Ascension!

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Ped209
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Ascension!

Post by Ped209 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:12 am

(NoWorries was saying last night he wanted another topic to spam the forum about - I think as far as noodle-scratchers go this is the biggy!)

This debate may already be taking place in the Gods forum (I don't know) but as they are the ones that will be least affected by it (as their rank either can't change or can only go up by 1 place) I thought I'd kick it off here.

Some information and a few questions to kick off the debate...

Gods
There will be roughly 20 ‘Old’ Gods when the game starts.
Should the number of new gods ever outweigh the old?
having only 20 extra God positions would make them highly coveted, an even number of old and new would allow for some interesting comparisons/competitions/rivalry

Demi-Gods
There will be around 70 demi-gods at the start, adding an extra 70 would only allow for an average of 3.5 per god, this number seems too small. An average of at least 8 per god would seem more like a team. this means there would be 320 demigod positions available, too many?

Kings
There will be around 360 at the start, will there be a cap on these too? max 800 in total?

Lords
There will be around 900 at the start, the lords will help defending the kings realms, I don’t know how many will be able to be placed in a realm, 5? that would require 4000 lords… or lords being placed in mutliple realms, or procedurally generated lords.

Apprentice
There will be around 3500 at the start, unlimited total?

Should the maximum number of positions at each rank be fixed or should it be variable in relation to the currently active players within the game?
If fixed would it mean that in 2/3 years time if the popularity of the game dies down (NEVER!) and only the dedicated players remain that everyone will be either God/Demi/King? Is that a problem? If variable the number of people at each rank could potentially be quite volatile in response to various marketing events or other factors that might create a surge/drop in players, that could be frustrating.

At what levels are the guilds formed/controlled? Is it one guild per god? per demi? If I get promoted/create a guild then get demoted again is the guild disbanded?.
I can imagine it would be nice to form groups of friends that are more persistent than a guild could potentially be. So I would propose that 'groups' can be formed at any level, these would not have the same features as a guild such as access to guild tournaments, banner/crest and other social features but could be used to keep in touch with friends if a guild was to suddenly disappear, could also have the potential for mini circles of influence within guilds or spanning guilds illuminati style.

A Potential Systems for Ascension

Power - Maintaining status is dependent on Power, when a wizard from a lower rank's power becomes more than the lowest power of the rank above then they take their place.
A few extra systems would be in place to deal with the spaces when the game starts:
When a lower rank wiz's power is greater than the lowest of the one above then they gain that rank - IE Gods start on 20,000 power, Demis on 15,000 when a demi matches the lowest gods power (which might be 21,000 by this point) they get promoted.
A system would need to be in place to deal with those that can't go below a certain rank, maybe the minimum their power can be is locked to the power of the lowest wiz of that rank that could lose their rank?

Gaining Power
Winning in Battle, power won by 1 wizard is lost by another
On Ascension Power is boosted by x amount to give time for the wizard to establish themselves at their new rank.
Different Ranked Wizards would have different methods of gaining power:
Gods - Power is granted per follower per day, Power can be gained by wizards worshipping/sacrificing at shrines, successful realm defences by demi/king followers
Demi-Gods - Power is granted per follower/guild member per day, successful realm defences by king followers, can be gifted by their god (or a God trying to win them over)
Kings - successful realm defences, can be gifted by their god (or a God trying to win them over)

Losing Power
Losing in Battle, power lost by 1 wizard is gained by another. A higher level wizard (not rank) in relation to your own level is worth more power.
Power naturally depletes over time. the rate increases with rank.

So basically the higher rank you are the more ways of gaining power you have, but also the quicker your power naturally depletes.

This would need to be balanced so a similar level of activity is required to maintain rank, but by creating successful realms, having lots of followers, winning lots of battles you can gain rank/maintain it more easily.

Being inactive or continually losing battles would see you lose power and eventually rank.

Any other ideas? flaws with this one?
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Re: Ascension!

Post by Sephorin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:09 pm

Disclaimer!: Everything in my post is purely my own opinion, unless clearly stated otherwise. I am only speaking for myself.

I find this part of Chaos Reborn to be one of the most fascinating. There has been some discussion about social ranks in the Pantheon forum, but there have been no statements made there about this by Mr. Gollop or the other developers (hence my disclaimer). There is a tiny amount of public information available on the Kickstarter. Bottom line: we all know very little about how this is actually going to work.

Gods
I would not want the number of New Gods to be limited to 20 and would be very happy to see more New Gods than Old Gods at some point in the future. I think the number of New God "slots" should be based on the monthly average of active players in the game. I don't know what an appropriate ratio would be. 200 : 1? 250 : 1? (Mr. Gollop has mentioned something about "tweaking" the number of New God slots if some Old Gods go inactive.) So, if the player base is large enough, it would be great to see many New Gods!

Demi-Gods
Personally, I think a ratio of three to four demi-gods per God is perfect, but I'm not sure what Mr. Gollop has in mind here. Obviously, the number of demi-gods permitted should be capped, and again I would say the cap should be based on the monthly average of active players in the game.

Demi-God Guilds
I suspect that this is going to be a tricky one to get right. The big question is: what happens to a demi-god's guild if she gets promoted or demoted? Perhaps the demi-god will be required to designate the next five people in line to inherit the guild, but what if all five of those people get promoted/demoted at the same time? However that turns out, I think that the promotion/demotion of demi-gods and Gods should happen pretty infrequently, maybe on the first of each month. This would minimize disruption, give newly promoted demi-gods and Gods some time to get used to their roles, and it would make for some excitement on the first of each month!

Ascending the Ranks

This is one area where Mr. Gollop has given us some information:
Julian Gollop wrote:In order to qualify for the next rank you need to be in a group of highest qualified players at that specific rank. The qualification rating is based on several independent factors:

- Wizard level - increased by accumulating Experience Points in any battle
- Multiplayer league level - you ascend the multiplayer leagues through ranked matches
- Artefact rating - the quantity and levels of your equipment, and the value of special artefacts

This allows players to focus on different areas of the game, but still progress. Multiplayer focussed gamers and single player (or co-op) focussed gamers can still rise up.

There are also additional qualifiers, dependent on the current rank:

- Wizard Lords who win battles as an AI controlled defender of regions inside realms
- Wizard Kings who win battles as an AI controlled ruler of a Realm, and adventurers ratings of designed realms
- Demigods who win battles as an AI controlled ruler of a Realm, and a qualifier based on their guild rating

The lowest rated players at each rank will also be demoted, so players will have to actively work on maintaining their rank.
Ped, I think the power system you suggested might help make things more transparent. I could see how much power I have and how much power the player just above me has. I could also presumably know how much power I gain/lose by taking certain actions.

One thing I'd point out: I don't know if multi-player matches should actually cause losers to lose power unless we have a similar mechanic in the single-player game. We don't want to create a situation in which folks who play mostly multi-player have the possibility of losing power, whereas the folks who play mostly single-player can only gain power.
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Re: Ascension!

Post by Ped209 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:09 pm

some good extra information there Seph, some of that rang a bell but I couldn't remember where I'd read it before. I also spotted some extra information on the game guide regarding becoming a God that was quite interesting.
Sephorin wrote:One thing I'd point out: I don't know if multi-player matches should actually cause losers to lose power unless we have a similar mechanic in the single-player game. We don't want to create a situation in which folks who play mostly multi-player have the possibility of losing power, whereas the folks who play mostly single-player can only gain power.
This would need to be taken into consideration, possibly a failed assault on a realm would mean a loss of power? that might need some more thought though. Given that a realm assault would probably take much longer than a 2 or 4 player game though the amounts for each would need to be carefully balanced.

If power can't be lost and only gained during play then promotion would come down to who played the most almost regardless of how well they played. Someone playing 100 matches and winning 10 would acquire the same power as someone that played 15 matches and won 10. In my opinion the system should reward the more skilled player.

I was also thinking that if the power levels weren't balanced with increases being matched by decreases for others in some way then ultimately as time went on the amount of power needed to get to any particular rank would always go up and up, meaning a new playing coming in 6 months down the line might take ages to catch up to others of the same rank.

The difference between a 4 player battle and a 1v1 would also need some thought using this system. If only the winner got + power and everyone else lost it then the desire to play 4 player might reduce. Altough at the same time if the reward for winning a 4 player game was 3 x that of a 1v1 it might even out.
Sephorin wrote:- Wizard level - increased by accumulating Experience Points in any battle
- Multiplayer league level - you ascend the multiplayer leagues through ranked matches
- Artefact rating - the quantity and levels of your equipment, and the value of special artefacts
I like the sound of multiplayer leagues!
The quantity and levels of your equipment seems a funny one. Does that mean that backers with forgemaster will have an immediate advantage over those that don't when the game goes live? Also does that mean that having a large amount of equipment horded that I don't use will increase my promotion chance better than if I burnt it for whatever reason. Given that equipment will essentially be what determines a wizards strength and that wizard strength should influence the outcome of matches and league position it seems like equipment is taken care of in the first two points.

I guess the fact that wizard level and league position influence ascension it takes care of a point I made above about there only being increases in power, league would essentially reward winning, experience would reward time spent playing. Which should have the most sway on promotion different people might have different opinions.

Another big question is how soon will the new positions of each rank be filled?

When the game is launched it will probably be at it's busiest. Lets say there are 10,000 active players in the first month. Lets say the ratio of God to player is 250:1, that would mean 40 god slots, meaning 20 'New God' slots available, would all 20 be filled at the end of the first month? If there are 4 Demi's to each God that means 160 to start with meaning an additional 90 demigods promoted at the end of the first month. If the monthly system is used, if a more organic power based system is used then some delay would need to be put in place before it started happening otherwise it would be first people to get online automatically get promoted.

Maybe 3 Months after launch a big new competitor game is launched and the number goes down to 7500 active players, that would result in 10 Gods losing their position if the number of places of each rank are tied to active numbers. It could get quite unpredictable if active user numbers kept jumping up and down especially for those that are near the bottom/top of a rank that granted new functionality like realm creation of guild creation.

One other thought about low demigod numbers is if the average was 4 per god, it seems likely that some gods will be quite popular and will possibly have 8, this could also mean that some gods might have 0/1/2 which would be a bit of a disaster for a new god what facilities will a god have to try and fix that?
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Re: Ascension!

Post by DigitalDuck » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:55 pm

I'd prefer some kind of constant ratio between levels, changing depending on the number of active players.

e.g. 1:5:25:50:100:219 - i.e. for every 400 players, 219 are normal wizards, 100 are apprentices, 50 are lords, 25 are kings, 5 are demi-gods, and 1 is a god.

Since the backers are set at their level (at least, they can't go down), the number of positions should not reduce. So initially, there would be 20 gods, 100 demi-gods, 500 kings, 1000 lords, and 2000 apprentices, with any non-backer spots available to be filled. Then, once the active player count increases above 8000, then one god, five demi-gods, twenty five kings, fifty lords, and one hundred apprentice spots open, and again every 400 above that.

These spots would close again should the active player count reduce, but there should be a "grace" period (e.g. active player count has to be below that figure for a week) in order to prevent "YOU'RE A GOD! NOW YOU'RE NOT! NOW YOU ARE!" situations.


Ped209's method of Ascension works for me. I'd recommend something similar to the ELO system to work out how much power is gained; you shouldn't be able to be reduced past your initial level (otherwise people will just create a new character), and that will help to inject power into the system since it's depleting over time.

Rather than the rate increasing with rank, it'd make more sense if it increased with power. Losing a set proportion of your power every day would mean that the top-ranking god would have to work to keep that spot (meaning more competition), and it'd prevent situations where a king might get promoted past a demi-god despite both not actually playing the game (because the demi-god is losing power much faster).

And similar to the counts of each rank, I think there should be a grace period upon promotion in order to prevent the same situation. But since in this case it's skill-based rather than active player count-based, the period should be much shorter (maybe a day).
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Re: Ascension!

Post by NoWorries » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:00 pm

With great power comes great responsibility.

It's backwards to focus on the means to obtain (or lose) power until we have a firm grasp of the responsibilities which will accrue at each rank. By responsibilities, I mean... how do wizards at each social rank (i.e., Lord, King/Queen, Demigod, God) benefit the game. By focusing on the responsibilities of each social rank, we shift the paradigm of social advancement from being one of realizing a personal right to one of managing a community resource.

After we have a better handle on how each social rank contributes to the game-playing experience of all players, then we are in a better position to develop guidelines or algorithms to figure how many active wizards of each social rank we need to realize the full potential of the game's design. (And keep in mind that backer wizards are not the same as active wizards, especially a couple of years from now.) The needs of the game should dictate the standards for promotion or demotion.

Therefore, before we invest a lot of brain power to promotion/demotion matters, we should develop a better understanding of each social rank's role and responsibilities for (1) realm creation and management, i.e., the "realm game", (2) how guilds add to the themes and stories of Chaos Reborn, i.e., the "guild game", and (3) how gods and their shrines add to the themes and stories of the game, i.e., the "god game". These points each include subject matter for much Idea Spam (tm)... er.... multiple threads. :)
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Re: Ascension!

Post by Ped209 » Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:23 pm

NoWorries wrote:It's backwards to focus on the means to obtain (or lose) power until we have a firm grasp of the responsibilities which will accrue at each rank. By responsibilities, I mean... how do wizards at each social rank (i.e., Lord, King/Queen, Demigod, God) benefit the game. By focusing on the responsibilities of each social rank, we shift the paradigm of social advancement from being one of realizing a personal right to one of managing a community resource.
I don't think it's backwards to look at the methods of promotion/demotion at this point, the number of people at each level might be influenced by the functions available at that level but whether it's 20 people or 200 there still needs be a system that governs how these levels are obtained/lost.
NoWorries wrote:After we have a better handle on how each social rank contributes to the game-playing experience of all players, then we are in a better position to develop guidelines or algorithms to figure how many active wizards of each social rank we need to realize the full potential of the game's design. (And keep in mind that backer wizards are not the same as active wizards, especially a couple of years from now.) Once this is figured, then we can develop sensible standards for promotion and demotion of social rank.
there is already a pretty good understanding of what tools are available at each social rank from the kickstarter backer rewards and kickstarter updates, we can use that as a starting point for now. All ranks King upwards have realm creation tools, Demigods have guilds, Gods have demigod followers. I agree though that putting exact numbers or calculating ratios for the amount of people that should be at each rank is difficult at the moment as the full utility of each rank is not yet known but this probably only applies to DemiGod/God. It stands to reason that it will take the form of a hierachy, we know that demigods will follow gods and everyone else will join a demi's guild so an idea of roughly how many demis to gods there should be and whether guilds would work better with 20/50/100/500 people in them could be discussed.

Backer wizards will certainly be a different number to active wizards in the long term but one thing that is certain is that the number of positions available at each rank needs to be "backers + (static number or deduced number)" otherwise no one will ever be able to get promoted as a backer will always keep their rank. Again what that number is doesn't really matter, how it is arrived at is a discussion to be had though, the merits/pitfalls of a static number versus one that changes with active player numbers or whether there should be a max cap on that are the same regardless.
NoWorries wrote:Therefore, before we invest a lot of brain power to promotion/demotion matters, we should develop a better understanding of (1) realm creation and management, i.e., the "realm game", (2) how do guilds add to the themes and stories of Chaos Reborn, i.e., the "guild game", and (3) how do gods and their shrines add to the themes and stories of the game, i.e., the "god game". Each of these points includes subject matter for much Idea Spam (tm)... er.... multiple threads.
for the purposes of promotion/demotion the finer details of realm creation and management are fairly irrelevant other than - Realms will be created - experience/power/points whatever will be earned for beating a realm, for a successful defence of a realm and for a realm being highly rated - which I believe has already been established.

People will gain and lose rank no matter which system is used so the discussion of what influences this can be had now, the impact of promotion and demotion at each level is possibly one that is a little trickier at the moment without a better understanding of the guild system but again there are certain things that we know or can be guessed at for example:

At DemiGod you can create your own guild and pledge allegiance to a god, at all levels below you follow a god by joining the guild of a demigod that follows them. so if you get demoted from demigod what happens to your guild/followers? if you get promoted from demigod what happens to your guild followers?

At Wizard King and above you have access to the realm creation tool, if you get promoted there is no reason that your realm should have to change as you still have access to the creation tools. if you get demoted what happens to your realm? does it instantly dissappear into nothing? do the players that are half way through get to finish it or are they booted out back to limbo?

these pro's/con's of these scenarios can still be discussed now with the amount of knowledge we have, more knowledge of the inner workings of each system shouldn't change these events too much. Maybe having it all in one thread will get a bit too much and multiple threads would be better along the headings of
"Ascension - How Do you get Promoted/Demoted?",
"Ascension - The Impact of getting promoted Demoted?",
"Ascension - How many people should occupy each rank?"

?
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Re: Ascension!

Post by Tess » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:27 pm

Ped209 wrote: At DemiGod you can create your own guild and pledge allegiance to a god, at all levels below you follow a god by joining the guild of a demigod that follows them. so if you get demoted from demigod what happens to your guild/followers? if you get promoted from demigod what happens to your guild followers?
For me this has always been the most confusing area of CR. I wonder if JG really thought this one through? Or maybe we're missing the point as to how this will work. I am very interested to understand how these guild/clan/team mechanics will work, so if JG would like to comment I'd be all ears :)

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Re: Ascension!

Post by DigitalDuck » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:52 pm

Ped209 wrote:I agree though that putting exact numbers or calculating ratios for the amount of people that should be at each rank is difficult at the moment as the full utility of each rank is not yet known but this probably only applies to DemiGod/God.
Since this comment's been made, I'd like to clarify that my post wasn't meant to suggest such a ratio, merely the system by which it would work. Obviously there needs to be more information to nail down the figures.
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Re: Ascension!

Post by Sephorin » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:26 pm

Ped209 wrote:Maybe 3 Months after launch a big new competitor game is launched and the number goes down to 7500 active players, that would result in 10 Gods losing their position if the number of places of each rank are tied to active numbers. It could get quite unpredictable if active user numbers kept jumping up and down
There are easy ways to smooth this out. For example, we could use the three month moving average of active players. Or if you want things to change very slowly, it could be a one year moving average.

Ped209 wrote:The quantity and levels of your equipment seems a funny one. Does that mean that backers with forgemaster will have an immediate advantage over those that don't when the game goes live?
This is better than it sounds. Equipment will probably have a gold and/or XP value that you can sacrifice the equipment for. Thus, I think Mr. Gollop wants to give people credit for holding equipment that has not been "sacrificed" for gold and/or XP. As for the forgemasters, it would be my hope that Mr. Gollop would exclude those three pieces of equipment from a wizard's social rank (the element that we're referring to as "power" in this thread).

Speaking of power, there might be a better word for this. Prestige? "Power" might be easily confused with divinity points or experience points or mana points.
Ped209 wrote:league would essentially reward winning, experience would reward time spent playing.
That is my understanding as well. Plus, if you play in the league and lose, your ELO rating might go down... but you would still get the experience points from killing creatures and wizards. I think there should probably be a baseline ELO rating, though, that you can't go below no matter how often you lose. Else you'd have situations where people who have never played ranked multi-player might have a higher ELO rating than people who have played lots of ranked multi-player.
Ped209 wrote:One other thought about low demigod numbers is if the average was 4 per god, it seems likely that some gods will be quite popular and will possibly have 8, this could also mean that some gods might have 0/1/2
This has been the subject of some consternation in the Council forum. How do we keep three or four very popular Gods from gathering all the players as worshipers? None of us wants that. What mechanisms can be put in place to stop it?
NoWorries wrote:By focusing on the responsibilities of each social rank, we shift the paradigm of social advancement from being one of realizing a personal right to one of managing a community resource.
Beautifully said, NoWorries! My God character is very much focused on giving as much to her worshipers as she receives from them. She wants to help them become better. As a player who is also a god backer, my goal is to make the game more enjoyable/exciting for others. If I can succeed in this, then I will most certainly be having a good time! Perhaps other players and Gods feel differently, though?
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Re: Ascension!

Post by DigitalDuck » Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:01 am

Sephorin wrote:There are easy ways to smooth this out. For example, we could use the three month moving average of active players. Or if you want things to change very slowly, it could be a one year moving average.
That's a better idea than a grace period. I like it.
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