar wouldn't have inflated the stats as much as they did:

    1) A new piece of gear is actually far more rewarding when the overall stats are lower. That's because when stats are inflated, gaining an improvement of 1 or 2 in your stat is not a huge deal really, and yet if you come across a piece of gear with a marginal improvement in stats, you will be compelled to wear it because even if it's a marginal improvement, it's still an improvement. You will make lots and lots of marginal improvements in the gear you obtain, none of which will individually feel like they made a huge difference for you. If gaining 1 or 2 in a stat was actually a huge deal, then EVERY new piece of gear that you got would feel great and make you feel like you really earned something.

    2) It is only accelerating things towards a major, as-yet-unresolved problem in The MMO That Shall Not Be Named where the stats will become so large that the amount of math the servers have to do is a bit ridiculous and unnecessary, and something will NEED to be done. We still don't know if they will just compress all the stats back down or if they'll just drop off a few zeros, but both of these solutions kinda suck. And by starting with huge stats, Wildstar is just going to run into that problem a lot more quickly. (I am, of course, assuming that Wildstar has a long and healthy life, long enough that it would run into this problem)

    3) As I said before, it just feels a little cheap and feels like they were compelled to do this because of other MMOs that have had a few expansions and in which the damage you do is quite large. I would rather Carbine have chosen to be completely original and set the stats in a way that would feel more rewarding than setting them so that you can do enough damage to numerically feel as badass as you do in other MMOs where the stats are a bit more far along.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Ellianar

    Ellianar Cupcake-About-Town

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    I kinda agree with you on that, wish to see way lower stats, something like a tank having 10k hp is huge etc, and though i agree with your points i think 1) is nothing to worry about because if stats are that much inflated, difference between gears will be inflated too so an improvement would always feel good, atleast i hope so.
     
  3. Borz

    Borz Cupcake-About-Town

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    "You keep using that word i do not think it means what you think it means."
    Inflation can exist only over time, those are starting values, no inflation involved. They might be bigger than in WoW(or your "other MMO", altough almost every time it comes back to WoW), but that's it.

    WoW started at low numbers and has issues with power inflation.
    SWTOR started at similar level, with 15-20k being average health pool at early endgame, and last time I've checked power inflation is kept in check, more or less.
    Big starting stats do not mean you're going to hit crazy numbers faster, on the contrary.

    So you see, your first and second points are kind of contradicting each other. Smaller stat gains might feel less epic than big ones, but they are way to keep power inflation in check. If you go with "20% power increase each new tier" then no matter how small is your starting number, you will be back to thousands in no time, and then it'll just keep on getting worse. In long run smaller gains are better.

    Sure, there will be slight problem of perception when WoWfolk will have to adapt to hitting "thousand threshold" so easly, but that's it, perception. 2 months in they'll get used to it and issue will disappear.
     
  4. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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  5. Malachi

    Malachi Cupcake-About-Town

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    That's not ENTIRELY on track with what I'm saying, though. I hadn't really been talking about the issue of "mudflation". And maybe I am just putting the blame of my concern on the wrong spot, but let me explain a little better...

    I've been playing the beta for a while now, and it's a pretty common theme that you do a quest that is pretty simple, takes maybe 5 - 10 minutes, and then you get a piece of gear reward that is invariably an upgrade for you. You're getting a constant stream of gear upgrades, and none of them feel the least bit satisfying when you get them. I assume that since our stats are so large so quickly, there is enough resolution such that you could give someone a piece of gear with a really small upgrade, an upgrade for sure but too small to really be noticeable.

    So perhaps they are just handing out way too much gear. But I have yet to get a single quest reward that has really made me feel like "oh yeah, I'm super badass now!"

    If the word "inflation" is really bothering people, then change "inflation" to "starting out too large to begin with".
     
  6. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    The point of the post is that it doesn't really matter where you start, you will reach there anyway. Since reaching there is a foregone conclusion most of this business is about keeping the holding pattern. Honestly, I don't feel the way you do. I have gotten several rewards, especially ones with procs, that are great. There is some low 30's gloves for example that because of the proc I can't upgrade at 50.
     
  7. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    I think that's why many games use inflated stats for games. Functionally, there isn't a difference between 1000 health and 100,000 health if the amount of damage for the basic attack is proportional to the same percent of health.

    It's a marketing thing I believe. People respond well to big numbers.

    I suppose that bigger base numbers means greater variance, in term of raw numbers. This would allow more classifying of gears to different grades.
     
  8. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Yep. WoW hasn't really changed since Wotlk in all honestly. Numbers have gotten bigger, but they haven't added new stats and have kept all of the percents relatively the same.

    Keep in mind, I agree with the op to a large extent. I wish the numbers were smaller and more "manageable" to be able to do quick math in ones head but that doesn't tend to fly all that much with the general public. There is too much shock going from bigger numbers to small. I actually look forward to seeing how WoW goes about surviving the upcoming crunch.
     
  9. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    SWTOR announced a for-sure level cap increase Sunday at a cantina event(obv an expansion announcement on the horizon), so I imagine their current HP totals are going to reach Wrath levels of 80-100k with their new cap.

    If that happens, they'll only have room for another 1 or 2 cap increases before inflation spirals out of control and they need to figure out their stat squish too. It's a pity they're designing their game 4 years behind WoW in terms of overall philosophies(talent trees, buying spell ranks, ilvl budget, need/greed roll policies) rather than learning from Blizard's mistakes and overtaking them. :whistling:
     
  10. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    That is making the assumption that they are actually trying to "over take" WoW. Honestly, the more I dig into certain things I have reached the conclusion that most games do not work in a classical business sense. Its not trying to "put everyone else out of business" its just about getting yourself out there and keeping who you can. There is no reason to believe that they are not just following the WoW pattern in that regard because they have done that sort of system arguably the best out of everyone. Hooray for this turning into snowflake vs cookie cutter. :)
     
  11. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    In terms of game features, do you think it's too much of a stress for each game to try to copy the other? For example, Wildstar's path system is unique to Wildstar. Do you think that World of Warcraft might try to emulate it in some way? Same thing with warplots and so on. Kind of like competing car companies. I don't think it's too far of a stretch for games that are made in 2020 to look at emulating some of the things Wildstar introduces too.

    Barring emulation of game mechanics that leaves setting. World of Warcraft can be defined as high fantasy. Wildstar is technically science fiction. Though I think it's best to describe it as space western (Firefly!). Those are very different genres that appeal to different people. That's part of their customer base and target audience because it is different from their major competitor in the market.

    I dislike fantasy settings and I really dislike World of Warcraft. Yet I really, really love Wildstar. There are things about the game that I don't like. I don't like that we can't change character appearance after creation, not really a fan of so much open war content (I like instances), not happy about limited character creation (I want to change height and have body sliders!), but I'm still going to subscribe and play! If it wasn't for the setting, I wouldn't.
     
  12. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Stress no. Because you just described an iterative genre. Many of the mechanics, in every meaning of the word, are easily traceable to other games. New mechanics are exceedingly rare in the industry. The only things that really tend to change are the combination. Even then, most games are built to fill extremely similar needs, they just use different mechanics to reach the goal. For example, every game in this genre has some form of progression in it, all that changes is how that progression happens. Some games use levels, some don't, but both still have some form of "getting stronger". You see similar things with class vs classless systems and limiting what all players can do. This is why in the vast majority of cases there is no "right way" to make games. There are only ways that we the player base want implemented for various reasons, most of which are greatly influenced by perception.

    Here is something that you may find interesting:
    http://www.raphkoster.com/2014/01/06/how-i-analyze-a-game/

    That is true for some players. But everyone has that sort of yes/no system built in. Look at the number who refuse to even give the game a chance because of the cartoony aesthetic? This is really where you start getting into the importance of marketing and how the game targets people. This is why I personally have a hard time and appear to start so many fights on various forums. Most people are looking at the game/genre/industry entirely from what they personally desire/want/believe rather than from the stand point of what has been shown to be true. I have had several players (both here and on many other forums) say "You know, this guys just doesn't get it" and I can only reply back that it is no different than looking at the science vs religious fundamentalism debate. You can't make someone believe something if they don't want to, and people don't want to believe that their perception is not reality.
     
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  13. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    I'm very guilty of this. I want to play what's fun for me and I like having the options that I consider to be fun. None of which may be what the majority of the people want or find to be fun themselves. I'm likely part of the minority in my personal tastes.

    In that case, do you think the trick is combining what groups of people consider to be fun and trying to include as many of those highlights as they can to attract potential customers? For example, warplots do not really appeal to me, but the pvp lovers are drawn to it's style. That feature is a miss for me, but a hit for them. At the same time I like the housing, but that same pvper might not be that interested in it. So a miss for them, but a hit for me.

    Also! Kind of back on the original subject about stat inflation, but do you think that people have become psychologically conditions to like seeing big numbers? I kind of think people have. This isn't golf. The brain thinks big numbers are good even if they are just an illusion when it comes to the game.

    If we assume big numbers are a psychological ploy, are there any other such ploys in today's games? I would say gear level and quality and leveling in general, but I'm not sure if that would fall under general advancement. Saying you have a level 100 character psychologically sounds better than saying you have a level 50 character.
     
  14. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    That is essentially how mmo's work. There are 2 very broad strategies. Small appeal and super high retention, or broad appeal and less overall retention. This gets modified by several other decisions, like payment model. Planetside 2 for example is a pretty mediocre shooter, but its one of the few places where you can get true combined arms play. So for those looking for that kind of experience, they do not have a whole lot in the way of choice, which generally trends to high retention of the demo. Games like WoW (and Wildstar) tries for a broader audience but will have less retention because of it. Broad retention works because one of the best ways to keep retention is to pull in an entire friend web. Vast numbers of players play what their friends do. So by providing a little bit of everything to keep not only single players but entire groups playing you are more likely to keep the players that you do keep playing for far longer.

    If you are only really interested in housing+character stuff, then why aren't you playing a game that is far more focused on those sorts of features? Like Second Life?

    Mechanics in general are entirely psychological. With as much art that is involved there is also lots of science. You say a rather high uptick in people playing, and for longer, when the "metric revolution" happened than before. While metrics are not a great go to, they will give you all sorts of information once you understand how to read them. Unfortunately most don't. People are great at finding patterns, too good in fact. It leads to a number of bad decisions as well as good ones.
     
  15. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    That was just an example. Wildstar's appeal is more than just that. I also like squishing things. Like chua. And licking LSD caterpillars. And giving Lopps my shinies.

    I just had a vision of Carbine's marketing team made up entirely of Lopps. "We need to give them more shinies! More shinies will draw more people! Tell programmers to make more shinies!" Meanwhile the programmers, who are all Mechari, just groan.
     
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  16. ImpactHound

    ImpactHound Cupcake-About-Town

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    "overtake" in this case was not meant in the context of outpacing WoW's business or financial success, but their iterative design process. There's no reason for those game systems mentioned to still function as if it were still 2007 when Blizzard's proven what works and what doesn't; their need/greed looting is atrocious when WoW outgrew spiteful need rolls and the process is now class-senstive. In 2011 SWTOR should have had looting recognize class first, then companions, then greed in a priority. it's 2014 and they still haven't come into their own with smarter looting & the game's community suffers for it in group play. If they had launched with better systems based from WoW's cause-and-effect history, they would then have had a leg up in advancing in their own game and community from internal metrics & feedback and gone positively in their own direction. My beef is that they're still struggling voluntarily through a previous stage of evolution they could have skipped. Thankfully, Wildstar is not doing the same(for the most part). Launching with as many features as they are now is definitely going to be beneficial to the game and it should hit the ground running.
     
  17. calebrus

    calebrus Cupcake-About-Town

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    Completely off topic, but your point of view is one of the things that I enjoy about your posts, because you discuss differing viewpoints in a way that makes me think about the topic rather than coming off as hostile in my eyes (which many people do when disagreements arise).
     
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  18. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    Except they haven't proven what "works and doesn't work". They have proven what works for them. Just like how Eve has proven what works for them. Many systems do not play nicely together. Imagine bop items in Eve for example? There is a rather significant difference between understanding how systems work, and applying those effects to your own rather than copying them whole cloth. There are many arguments both for and against essentially all loot systems. They all have their place. Choosing the right one and understanding the implications are a significant part of what designers do. You see lots of changes after the fact because even though they do these things for a living, not only are they still human, but with so many different teams handling different systems inherently holes in the whole develop. Look at how loot mechanics have developed over time, especially in response to player behavior.

    Thank you. I wish more people did. Most people seem to take me disagreeing with a position they have taken similar to me shooting their dog.
     
  19. Domi Dayglow

    Domi Dayglow Super Cupcake

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    *Hugs Livnthedream!*
     
  20. Livnthedream

    Livnthedream Super Cupcake

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    *hugs back*

    *slides a hand down to play grabass...*
     
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