Keenan

Development Update 2021-09-22

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They need to put a skill transfer in similiar to the one done in 2017. 

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6 hours ago, Taltos said:

They need to put a skill transfer in similiar to the one done in 2017. 

 

Quote

Every other skill transfer suggestion...

 

Let me start by saying this is my opinion and not a "Yes" or "No" to the idea. I want to be open and honest about this.

 

First, the transfer back in 2017 was terrible. The math was good, but the implementation was horrible, and I'm still getting tickets passed to me to fix people who had issues with it. To this day, I have a docker container with the databases loaded from before the transfer to verify what people were supposed to have. We did a terrible job, and I'm not afraid to say that.  (Edit: On further reflection, we didn't do a terrible job. We did what we could with what we had at the time, and there was no indication of anything going wrong based on the data we had. I'm being too hard on us here, but I'm also leaving that part in because transparency is good.) It was so awful because it was a one-time database modification based on a sample set of data that proved inaccurate and did not represent the whole set. And it was an extensive sampling, but the problem came from other bugs that caused incorrect data that we were relying on to complete the proper calculations. So, I do not personally want to go down that road again.

 

Now that leaves us with an in-code solution. Here's the rub, though: It would have to be some conversion based on the epic curve during transfers, and transfers are delicate as is. We did something similar to this for Jackal, and it resulted in us having to do the first (and so far only (knocking on wood)) rollback in my tenure as a developer. That's nearly six years. We eventually got it mostly correct, but it wasn't perfect, and the code wouldn't translate well here because it went off of skill ticks. What we did was record your skill ticks, not the amount of skill you gained. We then applied those ticks at the Freedom skill rate, giving you skill on Freedom for your work on Jackal. The problem with this approach is that anyone who has skilled up on Epic since 2017 will be out of luck as we have no way of tracking those individual ticks.

 

Now we need to write new code into server transfers to allow for skill transfer back to Freedom. Again, I'm not saying "No." Nor can I say "Yes" as that's not my call individually. But if we tried to do it, it would take a significant amount of time and still leave us with the central issue: Epic doesn't seem to attract people. Yes, people wouldn't be "wasting" time on Epic with skill transfers, but since the gains would have to be on par with Freedom gains, that also means there's still no incentive to play there. So we need to figure out that bit first, in my opinion, before we address skills at all.

 

The TL;DR for those who hate my books is that skill transfer is very hard and still doesn't provide an incentive to play on Epic. In my opinion, we should focus on that incentive first, and then we can look into skill transfers.

As for shutting down Epic, there's no reason to do this. If we were still on Hetzner, there would be a financial reason to consider it, but since we now load balance game servers across several hosts, the server costs aren't as much of an issue.

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25 minutes ago, Keenan said:

still leave us with the central issue: Epic doesn't seem to attract people.

Are you sure this is true?  Epic certainly attracts me, for the most part, except that the whole "you can neither take nor bring back ANYTHING, including character gains" repels me more than the rest attracts  me.  As a die-hard explorer, I already know that I will have very little to show for my expeditions.  However, having put in the work (and frankly relied on generosity) to be sufficiently well-equipped to travel the wilder places with only a little concern for safety (and able to take relevant precautions at need), while I would LOVE to explore Epic, I don't want to arrive there naked and helpless and have to do re-do all that non-exploring stuff just to get to the exploring bit, and then have zero to show for it.  

 

I can appreciate what you are saying regarding transfers, but the lack of transfer and the lack of attraction for Epic are not two separate and unrelated issues, at least to me.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Keenan said:

Epic doesn't seem to attract people.

 

But it does! I'm using one of home servers as my (almost) private island.

 

Jokes aside, we still have people coming to Epic and going because of, i assume, dead silence (except JK, bastards are having parties there).

Is it about PVP overall? I'd say market didn't changed, people are still interested in competitions and power.

So, it's not about PVP and risks (because who will be a threat to you on empty server?).

Is it about the game itself? I'd say it can be hard for people to accept somewhat old graphics, pass the learning curve and stay for good.

So, yes, but old game with complex mechanics is not a big no-no. Lots of people won't see it as a stopper.

So, what it is?

It's not like "new people don't come to Epic", because they most likely don't know neither what's so special about it nor that it's dead. So i suppose % of newcomers on Epic is somewhat stable and depends on general number of newcomers to Wurm (which is another good topic to discuss).

 

So, as i said, it's dead silence.

I came to Epic ~2012 and there were people to ask for help, to settle with, to raid with. Over the time people were leaving, but new people were met and involved into activity.

I came back to Epic again some time ago. I know there are people around, but everybody stays silent and 

And here i see a part that local communities can do: be there, meet your newcomers, help them and make them feel involved.

I do understand spy risks and other concerns, but, again, this is the way it was back on old Epic.

 

My point is not "save Epic on your own", but "we can do something even without changes from dev's side".

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While I think skill transfare alone would not be a saving grace for Epic it would help to give the Freedomplayers a PvP escape every now and then without the big flag of need new character. On top people maybe join and not realising that Epic is a PvP server with a diffrent curve start ther don´t liek the PvP but allredy investet 10-20h and are more likely to quit then thinking about joining freedom with a new character Same the otwer way around for peopel that feel to restrictet by the freedomrules. 20h don´t look mutch for us veterans but its a lot of commitment and faced with "do it again" maybe drive people away. Like I say the missing skill transfare is not the biggest problem but it defintly not help that its missing.

 

6 hours ago, Keenan said:

Now that leaves us with an in-code solution. Here's the rub, though: It would have to be some conversion based on the epic curve during transfers, and transfers are delicate as is. We did something similar to this for Jackal, and it resulted in us having to do the first (and so far only (knocking on wood)) rollback in my tenure as a developer. That's nearly six years. We eventually got it mostly correct, but it wasn't perfect, and the code wouldn't translate well here because it went off of skill ticks. What we did was record your skill ticks, not the amount of skill you gained. We then applied those ticks at the Freedom skill rate, giving you skill on Freedom for your work on Jackal. The problem with this approach is that anyone who has skilled up on Epic since 2017 will be out of luck as we have no way of tracking those individual ticks.

So with the Jackel thing you say you have code that allredy proven to work based on tehoretical skill ticks insted of raw value. And in the NFI we allredy have two seperated data sets that need checks so ther is code allredy to.

So can you not revers the Jackel function for a "theoretical tick amount for this skill level" data point?

And then just make a simpel comparison check? Like "Server you go old value+(server you come from theoreticle tick size - theoretical tick size of server you go)" ?

 

But ok we still need a good Epic solution in the long run but geting it conectet to the freedom server is defintly a good first step in my opinion.

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9 minutes ago, Radircs said:

While I think skill transfare alone would not be a saving grace for Epic it would help to give the Freedomplayers a PvP escape every now and then without the big flag of need new character. On top people maybe join and not realising that Epic is a PvP server with a diffrent curve start ther don´t liek the PvP but allredy investet 10-20h and are more likely to quit then thinking about joining freedom with a new character Same the otwer way around for peopel that feel to restrictet by the freedomrules. 20h don´t look mutch for us veterans but its a lot of commitment and faced with "do it again" maybe drive people away. Like I say the missing skill transfare is not the biggest problem but it defintly not help that its missing.

 

So with the Jackel thing you say you have code that allredy proven to work based on tehoretical skill ticks insted of raw value. And in the NFI we allredy have two seperated data sets that need checks so ther is code allredy to.

So can you not revers the Jackel function for a "theoretical tick amount for this skill level" data point?

And then just make a simpel comparison check? Like "Server you go old value+(server you come from theoreticle tick size - theoretical tick size of server you go)" ?

 

But ok we still need a good Epic solution in the long run but geting it conectet to the freedom server is defintly a good first step in my opinion.

 

Chaos gives Freedom players that PvP escape with just a simple boat ride there and back. I think that logic has already been fulfilled. No new character needed, no portal with its time limitations required. No stats conversions are required either.

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7 hours ago, Keenan said:

The TL;DR for those who hate my books is that skill transfer is very hard and still doesn't provide an incentive to play on Epic. In my opinion, we should focus on that incentive first, and then we can look into skill transfers.

As for shutting down Epic, there's no reason to do this.

 

I'm not happy about losing all my gains since 2017 (and then some) when I relocated to Freedom a few months back after previously spending all my time on Epic. But I figured, assuming things stay as is, then it's better to (mostly) live/skill on Freedom and have the ability to take those gains back over to Epic in the long run, rather than vice-versa (which is very risky if anything untoward happens to Epic). Part of my move was to do with finding a larger and more active community, but part of it was specifically a strategic response to the way the skill transfer works (or rather doesn't work).

 

Now obviously the skilling system has changed on Epic, which would likely make any accurate two-way transfer very difficult, unless the Epic skilling system was put back the way it was. Except I prefer the new system given we're rewarded for doing sensible things like mining the ore we need (for example), rather than as on Freedom where to skill mining we have to stand in front of a sandstone block for days with a 1ql pick (which seems so hideously wrong and counter-intuitive). I don't need a set of crap skilling tools on Epic, which makes general gameplay flow so much better.

 

But regardless, the bottom line is indeed incentive first, then worry about skill transfers. If the incentives don't work then there's no point in wasting time addressing the tricky problem of skill transfers, however much we want this. The way I see it, something unique to Epic has to come back to Freedom, and that something has to be genuinely useful on Freedom; useful enough to make players want to go get it.

 

Either way, I'm glad to hear Epic is unlikely to be shut down. That's the critical thing for me. I started on Epic, I love Epic, Epic is the main reason I continue to play, and I really don't want to see it deleted. If push comes to shove, and fixing Epic ultimately proves too difficult to address, then I'd prefer to see Epic just left the way it is.

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2 hours ago, Tristanc said:

 

Chaos gives Freedom players that PvP escape with just a simple boat ride there and back. I think that logic has already been fulfilled. No new character needed, no portal with its time limitations required. No stats conversions are required either.

 

This point keeps getting made, and it's a fair point. Why bother with Epic when we can live on Freedom and go to Chaos for PvP?

 

Except Epic and Chaos are different:

 

Chaos is small. Epic is big. You've got the respective kingdom home server where players can live and defend, which suits one style of play. Then you've got Elevation (with HotA) that all factions are effectively competing for, which suits a riskier style of play. I suppose Elevation is the equivalent of Chaos? Then you've got the enemy kingdoms' servers to raid which is about as spicy as it gets. It's a really nice design, and players ought to appreciate it more.

 

On Chaos you can flee to Freedom and hide. On Epic there is no retreat past your home server - nowhere is entirely safe. Your boats, wheelie-vehicles, animals, buildings, bank account, and anything else that is too big or heavy to store on toons is always vulnerable to being pilfered, abused, killed, or vandalised.

 

Chaos uses PMKs, and some players prefer the template MR vs JK vs HotS format. Not to say that PMKs aren't perfectly viable and fun, but Epic and Chaos are just different in this respect.

 

The current skill system on Epic rewards you for doing constructive things that you're supposed to be doing, rather than burning time doing pointless things you would never ordinarily do (other than purely to increase skill).

 

The mission system on Epic can get you the full range of sorcery items, and influencing/meddling with the gods is interesting in its own right. Sure, players can no longer become gods themselves, which was the ultimate goal, but this system could potentially yet be revamped.

 

There is no Curve on Chaos, and the Curve definitely makes it easier for noobs to get up to speed, and even do the full-on self-sufficient survivalist-hermit-thing if that's their bag.

 

The rapid timers on Epic make it significantly faster to replace gear, vehicles, and buildings, among other things. Horses gestate very fast on Elevation (hours not days). You're likely to risk more if you know everything is easier to replace, whereas Chaos is effectively the same slow grind and long wait that Freedom is.

 

These factors combined tend to attract some players to Epic rather than Chaos, and will generally give a different vibe to PvP adventures on Epic I guess.

Edited by Mowglia
Thought of another reason (timer speeds)
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10 hours ago, Keenan said:

 

 

Let me start by saying this is my opinion and not a "Yes" or "No" to the idea. I want to be open and honest about this.

 

First, the transfer back in 2017 was terrible. The math was good, but the implementation was horrible, and I'm still getting tickets passed to me to fix people who had issues with it. To this day, I have a docker container with the databases loaded from before the transfer to verify what people were supposed to have. We did a terrible job, and I'm not afraid to say that.  (Edit: On further reflection, we didn't do a terrible job. We did what we could with what we had at the time, and there was no indication of anything going wrong based on the data we had. I'm being too hard on us here, but I'm also leaving that part in because transparency is good.) It was so awful because it was a one-time database modification based on a sample set of data that proved inaccurate and did not represent the whole set. And it was an extensive sampling, but the problem came from other bugs that caused incorrect data that we were relying on to complete the proper calculations. So, I do not personally want to go down that road again.

 

Now that leaves us with an in-code solution. Here's the rub, though: It would have to be some conversion based on the epic curve during transfers, and transfers are delicate as is. We did something similar to this for Jackal, and it resulted in us having to do the first (and so far only (knocking on wood)) rollback in my tenure as a developer. That's nearly six years. We eventually got it mostly correct, but it wasn't perfect, and the code wouldn't translate well here because it went off of skill ticks. What we did was record your skill ticks, not the amount of skill you gained. We then applied those ticks at the Freedom skill rate, giving you skill on Freedom for your work on Jackal. The problem with this approach is that anyone who has skilled up on Epic since 2017 will be out of luck as we have no way of tracking those individual ticks.

 

Now we need to write new code into server transfers to allow for skill transfer back to Freedom. Again, I'm not saying "No." Nor can I say "Yes" as that's not my call individually. But if we tried to do it, it would take a significant amount of time and still leave us with the central issue: Epic doesn't seem to attract people. Yes, people wouldn't be "wasting" time on Epic with skill transfers, but since the gains would have to be on par with Freedom gains, that also means there's still no incentive to play there. So we need to figure out that bit first, in my opinion, before we address skills at all.

 

The TL;DR for those who hate my books is that skill transfer is very hard and still doesn't provide an incentive to play on Epic. In my opinion, we should focus on that incentive first, and then we can look into skill transfers.

As for shutting down Epic, there's no reason to do this. If we were still on Hetzner, there would be a financial reason to consider it, but since we now load balance game servers across several hosts, the server costs aren't as much of an issue.

 

You already have incentive to play on Epic - the last incentive you left there and that's 2x skill gain.

 

You don't need any special maths to transfer skills back to freedom, just transfer it 1 : 1.

 

Effective skill can stay on Epic and actual skill can go on freedom like it is. Nothing less nothing more. Simple.

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28 minutes ago, Ryaanna said:

 

You already have incentive to play on Epic - the last incentive you left there and that's 2x skill gain.

 

You don't need any special maths to transfer skills back to freedom, just transfer it 1 : 1.

 

Effective skill can stay on Epic and actual skill can go on freedom like it is. Nothing less nothing more. Simple.

You realise it's a completely different skilling system that is much faster right. 

 

There's a reason people go there to hit certain journal goals, and it's not effective skill

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2 minutes ago, Archaed said:

You realise it's a completely different skilling system that is much faster right. 

 

There's a reason people go there to hit certain journal goals, and it's not effective skill

 

Its not much faster. its only 2x   :)

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1 minute ago, Ryaanna said:

 

Its not much faster. its only 2x   :)

it's not a flat number, some skills are multiple times faster due to epic being skillgain on any success vs only 1-40 rolls. prayer was around 10x faster to skill to 70 before the changes (and even more than 10x past 70 but no reason to grind past that).

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5 minutes ago, Oblivionnreaver said:

it's not a flat number, some skills are multiple times faster due to epic being skillgain on any success vs only 1-40 rolls. prayer was around 10x faster to skill to 70 before the changes (and even more than 10x past 70 but no reason to grind past that).

 

Yeah I know. But thats reason why people will play there, isnt it?  Faster skill gain. Tick on skill every time. Theres nothing left to offer.

Edited by Ryaanna

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52 minutes ago, Ryaanna said:

 

Yeah I know. But thats reason why people will play there, isnt it?  Faster skill gain. Tick on skill every time. Theres nothing left to offer.

so a 1:1 skillgain transfer is absolutely unbalanced. That's what I'm pointing out. 

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15 hours ago, Keenan said:

The problem with this approach is that anyone who has skilled up on Epic since 2017 will be out of luck as we have no way of tracking those individual ticks.

Thanks for time to write and reply to this issue @Keenan Greatly appreciate the transparency.

With that said, i must say reading this post left me a somewhat gutted to be frank, as someone whos most skilling was done after 2017.
Even with out taking that into account, i still think that the two-way would of been the main incentive to be on Epic to begin with.
Other then that we do have mechanics that differentiate us, for me its the Missions for example, actually having value and having that feeling your fighting together for your god.
That is my favorite, there's more examples that make Epic a fun cluster, at least for me.

It seems that the 2x really complicates things far more then its worth, or at least it seems that way.
Would it ever be in consideration to simply to a flat out, total skill transfer 1:1?
And after the transfers being enabled , simply doing away with the 2x mechanic, perhaps just keep the timers but take away the 2x skillgain? Honestly don't know.

With risk to be at a loss for words, not sure what else to add, from this perspective it seemed to have dashed just a bit of hope away.

But alas yet again, thank you again for the honest answer to this issue @Keenan, it is good to know at least at what position Epic stands.
 

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On 9/23/2021 at 4:35 AM, Darklords said:

We are defiantly open to suggestions about what people think would be best for epic going forward. Just closing it fully is a tough thing to do and something I personally hope we can avoid.

Here are some things that came to my mind just now:

Open Epic to all other world. Make it accessible via boats from freedom (and vice-versa) and call it, erm.. Eastern Epic Isles. Or something like that.

Remove or rather severely "Flatten" the curve, so empty servers wil still attract ppl from freedom - deed building, mining, explorations, new faces, grinding. Though in return for "new" curve they would become vulnerable before any PVP happening. No pain - no gain.

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Yea, with current Epic population, I think there is no need for any top-level mathematic with skill transfer. Just transfer them "as is". 

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Please for the benefit of us Freedomers, please can someone draw up a list of reasons why any of us should visit/move to Epic?

 

Please separate the benefits into Existing Benefits, and Proposed Incentives.

 

At the moment I can't see myself or most people I know playing on Epic, but maybe that's because:

1) the existing benefits of Epic are not clear to the average Freedomer or there are benefits we don't hear about

2) nobody has thought of any potential incentives which could be implemented to attract more people to Epic.

 

Existing Benefits I know about:

Increased skillgain (a turn-off for those 'hard core grinding' Freedomers)

Slight chance of PVP (arguably not considered a positive by most on Freedom)

Faster Journal completion (not everyone uses their journal)

 

Proposed Incentives:

I can't imagine going to Epic as long is it not possible to bring anything back (reward).  If Epic had the ability to bring things back:

  • a new resource, such as a material, tile type, harvestable fruit, game animal or metal vein
  • a challenge or maze deed with a trophy such as a title, medal or other reward
  • an event like an impalong, a party, or treasure/hunting/fighting event with prizes we can keep

More people might visit.  Basically we have no *proof* we have ever visited Epic, except "so and so looks like she has blood from XYZ".

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Regarding incentives for Epic; presumably the idea would be not only to attract more players, but also to encourage PvP...

 

You could award points for kills. These points could then be traded for something useful on either Freedom or Epic, such as affinities chosen by the player (for example). That would give players from Freedom a fairly good reason to visit Epic and engage in PvP (given they can't lose their Freedom affinities on Epic)?

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2 hours ago, Mowglia said:

not only to attract more players

I'd say "Not only to attract players but to keep them active on servers"

 

2 hours ago, Mowglia said:

These points could then be traded for something useful on either Freedom or Epic, such as affinities chosen by the player (for example)

Given that affinities are stolen (or obtained for kills in pvp), players who kill mosy will get 2x boost in affinities. IMO it might me imbalanced. 

Maybe points could be awarded for cleaning valrei stuff like sons of nogumps, eaglespirits, uttachas, deathcrawlers etc..

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We could use separate, official topic for Epic, so people could post their suggestions and they won't be lost between other posts.

Edited by Wilczan
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5 hours ago, Mowglia said:

Regarding incentives for Epic; presumably the idea would be not only to attract more players, but also to encourage PvP...

 

You could award points for kills. These points could then be traded for something useful on either Freedom or Epic, such as affinities chosen by the player (for example). That would give players from Freedom a fairly good reason to visit Epic and engage in PvP (given they can't lose their Freedom affinities on Epic)?

 

You won't encourage average player to PvP if the rules allow for 10v1 attacks and raid window requires that defending player have to stay up most of night to defend his property.
PvP is meant to test your skills against other players, so even being part of that group of 10 and attacking 1 player doesn't look attractive either, unless someone is a teen who has issues and likes to tease weaker players.

 

And I am writing this as a player who thinks PvE and PvP should be merged into one game, but the rules must be fairer and give everyone an equal chance of winning.

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Another proposal is to do a meditation skills revamp for epic. Because last 2 abilities on all paths are basically the same. 

Was that lack of imagination at devs' office? :)

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Well at least our cluster will hopefully get some attention.
The thing is, i can't think what could possibly be changed in a positive light to entice people to leave their clusters to play on Epic.
Even if you played on Epic for just a month and then went back, as said before you would get nothing to show for it.
Honestly if i was a Freedom player, from that perspective i would definitely not waste my time playing on Epic simply because you would had zero progress to your place of origin, Freedom in this example.
At our current state, Epic is that one night stand at the club that you dump after a night of fun, and cutoff/block from your life lmao.

Don't get me wrong, any development aimed towards Epic in this regard is very appreciated.
It's just that i can't think of a change that's positive enough to the degree that would make Freedom players "waste" their time on our cluster.

In this regard NFI is the perfect cluster, having skill transfers between their respective PVE/PVP, except fight med/pray, they have both PVE and PVP with Default kingdoms. Not sure if they have PMKs tho.

Perhaps thats a solution? To have a single PVE island on Epic with 2x for people to get "ready" on before they come to join one of the 3 kingdom maps on epic?
If no transfer is considered i see something like this as a possible solution, it would give PVE orianted people a place to stay on Epic and actually have an economy running.

This way it could persuade PVE players to come and build something meaningful on our cluster and for us it would be both ways, cause we could build on PVE Epic isles as well with out being isolated and join into the economy/settle near our cluster, with the benefit of current Epic systems, such as 2x and timers.

Obviously i'm not sure how much strain Wurm structure would endure to launch one more "map" / Island that would be on Epic.

Just a thought out there, thanks for reading o/

Edited by Rukhal
Clarification
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Would be crazy to waste time on Epic when there's new super active servers in dire need of fixes

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