Removing the Level XP Cap

Share an idea or post some constructive criticism for the server.
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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby Tailos » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:14 pm

Kilaana wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:05 pm
The level 3 character can still play a good role in a story with other level 8 characters.
Well, provided it's not fighting off demons... Broadly agree though.

As mentioned on Discord, my general opinion would be to see RPXP at a minimal amount (1xp/hour was bounced around as a hypothetical), removal of the hard cap but an overall cap on running dungeons over and over. Adventuring should rightly give more XP, but I'd hate to see all new PCs rush to max level just to "keep up" with everyone else. Equally, I'd hate to see campfire RP become the only option due to lack of reward for adventuring.

But I may be biased as a mostly social RPer.

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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby Kilaana » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:37 pm

Appreciated, although re: demons, there's more than one way to skin a cat, as they say...

Nonetheless, points noted all above.
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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby Talisman » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:19 pm

Kilaana wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:05 pm
May I ask how storylines are affected? Playing part time or full time is dependent on the player. Xp does not limit a story, but imagination does.

Regardless of cap, storylines can still be executed in an enjoyable fashion. The level 3 character can still play a good role in a story with other level 8 characters.
I don't think CluelessNoob was suggesting storylines are affected by level, but by players taking a break from TER; being on and off. Of course that would disrupt storylines they're involved with. And my original point is that the xp cap as it currently stands actually reinforces being an on/off player.

As far as level and storylines goes, that's all just personal preference. For instance, I avoid involving my level 8 characters in storylines that are dominated by lvl 3's because I don't want them to trivialize any danger or battle they're supposed to face. For similar reasons I avoid bringing a level 8 to a dungeon party of level 3's. This means that my lvl 8's tend to sit on the shelf until characters start to get closer to that end game, which with our cap as it is now takes about 11 months.

That's assuming people actually grind out the cap as soon as it resets, which is really unlikely because every 3000 xp you're encouraged to take a break again, and each one of those breaks have a chance of being more than a month long. Not to mention you're likely to lose several weeks more with untimely resets. If your cap is scheduled to reset the day after the server resets, then you're out of luck.
blatob wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:59 am
I would consider lowering the XP in dungeons/exploration to 10% of current value in such case.
10% of the current value but removing the cap would almost definitely slow leveling down, and you're putting much more emphasis on a "dungeon gate" to xp over a time gate since you'd have to grind dungeons 10 times as much as you are now. Doing dungeons 10 times more than you are now would limit characters that make it to level 4 even more than today because TPK's tend to be fairly common at low levels, and now that probability of perma-death has been shot up (without dungeon rebalancing anyway).

This all said, there is definitely a solution here where dungeon xp is lowered with the cap removed to keep the leveling pace at a desirable level. This would allow people to progress still without waiting a month + a reset to do so. I don't know what the Goldilocks % reduction to the xp would be to achieve this pace, but my engineering judgement tells me it's not 90% haha.

I also like LW's idea of breaking down the xp cap from 3000/month to 100/day so that it increases more frequently and gives people something to do after every reset rather than waiting the month. I just think there's more elegant solutions to encouraging a slow leveling pace than making a month+ long time gate where you're in progression limbo every 3k xp.

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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby Dogo » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:20 pm

My 2 Sardil's for what they are worth, and with the obligatory warning/reminder that as a new player, I may have missed some basic design concept, part of server culture, etc.

From comments in the Discord and ingame, it seemed to me that when I created my first character it happened to be when some veterans also had created alts, and some new blood had come to the server as well, around the same time. Between that and the exploration my character did by himself (helped a lot by Stealth, but still always dangerous), he got to meet other characters, expand on his own story (and hopefully theirs too), get the GP for at least a few more RP items, and both he and I got to see some areas of the beautiful module.

Since at the time the Player List still showed levels, I had noticed most of the PCs he was interacting with reached level 3 a little before he did, and their players were now on alts. My own character hit level 3 and I kind of got the hint I should do the same (server culture and all that). At least to me, while I enjoyed creating the new character a lot, enjoy the character himself, and enjoyed the new round of PCs I was interacting with, I kept thinking I would rather be exploring more of the server with my first character, expanding his still very fresh story in TER while learning about the module myself. That was made hard IMHO by the fact that, even though the builders did a /great/ job using placeables and yellow text to warn us, exploring solo can be deadly, easily. A non crit from a Roper (yeah, placeables and yellow text, /now/ I know) nearly ended my character. Even with a party, at level 2, one beetle spit and he was down. I want to explore, I like the danger and low level and magic, but at least in my previous experiences, it worked better when characters consistently worked and progressed together.

I guess what I want to say is, I do feel a bit annoyed by the "No Reward, come back in a month" yellow text, but what makes me the most dubious about my being the kind of player that TER expects is the culture that the XP cap creates (at least IMHO). Which is play until you hit it, make an alt, rinse repeat. I am not judging the playstyle of people who do or enjoy that at all, it's just something I tend and prefer not to do.

Hope it helps in the discussion in any way, thanks.

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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby Mitch » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:51 am

Personally, I do not enjoy making many alts just to get a feeling of progression. I like focusing on one character at a time, but I get that some do not feel the same way. It's understandable that this is a low level server and that getting 3000 xp can be rather fast, but I think it is best to look back at the rate XP is gained and tweak that, rather than gate players for being too fast. In my opinion, I think the best course of action is just lower the amount XP is gained substantially and cap XP gained through repeated encounters.

If you are to keep the cap, I wouldn't mind so much if there was RP XP to let characters slowly progress through it. However, I think 100/day after the initial 3000 would be much better than 3000/month.

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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby CluelessNoob » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:59 am

I meant to say that storylines are affected in IF as player is online. Following that reasoning it'd be a negative if the player is not online because they have little to gain from being so.

I'm sorry if I word it mistakenly. I find I have great difficulty with the English language to voice my thoughts.

To summarize. If a player won't log on because they've maxed their potential for progress (for a month) then they'll also won't be online to develop their character's story.

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Re: Removing the Level XP Cap

Postby OldGrouch » Thu May 09, 2019 6:22 am

About Systems and Servers
Firstly, we should speak about the function of the cap in itself. A server’s identity can be found in its systems, and in the case of TER, there are various systems that imply what we are about. There are custom classes that work within the setting, skills and feats to better portray a character’s identity and background, and numerous other changes for the sake of balance, functionality, and fun. It should also be noted that TER is not a finished product, we are always (as well as currently) discussing what can be added or changed to improve the experience. More on that later.

About the Level Cap’s Purpose
The level cap is meant as a suggestion for pacing. We like to see a character grow and have a recognizable story-arc, and we try to aid as best we can to help you work towards that, your character’s goals, hopes and dreams, while also being able to portray that mechanically. Given our level 8 limit, we decided to implement a level cap. This way, we can still aid characters in pacing that arc, without losing track of a sense of progression that is appropriate within the setting.

Currently, it is made possible to reach the highest mechanical level attainable in a little under a year. For a character to reach their ‘ultimate form’ in less time than that is something we find we cannot cater to, not while still retaining the integrity of a low-level, low-magic setting.

About the Level Cap’s Settings
The cap is not ideal, this we realise, but few solutions are. The 3k/month cap, in combination with the way experience gain and dungeons are set up, is tailored to cater to both frequent and infrequent players. The reason for this is that not all players, nor staff-members, are subject to the same schedule. When we set a daily, or otherwise more frequent limit, we favour those more frequent players. This is why we set a looser limit, yet for a longer term, so that we can offer more opportunity to those who cannot join us every day, or even every week, to still retain the possibility of keeping an enjoyable pace to those who can.

In essence, this does not disfavour those who play more frequently. It still offers you the freedom, to spend your time as you see fit, and allows us and others to still get a sense of progression that is fair in comparison. When compared that is, to the intended progression arc, not necessarily the amount of time spend between players. Those who spend more time will obviously still progress more quickly, but the way the setting, low-levels and low magic, and thus also the means of progression are set up, the chance for a divide between characters because of mechanical reasons is much smaller. After all, we are not in a race, we are in a story. And we find a story is better when shared.

About Alternatives
However, the cap is not the end-all-be-all when it comes to earning experience. DM-given experience for example, is still a viable means of gaining experience even if you’ve hit your cap. This means that you can help, both yourselves and us. Give us more means to work with, and the better we will be able to run events for you, which always helps your character progress, both personally and mechanically, regardless of the cap.

The @work-system has taken the place of a roleplay system, allowing those stay-at-home PCs, and even the hardy adventurers that need a break, to earn both experience and coin. There are also several character levels to be gained in exploration experience alone. Both set at what we feel is an appropriate risk/reward balance when compared to adventuring.

But even with these systems already fully functional and implemented, the staff are also discussing options that allow progression and reward for time spent in the server, and even time spent adventuring. So that you may find your time playing and adventuring rewarding, both story-wise and mechanically, despite having hit your monthly cap. At the same time, work is still being done on the E8 system, so that a PC can still progress despite having reached their highest attainable level, to an almost infinite degree.

In Conclusion
A last point that should be noted is that the staff is always open to suggestions. Few things are created in a vacuum, and while we may not always consider something a problem in the same manner you do, we can certainly try to find ways towards a solution we can all appreciate. Currently, we do not believe we can cater to your personal stories at the rate people will be gaining levels, if we are to remove the cap, but that need not be the end of the discussion.

What we can do, is look into a solution for you to still feel you are able to progress mechanically, despite having hit said cap. We’d like to open up discussion regarding alternatives to still feel progression that are not a gain in experience, so that we can still achieve the goals we set for this server, without restraining you in your storytelling or enjoying your playtime in general. And as with all matters, you are welcome to chime in on this with your own suggestions.

As with all things though, we do wish to stress that a lot of these decisions are not made overnight. And the same goes for their implementation. We’ve had a great number of very positive reactions to the way the server looks and runs, and many years of work and decision-making have gone into this. If we make changes, they will likely take an appropriate amount of time, if they are to be done right. For this we can only ask your understanding and patience. There is a lot of work to be done still, but it’s a road we enjoy travelling. We hope to have you there with us for it, let’s have fun on the way there, shall we?

- on behalf of the TER team
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