Author Topic: Remove the RP XP penalty?  (Read 516 times)

Iridni Ren

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Remove the RP XP penalty?
« on: May 03, 2018, 12:24:40 AM »
I've seen a lot of criticism of this mechanic lately. What is the sense of the community, rather than only the more vocal parts of the community?

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morgan5796

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 12:36:27 AM »
It certainly hinders garda players and natives, although a native Barovian shouldn't really be -that- strong unless he's adventuring and such.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 01:56:16 AM by morgan5796 »

FlyingLotus

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2018, 01:40:30 AM »
Having experienced the server both before and after this change I believe it is best served as is. There was a time when everyone, no matte their level, hung out in the outskirts. It was the single hub in the game and people only rarely ventured further along with their own friends for their own reasons.

Since this change has been implemented Port has seen a -drastic- increase in players, and that was loooong before any dm plots may have driven foot traffic to the area. If only for the one extra player hub I would deem it a success, but there is of course the mist camp as well, which has also seen a larger surge in population.

Whether you like the area or not it can't be said that it doesn't serve to better spread the population across the rest of the server as well. In fact it is likely a side effect of people more frequently and willingly traveling to places they would not have prior to such an incentive.

I definitely understand how it might appear that there would be no change in what people do based on this in retrospect, I harbored the same feelings when it happened initially. Having seen it in place, however, I would argue that it worked even better than the people who planned it had ever anticipated.
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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2018, 02:35:54 AM »
It certainly hinders garda players and natives, although a native Barovian shouldn't really be -that- strong unless he's adventuring and such.

Vallaki Garda are already at a massive disadvantage anyway, having full RP XP won't get us to Level 20 anytime soon. High levels are still going to hang out at the outskirts because it's the main RP hub anyway, other hubs are mostly circumstantial (DM plots for example).

Ehver

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2018, 02:38:56 AM »
I think that there are better (if perhaps more involved) ways of encouraging higher level players to move elsewhere.
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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 05:31:45 AM »
The way the server is built, the outskirts is the hub.

In my uneducated opinion, all the measures taken to drive people away from the hub wether them being either terrible travel or xp penalties actually make people stay in the hub more.
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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 06:24:23 AM »
The way the server is built, the outskirts is the hub.

In my uneducated opinion, all the measures taken to drive people away from the hub wether them being either terrible travel or xp penalties actually make people stay in the hub more.

Actually we evaluated this very closely and it had a remarkable impact on making high levels move to other locations.

Second, you can't seriously expect a poll to be objective if one option has "I thought this was an RP server." Not that I necessarily think the votes would have turned in favour of keeping it though, but it's worth noting.

Anyway, given the objective data we have, a more proper poll would ask whether you prefer high levels and low levels to both hang out in the Western Outskirts or if you prefer the current segregation.

Iridni Ren

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 11:57:14 AM »
Second, you can't seriously expect a poll to be objective if one option has "I thought this was an RP server." Not that I necessarily think the votes would have turned in favour of keeping it though, but it's worth noting.

Anyway, given the objective data we have, a more proper poll would ask whether you prefer high levels and low levels to both hang out in the Western Outskirts or if you prefer the current segregation.

Well...

The second option is phrased the way it is for conciseness. Moreover--and respectfully--it's not the place of someone who supports option 1 to put words in the mouth of those who support option 2 and give their reasons for them.

People can support some sort of segregation while thinking the current OOC means of trying to force it is too detrimental to roleplay. Objective data can show, for example, that chemotherapy undoubtedly extends a cancer patient's life, but the person taking the chemotherapy should be able to say, "I don't like the impact its having on my quality of life" rather than be forced only to answer the question of whether it "works."

In any case, the topic structure allows people to qualify their votes and explain their reasoning either way.

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Ehver

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 12:56:23 PM »
Iridni, I think his point was that the options you presented are leading. For instance, if they were used in an actual, statistical survey, they would be considered scientifically inadmissible because they carry an emotional charge that (intentionally or otherwise) can cause responders to lean in one direction over another.

Obviously everyone thinks Ravenloft is an RP server. By placing this under the "NO" option, you make it seem like anyone who selects the "YES" option disagrees with that notion.

That doesn't speak to the spirit of what this poll is meant to accomplish, but... *shrug*
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RedwizardD

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 01:06:44 PM »
Not to be a downer on your opinion (I happen to disagree with the penalties too) but this has been fought tooth and nail by the player base since it's inception. I don't see the team agreeing to change in back any more now then they did then.

Iridni Ren

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 01:36:10 PM »
Obviously everyone thinks Ravenloft is an RP server. By placing this under the "NO" option, you make it seem like anyone who selects the "YES" option disagrees with that notion.

You have that backward.

But for each choice the text corresponds with a summary of the case that each side makes for its argument. To be completely vanilla (and if I were submitting an actual statistical survey I would), I could leave the choices as simply "Yes" and "No."

Given, however, that this is not in any way a binding vote, I wanted to convey an informal tone.

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Ehver

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 01:42:10 PM »
Very well.  8)
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ethinos

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 02:43:17 PM »
This is an RP server where you are expected to RP. You shouldn't get a bonus just for doing so. The bonus is to encourage you to RP in level appropriate spots. Not getting a bonus isn't a penalty. It's just playing the game as it was intended. The whole point of the RP XP in the first place was to encourage quality RP when DM's couldn't be present with their little XP wand. I feel like some folks are becoming a little entitled about RP XP.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 03:00:37 PM »
This is an RP server where you are expected to RP. You shouldn't get a bonus just for doing so. The bonus is to encourage you to RP in level appropriate spots. Not getting a bonus isn't a penalty. It's just playing the game as it was intended. The whole point of the RP XP in the first place was to encourage quality RP when DM's couldn't be present with their little XP wand. I feel like some folks are becoming a little entitled about RP XP.

By attempting to control the language, you are attempting to control the debate (i.e., "you're not being penalized; you're simply not receiving a bonus").

This is sophistry.

Moreover, your argument is based on a non sequitur to the point of self-contradiction. If this is an RP server, then how does it follow one should not get a reward for RPing?

If the object of a game is to kill monsters, should we likewise not receive XP for killing monsters? We should just do it because that's the object?

Do you have a job? Would you do it without being paid because your boss "expects" you to? Are you getting a bit "entitled" in your attitude toward your salary because you'd prefer not so many deductions were taken from it?

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ethinos

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2018, 03:47:09 PM »
I am not controlling the language, I am stating the facts. Fancy rhetoric doesn't change that. As for the job thing, you get paid for doing your job. You would get bonuses on top of your regular pay if you meet the requirements of that bonus. If you don't, you aren't being penalized. You still get pay for doing what you are supposed to be doing.
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ViktorYouFool

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2018, 04:29:52 PM »
\Anyway, given the objective data we have, a more proper poll would ask whether you prefer high levels and low levels to both hang out in the Western Outskirts or if you prefer the current segregation.
I would be far more sympathetic to the concept of (RP) segregation if
A) Leveling wasn't as slow on this server as it is designed to be. As is, a new character has to spend a significant amount of time -- weeks, months, even -- to get high enough level to do content outside of Barovia. Unless all you've done is power-grind, that means that you've been investing a ton of time and RP into that area that you're supposed to just shrug and move on from when you hit a certain mechanical level? ..and..

B) The second hub wasn't Port-a-Lucine, which has such a distinct and different flavor to Barovia and Vallaki that it can be very difficult for certain characters to make any IC sense wanting to move there.

I have two characters that I presently play with any semblance of regularity, and it makes zero sense for either of them to one day pack their bags and move abroad. Instead, the present system just means that once I get past a certain level, role-playing is no longer worth XP and I will instead be even more reliant on dungeoning.

FlyingLotus

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 02:51:07 AM »
I can't bring myself to vote because it seems honestly biased and straw manning, by the way, regardless of how I feel.
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Shinkuhado

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 05:10:03 AM »
Just a thought on this but if you want to kill hub squatting, maybe it should be considered allowing people to start in other parts of the server, depending on the race/subraces that they choose.?

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 10:34:23 AM »
The problem with that right now is that the areas around the western outskirts are designed for low level characters. Currently, no other areas in the server are set up to support new low level characters easily. A rebuilding or editing of other areas across the server would need to be done, which would really be a tall order for the Devs, I believe.

Iridni Ren

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2018, 10:51:04 AM »
Just for the record, the final vote was 26 to 12 in favor of removing the RP XP penalty (68.4% to 31.6%).

What I have suggested elsewhere to improve the situation would not remove it but tweak it:

The easiest tweak and most in line with Soren's original and expressed goal in implementing the current system is to give increased XP when the *opposite* condition is met. That is, Soren says the system is to increase player segregation between low levels and high levels....

To state it plainly, when the ticker goes off, it already checks the PC's level and then compares it to the average level recorded in the area. It would seem pretty simple, then, if the opposite is true--the PC is of sufficiently high level and has been RPing in an area appropriate to her level--she receives an XP boost.

The advantages of this:

1) It's simple and uses the system already in place. For these reasons, it would not require much time from developers to implement and unlikely to create new problems.

2) If the system in place works as the Team intends and they say is supported by data, then that effect will only be strengthened, not weakened, because the cause will be strengthened.

3) The cause (incentive), however, will not be based purely on punishing undesired behavior but also on rewarding desired behavior (which should help address its current unpopularity).

4) The effect on game balance will be very minor and largely only compensatory for a negative the current system has created (high levels receive less overall XP for roleplaying than they used to).
« Last Edit: May 12, 2018, 10:54:43 AM by Iridni Ren »

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Keyser

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2018, 10:46:34 PM »
I'd rather see it left as is but more importantly, I dont much care for Port as the second hub really for all of the same reasons Viktoryoufool mentioned. Its too specifically themed and doesn't give me much sense of gothic horror when I'm there. The characters are nice and I like the flavor they bring, but the city/atmosphere its self just doesnt do me. I'd personally love to see the VoB get more high level dungeons and upgrades because I feel that its the one place that truly fits the theme of the server as I understood Ravenloft to be and would make a better hub imo. I can't speak for anyone but myself but I'm here for that gothic horror transylvania vibe and less interested in the Not-France or Not-Egypt areas so places like Vallaki and VoB are more to my taste as a player regardless of my level. If I had one request it would be to double-down on making VoB the highlight of the server.

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2018, 11:03:10 PM »
I'd rather see it left as is but more importantly, I dont much care for Port as the second hub really for all of the same reasons Viktoryoufool mentioned. Its too specifically themed and doesn't give me much sense of gothic horror when I'm there. The characters are nice and I like the flavor they bring, but the city/atmosphere its self just doesnt do me. I'd personally love to see the VoB get more high level dungeons and upgrades because I feel that its the one place that truly fits the theme of the server as I understood Ravenloft to be and would make a better hub imo. I can't speak for anyone but myself but I'm here for that gothic horror transylvania vibe and less interested in the Not-France or Not-Egypt areas so places like Vallaki and VoB are more to my taste as a player regardless of my level. If I had one request it would be to double-down on making VoB the highlight of the server.

Making VoB a hub goes against its very nature. VoB is supposed to be an isolated backwater place where no one wants to stay. Making it a hub would denature it essentially.

ViktorYouFool

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2018, 02:56:34 AM »
Making VoB a hub goes against its very nature. VoB is supposed to be an isolated backwater place where no one wants to stay. Making it a hub would denature it essentially.
The problem with that is that regardless of what the canon fluff is supposed to be, VoB is essentially the closest city to a major airport. That road is the only artery into or out of Barovia, and the village is two maps away from the tser pool. However isolated it's supposed to be, the only way to make it more connected to the flow of travel would be if the caravan departed from the town square. This is part of why it makes such an appealing concept for a hub. It's far enough away from Vallaki to put some geography in the way, but it's connected to literally everything else by proximity to the MC.

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2018, 06:03:48 AM »
Making VoB a hub goes against its very nature. VoB is supposed to be an isolated backwater place where no one wants to stay. Making it a hub would denature it essentially.
The problem with that is that regardless of what the canon fluff is supposed to be, VoB is essentially the closest city to a major airport. That road is the only artery into or out of Barovia, and the village is two maps away from the tser pool. However isolated it's supposed to be, the only way to make it more connected to the flow of travel would be if the caravan departed from the town square. This is part of why it makes such an appealing concept for a hub. It's far enough away from Vallaki to put some geography in the way, but it's connected to literally everything else by proximity to the MC.

That doesn't actually change anything from the books, as VoB does in fact straddle the Old Svalich, the main east-west trade artery in Barovia. But again, nobody wants to stop there (in part because they don't trust the fog, in part because of the supernatural gloom that hangs over the place). That's all canon, as is the village's relative importance despite its location.
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RedwizardD

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Re: Remove the RP XP penalty?
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2018, 09:14:15 AM »
Saying that VoB isn't/can't/won't/shouln't be a player hub doesn't make sense.

 By definitions, all 'city' locations ARE population hubs and there are reasons people will/have to travel to and fro in spite of the dangers and atmosphere (including and especially natives). By including it in the module, next to a high traffic area (for players) it should be considered a hub. It might not be as pleasant or as welcoming, but it still offers refuge from the thick, swirling fogs and the monsters of the night.

Concessions need to be considered for module playability and rp. Either VoB becomes treated (and supported) as the location is it. Or another hub in another, similar, realm needs to be added.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 09:19:11 AM by RedwizardD »