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rlpowell



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Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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I'm back after a long hiatus, and I'm hearing (and experiencing) that to get better than Good on Distilling I need CC^10.

That's ... just not reasonable. I mean, unless your goal is to never have new players participate in some puzzles, I guess?, but that seems like a strange goal.

I get that puzzle difficulty scales with the skill of the people playing it, but there needs to be a hard-coded cap of some kind, or you're going to get a situation with less popular puzzles where the puzzle gets so hard that only the best people play it, which makes it harder, which makes some of those people give up, which makes it harder, ..., until eventually it's unplayable for anyone who doesn't have a PhD in that puzzle.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by rlpowell at Jan 31, 2018 3:51:58 PM]
[Jan 31, 2018 3:04:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rlpowell



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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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To clarify: I don't care if the puzzle rankings (i.e. what it takes to get to Grand-Master or whatever) are proportionate to the skills of everybody playing that puzzle; it's the duty reports I'm talking about. If there are only 20 people playing a puzzle, and all of them are incomparable masters at it, that shouldn't mean that it's impossible for a half-way decent new player to get Excellent for their duty report on that puzzle. It seems to currently be the case that this is exactly what happens, and it sucks.
[Jan 31, 2018 3:54:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Devonin

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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It's funny because I assumed for years and years that duty report output was objective and it was only standing that was relative because why on earth would you do it any other way in a game you want to be successful?

Like...at each puzzle when you play it, there is an actual numerical score you are earning though we don't get to see it.

Since that score exists, we can compare scores directly to generate proportionate standing on the puzzles (as indeed, that is how it is done) while still making contribution to ship performance/type of labour generated tied to break points in the actual score.

It should, in my opinion, be the case that a puzzle should be like "A score over 100 is a good, over 150 is an excellent and over 200 is an incredible" no matter what the average score on the ocean is. It shouldn't matter if because of time, and practice, most people can get 250s every time they play. Because you're using the 250 to determine standing, the actual comparative measure of how good you are compared to everybody else, but I don't understand why it makes sense to have a 200 be an incredible and then six months later, have a 200 be an excellent in terms of how fast the ship goes or how fast you repair damage.

The one obvious potential reason to me would be the assumption that, in general, over time average performance at puzzles will increase, and if you could staff a ship with carpenters who can all do incredibles always all the time, you could just never sink a ship, and on one hand I get why that has to be, but on the other hand, that could definitely be an allowance made specifically for pvp or blockades, and even more to the point, that could be a justification for finally making a gunnery puzzle where good performance at it actually means the guns work better, not just that they are loaded all the time.

If a gunnery puzzle existed where the better you did, the more damage shots did, it would naturally balance the people getting better at repairing damage as well.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Devonin at Jan 31, 2018 5:04:57 PM]
[Jan 31, 2018 5:02:59 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Filthyjake

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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Yes it is discouraging to play when you can't score well even though your doing well. The puzzles that are less popular have a harsh curve, add in the alts and well its a steeper climb. It would be nice to have your sore reasonably be graded I watch old distilling videos and they got a lot higher scores for less cc's back then. It would help if everyone botched the distill puzzle once a week.

Distilling and Gunning 2 puzzles I long to learn yet hate to play...
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Filthyjake all oceans (Obsidian Primary)
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?Retired? On a Break? I found a new love...
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[Jan 31, 2018 5:33:01 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Convention

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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difficulty scales with the skill of the people playing it, but there needs to be a hard-coded cap of some kind

There was a cap on puzzle scores that was mostly reachable a long time ago. However, this was discontinued after it was discovered that players in Puzzle Competitions were hitting that cap, resulting in first place being decided by randomness/your name (so you'd see the same people winning a competition every time because their name was favorable and they tied). Honestly, I don't know what the best solution to this would've been, but that's the history of what happened to puzzle caps (they're unreachably high now).
[Jan 31, 2018 6:12:40 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
elbeejay

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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If duty report rankings and standing are no longer linked, then achieving higher standings could become confusing.

The distilling example is a case where you might score excellents or incredibles if the rankings were tied to fixed numbers but then not achieving a higher standing due to the standing curve set by the small and skilled group of players would be things frustrating.

At least the way things are today you don't expect your standing to go up a ton when you score a CC^8 or whatever and the duty report says good.
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[Jan 31, 2018 7:30:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Devonin

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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It isn't hard for the game to show you/explain that your duty report is based on your objective score on the puzzle for that league, and your standing is based on the subjective score relative to everybody else.
[Jan 31, 2018 8:28:04 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Kyura94

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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I'm back after a long hiatus, and I'm hearing (and experiencing) that to get better than Good on Distilling I need CC^10.

That's ... just not reasonable. I mean, unless your goal is to never have new players participate in some puzzles, I guess?, but that seems like a strange goal.

I get that puzzle difficulty scales with the skill of the people playing it, but there needs to be a hard-coded cap of some kind, or you're going to get a situation with less popular puzzles where the puzzle gets so hard that only the best people play it, which makes it harder, which makes some of those people give up, which makes it harder, ..., until eventually it's unplayable for anyone who doesn't have a PhD in that puzzle.

Hi there. If you're on Obsidian, yes the CC10 mark is fairly accurate. I've personally struggled with looking at depressing distilling duty reports so I understand where the frustration comes from, but realistically the DR means nothing. If you're really set on learning how to distil, your CC Chain is definitive enough. Unless you're Ultimate and pushing for quicker sessions, your CC chain is the only performance measure that you need. (I'll leave competitions out of this since it wasn't in your post)

I've been there. Solid yet Proficient and I was trying my best every session. Don't let the DR get to you.

Anyway, wouldn't it be weird to be pulling Increds but still be Respected or Master at any puzzle? I find it more intuitive that the same strict curve that is applied to Standings is applied to DRs.
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Ryuken on Emerald (active) and Obsidian (not really)
I made an in-depth Distilling guide here, and a guns one somewhere.
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[Feb 1, 2018 2:35:19 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Prammy16

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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Your standing isn't based on a subjective score relative to everybody else, but an objective score relative to everybody else.

Honestly, though, I can see complaints coming if this whole thing were changed exactly as you see it. Then you'd get a bunch of people regularly getting excellents and incredibles quite often, yet they're stuck at dist/respected.

The issue is not the duty report. The issue is that the puzzle is made in such a way that it is not easily "solved", which allows those really really really good at it to shine very very bright. While you may say this skews the curve, what it also tells you is just how much more there is to improve. If I were getting excellents and increds with a CC5, I wouldn't think it necessary to try to get to where I could consistently make CC12s.

If we didn't have it the way it is, the terms would also lose value. What use is the term "incredible" when people who are respected get it with regularity? It should instead be reserved for those times when you puzzle exceptionally well, which has built into it a comparison to others; what standard makes you "exceptional" if not "better than most everyone else"?

I say keep it the way it is.
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-Porglit on Emerald
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[Feb 1, 2018 2:44:41 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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That's ... just not reasonable. I mean, unless your goal is to never have new players participate in some puzzles, I guess?, but that seems like a strange goal.

The problem isn't that everyone can't easily get Excellent, it is that the game must be fun for those that score Fine.

This isn't Lake Wobegon where all the children are above average.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 1, 2018 3:37:01 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Filthyjake

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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difficulty scales with the skill of the people playing it, but there needs to be a hard-coded cap of some kind

There was a cap on puzzle scores that was mostly reachable a long time ago. However, this was discontinued after it was discovered that players in Puzzle Competitions were hitting that cap, resulting in first place being decided by randomness/your name (so you'd see the same people winning a competition every time because their name was favorable and they tied). Honestly, I don't know what the best solution to this would've been, but that's the history of what happened to puzzle caps (they're unreachably high now).


Sounds like the competition's should be dropped then for the crafting puzzles, the code is cracked by some you an look it up and the same people are winning the fam's over and over and they are worth like 8m each. Yes they are brilliant for breaking the code to wining and some have even shared how they do it but most of us know the fix is in anyway. So for the sake of a monthly competition the scoring for the entire game is destroyed.

That seems a bit off balance to me and should be corrected if you want to bring new people into the game who wants to play a game and not be good at it. Its next to impossible to get a realistic rating anymore because of elites/botts and the lack of this cap.

Could be a reason this game can't grow its not fun to play and no one wants you if your can't get a high score but the higher scores are unreachable for the new player, so they think they are bad at it and quit.

At least if their was a random shot in how the monthly fam competition's were distributed the same few wouldn't keep wining them.
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Filthyjake all oceans (Obsidian Primary)
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?Retired? On a Break? I found a new love...
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[Feb 1, 2018 5:07:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Devonin

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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There was a somewhat similar issue on a MUD I code(d) for that came up many years ago.

As the game continued to exist for years longer than anybody predicted when it was first made (Continuously online and running now in its 26th year) the game reached a point where it became increasingly difficult to make a monster that was actually hard to kill. Once it had the game-coded maximum 99 constitution, there wasn't a viable way to make things even tougher through regular means.

So what they did was start giving things increasingly large resistance to all forms of damage. So since 99 Con wasn't enough health, suddenly the thing would also just have 50% resistance to all damage. It effectively doubled the health of everything, and you could eventually push that to 99% resistance which was functionally 100 times the health of a baseline 99 Con monster.

And it made them hard to kill, but what it also did was make the players fighting it feel really crappy because here's them, huge and powerful and nasty, fighting something and all they're doing is grazing it for a point or two of damage at a time.

I made the argument for years that something else needed to be done, even if it was a lot of work, because even though from a gameplay perspective, taking down 1 hp from something with 100hp is the same as taking down 100 hp from something that has 10,000 hp, it is so much less satisfying to deal 1 damage than 100 that it actually impacts people's enjoyment of the gameplay.

Even if the ship is working fine, sails at max speed, has no damage or bilge, and gets fully repaired before the next battle, it really sucks to have spent hours with a puzzle, getting better, learning some nuance and strategy, and hours and hours later, and the best you can do is fine/good.

More people, in general, will be more happy and thus more likely to play more, if the duty report output is tied to objective scores, even if it means adding 1 or two more words to make the ranges bigger, even if it means having to put work on how duty performance impacts ship effects to keep it all balanced.

Standing does the job of showing where you rank against everybody else. The people vying for ultimate are capable of understanding that they're all getting all incredibles, but that only guarantees ultimate if your incredible is better than everybody elses. It's just one more consideration for a small and shrinking userbase that might help retain it just a little bit longer.
[Feb 1, 2018 7:48:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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even though from a gameplay perspective, taking down 1 hp from something with 100hp is the same as taking down 100 hp from something that has 10,000 hp, it is so much less satisfying to deal 1 damage than 100 that it actually impacts people's enjoyment of the gameplay.

So, what you are saying is GH should create a DR score of, say, "Fantastic" and display that instead of "Incredible", and shuffle everything else up one level. So today's "Excellent" displays "Incredible" all the way down to "Booched" displaying "Poor".

Or are you saying that GH should just make the game easier for everyone to "win" by making even poor players contribute to the ship as if they were good? Of course you would also need to make things easier for poor players to SF/rumble well and such.

This game has long had the problem that most of the fun stuff is targeted at the top 10% of players and the bottom 50%+ don't have a fun time. This, of course, drives away the new players and the casual players and anyone else who isn't great at puzzling, which shifts the scoring curve to be even harder. The players who used to be in the to 10% are now only in the top 20% after what was the bottom 50% stop playing.

Both Ice and apparently Obsidian have this problem in spades.

The solution isn't to just make things easy to win, but to make it fun for people who only do Fine. Obsidian is a step in the wrong direction here.
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[Feb 1, 2018 8:11:54 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Devonin

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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I'm saying that the game needs to divorce duty reports and the contribution of duty puzzling from the subjective relational scoring that standing uses.

Like, at the time the puzzle was created, lets say through their testing they imagined scoring of 0 to 100 being possible, and in the early days of the puzzle that was true.

Lets say that the duty reports scale roughly in the way that standing does

0-5 Booched (5%)
5-35 Poor (30%)
35-60 Fine (25%)
60-80 Good (20%)
80-95 Excellent (15%)
95-100 Incredible (5%)

In a way that basically, Booched was the bottom 5% and Incredible was the top 5%

Now as time has passed and people get better and better at the puzzles, and optimize them in new ways, and the top players are actually scoring 140 points. Now the top 5% of scores is 133-140, the next 15% of scores is 112-133

Incredible and Excellent are now both harder to get than Incredible used to be. Suddenly you're Booching from 0-7 instead of 0-5, which is 140% more often, and a Poor is everything from 7 to 49 which used to be a mid-range Fine.

For years I was under the apparently mistaken impression that ship performance itself was just based on the actual number. If everybody sailing was getting at least 200 points between them, the ship would maintain top speed etc.

To me, that is how it should work and duty reports should reflect that. We already have standing to cover how you do compared to everybody else. So yes, I guess I'm saying we should make the game easier to "win" for everybody.

Tie duty reports to objective scoring, have that objective score be what contributes to ship performance. The whole point of the gameplay cycle of this game is to pillage and beat ships and win poe. Poe enters this game at such a volume that even if no pillaging ship that had even a barely passable bnavver ever lost a fight, it would barely accelerate the rate at which money enters the game. Heck, if that's a concern, up the increase in difficulty of enemy ships as you keep winning by another 5% or something, that end can be balanced out.

But spending a league puzzling as hard as you can, doing well, getting the positive feedback from the puzzle that indicates you're doing a great job, and then getting that Fine or Good is super disheartening and serves no beneficial purpose.

Telling new players that the veterans who are unstoppably good at the game are going to just force them into Poors and Fines forever is not going to keep them playing.
[Feb 1, 2018 8:29:00 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Bauds

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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But spending a league puzzling as hard as you can, doing well, getting the positive feedback from the puzzle that indicates you're doing a great job, and then getting that Fine or Good is super disheartening and serves no beneficial purpose.

Telling new players that the veterans who are unstoppably good at the game are going to just force them into Poors and Fines forever is not going to keep them playing.


This is more than just your performance on the ship, you have to bear in mind that some people have both come from being ultimate on their own ocean to GM on obsidian (fine, you have to refine your puzzling to get to the top), but have also come from being GM/leg in some puzzles to master, which is as disheartening as getting consistent goods instead of an excellent consistently.

Gunning and distilling are the worst, where if you weren't originally ult distilling you are likely to be respected when you used to be GM (which makes producing fine rum or finding someone who can extremely difficult), and a GM-leg gunner is now master. This is going to also put people off gunning or make it so their pieces in gunning move too slowly to score well, and it is already getting a lot harder to find gunners for voyages which impacts the ocean as a whole.

I propose diminishing returns at the top end, so scoring a lot higher will have less effect on the duty report and thus your standing. That way competitions will still rank people by whoever got the highest score, but it will be closer to say 10% players getting an excellent consistently rather than 2% of players plus a bunch of their alts. Those who scored a high incredible know they did and that should be satisfaction enough, as well as topping duty reports, competitions and leaderboards.
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[Feb 1, 2018 9:08:00 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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While I would definitely like to see some kind of standard, such as X score/performance cannot be below Good, the solution here shouldn't be a change to the way the game behaves. To use the example given, distilling was giving Excellent for a CC^13 until last night's puzzle competition.

I would suggest that either:
A: Puzzles have a minimum amount of scores they will consider, instead of strictly using time.
B: Puzzle competitions that are Inc/Ex/Good/Fine are run more often, or there is another incentive for people to play more puzzles on a weekly basis.
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[Feb 1, 2018 9:42:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Bauds

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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B: Puzzle competitions that are Inc/Ex/Good/Fine are run more often, or there is another incentive for people to play more puzzles on a weekly basis.


This is a fairly effective solution at least in the short run that doesn't require any extra coding/balancing and also means more fun for the oceans; Competitions seem quite rare now (at least on Obsidian) and one a week with a decent prize (pet, familiar, maybe rare furniture) would make a big difference to the scoring curves. It would have to be in the listed format to encourage maximum participation.
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Bauds of Obsidian, formerly Cerulean and before that Midnight.
[Feb 1, 2018 10:25:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
GreatBob

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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B: Puzzle competitions that are Inc/Ex/Good/Fine are run more often, or there is another incentive for people to play more puzzles on a weekly basis.


This is a fairly effective solution at least in the short run that doesn't require any extra coding/balancing and also means more fun for the oceans; Competitions seem quite rare now (at least on Obsidian) and one a week with a decent prize (pet, familiar, maybe rare furniture) would make a big difference to the scoring curves. It would have to be in the listed format to encourage maximum participation.

The other option isn't too difficult either, Liz once booched the score duration and everyone received a *lot* of ultimate trophies. Not sure if making it puzzle specific is as easy, but having the crafting puzzles consider a larger window would be a good move for the sake of stability.
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Devonin

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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Making the window bigger smooths out short-term spikes from competitions, but ends up making it even harder to budge, as the weight of consistent high scoring by people hangs around longer if those people aren't currently puzzling.
[Feb 1, 2018 4:49:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Prammy16

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Re: Duty report rankings need an upper bound on difficulty. Reply to this Post
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I'm saying that the game needs to divorce duty reports and the contribution of duty puzzling from the subjective relational scoring that standing uses.


Honestly, that's not what that word means. Something subjective depends upon the feelings of the subject, and can easily be true for one person while simultaneously false for another ("blue is the most beautiful color" is an example of a subjective statement).
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-Porglit on Emerald
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Prammy16 at Feb 1, 2018 5:02:15 PM]
[Feb 1, 2018 4:54:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Devonin

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Sorry, relative. Not like you didn't know what I meant.
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