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2/9/2015 14:29:08   
Ash
Member


Greetings!

After much discussion we've finally come to a somewhat close idea of what's going to be done for the "OP" items.

We can't nerf NG items. We tried to come up with ways to do it and they all came down to the issue of people payed real money for them and that's going to cause issues if we nerf them because we can't offer refunds. The solution was, every NG item that is out of line with what it should be doing is going to be made perm rare. A new version, with a different name, will be made that has balanced stats. NSC and SC items will be adjusted to bring them into line.

Is this the perfect solution? No. Some of you will still have things like a perm stun lock weapon. I'm not crazy about letting that stay but because of what NG items are I can't adjust them. We're taking additional steps to make sure no other items that are too strong are released again. We are also making a list of EVERY item that is now perm rare so that it will never be allowed to come back in something like a Flav Friday. This means that ALL Special Offer items are now banned from being suggested for that event. Most are broken in one way or another and since we can't fix them they are no longer allowed to be suggested for it. This also means that Seasonal Items like the Terri-fi will have changes made to them before the event returns.

I know some of you will be upset at this because you were hoping to get something like the Turkey Club this Friday. I apologize for that but I hope you understand that this is being done to actually help MQ in the long run. We will slowly be making the changes to those items far out of line now that we've figured out what we can and can't do.

~Ash
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 1
2/9/2015 16:11:56   
Snakezarr
Member

I like this idea, I personally wouldn't mind if NG items where balanced, but this way makes those who would be upset less upset.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 2
2/10/2015 15:32:33   
Holocaust
Member

This might have just shattered my hopes for a balanced MQ, and man those hopes were high...
I can't believe that in the end the problems are being solved the "MQ way" by clinging to decisions made very long ago, which has already proven to be detrimental.

Where's your "nothing should escape smacking" spirit, Ash? I thought that before you were speaking for the team - apparently, not so much.
Now the problem of rares is further exacerbated. Too bad, seriously.

I also see little logic in the NG statement. Both NGs and SC status are obtained with the same currency, so how can you nerf one group of items but not another?
Sure, NGs require more than a one-off payment, and activating SC may be considered purely "supporting the game", but both cost cash at the end of the day.
MQ  Post #: 3
2/10/2015 15:40:20   
Ash
Member


Because it's not fully a MQ team decision. Secondary currency items and anything related to them have rules set by the office, not the team. We cannot alter those as I found out. Like any other business I can't go against what the CEO and heads of the company dictate if I want to still be around next week.

You pay for SC status, not the items that come with it, to get access to larger parts of the game.

You pay DIRECTLY for the NG items.

That's the difference between them and that's why I can mess with SC items. If you were paying directly for an SC item then no, I wouldn't be able to. SC status is a blanket statement and any items you buy under that are credits, the games fictional currency NOT real money.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 4
2/10/2015 16:19:31   
Holocaust
Member

I really, really hope that MQ will still remain a great and balanced game despite multiple players already holding piles of rares.
But it will be one hell of a target to achieve. If such a target exists at all (I sincerely believe it does).

The SC-NG dilemma sounds counter-intuitive, but it does make sense. Thanks for explaining.

About the policy on NG items... should've checked that sooner, before getting people's hopes high, haha! Sigh...
Casinos in some countries keep running by renaming themselves into something else, F1 teams have been consistently exploiting loopholes in the regulations... Isn't there anything that can be done about the MQ policy too? Something above the regulations - e.g. find proof that certain items absolutely cannot remain in their current state?
Pushing power plank down temporarily and going like "hey this item breaks the game on so many levels"? It's not a crime, just a way around.

< Message edited by Holocaust -- 2/10/2015 16:20:44 >
MQ  Post #: 5
2/10/2015 16:27:26   
Ash
Member


I can ask but it's one of the few things that doesn't really budge much since it involves money. Mainly it's the argument that, "The player bought it at X time for Y reason at Z stats. He/she paid the money for that so if you change it he doesn't have what he/she paid for anymore." There's also the reasoning that if you later on nerf something because it's too strong, why was it released that strong in the first place, and secondly will players want to continue to spend on "OP" items if later on they just get nerfed. Granted we're going to try to avoid releasing anything else that's OP but it might come across as money grabby at certain points to NOW fix it and not give you back your money.

Plus most players aren't even aware the forums exist, let alone the DN's, and most would ignore a giant flashy button right in the middle of Soluna going "WE CHANGED NG ITEMS. CLICK ME TO FIND OUT WHY!!!!!". So even if we were to put our reasoning why, and that player clicked the button because why not, some players would still complain, file bug reports, call the office, etc, and then we get in trouble. Some people don't care at all about balance and just want the thing that can one hit kill something, take that away and they get angry. Take it away when they payed 5 bucks for it and....yeah that wouldn't end well.

No, I don't like that we can't touch them and I probably annoyed Mae for several hours trying to find out a way to do it, but it still ended up as a no. Right now I can just play damage control and we'll see if it ends up in a decent spot. Really all we can do at this point.

< Message edited by Ash -- 2/10/2015 16:31:48 >
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 6
2/10/2015 17:03:34   
forumlogin
Member

Eh, it works.
Past MQ will be what it is. Future MQ will be balanced, to a given degree. I don't particularly see it as any major problem.

Certainly don't see it as any reason for that kind of hyperbole, Holocaust :P
As long as future quests aren't made with the rare power scale in mind, MQ'll ultimately turn out pretty balanced. Older players will have broken stuff, but they won't be able to break limits any further than they already have with what they have already acquired. New players will play a relatively slower, weaker game.

PvP isn't a big part of the game, so the power imbalance between players really doesn't have an impact on the game regardless.
DF MQ  Post #: 7
2/10/2015 20:18:33   
Antiwally
Member

Well I'm certainly happy that calendar/special offer items are finally off the flavescent friday table.

On the other hand, I'm conflicted about decision to just nerf all items except for NG ones. While I find this is the most direct approach to stop powercreep. I also believe that it is also unhealthy for the game's future. Let me elaborate. With the production of OP items stopped, I assume all items released henceforth will be balanced. However, how will the game's difficulty respond to this? Because "balanced" is the new norm, players with the OP NG items will simply bash through the stages. Make the levels to suit those NG item wielding players and the levels will be too hard for players with the new balanced equipment. The probable solution is to add an easy and hard mode of the quests, but that means extra programming for the MQ team, and how long will that last before people get tired of it (challenge modes are fun, but fighting overpowered/underwhelming bosses gets tiring really quick)? Furthermore, if only balanced items are to be released, there won't be much incentive for players with the OPNG items to buy any new items, NG or not, since they are essentially set for the game. Raising the level cap is one option, but at what level will the max lvl balanced items overcome the older NG items? I mean, even now, lvl 40 NG items outperform level 50 SC/NSC items.

Just my two cents. I hope it makes sense :P

< Message edited by Antiwally -- 2/10/2015 20:23:15 >
Post #: 8
2/10/2015 20:28:46   
Ash
Member


It does make sense and to be honest, we're going to have to do here what we have to do in DF. In DF the DoomKnight armor is broken beyond all belief, but since it's a cash item we can't touch it. (The current staff in that game had no say in DoomKnight's power but we still have to deal with the consequences) We just have to ignore it with every release that's done there except in very specific circumstances. Here we're just going to balance based on what the majority of the players will have. We can't stop people who have the items from using them but we can make sure anyone with current gear will still be able to use it without issues.

Raising the level cap is one option, but it's still a ways off. We first have to make sure there's enough content in game for a player to realistically get to level 50 without farming their brains out to do so. I'm hoping to get enough permanent, non-holiday, quests in to make that happen by the middle of next year. Once we do raise the level cap item power will sorta level out. You could still use the OP items on a lower level mecha body to cause the game to scale down to you but that'll make trying to use anything new we give impossible. Certain items like the Calender mecha and the Skullcrusher and all those will always be an issue, but those are just going to be our DoomKnight and we'll have to move forward. I would hope players who have those won't complain about the quests being too easy since we can't really lock those players with them into extreme mode when using a certain item or mecha.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 9
2/10/2015 21:26:20   
PD
Member
 

Interesting stuff as usual Ash. As for my 2 cents,

In all actuality most very old rares are very weak compared to what's out there now. A good example of this is the re-released SC MM's, which most you would agree are fairly modest (and some even a bit weak). I once made a tier list of how rares matched up to each other so that we could differentiate which rares were actually problematic. I'd actually vouch to say that close to 90% of rares could actually be brought back without hurting how the standards are now. I think you should rather differentiate the truly problematic rares from the ones that are mediocre, weak, or "good" (ie, strong, but not THAT strong).

Otherwise I'm okay with this. Let's be honest: how many people still have the Eagle? The AC-490? The Warbear? The Shadow Purge? The Mohawk? The Arachnid Arms? The Energy Drills? The Prismators?

I'm probably the only one that has all the above. There's probably about 1000 or so people that have a combination of any of the above. I think we can generally leave these 1000 or so people behind since I can guarantee you that probably about 5 or less of those people still play.

< Message edited by PD -- 2/10/2015 21:39:55 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 10
2/12/2015 11:06:50   
Holocaust
Member

@ Ash
If something is "broken beyond belief" and still cannot be subjected to balancing, then there is something really wrong with the policy.
No complaints towards the game staff - just the CEOs. That's why I suggested searching for loopholes - at this point, they seem to be the only hope.

@ PD
Judging from the likes of Haliaeetus and Elf mecha, the balancing should bring most items to about B-Tier, and probably A-Tier for really exclusive items.
Now, how many non-credit-bought items are currently in A and God tiers? All these are staying as they are, so it is not just ancient rares we're talking about.
PS, where's that ranking thread we've been running? So much useful info... already deleted, really?

At the current state, the only people immune from the consequences of balancing will be entirely new players and also those who don't care whatsoever, since the game will be adjusted to them. That is, until they discover Forums, or continuously get pwned in Assault Mecha and subsequently find out about all the rares.
The rest of us will be likely to experience a rather unpleasant dissonance, and possibly a long-lasting one.

This also poses a huge threat to Assault Mecha fun, since that's pretty much the only build-vs-build combat opportunity. I very much support having a good strategy, but rares vs balanced weapons sounds like a too much of an imbalance. Guess who will boast powerful (and for new players even unbeatable) builds?
I truly hoped that build-vs-build aspect of MQ would develop and maybe gain more importance. Apparently, the opposite might happen.

< Message edited by Holocaust -- 2/12/2015 11:19:19 >
MQ  Post #: 11
2/12/2015 16:38:42   
forumlogin
Member

@Holocaust
It's an alright policy, as far as it goes, speaking as someone who played extensively before joining the forums. Sure, if you prioritize balance above all else, it's a terrible policy, but quite frankly there aren't that many people who do that, even on the forums--off the forums, balance is barely a concern at all, EXCEPT if enemies are too hard. It's a policy that prioritizes customer satisfaction, and most customers aren't going to be satisfied to suddenly see their money items be devalued.

To be fair, most of the NG items in PD's thread have been rare for a pretty long time, several of them are permarare, and others will be replaced with weaker versions once they return to the game in their respective seasonal events.
As for the thread itself, you can probably find it if you dig back a bit. You'll have to bump it yourself, though.

The consequences of balancing...I'm not really sure what your concern is here. What "dissonance" concerns you? Having some stuff much stronger than other stuff? That's already been the case in MQ for years. The only change, here, would be that there would be a lot more other stuff after it's done than some stuff.

As much as you would like it to be, Assault Mecha is not and never will be a big deal, because Mechquest is not and never will be a "true" PvP game, where you can face off realtime against other players, because engine limitations. I'm personally totally fine with this; at a guess, the average player would probably also be OK with it as long as they can play the rest of the game, and to be honest, it would probably allow players to treat PvP as a Challenge Area.
The only exception would be in quests like the Mogloween Find Shelley Quest Chain, where you have to fight other SC players, most of whom have some pretty crazy mechs and items. But I feel like that entire quest chain should be rebalanced anyways--I don't know how you're gonna beat the Terrifi at the end of it with rebalanced equipment.
DF MQ  Post #: 12
2/12/2015 21:37:05   
Holocaust
Member

@ forumlogin
I'm afraid you are not seeing the whole picture here - the policy does not maximize customer satisfaction. By customers you seem to mean 'those who pay for their items', while in reality, customers are the entire player base. Retaining outright OP items with the rest of the game staying way below? Overall satisfaction is definitely not about 'keeping those few items as they are'.

Promo and NG items could bear nerfing - they would hit not as hard, but wouldn't lose out on exclusivity in terms of art, effects and animations.
Hitting a bit harder should be treated as extra value, but hitting waaay too hard is more along the lines of cheating.

Being an oblivious player who doesn't care much about overall balance is quite comforting. But invite some hardcore gamers into MQ and let's hear what they think of the balance and the engine! Also, the Assault Mecha. Despite not being crucial to the game, it has great potential. And even though a true PvP is nowhere in sight, with balanced items there could be a pure-PvP spinoff at some point. Assault Mecha is decent, and unique type of fun. Saying that it 'will never be important and is OK as is' means negating any possible progress - sure, a comforting position, but not too forward-looking.

I guess I am just trying to look at this from the developer's point of view, as there is a lot of potential in MQ beyond what already exists.

@ Ash
Theoretically, Promo items should be at the top of the nerfing list. Players pay for the tangible item in the first place, not the bonus codes - so the SC case applies.
MQ  Post #: 13
2/12/2015 22:39:50   
admahu
Member
 

Why would those who don't pay for their items care about an item they won't and don't pay for being OP or about no new OP NG items they wouldn't buy anyway being released? I don't see how rare OP items will hurt satisfaction. All I can imagine is someone seeing one, thinking "Man, wish I was around back then and got that", then contently moving on like with any rares.

Theoretically, players pay for the tangible item, but we all know that isn't true in reality.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 14
2/13/2015 2:09:09   
Rorshach

The Question
(AQ Sugg)


A balanced game makes it more fun than one filled with OP-items. Because when the game gets too easy, going into a "pay-to-win" theme, you tend to lose players more; except those dumping their money into OP-items and just winning about every single battle that comes along.

For the majority of players or items, they do need this sort of balancing. This makes it challenging and interesting at the same time, creating diversity. Otherwise what is the point of creating so many items/mechs if you're just going to end up using a 'win-all-battles' mech/item?

For stun-lock item kinds, I believe it should not be fitted to just one item alone. If a player wants a stun-lock mech, he should be refitting his whole equips to ensure he gets that stun-lock, and not coming from just one equip alone that has 0-CD and is the only equip you're gonna use through the battle.

Therefore, if this change does help in spreading the power of items more evenly, then sure, I'm all for it. But slamming a nerf-hammer right on every one of them, might cause fractures for those that really play the game to explore its fullest potential(s).

We'll see how it goes though, but this has been long awaited I guess by HC-players.
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 15
2/13/2015 2:40:48   
forumlogin
Member

@Holocaust
Even assuming customer satisfaction won't be fully realized with leaving the items as they are, they certainly will be much less happy to find the items they literally paid money for are suddenly weaker than what they remembered (speaking of promo items mainly here, as let's be real here, cool or not, you're not paying for the calendars). A similar though downplayed sentiment no doubt exists for NGs.
Again, the only people with the outright OP items will be the older players, who have the option, if they are in fact tired of 3 shotting everything, to limit themselves. As for everyone else, they play the balanced game. Players with OP items leave happier, since they can choose whether or not they want to be OP; everyone else leaves slightly less happy but satisfied nonetheless, because in place of ridiculous effects they get a balanced game.

Looking at "Retaining outright OP items with the rest of the game staying way below? Overall satisfaction is definitely not about 'keeping those few items as they are'. ":
Why not? Who will it actually negatively affect? Even if it comes to PvP, you will retain the option of choosing someone who doesn't possess those rares, or if they do, using them as a challenge mission in the same vein tackling Necryptos without Vampire Hunter is a challenge mission.

@GASKAL
While I would be fine if older stuff was nerfed (I mean, it's pretty crazy that I'll be able to use the Crystal Storm on basically every mecha I get ever, and I'll never need another Head Weapon again, for example) as long as the change means new stuff is balanced--and that enemies are scaled appropriately--it should be alright.
DF MQ  Post #: 16
2/13/2015 8:24:12   
Holocaust
Member

My posts are known to get deleted from the forums, so I feel like wrapping up now. Just a few more words from me.


The policy on Promo/NG items:

Let's agree that this one is more aimed at avoiding revolt than anything else.
It does not allow to correct misjudgements made in the past, and it prevents developers from building a solid base.
Balancing the game while keeping in mind the double standards during every release? I don't see where such a game could possibly be heading.
No solid base means harshly limited opportunities for development and also tons of wasted potential.

What staff could do is set up an in-game promo-shop, where all unlocked items would cost 100 credits (or other symbolic amount), and therefore be re-purchasable.
This would both stop the "Nooo I sold my Seppy by accident!!!" issues and allow things like Chrono Corruptor to be smacked, as the purchase would be for credits, same as SC items.


Now, think about people like myself who haven't directly invested a buck into the game. I got all my exclusive items through completing Special Offers in my leisure time, and therefore paid no cash. I did put in effort, but that's the same resource I'd put into farming credits. This means that some people, including me, are not true 'shareholders' despite owning exclusive items, and therefore have little to no ground to object to balancing activities.

And then, the Promo items. The codes only go as a bonus, and may not necessarily exist for a given merchandise. The player clearly pays for the tangible product in the first place. Obviously, player's true reasons behind the purchase do not grant a position of a 'shareholder' in a given game - that particular purchase may not have contributed to the game whatsoever.
MQ  Post #: 17
2/13/2015 8:50:34   
admahu
Member
 

What if you just somehow buffed all other items so that the untouchable stuff was standard and made enemies appropriately stronger to compensate?
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 18
2/13/2015 13:20:01   
Runic Lord
Member

@admahu, then you run into the issue of people feeling like what they paid for is no longer worth it. It is half of a solution, you COULD perhaps buff things overall so that the untouchable stuff is not SUPER OP and rather just OP. But for alot of the OP items it's because their effects are ridiculous NOT because they hit high amounts of damage. And MQs effects/stats system is a bit too rigid for that to truly work, without the staff having to essentially change TONS of core mechanics.

I understand why NG perma-rares cannot be touched, and why there's really no clean work-around, so simplest solution is to just leave them be, it does allow some players to be ridiculously over-powered, but as a whole it's probably the least messy solution for the staff.

Tough situation, but when people are directly paying for things there is only so much that can be done.

MQ  Post #: 19
2/13/2015 13:28:47   
forumlogin
Member

@Holocaust
Even if it is, it doesn't cause real balance issues either :/
It's not 'keeping double standards in mind' more than it is 'entirely ignoring the standard of overpoweredness'. Again, I don't understand why this apparently has to be incompatible with building a solid base.
Also, Special Offers DO get AE money, even if it isn't directly yours :P
Just because you're only paying your time doesn't mean someone else isn't paying with their money.

@admahu
Because there'd be way too many stuff to buff that way. Even assuming, in the most extreme case, that about half of MQ's content is at an excessive power level, that other half makes up a significant content of the game. Particularly, almost all nonrare non-NG items would have to rebalanced.
DF MQ  Post #: 20
2/20/2015 22:18:18   
PD
Member
 

Now I'm a bit curious to see that list of totally taboo things.
AQ MQ  Post #: 21
6/7/2015 22:09:37   
ZamuelNow
Constructive


It's interesting for me to return and see a discussion like this. I'm pretty okay with the final decision. I partially dislike not adjusting NG items yet I 100% get it since they're direct purchase items. It goes into long drawn out discussion about online purchases but it makes sense. Just glad to see permanent stuff getting adjusted since proper balance also means buffs and enemy adjustment as well.
DF MQ  Post #: 22
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