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FaeTalan
10-02-2012, 11:07 PM
Community Manager Edit: Obviously, there are some strong feelings about this subject so we have moved all of the above into one discussion. Having this posted in various areas just segregates the conversation and is not beneficial to anyone.

If you have an opinion on this (any and everyone), please use this discussion for it.

- - - - - - - - - -

Hi everyone, I'm a pissed off brazilian doctor/loong time gamer/TBS pledger.

"Oh, why are you pissed off, dear backer?" you might ask.

Because today I've found out that I gave my money to support a Kickstarter project that has gone the Zynga way for reaching maximum profitability post-launch.

I felt something like as if my girlfriend was breaking up with me when I read these lines on the RPS interview:

"Like we were saying, every time you get a kill, you get one Renown. You can buy Renown if you want to speed up your progress, and that’s it."

"You can come back here, use the Renown that you just earned – one for each kill that you got – and upgrade your character. Or you can buy it."

"Somebody says, “Well, I work all day, but I really like these games. I want to try the high-level characters.” They can purchase them and throw down. But they’ll be matching up with people where they’ll see, “Oh, he’s got one achievement, so he probably isn’t…” - Achievements? Really?

"The bottom line is, you can do everything just by playing the game. If you want to speed it up a bit, you can purchase Renown."

No matter what they tell us trying to soften it up, it WILL mess long-term gameplay balance. It's like a doctor sponsored by Pfizer trying to convince you he has no conflict of interest when he is lecturing about Viagra. It's blatant lie.

To think I backed this, but didn't back FTL, with which I've recently fell in love after buying on Steam... it makes me sad, unsatisfied...

FaeTalan
10-02-2012, 11:14 PM
"Like we were saying, every time you get a kill, you get one Renown. You can buy Renown if you want to speed up your progress, and that’s it."

"You can come back here, use the Renown that you just earned – one for each kill that you got – and upgrade your character. Or you can buy it."

"Somebody says, “Well, I work all day, but I really like these games. I want to try the high-level characters.” They can purchase them and throw down. But they’ll be matching up with people where they’ll see, “Oh, he’s got one achievement, so he probably isn’t…” - Achievements? Really?

"The bottom line is, you can do everything just by playing the game. If you want to speed it up a bit, you can purchase Renown."

It's ugly, fetid, corrupted, sick and abominable. Good luck convincing us otherwise, you will need it.

FaeTalan
10-02-2012, 11:16 PM
bump...

FaeTalan
10-02-2012, 11:23 PM
Thanks for hiding the fact that you've used our money to develop a competitive F2P online game in which people will be able to purchase "word on the streets, as the Vikings would say" AKA Renown AKA Experience Points with real money. You've spared me a few hours of not vomiting, before I got to read the RPS interview.

FaeTalan
10-02-2012, 11:44 PM
For all I know, they might have already signed a contract with EA for "turning Banner Saga into a huge F2P franchise with hundreds of millions of fans around the world playing it daily on Facebook, cell phones, tablets, TVs and microwave ovens, spending an average amount of 1.83 dollars per player per year".

Frusciante
10-03-2012, 05:07 AM
Skip the snippet, though, and go straight for the ugly:

"Like we were saying, every time you get a kill, you get one Renown. You can buy Renown if you want to speed up your progress, and that’s it."

"You can come back here, use the Renown that you just earned – one for each kill that you got – and upgrade your character. Or you can buy it."

"Somebody says, “Well, I work all day, but I really like these games. I want to try the high-level characters.” They can purchase them and throw down. But they’ll be matching up with people where they’ll see, “Oh, he’s got one achievement, so he probably isn’t…”

"The bottom line is, you can do everything just by playing the game. If you want to speed it up a bit, you can purchase Renown."

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a system like this. People need to stop whining about F2P. There's nothing wrong with the system, there's something wrong with the way some developers use the system. As long as these transactions dont affect the overall game design (for example create more grind just to make buying renown more attractive) I'm fine with this. Entitled kids want to get a game (that costs a lot of money and effort to make) entirely for free, it's just unrealistic.

Why would you care if someone pays (for whatever reason) for renown and in the same time finances the game for you.

Sean
10-03-2012, 08:34 AM
No matter what they tell us trying to soften it up, it WILL mess long-term gameplay balance. It's like a doctor sponsored by Pfizer trying to convince you he has no conflict of interest when he is lecturing about Viagra. It's blatant lie.
Before posting more; let me be up front with the fact that I am not part of the Stoic team -- I'm not a developer (on this project, at least) and I just help in the community. That said, I've been in online gaming for a long time as both a CM and developer so while the rest of this is just my personal opinion, I'm talking with at least some knowledge and experience.

There are a variety of games out there that use a system like this quite well. League of Legends is a great example - you can buy a variety of things, from new champions to skins, to rune pages, to booster packs (including IP boosts, XP boosts, time boosts, game boosts and win boosts). I use it as an example because I'm a pretty avid player of it and not once have I met someone who could compete with me just because they could buy stuff or level faster - the game itself takes skill and the stuff you can purchase only gets you "leveled" faster but doesn't give you any advantages. When I'm matched up with other players, it's based on your score (definitely more complex but this isn't a LoL forum so I won't go too much into it).

So, if TBS is also based on skill (and I don't mean twitch), why do you think it will fail in this regard? What have you seen that is actually giving you this feeling? Is it just the general thought of F2P (I will admit, some games are very much Pay 2 Win and you can get huge advantages on store bought items) or is there something specific in what Stoic has said that makes you think this?

Mikhos
10-03-2012, 10:19 AM
How can you grudge Stoic for trying to make a little bit of money off of a Free To Play game? How else are they going to turn a profit for the time, money, and energy devoted to Factions?

Honestly this is the best way to make a free to play. You can let people either invest their time, or their money, to advance, and of course it's usually a lot of the former and a bit of the latter. The only balance being broken is the ability to get further faster. They're not getting anywhere that any other user couldn't get using game time.

Honestly I have zero problems with what Stoic is doing here, and I think criticizing them for you know, conducting business (as you know, they're here to make money and support themselves, after all), is unneeded. Free to plays need funding somehow. They can't just run off of good intentions.

Edit: If you can offer a better alternative, I'm sure everyone in the industry is all ears. Devs want balance as much as we do, after all. My only other idea is the Pay2Pretty system, offering purely visual items and tweaks in exchange for real world money. But then this of course ends up with certain aspects, even if only visual, that can only be accessed through real world payment.

Ratatoskr
10-03-2012, 11:30 AM
I have to say that I also don't really see what the fuss is all about. I admit that the ability to purchase renown is not my favorite idea in the world but it's not like they're stabbing us in the back. And considering that the multiplayer is free to play I can hardly fault them for actually trying to make some money.

Besides last I checked we donated for a single player game, which will be entirely unaffected by this, and a free to play multiplayer, which they are delivering, so it's not like they're stealing our money.

And the other big issue seems to be that this will unbalance everything because people will pay to become overpowered. But even if people do that, you don't have to play against them and with 20,000 backers there should be plenty of other people to choose from. Also, considering that the backers are getting to beta Factions, we're going to be the overpowered ones compared to any newcomers or the last backers to join up- so if other people want to pay to catch up I don't see the problem. This is particularly true for any newcomers since playing single player apparently gives you extra guys in Factions as well as you unlock them.

But then again I never understood the whole upset about origins either, since as long as they're not forcing me to do any of these things I really don't see how it matters. It's just a game anyway and I have better things to be angry about.

FaeTalan
10-03-2012, 03:14 PM
Once Stoic has achieved a big enough user base, there's no way they won't balance the gameplay favoring the sense of reward for people who pay good money for those "Renown" points. Who would neglect easy money like that, anyway?

My point is: this system is rotten to the core, it's a nasty virus affecting an otherwise decent game.

This game was supposed to be a mature strategy game, not a cheap online F2P board game made for making money exploiting kids and teenagers who are eager to "pwn" anyone online.

Would anyone here disagree that your fun would be seriously spoiled if your opponent on a chess game didn't receive his queen piece, but you did?

FaeTalan
10-03-2012, 04:05 PM
"How can you grudge Stoic for trying to make a little bit of money off of a Free To Play game?"

IF what they were trying to make was a nice amount of money and an untainted mature full-fledged online strategy game, they would have chosen to sell only cosmetic items and single-player content for people that got attached via the vanilla Factions game (which, by the way, was funded beforehand).

BUT they went the greedy suits favorite way, the maximum profitability no remorse way. The EA/Zynga way.

Roshirai
10-03-2012, 04:47 PM
To be perfectly frank, from what I've heard so far, I think the main hurdle for competitive multiplayer is the fact that your multiplayer characters have levels that are persisted across battles.

Obviously, if the game will match you against opposing squads who have a significant level advantage over you, that's a problem whether the game is free-to-play or not.

If the game is balanced so that you're always fighting against multiplayer opponents whose squads are roughly equal in level to yours, however, the question of whether the Renown you spent to build that squad was earned through play or purchased becomes moot.

Ratatoskr
10-03-2012, 04:50 PM
You're a very cynical person aren't you? No one is obviously going to change your mind about the fact that being able to pay for content is evil, although I'm not quite sure whether you're mad at the system for being possible or Stoic for doing it or both. And the game may have been funded but last I checked they still weren't paying themselves anything, which is above and beyond the call of duty as far as I'm concerned.

Also I'm a little unclear on how we move from "you can buy renown" to exploiting children and teenagers, since the kind of people who like to pwn things are unlikely to be interested in a viking based strategy game even if they can buy stuff. You seem very fond of slippery slope apocalyptic arguments which I have trouble taking seriously without any real proof.

And actually considering that I always lose at chess, my opponent failing to receive his queen piece sounds awesome to me. Besides, last I checked you couldn't actually buy other characters unless I misread something somewhere. The only people with extra characters are going to be us backers when we unlock them from the single-player, and we can always play each other if it seems too uneven otherwise. Presumably, Stoic has also thought about these issues, and I find it interesting that you think they can make a mature strategy game, but not balance it in multiplayer even with purchases. The great thing about online games is they can always change things that aren't working and I'm going to trust them to do that and not worry about it until I see the actual product.

FaeTalan
10-03-2012, 05:51 PM
I think paying for content is evil? I've said on my first post that I've paid for FTL on Steam and loved every minute I've spent with the uncompromised beautiful and fun game.

Don't put words on my mouth. Instead, try to understand what I'm saying. If you did, you'd know that my point was that I DO NOT WANT TO RECEIVE A GAMEPLAY BOOSTER BECAUSE I'M A BACKER. I don't want to play at all an online game where the rules are meaner for some and lighter for others (depending on how much money they've spent).

LoliSauce
10-03-2012, 10:26 PM
Would anyone here disagree that your fun would be seriously spoiled if your opponent on a chess game didn't receive his queen piece, but you did?

Renoun is what the matchmaking is based off of.

Say someone played a month and earned...whatever, 100 Renoun. What happens when someone buys 100 Renoun and gets an equivalent strength team? You fight it out as equals, except the one who earned it all has more experience.

Say person 2 decides it's fun and buys 1000 Renoun. He's not going to face person 1 anymore because he's now going to be facing another person with a similar amount of Renoun up near 1000. Once again, fighting it out as equals, except this new person 3 has a year of experience already under his belt to get that much Renoun.

Where's the imbalance? Where's the missing piece in the chess battlefield? There isn't one. The rules of the game give no fucks about how much money or time you've spent on the game. They only care about enforcing an equivalent matchup. This isn't some shitty game that lets you level up and equip your guys with tons of shit, yet still match you with some random in beginner's gear. Did you outfit your guys with awesome equips and a ton of stat boosts? Cool, so did your opponent. Time to put your party composition and strategy to the test against his.

"Oh, but Kickstarter backers get extra classes!", you say? Good to hear this concern. Let's first clarify that it's not Kickstarter backers, it's those who purchase full single player game that get access to the second cast.

Second, let's take a quick glance at the free game itself. You have a team of six characters at max of a cast of 16 possible classes, not counting that you may want multiple of one specific class. Is it imbalanced if you pick one set of six and the other player picks a different set of six that you don't have in your party? Well, assuming that Stoic is doing their job right with play-testing and balancing, no, that would be the entire point of having multiple classes. Would it be imbalanced if you only had access to half of the ones that they had access to if they all retained the same balance as before? Absolutely not, they just paid for the expanded set of the (assumably well balanced) cast. Is it shitty that you don't get that other half? Sure, but they aren't even a part of the free multiplayer to begin with. You don't get a major expansion to any game for free, you buy it for the extra content.

And once again we come around to the point that you're flipping your shit over things you either misunderstand or choose not to understand. After all, in this situation it isn't even a matter of microtransactions being an issue, it's a matter of matchmaking being an issue. Everyone else in the discussion threads regarding this managed to understand how the system retains balance through the matchmaking and cooled off. So hopefully you chill out during your suspension and realize that what you're angry about really has nothing to do with this situation.

I sincerely hope that these points make it through to you. I'd like to see you back and supporting the game beside me again.

Ratatoskr
10-03-2012, 10:33 PM
Thank you. You said that much better than I was managing.
And while I was never actually annoyed that single player would unlock more characters your perspective makes a lot of sense as well. I was mostly just trying to point out that if anyone was going to be overpowered it was going to be us with all the extra experience not the people buying renown, but as soon as someone gets mad for other people being allowed to be stupid, I give up.

FaeTalan
10-04-2012, 09:35 PM
Purchasable classes? Purchasable aesthetic customization? Purchasable single-player content? I welcome them all. I don't "have a problem with F2P", nor am I against Stoic making money with Banner Saga (quite the opposite, truly).

I expect no less for this game than it turning out to be a fantastic deep strategy game with an amazing and unique SP campaign, just like everyone here. You only worry when you truly care about something.

LoliSauce
10-05-2012, 04:57 PM
I hear that. It's easy to get really invested and emotional about something when you really want it to succeed. Glad that you cooled off and are back with us.

Ratatoskr
10-05-2012, 06:25 PM
Yeah. I think part of the reason I'm not so worried about it too much is because I'm more of a single player than multiplayer person anyway. You do raise valid concerns though, which hopefully will not be the way things turn out. I'm also relieved by the fact that Stoic appears to have put a decent amount of thought into this before deciding to do it, unlike a few games I've played that just tacked micro-transactions on willy-nilly. And I don't know if the ability to purchase renown is going to be included in the Beta, but we may see them switching the system at some point if it does end up very unbalanced.
Or alternatively, if people who buy renown are significantly worse than those who actually earned it in terms of experience, people may decide that there isn't any point to buying it anyway. So Stoic may end up switching to some of the other kind of micro-transactions you mentioned after all if there's a lack of demand. But I just had that thought and I have no idea if that's something that could actually happen.

Arnie
10-06-2012, 10:12 AM
@Ratatoskr
I still love your crest design! I'm currently working, like as I write, on the banner/crest UI. It will be done this weekend and I really hope you guys dig it. Maybe we can get a screenshot out to you all of what the final banner builder UI (aka. Weavers Hut) will look like.
As far as all this other stuff in the thread, if we find any problems in Beta with our balance or matchmaking system we will work to fix it. I'd like everyone to relax a little until the game is out there being played. We may have bigger fish to fry, who knows?
Skal!

Ps. FaeTalan and I have had some really long emails offline (at 2:00am!) discussing the game in more depth. He seems like a swell guy who is excited for the game yet concerned about systems I hope turn out to be rather agreeable. Point is I think we're ready to shelf this discussion until we get the game in your hands.

Flickerdart
10-06-2012, 10:34 AM
How can you have emails offline? Aren't offline emails just regular mails?

Arnie
10-06-2012, 01:12 PM
No. These are off the grid completely. Don't ask questions...

Ratatoskr
10-06-2012, 10:31 PM
Sounds good. I trust you guys to get it right.

And I'm glad you like my crest, I've gotten rather fond of it too. Even though this is the dapper version and the imperial version is the one going in the game.

Arnie
10-10-2012, 07:36 PM
You may smile to find that I just completed the Weavers Hut, the place you go to attach your crest to your banner and I included a "Top Hat" tag to search for Top Hat crests. I've seen so any backers with them it may come in handy. :)

MrFusion
01-04-2013, 05:53 AM
I JUST discovered this topic - and now I am a little nervous.

Just the other day, I was thinking about how 'playing a lot' would put a player at a HUGE advantage over those who dont.
I also did talk to Arnie IG about it, and he told me they are well aware of the problem and will try to fix it by placing players with roughly the same amount of Renown against each other.
I thought thats a good idea, but after reading this topic, and especially being reminded of League of Legends, i think theres a huge flaw in it.
Well, a couple honestly.

First off, why does someone who plays a lot/buys Renown have an advantage?
Simple:
You need Renown to upgrade troops!
A fresh Warrior is 10 R(enown)
20 R make him a fully upgraded Warrior, 40 a Warhawk I , 84 make a fully upgraded Warhawk, the one we all fear and currently play.
I Probably dont have to tell you how much more powerfully a fully upgraded Warrior is vs a vanilla one,
dont even get me started on the fully developed Warhawk I!

Now lets consider we have a system in place, where I, a guy who does not play much and has no money to spare, do not have to play crazy Tirean, who spends money as he pleases and plays a whole day cause he does not have a job (He's obviously living off his parents!)
Keep in mind, we will NOT have 20 million players as League of legends does, so in order to play against anyone at all, the Renown matchmaking HAS to be forgiving!
So, where is the the limit of how much more Renown Tirean can have in order to play me?
20?
This would, especially in early states of the game, where almost all my team is Vanilla, be a good enough advantage.
Later on it would be less, but 5 more Strength on a Warhawk definately IS a lot...
But with only that little a difference, and considering a win will net you 6+ Renown, it would only make 2-5 games difference.
With the rather small playerbase we'll have
(I am aware it will be a lot bigger than right now, but lets face it - there still wont be 100 guys with roughly the same Renown online all the time!
I'd be glad if it was 10 in the +-20 range...)
the range is probably going to be a lot bigger.
Like 100 or more, which would cause that fully upgraded Warhawk 1 to wreck my puny team.
Now Tirean sure is one of the best I've played so far, and I probably would lose against him anyway.
But even tho I seem to win way more than I lose, most of my games still are very close.
Those close games will ALL be lost if the other guy simply had way more Renown - or even SOME more!
2 Armor/2 Str on every second guy ARE a huge advantage I will not be able to overcome I'm afraid.
I'm definately not that bad a player, but I'm not THAT good.
Tirean might make it, but even he will struggle against a team that simply has that one more Monster in its roster.

So it's either playing against huge odds or not playing at all.
If the Renown gap allowed is too narrow, I might not get a game in weeks.
If it's too wide, ill get slaughtered by bad players with money/too much free time.
And of course, I might bash in a head I never would have had a chance against if it was a 'fair' matchup of same Renown worth teams.

I MIGHT be able to live with the 'play a lot -> win a lot' problem, as playing a lot will make you better at the game - to some extend.
But a clear pay to win is a major turnoff to me, as much as I love the game.
And you know I do, cause I've spent almost all my time since I knew about it playing it...
There goes my vacation days :P


I hope this wall of text does not discourage anyone to read it!
Oh and sorry Tirean for choosing you for my exemples.
Thats what you get for kicking my ass so muh!

Im off to thinking about solutions now and hopefully might get a few good ideas on how to adress these issues.

sweetjer
01-04-2013, 02:41 PM
MrFusion, I know you'e being facetious but re: your digs at Tirean, I have 2nd most games played AND a full-time job. The thing I don't have is a social life :P Back to your concern though, matchmaking is supposed to match players by power level (team point total) and elo level (abstracted skill level based off w/l ratio and levels of the people you win or lose to).

raven2134
01-04-2013, 03:06 PM
Got a girlfriend sweetjer? Off-topic and I do mean to brag :D I have most games played, a full-time job (8 hours mon-fri) and I go on dates/spend family time on the weekends/sometime during the work week. To be fair though, the only thing I'm really playing right now is TBS:F and some Phoenix Wright Ace: Attorney on the side :p

sweetjer
01-04-2013, 03:23 PM
Yes, I do, raven! She works most of my days off. I also diverted all of my gaming to this game, and yes, it still is a ludicrous amount of gaming. I've been dealing with a lot of crazy stuff the last month and this game has been my escapist venture from the cold unforgiving reality of actual existence. I'm gonna start...going outside again. Things like that. Pretty soon. Maybe...

MrFusion
01-04-2013, 05:51 PM
All of this does not change the fact that playing much means winning more ;)
You guys are good, I played both you and carrotts...
So, you ivest time in this AND are good - means I wont ever beat you? :P

sweetjer
01-04-2013, 06:00 PM
The main take-away is that they plan to make it so you aren't playing against teams that are way stronger than you. if your team is 66 points you shouldnt be matched against someone who is 70pts and so on. Of course that depends on the strength of the matchmaking algorithm and the number of players in the game. re: time investment, the more you do anything the better you get at it! hopefully!

Also:
If your concern is that you won't be matched with me and carrots anymore after launch, just add me on steam and I'll make a fair team with which to stomp ya!

MrFusion
01-04-2013, 06:29 PM
Oh I plan on at leat playing near enough to you guys to amke you sweat :P
The real fear i have is people who just bought their way to higher Elo succeeding there due to... even more money :/

sweetjer
01-04-2013, 06:43 PM
nah cause they'll buy their 100 power level teams and promptly get smacked in the face by players like Tirean and carrots (and presumably you) who earned their way to those teams (and put in all these games pre-launch).

Grits
01-05-2013, 01:25 AM
TBS is free to play? I'm confused. You know, in a perfect world, multiplayer would have infinite renown and that would be that. No need to level up except for single player. Maybe you guys could allow that in Tournaments? Don't know how you can run a tournament where everyone is different level. Anyway, I love the game and I like the DEVs so I'm not worried.

For the record, I'm not against paid content in F2P games as long as it's cosmetic only. Or if you can just unlock everything for $20 or something. When they milk you, that's when it's bad.

Kord
01-05-2013, 03:19 AM
I'd be lying if I said I weren't worried about this system.

Honestly I just wish I could pay a set amount, and play like we're playing in the beta now, that is, everyone has the capability to make a team with the max amount of points so that everyone is on equal footing, and matches are set up based on just rank, because most everyone will be playing with 66 point teams.

Implementing the system as it's planned now is going to be really frustrating I think, for most of the reasons MrFusion brought up, but also because it means:

- Trying out different builds and styles is going to be incredibly annoying, time-consuming and/or costly. One of the reasons I currently love the game is because there is a lot of variety and experimentation going on. If you have to invest so much time to progress characters, that's going to disappear.

- Separates the community based on how much money/time you've invested. A guy who plays chess a lot gains experience from playing the game, but a guy who might be a bit smarter or understands how to take advantage of certain aspects of the game can still come out on top even even though he hasn't played as many games. But these guys would never play each other in TBS because one guy who has played more is probably going to have a higher renown team and not be matched up with guy two, or will have an unfair advantage if he is.

- Playing against friends will be awful. Let's say you've played 50-100 matches, and your buddy is just starting. You're not really going to be able to play (fairly) unless you spend precious renown to buy new guys (or will we be able to take renown points from characters and not lose it forever?)

- Tournaments. Please please please say you're using Grits' idea here and keep everyone on equal footing, if not for the main game, then for tournaments at least.

Really getting tired of MP games implementing some kind of progression system, trying to I guess lengthen the amount of time players stick around, and make some money. It really does nothing but disappoint me, and so many games that would otherwise be awesome are really boring and frustrating because players have advantages over each other that aren't skill based, but based on some sort of point system that allows them better equipment/stats/whatever. I get that the matchmaking system is trying to solve that problem, but as MrFusion pointed out, games could quickly become hard to find if there's not some allowance for teams with different renown totals. Even minor differences would be pretty annoying here.

I love the game currently, and I know I'm criticizing a system I haven't seen at work yet, but I'm just very worried it will sacrifice the fair, competitive aspect of the game (that is extremely hard to find these days it seems) for a progression system that I really don't feel belongs in any MP game that's trying to be competitive at all. I've yet to play a F2P MP game that handles this well, and I really really hope TBS won't join that list. I'd pay a good amount for this game in a state similar to how it is now, but I'm definitely not going to buy renown when I feel like it's causing all these issues. People still buy and want to buy turn-based tactical games. I don't even feel like you need this F2P stuff at all to be honest. Why not just combine the SP and MP, charge a normal price for it, and be done with it? I've paid full price for brand new games in this genre, I still do, and I certainly would for TBS.

I really hope this is addressed more in the future, because I didn't even realize this system would be used when I first bought into the beta, and figured Stoic was basically just going to be making money from the SP campaign. Maybe that's unrealistic, but the renown system isn't really explained anywhere but the forums it seems.

Sorry for the rant, typed more than I planned here. I just... really want this game to be awesome and have been let down by a lot of F2P games recently.

raven2134
01-05-2013, 09:12 AM
I duno Kord. I can see where you're coming from, but imo if they do give a set price to play the multiplayer as is, the reality is there will be fewer players than if the game was freemium. Not to say that makes your balance and competitiveness concerns irrelevant, but I don't think charging a price for the game is the way to go, especially on this kind of project with no dedicated marketing behind it.

Many games remain fun with the freemium model. It only becomes an issue when it's misused and abused to milk it's players. In an earlier post in this thread, League of legends was already cited as a more or less balanced and skill based MP game which is competitive and follows similar model/thinking.

MrFusion
01-05-2013, 09:52 AM
In an earlier post in this thread, League of legends was already cited as a more or less balanced and skill based MP game which is competitive and follows similar model/thinking.

League of legends only charges you for cosmetics and some additional content you might never use (eg champions)
While having more champions is cool, most people play about 5 champs regularly.
so you don't really need money at all - and if you use it, you wont have an advantage in the game itself.
Just some more stuff to try when bored.
Skins, the main money machine, does not get you ANYTHING other than looks.

But in TBSF, renown equals strength, as it is used to increase armor, strength etc

So, yea, they both have micro transactions, just with a different goal.

raven2134
01-05-2013, 10:25 AM
Not just mrfusions. Quoting Sean


There are a variety of games out there that use a system like this quite well. League of Legends is a great example - you can buy a variety of things, from new champions to skins, to rune pages, to booster packs (including IP boosts, XP boosts, time boosts, game boosts and win boosts). I use it as an example because I'm a pretty avid player of it and not once have I met someone who could compete with me just because they could buy stuff or level faster - the game itself takes skill and the stuff you can purchase only gets you "leveled" faster but doesn't give you any advantages. When I'm matched up with other players, it's based on your score (definitely more complex but this isn't a LoL forum so I won't go too much into it).

This seems to be similar direction as TBS:F. Levels = unit strength. Faster leveling in LoL means stronger character. Faster leveling in TBS:F means stronger team. I'm aware we're not only talking about the end-point (maxed out teams), but also the experience - playing against with and against these real money transaction shortcuts. But if it can be managed in LoL as described by Sean, I think it's quite possible we can see it managed well in TBS:F, which is also a game which requires skill.

MrFusion
01-05-2013, 10:34 AM
This seems to be similar direction as TBS:F. Levels = unit strength. Faster leveling in LoL means stronger character. Faster leveling in TBS:F means stronger team. I'm aware we're not only talking about the end-point (maxed out teams), but also the experience - playing against with and against these real money transaction shortcuts. But if it can be managed in LoL as described by Sean, I think it's quite possible we can see it managed well in TBS:F, which is also a game which requires skill.

Sure, someone who is lvl 30 (max) will have an edge over someone who barley started playing.
But the competitive part only starts after lvl30!
This would mean you only play Ladder games in TBSF if you have a maxed out team.
They way I see it tho, a maxed team is something of the FAR distance.
Ladder games are being played on ANY renown level, as it is the only way to get renown in the first place.
Which would be ok, if we only play games with people who are VERY close to our own renown (10 points even in the current meta of 'all maxed lvl1' is a huge difference)

raven2134
01-05-2013, 10:53 AM
10 renown difference is currently only 2 stat points difference on a single unit. Somewhere along these lines still seems within acceptable matchmaking if we consider skill-level also. Although I agree we need a bit more testing because 2 more points in armor when everyone has 1 break will be a significant advantage. We will see this once we get to testing from scratch.

On a related subject, renown earning, which will also be important to how significant these renown disparities will be (since more/easier earning means less disparity ideally). Based on averages and numbers, to reach rank 1 max requires 10(stats) x 6(units) x 2(renown per stat-base units) + 11x6x4 rank 1. That's 120+264 for a total of 384 renown to max out your first rank 1 team.

Currently 6 renown per win. Assuming the BEST possible scenario and every game is won (I'm not defending the idea, just projecting the fastest time to achieve a maxed out team), that's 384/6=64 games. Assuming 20 min ave. per game, thats 64x20=1280 min/60 min (so we get per hour), that's 21.33 hours of gameplay at best starting from scratch.

Assuming a casual player will play 1-2 hours a day at best (1.5 hours on ave), this means it will take 2 weeks and a day or 2 (give or take) to make your first rank 1 maxed out team.

This is clearly too much time to build a rank 1 max team. And this also means Renown disparities WILL be large in terms of ladder play.

I'm sure stoic will be looking at this, however. Ideally, I would think we want maxed out teams to be achievable within half a week to a week of play by casual players, just by playing at their pace. Money transaction will save them that 1 week of time. People that want to be experimenting more but not pay would need to invest more time, but I think basing things on 1 week of casual play (5-10 hours worth), is a good place to start.

I don't think it's wrong that there could be clear/occuring breakpoints in ladder play that encourage teams of certain levels to be favored. We can naturally aim for these in terms of competitive play. How we improve the experience while heading to these breakpoints is something that could be considered, and also whether we need to enforce other hard breakpoints to ensure fluid power matching.

Arnie
01-05-2013, 11:10 AM
@Raven and everyone else who is concerned:

We have completely overhauled the system making almost everything in the above post a non-issue. Sorry we haven't spoken of it too much, but we want to make sure everything we say is correct before officially rolling out the system. We hope to implement it in the next couple of weeks for testing. At that time feedback will be very, very appreciated.
Thanks for your patience. :)

raven2134
01-05-2013, 11:18 AM
HE has spoken! May we put the discussion on hold for now, until further announcements and details become clear? The concerns have been aired and we can revisit them once we see and know more :).

MrFusion
01-05-2013, 06:05 PM
THANKS Arnie! :D

Grits
02-24-2013, 12:02 AM
Prices and renown gained are now very reasonable. All the changes made are fantastic. Add in achievements and free tweaking of stats and no you've made a system no one should be upset about. No need to purchase anything, but if you choose to, the prices are fair. Well done!

The New Romance
02-24-2013, 08:01 PM
Prices and renown gained are now very reasonable. All the changes made are fantastic. Add in achievements and free tweaking of stats and no you've made a system no one should be upset about. No need to purchase anything, but if you choose to, the prices are fair. Well done!
Absolutely. Now I fear renown gain might even be too fast ;) (nah, not really)

txitxo
03-12-2013, 01:06 AM
Just found this topic. I am a backer, but only found time to start playing a few days ago. I hadn't been following too closely on the updates and the freemium model took me by surprise. I understand what Stoic is going for, but I can't help but feel a bit cheated. I love the game so far, so I will try to make my criticism as constructive as possible.
First off, I think the renown system is cool in the sense that is just xp to advance your characters. That being said I believe the renwon gain/progress ratio is a bit too slow. I wanna experiment with different builds, but really can't at a decent pace. I mean getting one rank 1 character is not too hard, but if I want to experiment with 4 thrasher or 4 backbiters, that some serious gaming time. I think it would be beneficial and not too hard to be able to switch classes for some renown. This is especially true for rank 2 and above. At 150 renown promotion you need a LOT of gaming time to get a full rank 2 team.
Also, I find the pricing to be... exorbitant. I mean paying 4$ per character for color changing, not gonna happen for me. If it were $5 for all of the characters, mayhaps. $30 for renown, $20 for 3 extra renown per battle... just wow. Then again I have no idea how this pricing was set, and from a development standpoint I would love to know just how many of these things you've sold, how you reached that idea of pricing... etc. At least in the backer forums.
I want to emphasize, I love the game, this is just my opinion and I know I haven't got to pay for any of this stuff if I don't want to. I also don't wanna sound like an entitled shithead, but I would have assumed and this little extras would be included for backers (at least the costumes, and perhaps a better renown gain), or at least have a generous discount.
In any case, keep up the good work. I'm really enjoying the game and someday I'll be able to toy around with the different setups I have in mind. And the campaign. Can't wait for the campaign. You can pretty much take my money already for chapters 2 and 3.

Chopsticks
03-16-2013, 02:40 AM
I agree. I like the renown system as is, but to get a rank 2 team is just too expensive. 40 renown for rank 1 and 150 renown for rank 2 is just too much of a jump!

d2r
03-25-2013, 12:24 AM
I have to ask, why is this in the Longhouse section of the forum? This is hardly a creative work. :p

EDIT: I confused the Longhouse with the Meadhall like an idiot. Ignore this post. :o