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View Full Version : Diplomacy Concerns, Ideas, and Brainstorming


Spyder07
02-14-2007, 09:23 AM
I'll try to be as precise and detailed as I can with reason behind said ideas or points as much as possible. If you reply with other ideas or counter any of them please post reasoning and any possible alternatives to keep it constructive and useful. Thanks =)

Any diplomacy dev feedback at some point would be greatly appreciated in addition once they read it or feel they have read enough replies to have a response for.

== Vendor sell items ===========

Currently at 120 skill doing mostly 150 parlays, the vendor sell items you get as rewards are rather low copper considering the time it takes to accumulate them.

Assuming if max adventuring level = 50, and each 100 skill points I suppose would ideally equal "Level 10 in diplomacy" for equal hours of effort "fighting" (parlay) ideal range skill parlays (equal to slightly higher perhaps).

The items rewarded for a 150 skill parlay should be on par with vendor fodder dropped off level 15 mobs, at skill 200 they should be on par with a level 20 adventurer.

Given an 8 hour grind session back when I was adventurer level 15 (23 currently), the vendor sell loot yielded more than skill 120 doing 150 skill parlays by a good margin.

I understand there is more risk involved in adventuring, is this the reason behind even 150 skill parlay wins being low value on the vendor? It seems alittle low for 150 rewards though for time involved.

Diplomacy so far doesnt hinge on anything other than itself all that much, the city buffs are nice but don't help the diplomacy player that much where as crafters (not a slam on them, just trying to figure out a way for diplomacy to be more feasible) can make a living selling items to others or using the items they make themselves. One sphere effecting another while yielding nice profit. Harvesters sell harvested items to crafters while crafters can sell harvesting items to harvesters/etc, crafters can sell to adventurers for gear/weapons, even adventuring can make great money selling very good drops or make very good money off vendor sell loot.

Maybe the answer would be for crafters to be able to create diplomacy gear complete with station faction stats or stats that help during the parlay. Though diplomats who don't wander into the crafting sphere or adventuring sphere may have difficulty affording said items due to vendor fodder having seemingly low values, and rewards that are diplomacy clothes/items really are only useful to other diplomacy players who have low funds to buy said items. It's like a catch 22 atm.

It seems Diplomacy is lagging slightly behind in being able to generate even a mild-fair income for effort/time spent.

The reason I ask about the vendor fodder is that there should be a better method of "making a living" at being a diplomat than what seems to be in place currently.

== Quests ===========

(Low priority, low issue)

It would be very nice to have the quest icon over NPCs to have a different looking icon or color to make them stand out alittle bit more. I know it sounds lazy but just seem to waste a bunch of time hailing and reading through things I don't really care about at the minute, it may be a good adventuring quest but at the time looking specifically for diplomacy ones. If an NPC has 2 sphere of quests (ie: Adventuring and Diplomacy) just put 2 icons over.

This is not a major deal, certainly nice in any case to even know they offer a quest. Just looking to streamline reading irrelevant stuff. Seems there are a good deal more adventuring-type quests than diplomacy ones so if you're looking for diplomacy quests you have to sift through alot of extra stuff.

Also..

Quest rewards (that hidden diplomacy xp amount) should yield more, though hard to tell without a sort of xp bar. Seems to yield little more than normal parlays, if any. Should have a real nice bonus upon completion for the running around some have you do whereas adventuring quests with similar running around yield a nice xp bonus.

Again, this is hard/difficult to verify without any sort of progress bar for diplomacy only in that time doing said quest could have gained closer to a skillup sitting in town than what the reward seems to give in same timeframe running around.

== Items (Rare/Heroic) ===========

Chance (even if low) to get rare and/or heroic rewards for turning in information to brokers. There doesnt appear to be much of a way to get rare or heroic items as a diplomacy player.

Is this limited to much higher levels, extremely rare and have not yet seen any, or are they only available by quests? T

hese rare/heroic items would have much higher station gains (say +50 soldier as example instead of a normal +33) or have a better chance to give you a bonus that is useable during a parlay.


== Progress Bars ===========

It would also be nice for there to be a sort of "xp bar" so we know just how close we're getting to that skillup. I'd assume its based off a hidden xp given there must be some sort of incentive to parlay harder or above simple parlays for points.

Currently at skill 120 diplomacy it takes a good while between skillups (and only will get slower), sometimes miss the skillups just cranking along, a reference as to how close that skill up is or if you just recently passed one would be great.

Just like the adventuring sphere atleast we can optimize our advancements by figuring out if much higher skill parlays are worth the trouble or generally equal or hair lower ones.


== Trainers ===========

With 120 skill and having to meet station requirements for factions. If the logic above works in the sense that adventurer max is 50, in theory would almost mean 100 points in diplomacy is level 10 and 200 points is 20, etc in diplomacy. This would mean every 10 points is 1 level.

Would it be bad if diplomacy trainers offered cards or some sort of training (as they offer spells and skills to adventurer sphere) to purchase at increments of 10 points then or possibly higher points?

Hear me out a second if you could, as adventurers get higher level and fight harder things, their trainers teach them new abilities and things, shouldnt diplomacy trainers also be teaching in a similar way to compensate for the higher skill "fights" (parlays)?

Based on the current system, it would be as if adventurers had to quest for all of their spells/skills which seems to be the case for diplomacy. Trainers should play a larger role so that we don't get hammered with "god" cards as we skill up and have to spend hours questing for abilities that should be able to taught by trainer after x number of skill ups. Right? Is there any alternatives to make it less of a sting as you get higher in skill points and begin to parlay even at the 300+ skill "fights"?

Compounded with the card issue, there doesnt seem to be enough gear available (even via quests) that I'm aware of that increases your chances of winning only the chances of meeting the minimal station requirements. I managed to get some gloves way early on that gives me 1 extra yellow point but have not seen anything else. Is there an undersupply of "stat" gear to help win parlays?

== The 20% increments in level attribute bonuses ===========

Would it be feasible at every 20% to be allowed to place 1-2 points into some sort of diplomacy area as a gain? Perhaps a faction attribute gain of 1-2 points to spend per 20% towards next diplomacy skillup point or after say 10-20 skillups you get said "attribute" points. This goes along the lines with the above trainer idea. Just another way diplomacy players can increase their actual abilities other than simply skilling up in the current state, or having to quest for all their new abilities (cards basically).

== Misc "fun" reactions by NPCs ===========

It would be kind of nice immersion where as you gain "notority" with certain station factions when you begin a parlay or hail them, they do different emotes or react as you pass by. Perhaps even a small chance so it's not spammy.

As I run past a guard with 100+ soldier station faction, they saluted or as I passed by somebody with 100+ crafter faction they waved. Something along those sort of things. Maybe even have them randomly /say things if somebody is extremely high on their station faction listing (see right below).

Make it maybe a 10m radius so they're not reacting to people in the distance, and a single person "recharge" of 2-3 minutes so somebody can't just keep running out of 10m and back to make the npcs have a seizure waving or spamming the area with text (though this would be limited to very high station standings).

This would be a fun little extra immersion feature that non-diplomats would see NPCs reacting to diplomacy players as they move through cities. It really could add alot of depth to the sphere and make the cities feel even more alive as if they're aware of their surroundings enough to acknowledge players they are familiar with or have high regards for.

Would make for a very dynamic setting/enviroment with this.

== Appearance ===========

Is there anything planned with the "noob clothing" appearances being updated? Alittle uniqueness to the item appearance when worn? Something that has alittle more regal look or a look that somebody is a diplomat in trainer rather than they look like a level 1 in starter gear.

Would really like to have the art department take a look at the blandness with diplomacy clothing. Most diplomacy players running around look about the same when they created their characters on day one even if they have nearly 200 skill or higher.

Please consider updating the appearance, it's a large part of what diplomats do, alot of what they do is based on their clothing, but their clothing is rather lacking in appeance/detail ;) For the time spent invested in diplomacy, even just something as trivial as changing the art/detail appearnace of the clothing can go a long ways in making the players feel like they're actually diplomats rather than looking like the character creation clothing.

Also noticed "held" items are no long visible when worn so far, alteast ones like the rose/scepter given at lower levels seem to not be visible anymore and were once so.

== Side benefits possibly ===========

(likely more difficult to implement)

In some way with diplomacy maybe have the ability to lower the broker "fee" with the brokers in towns when buying/listing items. Almost like haggling with the brokerage to lower the cost of doing business through your pull and connections. Minor little things just to make diplomacy have some nice little perks they make the time spent getting the skill point gains alittle more meaningful.

This may also be related to some sort of "trade relations" type of quest where you purchase at one location at x price via quest something off a merchant that is garunteed to sell more elsewheres but the item becomes no-trade. Upon taking it to the other location you can sell it for more. Place NPCs even in dangeous places with nice coin rewards, this would let adventurers want to be "bodyguards" to diplomats travelling to these places and they can split the coin when there.

Some more "depth" to being a diplomat would be great, and there's so many possibilities that can be done, it's just a matter of pros/cons and balance I suppose.

== Closing ===========

Diplomacy is great, and I'm really enjoying it between my adventuring, though it seems like the "cards are stacked against us" with advancing in some ways and could make it alittle more enjoyable.

Maybe the ideas I presented are way out of touch, BUT maybe it'll help brainstorm some ideas to make what we do even more enjoyable while making it so that there is slightly more flexibility/reward than a straight grind without little bonuses here and there that I know I get while out adventuring (which I really enjoy equally, so far level 23 and counting).

Absalon
02-14-2007, 01:58 PM
I'll try to be as precise and detailed as I can with reason behind said ideas or points as much as possible. If you reply with other ideas or counter any of them please post reasoning and any possible alternatives to keep it constructive and useful. Thanks =)

Any diplomacy dev feedback at some point would be greatly appreciated in addition once they read it or feel they have read enough replies to have a response for.

== Vendor sell items ===========


The sell price of vendor trash has gone through some balancing and probably will go through more. I'm not sure exactly how it is supposed to measure up to adventuring trash though.

The real money maker of diplomacy is supposed to be the Regional Trade system, but this system isn't in yet. The first part of this system, the White Market, should hopefully be in within the next few weeks. You can read about this system in the Regional Trade forum on vgtact.com.


== Quests ===========

(Low priority, low issue)

It would be very nice to have the quest icon over NPCs to have a different looking icon or color to make them stand out alittle bit more.


I agree. They should have slightly different shields for each sphere.


Also..

Quest rewards (that hidden diplomacy xp amount) should yield more, though hard to tell without a sort of xp bar. Seems to yield little more than normal parlays, if any. Should have a real nice bonus upon completion for the running around some have you do whereas adventuring quests with similar running around yield a nice xp bonus.


This is in the works:

XP balancing is coming. The balance will be favorable to players.

Increased experience rewards for completing quests is coming.

o
A

Experience rewards for those who completed the quests will be available when we get them in through Altars of Kaerellun. Thus, you need not fear doing Diplomacy quests because you'll lose out on rewards - those rewards will be available to you after we get them in.

o
A



== Items (Rare/Heroic) ===========

Chance (even if low) to get rare and/or heroic rewards for turning in information to brokers. There doesnt appear to be much of a way to get rare or heroic items as a diplomacy player.

Is this limited to much higher levels, extremely rare and have not yet seen any, or are they only available by quests? T

hese rare/heroic items would have much higher station gains (say +50 soldier as example instead of a normal +33) or have a better chance to give you a bonus that is useable during a parlay.


There are some rare items out there. One is the shirt you get from the Thinkers of Thinkery quest. Evidence turns ins haven't really been working. It's possible that at least Significant Evidence could have some rare items on the loot tables. I would expect to see a lot more rare and heroic items once tier 3 gear is done.



== Progress Bars ===========

It would also be nice for there to be a sort of "xp bar" so we know just how close we're getting to that skillup. I'd assume its based off a hidden xp given there must be some sort of incentive to parlay harder or above simple parlays for points.

Currently at skill 120 diplomacy it takes a good while between skillups (and only will get slower), sometimes miss the skillups just cranking along, a reference as to how close that skill up is or if you just recently passed one would be great.

Just like the adventuring sphere atleast we can optimize our advancements by figuring out if much higher skill parlays are worth the trouble or generally equal or hair lower ones.


That would be nice, but I don't know how easy it would be from a technical perspective. I'd really love for them to convert the skill point system into levels and even some day be able to display our diplomacy or crafting level instead of our adventuring level.


== Trainers ===========


With 120 skill and having to meet station requirements for factions. If the logic above works in the sense that adventurer max is 50, in theory would almost mean 100 points in diplomacy is level 10 and 200 points is 20, etc in diplomacy. This would mean every 10 points is 1 level.

Would it be bad if diplomacy trainers offered cards or some sort of training (as they offer spells and skills to adventurer sphere) to purchase at increments of 10 points then or possibly higher points?

Hear me out a second if you could, as adventurers get higher level and fight harder things, their trainers teach them new abilities and things, shouldnt diplomacy trainers also be teaching in a similar way to compensate for the higher skill "fights" (parlays)?

Based on the current system, it would be as if adventurers had to quest for all of their spells/skills which seems to be the case for diplomacy. Trainers should play a larger role so that we don't get hammered with "god" cards as we skill up and have to spend hours questing for abilities that should be able to taught by trainer after x number of skill ups. Right? Is there any alternatives to make it less of a sting as you get higher in skill points and begin to parlay even at the 300+ skill "fights"?

Compounded with the card issue, there doesnt seem to be enough gear available (even via quests) that I'm aware of that increases your chances of winning only the chances of meeting the minimal station requirements. I managed to get some gloves way early on that gives me 1 extra yellow point but have not seen anything else. Is there an undersupply of "stat" gear to help win parlays?


Those gloves are from the newbie quest line. We'll probably see more loot like that when we get more rare and heroic items. For now you can get consumables which work like the gloves do, but only for 1 parley. Still when you combine the bonus from the gloves with the bonus from a consumable, you can start the parley with an assertion. That's a pretty big advantage.

For card rewards, I don't think we need them from trainers. We do get them from trainers while doing the newbie quests, but after that there will be other ways to get cards. One as you have noted is through doing quests. The devs are also working on altars that will provide cards:

Cards were originally ALL Soulbound. We had made a mistake when we made the noob cards unsoulbound when we made the drop ones unsoulbound. This has been corrected.

Altars of Kaerellun will have all the cards you could earn in newbie Diplomacy as available drops.

o
A



== The 20% increments in level attribute bonuses ===========

Would it be feasible at every 20% to be allowed to place 1-2 points into some sort of diplomacy area as a gain? Perhaps a faction attribute gain of 1-2 points to spend per 20% towards next diplomacy skillup point or after say 10-20 skillups you get said "attribute" points. This goes along the lines with the above trainer idea. Just another way diplomacy players can increase their actual abilities other than simply skilling up in the current state, or having to quest for all their new abilities (cards basically).


Given the fact that diplomacy doesn't have levels and really doesn't have attributes like crafting and adventuring do, I don't think this would work out too well. I could see maybe getting 1 or 2 presence points to spend every 10 skill points, but getting it every 2 skill points (20%) would be a bit much. Remember that presence, faction and prestige all increase as you win parleys, so in essence you are already getting those bonuses. They are just more random than the strict 20% thresholds that you have for adv/craft.


== Misc "fun" reactions by NPCs ===========

It would be kind of nice immersion where as you gain "notority" with certain station factions when you begin a parlay or hail them, they do different emotes or react as you pass by. Perhaps even a small chance so it's not spammy.

As I run past a guard with 100+ soldier station faction, they saluted or as I passed by somebody with 100+ crafter faction they waved. Something along those sort of things. Maybe even have them randomly /say things if somebody is extremely high on their station faction listing (see right below).


This would be nice, but again, I don't know how much work it would require.


== Appearance ===========

Is there anything planned with the "noob clothing" appearances being updated? Alittle uniqueness to the item appearance when worn? Something that has alittle more regal look or a look that somebody is a diplomat in trainer rather than they look like a level 1 in starter gear.

Would really like to have the art department take a look at the blandness with diplomacy clothing. Most diplomacy players running around look about the same when they created their characters on day one even if they have nearly 200 skill or higher.

Please consider updating the appearance, it's a large part of what diplomats do, alot of what they do is based on their clothing, but their clothing is rather lacking in appeance/detail ;) For the time spent invested in diplomacy, even just something as trivial as changing the art/detail appearnace of the clothing can go a long ways in making the players feel like they're actually diplomats rather than looking like the character creation clothing.

Also noticed "held" items are no long visible when worn so far, alteast ones like the rose/scepter given at lower levels seem to not be visible anymore and were once so.


Actually I think the diplomacy clothes look great. Then again, I saw them in beta before they were updated :)

I'd imagine they are saving the really cool designs for the higher level gear. What we have seen so far is all low level stuff.


== Side benefits possibly ===========

(likely more difficult to implement)

In some way with diplomacy maybe have the ability to lower the broker "fee" with the brokers in towns when buying/listing items. Almost like haggling with the brokerage to lower the cost of doing business through your pull and connections. Minor little things just to make diplomacy have some nice little perks they make the time spent getting the skill point gains alittle more meaningful.


Already in development. They had intended to get haggling in for launch, but they wanted to make some improvements to it first. According to Aruspex, it will be a continental quest that will permanently lower your vendor costs on that continent (which includes broker fees). You would have to do 3 quests to lower costs on all continents. I don't know what improvements they are making to it though.


This may also be related to some sort of "trade relations" type of quest where you purchase at one location at x price via quest something off a merchant that is garunteed to sell more elsewheres but the item becomes no-trade. Upon taking it to the other location you can sell it for more. Place NPCs even in dangeous places with nice coin rewards, this would let adventurers want to be "bodyguards" to diplomats travelling to these places and they can split the coin when there.


This is the Regional Trade system, which is also in development. Again, you can read about it at vgtact.


Some more "depth" to being a diplomat would be great, and there's so many possibilities that can be done, it's just a matter of pros/cons and balance I suppose.


There's a lot of depth coming. The current diplomacy system has only been around since beta 3, so the devs are still trying to catch up. They have a lot of great ideas for this sphere, including Embassies, Consuls and PvP.

This is a chat log from Aruspex back in January where he talks about a lot of different stuff. Some really good info in there:

http://www.vanguardspheres.com/forums/interviews/7204-aruspexs-ingame-diplomacy-chatlog.html


== Closing ===========

Diplomacy is great, and I'm really enjoying it between my adventuring, though it seems like the "cards are stacked against us" with advancing in some ways and could make it alittle more enjoyable.

Maybe the ideas I presented are way out of touch, BUT maybe it'll help brainstorm some ideas to make what we do even more enjoyable while making it so that there is slightly more flexibility/reward than a straight grind without little bonuses here and there that I know I get while out adventuring (which I really enjoy equally, so far level 23 and counting).

Like I said, they haven't had a lot of time to get everything working. That is why the content is lacking right now. Even after launch they've had to do some pretty serious work on parley balance (which is still ongoing). The mechanics of the system make it very fun, but also make it very difficult to balance. I think they have done a good job and the balance is pretty good right now. They have fixed most of the serious bugs pertaining to newbie/horse quests. They've added a bunch of new quests since launch and a lot more content is on the way.

Diplomacy is already a great addition to the MMO genre. I can only imagine how big it will be 6 or 12 months down the road.

Therian
02-15-2007, 12:05 AM
Just a couple of notes:

- I'm making a surprising profit selling my old diplomacy clothing on the broker. I made about 30 silver last night from ten items or so.

- My diplomat was running around in an 'Outsider' outfit (which looked like grey rags) and had a very different appearance. I swapped to some +47 shirts, and they again look very different (though not particularly fancy).