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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nestroy View Post
    Shortly said: In the last months of 2012 the devs changed the guild renown decay system as a temporal fix. The change now lasts for more than 6 months. The old system favored more active players over less active and had a small upside for small guilds due to mathematical inconsistencies. The new system now grossly favors larger guilds (the more active players, the better) over smaller guilds based on sheer size alone.
    Actually the old system heavily favored large guilds. I demonstrated this with both mathematical models (i.e. theory) as well as MyDDO data (i.e. observational evidence). The main reason is just the vast sum of renown that's needed to get to the mid-high levels, which just about any large guild can muster just by brute force (i.e. number of players in the guild), while only the most of active of small guilds could hope to achieve; on October 1, 2012, even before the change (i.e. when the system supposedly favored small guilds), 44 out of 52 active large guilds (84.6%) with 501 or more characters were already level 60 or higher, while only 743 out of 16472 active small guilds (4.5%) with 150 or less characters were already level 60 or higher. The numbers were completely skewed and yet Turbine decided to help large guilds even more because of the number of threads about renown decay that they spammed, and because they trolled anyone who disagreed until they gave up, without any action by Turbine.

    The arguments about how small guilds had an advantage at the higher levels (because the small guild bonus countered decay) were always red herrings, since the vast majority of small guilds by definition had too few members to muscle their way to those levels in the first place. I showed that virtually all of the small guilds that were able to get to the higher levels were able to do so only because their members on average were simply several more times more productive than large guilds of similar levels. Large guilds could get good ship amenities like +2 stat and 30 resist shrines just by size alone, whereas for small guilds it was either be very productive or do without. So those small guilds that were active had an incentive to work extra hard at renown (taking heroic deeds over major mana pots, etc.), and they simply carried that mentality to the higher levels; their ability to continue gaining levels in the 70s and 80s stemmed from this guild atmosphere, even though large guilds kept saying small guilds advanced because the system rewarded small sizes (and hence why the system needed to change, i.e. reward large guilds even more), which had the logic completely backwards.

    The sad commentary on this is that large guilds were busy saying that they had no choice but to boot people due to decay (i.e. they don't see encouraging members to be more active to be a reasonable option for them, and it's the system's fault they were held back in levels), yet when pointed out that they were far and away years ahead of small guilds in level already (i.e. even before the change), they said small guilds were simply lazy and wanting things for free without any effort, and that small guilds just need to work harder at it (i.e. it's the small guilds' fault for not encouraging members to be more active). Turbine or anyone else can look through the linked thread and see these arguments in abundance. Yet Turbine bought this argument without analyzing whether or not what they were saying was correct (i.e. how the system actually worked mathematically), nor considering the hypocritical and self-serving position of wanting rewards for themselves and yet denying it for others, even though they were a distinct minority of players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nestroy View Post
    Corresponding with the change the devs opened a new thread in the Official Turbine Discussions. They asked for player input and discussion. For about 6 months now there had been a lot of discussion. Based on the experiences from the change, the overwhelming majority of contributors in that thread now agrees that there should not be any guild renown decay at all. Several proposed solutions on changes and alternative systems were worked upon and many a good idea were posted. So there is a lot of stuff for the devs to work on. If they like to.
    Renown decay is the wrong focus. Turbine should be focusing on changing renown gain, i.e. the size bonus, so that guilds of any size can gain levels at a reasonable speed. Based on the structure of the bonus, I'm guessing (though don't have formal evidence) that Turbine didn't give that much thought to guilds with more than 50 accounts, since that's where the bonus ended. Fernando Paiz in his interview about the renown system even said "There is some help for smaller guilds in this system… we don’t want to exclude a guild that might only include four people. We think that’s a totally valid way to play, and we’re trying not to force people to have 50 player guilds" which indicates he probably considered 50-account guilds to be pretty big.

    Making a 6-account guild equivalent to a 24-account guild in earning power probably sounded quite reasonable if Turbine only considered guilds up to 50 accounts (since they would gain renown half as fast as the largest guilds considered). Similarly, a 16-account guild, equivalent to 40 accounts in earning power, gaining levels 80% as fast as a 50-account guild probably sounded reasonable.

    But the system heavily rewarded large guilds for increasing their size beyond 50 accounts, and Turbine probably didn't expect the rise of 600+ account guilds that would go around arguing how Turbine favored small guilds with the system, or shedding crocodile tears at having to boot their more casual players (rather than, you know, encouraging them to play, which is what the large guilds expect from the smaller guilds). They probably didn't expect 100-account guilds going around saying the small guild bonus -- even a pittance as it was -- was a "pseudoexploit" and claiming that the only reason anyone would want to be in a small guild was to optimize the guild size for guild levels, even though that's a horrible renown strategy, and an insult to the vast majority of players who prefer small guilds for social reasons. Thus the focus on renown decay, even though the vast majority of guilds is hindered by the small renown gain.

    I would venture to guess (though don't have evidence) that the developer(s) that changed the system last October probably wasn't the same one(s) that implemented the renown system in the first place, and didn't consider the past internal and forum discussions about the system when it was being put into place, especially regarding different size guilds, nor the far-reaching effects of changing a system that already heavily benefited one small segment of players, into a system that benefited the same segment of players even more.

    As Turbine themselves said, even before the renown system was implemented, the average guild size was 12 accounts. In other words, when the guild system was purely social in nature (i.e. before a points system was put into place that favored one size guild over another and distorted the average guild size), players naturally preferred smaller guilds. This makes sense, since many players say they play the game because of the people they meet and the friends they make, and smaller guilds is a way for people to self-organize around common interests, playtimes, etc., and build individual relationships. As I've mentioned before, I could log on in a small guild and half the players online will say hi to me; I can log on in a large guild and nobody will pay any attention to me for the entire day. It's the close-knit environment that brings people together, and encourages each other to continue logging in.

    This doesn't mean that everyone wanted to be in a small guild, just that the majority of players demonstrably did. Players should self-organize around whatever size guild they want, and the system should encourage all size guilds relatively equally. Yet Turbine or anyone else can read through the linked thread and see how people from large guilds disparaged anybody from small guilds, going as far as to call them "not really guilds" and saying that people from small guilds are just staying small to take advantage of the size bonus for guild levels (while ignoring the effective size bonus that large guilds by definition get by having many more times the number of players that can gain renown -- and that staying small actually makes it harder to level). And this even though pretty much all renown systems discussed in the thread, whether proposed by me or other players, still demonstrably give an advantage to large guilds -- just not as enormous as it stands under the current system.

    By having the system encourage everyone to be in large guilds, Turbine is moving players away from the community-building aspect of guilds, that encourages players to get to know one another individually and spurs each other to want to log in. For the casual player, the guild choice is fairly stark: either join a large guild where members will ignore you once you're in (except to boot you if you don't log on for a few weeks, to make way for others that will help them get renown) and you're on your own to learn the game, or join a small guild where you will get individual attention but will likely have to do without good guild ship buffs, making the initial content that you experience much more challenging (since ship buffs make the most difference at the earlier levels). This was already the choice presented to casual players several months into the renown system several years ago; the choice is simply in sharper relief now with the change last October.

    Of course, Turbine can change this at any time if they wanted to. They've shown that they can change the guild size bonus on the fly, and from a coding perspective, just like with renown decay, it's a simple change to make and doesn't need additional code, since it's just changing a few variables (namely, the table lookup relating # accounts -> # renown bonus). It's only a matter of whether or not Turbine wants to. And given how much large guilds protested the renown size bonus when they were already above "only" 98% of everybody else, claiming it was putting them at a disadvantage (despite being demonstrably false), I can only imagine how much forum fury will be unleashed if Turbine really unlocks the higher levels for casual small guilds. After all, the current system only allows the most active small guilds and all large guilds, casual or powergamer, to reach the higher levels, so large casual guilds have a vested interest in seeing that they retain their monopoly on the higher levels for themselves and not other casual (i.e. small) guilds, since it would dilute their recruiting pool.

    After all, large guilds loved the change, since it meant that they get more out of the miniscule effort put into pumping then dumping random faceless players, and with a higher guild level it's easier to attract more players into this scheme. By their own admission, large guilds consist of a core of active players -- say roughly 10-20% of the guild -- and then mostly more occasional players. So it's great for the core to clamor for changes where they can get more benefit from this strategy (by having a larger pool of players wanting to join) and less drawbacks (by decay not depending how many players -- so any additional player is pure gain and never loss). Because Turbine instituted the change to renown decay, now there is even less (not more) incentive for large guilds to engage their members that aren't part of the core group, because of the time and effort involved in actually encouraging the non-core members to play (i.e. get them interested in the game). It's much easier to just sort the guild by last login, remove the X characters at the bottom, to make way for newcomers to the game that are lured by high guild levels. The core players from those large guilds that post frequently on the forums think it's completely awesome that the system rewards their strategy, but it's actually a disservice to the rest of the guild (who end up not being engaged by Turbine's social system, i.e. guilds), as well as to the vast majority of other guilds that don't use such strategies to level up, and aren't rewarded for their individual interactions with players as a result.

    Because of this, and given how vehemently the large guilds lobbied for the change to renown decay in the first place, Turbine understandably does not really want to openly discuss the issue in depth. Posting their thoughts essentially means they need to take a position, which leads to a lot of angst from anyone who disagrees with their position, regardless of how well-thought-out it is or how much evidence they have for it. Even though the system provably heavily rewarded large guilds, large guilds claimed they were being unfairly harmed by the system anyway, until Turbine changed it. So it's much easier for Turbine to say nothing now and let people feel whatever they want rather than alienate a vocal minority of the playerbase and cause forum drama, despite the vast majority of the players being hurt by the current system, and despite the current system being a bad strategy for long-term retention of players, especially newcomers to the game. That's Turbine's choice to make.

  2. #22
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    Thank you, Vanshilar, for once again posting a well thought out and informational post on this subject.
    <seemingly offensive Army of Darkness quote>

  3. #23
    Community Member Nestroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanshilar View Post
    ...
    As ususal well thought out and argued. While I do not have to be of your opinion 100%, this is +1 for the argument.

    Alas, if you are correct no dev will ever react.

    Edit. Dandonk bet me to the answer.

  4. #24
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    What beer you drink Vanshilar ? I would buy you one, once again a post from you that brought a tear to my eye, some sense in the sea of idiocy on these "new"/old boards regarding the subject.

  5. #25
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    Signed

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natashaelle View Post
    You DID realise, didn't you, that the main purpose of the thread is to ask for feedback and information ? Or what, you LIKE keeping your head in the sand ?

    As for your points, the amount of decay on the small guilds is just unjustifiably HORRID --- and YES, just getting rid of guild decay would be the easiest fix, but I hope that you realise it's NOT the only possible solution !!!

    And NO, "all small guilds must die" or "people returning to the game after a long absence must be punished for their lack of addiction" are NOT acceptable solutions ...
    I haven't saw fit to post, but I've been playing a while. I saw this thread and I decided it is time to post.

    I completely agree. It feels like our guild is getting nibbled to death by a duck. It doesn't matter how much we play if we are small it will just never be enough.

    After reading Vanshilar's post I am very confused because as he said before the most recent change all the big guilds were a higher level and after the change they are a much higher level. If we gain a level we just lose it the next day because of the system in place. It seems like Turbine just wants a numbering system so we can all look like new players in a low level guild just because we don't have many people.

    As soon as someone gets to epic levels they just get recruited to another guild with a bigger ship and better amenities. Even when people leave they want to group with us, but they still want the benefits of the bigger guilds. We also lose people because of this system that just quit the game. We can't win.

    Answers please.

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    /signed

  8. #28
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    There's one other reason that Turbine won't do away with guild decay that Vanshilar didn't touch upon. You can't monetize something that doesn't exist. I have no idea how well they sell, and I wouldn't trust Turbine's word on it anyway, but Guild Renown XP potions are in the cash shop for a reason. Remove the decay and eventually, though it may take those four person guilds years, even they can reach Guild Level 100, and then what? The potions become obsolete and Turbine loses a stream of revenue. Oh sure, they could create new levels and amenities, maybe even larger ships, but not doing anything is so much easier, ya know?

    Oh yes, /signed.

  9. #29
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    /signed.

    I want fairness.... size neutral.... and a complete guild system (steal it from NWO)

  10. #30
    Community Member Thrudh's Avatar
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    Can any size guild get to 63 fairly easily???

    If so, there's no problem.

    You get 98% of the benefits by guild level 63.
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    When you stop caring about xp/min this game becomes really fun. Trust me.
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    as a guild of one player that puts in 28+ hours a week playing guild level 67

    I find it imposable to keep up with decay

    I take end rewards of renown 95% of the time (or more)

    and still lose more renown to decay the I can get

    now I cant even break even since the changes

    its like they are forcing me to join a larger guild

    so /signed

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dandonk View Post
    Turbine says that they want to support small guilds, too. I'm sad that you don't like us small guilds, but that's the difference I've always found between large and small guilds in this discussion - small guilds want a good system for everyone, but large guilds do not care about small guilds.

    But in any case, this thread is about getting info more than anything else. You don't want info?
    Sure info is fine.

    I don't like or dislike either guild type, btw. All I care about is that the system does not punish recruiting more players. At the moment it does not, so that's why I think the current system is OK.

  13. #33
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    Signed.

    Before the change my small guild would gain a Guild Level every 2 months or so. After the change we got stuck; we have not been able to gain a single level. We are at least making forward progress (for the most part) but even still it will likely take another 2-3 months. Nine months to gain one level is not good design.

    I do not expect to be able to get to high Guild Level as fast as a large guild but I certainly think it should be possible to do in a reasonable amount of time.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forzah View Post
    Sure info is fine.

    I don't like or dislike either guild type, btw. All I care about is that the system does not punish recruiting more players. At the moment it does not, so that's why I think the current system is OK.
    It's OK for you, yes. And that's great - I don't want that to change. I just want it to be OK for everyone else, too.

    I don't see how removing decay completely would make the system punish recruiting more players.
    <seemingly offensive Army of Darkness quote>

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    Signed. It's time devs state that they won't be adding more support to struggling guilds. The small guild bonus is already ridiculous and too much of an advantage to small guilds.

  16. #36
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    /SIGNED.

    (for those of you who are JUST NOW arguing the topic- where have you been in the +200 PAGES of posts in the Official discussion?)

    And as for importance- I'd rate this pretty high. If DDO is supposed to be a "social game" (point for the 'You just need friends' people)- A built-in mechanic that punishes being social doesn't fit whether you have a large guild or small.

    For the record (as I stated in the Official forum) I'd gladly give up my small guild bonus if it meant no decay.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnez View Post
    /SIGNED.

    (for those of you who are JUST NOW arguing the topic- where have you been in the +200 PAGES of posts in the Official discussion?)

    And as for importance- I'd rate this pretty high. If DDO is supposed to be a "social game" (point for the 'You just need friends' people)- A built-in mechanic that punishes being social doesn't fit whether you have a large guild or small.

    For the record (as I stated in the Official forum) I'd gladly give up my small guild bonus if it meant no decay.
    Small guilds are able to get a ship, a chant channel, and all important buffs. Those things seem to be what a "social guild" wants. What they aren't able to do is get a big number after their name, like the higher ranked guilds. But why does that matter to them? That has nothing to do with the social aspect, that has to do with the ranking competition aspect that they decided not to worry about when they decided not to build up their guild.

  18. #38
    Community Member Nestroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudh View Post
    Can any size guild get to 63 fairly easily???

    If so, there's no problem.

    You get 98% of the benefits by guild level 63.
    It took our guild 2 years and about a 100 farming toons zerging the Level 2-4 habor quests for renown on literally 100s of renown pots to eventually make our guild lv. 63. We reached lv. 63 and it took us the better part of a very active week to retain the level due to the idiotic ransack penalty after level up. What use is the best guild renown pot if there is no renown to be gained? Running Irestone on elite on a lv. 2 toon and gaining what? Some meagre renown for kills? Not one single chest had one single renown in it? End reward? Nope, Sir! I do know the "this should be about 50% + after level up" score from the devs. Practically the renown vanishes after gaining the guild level. They may tell me and my fellow guildies what they want.

    So, getting to that level for a small guild is grind, grind, grind, and oh yeah, lots of pots. Might be done but it takes countless hours and a really motivated company of friends and family to achive that. Not every small guild is that dedicated.

    By the way, I am active on alternate srvers in other guilds as well, albeit casually. All the small guilds I am in tend to stall at about lv. 50 (without the dedication mentioned above). All the big ones tend to generate growth, even if only a little bit.

    So, anybody not willing to chip in about 3-4 hours daily (double on weekends) and a lot of money for the pots will be much better off in large and big guilds. Small guiliding either is for dedicated players only or very frustrating indeed.

  19. #39
    Community Member Hendrik's Avatar
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    All they need to do is flatly state, in plain English;

    Not all Guilds are intended to reach the highest levels. To reach those levels players will have to put forth effort that can take the form of many things; higher activity, increased membership, focused Renown gains, and/or use of store options.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsinclair
    I heard the devs hate all wizards, bards, clerics, fighters, and fuzzy bunnies and only want us to play halfling barbarian/paladin shuriken specialists!

    It's totally true, I have a reliable source. You better reroll now.
    Adventurer, Bug Reporter, Mournlander.

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    /signed

    I did not buy the expansion and am temporarily not playing the game because of the guild system. At some point I'll be too far behind on backs to come back to the game and just stop checking in.

    We play enough, but 7 people can't be expected to earn as much as 300 to make up for decay. That's just ridiculous.

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