Challenge to the community: unfreeze the skill progression

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The Problem

I am sure that many of you are familiar that the last VU brought a change to the skill system in EU. The prelimary reports from the field were grim; the full reports are no less gruesome: it seems that the increase in skills at levels over 5k has declined significantly and the effect is more pronounced as skill level goes up. There has always been a huge slowdown in the rate of skill leveling progressing up to 10k, but now there is essentially no way for any player to skill up to 10k. The last time a similar change was made earlier this year, a petition by players caused MA to partially revert the changes. Well, this is that petition.

Why We Care

You can see a discussion of the problems with this change in this thread. I recognize that many of you reading this do not have skills at a level affected by the changes, but please consider whether you want to have the option to continue to skill up to the very top someday by plodding along at the rate you are able to. If the community does not speak now we will not be able to speak later. So please, consider the two sides of this issue as it is discussed in the thread up above, and as i will summarize here, and submit a support case to MA. Remember that this forum is not an official MA forum and the most effective way to communicate your wishes is to submit a support case.

The Skill Volume

First of all, an aside for those who are unfamiliar with the way the skills progress. It can be useful to think of every skill "check" or skill gain (the little green message in your chat) to be a small quantity of skill that is thrown into the container for that type of skill. The container is shaped somewhat like this (note: mathematically this is not a good fit -- it's just a visual aid):
paraboloid.gif

At first, it doesn't take much to raise the level of skill in the container, but as the level rises it takes more and more skill to get the depth up another increment (a "level"). Anyway, what happened in the last VU is that the container gets much wider before it starts to taper off to the vertical, meaning that the initial progression is essentially the same, but the slowdown in advancement of "level" is larger than before. Note that taking 1 "level" worth of skill from the top of the container will be many times higher volume than 1 "level" worth of skill from lower down; that is the equivalent to putting skills onto an ESI. In this case, the volume of the ESI (let's say, 1 liter) hasn't changed: just the width of the container with the skill level markings at regular intervals up the side that the skill gains are poured into.


MA

Here is MA's side of the issue: there is a large generation of players approaching the level of skills where they can effectively use the more powerful weapons in the game efficiently. Any MMORPG works (to a large extent) by having a spectrum of players from beginner to uber, with character advancement (AKA skilling) playing a large role in the motivation to participate. In the case of EU there has been, in the past, a limit to advancement (10k skill level was essentially "maxed"). As more players near this goal, the incentive to continue skilling is decreased, and the balance of low to uber players is skewed. It is in MA's interest to maintain this balance. How they have gone about it is to successively "nerf" the skills so that more gains are necessary to reach the top. The last VU also removed the 10k cap to allow skills to be in effect above 10k. However, at the same time, the rate that skill increases above level 5k was reduced to such a point that it is nigh impossible for any players who are not at 10k in a skill to reach it.

Us

That is where our side of the issue comes in. As i mentioned, character advancement is a significant motivation in RPGs, especially in MMORPGs where competition with other players is possible. Many players will do silly things (like spend lots of money and lots of time) to advance their character because of the challenge and the possibilities it opens up (such as the ability to hunt more effectively bigger mobs). Well; in a recent poll i posted i described a lot of the ways in which that second motivation for wanting to skill up has been crushed. Now, we find that it is so incredibly hard to reach the top that the challenge becomes a hopeless impossibility. Without any significant motivation to develop an avatar skills, there is really very little to motivate people to spend money on a MMORPG. Certainly MA would like to expand EU into "More than a game", but they cannot do so if it ceases to be even a game.

The Challenge

Therefore, this is my challenge: Let all who feel strongly about this issue submit support cases requesting change. Include a link to this thread because i think it contains many valid and salient points by some of the better known players. Suggest that while changes to the skills may be necessary, the present state of it discourages all players from advancement (and thereby aggressive participation) by essentially setting the new skill cap at 6k.

In my support case i will be proposing this compromise: that the large increase in skill volume exponent beginning at around 5k from the last VU be removed and replaced by a uniform increase starting from 2k (ie graduation level) of 2x the previous volume. This will uniformly increase the difficulty of skilling (by 2x) for everyone that has graduated without absolutely killing the chance for progress beyond 5k.

Please be respectful in your cases, and please bump this thread when you submit so that it will be seen by as many people as possible.

The Change, Quantified

Many thanks to jdegre for plotting the results of the change as reported here. As suspected the change basically only affects skills over 5k and has a huge affect at higher levels. It will now (for example) take 1.5 times as much skilling to get a skill from 0 to 6k as it did before the VU. Skilling up to 6k now requires the same amount of effort as skilling to 7k did before the VU. 7k is approaching 2x the skilling to reach compared to before the nerf. It gets even more extreme above that...

skillnerf.jpg
Plot by jdegre

A side affect of this change that is made more vivid with this plot is that now highly skilled players, if they chip out, have many times more tt value of skills than they did before the change.
 
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black_rain13

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I would just like to +rep both of you. First, for the informative and clearly detailed post. The information provided is very informative and helps nearly everyone better understand the recent change.

I think also that the second diagram is more likely the accurate depiction of how things are. Very rapid initial skilling with a steadily declining gain increase as you get higher and higher until it is impossible to move forward any further. Sorta like "the cup runneth over" and everything else you acquire for skills just spills over the top and is wasted.

I am by no means Uber and at the rate things have changed recently, I doubt that I will ever become truly uber.

On the other side... I guess if you really really want to get that next higher level, you can just buy up hundreds of skill implants at an enormous cost and chip in thousands upon thousands of PED just to move up one or two levels.

How jacked up is that?

Fix it MA... change your model to allow for continued development and achievement without making it impossible to do so. There is a solution here, and it shouldn't require that the players find it for you.
 

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Very well thought out post, however can you pls change that light green to something a bit more readable for those of us that are a bit color blind?

thanks.
 

aridash

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It interesting that you put forward the MA reason for this, as it make sence and its refreshing to hear an option other than "they're trying to make more profit" :rolleyes:

I think the solution is not to bugger with skill progress but to change the weapon skill requirments to be more progressive across a range, ie damage, then add new items at the high end. Its funny because they seem to be doing this with (L) so why not everything?
 

Teilk

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In the nineteenth century, a popular scientific notion suggested that entropy was gradually increasing, and therefore the universe was running down and eventually all motion would cease. When people realized that this would not happen for billions of years, if it happened at all, concern about this notion generally disappeared.

However, it seems to work a little bit faster in a virtual universe....
 

Doer

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I think your visualisation represents the status BEFORE last VU. I'm close to 7k in LB. And according to your picture I would say atm it's locking like this:

teil1_thumb.jpg

Just my experiance ...​

Based on the fitting i've seen to the skill curve, i believe the shape should actually be tri-modal (if that's the right word) with one function describing a gradual curve up to 2k or so and another from there to 5k. Finally, another curve from 5k up.

The main problem with your plot is that (from what i understand) the slowdown stops at 10k skills. That would be represented by the walls of the vessel approaching vertical as they do in my diagram. However, there is no doubt that the bottom of the vessel should have a "stem" much like a wine glass, which doesn't spread much at all for a while. All in all, your diagram probably fits better for most players' experience.

Thank you for your comments and/or support. I'm afraid i don't see any light green text to fix?:confused: If it's the greyed text in the aside about how skill gains work the easiest way to improve contrast is to highlight the area on your browser and get a blue/white contrast.
 
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Jamira

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Based on the fitting i've seen to the skill curve, i believe the shape should actually be tri-modal (if that's the right word) with one function describing a gradual curve up to 2k or so and another from there to 5k. Finally, another curve from 5k up.

The main problem with your plot is that (from what i understand) the slowdown stops at 10k skills. That would be represented by the walls of the vessel approaching vertical as they do in my diagram. However, there is no doubt that the bottom of the vessel should have a "stem" much like a wine glass, which doesn't spread much at all for a while.

Thank you for your comments and/or support. I'm afraid i don't see any light green text to fix?:confused: If it's the greyed text in the aside about how skill gains work the easiest way to improve contrast is to highlight the area on your browser and get a blue/white contrast.

Was just a generally thought. I unlocked "coolness" 2 months ago and skilled it up from 0 to 1500 til now. Parallel I skilled up LB from 6620 up to 6950.
 

JoLin

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Very well thought out post, however can you pls change that light green to something a bit more readable for those of us that are a bit color blind?

thanks.
It might help if you mark (highlight? I don't know the right word) the section with the green text, it did for me. Sorry for the off topic.
 

Jas

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Support case submitted.
 

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Exellent writen of the tread starter, i agree to 100%.
I feel that something need to be done to belance the skillsystem. I am in only for the skills and thats the only reason for me to play.
I hope MA change back or atleast rebalance or i am forced to go back to real life :eek:

+ rep given for once :yay:
 

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And here comes another deeply informative, well thought and greatly laid out post from Doer! :thumbup: +rep, mate!

On a side note, it would maybe be a Good Thing (tm) to provide a draft of a support case to submit, so that many more users can jump in.
Even a simple reference to your original support case # would do, infact...

P. :smoke:
 

safara

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And here comes another deeply informative, well thought and greatly laid out post from Doer! :thumbup: +rep, mate!

On a side note, it would maybe be a Good Thing (tm) to provide a draft of a support case to submit, so that many more users can jump in.
Even a simple reference to your original support case # would do, infact...

Echoed

need to spread before bla bla bla.....
 

Doer

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Thank you for your support. :grouphug:

I am not a big believer in the efficacy of cut-n-paste spamming so i want to leave it up to people to word the support case as they see fit. If anyone is at a loss for words, just say that you enjoy EU but are discouraged by the recent changes to the skill system and fear that the continual changes will make it impossible for you to reach your goals, and that the ability to progress an avatar toward a goal in a game like EU is an essential part of the system and needs to remain possible. Reference the posts i mentioned before and that should do it.

cheers
 

libero

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And here comes another deeply informative, well thought and greatly laid out post from Doer! :thumbup: +rep, mate!

On a side note, it would maybe be a Good Thing (tm) to provide a draft of a support case to submit, so that many more users can jump in.
Even a simple reference to your original support case # would do, infact...

P. :smoke:

I was going to suggest the same thing...

Thank you for your support. :grouphug:

I am not a big believer in the efficacy of cut-n-paste spamming so i want to leave it up to people to word the support case as they see fit. If anyone is at a loss for words, just say that you enjoy EU but are discouraged by the recent changes to the skill system and fear that the continual changes will make it impossible for you to reach your goals, and that the ability to progress an avatar toward a goal in a game like EU is an essential part of the system and needs to remain possible. Reference the posts i mentioned before and that should do it.

cheers

This helps alot ! + rep for a great initiative. Support case is now filed from me as well ;)
 

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I think MA is already well aware of peoples feelings on the skill nerf. Maybe filing hundreds of support cases might help but I've chosen to take slightly stronger action and have stopped depositing and stopped playing. If I can not progress my character at a reasonable rate and cost then there is no point in playing this game that is not a universe.
I am not confident at all that MA will change skill gain for the better in any significant manner. They will probably throw you a bone in the form of a minuscule adjustment and the addicts and fanbois will +rep the hell out of them as usual even though nothing will really have changed.
The real problem is that MA doesn't have a clue how to make a real MMO, a disguised casino yes but a real MMO no. Companies that do have a clue bring out expansions that provide more and higher level content and encourage players to reach those levels. MA simply stops progression and of course as always increases the cost to play.
 

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...bring out expansions that provide more and higher level content and encourage players to reach those levels...

I agree with this instead of trying to make it harder to reach the current "uber" level they could have just added content for the ubers. Thing like weapons that can't even be used until you have a 10/10 on current non-L weapons, armor you can't use till you have x evade/dodge standing etc. This would provide incentive for those already at high levels to level even more as well as provide everyone else with an even higher goal to try and achieve.
 

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For MA to remain viable they had to do the skill nerf. The objection i have is that they really really should have realised this at the outset of their project and acted accordingly. Indeed, it would not be possible to remain a sustainable business when half of the players have 10k rifle. if project entropia is to succeed in the really long term future, there must be an almost constant and everlasting battle to increase skills to a certain level. but to everyone playing today, no matter what level... as long as you are skilling up, and as long as PE lasts a good deal of time into the future, you shall all eventually be (at least relatively) uber to all the newcomers that will inevitably be around. :)
 

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Personally i don't care about the skill nerve. I simply am not in a rush with this game. But as it seems allot of people are troubled with it. What I think will happen, is that skills are going to be more item dependent. I think we will see allot of new items, that will keep people in general interested to continue skilling. I think it will be great for new people to work very hard just to unlock the next rifle. And voilla, a skill bonus. So skilling will stilling go at a decent rate for the new people.

For the old people, like most of us here, allot of us will interpetate is as the end of avatar progression. Well, to be realy honoust, I think we are abit too premature in that conclusion. I think MA will come with very interesting items in the future, for nearly all skill levels. Items with SIB.

What does this mean? Well, it means that we need to change the way we play this game, but that isnt new. Every VU we need to adabt to the new things. Sometimes the changes are harder to adapt to, and sometimes nobody will even notice the changes. I think this is just the essence of the game, it is a constantly changing universe. And for me it is a reason to keep excited about the game. And behind nearly all changes MA makes, i can understand the logic why they do it. That is including this one.

So, basicly, if would send a supportcase, I would not be asking to increase the skillgains, but I will be asking for more SIB items at higher levels. I think this is a good direction for the game to be going.
 

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sent my support case also... i am with you all on this.. it basically gonna take hours and hours of time and money and even then we never have any chance of getting to the point of the major ubers in the game...
 

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Perhaps a depositing strike is in order. We may not own anything in EU, but we own the money we decide to put in. There are a good majority of uber players in this forum and If we (along with submitting a suport case) went on a no deposit strike... maybe that would open their eyes a little bit. Im no event organizer, but it's something to think about.
 

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The VU changes to skilling were introduced in the context of introducing new high-end items and i agree completely that SIB items with starting levels above the previous skill ceiling are the way to keep the motivation in the game. I also am not in a rush and am very patient to skill up because EU really is a long-term experience -- i don't mind if skilling is slowed down. The issue at hand is that, along with the encouraging announcement and changes that suggest that the ceiling is being raised, the player base has also been frozen out of the possibility of ever participating at that level. Now there is no way i can reach 10k in a principle hunting skill this decade without buying an insane amount of skillchip. Hence my proposal to slowdown a uniform amount across the spectrum of skill levels instead of even more exponentially at high levels than has been the case. It comes back to the possibility of progressing...
 

Congadawg

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lol... oh and i was not implying that i think im uber... I'm ubah Nubah as Danielle would say. ;)
 

Witte

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The VU changes to skilling were introduced in the context of introducing new high-end items and i agree completely that SIB items with starting levels above the previous skill ceiling are the way to keep the motivation in the game. I also am not in a rush and am very patient to skill up because EU really is a long-term experience -- i don't mind if skilling is slowed down. The issue at hand is that, along with the encouraging announcement and changes that suggest that the ceiling is being raised, the player base has also been frozen out of the possibility of ever participating at that level. Now there is no way i can reach 10k in a principle hunting skill this decade without buying an insane amount of skillchip. Hence my proposal to slowdown a uniform amount across the spectrum of skill levels instead of even more exponentially at high levels than has been the case. It comes back to the possibility of progressing...

Well i cannot confirm this, as I have no idea what the effect of SIB is. It might very well result in similar skillgains we used to have. Do you have any info on this?
 

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Result of the action :

Dues to massive report from player , we have chek the skill system , and adjuted it to fit better the need. Further tweak are on the way to make it very good.

PS: fact , 2 skill will go up faster 4 skill will become even slower , and 10 thousand sheep will post they see now the skill go up up way faster and most player will thanks MA. 10 month latter an other skill nefyt will come an way or an other..
 

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Well i cannot confirm this, as I have no idea what the effect of SIB is. It might very well result in similar skillgains we used to have. Do you have any info on this?

I haven't used a weapon with a SIB still for months and i never kept track of gains with and without it, so i can't comment on this. If skilling up all >1000 peds tt worth of rifle skills from where my rifle is currently at is to be done with weapons that i have SIB on the whole time there will need to be not only a huge variety of new weapons come out but in a frequency and availability that makes using them something other than financial suicide. I have already used more than 20 m2a's since i switched to rifle, and the volume of skills gained in the process is a tiny fraction of that 1000 peds remaining. I shudder to think what it would be like to use an m2a to complete that whole range -- the m2a is the best commonly available carbine with SIB right now (although i don't get the SIB anymore, of course).
 

Doer

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Bump for visibility. Please bump this thread when you submit a case if it has fallen to the second page.

The amount of feedback i've received personally, both in EF and in-game, is incredible; make sure you sound off to MA as well!

I was having a discussion about the issue with some friends on TeamSpeak and it helped me simplify my concerns. The skill change was introduced this VU with innuendos that weapons that raise the bar (SIB weapons only usable by people with skills even higher than those required to max out a conventional weapon, perhaps) will be introduced. This is exactly the kind of thing we need as a way of extending the range of useful skills and create motivation and reason for advancement even for the top players. However, at the same time they changed skilling to such an extent that nobody else will ever get to the level to use those weapons. That doesn't make a lot of sense to me...
 
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Witte

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I haven't used a weapon with a SIB still for months and i never kept track of gains with and without it, so i can't comment on this. If skilling up all >1000 peds tt worth of rifle skills from where my rifle is currently at is to be done with weapons that i have SIB on the whole time there will need to be not only a huge variety of new weapons come out but in a frequency and availability that makes using them something other than financial suicide. I have already used more than 20 m2a's since i switched to rifle, and the volume of skills gained in the process is a tiny fraction of that 1000 peds remaining. I shudder to think what it would be like to use an m2a to complete that whole range -- the m2a is the best commonly available carbine with SIB right now (although i don't get the SIB anymore, of course).

If all new weapons are going to be (L) we will indeed need a steady supply. However, dont forget that people with low skill levels wont be able to use the higher level items. So there will be allot less people that want them. Another thing that needs to be said, is that there is no indication there will only be (L) stuff. Infact, the contraty is true, in a recent blog, it was said there will be new non (L) items.

I agree there need to be more progress ability, but I disagree that increasing skillgains will give that to us. Skills are just numbers, and dont realy have a meaning on their own. They are always compared to others, or in term to be able to use items. And with slowing down skills that doesnt change a bit imo.
 

andyzammy

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Personally i don't care about the skill nerve. I simply am not in a rush with this game. But as it seems allot of people are troubled with it. What I think will happen, is that skills are going to be more item dependent. I think we will see allot of new items, that will keep people in general interested to continue skilling. I think it will be great for new people to work very hard just to unlock the next rifle. And voilla, a skill bonus. So skilling will stilling go at a decent rate for the new people.

For the old people, like most of us here, allot of us will interpetate is as the end of avatar progression. Well, to be realy honoust, I think we are abit too premature in that conclusion. I think MA will come with very interesting items in the future, for nearly all skill levels. Items with SIB.

What does this mean? Well, it means that we need to change the way we play this game, but that isnt new. Every VU we need to adabt to the new things. Sometimes the changes are harder to adapt to, and sometimes nobody will even notice the changes. I think this is just the essence of the game, it is a constantly changing universe. And for me it is a reason to keep excited about the game. And behind nearly all changes MA makes, i can understand the logic why they do it. That is including this one.

So, basicly, if would send a supportcase, I would not be asking to increase the skillgains, but I will be asking for more SIB items at higher levels. I think this is a good direction for the game to be going.

although i dont like that idea, i have a very bad feeling its probably true.
but i really dont like that. why? well, i bought a ml, in the hope that one day, i wouldnt max it out, but at least getting half way, to 5.0 HA. im pretty sure, that with this skill nerf, i will be unable to do that, and if i am, it will be more than thrice the cost, which, considering that i was already losing money when it was cheaper, is just not on.
i refuse to accept that alongside my main weapon, i have to include a whole range (i say whole range, but right now i can't even think of any decent high power (L)'s) if limited weapons. and not only do i think of my ml as my main weapon, but ever since i bought it, it has been my "ped eater" weapon. somthing which in time i had hoped to change.

so now what? do i sell it? has it lost value because the majority of calypso can't use it efficiently? so now i can either choose to keep it and lose peds, or sell it and slash my mob list to snables? nah, if this skill cap stays, its completely destroyed hunting for me.

:(
 

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although i dont like that idea, i have a very bad feeling its probably true.
but i really dont like that. why? well, i bought a ml, in the hope that one day, i wouldnt max it out, but at least getting half way, to 5.0 HA. im pretty sure, that with this skill nerf, i will be unable to do that, and if i am, it will be more than thrice the cost, which, considering that i was already losing money when it was cheaper, is just not on.
i refuse to accept that alongside my main weapon, i have to include a whole range (i say whole range, but right now i can't even think of any decent high power (L)'s) if limited weapons. and not only do i think of my ml as my main weapon, but ever since i bought it, it has been my "ped eater" weapon. somthing which in time i had hoped to change.

so now what? do i sell it? has it lost value because the majority of calypso can't use it efficiently? so now i can either choose to keep it and lose peds, or sell it and slash my mob list to snables? nah, if this skill cap stays, its completely destroyed hunting for me.

:(


I agree. It seems far too impossible now to hope to achieve a high HA on any of the higher skilled weapons. Sure, there are the weenie guns that anyone can use with an almost perfect 10/10, but once you start getting up into the higher powered, higher skilled weapons, is there any hope left with this new skill change that one can ever get above a 5.0?

Again, it seems to me that this is yet one more change made by MA with the underlying purpose to suck more and more money out of the already depositing players. I'm sure that there is more to the change, but I have little doubt that someone at MA saw this as an "added bonus" and decided to make it happen.
 
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