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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: The Renown System

  1. #1

    The Renown System

    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...
    Last edited by Sean; 10-03-2012 at 09:07 AM. Reason: Added CM "note" to the top

  2. #2
    "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.
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 03:55 PM.

  3. #3

    The Renown System

    bump...
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  4. #4
    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.
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 03:56 PM.

  5. #5
    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".
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 03:58 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by FaeTalan View Post
    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.

  7. #7
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaeTalan View Post
    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?
    Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
    http://www.seandahlberg.com/

  8. #8
    Backer Mikhos's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Mikhos; 10-03-2012 at 10:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    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?
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 03:37 PM.

  11. #11
    "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.
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 04:24 PM.

  12. #12
    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.

  13. #13
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    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.

  14. #14
    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).
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-03-2012 at 06:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Superbacker LoliSauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaeTalan View Post
    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.
    Last edited by LoliSauce; 10-03-2012 at 10:41 PM.

  16. #16
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Ratatoskr; 10-04-2012 at 07:58 AM.

  17. #17
    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.
    Last edited by FaeTalan; 10-05-2012 at 12:38 AM.

  18. #18
    Superbacker LoliSauce's Avatar
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    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.

  19. #19
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    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.

  20.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #20
    Art Director Arnie's Avatar
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    @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.
    Last edited by Arnie; 10-06-2012 at 10:17 AM.

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