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  1. #1
    Marauder Doer's Avatar
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    Challenge to the community: unfreeze the skill progression

    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):

    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...

    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.
    Last edited by Doer; 01-23-2007 at 18:24.
    Champion of reason, unraveler of MA's mysteries...forever n00ber
    Myth busters: Evade/Defense Skills Weapon damage Armor decay Unlocking Skills Weapon attachments
    Other esoterica: My Story Luck Project Entropia: what's in a name? More bang

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  2. #2
    Banned Jamira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doer View Post
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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:


    Just my experiance ...

  3. #3
    Retired Mafia Princess black_rain13's Avatar
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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.
    Proud Member of Team Scotland for WoF 2007

  4. #4
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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.

  5. #5
    Slayer
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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"

    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?
    consider a cockup before a conspiracy

  6. #6
    Rogue Banker Teilk's Avatar
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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....
    Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

  7. #7
    Marauder Doer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamira View Post
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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:


    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? 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.
    Last edited by Doer; 01-16-2007 at 23:13.
    Champion of reason, unraveler of MA's mysteries...forever n00ber
    Myth busters: Evade/Defense Skills Weapon damage Armor decay Unlocking Skills Weapon attachments
    Other esoterica: My Story Luck Project Entropia: what's in a name? More bang

    Quote Originally Posted by narfi View Post
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  8. #8
    Banned Jamira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doer View Post
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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? 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.

  9. #9
    Dominant JoLin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NetStalker View Post
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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.

  10. #10
    Alpha Jas's Avatar
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    Support case submitted.

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