Stirring The Pot - Net Worth Cap Musings (in General)

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 2:31 PM EDT

Lots of people have been expecting a change this month in the way that Net Worth affects PR, or battles, or balance. Yesterday I was introduced to a concept in chat thought to possibly address the issue - a Net Worth cap. I wanted to discuss merits (and demerits) of such a plan, knowing full well that it is a complete pie-in-the-sky idea that will likely never be implemented.

First off, what's the idea? The "soft cap", as it is called, would be a limit on a character's net worth. It would have to have a basis, and some sort of ratio compared to that basis. The obvious basis would be Minion PR (MPR). MPR cannot be gained by anything other than what the name of this game implies -- Blending Carnage. Yes, small portions of MPR can be purchased when adding new minions, but that has always been an accepted aspect of CB2.

What should the ratio be? In chat, Ranger proposed a NW cap of 100 times MPR, as a rough start. This would leave a lot of growing room, though for some, it would be a major rollback. Gyaxx would be an example of a character that would suffer greatly, even for an allowable NW/MPR ratio of 100.

But what if the ratio were made more intrinsic to the system? Without gaining money from camping, USD, or other various exchanges, there is one basic way to make cash -- fight rewards. Fight rewards are not random. They are based on Jonathan's reward scheme, a known (to him, anyway) system that could be analyzed to determine an equitable NW/MPR ratio. The ratio could be based on an "average" player. At a certain MPR (and accompanying tattoo PR), a player will have a certain net worth from fight rewards and tattoo growth. This should be fairly easy to figure out. Using that as a baseline, increase the allowed ratio for contest winnings, CB1 trades, and even a nominal amount of USD injection (if so inclined to allow that). Don't make it too constricting, as some players are simply above average when it comes to money management. Good auction skills, renting prowess (both renting out and using rentals), clan smarts, and setting up strong farm characters are just a few of the in-game ways to raise cash above and beyond what one flagship team can raise on its own. NOTE: I am explicitly and purposefully excluding camping, USD, and external-game trades from this discussion. Players can still use those tactics, but the soft cap would limit the amount of such devices. You may feel free to agree or disagree, but such a debate would only change the cap ratio, not the concept of whether or not to have a cap. In other words, I am not going to waste my time discussing what should be allowed and disallowed -- this thread is about the cap CONCEPT not the ethics of it.

So, if you are still reading, I am saying to have a cap and base it on minion PR. Simple as that. What about the guts of it though? The technical constraints of such a thing?

You don't have to think very long to see how many places in the game involve Net Worth. Growth of a tattoo. Blacksmithing. Forging. Transferring items. Equipping items. All of these functions change net worth, and those aren't even close to everything. Just to rattle off some tough questions:

Would transfers be stopped if they exceeded the cap?
Would cash count as net worth for sake of the cap?
Could the cap simply be a lessening of rewards the more it is exceeded?
Would tattoo net worth be counted for purposes of a net worth cap?
How much coding would it take to fit the cap into all facets of CB functionality (yikes!)?
How would this affect the CB economy?
How would this affect the "fun factor" of CB? (That's pretty much always the bottom-line question...)

Any one of these questions is enough to make a designer dizzy.

Experience/Item limits have been a part of games for decades. Games where it takes a certain level to wield a certain weapon, or not opening up certain game areas until a certain experience is achieved. So this concept is nothing new. Basing it on MPR also takes the headaches out of deciding which items can be used by whom, etc. MPR already is the lynch-pin for several crucial CB processes e.g. forging), so it is an obvious choice.

What do people think about the "soft cap" concept? Pros? Cons?

Chocolate Thunder May 4 2005 2:52 PM EDT

Chet, you know I'm all for this idea.

Some numbers that have been getting tossed around for the Soft Cap Plateau have been around 80-100 times ones MPR (seems about right in CB1 and CB2). (Any less discourages people from forging for cash, which would be bad). This also encourages people to think if adding $1million to their bow would be better than adding $1million to their melee, or if adding NW would be worth it at all.

Random Thoughts:

There is no reason to count cash, or unequipped items into the cap, as i can easily hide the items on my farms.

I think the CB economy would be just fine except: base Elbs, and uber melee weapons would cost even more cash as People don't want to approach the cap with a substandard weapon. And the USD people would thereby artificially raise prices for base items by bidding far too much cash for a Base Shadow Cloak.

What's the penalty for exceeding the soft cap? Less Rewards certainly would cause someone like Sefton (The Yankees of Cb2) to think twice about how much NW he's going to pump into that silly bow.

Would a DD nerf be necessary? I think it would, as I still do more damage (on one minion with no AMF) than sefton's bow.

Would an increase of the effect of Strength on Melee damage be necessary? I think so here as well. I feel that a single tank capped at NW should be able to take out a single mage.

And I do think this would make the game more fun for those of us that don't like spending USD and despise camping to stay afloat. And even more fun for those that do, as they would have to be more strategic in their Steinbrenner-like CB$ spendings. (And if you are playing CB, you like to _think_ about strategy, right?)

Arorrr May 4 2005 2:52 PM EDT


Majestik Moose May 4 2005 3:27 PM EDT

Looking at posts in FS/WTB, a lot of people "Start over".. They want to try out new strategies, but keep the good equipment.. Implementing this will gain those who like to have his /her char for eternity (I got bored of Hypnotoad, I sold it).
I'm not looking to comment anything particular in your post.. (Haven't even read through all), but have you considered the big amount of players that do these startovers, and how they think a NW cap affects the "fun factor"?

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 3:32 PM EDT

taking the thought a little longer... if I want to restart, and can't use any good equipment from the last strat, I will probably sell all for USD.. and who will buy??? The guys with their big "keep for ever" mpr strats.. Making some 5-6 new spids

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 3:44 PM EDT

Moose, good point about the sort of "lock-in" this would cause... People would just save money for rares, then let the rares build up as their MPR grows. Then they would be stuck, other than trading with other similar MPR characters. That really is a stickler, and I can see the CB economy getting somewhat stagnant in that case. I'll have to think that one over.

As far as start-overs, you aren't really "starting over" if you are taking uber-gear with you, now, are you? *smile* If you want to really start over and see how a new strategy works, then start from scratch. Starting over with a 3 million dollar bow and and a +40 CBF isn't really much of a "strategy". :\

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 3:48 PM EDT

heh.. did you notice the apostrophes around start over :)

LumpBot May 4 2005 3:50 PM EDT

Those are quotations ;)

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 3:51 PM EDT

Heh, sorry, I didn't catch that...

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] May 4 2005 3:54 PM EDT

Personally, I disagree with the idea of linking NW to your rewards and/or PR, or even the idea of a soft or hard cap on NW. I just don't think it's right to punish people for putting the time into the game to camp or earn those items, or put down those that spent USD to get ahead. Let them if they want. (wow, never thought I would defend campers AND USD buyers lol)

For one thing, using NW at all is pretty unfair. If you start over, all you have to show for all your prior work in the game is your items and their NW. Any sort of NW change that is being talked about just discourages people from using their hard earned items, and discourages creativity and trying new teams. Even if the change doesn't do much, the perception of the change could have drastic effects.

Next, don't double tax us. Either Jon will need to again drastically change tattoos, or else we'll be disadvantaged by using them twice. Once because they add to PR, and mean you have to fight higher scores to get the same rewards, and two, you'll have to fight higher because your NW would be higher from the tattoo. If you start over, good luck ever getting out of the hole if your tattoo is large. It'll just have to sit and gather dust.

Also, not all items are the same. Some with low NW can be much more useful than ones with high NW. Say the HoF makes a return someday. With NW added as a factor for your rewards, would it ever make sense to use a big MC instead of a HoF at only 50k networth? No. And mage items can all help a lot, but don't need NW. This just would further harm tanks.

One last thing, is that age old struggle of tank vs mage. If you create any sort of NW based change to tax on the tank, then it will be even more advantage mage. Mages can go naked with ease- tanks have no such luxury. If you limit a tank's one true weapon, NW on his items, wouldn't a limit need to be placed on mages? And the only way I can see that would be adding networth to your DD spells, and enchantments.

Well, that's it for now. And yes, I'm using a single tank. And yes, I definitely think any sort of NW change will be terrible. Thanks for listening to my rants.

Chocolate Thunder May 4 2005 3:56 PM EDT

Actually, it could boost the amount of trading.

You wouldn't retire a massive character, you'd sell it.. that character now needs equipment to fit its size and strategy. You'd trade your equipment and Character for cash and more rares. You'd have the cash on hand ready for when you felt forging would help... I think its win/win!

Okay i'm exaggerating the win/win thing, i just don't want to poke holes in the soft cap idea.

Manta May 4 2005 3:59 PM EDT

If the effect of exceeding the NW cap would simply be less money rewards, you could still start a new char with uber equipment. The only effect is that if you fight with people at your PR, you would get little or no cash. I do not see much of a problem with it, especially since with a uber equip, you should be able to fight characters at PR (and consequently score) much higher than yours.

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 4:05 PM EDT

a big NW adam, or BoNE, wont help a low level char to fight chars 10 times their size.. CoBFs, and perhaps ToA+bow combo, is the only stuff that does so

NotSuitablForChildren [Yeeeaahh.................] May 4 2005 4:14 PM EDT

This is the most ridiculous, and bad idea I have ever seen posted. What is the point of playing if you already have your max NW? The only reason I ever played was to up my NW, and for the most part sell it. I can't believe that anyone is for this. But what do I know, I don't even play much anymore.

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 4:26 PM EDT

yeah.. issues keeps coming to me.. forging for cash wouldnt be that much good.. you don't gain MPR, so you can't really use your cash.

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 4:27 PM EDT

If you care to read the original post, NSFC, it was not my idea, merely "an" idea, thought of by several folks over the months and years.

Additionally, I never stated whether I was for or against such an idea. This thread is meant as a discussion of the concept. As far as I can tell, your post offers nothing constructive to say in either direction other than an uninspired "I don't like it and it doesn't fit why I play" from someone admitting they hardly play. Um, thanks for weighing in. *smile*

Sukotto [lookingglas] May 4 2005 4:34 PM EDT

Vaynard, you could also require a minimum NW for your PR or else you suffer from reduced exp gain...

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] May 4 2005 4:38 PM EDT

Well, Jon could do that as well I suppose Sukotto, but that still wouldn't solve every issue I mentioned. Besides, that would be easily circumventable by equipping high NW items that do nothing, ie: a large bow with no ammo.

Besides, do we really want to continually increase the amount of rules, regulations, and things for new players to learn? I say there's more than enough to tell new players as is, and we shouldn't have to add another layer of complexity to trying to get the best rewards we can.

Chocolate Thunder May 4 2005 4:39 PM EDT

Keep in mind this is not a "Hard" cap that states you can't go over a certain NW. This is just a "Soft" cap that penalizes you more and more for passing it (Likely in reduced rewards). Someone like ranger that is just a little over the NW cap is not going to notice the penalties that much... but someone like Gyaxx that's nearly double the proposed NW cap would likely see fit to stop forging his items for a while until he grows into his Britches.

Possibly just reducing Cash rewards and not experience rewards is another option, but i fear that many would just pump more USD into the game if that was the case.

Also people, keep in mind that this is in leu of Jon's proposal to Link NW to PR... at least with this method you have a threshold you can work up to before you recieve penalties (causing less of a Mage Blender scenerio).

Chocolate Thunder May 4 2005 4:41 PM EDT

And Vaynard... this cap is nothing any noob will have to worry about until he's wet behind the ears..

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 4:52 PM EDT

The main idea behind this, is imo. to keep the big chars big, and put the ones trying to be big (like sefton) behind.
Both MPR and NW is buyable by USD, so it won't nerf the use of USD at all.
It nerfs all alternative ways (like camping,forging,restarting) to become powerful though.

Sukotto [lookingglas] May 4 2005 4:55 PM EDT

Vaynard, I would be very unhappy if Jon put such a cap in place. But we're just mulling it over right?

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] May 4 2005 4:56 PM EDT

Yes new players will have to worry about it. This would basically mean that you cannot or should not rent large weapons or armor anymore. Imagine, a new player of 5000 PR goes and rents a sword with 1 million NW because it looks cool. Without knowing it, they just broke the cap and just shot themselves in the foot.

There is a way to solve the rental problem. Just take out rentals then! Why should any player have access to a weapon to test it out? Why not take out this wonderful place where anyone can find most any item? (and yes, that is sarcasm)

Or you'll need to further modify your cap. What would you have jon do, not have the cap kick in until they reached 50k PR? Seems to make sense, but really, why do it at all if the whole point is to punish people starting over or whatever you're trying to do here?

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 5:05 PM EDT

MPR is buyable with USD, but that seems pretty negligible in the grand scheme of things, Moose.

You get only one-third the experience from CB dollars spent on a new minion. Additionally, it only works a maximum of three times before your slots are full (assuming you start single and stay single for a looooong while). If you are willing to take the lumps being a single minion for that long, then I am all for allowing USD to buy into that extra experience -- you would have earned that right, in my opinion.

The cap is also soft in that it keeps growing with you. It wouldn't even have to be a linear growth that gets allowed...any curve will work.

chernobyl May 4 2005 5:14 PM EDT

What a crazy idea. It doesn't sound good, and it doesn't sound bad. It sounds hard to program, and not worth the effort.
Just my $0.02 (what's that in euros?)

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 5:18 PM EDT

Vaynard, this concept is not meant to "punish" anyone any more than the recent ToE changes "punished" SMTOEs. Some folks perceive there to be a balance issue when they think about people camping and using USD to build large NW teams. This concept (keeping items in line with experience) is not a new idea, and has been used in games with computer opponents as well as games with human opponents. Whether or not the concept is worth a dang in the realm of CB is the question, and it is a tricky one.

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 5:19 PM EDT

It does sound extremely hard to program...

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 5:23 PM EDT

I'm not talking about buying minions.. (If I were a millionaire, I would have bought the top 5 chars and retired, just to show :)
(probably already percieved, but you can actually buy chars from others!!!??!!)..

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 5:26 PM EDT

sidenote, but... aren't the most powerful char in the game a char without items, and with the picture "real men fight naked" ??

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] May 4 2005 5:28 PM EDT

I never said that I thought that this was purely punishment. Don't take all 10 points I've made in this thread and boil them down to 'punishment is bad!' Try to answer the points I've made on why it's a bad concept, don't generalize them.

And again, why should we worry about the large NW team concept? CB (both of them) has functioned just fine without it as of yet. Even CB1, with its overpowered ELB's that can kill anybody in one round was fine. And that can't even happen here with the changes. Going from x100 to x101 isn't going to quadruple the damage like was happening with x26 ELB's.

CB is great because it gives us something to be proud of to other CB playersl. They can inspect our team and see that we have done well to get a team that has high PR and high NW on some great items. Don't introduce a cap that adversely affects those that want to try something new. Honestly, this is not the major problem some would make it out to be. What does it matter if in CB there are 4 players that have a score ten times their PR? I mean really? Live with it. Let people play how they see fit, and don't add another rule, regulation, and cap on gameplay.

Chocolate Thunder May 4 2005 5:48 PM EDT

Alright, after a Chatmail talk with Mr. Moose, I'm thinking that NW will fix itself overtime with rapidly increasing forging costs for every item... except the linear relation of NW to Damage on the CBF.

In other words, the cap _may_ be too severe, but the CBF needs to be nerfed or deleted or something.

Arorrr May 4 2005 5:54 PM EDT

This is a perfect example of communism. Everyone must be equal, no matter what effort they put into the game. Actually, the people that put too much effort into the game will get penalize most. Such a poor-me mentality.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 4 2005 6:24 PM EDT

The first thought to come to me.

This idea would incourage a concentration of NW into items that provide the most 'bang for thier buck' and skew item balance even more.

Items are balanced by their upgrade costs. You choose X piece of armour not for the tiny amount of natural AC it has over its neighbour (ok, ignoring things like stat bonuses/malus) but because for the same amount of cash spent, this X piece of armour can be upgraded many times more than its neighbour.

Add in any cap and it starts to force people into having to use the best items.

Then people start to compare the use of existing items and we'll all find everybodies entire NW get's pumped into CBFs only ( >_< ) as thier linear upgrade overpowers everthing else... Get back on topic GL...

I don't think I'm explaining this well, it's late and my wife is trying to talk to me as I post this.

What I thjink I'm trying to say is for this to work, change upgrade costs to make crappier items (DCM) really cheap to upgrade.

Then you get choice. Equip a crappy body armour that gives hiddeous stat penalties, but can get to a high AC really cheaply. Or go for that MCM that you can only get to +10 before you hit the cap.

QBsutekh137 May 4 2005 6:44 PM EDT

Communism. OK, I'm out. Sorry I even brought it up.

QBJohnnywas May 4 2005 7:08 PM EDT

Judging a character by networth is difficult. A 10kpr character armed with an large Morg still hits like a 10kpr character. Whereas if you could give that 10kpr character the DD spell from a 100kpr character they would hit like a 100k pr character.

My mage team Raven is roughly the same size in pr as my tank team a A Quiet Storm and yet armed with CoC can hit for an average 50k per hit, whereas the tank's MPB is 19k. That's a huge difference in damage output. But the NW? 0 on the mage team, 3 mill on the tank team. Weaponwise the tank isn't even armed with weapons that scrape the top 50 - most of that NW is rented armour.

I can see the point of judging by NW. When Jon first proposed this as a possibility my view was that you should be able to use NW that was in keeping with what rewards you had earned. If you had earned 3 million in cash with that character then put that into your weapons then you should be able to use those weapons. It would keep weapons and armour in line with tattoos for instance.

To make this a fairer situation with regard to DD spells though would be difficult. The damage output of weapons per hit would have to be raised to make the battles between mage and tank fairer. (Or DD damage lowered). And it would have to be cheaper to get your weapon to that level than it is now.

A character armed with a base katana for instance with no outside cash input just rewards should be able to compete at 100k pr if they plow all that cash into the sword with a mage at 100k pr.

The major outcome (and IMO downside) of any approach to judging power by NW and capping it would be a hit on the economic side of the game. Rentals would suffer some, as quite often it is new(er) players who do the renting and they arent going to rent a large sword if they can't use it. Sales of equipment would be hit as only larger pr players would be able to buy upgraded items. You could only buy Tulkas for instance if they were base or near base. Put too much money into increasing their level and bang, a lower level player couldn't use them. Unless the rest of their NW was really low. So what would happen most likely is that people would plow most of their money into weapons or an item like a CoBF with it's massive bang for your buck.

I'm rambling a little now but I hope you see what I'm trying to get at. I'm not against the idea, it would just require some major working out.

[-war-] May 4 2005 7:09 PM EDT

Agreed this is wanting communism post.

Actually I think pr should just be one of those things that is not part of the reward but something to show off with. Mpr should be the one in the reward formulas.

We all have to agree that pr grows faster than mpr currently, go get a level 20 tattoo and a new character and see what happens, the pr will out grow mpr more and more.

QBJohnnywas May 4 2005 7:10 PM EDT

Ok, it's late in London and I'm tired but I've just read GentlemanLoser's post and realised that most of what he said before me I've just repeated. Apologies for my ramblings! =)

[Banned]Monty May 4 2005 7:22 PM EDT

I hate long posts >.>
I have a short attention span and i cant read all that ;p

Majestik Moose May 4 2005 7:23 PM EDT

hmm.. I'm with monty on that one

QBJohnnywas May 4 2005 7:32 PM EDT

OK another thought. If you did this then one of the easiest ways to do it would to make the various weapons/armours only available in levels. Level 1 would be say a Rapier. You could only upgrade your sword to a Halberd when you hit a certain pr level. And then when you go up to the next level you can equip a two handed flail and so on. A BoNE would only be available to a much higher level player. So essentially you only have 1 weapon throughout your character's life, trading in each lower weapon for it's successor. So you would need a store that only opened up certain areas to certain levels. It's not really a difficult situation - as you say Chet, many other games do this. But again you are left with a knock-on effect on the economic/trading side of the game. A level one player would only want level one items. And the market for higher level items would narrow considerably - at least in the short term.

Vaynard [Fees Dirt Cheap] May 4 2005 7:47 PM EDT

Well, it is an interesting idea Johnny. But the only way that could possibly be implemented would be to either a) create CB3!!!, or b) destroy the economy and all weapons/armor, and redesign half of CB from the ground up.

So while interesting, I can't see it being technically feasible. I mean sure, I'd love things like vehicles, ridable pets for greater battle mobility, random encounter monsters and bosses and the such. But I can't ever see them happening without pretty much taking apart CB as we know it.

QBJohnnywas May 4 2005 7:47 PM EDT

I'm thinking about this more. There is no real downside to this for players who only get their enjoyment from the game through fighting, strategy and watching their character grow. CB1 tournaments were pretty much based on the idea of fighting by earned NW. You could only buy better weapons as a Tourney character when you had earned enough money to do so and to get that money you had to fight. I never saw anybody complain about that in CB1. But that isn't all there is to CB - a lot of people get their enjoyment here through the trading/economic side of the game.

QBJohnnywas May 4 2005 7:49 PM EDT

I agree with you Vaynard. It's only an interesting idea. I happen to like CB as it is - if I want a game like I described I would probably go elsewhere. 'Probably' I say now....

Devil Burrito May 5 2005 3:43 PM EDT

Maybe its just me... but I like the idea on carnage blender of being able to figt with what I want. I hate games that make certain items only avalible to you at a certain level.

I'm a single tank and I'm finding its harder and harder to defeat people that have a tattoo and some leathers. I have 8 mil + nw, all of which I have earned, no USD buying of any sorts since I started, and I'm still wollowing in defeat against low NW mage teams.

Wouldn't NW // PR hurt rentals? What if a new person comes in and wants to rent time some good stuff so he can start winning more... oh wait! He can't!

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