[Suggestions] On XP Gain

Discussion in 'Beta Discussion' started by Aurelian, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Aurelian

    Aurelian New Member

    I'm enjoying this game immensely and a bit addicted. I wanted to make some suggestions based on some recent experiences. I understand it is a small team and there are many things you want to implement. I've thought about some of my concerns for a bit and I realize there aren't easy answers but hope that some feedback will be helpful.

    This is a fun game and I wrote a positive review on Steam. I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm optimistic about this game and am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

    XP Gain

    I feel like the more I understand the XP gain system the less optimally--in terms of winning maps and helping my faction--I play. I have to fight the urge to play selfishly. Some examples:

    I helped kill a tier 4 and a tier 5 with three other tier 3 ships in a 4 sector map and was rewarded for my ~8 turns over that stretch with... 216 XP. Most of that XP was for hitting the tier 4. First we went after the tier 4. I went behind it and fired 3 shots with my Mendi III. All three hit but one hit his engines. Hitting the engines on a tier 4 stuck in the middle of the map is great for our faction and the other players! He's much more vulnerable and has fewer options next allocation phase. I was rewarded no XP for hitting his engines. Selfishly, I probably shouldn't have attacked from the back. This would have maximized my XP gain but would have been worse for my team. The tier 4 was eventually finished but I didn't get the kill so I missed out on that 300 XP.

    Onto the tier V. We beat him down a bit but he got to 12 hull and turtled with full shields. We spent 4-5 turns hammering away at his shields. We all focused on one part of the ship in order to take down the shields and the last person who got to attack was able to slowly chip away at his hull. We eventually took him out but the experience gain was minimal. I had high init so I was one of the people focusing on his shields for most turns. I fired 12-15 shots at him over those 4-5 turns, and was rewarded with XP for two of them as the rest were absorbed by shields. This allowed my teammates to get XP for the hull hits and the eventual kill. My selfless play helped us in taking the sector and hurting the other faction but rewarded me with very little XP. Selfishly, I probably should have gamed my initiative in order to go later and let others take out the shields and let me get the XP and a better chance at the kill. By playing as a team and doing what was best for the team, I hurt my XP gain.

    A different map, this time I'm playing with a tier 4 liverpool 3. High damage from range but I need vision on the targets since I tend to shield (as putting up shields prevents the enemies from farming easy XP off of me). First turn, there is a low enemy. I can take him out with one of my shots but I can't move within scanner range (but I can easily move with fire range) so I ask my teammates in local faction chat to keep vision on him so I can get the kill (we are in the chat talking). They decline to keep vision, I can't get in scanner range, and don't get the kill.

    This makes perfect sense from their point of view: if they had stayed in vision they would have been more exposed (not on that turn as the enemy had all gone but for any incoming units) and missed out on the chance get more XP and the chance at the kill next turn. It makes perfect sense for them to hide behind an asteroid. Next turn, one of them gets the dmg XP and the kill. Great move by them to maximize their XP gain but it takes us longer to cap the sector, hurting our faction and allowing the enemy more time to reinforce. Next turn same thing happens. I ask them to please keep vision so I can get the kill on a different ship, they decline and the enemy survives for another turn. Once again I do not get to do any damage and someone else on my team gets the damage XP and the kill.

    Next turn, there's a low hull enemy ship. This guy is toast, it's only a matter of who gets to him first not whether or not he is going to die. I'm a bit frustrated at this point so decide to play selfishly. I turn down the points I have in my energy cannon and lower shields. Sure we'll do less damage to the other side next turn and I'll be easier for the enemy to farm but I'll get to go early enough in the turn order to get the kill--and finally get some XP. I'm rewarded for my selfish play as I get the kill and finally get some XP.

    • Another map. We cap the sector and there are some AI still on the map. If we finish the AI the sector locks--good for our faction but pitiful XP farming the AI and since we already capped the sector we don't get any bonus XP. Plus if we leave, the sector becomes contested (instead of locked) and we can either later defend against the enemy or let them take it and then take it back (for more XP and sector points). The play for the good of the faction is to stick around and lock it but all the incentives are to leave and find another section to cap.

    • Playing a support tender ship: I rarely see players play it once they realize the XP gain is so low since they hardly get to attack and spend more on shields and sensors than weapons and init.

    • Tier 3 ships putting points into scanners: No XP bonus for spotting enemies plus your init and movement are lower, leaving you more vulnerable and less likely to be able to optimally position your shots for XP gain. Not much incentive to put points in scanners though there are many times when more vision could help your team.

    • Putting shields up hurts the XP gain enemies get on you, but other than protecting your ship it doesn't help you gain XP. Makes the higher tier ships with times 1 shields floating pinatas for the other team. For your faction, you might have a responsibility to put shields up to prevent them from farming XP off of you but for your own XP gain, you want just enough shields to ensure survival.

    • There are times when the optimal move for XP gain in a tier 3 is to move in and attack a much higher tier ship--even if it means losing your ship and feeding XP to the enemy. I can gain 3-4 shots of XP for attacking the higher tier ship and if I die and gift the other team a bunch of XP and some sector points sure it hurts my team and faction but I gain XP.

    Currently I've heard talk about assist XP being added to the game and certain XP being added for repair ships. You could also encourage scanner use by rewarding players for finding new enemies on the map, or re-finding them when you've lost contact etc. This might help align player interests with team and faction interests (I'm skeptical about assist XP as people will still compete against their teammates for the bonus kill XP) or it might reward different, perverse behavior.

    I don't have a great solution. Personally I'd prefer a system where all XP earned on the map was split evenly between team members and more types of XP are rewarded. XP for engine shots, XP for tenders healing ships, XP for taking sector points in a round, XP for scanning as mentioned above, XP for shielding against enemy attacks (as opposed to letting them farm you for XP), more XP for team objectives like capping and defending. However this system comes with its own set of concerns.
  2. Vesuvius_SWIE

    Vesuvius_SWIE Administrator Staff Member

    Well some good news then, Tuesday's update will have the following additions:

    -Players directly controlling tenders will get XP points for every repair on allies (which also goes for hospital ships and troop ships)
    -Kill XP will be 'communal', as in when an enemy ship is killed, all allies get even XP for it.
    -XP for Defending a region

    What will come pretty soon after that:
    -XP for hitting engines

    What is more complex and may be future feature:
    -XP for scouting, XP for hitting shields
  3. Dalwin

    Dalwin Member

    That method of sharing experience will make things worse not better (at least for sol). The idea of sharing the kill in and of itself is good, it is merely the method I dispute.

    The share should be proportional to how much damage you did to the target. With equal shares the most effective way of gaining experience will be to go to a battle with a T1 ship and hide. Don't go afk or you will get kicked, just hide. This only makes Sol weaker.

    Even T3 fast ships are no longer a good gain of experience for Sol. The battlefield is full of ships you cannot touch or ones that are equal or slightly better than you. On a good run you might get 120 exp for a ship that cost you roughly 20. That sounds like a profit, except the Genari get a total of 220 points for killing you. So a profit of 100 versus feeding the team that is currently much stronger 220. Sol has no way at all to compete at the moment no matter how hard you are willing to try. The fact that Genari can take sectors at will and pile on officer skills with little risk is merely frosting on the cake.
  4. Xeen Dread

    Xeen Dread Active Member

    I've LONG told you the economic model was unsustainable from before (2) 2x pvp xp multipliers and that the current value is approaching acceptable (but probably still too light, which is ok, bring it up slow), this also being compounded by the fact that early Gen ships a re significantly cheaper/less valuable than Sol ships (Sol earns less while needing more, Gen earns more while needing less).

    You simply cannot have a system where you must kill 20 of a class-ship to pay for one of the same, which is exactly what it was. We are now around 8:1, which is acceptable for highly skilled players or teams lead by a skilled player, punishing for new players. 5:1 or 3:1 range would be about right considering damage XP on non-kills + XP from lower tier kills (but with penalties? when they pose just as much of a threat to you, damage is damage).

    Define 'even XP'

    XP on hits should remain unchanged.
    XP on kill should be split to ONLY THE PLAYERS WHO DEALT DAMAGE to a target and PROPORTIONAL to damage dealt vs total damage (including shield dmg and engine dmg) sustained throughout the life of a target.

    XP for hitting engines, yey, asked for this for 3+ months.
    XP for scan-locking a target (first time it is locked each time a target changes position), yey, same as above. XP should only be gained ONCE per target-lock per position. For example: If you fly around a rock and re-lock something you just spotted, no XP. OR if an ally locks a target during an attack, then leaves and loses lock then a new member of the team goes again before the target and locks it again, no XP. I could go into great detail about how a scan-lock XP reward should work. Keeping it short here.
    XP for taking hits (shield or otherwise, tanking) when near an ally is a much trickier thing to implement and prevent abuse/balance.

    XP for defending should be granted based on the total value of all ships that were defended against while a player was present. Something like 2% on a station sector and 4% on an open/drone/mine only sector.

    Also the XP and Officer Credit rewards should scale exponentially with map size. XP currently scales linear and Officer Credits are always 1 per capture and 4x CP for XP while maps increase exponentially in difficult and size (number of hexes on the field) and difficulty of capture as faction limit/CP's increase. I explained many times that I didn't want MORE XP for sector captures, I wanted APPROPRIATE XP and officer credits for the larger sectors. Same thing with appropriate rewards for investment when it comes to powering weapons and bonus modifiers, etc.

    What bothers me the most about any balance changes, not just within the scope of this thread, has always been the 'No, things are fine as they are, there's no problem' response despite a mountain of evidence and then well after serious damage to the now live game-state and ad nauseam demonstrations are done 'oh ok, need to fix that'.

    I'd be totally content if the response was 'Will keep an eye on this' (and actually mean it) or 'Yes that does need to be changed, but its a big undertaking and will have to be prioritized' (something along those lines and put on a schedule for update, how soon depends on how much it affects balance, gameplay, etc.).
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  5. sathurn

    sathurn New Member

    After a little play I would like to see xp split as followed:

    For killing a ship:

    10 shares to the ship who gets the kill on the enemy ship.
    9 Shares to any ship which has done damage to the enemy ship or it shields.
    5 Shares to any Ship that has taken, but not given damage to the enemy ship.
    1 Share to any friendly in sector.

    Four allies in a sector kill a ship:

    A get the kill, 10/25 or 40% of the kill exp
    B did damage, 9/25 or 36% of the kill exp
    C got hammered by the enemy but did not get return fire, 5/25 or 20% of the kill exp.
    D is on the opposite side of the map playing tag with a different ship, 1/25 or 4% of the kill exp.

    Not saying this is the best system, but it rewards players for being part of the team, ie leaving yourself in a vulnerable spot because your at full health and your teammates are not.

    Cannot really speak to the balance of exp growth for both sides. But it does seem that the gen side has a lot of t4s and t5s about. As a weekend only player it is hard to see the progression of the sides in a smooth way.
  6. Aurelian

    Aurelian New Member

    Thanks for the response Vesuvius. I'm glad there are changes on the way for XP.

    I like the idea of equal XP split on the map for kills to all players but I can see why Dalwin, Xeen, sathurn and others would be against it. Like I said there are no easy answers to this. On the face of it, it seems fair to not have it be an equal split. Why should others get rewarded for my work? What about AFK people/slackers/others who aren't pulling their weight? That's a valid view. However if you keep kill XP balanced, people are going to be incentivized to hunt kills or damage or other XP rewarding behavior rather than behavior that rewards winning. You'll be competing against your teammates instead of with them against the enemy. You'll have teammates purposely losing vision on targets so you can't get the kill, people running across the map to land damage on a target that is already about to die so they can participate in the kill (rather than target a fresh ship), people using 8 damage shots to kill someone with 1 hull (which a teammate could mop up before the enemy can take an action), people getting too close to an explosion because who cares about a few points of hull when I can get that sweet sweet XP (and keep it from my teammates) etc. No one will want to play a support ship, do the dirty work in scouting, damage an enemy to keep them at bay/force them to flee. Everyone will want to chase damage and kills--because that is what is being rewarded.

    I get that this is an unpopular argument. People really hate it when they don't feel that others are doing their share and people tend to inaccurately overvalue their own share, further driving the aggravation. Let's take a hypothetical scenario when guilds are implemented and you can do defenses and attacks as a guild. You know everyone on your team, you're talking in chat or discord, you plan your strategy and people know their roles. In this scenario, how do you want the XP to be split? Is it really worth the having kill XP be "fair" (at least based on damage, I personally don't think that's a fair system) to save some aggravation when it causes players to act selfishly and not behave as a team?

    I'm guessing I'm in the minority on this and people would rather see individual actions reward XP over team goals. That's fine and that's a valid point of view. Maybe one of the factions (the hive?) could have a completely even XP split? Would be be interesting to see what types of players this attracts and how this would alter behavior.
  7. infested

    infested Member

    Here are my thoughts:

    Last hitting promotes toxicity by kill stealing. Also bad tactical decisions like people chasing into unfavorable territory with high cost ships for the last hit on weaker ships. Completely remove it from the game.

    Shared exp on kills for all team members is by far the best way to promote teamwork. If a team plays well and gets a kill by any means necessary all players should take part in the exp rewarded. If they bring weak ships like dalwin said above they will not win any fights anyway so that will not be a viable way to farm.

    I dont agree with pure damage to xp conversion because it will just promote mindless damaging to maximize exp gain. So the first person would hit shields and get nothing and the next person would get all the exp after hitting hull. Also the high damage ships would get more exp which is also bad for the rest that contribute in the battle with other ways like scouting, distracting or tanking etc. Someone would hit engines or use marines to stop a ship from escaping and he would win no exp for huge tactical contribution....That is unacceptable and equally bad with the current kill steal system.

Share This Page