PlanetSide Universe - View Single Post - The Issue of the 10%-20% Power Differentiation
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Old 2011-07-30, 02:02 AM   [Ignore Me] #9
MasterChief096
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Re: The Issue of the 10%-20% Power Differentiation


Originally Posted by exLupo View Post
I can only relate this all to EVE. I have no doubt that it was the genesis of this new design. The core argument of power inflation is pretty personal and I dislike it in shooters but am willing to accede to its application as long as the relative power variances aren't huge. It's a skinner box reward. People like watching numbers go up and they like feeling special. "I've got Lv5 MA. Respect me."

But lets also break it down. I'm guessing it'll go something like this...
1 category, 5 skills w/ 5 ranks.
- Small Arms -
MA - Unlocks customizations and other skills as you rank up.
Damage - small arms damage 1% per level
RoF - small arms rate of fire 1% per level
Accuracy - small arms accuracy (cof tightness or recoil reduction) 1% per level
Clip - small arms magazine size 1% per level (less realistic but I'm going somewhere)

Leveling curves in EVE are steep. A 1x skill is something like 30m 1hr 10hr 1.5d 6d. A rank newbie, fresh out of the tubes with 0 ranks will have 0 bonuses and can probably use their ESMA. Anyone will, iirc, be able to just to have basic weapons to switch to even if you decide to never cert it. However, if someone cares about small arms combat, they'll put points in. 2 hours they'll be at +4%. 6 hours at +8% and then they put in 20 hours worth of skills when they go to bed and for the next work/school day. Next time they play they'll be at +10% to all of their small arms.

On the other end you have a guy who loves the life of the boot. He's got his MA up to 4 and unlocked HA and uses that in its own situations but he's crossing a field so he's whipped out his Gauss and is taking targets at med-long range. He's put a lot of time in and this is where EVE's lessons kick in. That last 1%. The one that takes 6 days per. There are 2 times that those ever get certed. 1) when it unlocks something else. 2) when you've unlocked everything else you want and have serious amounts of time to kill. Realistically, a dedicated MA user will still likely only have 4 in each skill. Roughly 8 days time to get those first 4 skills to 4. That makes the other 6 days for a tiny 1% and no unlocks seem really painful. Players naturally move on to 4 in HA and AV, points in vehicles and medical, engi and hacking. Whatever they want. They use those 6 days for things that will increase their personal power far beyond 1%. So where does that leave the experienced MA user? +16%.

110% after one day vs 116% for the regular user. That's about 5.5% more aggregate power. Not even raw damage but overall effectiveness and that's all because the new guy dedicated 1 day to his MA skill, most of that asleep or out in meatspace. The system's gotta be viewed realistically. Not perfect vs rank newb.

And then there's the question of skill. 5% is next to nothing when it comes to simply being a better player. Take EVE again. If you pit a well trained first time character versus a partially trained character that's secretly the alt of a long time vet and, through knowledge of game mechanics (engagement ranges, capacitor use, transversal, etc.) the vet will likely win handily.

The real gap will be enough to reward specialization but not so much that new players or widely specced players won't be able to compete. And, frankly, if it were me, even with all 5s, I'd lose. I can't shoot my way out of a damn bag.

In a mythical world of perfect skill, taking a realistic view of skilling, yes, the trained user would win 1 in 20 more fights. As long as PS2 isn't ever billed as an e-sport, I'm ok with that kind of outcome.
Very constructive post! Thank you!
However I do have to touch on one thing.

I do agree that 5% power advantage is next to nothing when it comes down to player skill.

That would essentially mean a veteran with a 5% increase in damage against the new player would be the equivalent of fighting a new player as if he had 95 health, even though he's at 100.

But we have to take into considering that if the power advancement becomes available to players after a considerable amount of playing time and achieving "veteran" status, then the veterans are going to have naturally become better at the game over this time period. Meaning that they might become REALLY REALLY good players, and in addition, have the 5% increase.

So a new player who is REALLY REALLY good going against a veteran who is REALLY REALLY good + his 5% power increase is still going to be at a slight disadvantage. Naturally a new player who is REALLY REALLY good going against a veteran with 5-20% power increase that is REALLY REALLY bad might still have good chances of winning, but why take the chance of giving REALLY REALLY good veterans additional power? Speaking as a PS veteran of eight years, I can honestly say that I never once felt the need to feel more powerful in that game. If I wanted to become more powerful, I either dueled good players until I got better, or I ran training with my outfit until we showed signs of improvement. We never once thought that game mechanics were needed to increase our "power" because we were entitled to it as a result of being veterans.
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