Roccandil

Update resource gathering to allow new players to be more useful

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Many posters on this thread seem to be missing the crucial distinction between skill-capped crafting quality (which makes perfect sense and is realistic) and skill-capped gathering quality (which really does not and is not).

 

Crafting is an incredibly complex process that involves creating something where there was nothing to begin with. The crafter requires experience and deep knowledge to even know what to be aiming for in the final product – and a thousand things can go wrong along the way. This is why it is impossible for a novice blacksmith to make a proper hatchet or for a novice carpenter to make an even halfway decent shack. Wurm gets this ever so right and has the best crafting system I've seen in a game. It makes sense to struggle to make your first set of gear and the slow, hard-won gains feel like an honest reward for your efforts. Crafting in Wurm is both realistic and satisfying.

 

Gathering is a fundamentally different process from crafting. Gatherers are not bringing something into existence – they're simply taking what already exists. Sure, some things can sometimes go wrong to reduce output quality, but your skill is not what places a ceiling on the quality of what you pluck from nature. Upper quality limits are mainly determined by factors beyond the gatherer's direct control: for miners, vein quality; for woodcutters, tree age and health; for foragers, weather, etc.

 

Some rehashed examples of why Wurm's current gathering system is just plain daft:

  • Real novice miners do not somehow ruin every piece of ore they touch. In fact it's hard to see how they could ruin any of it.
  • Real novice woodcutters do not somehow spoil the full length of every tree they cut down, although it is possible they might waste more of the wood.
  • Real novice foragers ... etc. etc. etc.

Folks are entitled to their preferences of course, but there's no argument to be made that the current system is realistic.

 

And no, of course games should not aim for realism at all costs. But where they do deviate from realism, it should be to streamline gameplay, make things more fun, or eliminate the unnecessary, dreary stuff. What we have here is a bizarre case where a game is less realistic for the sake of adding more dreariness. It truly is a strange game design choice. 

 

All that said, skill-pegged resource quality caps are now a deeply ingrained feature of Wurm. The community is pretty obviously against messing with them so, sadly, I don't see a more realistic and less punishing resource gathering system ever being a part of Wurm, which as Frank has noted is probably in its twilight anyway.

Edited by Gwyn

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-1 you can go play Wurm Unlimited to make the game easier/customized to your preference - I came from WU to Online because the easy is removed. The grind is serious and so is my enjoyment as is...

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18 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

Many posters on this thread seem to be missing the crucial distinction between skill-capped crafting quality (which makes perfect sense and is realistic) and skill-capped gathering quality (which really does not and is not).

 

A distinction that is only crucial in arguing your case for realism, as showcased by the followed descriptions (Not quoted for the sake of brevity). Which, by the way - and just to address this weirdly vague strawman -

21 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

Folks are entitled to their preferences of course, but there's no argument to be made that the current system is realistic.

nobody else here cares for. Nobody contra to the idea argues that the current system is realistic. In fact, I have argued the opposite. What even is the purpose of this sentence?

 

What really speaks against making this distinction is consistency. And yes, Wurm lacks that in other areas, that's no reason to forgone with the concept altogether though. kochinac put it concisely enough:

13 hours ago, kochinac said:

You need to grind skill to get good results, simple as that, basic premise

What we seem to be missing in your perspective is, in fact, what we are (implicitly or explicitly) disagreeing with. It looks much more like you're the one not getting the point.

 

 

 

27 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

And no, of course games should not aim for realism at all costs. But where they do deviate from realism, it should be to streamline gameplay, make things more fun, or eliminate the unnecessary, dreary stuff.

 

Exactly. The gathering system does streamline gameplay as new players are not tempted into trying to contribute to high end areas of the game where, as Retrograde and I have pointed out, their efforts would result in many more failures than a skilled account would produce. Which is why I don't think players should be tempted into it to begin with, but I'm not reiterating this.

 

51 minutes ago, Gwyn said:

What we have here is a bizarre case where a game is less realistic for the sake of adding more dreariness

I don't quite see why this is "dreariness" any more than every other area of the game where your skill governs your products quality. If the "dreary" part is that new players allegedly cannot contribute (Which I recall being the orignal motivation for this?), many things have been mentioned that new players can in fact do, and not even exhaustingly so. These points are not even acknowledged by the "pro" side or just weakly dismissed, which makes me question the intellectual honesty behind the motivation of new player involvement.

 

Beyond the case for streamlining done by this, it contributes to making the progression system meaningful, because every progress you make, every new threshold you surpass (being able to fully utilize that utmost vein at last, for instance), is a benchmark for accomplishment. A sense of accomplishment that comes from dedication, which I'm sure is what many people appreciate about this game. And you're not giving any good reason to dilute this, you forward some altruistic sounding motivation for it but then feign ignorance over alternative solutions.

 

I wish I could ask this in better faith than I do, but with where I ended on the last paragraph I can't help sounding a bit facetious: Do you want recruits to feel useful by involving them into meaningful tasks that transparently contribute to a collective effort, of which there are many ways if you'd care to listen to some people here, or do you just want them to make your material errands? Because this is such a strangely specific thing to get bogged down on, at least the way it happens here, if it is the former.

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9 hours ago, Roccandil said:

Wild random outcomes is another bad thing about Wurm. I'd fix that, too.

 

So with removing any skill cap, what would the results be? 

 

Would there be a benefit to even skilling up if results are boosted and not random? 

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9 hours ago, Roccandil said:

I feel like you all have been playing Wurm so long, that your definition of normal has been overwritten. :P

 

Why do you feel the need to bully everyone else that disagrees?

 

I have to put a -1 too.  I'm all for aiding new players, but that in the form of qol.  Qol will make them stay, randomly mining a 93ql iron ore will not, so the only ones this will really help are lazy people with alts

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6 hours ago, Highspy said:

-1 you can go play Wurm Unlimited to make the game easier/customized to your preference - I came from WU to Online because the easy is removed. The grind is serious and so is my enjoyment as is...

 

Well spoken, and welcome!

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I hadn't intended to post anything else on this suggestion as the weight of community opinion is clearly against it – and fair enough, I'm still loving the game as it is – but since Flubb has taken the trouble of addressing my post point by point, asking specific questions, and making certain insinuations I feel he's owed a response:

 

8 hours ago, Flubb said:

Which, by the way - and just to address this weirdly vague strawman -

Not a strawman – I was trying to refocus the discussion on a distinction that had not been adequately accounted for in previous posts. The only actual arguments I've read so far appeal to a sense of progression. My stance is that arbitrary, unrealistic difficulty for the sake of adding a sense of progression is not desirable in a game, so these arguments fail to convince, hence my attempt at redirecting the discussion. And yes, 'vague' because it's impossible to quote someone on what they are not talking about.

8 hours ago, Flubb said:

What even is the purpose of this sentence?

First and foremost, it's a summing-up of the previous paragraphs, but it's also a concession that the will of the community ultimately decides how this game works – and that's no bad thing. Lastly, the sentence has a rhetorical function: as above, it's intended to give attention to what I want the discussion to focus on.

8 hours ago, Flubb said:

What we seem to be missing in your perspective is, in fact, what we are (implicitly or explicitly) disagreeing with. It looks much more like you're the one not getting the point.

I do believe I understand the main argument in favour of the current system – sense of progression. I also believe I made it quite clear in my post that progression is a hugely compelling aspect of Wurm for me personally. Again, my stance here is specifically that adding progression artificially where no such progression exists in real life is not desirable. There is no shortage of potential crafting skills that could realistically have a progression component – even a slower, more difficult one, as with weaponsmithing.

9 hours ago, Flubb said:

I don't quite see why this is "dreariness" any more than every other area of the game where your skill governs your products quality. If the "dreary" part is that new players allegedly cannot contribute (Which I recall being the orignal motivation for this?), many things have been mentioned that new players can in fact do, and not even exhaustingly so. These points are not even acknowledged by the "pro" side or just weakly dismissed, which makes me question the intellectual honesty behind the motivation of new player involvement.

I am not representing any 'side', just my own independently stated opinions. Perhaps you are conflating Roccandil's words with mine? For me personally, it's less about new player involvement per se and more about the new player experience: when you enter a game for the first time, if the mechanics make some things more tedious than they would be even in real life, that counts massively against the game. Of course, this is not to say that the current system doesn't allow for many ways in which new players can get a foothold in the economic or co-operative aspects of Wurm – it provides plenty of opportunities. I know it did in my case.

9 hours ago, Flubb said:

A sense of accomplishment that comes from dedication, which I'm sure is what many people appreciate about this game. And you're not giving any good reason to dilute this, you forward some altruistic sounding motivation for it but then feign ignorance over alternative solutions.

I have given ample reasons. Since they seem to need repeating, the basic point is this: artificial difficulty and progression where it does not exist in real life is undesirable in a game. Please understand me well: I am not advocating for an overall reduction in difficulty in Wurm Online – lifting the skill-pegged resource quality cap could be compensated in other areas, for example, by slowing progression in certain crafting skills. As mentioned above, my main concern is not 'some altruistic-sounding motivation' but what makes for a convincing game world where if realism is to be stretched, it is only done in order to reduce tedium, not increase it. And I do not take kindly to your imputations about my character, when you write about me 'feigning ignorance over alternative solutions'. Honestly, no idea why you feel that's warranted or even what specifically you're referring to. Feel free to pick it up with me in PM.

9 hours ago, Flubb said:

Do you want recruits to feel useful by involving them into meaningful tasks that transparently contribute to a collective effort, of which there are many ways if you'd care to listen to some people here, or do you just want them to make your material errands? Because this is such a strangely specific thing to get bogged down on, at least the way it happens here, if it is the former.

Why are you making this so personal? Opinions about how to change the game aren't necessarily motivated by personal gain and I do resent the implication. Under the current system, I have created many paid opportunities for new players where quality is irrelevant: gathering basic resources, making supplies, trading their low-ql panfilling ingredients, etc. And I will continue to do so as long as I play. Under the soft version of the proposed changes, as I imagined them a year ago, there would be little substantial change in this area anyway. New players' average quality output would still be low, but the bell curve would allow for some higher-end output, with this fraction increasing as players skill up. Believe it or not I have no stake in these changes other than a desire to see my favourite game get even better. I am long past the point where these changes would impact my gameplay in any beneficial way.

 

Anyway, the issue is clearly moot and further discussion is unlikely to be fruitful. But please can we all forego the love-it-or-leave-it comments pointing the way to Wurm Unlimited? They add nothing constructive to the discussion and only serve to stifle valid criticism.

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It sounded vague because the sentence appeared as if a contrarian was arguing for realism. The reason it sounded like such a diversion for me, and this is where I have to confess to some of my own biases in a minute, because the choice of words makde it sound like realism arguments were attempted to be made, while your clarification reveals your position that the realism arguments should be made in this discussion, which is an interpretation that didn't immediately strike me, as that is somehow the less likely interpretation to me.

 

Because I don't think it is ever, ever useful to argue for realism just for the sake of realism. Realism is a design tool. I understand your point fitting into this as that realism can be a railway/designhelp to make immersive systems, but what is immersive and isn't is at this point highly subjective, and this is where the spirits divide, so to say. Immersion doesn't neccessarily only come from the framework provided by real life, but can also come from a consistent set of rules constructed within the game's universe. The latter meaning that consistency can also be a key to immersion. Trees do not have any QL per se, if I can somehow fell a 90QL tree at below 30 WC, I'd probably wonder why that even is a thing when it is nowhere else in the game. This is a pretty constructed example, but it's to illustrutrate the subjectivity of "immersion".

 

Let get me some other things out of the wayso I can properly address your position, which I appearantly have not, so far.

2 hours ago, Gwyn said:

I am not representing any 'side', just my own independently stated opinions. Perhaps you are conflating Roccandil's words with mine?

I admit I went on a tangent here, trying to address multiple people in a "you know who you are" matter, but what I was addressing is clearly more Roccandil's shortcoming than yours. The latter part of my post was fueled with some irritation, especially the last question, but

 

2 hours ago, Gwyn said:

Why are you making this so personal?

As the preamble of that question was meant to make clear(er): I'm not intending to make it any more personal than I have to, to understand the underlying motivations. This question was deliberately facetious to challenge a position to be clarified by making a finer distinction between two similar scenarios. I'm not consciously making any assumptions about either of your characters, though, both have clarified that they wouldn't benefit from this and I have no reason to disblieve that, I'm just pointing to behaviour that didn't add up to me. But I shouldn't have thrown you in the same basket and read more carefully, as you do clearly recognize ways to involve new players.

I apologize for that poor rhetoric on my part, I shouldn't have lumped you so quickly into one basket, that was late night laziness to try and address things in aggregate.

 

With that said: If it's only about the new player experience, and not "high end involvement", I'm actually fine with a soft cap that doesn't produce items that are too out of place. There is in fact a soft cap for maximum crafting quality, where -as far as I know- a level 1 account can go up to 23 QL effectively, if we are (I am, to be precise) talking about consistency, gathering could/actually should do the same - without devaluing the skill progression, keeping progression meaningful, and without stifling new players less to grinding their gathering skills 100% up to par to their crafting skills all the time. A new player who can immediately produce the odd 20QL log will have something to work with for themselves and doesn't mess with the "skill ecosystem" by any meaningful stretch.

 

 

Basically, I concede that gathering skills should probably not act as a hard cap as they do now, in my udnerstanding at least, so in regard to your position

2 hours ago, Gwyn said:

My stance is that arbitrary, unrealistic difficulty for the sake of adding a sense of progression is not desirable in a game, so these arguments fail to convince, hence my attempt at redirecting the discussion.

I do agree to the first part here in some way, the difficulty should not feel stifling(see the previous paragraph). But I do maintain that trying redirecting the discussion to realism should have an explicit purpose beyond promoting realism itself, as it has virtually no value on its own. That also means that there are potentially other "devices" to argue your case.

I did acknowledge how realism can be reasonably applied to your case, but it's not the only way to argue for a certain system and there is a conflict between "realism" and other approaches at work here, and for reasons I don't want to reiterate here again, as to not bore you any further, I think the rule of internal consistency within the games universe overall outweighs the subjective notion of "realism" in a game. And I don't mean to say that to degrade how you feel about it, your notion of realism is as valid to yourself as mine is to me(And from a purely realistic standpoint, I'd agree that "ore is ore"). I'm just inclined to side what I think is the "more objective" approach here. (Which ironically is kinda subjective itself.)

 

2 hours ago, Gwyn said:

But please can we all forego the love-it-or-leave-it comments pointing the way to Wurm Unlimited? They add nothing constructive to the discussion and only serve to stifle valid criticism.

Amen to that...

Edited by Flubb
Small correction to more accurately account a position

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This is a big -1 from me.

 

 

New players might not be able to mine very high ql iron, but I would buy it. I use "junk" iron for creation of materials that can be imped ( or nails... ). IF they switched to this, they would need to do something like "bad miners get good ore because that's what is there, but they are not as efficient" and decrease the size of each chunk of ore. So you'd get 90ql ore, but you would only get ~3kg instead of 20.

Edited by zethreal

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-1

I'll just use the 'get gud kid' reply.

 

Further explained..

If you need 1 type of resource, you can grind to 90 in under a month.. not to mention it's way easier now with runes and new ways to boost gains, or no shortage of highly skilled priests to get a well enchanted item.

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