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  1. #201
    Community Member Beethoven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    With these changes both of these ^ guilds will want more players {probably not 100s more - Just enough to keep from falling apart}.
    Yes, because everyone will gladly cope with a bunch of strangers trampling all over their lawn and establishing a guild rep of being a bunch of noobs just so they can have a large number next to their guild name a little faster.

    All the number games assume Korthos Island is full hundreds of capable and mature players who will happily get along with everyone, cause no drama and be a shinning example to showcase the guilds quality. It's not going to happen because the drawbacks of blind inviting everyone are significantly more severe than the benefit of reaching guild level 80 maybe a month or two early.
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  2. #202
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    This change essentially just rewards the one segment of the guild population that was already high level compared to everyone else and needed little help, and does very little to the remaining 98% of the guild population that are still struggling to reach those high levels that they take for granted.

    As already pointed out, the original renown system rewarded active players. It followed the typical MMORPG paradigm of the more you play, the more you are rewarded. Most of the incentive systems in this game (or many games for that matter) follow this paradigm, such as grinding for XP (unlocking new character abilities) or gear (increasing the DPS or other statistic of a character), etc. Guilds that can encourage their players to be more active and play this game more were the ones that got to higher levels and benefited the most under this system. It should be readily obvious that encouraging players to play more also improves Turbine's bottom line.

    By negating the guild size factor in the decay formula, there is little incentive for a guild leader or officers to invest in each player individually; it is much simpler to just spam as many guild invites as possible, since it takes much less effort to /guild recruit XXXXX to get a certain amount of renown than to court each individual player, spend the time taking them out on quests, showing them the game, and getting them excited about the game and for them to continue logging in.

    It's very straightforward to see proof of this dynamic in action. When the renown system was first released, since all guilds were low-level, renown decay was a negligible mechanic. Thus, just like with this change, the incentive at the time was to simply maximize total guild activity, rather than activity per player. And what did we see? Many of the fastest-leveling guilds at the time had character counts that looked like this:



    In less than 2 weeks there were 4 purges totaling over 300 characters. Let that sink in for a moment. The guild's turnover rate was over 15% per week and yet this was one of the fastest-growing guilds in all of DDO -- and just like some guilds right now, they bragged that they were the biggest and most active guild around. Their MotD simply said something to the effect of "people who don't log in after 4 days will be removed".

    Under a system where simply getting people into the guild is rewarded more than investing in each player, this is the natural outcome. For all the talk of supposedly "it's for the casuals!" there is rarely ever any mention of how casuals feel about this game when they get booted from a guild for not logging in for a few days so that the guild leader can make space for other casuals.

    The obvious rebuttal to this is of course "but don't guilds lose renown for booting characters?" and this is correct. However, by losing 25% of the character's renown, the guild is still keeping 75% of whatever the character had gained for the guild. So it just means that the strategy is still 75% as effective as it was previously -- as if that's a big impediment.

    Under the current system, inducting anybody and everybody that is willing to join is still the best strategy for leveling up in the low to middle levels (roughly level 1 to level 60). Simply having many bodies in the guild will level the guild up. This is why the majority of large guilds are above level 60 -- the sheer number of accounts in the guild ensures that they will blow through the renown needed to reach those levels (and for those that are curious, there are exactly zero guilds with 501 or more characters that are level 41 or below). For everyone else, even reaching level 60 itself is an achievement. To date, 44 out of 52 (85%) active guilds with 501 or more characters are at guild level 61 or above, while only 885 out of 17479 (5.1%) active guilds with 500 or less characters have reached level 61 or above. (By "active", I mean guilds where the renown has changed within the last month, indicating someone has logged in; guilds whose renown stayed constant, indicating no activity, were thus filtered out and not counted.) Even with the renown system in its state prior to the change, simply having a lot of bodies in the guild will just about guarantee that you can enjoy good ship buffs.

    The flip side of that was that because renown decay became larger as the levels increased, guilds that wanted to keep leveling up would invest more in the players that they already have in the guild, in other words, encourage their members to like the game and want to log in.

    To see why this is important, it is helpful to look at the current renown decay formula's level multiplier (the part that depends on a guild's level):



    The initial decay is very small. However, at the higher levels, the amount of renown needed to offset decay increases very, very rapidly. In other words, the majority of guilds should be to maintain the lower to mid levels, while the higher levels are more difficult to reach.

    Now if you count the number of ship benefits at each guild level, it looks like this:



    There basically are not many rewards per increase in level until you hit around level 20, at which point you steadily gain a lot of rewards until you hit around level 60, where it sort of tapers off until level 100 (and I'm counting the guild-wide announcements as rewards too, even though they don't provide any in-game benefit; they make up about a quarter of the benefits after level 60). In other words, you've gained a lot of the rewards that there are to gain -- about 80% on a count basis -- by level 60, roughly before the renown decay really starts being more progressive.

    To make this point more direct, this is the plot of how much of the benefits you get by each level, versus the amount of renown decay for that level:



    For relatively little effort, you can get the vast majority of the benefits, while for a great deal of effort, you can get marginally better benefits than that.

    This is by design. All I've really done is just to quantify what Fernando Paiz qualitatively said about the renown system when it was introduced: that once you get to those levels it’s much more about bragging rights than anything you might get from being of a guild level that high. In other words, the purpose of renown decay should be readily obvious for anyone who bothers to look into the background of the system and what Turbine has said about it.

    Of course, the people leading the complaints about renown decay are in guilds that are already at the upper part of the renown decay curve -- the part where it starts increasing sharply because guilds are encouraged to make their members more active. The complaints are not about not getting the basic buffs like +2 dex or +2 damage but about how they "have to" settle for a +3% XP shrine instead of a +4% XP shrine, etc.

    Not only do those guilds have the majority of the benefits already, but they actively try to convince others that it is because of decay that guilds can't level up, rather than simply the vast amount of renown points to get between level 1 and level 100 (or just simply level 1 to level 60). If a guild is in the upper part of the curve, then decay is the reason, but the vast majority of guilds are simply not there yet -- they're still trying to get to those levels where decay makes a difference, and not enough renown gain is the main problem for the vast majority of guilds out there.

    It's somewhat ludicrous to convince a small guild that goes from level 1 to 26 in a year that decay is the problem with the system, rather than how the system stacks the points needed for each level in favor of simply having many bodies. Newsflash for those guilds: If it takes you a year to go from level 1 to level 26, even with 0 decay it will take you 12 years to get to level 60 (=10,800,000/878,800), and 57 years to get to level 100 (=50,000,000/878,800).

    Yet these people will shamelessly claim exactly this and say that the renown system benefits small guilds more because they will eventually reach slightly higher levels than large guilds -- as opposed to large guilds who gets benefits within months. That somehow, in a game that has existed for around 6-7 years and where this system has been out for somewhat longer than 2 years, it is much better to wait around for years for a slightly better benefit (and not have "pretty good" benefits for much of that time), than to get pretty good benefits now (and not get those slightly better benefits years down the line). I was going to say something comparing the length of time you'd need for this "delayed gratification" compared with the average length of a marriage, but it was difficult to quantify the latter properly.

    Complaining that people don't understand the problems facing a large guild trying to overcome decay at level 60 misses out on that for 95% of the guilds out there, the problem is how to get to level 60 in the first place.

    And that is the biggest flaw with the current system as it was: that the system was intended so that "just about any guild" should be able to reach the mid levels, yet in practice the amount of renown needed to reach those levels was so big that only large guilds and extremely active small guilds (relatively speaking) could reach them; large guilds simply by having hundreds of players contribute to the same pot of renown, extremely active small guilds by having a very high renown-per-player ratio. Smaller casual guilds, which collectively make up more characters than all the large guilds and extremely active small guilds combined, are left out in the cold under the renown system.

    Large guilds like to claim that there's a small guild size bonus which makes up for the lack of manpower in a small guild, as if a 6-account guild being considered as a 24-account guild has comparable renown gain to a 450-account guild making those complaints about renown decay. For that 6-account guild to be on par in manpower with the 450-account guild, it would need a size multiplier of 75x (or +7400%) instead of the current 4x (or +300%). Yet we still get complaints about how small guilds have it so easy because of this bonus.

    The bottom line is that the major problem with the renown system was that to reach the majority of ship buffs in any reasonable amount of time, you had to either join a large guild or join a very active small guild. Contrary to what's been posted, it has always been easy to join a casual large guild that's above level 60; I was able to do this multiple times on other servers for favor farming (which was obviously with very low-level and under-equipped characters -- so it's not as if those guilds were being picky or had high entrance requirements).

    It's only the guilds where the guild leader starts to see the guild level as more important than guild atmosphere that it's problematic to join -- the same guilds that were complaining about losing players to other higher-level guilds and are now telling everyone else that it doesn't affect them that these guilds will now level much faster. Again, let this sink in for a moment. The same guilds that previously complained about the renown system because they were losing players to higher-level (i.e. more active) guilds, are now telling people that losing players to higher-level (i.e. larger under this change) guilds is just fine.

    What Turbine should be addressing is the vast disparity in guild levels achieved by guilds of different sizes -- i.e. the renown gain part of the system, which is highly dependent on manpower (number of accounts in the guild). Instead, the change to renown decay will make this disparity even bigger: high-level guilds will be able to reach even higher levels, while low-level guilds will stay mired at those low levels. Since the change removed the per-account part of renown decay, it really means that high-level large guilds (or actually, large guilds in general -- except there are no low-level large guilds because they blow through the lower levels so quickly anyway) will be the main beneficiaries. This despite the fact that large guilds as a group are already higher level than the vast majority of other guilds. They don't need the help, or at least until the 98% of other guilds that are below them reaches their levels.

    Under the original system, because reaching higher levels meant each player in the guild was on average more active (more renown per day per player), guilds that wanted to continue progressing once decay was substantial had an incentive to encourage members to be more active -- in other words, give players a reason to continue logging in. This meant forming stable relationships with each player and setting up the guild culture and activities such that people want to log in to this game and play it, over all the other distractions in their busy lives. I know it's anecdotal at best (because I don't have the account information on each guild that Turbine would), but most of the high-level guilds (at least on Orien) are characterized by relatively stable rosters with very low turnover rates, not just among the "core" players of the guild but among the rest of the guild as well.

    And the evidence for this is, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. As I've mentioned elsewhere, Over Raided is actually a relatively casual guild in terms of playtime, with most of the members of the guild having full time jobs/school and/or married with kids, etc., despite people who continually try to mis-characterize level 100 guilds as not having "real lives". It is because members don't have much free time to spend that the guild focuses on getting things done quickly and efficiently. It's not as if members are focused necessarily on renown when they log in either; I can guarantee you that the over 500 hours of game time that I've spent on collecting data for weapon and guard proc rates has given the guild exactly 0 renown (apparently, killing the training dummy over and over is not considered renown-worthy) -- and this is just the length of the videos, it doesn't include the time it took to count them all up.

    Yet Over Raided was able to reach level 100 because the guild leader and officers set up an environment where despite the lack of available playtime, members could be productive when they do have time to log in. The proof for how to level a guild is staring detractors in the face -- yet all they can reply with are snarky comments without ever addressing the substance of what I say, and continue claiming that they have no option but to boot all those poor casuals.

    People who complain about the renown system meaning they have to boot casuals have learned exactly the wrong lesson about the system's social dynamics, showing that their priority is on fishing around the player base for active players (i.e. easy to get in and then easy to boot if the player isn't on often enough for the guild leader's liking), rather than improving on the players in the guild so that they will naturally want to log in (and then the renown will naturally flow from their playing the game). In short, the system was fundamentally about maximizing gains (encourage members to log in by making the guild a fun place to be) to get from the mid levels to the high levels, while these people focused on making it into being about minimizing losses (booting the members that are deemed to not be gaining enough renown, and then complaining that "the system" is making them do it).

    That Turbine would cave in to demagoguery instead of well-documented reasoning is somewhat disappointing. The arguments are continually debunked and I've repeatedly shown that they exaggerate claims about their own guild to try to sway the forum community. Let this sink in for a moment. I've shown multiple times that what people claim about their own guild to complain about decay is in fact false. It's perhaps not surprising that these people then resort to histrionics such as claiming that the renown system makes them kill their close, personal friends, yet these are the arguments that Turbine chooses to pay attention to.

    If Turbine were interested in getting players "hooked" on the game and wanting to play it more (and spend money on the game as a corollary), incentive systems such as the guild renown system should be designed around benefiting guilds that are successful at encouraging members to log in and play, that spends the time to invest in each player in the guild. The change to renown decay instead encourages guilds to simply induct as many members as possible and treat players as faceless drones in the hive for renown, without regard to the individual player. Many players say the reason why they stick with the game is because of the people they meet and the relationships that they form, and this change discourages this time investment to the detriment of the gaming community.

  3. #203
    Hero karpedieme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Therigar View Post
    Lastly, IMO too much is made over the "roughly 3" levels per day limit. A guild starting today can reach L60 in 20 days and L120 in 40 days presuming it can maintain a 3 levels per day pace. Naturally it isn't so easy to earn renown at those speeds, especially at the higher levels, but 3 levels per day seems more than adequate as a heuristic.
    I find reason in most of your statement aside the quote. above.

    The problem here is that the small and medium guilds relatively to activity have mentioned they will be penalized does lie in the 3 level per day.

    If decay becomes static the only way to curb gaining levels is to lower in-game renown or how it drops.

    This is the problem most medium and small guild members are trying to make heard i believe. Its fine to address decay to better serve larger guild activity vs inactivty.

    If there is notably less renown dropping in-game then who wins even if there is a bonus for small and medium... The numbers speak on their own and if there is less renown to be gained then the smaller guild face thew same decay rate as the medium and larger guilds... But with a lot less members to gain it. Here again its a matter of balance.

    Yes small and medium guilds had it easier than large guilds.... Why invert the system and make it the same for all.... We had a formula in place previous to the flip switch.... The formula should be reviewed and updated more properly to take into account all guillds and their respective sizes.

    Making decay the same for all no matter size is only a temporary fix that results from feeling out a forum thread.... Revising a formula similar to the challenge XP forumula takes man hours that possibly Turbine does not want to allocate at this time..... I fear more a Quick Flip Switch fix rather then addressing the more fundamental issues of the Renown issues that we have had since the systems inception.

    We are paying for ship buffs, the top ship does not have sufficient slots to accomodate all possible amenities...... Amenities that still do not stack with most in-game items....There is a lot that could of been worked on since inception have not. The Guild and Renown system was a cool idea form the start but has not had proper polish passes pretty much. We still have the system we pay for but does not favor the guilds in general its still about subsets.


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  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beethoven View Post
    Yes, because everyone will gladly cope with a bunch of strangers trampling all over their lawn and establishing a guild rep of being a bunch of noobs just so they can have a large number next to their guild name a little faster.

    All the number games assume Korthos Island is full hundreds of capable and mature players who will happily get along with everyone, cause no drama and be a shinning example to showcase the guilds quality. It's not going to happen because the drawbacks of blind inviting everyone are significantly more severe than the benefit of reaching guild level 80 maybe a month or two early.
    Just to mention i had the ninth symphony in mind when i have been reading this. Splendid

  5. #205
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    Oh man, just caught up with the posts on this thread.

    I think a few people out there need to loosen their tinfoil helmets.



    From what I see this pretty much addresses the renown decay issue. The idea that the large guilds will simply throw their doors open to get an influx of korthosites ..... someone else said it better than I ever could:

    One does not simply walk into Ravensguard...

    Lets give the devs some credit for doing something right for a change and encourage them to move onto other things that we've been asking for to make guilds a more significant part of the game .... like guild portraits on your airship, guild-definable member ranks instead of just a simple Member/Officer, guild members list grouped by account, option to add comments next to guild member names, guild trophies earned by completing certain achievements (Velah's head on a plaque anyone?), guild leaders able to see current renown contribution for members, colour coding on members list to let you see who is inactive and who has recently returned from being inactive .... and the list continues. For now I'd be happy to say renown decay problem solved.

  6. #206
    Community Member TPICKRELL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beethoven View Post
    Yes, because everyone will gladly cope with a bunch of strangers trampling all over their lawn and establishing a guild rep of being a bunch of noobs just so they can have a large number next to their guild name a little faster.

    All the number games assume Korthos Island is full hundreds of capable and mature players who will happily get along with everyone, cause no drama and be a shinning example to showcase the guilds quality. It's not going to happen because the drawbacks of blind inviting everyone are significantly more severe than the benefit of reaching guild level 80 maybe a month or two early.
    This. ^^

    My guild's recruiting policies won't change, we will still only be looking for people who are a fit into our guild and will still vet new members.

    The only difference is if they say they are casual we will no longer have to say no. We can now accept like minded casuals. We will no longer have to cringe when a guildie gets his or her spouse to play and they want them in the guild. We will no longer have to consider booting the founder of our guild who ran into financial issues and can't play at the moment, or the handful of guildies who are on military service assignments and can only sign in occassionally.

    Scaling reknown decay was a bad mechanism for controlling Korthos army style recruitment, and it needs/needed to go away. If another mechanism is needed it should be implemented to have less undesirable side effects. Perhaps delays before new reecruits can start earning reknown, or higher penalties when a member is kicked (versus leaves) or....

    Any reknown mechanism that makes it painful to NOT kick our members who are on militiary service, or who have any other real life issues that curtail their play time, is a bad mechanism. Since I took the guild star, we have not kicked anyone for reknown reasons and we have no intentions of doing so, but the outrageous reknown decay number every day is a reminder of the penalty that I impose on my guild members for that policy.

    I agree that the 10 minimum guild level is an issue for the smallest guilds, and it should be removed. I suspect that number was hard coded into the reknown formula and can't be changed without a new build.
    Last edited by TPICKRELL; 10-23-2012 at 10:41 AM.

  7. #207
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    A number of interesting ideas. What I like from them all so far can be summarized below and I'll toss in a couple of mine as well.

    Lets do away with the guild renown decay mechanic. IT was the source of much of the angst over guild size and booting. Leave the guild size bonuses for renown they help level the playing field slightly.

    Instead of having decay based on guild size or activity, lets use the idea of "renown loss" based on Ship amenities instead. Multiply the "cost" by the daily list of active members. So for example a Fire Resist Shrine might cost 10 pts/day/active member. A full ship of buffs might costs a few thousand per active member/day. Easy to figure out a whole scale of costs for each buff. Have trivial costs for things like Mailboxes and Banks 1/day/active member that are just convenience items and not quest buffs. At the end of the accounting, the game looks at what the daily costs of the buff potential was and how many accounts logged into the game and debits the renown credit that amount.

    This serves to remove the whole issue of active/inactive booting players issues with respect to guild size. Players only incur a cost to the guild renown on days they log in. Guild renown bonuses are still inversely based on size and thus earning potential.

    A fully loaded "deathstar" with all the bells and whistles might exact a nice daily cost, but an active guild should be able to offset it.

    All guilds would eventually hit a high level this way, and this would also provide that DDO store incentive for renown boosts as well, as a way to help pay for buffs.

    With the introduction of EPIC character levels, how about considering EPIC Guild Levels for guilds once they hit cap (i.e. 100). Since hitting 100 will no longer be out of the question for guilds, offering some way to continue on in a meaningful way would be a neat idea. Once would now be able to get EPIC RENOWN in EPIC quests that could either add to Heroic Guild renown if guild is under level 100, or would be able to add to EPIC renown. Heroic renown could only offset normal costs for ship buffs against heroic renown. EPIC levels could open up a variety of incrementally more powerful buffs. Perhaps just make them last longer (2 hours instead of 1 for example. That alone would be a nice incentive.)

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  8. #208
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    It looks like my (guilds) style of play is not the common one nor the one raising its' voice on the forums so I'll try to share my perspective as a causal player and member of a very small, casual guild.

    As a casual player the freedom to take a break from the game for up to months when RL demands it is invaluable. Because of that I've never dared to try to join an active guild as I wouldn't like to let them down by taking a break as needed. The game is next to unknown in my country and I got no RL friends playing, so I was happy to find a national, very casual guild to join when I started playing. My guild has a modified account size of 5, and being casually playing I most often find that I'm the only one online. Nobody remember being more than three toons online at a time (which made for the online guild run I remember). I like getting renown to contribute to my guild and to get the fast transportation of a ship. We are now a guild lvl 52 slowly increasing, but we have no ambitions of ever getting great buffs as we are too casual to grind renown and it is too expensive to keep a ship equipped. I PUG a lot, always asking nicely for buffs. At times I wonder if I could ever join one of the nice guilds I visit and run with, but the need for freedom to stay casual holds me back. I stay faithful to my little guild.

    Factually speaking this change seems to have no influence on my guild at all, as we have no issues with being too big a guild or recruitment and booting. Relatively speaking I'm afraid this may cause the death of my guild. As I read it we will get the same decay as a large and active guild, effectively making it very unattractive to be small and casual as we won't be able to keep up. It seems like an improvement to larger guilds which make them a relative better choice. This first step is favoring the larger guilds with no direct harm to us small ones, but I'm afraid a later change to adjust the improvement of the larger guilds will be directly harmful if it still doesn't take small and steady guilds into account. Another danger is people leaving the guild for larger and now more favorable guilds. So I'm scared, not that much on my own behalf as this might also be a step towards joining a more active guild, but on my guilds behalf as I see no benefits only dangers in this change. I would love to see an improvement not making the small and casual guilds relatively less attractive than we already are.

    That being said I really love that an issue many people care a lot about is being addressed. It seems like an improvement also for players like myself even though I consider it a relative and great nerf of a guild like mine.

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    Nice of you to try to address the issue - but the approach is all wrong and promotes the Korthos Army syndrome. Please reconsider.

    Instead you should count decay based on how many accounts were logged in during the last 24 hours with no lower limit.

    Thus, if someone only plays two days a week they only contribute to decay on those two days - and if noone at all from a particular guild logs in during a 24 hour frame then no decay is accrued.

    Thats a fix that addresses the issue across the board for small, medium and large guilds alike - and does not specifically award super huge guilds (Korthos Army style).

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlock View Post
    From what I see this pretty much addresses the renown decay issue. The idea that the large guilds will simply throw their doors open to get an influx of korthosites ..... someone else said it better than I ever could:



    Lets give the devs some credit for doing something right for a change and encourage them to move onto other things that we've been asking for to make guilds a more significant part of the game .... like guild portraits on your airship, guild-definable member ranks instead of just a simple Member/Officer, guild members list grouped by account, option to add comments next to guild member names, guild trophies earned by completing certain achievements (Velah's head on a plaque anyone?), guild leaders able to see current renown contribution for members, colour coding on members list to let you see who is inactive and who has recently returned from being inactive .... and the list continues. For now I'd be happy to say renown decay problem solved.
    I agree with Deadlock, and I do think the people who are worried about abuse by numbers are discounting a huge factor of guilds - the human social equation that can't be plugged into a formula for review. There will still be small guilds of tight knit freinds that don't want a huge group, and there will still be giant guilds whose main purpose is a pool of players at all times.

    Small guilds are still getting their huge bonuses to help them remain competetive. But the mid and large guilds who are happy with thier sizes and would like to have room for more it seems will not be forced between renown and friends anymore, and this to me is a positive change.
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  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    If Turbine were interested in getting players "hooked" on the game and wanting to play it more (and spend money on the game as a corollary), incentive systems such as the guild renown system should be designed around benefiting guilds that are successful at encouraging members to log in and play, that spends the time to invest in each player in the guild. The change to renown decay instead encourages guilds to simply induct as many members as possible and treat players as faceless drones in the hive for renown, without regard to the individual player. Many players say the reason why they stick with the game is because of the people they meet and the relationships that they form, and this change discourages this time investment to the detriment of the gaming community.
    The best way to get people to play the game more is to make all of them feel welcome in the game and give them the freedom to play the game the way they want to play it. The guild decay system we had before this change failed miserably on both of those counts.
    Last edited by Tshober; 10-23-2012 at 11:01 AM.

  12. #212
    Community Member Drakesan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tshober View Post
    The best way to get people to play the game more is to make all of them feel welcome in the game and give them the freedom to play the game the way they want to play it. The guild decay system we had before this change failed miserably on both of those counts.
    Eloquently stated, thank you. This is a big reason I was hoping for a change, and I hope that this temporary test gives good results towards that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyr View Post
    Guild members should be chosen based upon social factors and not game mechanics.

  13. #213
    Community Member Sonofmoradin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    This change essentially just rewards the one segment of the guild population that was already high level compared to everyone else and needed little help, and does very little to the remaining 98% of the guild population that are still struggling to reach those high levels that they take for granted.

    As already pointed out, the original renown system rewarded active players. It followed the typical MMORPG paradigm of the more you play, the more you are rewarded. Most of the incentive systems in this game (or many games for that matter) follow this paradigm, such as grinding for XP (unlocking new character abilities) or gear (increasing the DPS or other statistic of a character), etc. Guilds that can encourage their players to be more active and play this game more were the ones that got to higher levels and benefited the most under this system. It should be readily obvious that encouraging players to play more also improves Turbine's bottom line.

    By negating the guild size factor in the decay formula, there is little incentive for a guild leader or officers to invest in each player individually; it is much simpler to just spam as many guild invites as possible, since it takes much less effort to /guild recruit XXXXX to get a certain amount of renown than to court each individual player, spend the time taking them out on quests, showing them the game, and getting them excited about the game and for them to continue logging in.

    It's very straightforward to see proof of this dynamic in action. When the renown system was first released, since all guilds were low-level, renown decay was a negligible mechanic. Thus, just like with this change, the incentive at the time was to simply maximize total guild activity, rather than activity per player. And what did we see? Many of the fastest-leveling guilds at the time had character counts that looked like this:



    In less than 2 weeks there were 4 purges totaling over 300 characters. Let that sink in for a moment. The guild's turnover rate was over 15% per week and yet this was one of the fastest-growing guilds in all of DDO -- and just like some guilds right now, they bragged that they were the biggest and most active guild around. Their MotD simply said something to the effect of "people who don't log in after 4 days will be removed".

    Under a system where simply getting people into the guild is rewarded more than investing in each player, this is the natural outcome. For all the talk of supposedly "it's for the casuals!" there is rarely ever any mention of how casuals feel about this game when they get booted from a guild for not logging in for a few days so that the guild leader can make space for other casuals.

    The obvious rebuttal to this is of course "but don't guilds lose renown for booting characters?" and this is correct. However, by losing 25% of the character's renown, the guild is still keeping 75% of whatever the character had gained for the guild. So it just means that the strategy is still 75% as effective as it was previously -- as if that's a big impediment.

    Under the current system, inducting anybody and everybody that is willing to join is still the best strategy for leveling up in the low to middle levels (roughly level 1 to level 60). Simply having many bodies in the guild will level the guild up. This is why the majority of large guilds are above level 60 -- the sheer number of accounts in the guild ensures that they will blow through the renown needed to reach those levels (and for those that are curious, there are exactly zero guilds with 501 or more characters that are level 41 or below). For everyone else, even reaching level 60 itself is an achievement. To date, 44 out of 52 (85%) active guilds with 501 or more characters are at guild level 61 or above, while only 885 out of 17479 (5.1%) active guilds with 500 or less characters have reached level 61 or above. (By "active", I mean guilds where the renown has changed within the last month, indicating someone has logged in; guilds whose renown stayed constant, indicating no activity, were thus filtered out and not counted.) Even with the renown system in its state prior to the change, simply having a lot of bodies in the guild will just about guarantee that you can enjoy good ship buffs.

    The flip side of that was that because renown decay became larger as the levels increased, guilds that wanted to keep leveling up would invest more in the players that they already have in the guild, in other words, encourage their members to like the game and want to log in.

    To see why this is important, it is helpful to look at the current renown decay formula's level multiplier (the part that depends on a guild's level):



    The initial decay is very small. However, at the higher levels, the amount of renown needed to offset decay increases very, very rapidly. In other words, the majority of guilds should be to maintain the lower to mid levels, while the higher levels are more difficult to reach.

    Now if you count the number of ship benefits at each guild level, it looks like this:



    There basically are not many rewards per increase in level until you hit around level 20, at which point you steadily gain a lot of rewards until you hit around level 60, where it sort of tapers off until level 100 (and I'm counting the guild-wide announcements as rewards too, even though they don't provide any in-game benefit; they make up about a quarter of the benefits after level 60). In other words, you've gained a lot of the rewards that there are to gain -- about 80% on a count basis -- by level 60, roughly before the renown decay really starts being more progressive.

    To make this point more direct, this is the plot of how much of the benefits you get by each level, versus the amount of renown decay for that level:



    For relatively little effort, you can get the vast majority of the benefits, while for a great deal of effort, you can get marginally better benefits than that.

    This is by design. All I've really done is just to quantify what Fernando Paiz qualitatively said about the renown system when it was introduced: that once you get to those levels it’s much more about bragging rights than anything you might get from being of a guild level that high. In other words, the purpose of renown decay should be readily obvious for anyone who bothers to look into the background of the system and what Turbine has said about it.

    Of course, the people leading the complaints about renown decay are in guilds that are already at the upper part of the renown decay curve -- the part where it starts increasing sharply because guilds are encouraged to make their members more active. The complaints are not about not getting the basic buffs like +2 dex or +2 damage but about how they "have to" settle for a +3% XP shrine instead of a +4% XP shrine, etc.

    Not only do those guilds have the majority of the benefits already, but they actively try to convince others that it is because of decay that guilds can't level up, rather than simply the vast amount of renown points to get between level 1 and level 100 (or just simply level 1 to level 60). If a guild is in the upper part of the curve, then decay is the reason, but the vast majority of guilds are simply not there yet -- they're still trying to get to those levels where decay makes a difference, and not enough renown gain is the main problem for the vast majority of guilds out there.

    It's somewhat ludicrous to convince a small guild that goes from level 1 to 26 in a year that decay is the problem with the system, rather than how the system stacks the points needed for each level in favor of simply having many bodies. Newsflash for those guilds: If it takes you a year to go from level 1 to level 26, even with 0 decay it will take you 12 years to get to level 60 (=10,800,000/878,800), and 57 years to get to level 100 (=50,000,000/878,800).

    Yet these people will shamelessly claim exactly this and say that the renown system benefits small guilds more because they will eventually reach slightly higher levels than large guilds -- as opposed to large guilds who gets benefits within months. That somehow, in a game that has existed for around 6-7 years and where this system has been out for somewhat longer than 2 years, it is much better to wait around for years for a slightly better benefit (and not have "pretty good" benefits for much of that time), than to get pretty good benefits now (and not get those slightly better benefits years down the line). I was going to say something comparing the length of time you'd need for this "delayed gratification" compared with the average length of a marriage, but it was difficult to quantify the latter properly.

    Complaining that people don't understand the problems facing a large guild trying to overcome decay at level 60 misses out on that for 95% of the guilds out there, the problem is how to get to level 60 in the first place.

    And that is the biggest flaw with the current system as it was: that the system was intended so that "just about any guild" should be able to reach the mid levels, yet in practice the amount of renown needed to reach those levels was so big that only large guilds and extremely active small guilds (relatively speaking) could reach them; large guilds simply by having hundreds of players contribute to the same pot of renown, extremely active small guilds by having a very high renown-per-player ratio. Smaller casual guilds, which collectively make up more characters than all the large guilds and extremely active small guilds combined, are left out in the cold under the renown system.

    Large guilds like to claim that there's a small guild size bonus which makes up for the lack of manpower in a small guild, as if a 6-account guild being considered as a 24-account guild has comparable renown gain to a 450-account guild making those complaints about renown decay. For that 6-account guild to be on par in manpower with the 450-account guild, it would need a size multiplier of 75x (or +7400%) instead of the current 4x (or +300%). Yet we still get complaints about how small guilds have it so easy because of this bonus.

    The bottom line is that the major problem with the renown system was that to reach the majority of ship buffs in any reasonable amount of time, you had to either join a large guild or join a very active small guild. Contrary to what's been posted, it has always been easy to join a casual large guild that's above level 60; I was able to do this multiple times on other servers for favor farming (which was obviously with very low-level and under-equipped characters -- so it's not as if those guilds were being picky or had high entrance requirements).

    It's only the guilds where the guild leader starts to see the guild level as more important than guild atmosphere that it's problematic to join -- the same guilds that were complaining about losing players to other higher-level guilds and are now telling everyone else that it doesn't affect them that these guilds will now level much faster. Again, let this sink in for a moment. The same guilds that previously complained about the renown system because they were losing players to higher-level (i.e. more active) guilds, are now telling people that losing players to higher-level (i.e. larger under this change) guilds is just fine.

    What Turbine should be addressing is the vast disparity in guild levels achieved by guilds of different sizes -- i.e. the renown gain part of the system, which is highly dependent on manpower (number of accounts in the guild). Instead, the change to renown decay will make this disparity even bigger: high-level guilds will be able to reach even higher levels, while low-level guilds will stay mired at those low levels. Since the change removed the per-account part of renown decay, it really means that high-level large guilds (or actually, large guilds in general -- except there are no low-level large guilds because they blow through the lower levels so quickly anyway) will be the main beneficiaries. This despite the fact that large guilds as a group are already higher level than the vast majority of other guilds. They don't need the help, or at least until the 98% of other guilds that are below them reaches their levels.

    Under the original system, because reaching higher levels meant each player in the guild was on average more active (more renown per day per player), guilds that wanted to continue progressing once decay was substantial had an incentive to encourage members to be more active -- in other words, give players a reason to continue logging in. This meant forming stable relationships with each player and setting up the guild culture and activities such that people want to log in to this game and play it, over all the other distractions in their busy lives. I know it's anecdotal at best (because I don't have the account information on each guild that Turbine would), but most of the high-level guilds (at least on Orien) are characterized by relatively stable rosters with very low turnover rates, not just among the "core" players of the guild but among the rest of the guild as well.

    And the evidence for this is, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. As I've mentioned elsewhere, Over Raided is actually a relatively casual guild in terms of playtime, with most of the members of the guild having full time jobs/school and/or married with kids, etc., despite people who continually try to mis-characterize level 100 guilds as not having "real lives". It is because members don't have much free time to spend that the guild focuses on getting things done quickly and efficiently. It's not as if members are focused necessarily on renown when they log in either; I can guarantee you that the over 500 hours of game time that I've spent on collecting data for weapon and guard proc rates has given the guild exactly 0 renown (apparently, killing the training dummy over and over is not considered renown-worthy) -- and this is just the length of the videos, it doesn't include the time it took to count them all up.

    Yet Over Raided was able to reach level 100 because the guild leader and officers set up an environment where despite the lack of available playtime, members could be productive when they do have time to log in. The proof for how to level a guild is staring detractors in the face -- yet all they can reply with are snarky comments without ever addressing the substance of what I say, and continue claiming that they have no option but to boot all those poor casuals.

    People who complain about the renown system meaning they have to boot casuals have learned exactly the wrong lesson about the system's social dynamics, showing that their priority is on fishing around the player base for active players (i.e. easy to get in and then easy to boot if the player isn't on often enough for the guild leader's liking), rather than improving on the players in the guild so that they will naturally want to log in (and then the renown will naturally flow from their playing the game). In short, the system was fundamentally about maximizing gains (encourage members to log in by making the guild a fun place to be) to get from the mid levels to the high levels, while these people focused on making it into being about minimizing losses (booting the members that are deemed to not be gaining enough renown, and then complaining that "the system" is making them do it).

    That Turbine would cave in to demagoguery instead of well-documented reasoning is somewhat disappointing. The arguments are continually debunked and I've repeatedly shown that they exaggerate claims about their own guild to try to sway the forum community. Let this sink in for a moment. I've shown multiple times that what people claim about their own guild to complain about decay is in fact false. It's perhaps not surprising that these people then resort to histrionics such as claiming that the renown system makes them kill their close, personal friends, yet these are the arguments that Turbine chooses to pay attention to.

    If Turbine were interested in getting players "hooked" on the game and wanting to play it more (and spend money on the game as a corollary), incentive systems such as the guild renown system should be designed around benefiting guilds that are successful at encouraging members to log in and play, that spends the time to invest in each player in the guild. The change to renown decay instead encourages guilds to simply induct as many members as possible and treat players as faceless drones in the hive for renown, without regard to the individual player. Many players say the reason why they stick with the game is because of the people they meet and the relationships that they form, and this change discourages this time investment to the detriment of the gaming community.
    I agree with that post, however I proposed above that if decay is a fixed number that is only affected by guild level, then there should be a large guild penalty on renown which should be the equivelant of the small guild bonus. Is it possible mathematically to find a golden line of bonuses/penalties that could even the ground for all guilds regardless of their size? Also, it seems to me that decay now is a lot less than it should be, in order to make the system challenging enough or even to be able to find a golden line.

    Just thoughts.
    Founder member of aLiclan

  14. #214
    Developer Vargouille's Avatar
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    Thank you to those who have chimed in. It's gratifying to hear from many different players with a wide variety of viewpoints.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan_Milic View Post
    Did I understand it good,you already made this change live?
    Yes. Decay seen this past day was affected.

  15. #215
    Hero karpedieme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    Thank you to those who have chimed in. It's gratifying to hear from many different players with a wide variety of viewpoints.



    Yes. Decay seen this past day was affected.
    Hey Vargouille thanks for chiming in as well.

    Can you confirm that if Decay has been made static, in-game Renown drops have been curbed also.

    Only way to possibly explain the whole 3 level per day max scenario......

    Our guild TR's are noticing coincidently very poor renown tokens and drops while leveling up since yesterday....

    Yeah I know its the question that might sting a bit

    Cheers
    Last edited by karpedieme; 10-23-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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  16. #216
    Community Member DogMania's Avatar
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    Ok Here I go

    We have a level 63 Guild that is Medium sized (45) now as I have been booting players, Booting player?, oh Gosh!. But I think there has to be a limit of when a player is inactive and Over 1 year to me is ample time so all non actives 1 year + are going.
    Now you say what about the 25% loss of Renown and I say what about the extra guild renown I now get after 14 days when my medium size drops from 45 to 35 (and yes I know if I hadnt booted them I could have been at 35 right now but NOW I can recruit 10 more active players to make 45 again without worrying that the 10 I booted could possibly pop on so say hello and make me a 55 thus taking away my Medium guild size)
    So as far as im concerned this move is a GOOD one as it save me having to just send a toon out to farm renown to keep the guild at the same level.
    I would also point out that our guild was originaly orientated at the casual player so that they could have the same facilities as other guilds but as it grew it became harder and harder to keep up the guild level.
    I personaly would like to go back to the time before we had airships anyway as how many times do you hear "Just buffing then OMW" and it would also solve everyones problem in one go.
    NO AIRSHIP=NO RENOWN=NO MOANS=NO HEADACHES
    Oh and those that dont know how to get to Merdia when in a raid group with no airship YOU USE A TAXI from The Sub

  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    I've actually always been annoyed with the artificially low max sizes for Tiny, Small and Medium Guilds in DDO - Yes this change will help here BUT at the expense of a lot of Small mid range guilds - This is the issue.
    Yes, I agree that these size limits are probably a little too low and that should be looked at. I am also not opposed to increasing the small guild bonuses (within reason), if that is needed to keep smaller guilds viable. My only reasons for advocating the elimination of renown decay are to 1) remove the incentives to shun casual/social players, 2) make new players feel more welcome in DDO's guilds, and 3) allow all guilds to advance. I cetainly have nothing at all against small guilds and I believe they should be able to advance like everyone else.

  18. #218

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    A new huge change to guilds is being implemented atm, if it is undesirable it will be removed.

    From what I understand, the change is very simple:
    All guilds no matter how many accounts they have in them, experience the same amount of renown decay each day.

    Having been able to sleep upon that, and dream about it (hey we artists have our own ways of analyzing),
    I can only think one direction about this:
    Wow, what a bold, simple and increadibly smart move!
    Great idea devs, great idea, please keep it!

    (Please note that Thalzur, Loreick, and Fawngate will need to have a major group meeting someday about this,
    so don't think I am rejoicing because its helping us, cause our guild is not affected at all.)

    Why is this such a great move?

    I'm gonna point to The Mature Adventurers Guild on Khyber for this, cause I know them well, and they are a
    great example.

    They are on of the few guilds on Khyber that was close to 1,000 accounts.
    They have around 200ish fairly active accounts.
    They lead the charts as topish guilds till extemely heavy renown penalties kicked in.
    They help people, something I cannot empasize as being important enough.
    They thumbed their nose up at renown, and kept to their values.
    They have exsisted since near the beginning of the creation of guilds.
    Some of the old timers can talk about when they remember participating in the events that are documented
    in the Chronoscope raid.
    They are popular enough, they had to close doors on recruiting people, simply because there is no room left
    in the inn.
    They take all sorts of skill levels, monitoring attitudes and booting people who cannot behave in DDO.
    They teach new comers, and give them a sense of home.
    They stick to their core values no matter what the renown numbers are.

    Their main problem is simple~horrific renown decay.
    You have not seen renown decay till you watched a 1,000 account guild get hit with renown.
    Its astonishing.

    Their other main problem, not enough slots for all the boat buffs.
    This is easily solved by granting them the ability to upgrade their airship.
    Something that this change will do.

    Now really ask ourselves, isn't this what a good guild really should be~people helping people.
    A big guild with lots of grouping opportunities.
    I like to think so.

    Me, a completionist project, left MAC because when my father died, it put a lot of stress on the household,
    and I was very worried about the renown decay. So, me a huge renown puller, left a nice supportive guild
    during a difficult time in my life because of the renown decay system.

    Aren't guilds there to give you support during times like this?
    So shouldn't the number encourage guilds to help you at times like this?

    Now every guild will need a sweet spot in their lineup to keep the renown going,
    but it leaves a place for stars and rookies which is really nice IMHO.

    So again I say, absolute stroke of brilliance Devs, keep it up!!!!!
    This ranks up there with Tomes of Learning.

    Now there are a few people out there, who are quiting the game for the wrong reasons,
    and they will strongly rant and rave over this.

    Why?
    Because once again, suddenly DDO is not heavily kissing the uber ego elitetists.

    Thanks devs!

    Oh if you are an uber ego eliteist, please don't forget to neg rep me on the way out.

    And no, I don't want you stuff, I don't have bank space for it

  19. #219
    Founder Krell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    This was a relatively simple change we could try make without bringing down a server, today instead of months from now. We're still happy to hear ways to manage guilds of different sizes reasonably while also not motivating guilds to kick players.

    We know there's some players who have likely spent as much or more time thinking about these things as we have individually. Feel free to discuss pros and cons, such as whether or not 1000 player guilds reaching and staying at level 100 is a problem that needs solving.
    Thanks for the change. I think guilds should be about bringing people together and the previous system provided incentive to avoid inviting or keeping people that didn't meet a narrow criteria of activity. Personally seeing more guilds reach and stay at 100 doesn't bother me any more than seeing players reach and stay at 25.
    Ghallanda: Save the newbie, save the world.

  20. #220
    Developer Vargouille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karpedieme View Post
    Can you confirm that if Decay has been made static, in-game Renown drops have been curbed also.
    Unless your guild gained a level in the past day, renown drops are completely unchanged.

    The 3-level-per-day limit is just a change from a 7-levels-per-day limit that was already live in the game before yesterday. It's likely most players weren't aware that existed, since it generally only mattered for new guilds that were gaining many levels in a single day. It probably still doesn't affect most guilds.

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