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Corpse Remval and Timer Bonus (AKA The ShadowDeath Vambraces Nerf)

Mayhem Master Wyrom posts he is making some changes relating to the ShadowDeath Vambraces and the Arena.

http://bit.ly/2IHtsVM

Category: Paid Events: Adventures, Quests, and SimuCoins
Topic: Duskruin Arena

Date: 06/29/2018 11:28 AM CDT
From: SIMU-WYROM
Subj: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
Recently, it was brought to my attention that there was something people were gaining an infinite advantage of in Duskruin Arena to speed up the way the arena mechanics work. This really didn’t get much attention in prior runs because the solo matches could only be sped up by a max of 100 seconds. But with the team matches, it could speed it up by 300 seconds. This falls into an exploit. It’s an unintended way to consistently bypass a mechanic that was put in place and balanced. The item that was causing it were the ShadowDeath items.

We can debate that there are other items that can achieve this and certain spells that cause this, but there isn’t a means to do this routinely and consistently that I am aware of. We can also talk about the advantages of having better gear in the arena overall being unfair as well because you can kill more efficiently. But this isn’t about killing creatures better or surviving. It’s about getting around an intended mechanic that was put in place. Several runs ago, we extended the timer from 5 minutes to 8 minutes to account for the corpse removal slow down and some minor lag from tons of combat formulas happening.

It’s too late in the run to make a drastic change, but moving forward, the bloodscrip time bonus will be removed and replaced with something that can be measured on your combat efficiency. Since corpse removal happens in a few other areas, we’ll just drop this controversial side effect of a timer high score. I’m not sure what that will be. For the remaining run, I’ll revert the changes made on the ShadowDeath items.

The timer title will remain in place, and your fastest times will still be measured.


Wyrom, PM


Date: 06/29/2018 12:54 PM CDT
From: OM1E5GA
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
<We can also talk about the advantages of having better gear in the arena overall being unfair as well because you can kill more efficiently.>

<but moving forward, the bloodscrip time bonus will be removed and replaced with something that can be measured on your combat efficiency.>

In just about any arena-like event, the most unfair advantages are going to be more because of a character’s profession then their equipment. If it’s time based like now, Sorcerers, Wizards, and (prolly) Bards are going to have the advantage. If it’s how many can you kill before you die/tap out, the advantage will be with Warriors, Rogues, Rangers, and (maybe) Paladins. Squares and most semis simply can’t match the speed spells allow pure to kill while squares and most semis can easily kill more then pures can (in a one after the other scenario) because they’re tougher and aren’t reduced to just standing there if they run out of mana/stamina.

This is prolly more like measuring a character/player’s skill then efficiency (and I’m only thinking about the solo version cause I don’t care about the team version), but since there’s a chance things will be changed up going forward:

It seems that having critters start at (for example) character level – 10 and increasing the level of the critters after every champion with no cap on time or how many critters one can kill, then have the prizes based on how many critters were killed would be a better way to go. If every 5th critter was a champion, not many are going to be able to get to 25 and even the most skilled/well equipped character isn’t going far beyond that reliably (yea, we’ve all heard about the level 1 monk that killed a capped invasion critter…. but lets see them to that reliably and one-on-one).

Starchitin, the OG

A severed gnomish hand crawls in on its fingertips and makes a rude gesture before quickly decaying and rotting into dust. A gust of wind quickly scatters the dust.


Date: 06/29/2018 01:14 PM CDT
From: VANKRASN39
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus

since the time bonus is being removed, how about a command to sweep the corpse faster that is available to everyone? like SHOUT at the beginning to stop the intro speech.

I think people would have been less angry about the nerf if you had posted as the nerf was implemented, instead of having to be called out on it by multiple people and posting days later. When will staff get that the playerbase does not like stealth nerfs (even if it is actually a bug fix and you think people are taking advantage of a situation)? I get that you’re incredibly busy, but better communication is needed.


Date: 06/29/2018 01:17 PM CDT
From: RBALDWIN
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
Ooooo, that sounds like a nifty arena mechanic. An arena where there is no end, you simply fight bad guy after bad guy as they get exponentially stronger until they kill you or you surrender!


Date: 06/29/2018 01:44 PM CDT
From: ASHRAAM
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
>>since the time bonus is being removed, how about a command to sweep the corpse faster that is available to everyone? like SHOUT at the beginning to stop the intro speech.

I think it was Roblar that made the good point that melee fighters are in hard RT after an opponent dies, so having the option to dismiss a corpse quicker via some action would continue to favor the soft-RT pure.

The danger here is trying to introduce something “competitive” into a game where classes were not balanced to compete with each other in 1v1 battles. I think the balance is that every class is technically capable of completing the arena (perfectly), provided they put effort into equipping properly and learning the mechanics.

In the arenas of old, the most famous gladiators were the ones loved most by the crowd. Perhaps introduce some fun showmanship traits that would allow longer matches to drum up the audience and generate some kind of positive side effects. Like, if you hit 3 minutes, but you’re still on a perfect run, you can start using some key verbs prompted by the announcer that will speed up the removal, and make rounds go faster. That way those casters who are over-geared / specifically tailored for the arena will not have an additional advantage.

It would be even cooler if you say, hit 5 minutes, and you could use a verb to start having the opponents come in pairs. That way professions good at handling multiple targets (i.e. squares and such) would have another option to up the pace.

There could also be special titles available for those kinds of matches like Favored of the Arena or something to denote that the crowd is most pleased by the level of entertainment being provided, which could entice some of the faster players to slow down a bit.


Date: 06/29/2018 02:29 PM CDT
From: KRAKII
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
“<increasing head-counts>” — Ashraam

Can we pull the bellcord and get “the next wave of five (to include this stage’s Champion)” to come out all at once?
I would far rather bang off Disruption at 20 mana/3s apiece (but only two or three times) to drop a swarm–and then switch to 10-mana singles for the Champion still standing–than having to nickel-and-dime my mana cost at ten apiece…

.

Heck, it would be almost like hunting! 🙂


Date: 06/29/2018 02:32 PM CDT
From: SIMU-WYROM
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
>>I think people would have been less angry about the nerf if you had posted as the nerf was implemented, instead of having to be called out on it by multiple people and posting days later. When will staff get that the playerbase does not like stealth nerfs (even if it is actually a bug fix and you think people are taking advantage of a situation)? I get that you’re incredibly busy, but better communication is needed.

We don’t typically announce game mechanics abuse bugs as being resolved on the forums too often, which is exactly what this is. No, people aren’t in violation of POLICY over it, but it was circumventing a normal game mechanics to speed up the game play and in some cases, maximizing returns where they wouldn’t have been achieved. You don’t find these announced in many games, because it shines a spotlight on the situation and pushes people to find another way. You can see this over in the Items and Inventory topic when it was explained you can still bypass the mechanics with a void bomb.

I realize you might say communication could be better, but GemStone IV communication is thorough and reactive, again, comparing to what’s out there. Dev communicates often. We take player feedback into heavy consideration. We push out quality of life improvements during live events almost always. A large chunk of our GameMasters participate with players daily. You have almost constant communication from the Product Manager here on the forums, Discord, or in game. I’m massively available.

Now you might want specifics communicated with you that help you personally or help the community as a whole, but our engagement level is pretty high considering our size. You might wish we were more proactive when it came to pushing communication out. But there are a limited number of people who actually do this sort of stuff, and that’s not by design, but an unfortunate side effect with how we work (no centralization).

Yes, I’m busy, but I still take the time to work things out.


Wyrom, PM


Date: 06/29/2018 03:21 PM CDT
From: VANKRASN39
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus

>We don’t typically announce game mechanics abuse bugs as being resolved on the forums too often, which is exactly what this is.

that’s not always the way players see it. Players may see it simply as using their expensive items, not as abusing any mechanic.


Date: 06/29/2018 03:48 PM CDT
From: VANKRASN39
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus

>I realize you might say communication could be better, but GemStone IV communication is thorough and reactive, again, comparing to what’s out there. Dev communicates often. We take player feedback into heavy consideration. We push out quality of life improvements during live events almost always. A large chunk of our GameMasters participate with players daily. You have almost constant communication from the Product Manager here on the forums, Discord, or in game. I’m massively available.

You also have this tendency to take criticism that is specific to a certain situation (bug fixing/nerfing) and counter it with broader facts that don’t apply.


Date: 06/29/2018 04:19 PM CDT
From: CHUCK3B
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
> I get that you’re incredibly busy, but better communication is needed

Communication is so so so much better than it used to be. I’d even call the improvement dramatic, especially in this past year. I understand that it can always get better…but it seems to me it has continually been getting better. In this particular instance, the correction to an unexpected exploit (even if you didn’t see it that way, staff clearly did), I wouldn’t have expected a forum comment.

I guess if you were comparing to truly massive games, like WOW or the old Everquest, they do list every single detailed change in a change log that is published weekly, or even daily. I don’t know what’s involved in something like that, but I remember the days (long long ago) when game operation data was explicitly and intentionally hidden from the player base. That’s no longer true as far as I can tell.


Date: 06/29/2018 04:37 PM CDT
From: VANKRASN39
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus

>In this particular instance, the correction to an unexpected exploit (even if you didn’t see it that way, staff clearly did), I wouldn’t have expected a forum comment.

People first brought this up in the GM questions (discord) on Wednesday, and here we are on Friday. No matter what, he’s going to get called out on it, he should know that, he should anticipate it, and he should give people a heads up before they pay to go into the arena with their expensive gear that they can’t use in there anymore for the purpose they have been using it for for three years.


Date: 06/29/2018 07:15 PM CDT
From: ARCHIGEEK
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
Why not just set a minimum time per round of 4 seconds? That is pretty much as fast as it can happen if corpses need to be cleared.


Date: 06/29/2018 09:13 PM CDT
From: LUXELLE
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
Who even knew they counted that 1 second waiting for the corpse to be swept off!


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Rohese: “… the TownCrier (tune in if you haven’t, it’s without doubt the best thing to ever happen on LNet)”
Xanith: “It’s flat out amazing”
Doug: “100.times ^”

TownCrier News Submission link: http://bit.ly/TownCrierNews


Date: 06/30/2018 09:00 AM CDT
From: ARSHWIKK
Subj: Re: Corpse Removal and Timer Bonus
“`I think it was Roblar that made the good point that melee fighters are in hard RT after an opponent dies, so having the option to dismiss a corpse quicker via some action would continue to favor the soft-RT pure.“`

Even with hard RT it takes 8 seconds to get to the next round. I am killing them in 3. Give me a shout command to remove bodies and the days of sorcs and empaths dominating the arena by a stupid margin will end. They’ll still be better overall at it, but the gap will close by a lot, and it’s needed to happen for a LONG time.

My best time is 3 minutes and 48 seconds as a non-pure with no SDV or SK celerity. I missed 3 insta kill shots (including the double critts on the bosses – so 35 shots would be perfection). It’s an amazing feat. It would have been possibly under 2 minutes with SDV. None of those pures rocking crazy times are exhibiting any special talent. I’m not saying they don’t have skill with their characters. They just don’t need it. The mechanics are catered to them. Throw the rest of us a bone for once.

 

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