Author Topic: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?  (Read 3265 times)

Armaddict

  • Posts: 6233
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #125 on: February 01, 2020, 05:02:13 PM »
And that was the day all warriors wore plate, all stealthies were unfindable, all theft attempts succeeded, all mages cast at maximum power many times, etc etc etc.

In other words, that was the day -sensible- variety vanished, and the world became bland.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

X-D

  • Posts: 5718
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #126 on: February 01, 2020, 11:26:53 PM »
Well Kittenlicks, I would not say to etwo the club unless your agi is low as well.

I do not know why it is that many people seem to essentially think the different weapon types are more flavor then anything. The different weapon types really do have things going for and against them. Like many think piercing is weak....which I suppose is understandable as they almost always use them with the wrong...let us say, type PC...wonder how I had a PC win the Luirs pit fights with a spear?

;)
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job

rinthrat

  • Posts: 148
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #127 on: February 02, 2020, 03:57:50 PM »
I truly think a flat "above average to all" option should be implemented for people who don't want the randomisation - not an exceptional character but passable for if you need a concept to work.
Additionally, for roles you're applying for (NOT for standard players), a means of viewing your stats beforehand so you can prepare and/or make story adjustments, or sdesc changes etc. Poor dex? Maybe they have a hook hand, etc etc etc.
I do like the idea of a karma cost boost to a stat in case you really NEED say, higher endurance on your desert elf, but I'm also terrified of stat boost dwarves and HGs only ever throwing it into Strength.
Regardless, this is an imperfect system, but we must be careful of any sweeping changes or it'll only get worse and more unfair - and I think staff accepts and understands that already or they'd have done something.

I think most of the people who suicide over stat rolls would also call a roll that's all 'above average' unplayable and suicide such a PC.

Brokkr

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Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #128 on: February 02, 2020, 05:40:09 PM »
Nothing compensates for a bad statroll.

Spice.

Strongheart

  • Posts: 329
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #129 on: February 02, 2020, 09:31:22 PM »
Nothing compensates for a bad statroll.

Spice.

Hardly, and the negatives to spice are too great to compensate for those bonuses anyhow, and NOTHING is stopping a superior statted character to perform even better via that.

Brokkr

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Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #130 on: February 02, 2020, 11:26:07 PM »
He said compensates.  Not makes you equal.

And maybe you just don't know how spice actually works.

Strongheart

  • Posts: 329
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #131 on: February 02, 2020, 11:52:10 PM »
Spice isn't too difficult to understand but alright.

Brokkr

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Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #132 on: February 03, 2020, 12:14:19 AM »
the negatives to spice are too great to compensate for those bonuses

If you understand spice then this statement makes no sense.

Strongheart

  • Posts: 329
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #133 on: February 03, 2020, 01:18:52 AM »
And if you take those hits progressively, you'll end up gimping your character ;) pretty sure most everyone knows that.

Kryos

  • Posts: 906
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #134 on: February 03, 2020, 04:06:52 AM »
Coming in as one of those eidolons who were proponents of stat change:  its a good idea.  Discussions like this are great for the health of the game and its great to see them and the staff who sit on that side of responsibility observing them.

Straight off:  spice is not a compensation for poor stats because its "equally available in regards to what your stats are" to everyone that'd want to use it as a stat mod.  Note the "" because I recognize the Highlord's law, northern scum.  Additionally the system is opaque about what happens when you get high on goofballs and the stats don't change their displayed category.  In other words, systems have outliers.  Granted.  But outliers are what they are.

Annnnnd here comes the caveat:  it can't be done in a vacuum.

Stats on Arm are part of a multitude of systems (all systems?) and thus changes done to them need to be observed on a holistic scale.  Different types of players will have different desires for the importance and scale of attributes.  And wouldn't you know, this thread displays that scope pretty darn well.

As it is, the system does not tie in these preferences to other aspects of character generation.  If you want to make the choice that is best for the game(you can't please everyone, but you can do a good job) you have to open up your thinking and dialogue to include at the least:  the whole of character generation, growth, and other character attributes that could or would interact as checks and balances.

Cind

  • Posts: 1837
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #135 on: February 03, 2020, 06:53:37 AM »
And if you take those hits progressively, you'll end up gimping your character ;) pretty sure most everyone knows that.

I think I've heard this before, but is that actually true? Or is what people are experiencing a natural decrease in stats due to age, i.e. living long enough to get old?
Playing something new could be just what you need!

Heade

  • Posts: 865
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #136 on: February 03, 2020, 06:55:52 PM »
If you want to make the choice that is best for the game(you can't please everyone, but you can do a good job) you have to open up your thinking and dialogue to include at the least:  the whole of character generation, growth, and other character attributes that could or would interact as checks and balances.

And all of this needs to bear in mind that Arm is one of the most successful non-profit MUDs of all time, existing far past most MUDs expiration dates while using the existing system to create a haven for roleplayers. With that in mind, I think it would be short-sighted to cater to what some players state that they want now, when the system that is in place has helped create what has now existed for what, 25 years now?

You don't change your great grandma's chilli recipe that people have loved for generation's just because your son's basketball coach and his wife don't like paprika. Oh, you don't like paprika? That's ok, you don't have to eat any. There is other stuff to eat.

Much the same, if people don't like asymetrical starts regarding stats in character generation, that's ok. There are plenty of games out there that don't have those, and instead use static starts with even points for stat distribution. But I don't think you significantly alter something that has been part of the game for so long, and that so many people DO like, risking losing those players.

Some changes are clear improvements to the game. This isn't. This is a debate about the original design decision regarding stats between characters. Some people want all characters to be roughly equal in regard to points in stats. Others like a much wider variety between characters. But that wider variety and element of randomization has existed for the life of the game, and has contributed to Arm's success.

In that way, Arm has a recipe that has a proven track record of working for over two decades. I don't think it needs altered significantly.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

tapas

  • Posts: 383
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #137 on: February 03, 2020, 07:12:42 PM »
Spice doesn't actually perma gimp you character.

But there are a number of other problems that make it cumbersome to use.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 07:14:50 PM by tapas »

Narf

  • Posts: 876
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #138 on: February 03, 2020, 07:14:03 PM »
If you want to make the choice that is best for the game(you can't please everyone, but you can do a good job) you have to open up your thinking and dialogue to include at the least:  the whole of character generation, growth, and other character attributes that could or would interact as checks and balances.

And all of this needs to bear in mind that Arm is one of the most successful non-profit MUDs of all time, existing far past most MUDs expiration dates while using the existing system to create a haven for roleplayers. With that in mind, I think it would be short-sighted to cater to what some players state that they want now, when the system that is in place has helped create what has now existed for what, 25 years now?

You don't change your great grandma's chilli recipe that people have loved for generation's just because your son's basketball coach and his wife don't like paprika. Oh, you don't like paprika? That's ok, you don't have to eat any. There is other stuff to eat.

Much the same, if people don't like asymetrical starts regarding stats in character generation, that's ok. There are plenty of games out there that don't have those, and instead use static starts with even points for stat distribution. But I don't think you significantly alter something that has been part of the game for so long, and that so many people DO like, risking losing those players.

Some changes are clear improvements to the game. This isn't. This is a debate about the original design decision regarding stats between characters. Some people want all characters to be roughly equal in regard to points in stats. Others like a much wider variety between characters. But that wider variety and element of randomization has existed for the life of the game, and has contributed to Arm's success.

In that way, Arm has a recipe that has a proven track record of working for over two decades. I don't think it needs altered significantly.

Arm has not always been this way. The stat system has been modified at least four times; racial stats were changed, the reroll option was added, the reroll undo option was added, and stat ordering was added. Most of these changes were meant to decrease randomness (not the racial modifications, but all the rest of the ones I mentioned).

The grandma's recipe metaphore doesn't hold water with regards to this, nor does the claim that a 25 year old system was what lead to Arm's success. The current system is not particularly close to that old.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 07:30:07 PM by Narf »

KittenLicks

  • Posts: 107
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #139 on: February 03, 2020, 08:10:17 PM »
It also bears mentioning that complaining about the stat system is something that's been going on for tens of years as well. You can find forum posts complaining about it as far back as 2003, and I think that's just because that's when this board started.

If we're doing analogies, its more like your son thinks the chilli is too spicy but your daughter likes it exactly how it is. There's nothing to break the deadlock (or possibly the chef just likes the chilli spicy) so you keep making it the same way, because finding a new chilli recipe is a lot of work. Your son keeps eating the chilli because, while he does think it should be less spicy, it's still pretty good chilli.

Not liking one aspect of the game doesn't mean you have to find another game. I'm sure there are parts of the game you don't like as well. (:
Quote from: Armageddon
You can't wear the spider.

Strongheart

  • Posts: 329
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #140 on: February 03, 2020, 08:41:34 PM »
Love your guy's posts even if I don't always agree with them, seeing this sort of discussion is indeed a healthy thing!

Heade

  • Posts: 865
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #141 on: February 04, 2020, 01:36:06 PM »
Arm has not always been this way. The stat system has been modified at least four times; racial stats were changed, the reroll option was added, the reroll undo option was added, and stat ordering was added. Most of these changes were meant to decrease randomness (not the racial modifications, but all the rest of the ones I mentioned).

The grandma's recipe metaphore doesn't hold water with regards to this, nor does the claim that a 25 year old system was what lead to Arm's success. The current system is not particularly close to that old.

Those are minor tweaks to the existing system. Changing to a point buy system or other system that gives every character equal "stat points" is throwing out the entire system and starting with something completely different.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

Narf

  • Posts: 876
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #142 on: February 04, 2020, 04:59:42 PM »


Those are minor tweaks to the existing system. Changing to a point buy system or other system that gives every character equal "stat points" is throwing out the entire system and starting with something completely different.

Stat ordering is a major change.

Reroll by itself would be a minor change from a statistical perspective, but coupled with reroll undo it will on average have a sizable effect on your stats.

The racial modifications were pretty tremendous, but that didn't effect the overall feel of the system much.

Combined they significantly reduce the randomness of the stat system, progressing towards a point buyesque system... But with the caveat that you can still do things the old way. You don't have to order your stats or reroll them.

Personally, my preference would be to move towards a fixed system (not necessarily point buy) with the option to do things the old way, and make sure neither is numerically superior to the other on average.

Heade

  • Posts: 865
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #143 on: February 05, 2020, 12:02:51 AM »
Yeah, we just disagree. I don't think stat ordering is a major change. The stats are still rolled randomly, you just get to decide where your best rolls go.

As for preference on system, it sounds like you're in favor of a system where there is relative equality between all characters, at least regarding stats. I don't support this at all. Equality between players is fine. We have that now. Equality between characters harms variety in the game world, which in turn negatively affects RP for all the reasons I mentioned previously. If everyone has the same stats as Batman, there would be no Batman. Variety creates far more potential for legendary heroes and villains.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

Grogerif

  • Posts: 81
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #144 on: February 05, 2020, 12:44:56 AM »
Besides, everybody knows that Alfred was the real hero.   Batman was just a rich narcissistic type that ran around trying to be in perfect shape (I bet he obsesses about his strength score) and playing with other crazy people in costumes. 

In a more serious tone, I love sparring against people that are much stronger then me, it gives them a false sense of confidence if I ever did have to plan their death, and I'll be getting the better end of the sparring for much longer then it usually takes for the learning to slow down. And if they do kill me before I can find a creative way to bring them down, then so much the better. Kudos to them.  Roleplay is the core of the game, but even if you play a combat motivated character, you can find more options, even in just the code, then just hitting each other till you are dead. (which is what strength is good for) Even more then that if you roleplay and involve others.   


Narf

  • Posts: 876
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #145 on: February 05, 2020, 02:09:15 AM »
Yeah, we just disagree. I don't think stat ordering is a major change. The stats are still rolled randomly, you just get to decide where your best rolls go.


Your original statement was that the system has not changed in 25 years, and that this system was thusly responsible for Armageddon's success. The system has changed several times in 25 years, therefore the claim is false.

That said, I'm not suggesting forced equality. If you want an unequal character, one would still be available (either worse or better). If you want a character that's relatively on par with most other characters, that would be available too. My suggestion is to provide an extra option to players that want it without taking away anything from players that prefer things the way they are. Just as has been done 3 times before with the stat system.

Heade

  • Posts: 865
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #146 on: February 07, 2020, 12:55:46 AM »
Yeah, we just disagree. I don't think stat ordering is a major change. The stats are still rolled randomly, you just get to decide where your best rolls go.


Your original statement was that the system has not changed in 25 years, and that this system was thusly responsible for Armageddon's success. The system has changed several times in 25 years, therefore the claim is false.

No, my original statement was that Arm has a recipe with a 25 year track record that works, and that I didn't think it needed to change significantly. Significantly is the key word, there. Yes, it's been tweaked in the past. I'm not opposed to tweaks to the system, as we have had in the past. But others have suggested things like switching to a point buy system where all characters generated get the same amount of "build points". That is a complete reversal of the current design decision regarding stats in the game, and an idea that I am opposed to.



That said, I'm not suggesting forced equality. If you want an unequal character, one would still be available (either worse or better). If you want a character that's relatively on par with most other characters, that would be available too. My suggestion is to provide an extra option to players that want it without taking away anything from players that prefer things the way they are. Just as has been done 3 times before with the stat system.

You can't have an option for people to be "equal" to other characters and an option to be "unequal". They are diametrically opposed to one another. Let's say you implemented that option. If 99 people selected "Unequal", and 1 guy selected "Equal", the one guy won't be equal to most other characters, and so the entire premise becomes suspect. If you're just looking to create an option for relatively average characters, I suggested that earlier, saying that, before character generation, maybe people could just choose to have "above average" across the board for their stats. That would give people the option you seem to be suggesting without shaking up the system too much or making the option too attractive to min-maxers.

The stats wouldn't be amazing, but they'd be passable in every stat, and would be guaranteed not to have any "poor" stats or anything.

The problem is, for all the moaning and groaning about "poor" and "below average" stats, the people worried so much about stats probably would not be happy with above average in everything. I imagine it'd be one of those systems that gets implemented as an accommodation and compromise, then rarely gets used. Because, really, people aren't asking for above average in everything. They want direct control over their starting stats. They want a guarantee that they're playing a character with the highest possible X score for their race and class, if that's how they chose to spend their points. They want to know no one else is able to get higher than that either. They want to be able to carefully plan and math everything out. But I don't want that. I don't think that what they want would be in the best interest of the RPI that has been created here.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

Narf

  • Posts: 876
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #147 on: February 07, 2020, 04:17:20 PM »
Under a fixed stat system a player that chose the fixed stat would be have stats on par with an average rolled character. For a lot of people, that's all they want.

In that way a player that chose the fixed stat system would be "equal" to the population of characters, if not any individual character.

Though they would on average be at a disadvantage in comparison to players that use reroll/reroll undo to get higher stats. It's hard to compensate for that though because I know not everyone uses rerolling to get higher stats.

I think, based on experience and what Brokkr said that rolled stats ranged between "Below Average" and "Exceptional" before any modifications with 5 categories between them, for a total of 7 categories. Assuming a normal distribution, category 3.5 will be average, so two stats below that and two stats above that should produce a character on par with an average rolled character.  If you're worried about min-maxing you can stick relatively close to the central category. So maybe just give people the option of taking "Average, Above Average, Good, Very Good" (Category 2, 3, 4, 5) for a character, assign how they like.

But this is the most important thing: Never ever ever ever link stats to karma. I cannot think of a worse change you could implement.

(Edited to add, I recognize 4 is the midpoint, but the stats exist on a continuum with multiple values per category and I'm not sure at one point that continuum starts or stops so I decided to be conservative)
« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 04:56:59 PM by Narf »

Heade

  • Posts: 865
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to an alternative?
« Reply #148 on: February 08, 2020, 12:10:11 AM »
But this is the most important thing: Never ever ever ever link stats to karma. I cannot think of a worse change you could implement.

The suggestion regarding karma was to allow stat boosts for karma, limited to non-magick characters. For those of us who aren't that interested in playing magickers but have built up karma, such an option would be good. I don't see how that would be a bad change. It's just another option to spend karma on. I'd love to see more karma options to dilute the amount of mages and other rarities we see in game.
I used to have a funny signature, but I felt like no one took me seriously, so it's time to put on my serious face.

Fathi

  • Posts: 4561
Re: Should Arm's stat rolls go from random to point buy?
« Reply #149 on: February 10, 2020, 01:14:04 AM »
I feel like the game has allowed too many exceptional characters, and they have ruined the expectations of some of the players.

Since it's possible to have characters with multiple exceptional stats, people who have 'average' across the board seem "shit"



I think we should not have characters with more than one exceptional, or more than one poor.

My thoughts are similar to this, though not quite exact. I think the issue is that players who are determined to only play PCs with good stats will just store/suicide characters with average stats, so often times you end up in situations where many of the prominent fighter-type characters in the game all have ridiculous stats. Having great stats from the get-go also gives a character a slight edge toward living longer in the earlier stages of the game.

It DOES lead to characters whose stats say "average" being considered useless and shitty. Every time I roll a character whose highest stat is a "good" my brain does not process it as "good" at all. 'Good' is about the minimum level required to be effective at a lot of things unless you can manage to stay alive long enough to acquire quite a high skill level--which can be tough if you can't play a ton and also have low wisdom.

Playing a character with "average" agility, for example, is excruciating in the early stages if you're playing a character that uses certain skills a lot (lockpicking, skinning, climbing, and archery all come to mind). The stat priority system helps this somewhat, but I've still had many characters over the years whose highest skill was a 'good.'

It does feel like the words that represent the stats are close to meaningless. Considering how many accounts likely suicide and store to self-select their stats, I wonder what the "average" strength of a character on Armageddon actually is. I don't think it's a number that would coincide with "average."
And I vanish into the dark
And rise above my station