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10.3.2017 - A mysterious light filled the Sea of Skies. Those who wielded great power and abilities found themselves back at square one, as if reset.


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Yukina
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Post Count : 10
hey friends

just wanted to offer some unsolicited opinions on the recent update and also the system going on here in general.

first of all the description of how summons work is v confusing. " Summons can only have one skill and one additional ability" though apparently skills in this context are not just passive abilities like they are for characters? then how is it different to an ability. maybe just a wording issue or me being DUMB (not unlikely) but i think we need some consistency with the wording.

on that note, i think that summons need more abilities.
at the moment, it seems like we're having the drawcard of summons being that you can have more than one out at once, but what if i just want one? at the moment, from my reading, two 4FP summons are going to beat out an 8FP summon, which doesn't really seem right to me?

Maybe we could base the amount of abilities they get on their stats? like a summon with x magic stat gets y amount of spells, x synth = y synth items etc.

I ALSO think that this kind of thing should be applied to characters. While i think that the change getting rid of spell levels and synth mods was good, doing so without adding additional slots has severely cut the amount of possible abilities for a character,

my idea would be that for every stat invested in magic/synthesis above 5, an extra slot is acquired SPECIFICALLY for that stat.

ex. a character with 6 magic would get one extra spell, equalling 15 normal slots and 1 spell specific slot for 16 in total and so on up until a maximum of 25 slots, if a character had 10 in both synth and magic. this would also be a reason to invest in magic and synth, rather than at the moment where it seems most logical to pick one or the other.

or just change compeltely to a story system (pls) i didn't do maths at school :'(

p.s i also think the global announcments should be just changed to announcements in the rules section they're a bit in the way at the moment in my opinion

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Belal
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The Eldritch Horror
Post Count : 83
Normally, I'd be inclined to reply to the all the suggestions, but it's exhausting. I've put in a lot time trying to balance the system, not to say I'm the only one, but I'd sell my soul to bring back a refined story system. It didn't work too well last time, but that was due to a lack of understanding and poor execution. I know we can do better.

Part of the reason I'm a 'consultant' and not 'staff' is because I don't want to be involved in approvals, balance, and all the math. I just wanted to point out any glaring flaws I've noticed. Community aside, I come to this site to roleplay, because writing is fun. I don't want to play a videogame or manage a card game.

I may be a minority in my preference, but that's okay. Ultimately, I care about what satisfies the community most. And as to not make this a preachy, self serving post, let's reply to this mutha.

  • We do need to be mindful of our word choice. 'Abilities' should be the all encompassing term, including skills, synth, and magic.

  • I don't necessarily understand all the intricacies with summons and forms, as they've been changed a lot. But I do feel you're making valid points in regards to their balance.

  • I thoroughly enjoy your proposed slot system, as it benefits an otherwise 'sub-optimal' build. It may or may not need some tinkering, but I think it's worth looking into.

  • Generally, my concern would be with giving an all physical build a viable role in the meta, but I feel passive destruction of spells and synth via flexing is far more than we've given it in the past. It may not be the best solution, but it's an improvement to what we've had before.

  • Global Announcements are pretty annoying. They should generally be reserved for temporary use.

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Yukina
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Post Count : 10
Yeah, even though my comment about a story system may have been a bit too flippant I genuinely think it is the best option on a site like this. But again, that's just my preference.

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Olek
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Post Count : 20
I'd be fine with a story system so long as there was still systems concerning Dive to Hearts, and a plot for the members to follow and be a part of. The reason story systems aren't my thing is because I hate sandbox roleplays. They're dull and stupid, with no point to them. If I wanted that I'd be talking to scrubs who chatbox roleplay and smut in the middle of chatango. But I don't, I want to enjoy the game as well as the story. But I will say, these systems appear to be wearing down not only the staff, but members too. I'm not against something much less drawn out. I just think maybe focusing on the miscellaneous things over the actual battle stuff would be better than nothing at all, as a story system suggests. Like... we could set up a dice roll system for rolling heartless (even develop difficulties for them with certain objectives or etc.) and just war out over the worlds. That would be hella cliche but it'd be more fun than playing tag with some action rules or being boxed down by ability restrictions.

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Alexander
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Post Count : 2710
Belal wrote:I'd sell my soul to bring back a refined story system. It didn't work too well last time, but that was due to a lack of understanding and poor execution. I know we can do better.

I do agree that we could do a story system again better. The story system created last time was compromised by the most crucial person being involved in its implementation wanting it to fail out of spite which lead to a bunch of other nasty stuff.

That said, the system itself isn't inherently bad and while it is cumbersome, there is something to creating abilities and slotting them. I get a rush from it, personally, but there is an asterisk beside that. One of the biggest barriers to roleplay is the approval system, because people are automatically compelled to get their approvals done first so that they aren't at a disadvantage, starting essentially with nothing. At the same time, it isn't exactly terrible. Most drawn out approval experiences come from members not quite grasping the rules since in this lovely number system we have, we still measure abilities in vaguely definied manners such as "moderate range", which is decidedly a subjective term versus a cold hard number. This can have benefits and disadvantages, but I don't suppose that in a system which will forgo lore for balance something that variable is fair to any player in a roleplay.

On the flip side, there are people like Yukina who are poor at math because they used to huff paint outside math is hard for the some people. Creating a system founded on playing with numbers inherently places them at a disadvantage- though maybe not one as large as is implied, since we aren't working with that many number nor numbers of any considerably great size often.

I find Olek's idea interesting because he is correct- the issue with story systems essentially comes down to it just being a big sandbox which is all fine and dandy until you actually want to have something a little more tangible. A system should be rewarding enough to operate within that the specifics aren't exactly essential to people liking it without conditioning them to need a reward for every task they do. That's why I like the word count progression we have now- it shifts the climb for power more onto the player, and while newer writers will naturally accrue power slowly we have a responsibility as a community to help elevate them.

What Olek proposes is a way to make a story system that is more reactive and rewarding to the players within it, though it doesn't address the fact that in that system, players will still have huge amounts of power that can potentially render the dice-rolls moot. After all, it is an interesting scenario to fight a giant heartless randomly and have to deal with the destruction causes during its rampage while players try to stop it, but depending on power cap you could just as easily see higher level players gank it.

So what do we do?

We have a build a big beautiful wall between the story aspects and system aspects of the site, and we have to make the story aspect pay for it. #makeKHgreatagain #biglysynthesis

But on the real, I like Yukina's idea for getting slots as an investment prize. It makes up for how limited the two statistics have become in comparison to other eras not in terms of power but utility. I also think higher synthesis should let a person build more mechanically complex weapons, like a Gunblade. With how vague that limitation is though, it would be difficult to numerically scale and implement, though I suppose you could see in both magic and synthesis that the first five points you put in can add to its complexity somewhat as long as it didn't add entirely new and unjustifiably powerful properties to the ability or item in question. That's just a sticky, nasty spit ball with a little bit of stank on it.

I feel that Synthesis shouldn't focus on magical or supernatural abilities as much as utility and the flexibility in their design. A weapon could be able to transform, it could be really durable for its weight, it might be on fire, it might float or be able to be summoned, and it could be some of these things all at once but I don't know that Synthesis needs to be much more powerful than that. I feel that there has been an emphasis on what Synthesis can do but it keeps receiving a comparison to magic. I don't think they should even be that comparable. A person shouldn't be specializing into Synth to get around magic- largely fixed with the nerf, but almost off-puttingly so. Instead of trying to find a middle ground, why not simply find newer ground with it? I say that as though it is easy, but I realize it isn't.

That takes me back to the story system- approval systems are extremely labor intensive on approval staff and because approvals are extremely subjective, the only way to get consistency ultimately is to keep going back to Shirou and checking and he is a busy mamajama so he can't always answer questions right away. It creates this funnel where ultimately all approvals will be filtered through the sensitivities of the ones doing the approving. A story system is not nearly that all-consuming in terms of staff effort, allowing staff to focus up and directly address the members, create site plots (though there is a whole other issue with that which deserves a separate topic before anybody even makes the attempt), familiarizing themselves with the people they're meant to service, and even getting to invest themselves in their own roleplays. There is merit to staff engagement with the community on that level.

So to give a mechanical system the same amount of give, you'd need more approval staff. But more approval staff exacerbates the problem of consistency mentioned above because then you have more people with their own opinions acting largely independently on their own judgments, because again, Shirou can't always be here. That's simply the reality of having a life outside of the website and is in no way his fault. But if you do get more approval staff and then restrict them for only acting in ways the people in charge instruct, then they have to wait around for orders on how to act and having a larger number of them becomes absolutely moot.

I had thought about maybe having a single day a week where approvals are done by staff and members, but as I thought about it there is a glaring flaw- some approvals, for any given number of reasons, take longer than that.

And that's all I have so far.

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Hoshiko
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Site Owner
Post Count : 333
MAG : 5
i personally enjoy story systems more, though the site will likely remain a progression system as people tend to find that more fun for the reasons that olek expressed.

there's definitely a system fatigue happening, which is regrettable but kind of necessary. we made a new system from scratch and needed to see how it played out when in use. we saw the flaws and fixed them accordingly, though a lot more discussion and approvals and re-approvals were required. we could have done this better, but i admittedly rushed opening the site.

i think we need to reconsider how summons work overall. right now, they're basically a separate character with their own stats and agency, so it's sort of hard to balance that out imo. we could alternatively make it like how it works in the games, as an ally that provides special abilities (tinkerbell passively heals, simba does damage), etc... or we can go with yukina's suggestion of basing their abilities off their stats.

as for character stats and having additional slots, i agree with yukina's suggestion. good investment + makes stats more valuable.

i also agree with belal about making an all physical build more viable and am interested in pursuing this further.

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Belal
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The Eldritch Horror
Post Count : 83
I do agree, there is fun in being limited in what you're being able to create. The off-hand, whimsical nature of the past story systems were detrimental to anything having weight. Commitment matters. Story systems should have defined rules to them. A limit on stat points, and limit on slots, etc. I don't support the version that allows you to call a thousand wolves bc 'hey story LUL'.

Although, I don't understand Olek's point. None of what you said that you dislike about 'sandbox roleplay' is intrinsic to 'sandbox roleplay'. There is definite room for preference amongst different systems, but I'm not seeing the the specific connection you're trying to make, if you don't mind clarifying.

Balancing summons is difficult and, at the moment, I don't have any ideas. Forms reviewed and edited once we resolve how summons operate; they're the crux of balance.

I do think we're on the right track with physical stats. Right now, if someone were to make a 100 mp barrier, you can knock it down in two hits, if you're fully committed to strength. Either we're undervaluing how powerful that is, or I'm overvaluing it without paying enough attention to its flaws.

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Olek
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Post Count : 20
By sandbox, I mean literally just that. Too little limitation, and not enough focus on the smallest steps a character should [must] traverse in order to move in a plot directive sequence. I could start weak and in four weeks be momentously powerful because I raided Maleficent's castle and took her diddly-doo to obtain ultimate darkness, suuuure o0ok, but then what? It's not as acknowledged without a struggle or strife attached to it. Also who the hell wants to waste time when they can't get a tangible reward or at least some for of entertainment out of a site. If you're just writing to better your writing-- by all means. But I'm here to have fun. A RP needs to be interesting to satisfy me, or eye-catching in design. It needs to be unique and frankly... Story systems are usually boring-- that's the bottom line for me. I don't hate them, sometimes they can be done right imo. But usually that's when there is something in it for the player, whether it be reward or memory. I'm tired of the idea of just being another face in the crowd. That's quite honestly how story systems usually feel. On Mirage Hearts, just going to call it out cuz it's my only example on hand. There is absolutely no plot to just follow and build on that would include everybody willing to scamper to it, aside from the characters who were basically up and coming main characters before it went story altogether. Even then, it's kind of off-putting. Then it begs the question whether a good plot is impossible without some form of ass-kissing to excel in the world. Why would I give a damn about being a servant/opposer to someone who gives absolutely no care if I'm apart of that story anyways? Disrespect comes up a lot more than normal-- kinda bogus too considering the factors that play into combat RP usually having someone else butthurt. So yeah no. It's not for me my dude. There needs to be a limitation to what you can do, and what you can gain. I initially compared it to sandbox because I can do everything I want, simply just because; there is literally nothing but roaming to do .-. Despite how utterly boring that sounds, I did say I wasn't against them, I just think they could be built up rewarding, improved in a way, and center around a plot that affects the entire community and not just the select small parties in different corners with all their things goin' on. Gotta have a reason to bring people all over the galaxy onto the same spectrum and connect them.

Otherwise, sure you can make a story, hell any story! But from what I've seen they're not very good ones.

Not without a directive. That motivation, that end goal.

SorryIRamble.png :P

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Belal
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The Eldritch Horror
Post Count : 83
We fundamentally disagree as members, then. There's a lot more I would like to go into, but I'd rather not get too off topic.

Spoiler:
But if a member needs 'power' as a motivation to roleplay, then they should just play a videogame. People who roleplay for the system, not to write, tend to have underdeveloped, boring characters.

Additionally, I've never been exposed to a site plot or event that was interesting or well done. I prefer when members take the reigns and focus on character interaction. Sure, MH may not have gone too well in that regard, but it had only become a story system after dying because of how convoluted the progression system was.  It's not an apt example, as they specific designed the website to be their playground for their stories and had no intention of expanding the community or including anyone who didn't want to actively participate.

Anyway, people have this misinterpretation of what a story system is because two reasons:

1) Yima didn't understand what the story system was. A story system means you're free to do anything within DEFINED LIMITATIONS. We never defined what they were, therefore, everyone became a god. It isn't surprising when we had so much emphasis on power and survival.

2) MH's powerscale. MH did define their powerscale, they just chose to have it incredibly high. There's nothing wrong with that. Power is a preference. But everyone left thinking that all a story system equates to is one character capable of doing everything. If the system doesn't dictate otherwise, sure, you can do that. But if the system says you can only be a heartless or a nobody, not a lovechild of both, then you can't be a heartless-nobody-hybrid.

Despite wanting to more in depth, this is unpleasantly long as is.


As of right now, it seems no one is really offering solutions or discussions on how to improve summons. So, if I could throw the ball in your court, do you have any ideas, Yukina? If not, it's coo'.

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Yukina
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Post Count : 10
For the summons/forms, I think the hard restrictions just need to be removed, or placed much higher. One ability makes sense for a more physically powerful summon perhaps, but less so for a magic/synth based one for example. The best way is gonna be to do it case by case.

I get that that's gonna be more work for the approval staff, but I think there's only so much you can do in a more competitive progression system to reduce the workload in that respect.

But again, I don't have the greatest understanding of how best to make these systems work. When I swing in here every 3 to 4 years it's to write, not to be the strongest or w/e.

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Hoshiko
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Site Owner
Post Count : 333
MAG : 5
from this discussion, here's what i am okay with implementing:

you can gain an additional 5 spells or synths by investing in their respective stats, 5+ points.

summons will only have one skill. the amount of spells or synths will be based on the respective stats, one spell or synth every 2 stat points invested (5 spells for MAG 10).

forms will likely stay as they are now.

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Liandry
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The Valkyrie
Post Count : 48
MAG : 5
As long as each summon won't has a large number of abilities or effects with it i'm fine with the number. It doesn't make it fun having something to cover all of our bases and weakness competitively in a few slots.

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Yukina
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Post Count : 10
Hoshiko wrote:from this discussion, here's what i am okay with implementing:

you can gain an additional 5 spells or synths by investing in their respective stats, 5+ points.

summons will only have one skill. the amount of spells or synths will be based on the respective stats, one spell or synth every 2 stat points invested (5 spells for MAG 10).

forms will likely stay as they are now.

sounds like an improvement to me

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