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A Needed Change

Discussion in 'UO Siege Perilous' started by Screws, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    I'm convinced that this would be looked upon favorably by most players, especially here on Siege since it's so rare to have player interactions outside of general chat if you don't know them:

    http://vboards.stratics.com/uo-scout/246159-skill-doesnt-have-garbage.html

    I'd love any support I can get, I appreciate any feedback or arguments against it; I feel like it's useful for those looking to do PvP and for those looking to avoid it.

    P.S. the linked thread is about tracking, in case you don't want to bother following it/helping/prevent make this change :p
     
  2. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    The skill is fine as is... if any improvements are to be made, it can be as folows:

    at GM skill, not only do you get the gump that you normally do, but you can also see footprint paths on the ground from recent ( within 15 minutes ) travel, once you've selected players, animals, monsters, or NPC's, of course, so the floor isn't littered with every type of print.

    Once you have footprints to follow, you can see where traffic is headed, where its been, and possibly catch up to them, even if they are stealthing. It would broaden the range of tracking greatly.

    That would be my improvement to the skill.
     
  3. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    That's very very similar, and that sounds good to me, however that's a more extreme change than I'm looking for (purely because I need it to be very reasonable from a dev standpoint).

    The reason I find it a little extreme is because it actually adds a brand new feature to the skill and increases the range to an extraordinary range and can potentially go over server lines or at the very least bring you to the subserver they continued onto- the compromise being that you don't have a direct arrow leading you to the persons CURRENT location (which really isn't that much more useful, in fact I prefer the footprints) On top of that it would require even more information to be stored on the servers (where people have moved would take up a huge amount of cache I think)

    So while I completely agree with your revision I believe mine is more realistic, and has the same effect.
     
  4. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    I understand that it would require the DEV's to actually work... :)
    Todays computers can handle such a task, this isn't 1998 anymore. Further, there's really no need for server lines, as my expert friend ( who has a better understanding of the code than I do ) has pointed out, as each shard is already or can easily be hosted on their own, single server these days, making the server lines just a logical division that need not be there anymore. Regardless, if the footprints lead to a server line, you simply need use the skill again to plot new paths.

    As far as being a data hog, I dont think so. Instead of storing information for each tile stepped on, you store only the points where there was a change in direction or change on z axis, and render the path point to point. If someone is running in circles, they'll be recording the same points over and over, rewriting the old. Each point of reference will have a lifespan of 15 minutes.

    Further, 120 Stealth will never be recorded, giving incentive to raise the skill to 120 instead of 75 or 80.
     
  5. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    I'm not so much arguing it isn't possible to put down footprints as much as I'm saying it requires more change than I'd expect. Of course computers today can handle it, but I don't expect UO to change so much for the improvement of one skill. I agree your suggestion would be ideal (as it best reflects what tracking really would be and at the same time improves the skill) but it adds an entirely new feature and it also requires much more input from devs.

    I still would consider my proposal more realistic; it leaves the skill relatively unchanged, only increasing the range at which you can start tracking someone. If your change were to be considered by the devs over mine I would be completely okay with it, as its utility is the same.
     
  6. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    While i agree how tracking works right now is a bit silly, garbage though? Tracking is one of the only skills in the game where you dont even need a point investment in it and you can easily pinpoint where to toss the conflag for the stealther :) I would say it's on my list of "most overpowered skills" in the game. As I've told other people too, it's pointless to invest points in tracking, invest in detect and you get tracking for free.

    I too would like to see it reworked to where you can see a "trail" of where someone has been fairly recently, so you can actually track them down, instead of showing where they currently are.
     
  7. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    Admittedly the thread is slightly over-dramatized for arguments sake, however by no means is tracking over-powered or even on par with any skill people normally gain.

    At best it's a safety precaution incase you somehow lose someone you're trying to kill (no skills wasted on it, just the natural 20 for being human), and if the person your fighting is going to be illusive (has reasonable hiding/stealthing and isn't an elf) you wont be able to track them even 50% of the time without matching their skills with detect hidden/tracking which has far less synergy with a build (It's ONLY useful when hunting stealthers who have already shown themselves) than stealth/hiding no matter what you're doing (even hunting a stealther).

    To expand; the person with hiding has the advantage in a fight, they will 99% of the time get the jump on you because it's unrealistic to expect to guess there is a stealther well within your screen. It's possible to break tracking by crossing a server line/exiting a dungeon/going through a gate which is usually quite possible if you're letting them get to the point that tracking becomes 'useful' (the actual chase).

    If you are reliably tracking a stealther (matching their skills gives you a 50% chance to track them), you have wasted MORE points then they have put into stealth/hiding, putting you at a disadvantage as they are deadly even against people who haven't wasted 100-200 skill points.

    The situation it's 'useful' in is rare, it's a way to deal with unexpected lag right now and even then you have to catch up to them and hope they don't break it, which is likely to happen even if they don't know you're tracking them.

    SHORT VERSION: As far as skills you leave at 0 go, it's used more than others, but that doesn't mean it doesn't need work... Everyone leaves it at 0 for a reason. (Again, I do appreciate all arguments/support)
     
  8. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    correction, you have 40 effective skill in tracking at JOAT, the joat detect bumps it up.

    (which gives a 10-20% chance each try to get a tracking lock on a GM hider, 75 stealth that lasts for a few minutes)

    What i do is roll with about 80 detect hidden, it gives you about 40% per click a chance to track a stealther, plus a very good chance to reveal them each try

    80 points is a far smaller investment than 175 points, the only time a stealther has an advantage in a fight is when the other player has no idea how to fight. Stealth fighting templates rely on doing the damage before you know what's going on, to get a lead advantage, once they're seen and it's known they're there, their only other advantage is in being able to hide offscreen and stealth away once you redline them. I dont even bother putting my tracking on anymore, the JOAT chance is so high for getting the lock. (and i'm red most of the time, so it's a simple conflag pot to reveal, or just run into them and make them panic and step on me)

    Sorry, but I can't even help but crack up laughing when i hear that tracking is underpowered compared to stealth, I'd love to see that same argument made for swordsmanship, that 0 invested skill in fencing should be able to easily break the defense of a 100 swords AND 75 parry.
     
  9. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    You're arguing an almost completely different issue- I feel like you are agreeing that it's underpowered by telling me you would never put points into it, that it would be a waste to be putting points into it. Being able to 'use' a 0 point skill doesn't make it overpowered, the fact that you gain almost nothing from raising it is a problem and on top of that the change makes for a more interesting environment for everyone.

    Your math is off, you have a 31% chance to track a 100 hiding/75 stealth with 80 detect hidden on average. On average against the same 100 hiding/75 stealth it's a 14% chance to track with 0 points as a human. Tracking wont reveal people, it will only show an arrow pointing where they are, I may have misunderstood but it seemed like you were implying that it does reveal people.

    The formula for average chance to track:
    % Chance of tracking = (Tracking + Detect Hidden + 10) / (Hiding + Stealth) * 50

    (Please let me know if this is out of date, tracking/detect seem less lenient in game)

    Again- I agree it can be used without putting skill points into it, but it's very rare for it to actually help you.

    As for what you personally can do I feel is irrelevant since it's not concrete to say that 'I beat this person who uses stealth, I use detect hidden, so nothing is wrong with tracking.' There are too many variables that aren't going to be accounted for, not to mention you still aren't actually getting the tracking skill. Simple math/logic will say that:
    -Stealth/hiding will increase the damage of a ninja and also allow them to get the jump on you regularly even if tracked, which more likely than not will fail, and they have utility spells like shadow jump to almost guarantee the skills they spent their points on aren't wasted.
    -That tracking/detect hidden will not increase your survivability or damage in any way, but they will allow you in rare circumstances to prevent a stealther from getting the jump on you, and follow an already revealed stealther until he goes over a server line, leaves/enters a dungeon, or uses any type of teleporter or tracking fades.

    In any case, this argument is slightly off track. The main point of bringing this up is to hopefully get enough support to attract the devs attention to allow tracking to bring player interactions up on all shards as well as add a couple nice features for those who don't care as much about that, which I believe you agreed with :) and I thank you for the posts/support.
     
  10. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    Finally got to it and I think the best way to go about this is keeping the current range for 0 and not increasing it till after 20. One screen is roughly 30x30 tiles, depending on how far you zoom out. Moving up past 20 should increase the range by 1 screen every 10 points (or ~30 tiles). At GM, while a lot of skills gain a 5% increase in effectiveness I think that allowing an entire dungeon to be checked is a better choice, since 15 tiles is never going to matter. So at GM you'd have a 12 screen (or ~300 tiles) radius, and the ability to quickly scan a dungeon for what you're looking for without having to go through the entire level (you would still have to move from one level to another, but you could scan the entire floor that you're currently on without wandering around).

    The numbers SOUND a little high, but compared to how massive sosaria is and how quickly people can move, I'm wondering if this is actually enough to reliably find anyone on any shard but Atlantic.
     
  11. Lord_Puffy

    Lord_Puffy Crazed Zealot
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    I always had JOAT's and I use to detect/track players fairly easy. After reading this thread my opinion on this is that I think it is a very powerful skill as well. Id rather see stealth tweaked before tracking. It would be nice to actually see players again, that was one of my main problems with the game. Everyone seemed to have stealthing.

    My other issue with Ultima Online is the fact tamers can still auto stable their pets after dieing. Never liked that one.
     
  12. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    I'm not a fan of lowering expectations. I DO expect the paid staff at EA to provide a top notch experience, and a part of that experience is not only providing new content, but fixing the old content. Once you've lowered your expectations, you're giving them permission to disappoint you.

    If I were developing the game, the skill would be fixed as it was intended to be from the start, now that the limitations of 1998 no longer exist.

    To argue that they wouldn't put any effort into the improvement of one skill, you only need to remember Bard Masteries to debunk yourself.

    There are other skills that need changing too, such as Forensic Evaluation. A simple change that would allow you to flag thieves grey to you, instead of just detecting them, so, you can attack them in Guard Zone the same as a red. Of course, this wouldn't work at 20 skill points, you'd have to be invested in being a Detective / Police type template. Perhaps Item ID would also tell you how many items the thief has in pack that have been stolen recently, and if you bring the thief to justice, you recover the items that were stolen and are rewarded in some way, along with the thief being transported to Yew Prison, away from their corpse.

    Poly morph needs to flag anyone who uses it grey, and rename them appropriately according to what they shifted into. They also need buffs for each shape, same as Ninjutsus buffs for animal forms.

    This game has so much potential to bring back player interaction. Who would use stealth if you could shape shift and be properly labeled? Is that REALLY 'a dog' standing around watching you? :) Why shape shift into a form where you gain no bonuses, cannot ride a mount, and still have your name over head?

    So... lets get those footprints working, then harass the Devs for more changes!
     
  13. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    I'm not sure if you're on siege, but I have a stealther with me at all times, very under-geared and not even using 700 skill points yet. He's still immensely useful just because he has stealth 70/hiding GM, he gets the jump on everyone because of the fact that detect/tracking are so useless almost no one gets them... It's also very difficult for me to kill someone using stealth even with a weapon that has bleed on it...

    That being said, I'm not trying to get tracking buffed vs stealth. If you read the thread (I think, there are a few threads and it's been annoying hopping about due to my lack of forethought) the range of tracking will be buffed, but after it exceeds the current range used to start tracking, it will no longer be allowed to show you stealthed players.

    PS. Nightstalker, you can't compare changing the game engine/servers to adding an ability for bards after they added abilities to weapons/added more magics. I'm not saying it's impossible to get footsteps either, just I'd rather ask for mechanic changes over aesthetic changes
     
  14. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    Yes, I am on Siege, nobody uses Tracking because they refuse to sacrifice 100 skill points where they could afford more offense. One only need the general direction the player is in and a well placed conflag pot, poison fields, etc...

    Those who DO invest in Tracking though, are very successful, and with the new 5 second re-hide timer, it can be even more powerful with detect.


    Tracking isn't being buffed against stealth, I just said 120 Stealth should negate tracking. Tracking is tracking, it should track the movement of players or animals whether they are stealthed or not, save for the 120 stealth exception.


    Adding footprints is FAR from a mere aesthetics change, it would be a VERY functional addition, as you'd see footprint paths of those who may no longer be in range of tracking, but you'd have a trail to follow. Once you catch up and track again, you'd have footprints AND the arrow pointing to their direction. The footprint paths would only show you player, animal, monster, it would not tell you WHO the footprints belong to, you'd have to follow them and track again when in range. So, while I propose not increasing the tracking range, the footprints themselves would indeed increase the range, as their proposed 15 minute lifespan would cover allot of ground. You can run half across the world in 15 minutes, so following a trail that long would in fact far exceed any changes you're suggesting.

    Edit: Excuse me, I now realize you were responding to Puffy, and only the P.S. was to me! :D
     
  15. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    Well to me the footprints are basically the same thing mechanic wise, it's rare to have more than one person in an area in a 15~ minute span even, so to me the end result (finding someone) is the same, with little to no difference in time it takes to find the person (and I don't really mind not knowing who it is I'm tracking) but you're right, some people would be beneffitting a bit more. But with footprints people would not be able to use tracking to know if people were coming to raid their champ spawn which I would consider a big selling point to counter-act the murderous intent of my tracking proposal :p
     
  16. Kas Althume

    Kas Althume Crazed Zealot
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    Hopefully the devs will never waste any time on a feature like that. Why not ask for a Map which shows the location of every player logged in. That takes alot less coding and way less storage space.

    Maybe you should just scan the area the old way.. you know .. runnng around looking. We don't need some ******* gating every 15 to all dungeon entrances to easily check for targets ... Thats all you need it for ...
     
  17. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    Tracking footprints is only to see where people have been, not to see if they are coming. Your version of 'tracking' seems very Trammelish. It was not intended to be a radar device ( as it currently is ), so increasing the range of the unintended radar device is counter productive.

    If you want to be really safe, stay in your house and ban everyone as they walk by... be sure to have triple thick walls. ;)
     
  18. nightstalker22

    nightstalker22 Lore Master
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    I'm not sure which proposal you're disagreeing with, as you failed to quote anybody. It appears you are against being able to track the whole dungeon.


    The 15 minute fade on footprints is really easily defeated, if you don't want to be found. 120 Stealth, or camp and log out for 15 so your tracks are covered. Of course, anyone finding your tracks within those fifteen minutes would run into the dngeon to find you, and make fresh new tracks, with a new 15 minute timer on them. I really think you should be in Trammel if you fear being found on a Fel facet. At least you'll know that whoever is tracking you ( 100 Tracking required to show footprints ), that they will have 100 points less for offense against you... maybe they will travel in groups, maybe you should. :)

    Considering it more, I would add this to tracking:

    If you want to see footprint paths, you need 100 Tracking AND you must walk on foot, riding or running would cause the paths to disappear, as you'd be moving too fast to stay on track. Therefore, anyone wishing to escape, can gallop away full speed and the tracker will take a while to catch up... better? :)
     
  19. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    The old way was fine when there weren't 10 people on at a time, when you could look around for 5 minutes and find someone. The way things are now, you can look around 'the old way' all day and not find a single person unless they're visiting their favorite bank. Even with the range I'm asking for you'd still have an insane amount of ground to cover in order to search for people, with gates it may be easier but I'd still expect it to take 30+ minutes to find someone outside guard zones.
     
  20. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
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    i'm curious to what temp you're using to detect, i roll with 85 detect and no tracking (since 85 detect effectively gives about 85 track also) and i can track and reveal people all the time, quite often catch people invis by vendors in cities (a shuriken takes care of that) or waiting afk while their dragon farms stuff for them, you'd actually be pretty surprised how many gilfane...er...i mean... people are hanging out stealthed, lol (though it's mostly in houses)

    My advise with the current system is don't invest in track since you get it for free with detect hidden, actually you get an extra 20 points to the forumula too if you're human, so tracking rarely fails at 0 skill with 85 detect.

    Or, since you'er red, carry a stack of conflags and just learn to intuitively devise where someone would be stealth at, with 0 tracking a few tries while you're trying to reveal them with conflags and you'll get them in track, not as effective as the 85 skill version as if you dont target them they can re-hide immediately, but requires 0 skill invested.
     
  21. Screws

    Screws Adventurer

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    Assuming you mean me, Raptor- I know how it works :p I haven't invested points into either one because I use a bleed weapon and I almost always PvP with my brother so keeping players out of hiding isn't a problem.

    I do like the confag potion idea, never carried those, had only considered explosion but I might get my brother to use both so we can knock them out a bit easier :) just gotta find conflag kegs on a vendor now... maybe invis too...