Keenan

Depth vs Ease of use

Depth vs Ease of use  

126 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer depth or ease of use when it comes to Wurm features?

    • Depth
      82
    • Ease of use
      44


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Depth and ease of use are often at odds with each other. While the best case scenario would be to accomplish both, that has not always happened here. There are areas of Wurm where the depth makes the feature hard to approach, but I don't know if that creates a more enjoyable experience for those who brave the complexities of the feature. I'm looking at you, fishing! A balance is always best, obviously. I feel archaeology balances depth with ease of use pretty well, for example. We might be able to do better on educating people in how to start using archaeology, but the actual system itself is pretty easy to use and learn. 

 

So which do you prefer?

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For me, it is almost always depth over ease of use as long as there is some balance with it. Depth will typically allow for more learning and feeling more accomplished. However that depth should not be to hard to figure out either. It should not require deep delving into the code of WU to figure out how it works. Your example of Archaeology I think is good, it has some depth and it is fun and not hard to figure out. Not everything needs to be reveled at the start, as long as there are clear ways to figure out the details of the skills.

 

Thanks for the poll and asking the community this question, it is one that I'm sure will have some interesting results!

 

Keep up the good work!

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imo I think learning curve is the main thing thats neglected. Archaeology is a good middle ground because it has a lot of cool neat deep features but you can also completely(for the most part) pick it up without having to read forums threads for three days of unconfirmed theory or derp on the wurmpedia every time you want to do the task/skill.

Edited by user
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Why not both?

 

**Easy to learn, hard to master

Edited by Reverent
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7 minutes ago, Reverent said:

Why not both?

 

**Easy to learn, hard to master

 

This is indeed the gold standard. I just feel that sometimes we are forced to err on one side or the other. I'm curious what side is more forgiving to the community. :)

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Low floor, high ceiling is the way to go.

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Of course, I'd prefer a balance leaning in favor of Depth but not forgetting ease of use as well.

 

The system for Archaeology is a very good example of one that achieves this, I agree.  The new (relatively) Fishing system is an example of going to extreme with Depth but I'm pleased the later adjustments offered balance so it's not as bad now as it was at first upgrade installation.

 

Perhaps the most important factor is the user interface.  Let there be a relatively easy means of learning by having shortcuts available, but please don't replace the options for players that wish detailed adjustments and decisions available as well.  Perhaps toggles in the settings would enable players to choose which view they prefer, but please don't force a 'dumbing down'.

 

Footnote: One frustration existing with the Archaeology system is the volume and weight of fragments required that needs to be added/stored  before the final item is complete.  If there was some sort of bin that could hold these fragments with noticeably lessened or no decay on an upkeep prepaid deed, that would remove about the only critique I have of Archaeology in Wurm Online.

 

PS: Thank you for  posing the question to the Community,  Keenan!  Such interaction and input can only lead to a better game and enjoyment.

Edited by Tristanc
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39 minutes ago, Keenan said:

Depth and ease of use are often at odds with each other. While the best case scenario would be to accomplish both, that has not always happened here. There are areas of Wurm where the depth makes the feature hard to approach, but I don't know if that creates a more enjoyable experience for those who brave the complexities of the feature. I'm looking at you, fishing! A balance is always best, obviously. I feel archaeology balances depth with ease of use pretty well, for example. We might be able to do better on educating people in how to start using archaeology, but the actual system itself is pretty easy to use and learn. 

 

So which do you prefer?

 

we need taxidermy keenan, I want to stuff my dead horses and put them in my house

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Maybe start of with Ease of Use to get more functionality out to the player base quicker and then add more complexity to it over time by adding more reasons to perform that task/action - this might work better for a small dev team, so long as it's built in such a way that allows it to be easily extended or enhanced.

 

The alternative is you build something that takes a lot of development cycles that misses its target for whatever reason

 

So my vote would be Ease of Use for new features, then Add complexity or Depth as you go along simply due to the size of the WO dev team

 

 

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I'd like to see an asymptotic curve with ease of use leading in a standard wurm curve towards depth as the skill increases.
Make it simple at the beginning and unlock complexity and additional tools or materials or other options as you go. This creates a sense of progression to a skill and gives there a reason to have a high skill beyond simple mindless grinding for titles or niarja rep. I like to imagine its one of the reasons there are so many more 70fine carpenters than 70 yoyoists; You have something to gain by getting there.

That said I respect that we cannot always choose a sunny day scenario due to other restrictions internal or external so I will also answer your question as put:
"Depth! (but lets not conflate complexity with depth either, and adding depth, like all features, should add to and complement the experience we have not decimate it and build on its bones)"

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29 minutes ago, Tristanc said:

PS: Thank you for  posing the question to the Community,  Keenan!  Such interaction and input can only lead to a better game and enjoyment.

+38 (my alts all agree too)

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This IS a tough one, because I think about fishing. The old system was horrible. As Wurm was switching to the new journal system I had the fishing goal to complete to "win". The big remaining tasks were difficult, but the fishing goal.. I felt like i was being tortured sitting for day after day on a boat, casting line out every few minutes. The only thing that can be good for is afk play, and I was under the gun, trying to go from roughly 30 fishing to where I could catch the big one, around 90 fishing. I vowed to never fish in game again, sold my rare rod(but saved the grand prize RED CHERRY which you don't want to get me started on) and was done..... then the journal came out. It definitely wasn't simple anymore. In fact, it took me two days to make all I needed just to go out and try to catch a big one for the journal. And I had to figure out what time of day it was, what I was fishing for, change bait repeatedly as the time changed in game... way too complex. Something in between would have sufficed. Maybe a couple different rod types, a couple different baits, a float, and a line, along with the spear and net. Not so many different pieces and parts that they don't all fit in the cute tackle box.

 

So complexity doesn't have to be extreme. 

 

I think about the AH update too. I repeatedly said it was going to be another fishing update. In a big way it is. We did not need all the new traits. Most are worthless. Seriously, has anyone seen a "picks up stuff" pick up anything off the ground? And now with higher AH we get more of those random traits, which makes it harder to get the basic traits, so we're pretty much back in the same exact situation as before: too high AH screws up breeding. But we all know AH was broken before. Just like now, we had a bunch of traits that nobody wanted to deal with because they made it harder to breed the basic traits in. All that needed to be done there was to allow each basic trait to be bred at a certain skill point. Say at 30AH you could get one draft or speed trait, 50 two traits, 70 three traits, 90 all four. Having draft, speed, and output animals is good, having a zillion worthless traits is bad. The line was crossed between complexity and ease of use "AKA playability".

 

So my answer is they do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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11 minutes ago, CreZ said:

+38 (my alts all agree too)

damn 38 alts

makes you wonder how many of the games population is just the same person..

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The problem with "depth" is that it'll most likely end up cryptic and unexplained (examples: everything), Just Random™ (example: breeding), or half the feature broken (example: archaeology). I can work with cryptic, but if you can avoid making it be the other two, then depth is what wurm is all about.

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It feels like your replies are all rather obvious given the question, but I love the feedback and find it interesting all the same. The benefit of asking a question like this is that we're not discussing a specific feature except in using as an example. Instead, we're discussing a philosophy, and the feedback can help guide us with design and implementation in the future.

 

It is especially helpful with the examples being made, as it helps teach us where we went wrong versus where we went right.

 

Thank you all!

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My problem with "depth" in most skills is that it's just completely unexplainable unless you read wu code, fishing is a good example of the opposite of this contrary to popular belief here, with new fishing i never felt like it was trying to prevent me from doing things properly or anything that other skills do with their backwards logic and reliance on the 1-40 skillgain system which requires using trash tools for most cases, fishing you could easily find out what fish were in an area via lore, you could see the difference changing out your equipment did to the lore results so it wasn't just a "is this better or did rng ruin my small sample size", using high ql tools isn't a penalty to skillgain because it's easy to find harder fish to catch, and the game would give feedback on whether or not you're fishing things that are too hard or too easy, by catching them near instantly or always getting away. Compared to say, imping, where the best way to skill is opposite to most similar skill systems due to sweet spot imping, which you probably would never find via normal gameplay, the only reference ever to it in patch notes ever was rolf saying something obscure like "made imping above your skill better", or like, shield training which i've talked about a bit recently due to actually skilling it, something as simple as an altar of your god in the area will tank skillgains due to influence nuking the difficulty of the shield block, so if you had two different followers, both the exact same skill, grinding in an area, one could be grinding perfectly and the other would get literally no skill just because of an altar being nearby, and who would sit and think "hmm maybe this altar of my god is responsible for me losing 95% of my skill gain in a non-religious skill". I feel like if you're going to go for "depth", tools like "lore" from fishing or cooking that give you a general idea of what you're doing is too hard/easy/normal is needed to prevent it from just being indecipherable to the average player

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59 minutes ago, solmark said:

Maybe start of with Ease of Use to get more functionality out to the player base quicker and then add more complexity to it over time by adding more reasons to perform that task/action - this might work better for a small dev team, so long as it's built in such a way that allows it to be easily extended or enhanced.

 

The alternative is you build something that takes a lot of development cycles that misses its target for whatever reason

 

So my vote would be Ease of Use for new features, then Add complexity or Depth as you go along simply due to the size of the WO dev team

 

 

without the complexity or depth there is no challenge, nor any real reason to try to figure it out. Some times some people can find some things really easy, others not so much...Archeology is a good example of this. Same for Fishing. i swear there are fishermen out there that love the new system, they just keep mum cause they see something we dont. /shrug
*looks at OR's post and nods.(he posted before i finished)


 

 

22 minutes ago, asdf said:

The problem with "depth" is that it'll most likely end up cryptic and unexplained (examples: everything), Just Random™ (example: breeding), or half the feature broken (example: archaeology). I can work with cryptic, but if you can avoid making it be the other two, then depth is what wurm is all about.

Agreed, but with decent explantions things can be understood. somtimes finding them explainations is difficult.

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First of all, cool to see the involvement! :D If I want ease of use, there is a billion games out there. I do not play Wurm to be dragged along an easy laid out path. I play Wurm cause it has depth, and is such an unique cool experience! Of course ease of use is nice and all, but when facing a choice, I am personally much more fascinated by depth than ease of use.

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1 minute ago, Drogos said:

First of all, cool to see the involvement! :D If I want ease of use, there is a billion games out there. I do not play Wurm to be dragged along an easy laid out path. I play Wurm cause it has depth, and is such an unique cool experience! Of course ease of use is nice and all, but when facing a choice, I am personally much more fascinated by depth than ease of use.

this and what tristanc said, dont force everybody into "features" that are helpful for a tiny minority and screw up the rest (like the search bars and filters everywhere in the new UI that cannot be turnned off.)

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1 hour ago, Keenan said:

There are areas of Wurm where the depth makes the feature hard to approach, but I don't know if that creates a more enjoyable experience for those who brave the complexities of the feature. I'm looking at you, fishing!

 

I think the issue with fishing is more complicated. It's a very neat system but the added depth leads to it feeling bloated when about half of the options aren't very good or don't offer much. Fishing in general doesn't really offer a whole lot of reward which is where the complaints stem from, and it's why I suggest just skimming the fat of the system away but keeping a handful of parts to create an easier to use, but still pretty in depth system.

 

I will always go with depth, because without depth we end up with situations where things like HFC is incredible, but beverages is lackluster and really needs some work. I think I generally trust the devs to get that balance right. It's never been perfect, and animal husbandry was went down like a lead balloon so far, but I feel like I can trust you lot to get it to a good point.

 

I will once again point to the favour regen thread. It's a system every priest will use, so conversation was made in that thread about an idea proposed that was, frankly awful. They took away that feedback, and came back with the new favour system that we have now that is leaps and bounds better in every way. I think my point I'm saying with this paragraph is: I trust the devs for the most part to get the depth vs ease of use ratio right, but I do think systems that have much more heavier use need actual player feedback on ideas before they get put in. I think that's been the issue with some system updates, a lack of playerbase input on what should be changed and how.

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Madnath has a very good point. There are some systems that are used regularly by players(like AH) that needed more input, but then there are things that not everyone uses(like fishing) that can get some decidedly good stuff. 

The issue always lies in keeping in communication for the whole mess.

 

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Both, but at different levels.

As I suggested a few times for example less tools at low level when upgrading items, but on higher ql more tools and more types of resources game should require from player to improve single item.

Improving becomes more complex at higher level, but at same time should require fewer repetitions, because player has already spent some time creating new tools/gathering additional resources, so a single improve action can give a bigger ql jump, but the total time required to craft a high-quality item should remain close to current value (if present amount of time needed to improve item is of course a value that is not intended to change).

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I'm going to agree with Madnath on the lack of reward from fishing but as I recall there were craftable fishing trophies added with the fishing update but they were bugged somehow and got hotfixed out - never to return.

Being able to display your best catches would go a long way to making fishing rewarding.

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A lot of games focus on ease of use over depth, so to widen the niche go for depth.

 

However...  Effort vs Reward REALLY needs tweaking for some things...

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It should be appealing to brand new players and easy to start, while also appealing to end game players and veterans.

 

Right now fishing is neither

 

It went from a reliable, safe, easy and generally quick way to get food for a brand new newbie, and a relaxing part time activity for veterans, to having to grind for ages and gather all sorts of stupid materials before you can reliably catch a fish that can actually be cooked and eaten and will give you food. It’s also not relaxing anymore for veterans as you have to pay attention to all sorts of stuff, and once again gather a bunch of materials. Spear fishing is a joke, and in general the whole thing is buggy and not well explained. It’s way too time consuming RNG filled and interactive for what it is, while giving you very little in return.

 

A brand new player now might as well starve or ask others for food, or just simply start hunting because he/she will waste hours on gathering stuff and fishing up garbage that they’ll just get fed up and leave.

 

It does have some neat ideas, like different types of fish that can be caught in specific waters and at specific time or day. 


Depth is fine but the rewards need to be useful and worth it. And as others have said it needs to be clearly and thorougly explained on how it works and supposed to work and then communicated to us if something is intended or not. But of course that’s like asking for god to come down from the heavens. 

Edited by nitram20
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