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Easy Design vs. Hard Design : can't there be a balance in between ??

Discussion in 'UHall' started by popps, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I decided to tame a good Bane Dragon and therefore headed to Stygian Abyss.

    For good, I mean a Bane Dragon with a rating of 4.0 or better on the taming calculator.

    Well, I am now at some 200 bane Dragons killed and I have yet to find anything over a 3.8 .

    Bane Dragons are coming out of my ears and I am getting fed up with the annoying hell hounds and of rinsing and repeating ad nauseam for days over days using my game time looking for something which just does not show up, period.

    Yes, I understand that something of a higher quality should be harder to spawn, but THIS harder ?

    Besides, I think it is also about balancing the game.

    I mean, how that much better a 4.0+ Bane Dragon really better is than, say, a 3.8 ??

    Sure, it is better but not THAT much better.

    Still, the game engine makes it a nightmare to ever get such a Bane Dragon.

    That is what I fail to understand, why hard design cannot balance with easy design and it has to make the game not enjoyable to play.

    Because, at least for me, that is what it is. I am fed up of seeing Bane Dragons and I would want to be done with my search and call it off but the damn thing does not show up and I always think the next one will be the good one but it never ever shows up.

    It is disappointing to say the least.
     
  2. sablestorm

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    Did it ever occur to you that if a 4.0 bane dragon isn't that much better to just tame a 3.8 dragon? Or is it the fact that you covet that rare 4.0 dragon? Beware of being covetous, my friend. :D
     
  3. Amber Moon

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    MMO are all designed around time usage. And the top players are those that burn hundreds of hours a month playing. The top end game is specifically designed to burn through those hours and keep these guys entertained.

    For example, I know people who play Lotro that grind every deed, do every quest, get every rep, and still spend their nights raiding. You can certainly find this same playstyle in UO.

    If that kind of game play does not appeal to you, then do something else. UO is has the broadest range of activities of any of these games out there.

    So please quit asking that they design the game just for you. Please find things in the game you like and do them. You really don't need a top end dragon or anything else for that matter to have fun. And if you can't find the fun, then it is best to exit.
     
  4. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I had no clue it was such a daunting and almost impossible task.

    I thought it difficult to get, but not THAT difficult......

    Thing is, that having now spent so many days on it, giving it up I feel like all that time was wasted all for nothing, gone down the drain.........

    And I keep repeating to myself that the next one will be the good one but it never just comes...

    For the record, I did tame the 3.8 so something is in the stables.

    The problem is me and the time already wasted in the effort. If I get the 4.0+ Bane Dragon I will not feel I wasted my time, if I give up, I feel like I just wasted time I could have been using to do something better and more usefull for myself or my family.....
     
  5. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Suggestion from a non-tamer? Work with the best that you have ATM and keep trying ... that 4.0 will surely pop up. However know that you have the best you've been able to snag up to that point.
     
  6. sablestorm

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    Consider it a learning experience. What I would suggest doing is playing the lotto with this. Every once in awhile, go take a bane dragon and maybe one day you'll strike it rich and have that perfect Bane Dragon you so desire. At that moment, you'll be all the more excited because of the work you already put into it. The dragon will be more valuable to you because of the experience and when we're celebrating our 20th year veteran rewards, you will rehash the story of how difficult it was to get that perfect Bane Dragon.

    Seriously though, I suspect it is going to be extremely rare to get that top notch Bane Dragon or a top notch of any creature for that matter. Each creature has several different variables, right? That is a whole lot of numbers that have to hit their perfect score in order for you to get your perfect Bane Dragon. It just might be like winning the lotto, except for the streaky RNG.
     
  7. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    THIS us your basic problem. The whole point of an MMO is to waste your time in an entertaining way. You will produce very little useful in real life from playing an MMO. The only exception to that is personal relationships.
     
  8. popps

    popps Always Present
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    That is what I did with Cu-Sidhes, I searched for one I liked slowly, over time.

    It did not become as frustrating and brought me to hate the game because I did it in bits and pieces over time.

    But with pets spawning for a limited time during an Event, this cannot be done.

    I have to concentrate my efforts over a rather limited time, the time that the Event will allow the pet to spawn. And this makes me hate it.

    Because that search for a good pet makes me have to do it over and over 'till I get fed up with it and the game.

    I think pets should never ever spawn at Events and if they do, they should then be made a permanent spawn of the game, never something time limited.
     
  9. sablestorm

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    Or you can adjust your attitude and appreciate the best Bane Dragon you found in that limited time. Do you know of anyone else who has this 4.0 Bane Dragon you covet?
     
  10. popps

    popps Always Present
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    I read about someone saying they got a 4.5 so, apparently, they can spawn......
     
  11. Metalstorm

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    The best bane I've gotten thus far is a 3.3 and it isn't bad.

    He works as well and sometimes better than my 4.3 rune beetle.


    I share in your frustration of trying to find an awesome bane but just think how much better it will feel when you find one knowing that they are few and far apart from your average bane dragons.

    When I find mine I will savor it all the better.

    If it were impossible to find one I would most likely be quite miffed but I've seen a few 4+ banes out there so it's not impossible. My time will come. Your time will come. Keep searching. Do not give up.

    As a rule I don't spend more than an hour, hour and a half farming banes so not to tread into the 'this isn't fun anymore' threshold. It's like gambling in short bursts so I don't lose my house or in this case, my sanity :)
     
  12. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    I think that's just really funny the way you explained what torment a player goes through and I have to agree with you.

    I understand this keeping the pets rare arguement and how they are far in between but I think it's way to much. Eventually humans become smarter than the mouse and no longer feel the maze is important. It's just an excuse to create a system that lacks intelligence.

    I mean think about it, sure we want to get the prize but how many times are we willing to repeat something. It's kinda like saying every man has a price. This is a dangerous philosophy. The human mind also has certain triggers that change its' way of thinking. So, to assume that an MMO that has you repeat something is a good MMO is a bad theory.

    Like, skill for example should actually decide your chances of rolling better numbers. For example: If your a tamer and you have vet, animal lore, taming, and maybe they could add another skill, for example: animal training then they could take the percentage and the stats on the creature could be adjusted to that percentage.

    So, if you have 100 total skill it would be impossible for you to tame a mid or high level pet because once it was tamed the stats would dramatically drop. So, of course you would need the total to be able to tame the creature and then a much higher level could be achieved.

    So, it's based on skill not just some lucky, random pick or if you kill 5 million surely there will be a good one kind of deal.

    It's just my opinion that if I've earned the skill, I've already put my time in and now I want a good pet, it's that simple.
     
  13. Kiminality

    Kiminality Guest

    I don't believe skill should determine the strength of a tame.
    Not only would it put too great an emphasis on 120 skill (why buy from a newbie tamer, when they'll have substandard pets?), but it would also mean rerolling the creature's numbers on a successful tame, which just doesn't sit right.

    Now, a breeding system could work well enough.
    That way, you wouldn't need to tame the best pets ever. You could breed good pets, and potentially get better ones.
     
  14. popps

    popps Always Present
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    If I knew that I had plenty of time to find one I'd be way more easy and relaxed in my search and I would probably even enjoy it.

    The problem is that I have to do it in a limited time dictated by the life of the Event and for how long the Developers will feel to have it running........

    I feel life swimming against the current and it gets tiring after sometime.....
     
  15. Lord Chaos

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    That or a training system.
     
  16. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    Anything based on skill would be better is all i'm saying and not just its' stats should be affected but its' skill caps also. They get re-rolled down, why not adjust them to skill but I was just saying. The more bad ideas I throw out there the more time people spend thinking about the good ones.

    A breeding system could co-exist because you would essentially get the best pet from a raw tame and then breed an even better pet or whatever type of system they are going to use. I mean alchemy could even play a part in breeding.

    But, skill should play, I think, an important role, especially taming because it takes so long, at least it did for me and alot of what I said while I was taming was ok, it takes a long time but when I have 120 I won't have to spend any more time taming things over and over but that isn't the case. So, basically, all the skill does is allow for control and I just think that could be expanded on.
     
  17. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    There ya go. A much more deterministic system might help with the frustrations.

    Thing is, some portion of players enjoy the chance aspect. Just like those folks who sit at slot machines for hours on end even though they can be shown that statistically, they will lose.

    That and the fact that random rolls are much cheaper to develop then a deterministic system, which can require a lot of design and coding.
     
  18. Beastmaster

    Beastmaster Guest

    I've longed for a breeding system since my first days taming bears in Moonglow many years ago. It would have to really be hard and/or complex though to overcome the criticism of being too easy for tamers to get great pets.
     
  19. popps

    popps Always Present
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    The problem is, as several players have over the years lamented, the RNG doesn't seem much "random".......

    Its "streakiness" has been reported many times and I even read, if I do not recall wrong, that at some point someone was going to look seriously into it and fix whatever was not right.

    I have not heard any longer what happened about the RNG and its fixing.......

    At least, was the RNG fixed we could hope to at least have some chances, but as of now it looks to me that the bad streaks far outdo the good ones and make it for a game experience at times nightmaring..............
     
  20. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    I have seen that same streakyness in every game I have played. I believe it is and artifact of two things:

    First, our own mental modeling that wants to see patterns in almost everything.

    And two, the fact that nearly all computer generated randoms are not really completely random.

    I don't believe that it is UO specific, in other words.
     
  21. You do know its a random game.
    You do know that .2 is really insignificant.


    Are you truly needing a 4.0 bane or are you just stuck with needing to demonstrate the random game is random?


    Sometimes for sanity reasons, its worth realizing, its a game and moving on is a good thing.

    Acknowledge the flaws and embrace the enjoyment.

    I happen to believe this game isn't random enough. Its too predictable and too scripted. And we get to much handed to us.

    Anything that takes a player weeks to get, I can buy quicker and cheaper. Thats the flaw in this game.
     
  22. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    See, I told ya there were players who like random :gun:
     
  23. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Had I known that it was such a nightmare to try get a 4.0+ Bane Dragon I would have not even started.

    The problem is, I had no clue of how hard it had been coded (because code DOES have quite a bit to do with how hard it was coded for the numbers of a pet to match up....) and I kept saying to myself that the next spawning Bane Dragon would be the right one.

    Bane after Bane after Bane, always waiting on the next one up I spent now countless time trying to pull it up and I just hate myself for all of the lost time that I could have spent to do something WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY more productive for myself and for my family.

    This is what I hate of it and, I would hope, could be designed differently to avoid this feeling of frustration and of wasted time in players.

    Basically, at this point, I either end up with what I was looking for or I am at a gross loss of all the time spent into trying to get it.

    But the problem is, since I have no idea how hard the spawn has been coded, I cannot even imagine whether I can reasonably have a chance to get the pet I am looking for or not.

    I could be in for spending a whole lot more time and end up still empty handed.

    I have no idea whether to keep trying ot whether to give up and do else because the chances that I could ever pull up a 4.0+ Bane Dragon are unknown to me.
     
  24. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    I have a stable full of pets that don't score better than average on the 'pet calculator' I'd already got most of them before the calculator was even made.
    you don't HAVE to have an uber pet, you don't HAVE to spend hours trying to get one. That was entirely your choice. I hunt quite happily with my less than perfect pets.
    None of them have ever fought a shadow elemental and none of them have been deliberately told to fight each other. Though I have to admit to an occasional accident in that area through mis-targetting.
     
  25. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    Well, boys will be boys. They like to compare the size of things even when it makes no difference.... :lol:
     
  26. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Absolutely.

    My point is, though, that since I HAVE found out of my own experience and at the expense of my own time how damn hard it is to get a bane Dragon with better stats over an average one, I fail to understand why it has been coded this way.

    Because, I would imagine that it was coded to be hard and this is not something that happens just out of a coincidence.

    BUT, if a better pet is not that much more superior than an average pet, than, and this is my point and argument, WHY it was coded with such a greater difficulty to get ?

    I mean, I have seen several 3.8 Bane Dragons and tamed a few.

    They are not common but they do spawn and I have seen them.

    Now, how much more powerfull is a 4.0 Bane Dragon ?

    Merely a few points here and there, not really such a big extra power.

    Yet, trying to pull up that 4.0 Bane Dragon is a daunting and impossible task, at least for what I have seen.

    THIS is the argument I am trying to make, that there is NO SCALAR increase in the difficulty of spawning a better bet, there is like a JUMP.

    Between a better than average bane Dragon (say the higher threes) and a good one (low fours and upwards) there is like a wall, an unscalable wall.

    Couldn't perhaps have it been coded in a way that the spawn rate was more linear, slowly decreasing with the bettering of the pet rather than just see a negation of spawn pretty much for pets closing and passing the 4.0 rating ?
     
  27. Petra Fyde

    Petra Fyde Peerless Chatterbox
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    you do realise that the 'pet calculator' is an invention of a player and nothing to do with EA? That the thing that makes a pet hit that 'magic number' is the rng rolls of stat figures just happening to fall in the right place? They don't *code* high and low end critters, they just set a 'to and from' range.
     
  28. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    I heard that 4.1's were better then 4's. I think you need a 4.1
     
  29. popps

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    Indeed, but I guess that they set the chances with which the stats can roll.

    Perhaps the difficulty of rolling up a good Bane Dragon, identified by the pet calculator as
    a 4.0+, have been coded in a way that makes it just too damn difficult for them to spawn as compared to a set of stats which make it for a better than average one ?

    And this, when the better than average Bane Dragon would not be that much superior of a good one, not at least as much to justify the time spent getting one due to the harshness with which it has been coded.
     
  30. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    I seriously doubt they put that much effort into it. And I also doubt they rate pets by the scale that players do. It is much more likely that the stats are just random over a range and that you have just had poor luck.

    Now, that is something I would bet on. rolleyes:
     
  31. popps

    popps Always Present
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    Well yes.

    I will try to make a numerical example to explain my point better.

    Say that a 4.1 is a better pet than a 4.0 by a 5% factor increase.

    Now, let's imagine, for the sake of the discussion, that it has been coded in a way that the difference in spawn between a 4.0 and a 4.1 pet is a lowered chance by 100%.

    That is, to the eyes of the player, the player in order to get a 5% better pet will have to spend DOUBLE the time trying to get it.

    This is what I am questioning.

    The way I see it, if a pet is 5% better then its difficulty in getting it should resemble this and thus, be 5% harder to get NOT 100% or even worse........

    Have I explained myself better now ?
     
  32. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    I don't think so. Look you can do the math. It's not that hard. Each stat has an separate roll. So the chance becomes number of stats factorial. You could pick some arbitrary low range and the odds would be just as rare.
     
  33. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    You should design your own game. I have no doubt it would be amazing.
     
  34. Petra Fyde

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    They don't need to code it. Each stat, resistance and skill has a maximum and minimum. Here's the ones we have from player observations.
    http://uo.stratics.com/database/view.php?db_content=hunters&id=3159

    Getting all those to roll at the high end of the range is like trying to get all the right lottery numbers. It's sheer chance.
     
  35. Amber Moon

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    Well, my math is a bit rusty, but if your looking for something in the top 5% of six stats and skills, the chance is one in 64 million. Pull me a data sample 5 times that size that says different and I be more inclined to believe they are scaled. :gee:

    Next Popps responce will be: Never tell me the odds kid
     
  36. This is why there should be customizable pets in the game. We have imbuing. Why not "imbuable" pets? I not a fan of the *all kill" and loot* template that is the tamers template,but if one side is going to get the option of imbuing,all should have that. Perhaps for the tamer,it would be pet "breeding" that has been seen in other games?
     
  37. Doubleplay

    Doubleplay Lore Keeper
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    If someone just gave you a 4.0 bane dragon, would you feel satisfied? Probably not. If you got one the first 20 minutes, would you feel satisfied? Probably. But if you finally get one after 2 weeks of trying, I bet you will be really happy. As a programmer, where do you draw the line? At 20 minutes, at 2 hours, at 2 weeks? I am sure there is no easy answer. Trying to keep everyone satisfied has got to be a thankless task.
     
  38. Metalstorm

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    Oh it is I assure you :)

    I'm not a computer guy but it applies to pretty much everything.


    I used to have a great T-shirt that said:

    "I can only please one person per day. Today is not your day.
    Tomorrow doesn't look good either." :D
     
  39. Lord Chaos

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    Thats the thing, if you look at Uvthas thread a while back, you can easily have both, a pet training/breeding system (with perhaps even a new additional skill) and the random system side by side. If a player wants to train a pet up the hard way (requiring more than just fighting), then they can do that, but they can also go out and get a powerful pet through chance.

    Much like you can both get magic items through loot with random mods or you can imbue the magic items...you have a choice.
     
  40. Amber Moon

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    Oh I actually prefer a deterministic system like breeding.

    But I am also aware that the game isn't built just for me. And also that aware of the cost of developing such things.

    I'd love to see a breeding system. Such an announcement would fill pages upon pages of UHall. What fun! :thumbup1:
     
  41. EricVT

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    If you lower something by 100% you are left with nothing, zero.

    Not half.

    Just FYI.
     
  42. puni666

    puni666 Slightly Crazed
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    = Profit. Didn't you realize that?
     
  43. Picus at the office

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    If a person was so inclined they would hide around popps tamer waiting for him to find this fantastic creature and kill it on him....oh the posting that would generate....would be epic.
     
  44. popps

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    Well, as I see it, the problem is not really where to draw the line.

    I could be fine with the 2 weeks or even a month, even more than that.

    The problem comes, when an Event has a limited time span and in that limited time span, that one has the time or not, one has to pull up that good pet.

    This means, that while normally one could try to pull up a pet with ease, relaxedly and enjoying the game, because of the damn time limited Event time is no longer an option and so one has to try beat the damn RNG in a MUCH more limited time.

    THERE comes the frustration and getting upset with the game because the player is forced to have to squeeze that same action over and over and over and over in a very limited time to try get the pet spawned before the Event is over.

    And things can get even worse when the lifespan of the Event is not announced and, therefore, the player has no clue whatsoever whether he or she has 1 day, a week or a month or more of time to try pull up that wanted pet.

    What if the Event shuts off for good in a few days ?
    This means having to focus all time spent in the game for those few short days left to try pull up that good tame which can lead to the frustration ....

    And, if the chances are very low, this may mean having to basically spend all time possible in the game doing the same one mindless thing over and over until pure boredom.

    I do not know others, but personally, I think this is not a good recipe to get to enjoy a game but on the contrary, if might be a good recipe to actually end up hating the game.

    Things would be different, if the spawn was not subject to a limited life and the player has ahead all time wanted to try with ease and relaxedly to pull up that good pet.

    After all, I would guess that an entertainment product should have the goal to entertain and relax, not frustrate the user.....

    Hope I was clearer now.
     
  45. TheMac

    TheMac Guest

    Then you should quit....
     
  46. uoBuoY

    uoBuoY Guest

    Pop

    Have you tamed other beasts and got your 4.0 really fast?

    A while back I wanted 2-4.o or better Kits. After 35-40 hrs (must of killed >1,000) I gave up. I had 1-4.0 and 1-3.9. The very first Cu I Lored was a 4.3.

    Go Figure
     
  47. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    I think it's a valid point. They will continually design games that more and more interact directly with our bank accounts and certain mechanics should be seperated.

    I'm not sure exactly what the problem is so there probably needs to be more discussion before we pinpoint the problem but I caution you to understand that any negative feelings are probably not needed.

    Gambling is one system, an example is: 3 coconut shells and a ball placed under 1, then the arguement is made it is to easy because more balls are added, so any shell that is lifted has a ball or even maybe 2 or 3 under it. This perspective, I think, is 1 of 2 but not as important or valid because you work very hard to earn skills that should more so predict a reasonable outcome.

    The other is, from what I gather, is that people work very hard to build skills. They invest time thinking that this time will be put to good use but because it is placed on the random side, there seems to be no reason to have the skill at all.

    An example of this would be mining. In theory, if you had a miner that had 500 skill and 1 that had 100 skill, it would not matter because it would be possible for someone with 100 skill to do better than the 1 with 500 skill.

    And, I think this is the frustration to see someone with 80 skill who has stacked rings, bracelets and magic hats to achieve the same end result that someone has worked years for and I think the issue even though it's not seen on the surface, directly affects the player in a negative way.
     
  48. Amber Moon

    Amber Moon Seasoned Veteran
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    The problem here is that the word 'Game' implies some random effect on the outcome. It you build something that is completely deterministic, people will likely do it, but it will become boring after the 2nd or 3rd pass through the same actions.

    The goal of game design is to keep you engaged because the outcome remains uncertain.

    If we were to make it so a capped warrior in UO wins every PvM fight, how fun would that be? Player actions and some degree of chance must play a role to keep it entertaining. Therefore hours played and effort expended cannot always automatically result in success or it is no longer a game in the classical sense.
     
  49. Zyon Rockler

    Zyon Rockler Guest

    Yes, I agree, games must have some type of affect of change, like real life does but on the other hand it should not be extreme.

    For example: In real life, if your having a boat race and they happen to be sailboats, there is a chance there will be no wind and there is a chance that a boat will move more quickly because of a gust of wind.

    The problem that I have with this as being random or being lucky, I think, is an opinion. So, when you design it you don't just use a number as the factor of probability.

    It's kind of like picturing, Pit Fall. You grab the vine, you swing over the pit and then you jump down on the other side but there is a feeling that somehow, right when your about to land, this pit is moved and you fall into it.

    This is what I have trouble with understanding. Do we call this random or is the randomness of this moving, actually, not random at all but simply intended to force you to go into the pit, rather than actually to achieve something.

    For example: A skilled lumberjack who swings an axe at a tree, is not likely to miss, whereas a 2 year old child, could very likely cut off his fingers or toes. So, one looks at it as being necessary to have the skill be the factor, where the other feels it needs to be random.
     
  50. Harlequin

    Harlequin Babbling Loonie
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    Haven't read thru the entire thread, don't know if this was already mentioned-

    If the max rating is 5, the mean rating you will get will be 2.5. If more than 50% of the bane dragons are above 2.5, then you already shouldn't have anything to complain about.

    With so many variable stats to calculate from, the distribution would resemble a bell curve with really flat bottoms (ridiculously rare for the very good and very bad ones). Alot more than the 200 tries you made.

    Also, note that the pet calculator is just a guideline. It also takes into consideration the skills.

    Most of the skills (those below 100) can be trained up. Resists are far more important, next comes hp, then stats. Even stats that have a potential max of 125 or lower can be ignored since you can train it up.

    If you purely rely on the pet calculator, you might have already overlooked many that have a 4.0+ potential.