XP and Challenge Bonuses. (in General)

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 15 2007 7:29 AM EDT

This is still a WIP, so please bear with me. ;)

I suppose I need to start with the NUB first. I'm not a fan of it. I can understand why we have it, but I feel we can improve upon it. For ages I've advocated a sliding XP scale, along the lines of most other RPGs, where you cannot continue to gain as much XP fighting things so less powerful, or so much less challenging than you have become.

I just never realised until now that the exposure of the Challenge Bonus revealed that CB already has something like that in place.

Why change anything? Competitively, the top spot is too hard to reach, let alone change hands. CB is reduced from being a strategy game to waiting in line until a player above you quits. Yes, the Top spot has changed hands a couple of times. But the system was different then. The changes came before things like the BA regen change (making that route now impossible to take) and before the gap power levelling tattoos made were readily noticeable (which is only continuing to grow with time).

Instead of putting short term bonuses in place, I believe we can slightly alter the way XP is gained in CB, without causing much disruption to play. And the Challenge Bonus I feel is the way to do it.

First of all these changes would only apply to the XP portion of the Challenge Bonus, monetary gains remain as they are. Remove the 100% upper limit on the bonus. If you're strategy is such you can beat a much higher opponent, you should be appropriately rewarded. Next, remove the penalty exemption from fighting down.

This will slow down the growth of player in the upper echelons, and allow those below to be able to catch them, over time, if they can continue to beat them. Replacing the emphasis on strategy and not retaining the dominance of endurance, although endurance will still remain a major factor of the game. You've still got to spend your BA. ;) This should also see more people in the lower echelons of the game rising higher, over time. But can anyone complain that that would be a bad thing? More people, more competition, more fun, right?

So progress doesn't grind to a halt at the top, we could consider (and this would be the largest change proposed in this post) to reduce or even remove the increasing training costs. When you'r ein the Top spot and already getting an XP penalty for fighting down, you don't really want to be looking at paying 16 XP a pop on your stats. ;)

I wanted to mention Score as well, but I don't really want it changed from the way it is now. I feel we need Score as a measure, to show what 'power level' your character is currently fighting at.

Even with this change to the way XP is gained, I still wouldn't remove the essence of the N*B, I would still keep both the NUB and NCB. New Players need to be visibly encouraged that they *are* able to make a mark in CB. I would keep the free purchasable BA for NUB, for a set amount of time, and keep the 60% increase cash rewards alongside it as well. The NUB was also in place to help New Players around the compounded NW existing players would already have. In this light, I would introduce the free purchasable BA for the NCB, so any existing player could restart, if they wished, and not be on a back foot with any new players starting at the same time. But as a compromise, the NCB would get a cash reward penalty for the same amount of length of time as their free BA. You can start over, but it's not supposed to be without cost. (Either that, or introduce a fixed monetary cost on restarting a new charcater with the free purchasable BA option.)

This is still a WIP, constructive criticism or support would be really appreciated, and I expect I'll make a few amendments to this idea over time. :)

As an addendum, I would still like to suggest that the Max Tattoo Level is scrapped and instead changed to Tattoos effective XP being capped at 1/3 of your Total XP.

Talion August 15 2007 7:40 AM EDT

"Next, remove the penalty exemption from fighting down."

I wouldn't do that. Rather, making the bonus for fighting up bigger makes a lot more sense. Do not penalize players for having a high MPR. It is a much better idea to reward those who can beat the high MPR characters.

Also, either get rid of the N*B, or don't. If you don't like the N*B, trying to devise a toned down of it won't solve anything. You will still end up not liking it in the end.

I think I understand the rest of the concept, but I would have to reread it several times to understand it well enough to give more comments. In other words, it's a good idea, but I think a simpler solution could be found.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 15 2007 7:54 AM EDT

Problem is, the guys on the cusp of 7/20 to 6/20 who can't fight up, *are* hit by the penalty.

Talion August 15 2007 8:08 AM EDT

Then maybe the solutions is to remove the penalties for everyone and simply adjust the rewards (bonuses excluded) received for fighting down.

It penalizes the top char. But if the second place char can't beat the top char, it is also penalized. And that would make sense to me.

After all, the goal is to grant bigger rewards for fighting up than for fighting down in order to give everyone a chance to 'eventually' catch up to the top character.

Sacredpeanut August 15 2007 8:47 AM EDT

"First of all these changes would only apply to the XP portion of the Challenge Bonus, monetary gains remain as they are. Remove the 100% upper limit on the bonus. If you're strategy is such you can beat a much higher opponent, you should be appropriately rewarded. Next, remove the penalty exemption from fighting down. "

I'm in agreement with you however:
1) I wouldn't remove the challenge cap entirely, just lift it to 300% or so. Removing it would be open to abuse since a high score character could unequip everything giving ridiculously high bonuses to a smaller one. e.g. 1M score character losing to a 10kPR character would equal something in the order of 10000% challenge bonus =/

2) On top of removing the fighting down exemptions I'd tweak the score system so it tries a bit harder to keep score=PR so that scores up the top lift a tad making it at least possible for a character with a good strategy to get some sort of positive challenge bonus. Currently if the exemptions were removed rewards up the top would be DRASTICALLY reduced - in the order of 40-50% in extreme cases and while I'm all for a bit more competition up the top I think this would be a bit harsh.

Talion August 15 2007 8:50 AM EDT

"Removing it would be open to abuse since a high score character could unequip everything"

Not if the bonus is based on the character's MPR.

QBOddBird August 15 2007 8:53 AM EDT

That's partially because up at the top, the penalty exemption is taken advantage of (of course, and why not?). Who cares how much PR this adds, I can't go below 0! However, without that there, it would force a more thoughtful, conservative gameplay in regards to equipment, instead of an 'equip everything I can without regard to how much PR it will add and don't worry about it' mentality...which could be construed as a good thing. 0=)

Sacredpeanut August 15 2007 8:56 AM EDT

Talion - How would that change things?

Talion August 15 2007 8:58 AM EDT

If a cap is to be put into place, it should be on the rewards gained at the current MPR.

In other words, a character with 2,000 MPR should not get the same rewards (bonuses excluded) as a character with 100,000 MPR. And that, no mater how high the character's PR is.

Giving a big rewards bonus is fine, but raising the actual rewards too high because a $200M bow is used by a 2K MPR character is not.

Maybe a cap already exists though. I haven't bothered to check before writing this comment.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] August 15 2007 8:59 AM EDT

SP, I've a gut feeling something needs to be done with Score, I'm just not sure what. ;)

Talion August 15 2007 9:01 AM EDT

Sacredpeanut, see this post for my version of the ideal solution. It needs a it a tweaking, but the general idea is pretty clear.

Talion August 15 2007 9:06 AM EDT

Oups, instead of "Talion - How would that change things?" I read "Talion - How would *you* change things?".

To answer your actual question, if the new bonus is based the MPR, it doesn't mater if a character removes all its equipment when not fighting. The MPR stays the same. Thus the bonus is not affected.

Sacredpeanut August 15 2007 9:14 AM EDT

If a character removes everything thus leaving themselves open to losing to extremely small MPR characters rewards for the small character would be massive - still the same problem as with score being used in the calculation.

Talion August 15 2007 9:24 AM EDT

SP, I think that would be considered cheating as there would be no benefits for the character removing all its equipment and big benefits for the characters attacking it.

Regardless, a simple way to work around this problem is to put a rewards cap based on the attacking character's MPR.

Even then, I 100% agree with you on the point that there also needs to be a cap on the bonus. Else it would be too easy to find ways to exploit the bonus.

Sacredpeanut August 15 2007 9:31 AM EDT

As far as scores go, can anyone remember scores being as low relative to PR in CB1 as they are now in CB2? I always seem to remember scores being fairly close to PR up the top.

I don't know much about the score system but I do know that it tries to keep scores close to PR however I wonder if when the MPR/PR split occurred the score system started keeping scores close to MPR rather than PR. I'm most likely wrong but scores up the top (Ranger excluded) do seem suspiciously close to MPR...
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