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XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:35 am
Author: Deider
We have made a few more changes to the xp code. These changes are a direct result of your feedback. The latest version of the xp code is now running on the Wilderness server. I am fairly confident that this will be the last iteration, and that this is going to be the final version of our xp system.

So what has changed? Only two things:

1. Anti-towing code. People have been worried that they need to count up everyone’s levels when they join a party and try to figure out their average party level, as if things had changed from before. The truth is, we’ve been running anti-towing code for almost two years, and no one seemed bothered by it until all of the recent talk about CRs and party levels and such :)

Another truth, something I can now tell you but couldn’t before: in the second batch of changes, we took out the anti-towing code. Why? Because you were worried that guilds and other groups with a wide spectrum of levels would not be able to make xp (even though we knew that this was never an issue before, since no one’s brought it up in the past two years). So we decided to test it out. What was the result? People started towing again :( As much as we’d like to not have any anti-towing code in the system, the simple truth is that if something is exploitable, people will exploit it.

So we have added some new anti-towing code that is a bit different from the old. In the old system, the highest-level party member was always counted thrice, which worked to jack up the average party level. While this made it somewhat difficult for epics to tow newbies, it hosed everybody across the board. The new system calculates your party level and then compares it with a minimum party level. This minimum party level is seven less than the highest level party member's level. If your average party level is less than this minimum, the party level is set to the minimum and xp is calculated accordingly.

Some examples:
Old system - a lvl10 and a lvl1 party up. The avg. party level is (10 + 10 + 10 +1)/4 = 7.

New system - for the same party, the avg lvl is (10+1)/2 = 5. The minimum avg. party lvl is 10-7 = 3. Since 5 is above the minimum, the avg. party lvl stays at 5.

Old system - a lvl30 PC parties up with a lvl1. The avg. party lvl is (30 + 30 + 30 + 1)/4 = 22. Another newb joins the party, lowering the avg. party level to 92/5=18. If another newb joins, the party lvl lowers further, to 93/6=15. This party can now get at least minimum xp for creatures of CR8 or better, with the epic PC killing the creatures easily while the newbies hang back and watch.

New system - a lvl30 PC parties up with a lvl1. The avg. party level is calculated at (30 + 1)/2 = 15, but the minimum avg. party level is 30-7=23. So the party level is set at 23. No matter now many more newbies join, the party level will remain at 23. This party will get token xp (1d2) if they kill creatures of CR10 to 15, and at least minimum xp (1d4+1) for killing creatures of CR16 and above.

Note the result: newbies and lowbies no longer get affected by the towing code. Epics simply can't tow to lower their party level to exploitable levels, but can still lower their party level to within reason, considering their immense power.

2. Associates are now counted when calculating avg. party level. An associate is defined as any creature under a PC’s control - familiars, summoned creatures, animal companions, and creatures dominated by spell, psionic power, or animal empathy. So if a mage solos a creature he will get some xp, and if he summons a creature to aid him he’ll also get xp. This includes the Gate spell - yes, you will get xp for using Gate summons now. If you fight things below your CR you probably won’t see much of a change in xp, but if you and your associates kill things equal to or above your CR, you will notice you gain more xp solo compared to with a party of associates in tow, because they are taking their cut of xp for helping you defeat things.

To make things clearer, all associates are counted just like PCs. If you are solo, you are a party of one. If you summon a familiar, you are a party of two, and will get the party bonus for xp, but your xp is now split evenly between you and your familiar. If in addition you Gate in a balor, you are a party of three, and the xp is split three ways.

To prevent exploitation, if an associate has less hit dice than its master, when avg. party level is calculated its master’s hit dice are counted for the calculation. Some examples:

A lvl1 mage summons a dire badger (3HD). Since the dire badger’s hit dice are higher than its master, its own HD are counted and the avg. party level is (1+3)/2=2.

A lvl30 cleric summons a dire badger. Since the dire badger’s hit dice are less than its master’s, its master’s HD are counted and the avg. party level is (30 + 30)/2 = 30. This prevents people from summoning wussy creatures and then telling them to stand back while they go off to fight, taking advantage of the reduced party lvl to gain more xp.

Note that the anti-tow code works hand in hand with this. If a lvl20 mage summons a 40HD balor, the avg. party lvl is calculated initially as (20+40)/2 = 30, BUT the 40HD balor is the highest-lvl party member, so the party level is adjusted to 40-7=33. In essence, this means that if you use a spell or psionics to gate in an uber creature, you’ll get xp for having it kick ass for you, but you’ll probably only get the token xp (1d2) unless you find some creatures with really high CR for it to kill.

I repeat, these changes are only live on the Wilderness as of this posting. Feel free to go check them out and post your feedback, both positive and negative, here.

Lastly, a word about epics, something that has been said in the past but not said recently, though it should be. Avlis doesn't cater to epic levels. Never has, never will. If 99% of the PCs are epic, we still won't change how things are done. That doesn't mean we actively try to punish epic PCs, it simply means that the play experience is focused mainly on "The Grind," the progression from level 1 to level 20.

The 3E xp progression is linear, but Avlis' is not. Your progression tapers off once you hit the 20s, and once you hit the 30s you pretty much hit a wall, simply for the fact that there are very few challenging creatures for you to fight, nothing close enough to your level to give you a lot of xp. Avlis is built that way on purpose. Think of it as a pyrimidal structure - if there are billions of commoners, then there are perhaps millions of 3rd lvl soldiers, hundreds of thousands of 5th lvl lycanthropes, etc., until you get to the top, where there are only a handful of kings, lords, heroes, dragons, etc. There should NOT be millions of dragons for epics to hunt.

When half the PCs are epic, epic isn't epic anymore. We have already reached that stage; epic lost its epicness long ago, sadly. It shouldn't be easy to reach lvl30, and yet by the old system I could have done that with Gram this year, and he's lvl10 right now. There should only be a handful of people in the world who can singlehandledly beat back armies of men or hordes of demon lords, and yet every night you can run into a dozen such people at Elf Gate. Part of that is simply the age of our PW and the ability we've had to retain some long-term players, but part of it was a system that allowed you to reach epic levels, and continue to advance in them, rather quickly.

Getting to and advancing in epic levels should be as tough as it is to get to the higher echelons of crafting. Not everyone should be able to do it. People who have done it should be proud of the achievement.

The xp changes were never meant to hurt epics, but neither were they meant to help them.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:46 am
Author: Alphonse
not had a chance to log in and see this code in action, but damn thats a pretty nice way to deal with towing.

looking forward to testing that out :D

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:47 am
Author: Isengrim
*praises Deider*

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:55 am
Author: GHENGIZ.KHAN
Thankyou for all your hard work Deider, and everyone else I know who may have had a hand in it.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:57 am
Author: Demandred
After all the things this little Gnome has heard over the last two weeks, there is only one thing to say...

Thank you Chuck Norris! *raises thumb*


Demandredd

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:59 am
Author: Arandil
Thanks Deider, that must've been a bitch to code!

....

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:04 am
Author: Salchichero
Thank you for your hard work, boss. :)

I look forward to the next session...

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:08 am
Author: Xeo
Yarr Deider! Thanks and the team too. Anything to keep my PC alive in Alvis I really do welcome.

Re: XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:11 am
Author: Veilan
Deider wrote:Lastly, a word about epics, something that has been said in the past but not said recently, though it should be. Avlis doesn't cater to epic levels. Never has, never will. If 99% of the PCs are epic, we still won't change how things are done. That doesn't mean we actively try to punish epic PCs, it simply means that the play experience is focused mainly on "The Grind," the progression from level 1 to level 20.

The 3E xp progression is linear, but Avlis' is not. Your progression tapers off once you hit the 20s, and once you hit the 30s you pretty much hit a wall, simply for the fact that there are very few challenging creatures for you to fight, nothing close enough to your level to give you a lot of xp. Avlis is built that way on purpose. Think of it as a pyrimidal structure - if there are billions of commoners, then there are perhaps millions of 3rd lvl soldiers, hundreds of thousands of 5th lvl lycanthropes, etc., until you get to the top, where there are only a handful of kings, lords, heroes, dragons, etc. There should NOT be millions of dragons for epics to hunt.

When half the PCs are epic, epic isn't epic anymore. We have already reached that stage; epic lost its epicness long ago, sadly. It shouldn't be easy to reach lvl30, and yet by the old system I could have done that with Gram this year, and he's lvl10 right now. There should only be a handful of people in the world who can singlehandledly beat back armies of men or hordes of demon lords, and yet every night you can run into a dozen such people at Elf Gate. Part of that is simply the age of our PW and the ability we've had to retain some long-term players, but part of it was a system that allowed you to reach epic levels, and continue to advance in them, rather quickly.

Getting to and advancing in epic levels should be as tough as it is to get to the higher echelons of crafting. Not everyone should be able to do it. People who have done it should be proud of the achievement.

The xp changes were never meant to hurt epics, but neither were they meant to help them.


:shock:

Vault wipe!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:34 am
Author: Khaelindra
That looks awesome. I think particularly the private-lowlevel-summons catch is a good one.




So, if i understand it correctly (trying a case as recoup, just to be sure i understand):



Divinia (lvl 35) gets:

When alone...

no xp for CR 1-9
1-2 xp (0-1 after xp-penalty) for CR 10-24
"normal" xp (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 25-45


When with her air elemental summons (CR 15, but counts as 35 because of her own level)

* no xp for CR 1-9
* 1-2 xp (0-1 after xp-penalty) for CR 10-24
* half of "normal" xp {plus party-up bonus?} (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 25-45


When with a lvl 1 aspirant Healer and a lvl 15 Healer and her air elemental summons (average lvl = 35/4+15/4+1/4+35/4=22 is changed to minimum=35-7=28 )

* no xp for CR 1-9
* 1-2 xp {plus party-up-bonus?} (0-1 after xp-penalty) for CR 10-17
* 1/4th of "normal" xp plus party-up-bonus (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 18-38
* 1/4th of 2-7 xp {plus party-up bonus?} for CR 39+


Is this about correct?


Cheers for the in-depth math-work and formula-building! :D

Mickey.

Re: XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:37 am
Author: Deider
Veilan wrote:Vault wipe!


I think this approximates the playerbase reaction to those who utter the phrase 'vault wipe':

Image

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:40 am
Author: Xeo
Which one is Deider and which one is PJ? :lol:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:06 pm
Author: Deider
The one on the left is Veilan. The one on the right is George Lucas - seems people are still pissed about midichlorians.

PJ's got the torch, and I'm the guy in front with the lead pipe. No one stops Gram from attaining wheelystar mastery! :)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:14 pm
Author: Gumble Tinkertumble
Deider, the new xp system looks great. :D

Thanks for all the hard work!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:17 pm
Author: Deider
Khaelindra wrote:Divinia (lvl 35) gets:

When alone...

no xp for CR 1-9
1-2 xp (0-1 after xp-penalty) for CR 10-27
"normal" xp (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 28-45


Corrections in red. In the second revision (when we yanked the anti-tow code and added token xp for epics) the range for standard xp was reverted back to +/-7 from +/-10.

When with her air elemental summons (CR 15, but counts as 35 because of her own level)

* no xp for CR 1-9
* 1-2 xp (0-1 after xp-penalty) for CR 10-27
* half of "normal" xp {plus party-up bonus?} (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 28-45


Again, corrections in red. Note that you probably wouldn't really notice the halving for your summons until you got past CR35, simply because of the dividing factors for fighting things with a CR 1 to 7 lower than yours would probably divide everything to less than one, meaning you'd get minimum xp, which is 1d4+1 when partied.

When with a lvl 1 aspirant Healer and a lvl 15 Healer and her air elemental summons (average lvl = 35/4+15/4+1/4+35/4=22 is changed to minimum=35-7=28 )

* no xp for CR 1-9
* 1-2 xp (no party bonus applied with token xp) (0-1 after xp-penalty for Divinia only, the 1st lvl would get 1d2) for CR 10-20
* 1/4th of "normal" xp plus party-up-bonus (minus 20% for xp-penalty) for CR 21-38
* 1d4+xp [/i]for CR 39+

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:34 pm
Author: Khaelindra
Tnx, Deider! :D

Rave

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:01 pm
Author: Ravingmad
Good work Dieder,

I'm impress how the team must think about all the cheese out there... the system seems fair and well balanced, i like it, but I remember my young days as a wizard, it was so easy to watch my summons killing everything and me getting full xp... sorry new casters... you will receive less xp if you dont fight yourselves !

And I like that now we are no more calculating 3 times the strongest party member, it explains why balanced parties often get spawns to strong for them just because one is some lev higher

well now i'm preparing to hit the wall, i'm becoming epic in the next few days :wink:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:17 pm
Author: PlasmaJohn
*coughs* it is not yet live

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:23 pm
Author: Deider
PlasmaJohn wrote:*coughs* it is not yet live


:lol:

D'oh!

Well, at least now you know what's coming :)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:27 pm
Author: Defender
so, to set the record straight...

your still saying that there is a big fat goose-egg of XP to be had when fighting some things???

*sighs*

Re: XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:34 pm
Author: Tangleroot
Veilan wrote:Vault wipe!


:good:

Re: XP Code Changes III: Chuck Norris Returns!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:40 pm
Author: Isengrim
Tangleroot wrote:
Veilan wrote:Vault wipe!


:good:


I've seen SO many RP worlds that died because of this.... :roll:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:45 pm
Author: Marc van Gaal
Sounds like one hell of a job to get this all done.... Deider you rock!!

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:50 pm
Author: Nighthawk4
I left my last PW because of a Vault Wipe, amongst other reasons. :cry:

Fortunately, iirc, Orleron has said a number of times that we will never do a vault wipe. :wink:

Thanks to Deider - and a number of others who were involved in this. A hell of a lot of work and often very little thanks.

A big :good: to Deider and we all owe you a big :drink:

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 1:59 pm
Author: PlasmaJohn
ok, Now it's up.