Dhez wrote: Arman wrote:
I have recently conducted a review of every layman guild. Some balance concepts - while logical - haven't been applied sensibly. I plan on refining some of these balance concepts that will impact how some guilds operate, but before I do I thought I'd get a general feel from the player base on their perceptions of the layman guild state of affairs (i.e. lay of the land
I don't plan on giving any more details than that, however will note any feedback provided here as part of my considerations.
While I appreciate the gesture of letting us speak our minds, I find it quite difficult to express any opinion on the matter without knowing what the intended changes are. It is extremely difficult to assess the possible impact these unsensibly applied balance concepts would have on the game once 'fixed. It is as if in the software development world I'd tell my QA that we, development, will refactor the codebase to reflect latest standards and remove superfluous logic, and that they, without knowing what these do, should speak their minds on the efforts of writing new test cases to address these changes. The best they could do in such a scenario would be to perform full regression after a build with the changes has been made available and report any issues found. Which is what I suppose we'll do: test once the changes are available and hopefully any performance issues discovered would be addressed then.
Due to the vagueness of the original post, the best feedback I can predict happening in this thread will be the usual cacophony of complaints, wishes, and snarky remarks we, most of the players, are known for. At some point one player's opinion will conflict with another's, they will start derailing the topic arguing amongst themselves, and any reasonable voice will be laughed out or drowned in the eternal ping pong of blame shifting among ourselves.
Sadly we don't know how balance is perceived or measured in Genesis, and not all of us have any tangible data to form any sort of argument that sounds halfway solid to those who know the inner workings of guilds and have a clearer, or at least less subjective, definition of balance.
Nevertheless, I'll try this:
I'd focus on giving underperforming layman guilds more attention than overperforming ones. I'd love to see more layman monks, minstrels, etc. The reality is they don't offer much, so why would one punish oneself going that route? Blatant and extreme power shouldn't be a part of the game. It'd be like a company paying 100k a month for factory work in good conditions where all others have poor conditions and pay 20k. Obviously everyone would try their best to secure a position within the best company. The other companies, however, shouldn't wonder why that's the case. It is obvious. They could appeal to the work in those companies being more 'fun' or 'honourable' (we would maybe use the term 'roleplay' in the game) but... At the end of the day, who eats fun and honor? Balance shouldn't be only diminishing the power of the strong, but also improving the power of the weak. I believe that'd bring far more variety in layman guilds.
Fair point... I didn't want to provide much context as I want broad insights rather than on a specific focal area that I see as an issue. In my review of all the layman guild code I identified around three distinct global issues varying in degrees of potential balance impact... so I wanted to see if they came out in general player comments. The two main ones have.
The lesser of the balance issues is around those layman guilds that haven't transitioned over to standardised systems - Dragon Order, Minstrels, Tricksters. No surprises there, they are all underwhelming in what they offer outside of their thematics. Ckrik is working on the DO, Minstrels I plan on recoding myself at some point... but Tricksters... jury is out. Possibly close them until someone is prepared to put them time in to a recode for them.
The main issue is in relation to layman magic guilds. The concept around the maximum combat aid they have access to is based on the potential combat aid they lose in 'white damage' in the casting time of spells like harms and heals. This allows for a potential combat aid midway between a non-magical layman guild and a non-magical occupational guild.
Conceptually this is fine, assuming the benefit and disadvantage balances around the aid provided for a 'normal' layman guild. The extra benefit being applicable in those disadvantageous circumstances where white damage is lost. The problem is this concept hasn't been applied properly since the creation of the first layman guild using this system in the Worshippers layman guild, and all layman magical guilds since then have followed the Worshippers model... including my own OotS and recoded Heralds, and Nerull's Warlocks.
And the problem is with maintained spells, where no white damage is really lost. When all the extra combat aid benefit is poured in to maintained spells, it means you end up having a 'super' layman guild with none of the white damage loss disadvantages being applied.
No doubt some of you will say "duh, we've been telling you about the Worshippers being OP for ages!". Which is fair, and one wizards have wrestled with for a while. Like I flagged above, conceptually the set up for layman magic guilds is fine... it is just that we haven't unpacked where the potential issue was until now.
So the guidelines around layman magic guilds need to be tightened up, with the guilds modified to reflect the guidelines and the application of their combat aid benefits in line with the conceptual balance model.
Anyway, that was more than I was intending to share.