Metallumere

Another Mild-Mannered Musings On The Misery Of Alts

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Posted (edited)

My advice: stop worrying about alts and start thinking about the economy. By that I mean: fix the root cause of the problem, not the symptoms.

 

The problem is not that people have alts. Not if I understand what you've written. It sounds like your complaint is the lack of division of labour — a community where people fill specialist niches that co-operate to make a functioning economy.

 

There are a couple of reasons why we've never seen that vision of a happy town with lots of people working together doing very different jobs.

  1. The first one is that, because some players are lone wolf types, the game is necessarily designed and balanced so that jack-of-all-trades characters are quite practical. Being good at mining and smithing doesn't prevent you being good at shipbuilding or archery. Putting it in D&D terms: there are no character classes here (other than priest-or-not).
  2. Possibly more important. Not only is it unnecessary for people to specialize in order to survive, or to earn a living, it is boring to do the same job all the time. I like building bridges but I also like riding about delivering things, and I like being able to craft my own armour. Putting it in D&D terms: these are player characters, not NPCs, and it would be a mistake to expect them to live stereotyped cliched lives.

If you can propose some changes to game balance or mechanics that might have the effect of making it less likely that players would want to use alts, then I'm interested. But from our current starting point, a sandbox without many limits, your proposals are probably going to look like arbitrary restrictions... and that's going to be a tough sell.

Edited by Sheffie
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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Sheffie said:

If you can propose some changes to game balance or mechanics that might have the effect of making it less likely that players would want to use alts, then I'm interested.

I'm inclined to agree that this is the ideal way to go about it, yeah.

On 4/15/2022 at 11:26 PM, Metallumere said:

just working to remedy why it is people play alts in the first place would reduce the perceived necessity of having to play one

And that would honestly be good enough, I'd hope anyway.

But, like I said earlier, I think it'd be very important that people at least be conscientious of their passivity, or complacency, in using alts to circumvent problems rather than spark discussion to work out solutions.
That's really just what I find to be kind of mind-boggling, the myriad of people saying "I use alts because I can't do thing otherwise.", how do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just keep using alts to resolve it?

I guess a top 3 proposals of mine would be somewhat straight-forward:

  • Allow priests into the fold of core game mechanics(crafting and terraforming), while limiting their practicality or effectiveness in other ways, rather than outright disallowing them from doing what everyone probably wants to be doing. I at the very least think they should be allowed to imp the same things their follower bonuses grant, but there's maybe more interesting systems that could be put in place to supplement that, or effectively allow any craft beyond that without having no down-sides and encouraging everyone to just run a priest.  Especially since some of the bonuses followers get are very limited ranges of crafts compared to other deities'. There's probably a very good opportunity here to expand on the sacrificing and mission system too, like maybe priests just have stunted craft and imp'ing skillgain, but can work together on a mission to make 5000 oars, or something, for good xp bonuses or incentives or such.

    Another approach would just be making those hard-restrictions actually meaningful. There better be a good reason a Lib priest can't dig, but there just isn't one. It's arbitrary and non-sensical. What am I sacrificing that for, right?
    What if it was the case that; the reason Lib priests can't dig, is because it disrupts their channeling skill? Like, maybe Lib priests draw their strength from the rot of the soil, and disrupting that is detrimental. Dig some dirt, boom, massive channeling penalty for the next 48 hours. Does this cripple your ability to function as a priest still? Yes. But it doesn't permanently kill your faith just because you had to level something out right quick, it just mostly prevents you from being able to function as a priest for a while.

 

  • Land claims are probably the next big issue. Not being able to do that because you're part of a settlement already, or having a settlement elsewhere on a server, is kind of a harsh limitation. If, like you say, there's a lot of lone wolf types that are catered to, perhaps there should be an entirely different system of land-claims that don't get tangled with the idea of having citizens. Maybe just being able to give buildings their own upkeep would be nice enough, but I'm sure that itself would present some funny problems.
    There's probably good reasons these claim limits are in place, but I do think there's reasonable ways to ease them, and it's pretty obvious that people are more than willing to pay a good bit extra for more claims anyway, so there's not much to lose here I don't think.

 

  • And finally, bulk-crafting. This is one of those things that I don't really have any personal issues with, but I know others do.
    I think making simpler crafts a 100% success chance, like nails and bricks and such, went a long way to easing the annoyance of making materials, but it still seems to be somewhat un-engaging. I'd guess that, aside from priest alts, a lot of alts are used just for continuous repetitive tasks like making mortar or attaching bricks. This leads me to believe that there should be systems in place to, say, allow for much longer crafting/building timers, resulting in greater yield/application of materials. So, instead of 10 seconds for 1 brick, how about 100 seconds for 10? Input a single action, and... wait. Have the stuff be crafted or applied incrementally throughout the timer so that if it stops early, your work thus far isn't lost.
    It's less repetitive, sure, but not really more interesting, right? That should be evidence that crafting and building is just kind of un-engaging by default, so maybe something should be done about that besides lowering action timers or increasing the yield of the action in exchange for making it longer. Still, one of those things would be a fine stop-gap until something could be worked out, so I'd personally be in favor of increasing action yields proportionally to their timers, rather than reducing timers.

There's a lot more detail and thought that could be put into these things, I'd hope others have a lot more to say about these things too.
I know I'm kind of skipping over the entire concept of PVP, and maybe others would consider that a top priority, but I just don't know enough about it really.

Edited by Metallumere

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Posted (edited)

So OP are not trying to find the people who have a no-alts mind set and compromise/agree the current gaming mechanic?


OP are trying to find the people who have a no-alts mind set and trying to change the current gaming mechanic?, like 

2 hours ago, Metallumere said:

Allow priests into the fold of core game mechanics

2 hours ago, Metallumere said:

an entirely different system of land-claims

2 hours ago, Metallumere said:

instead of 10 seconds for 1 brick, how about 100 seconds for 10?

 

Sound like OP are complaining the people who compromise/agree the current gaming mechanic.

Is the current gaming mechanic a problem?

 

2 hours ago, Metallumere said:

I find to be kind of mind-boggling, the myriad of people saying "I use alts because I can't do thing otherwise.", how do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just keep using alts to resolve it?

"I use alts because i cant change the current gaming mechanic." How do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just let other people run the current game besides OP? Does it sound right for OP?

 

7 hours ago, Sheffie said:

But from our current starting point, a sandbox without many limits, your proposals are probably going to look like arbitrary restrictions... and that's going to be a tough sell.

 

Edited by Coach

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-1 If anyone wanna play 10 alts be my guest even tho is not my cup of tea, every time i prem my priest i feel like i am burned out already.

Alts are treated pretty much as a separate customers. They even disabled the unique IP address statistics, which i am curious to see now ,especially for nfi.

 

 

 

 

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On 4/18/2022 at 3:15 AM, Coach said:

"I use alts because i cant change the current gaming mechanic." How do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just let other people run the current game besides OP? Does it sound right for OP?

Not OP but this sounds a bit uncharitable to OP, who has (IMHO) good points and decent suggestions. If you know better ways the mechanic could be changed, it would be more helpful to offer those, rather than mock other’s suggestions.

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never cared if others used alts. personally i never will.

 

my theory for why people use alts is to fill the void of a small player count. can be difficult to find neighbors, difficult to find people to trade with, difficult to travel to people. only makes sense someone would make a nail/board-crafting alt.

 

also the abilities priest lose are about a slap to the face. pls fix and make more viable for people who DON'T use alts.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/20/2022 at 4:20 PM, AragornII said:
On 4/18/2022 at 2:15 AM, Coach said:

"I use alts because i cant change the current gaming mechanic." How do you expect to ever do that thing otherwise if you just let other people run the current game besides OP? Does it sound right for OP?

Not OP but this sounds a bit uncharitable to OP, who has (IMHO) good points and decent suggestions. If you know better ways the mechanic could be changed, it would be more helpful to offer those, rather than mock other’s suggestions.

On 4/16/2022 at 5:26 AM, Metallumere said:

My suggestion; get rid of alts. Somehow.

My comments are not trying to determine whether OP made good points and decent suggestions about why should get rid of alts.
They are trying to discuss how to get rid of alts as this is OP's goal. 

I was pointing out the possible difficulties to get rid of alts, hopefully OP's can offer people a way to fulfill the goal. Maybe OP should run the game which others find it difficult to do?


If OP somehow makes the current gaming mechanic fit people's goals, people will not use any alts even there is an option to use an alt.

 

 

Can see bunch of situations are waiting OP to solve under the no alt theory. And dealing with large amount of work is one of the possible difficulty. The other possible difficulty is how to make the game mechanic change actually happen. 

 

Also, hard to get rid of alts doesn't mean people shouldn't talk about why should get rid of alts. I mean OP are trying to convince people to think how to get rid of alts by saying why should get rid of alts. But I am more interested on how.  

 

 

Edited by Pandalet
Moderation edit

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There's been nothing in the discussion above to convince me that moving to a no-alt mechanic would be better, in fact I'm more convinced than ever that doing so would be a detriment. Primarily, it would take our small, dedicated dev team away from making the game more enjoyable, all to solve a (to me) non-existent problem.

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Everyone wanting "to get rid of alts" just should play without and find others who do. Any attempt to get rid of my alts would be an illegitimate intrusion into my gameplay and playstyle.

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Nope... Very bad idea.
I am a paying costumer and this game lives on people that are willing to pay with real cash. Further more I have 15 deeds on three servers.

I average upkeep costs at around 50 silver per month, and then we have not even talked about how much I pay in prem.
And I am just one of all those people who have reasons for having multiple alts.

 

Imagine the huge loss of income this would cause the game owners.

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There is a division of labour in real life because it's not possible to clone oneself to double the amount of production, so the whole comparison is off right from the beginning.  However if it WERE possible for us to clone ourselves while sharing some sort of hive mind, and perform two (or more) tasks as the same time, rest assured that people would absolutely do it.

Many of the other items that require alts, particularly deed ownership, I would love to see changed.
 

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I use alts myself, it makes jobs easier so I'm not sure I would still play without them. If there was another alternative or solution then yeah I am all for that and give them up but until then I would like to keep my alts.

 

I have played Wurm Unlimited also with x3 skill increase and most people still have alts on there including me at the time so I doubt increasing skill is going to solve it, people will just have things much faster than they do now with alts. Not everyone can have alts though, their computers can't handle it so it is kind of unbalanced in that sense.

 

I can't think of any solution to the problem, the game is probably to revolved around alts to be able to do anything. You need an alt for a priest if you want your main to be able to do all jobs so I just can't see alts going anywhere I'm afraid.

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