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Author Topic: Re: tiered NPCs  (Read 4648 times)

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Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« on: February 02, 2014, 07:37:49 PM »
First of all, I would just like to say that NPCs were a great addition to the game. They provide players with an immediate source of income to start fleeting, which enabled them to get into the game quicker. They also enable new players to fine tune their attack skills before they are ready to go on the hunt.

Should they be there to provide a means to end, though, or the point of focus they have become to maintain development?

There was a tiered system for NPCs at one point, though it was thrown out. I think this was a bad move in a uni that is supposedly designed with pvp in mind. Instead you are supposed to sqabble over territories whilst spending 12 hours per day farming NPCs just to maintain development.

Personally, I would like to see NPCs tiered again and maybe even a cut-off point once a certain level of rsp is achieved, so that the only way to maintain development therafter is to go on the hunt targetting live players.

Would like to hear what others thought about this for future unis

kru

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 07:44:05 PM »
Given that HG is not yet that old, i could be a sustainable solution.

Rather than have them tiered, instead have them set at a maximum RSP spawn, that way, eventually the newbie protection rule would be effective and players will start to see them as (n).

However, there does present one single issue with capping at a max RSP, and that is eventually there may be no new players coming through, and all active players see them as (n), this could possibly lead to a degree of stagnated development.

A stagnanted development means more players leaving and giving up.

(as with the others) the concept has some great potential, but has to be viewed at the long term viability rather than the immediate.  It also has to be done in a way, where the company considers its current customers with greater extent than 'potential' customers.

Offline Trump

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2014, 01:09:13 AM »
Just my 2 cents.

The cut off point would create a new problem, I would imagine that the cut off point will be based like the insignia system on the points of the leader, so maybe from vice admiral (90.5%) and up?
That would mean that the current top 165 would no longer be able to upgrade E lvls, cuz in hired guns no NPC's mean no Eradeon.

When I lost my fleet earlier this week I started attacking abandoned warships and small enemy fleets again, now I have a large chunck of my fleet again I dont even bother probing those smaller NPC's anymore.
Basicly I think its pretty self regulating as most high lvl players only want the large colonies, large leviations and colosos'
Most of those aren't even close to possible to player of lower ranks to hit.
Looking at the DSP ranking list I think there is enough PvP stuff going on, and yes the Terries are part of the PvP action, that is if I look at my own game, I already had several small conflicts (civilized ones) over Terries either I took from someone or someone took from me.

Then there is also the issue of large strong players attacking the smaller members trying to grow, this will happen more frequently if you take away their toys.
Just look at the thread about the NPC's becoming more difficult to hit after the last update, Swanvesta stated it several times he would have to start farming lower ranked player to get the Ore he needs.
As noob protection stops after 250k RSP the list of potential target will be bigger and bigger for the highest ranks (right now they have 487 potential targets). Meaning those little guys will hardly get a chance to grow.

So personally I don't think this is a good idea, or maybe it is but it needs a lot more thought before even concidering implementing.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 01:11:02 AM by Achmed the dead Terrorist »

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 07:30:14 AM »
Some excellent points there, Achmed. Just to follow up on the pvp element...

There will always be players looking to hit other players, because that is the reason why many people play the game, though in a uni with such a focus on npcs, hitting players is never enough to feed building needs. You can hit players regularly, but if yo don't hit several npcs along with it, you will fall behind. For those with limited time to dedicate to the game, this has the effect of throwing up a compromise which needs to be balanced whilst opening up the door for those with too much time on their hands to abuse the facility.

I would like to see, at some point, hitting players as the only way to maintain development. The npcs get bigger, the building needs become bigger until the fleet sizes spiral out of control because those with too much time on their hands are farming them for 12hrs per day.

Yes, this does need some more thought, which is why I have opened it up for discussion to see how others think a limit could best be put on it.

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 07:39:27 AM by Grace »

Offline Trump

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2014, 07:46:43 AM »
Personaly I would say don't let NPC's grow their output above a maximum of lets say 25M each resource.
For beginning players that is a lot of resources, for high ranked players it will soone come to a point where hitting NPC's wont be enough to substain their fleet and growth.
Sometimes when I probe arround I see Hydro stashes in the order of 100+ M, if you look at Swans and Tets' fleetpoint right now it is obvious that their Hydro need is growing, they will soone come to the point where they will have to attack several of those 100+ M stockpiles a day to keep their fleets in the air.
For ore they would feel the need to try and get one of those fleets in the top #10 fleetpoints to create DF containing over 100M ore in order to keep building ships at the speeds their SY can digesst them.

The system becomes self regulating that way as it gets harder and harder for the top ranks to keep growing at the pase they need, while young accounts have all the resources they need to connect to higher ranks.

kru

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2014, 07:58:19 AM »
putting a limit will not work as effectively as you and/or others may think.

There is a few possibilities:

1) re-introduce newbie protected npcs, have npcs spawn at all levels with the 'maximum' RSP value only at a constant 10% of the rank 1's RSP level.  This of course will prevent a degree of players rushing off to create what occurred in EX2 and that is super NPCs only available to a limited few.  It also stops the higher RSP value players taking on the smaller managable npcs for a greater profit/return.

2) Have the profit/return scale downwards wilst the RSP scales upwards.  In other words, less plunder, less debris.  At the higher RSP levels players will be looking to NPCs for their eradeon, and not for rescources to grant unparrelled growth (which could never match the smaller players)

3) completely do away with npcs and create a new structure called the 'fabrication plant'  in this facility eradeon is harvested from within solar dust particals which are collected, the rates of return would be small (such as, for example; 80% slower to yield per hour than a hydro mine in SFCO) with comparable daily returns coexisting at around the 150k - 1 million mark per day (taking into account what could be gained through npc attacks.

4) if npcs 'were' to be scaled down in coicidence with sclaed up RSP and then roughed around the edges with newbie protection, some slighter modifications would have to be made in some aspects to still cater for the various types of players (you know, the types who just like to farm and mine)

Offline Deeds

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Re: Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2014, 08:34:47 AM »
i think the NPCs are fine the way they are. a change to them in this UNI would cause several, including myself to quit.
if the idea is solely for the purpose of future uni's, by all means BFG talk it over, but dont change this uni please, it is fine the way it is.

as it is, sure, some of us are able to hit bigger NPCs then others, but these bigger NPCs do spawn FAR less regularly.

for every NPC with 100M or more on it that i see, theres literally HUNDREDS with 10M or less on them.

as far as those of us with more play time being able to advance further/easier, youre right, but putting more time in to the game SHOULD give greater rewards. the same way that putting in more hours at work will get you a bigger paycheck.
MunchMunchMunchMunchMunch

Offline Trump

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 08:51:02 AM »
@KRU As selfemployed webdeveloper I am also tempted to look at this from BFG's point of view.
Every company will allways approach changes like this from a cost to profit strategy.
The solutions you are opting will basicly all mean a big change to the current game engine, which means high cost and hardly any profit for BFG as a company.
So I estimate the chance of implementing these options is close to zero, however great they may sound, they seem unrealistic to me.

Basicly the system they have now seem to be right to me, block the NPC from giving out more then a x amount of Eradeon and resources and it will soon turn out to help leveling out the players field.
In advance BFG could concider adding a Eradeon Specialist which allows you to gain like 50% eradeon from NPC's for a surten period, that would be a valuable addition to paying players and to BFG (developement cost to profit) and in the end to all of us.
In the end the budget for implementation in games like this is set by the potential profit the game makes.

@Deeds +1 totally agree

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 09:30:18 AM »
@Everyone
The idea is withfuture unis in mind. I, too, hate when changes are made to unis which are already underway

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 09:39:35 AM »
@Deeds
I agree that working hard, puttingthe time in should yield benefits, like it should at work. Howevet, whatyou are not looking at, and this is a trick the game developers always seem to miss, is that putting those sorts of hours into the game and putting them into work in real life also are in direct conflict. As it stands, the game is designed to cator mainly for the unemployed, retired, those who can play from work...

This is the very reason why I quit - because I dont have 12hrs perday to live my life around the game farming npcs so I passed on my account to someone who does.

Once upon a time there wereover 80 galaxies in sfc original, booming withcasual players... thenumbers dont lie. I realize that players leave for different reasons, though the mostcommon reason is 'time'.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 09:41:58 AM by Grace »

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 09:56:48 AM »
@Achmed

The game needs to be designed in a way which it doesnt have to take over someones life for them to compete, if the numbers are to be regained and retained. Otherwise it will always bethe elite few who have nothing better to do. Is this better for the company from a financial perspective? serveral thousand players buying the odd commander or the elite few spending all of their retirement money on trade mercs?

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 10:18:06 AM »
@ Kru

some excellent input. thanks for your contribution

Grace

Grace

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2014, 10:23:25 AM »

In advance BFG could concider adding a Eradeon Specialist which allows you to gain like 50% eradeon from NPC's for a surten period,

although I don't necessarily like this suggestion in particular, I wouldn't be against it, because you are thinking along the right lines of the advantages that purchase SHOULD  yield, rather than being able to buy fleets with them.

There are so many ways to give advantage to paying players without it ruining the game for casual players.

Offline Trump

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Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2014, 11:25:26 AM »
@Achmed

The game needs to be designed in a way which it doesnt have to take over someones life for them to compete, if the numbers are to be regained and retained. Otherwise it will always bethe elite few who have nothing better to do. Is this better for the company from a financial perspective? serveral thousand players buying the odd commander or the elite few spending all of their retirement money on trade mercs?

Thats hard to say Grace, like you I have no insight in the bookkeeping of BFG, but yes, I can imagine that someone spending his retirement money on a game is more lucrative to the companies financial perspective.
The game does allow people with less time to progress though, either make longer FRS or buy P's to cover your offline times, when you use P's your overnight builds are even safe to those hunting for them.
Ofcourse buying P's is also good for the companies financial perspective.

It's not much different from other games I have played, before coming back to SFC I played Lord of Ultima (online game by Phenomic (EA) ) there you could buy ministers for instance, they would allow you to auto attack barbarians (like NPC's here), auto build troops to a set ammount, auto build buildings and auto build defenses.
The defense minister would also alert the rest of your alliance when you where under attack showing times etc etc etc.
Next to that they all kinds of items to speed build or travel faster and even instant resources.
Players with minister bundles (all 4 ministers) would pay arround 100,00 a month.
And still that game was all about strategic insight and builders skills.

Offline Swanvesta

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Re: Re: tiered NPCs
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2014, 12:20:20 AM »
i hate to say this to ya grace, but thats always been the case with real time online games, the "hard working casual" players, just cannot compete.. why would they cater for the minority, when their majority are threatening to walk away and abandon their game (the majority of players in this game are geeks or nerds that live on or by a computer) because that's exactly what they have been doing, catering for a small minority of the player base which moan about everything new, they moan about anything that might give advantage to those who put in the time and effort, they moan about things which can be bought..

if you dont like it find another game, really there are plenty that dont require the time nor effort this does.. but to ruin it for us that do?

because thats exactly what people have been doing.. where people made BFG increase prices for cool items now no one buys them, so they have to make their money other ways.. like making npc's imbalanced and having bad ratios for resource, which in turn gives them revenue because we all then have to use the merchant far more then we ever did previously.

this is a direct correlation to people moaning.. bfg listening and acting, and the rest of us getting disgruntled, and the more they have, the worse its become, and the lower the player base has got, then the more they've had to mess with the damn resources.

the game is a chore that if u want to succeed you now have to spend money and extreme amounts of time on it. YOU DO NOT KEEP NOR GROW A PLAYER BASE BY TRYING TO CATER FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

what this game does lack.. is a civil community.. i don't just mean minding your p's and q's ... in almost every game i've played when people need stuff, others that have tonnes of it, give it to them.. for free, and this helps alleviate the "hard working casual players" strife a little.

why is it not ok, for me to give resources to a player higher ranked then me, if he losses his fleet, because he worked late that day and missed his save? how is that possibly cheating? I give hundreds of millions in resource out regularly in this game, that in itself regulates me to how fast i grow.. i dont need NPC's being capped, if i had more, guess what, i'd give more away .. just recently one of my friends joined the games, i sent him resources (20mil), another friend lost their fleet (510mil) random acts of generosity (48mil) thats all just in the last little while..

and guess what.. even though i said i wouldnt buy credits until they sorted the npcs out, i bloody did, for my friends, i changed up that huge crystal stockpile and sent them the resources they needed..

so don't tell me, the whole problem is bfg money grabbing and us capitalising on our time/money.. because it b.s.

 
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 12:30:48 AM by Swanvesta »
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