Thesis: Proposal to boost FreeSo player retention

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ron1, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. ron1

    ron1 Member

    people using any skills objects count towards "max speed"
    people usign any solo objects count towards "Group bonus"
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  2. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    I'd prefer if you actually thought about this and posted a detailed thread, rather than "make skill objects easier".
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  3. ron1

    ron1 Member

    skill objects should be reclassified so that skill lots dont have to specialize. this will increase competition among skill lots and more importantly allow players to skill up whatever they want whenever they want without worring about what skill houses are open. there is a huge problem with specialized skill houses not being open, and sims wanting to skill up those skills not able to do so. this is bad for the economy because it limits what sims are able to do at any given time. if there is a pizza house open and a cooking lot, everyone who does/doesnt want to use their cooking skills are left with 0 or 1 choices. this change will give people a multitude of choices, coupled with changes to single money objects. that is a reflection of the popularity and ease with which to learn one skill, sometimes at the expense of all others. the solution: de-specialize skilling up and single money objects.

    skilling up right now is difficult. as a core mechanic, allowing players to improve their sims while socializing with other sims. most sims are left out of this opportunity to even continue improving their sims if the game, meaning other users, cant provide any way to do so. true nobody is stopping anyone from taking on this issue within the boundaries that are set, but the single skill learning mechanic doesnt meet the needs of the community as it stands. fewer people = no choices = slower speeds.

    another counter-intuitive feature is the lot max size, while 24 people seems like "enough" people, it actually makes the situation worse by limiting competition by monopolizing a lot of the logged in sims. im not advocating lowering the sim lot cap but it feeds into the idea that it takes 12 people to learn 2 skills at max speed, with 12 more greening or doing other things, that leaves you with almost no opportunity to skill but up 1 or 2 skills. under a new system it would require only 6 people using any skill object to reach max skill speed. suddenly 24 sims can support 4 different skill lots. it wouldnt change the current 'status quo' of owners specializing on one skill, so that if a new system is implemented the old one is still functions as it always has. it would give sims and owners more choices.

    increasing the max skill speed beyond 6 players would cripple the ability for this change to work. in order for it to work, the threhold to reach max skill speed must be low, thus encouraging multiple skill lots.with the 24 sims per lot rule, this rework could make the situation worse since people are conditioned heavily to see "Bigger Number = Better" which is not the message sims should be getting.

    to incentivize this change players will want to see some positive impact beyond the basic change in game play. players sometime associate any change with it being bad change, so to balance those assumptions, include a very small enhancement. max skill speed could be increased slightly to 124% at 6 players, other tweaks, etc, but importantly not increase the skill speed beyond those 6 players so that 7 and above do not add to the skill speed. if that happens then we are in the same situation we are before, and if this plan is successful that "threshold" of 6 players could theoretically be raised.

    benefits that outweigh these risks: No More owners Changing what is skilled day to day, no more changing your lot name based on "what is being skilled", no more sims asking "what are you guys skilling right now", " i wish i could work on charisma but everyone is skilling cooking etc" no more "that skill house is closed so i should just log off".

    unexpected bonus: This change will improve the economy by increasing demand for ALL skill objects. owners will have to stock up to prepare for the new diversification of demand. where does that money come from?

    apply this same idea to single money obects, allowing the use of a single money object to apply to the group bonus if multiple sims are working on the same or different thing. this and the skill change would go along way in advancing the playability of the game.

    the situation exists for sims for skills as it does for single money objects. single money objects are a core mechanic because they encourage sims to socialize at the same time make money. right now the game is too geared towards "soloing" whereas people leave for their job, it takes away the reason to have an online version to play. this makes socializing and community building very hard to do when your playing on group money objects or at a job site. these are still important sources of attraction & i dont see the group money objects or jobs getting less popular.

    right now, sims all have to be using the same money object to earn a group bonus. instead, allow players to use the single money object designed for -their skill- will vastly advance and encourage player participation in the economy. lowering the max bonus threshold to 10 or 12, so that its readily availble no matter what money house you step into. this will 'deconsolidate' money houses and allow them to get back to basics so they are not forced to appeal to a single skill group of sims. if one single money object is popular, that means everyone without that skill has nothing to do! thats a horrible outcome!& its easily fixable!

    the change will decentralize the system that we live with. people are again left with 0 or 1 choices when doing single money objects because there are 6 different skills and only 1 or 2 money houses online at a time, with those lots catering to specific skills leaving out the other 84% of sims! bad outcome!

    this is be very exciting to all sims. raising kickbacks for single money objects at skill houses will help pay for the increased demand for Pinatas, Chemistry Sets, Telemarketing and Typewriting. No more jam tables or chalkboards taking all the attention, everyone can participate!

    kickbacks and payouts: Kickbacks for single money objects is 1$, practically nothing. If it was increased to 5$ or 10$ per sell, this would give money lot owners much more flexibility in their ability to add to their collection of single job objects. it would also offset the costs associated with lot hosting. We could see more money lots which would increase demand at store lots.

    knowns: single money object payouts usually scale with skill/time. there are some that are better than others. this is a good system, it allows popular skilled sims the ability to do things together and encourages players to skill up to eventually earn more on other games like code. there are some money objects that need some attention for the time they take: Potion Tables & Typewriters. Potions pay less than Jam Tables despite being logic

    incredibly cool thing: allow multiple skills to impact payouts for the duplicated single job objects. here is how we make those payouts higher in an interesting way. single job objects that are duplicated: Logic & Creativity

    • The Potion Table could factor in Cooking AND Logic when scaling a payout. This would result in a payout higher than Chalkboards for sims with both skills maxed if the payout for potions was simply extended to include 2 skills instead of 1. an easy way to do that is to factor in both skills logic and cooking, raise the base payout by 70% on the object and have each skill only contribute 50% to the payout. when combined a 100% skills = 70% higher base payout. or simply add 70% factor for the secondary skill, cooking.
    • The Typewriter could factor in Creativity and Mech. This is a perfect pair! :):):) Creativity is the other skill with 2 single money objects, the other being painting. If this object was another hybrid of 2 skills that arent used in the group money objects together and encourage the skilling up of these two important skills. the sims with the creativity to write and the mech skills to "maintain this antique and prevent jamming of the typewriter heads" would create exciting new path for sims to follow. This "hybrid object" would have the bonus effect of popularizing both Painting and Gnome single job objects.
    new payout table.
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  4. ron1

    ron1 Member

    With a few increases to the base payout to the lower payout objects, it will bring them closer in line with chalk to balance demand for single job objects.
    The group bonus can be tweaked slightly to 2.5x at 12 sims to equal 40-50% of the payout of a group job object *code, pizza etc*
    Logic + Cooking skilled sim would earn $760 per sale on a potion table. Thats with 40 skill points. That may seem like a lot, but a chalk board pays 89% of that already with only a single skill maxed. This is because potion tables and typewriters take a lot longer to complete than chalkboads. This would make the social aspect of single job objects viable enough to attract a large diversity of sims to earn money and community build together.

    [​IMG]
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  5. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    Fantastic, that's the first time in 3 years someone has actually tried justifying anything.

    Skill specialisation is definitely causing problems at this number of players, and because skills are so unbalanced anyways. Doesn't help that people are "waiting for the wipe", which might as well just be "waiting to die of old age" because if you aren't playing now it's not likely you'll be engaged enough to compete later. If something like this were added, it would probably be added in server configuration - we need some kind of framework to allow the city server to calculate, dynamically modify and distribute SimAntics tuning constants. This would be alongside changes which allow skill bonus or free green weekends - more freedom for server hosts in general. Additionally, disabling this feature if it proves counter-intuitive at higher volumes of players.

    Multi-skill objects is a fantastic idea, but that's a lot of work and at this point I am really on the way out. Maybe someone else could try implementing it... you know, if anyone else actually developed this game.

    You're selling this as all good though, when it really is not. A large part of the game's current culture revolves around skill specialisation, and its existence is meant to drive people to different lots rather than all stacking in the same one. There is one potential outcome that I can see coming out of this. Everyone stacks in the same skill lot since they dont have to go to different lots, and there are 32 lots open with two of them at 24 and all others at 1-2. Actually, that's kind of the game right now. Either way, if this happens something like this would be reverted IMMEDIATELY. One interesting change could actually be reducing skill speed if there are too many people skilling, but that might be too advanced for some people to take.

    Kickbacks won't be increased because they are already much better than what skill lots get. Simple as that. Might want to deal with those first.

    Note that while you're using chalk as a baseline for increasing pay, it is not completely dominating money objects since it is completely useless for any other purpose... so evening it out with other objects would make it even less appealing. Additionally, universally increasing the pay for all solo objects undercuts the fact that people could be better off making money with group objects or job lots. I would rather an average as a baseline.

    Ideally, we should be able to dynamically gauge how popular certain skills are and give the unpopular ones higher pay. This would balance out the additional uses for skills like Cooking and Charisma, which people skill for HC, online jobs etc. It would also be able to rebalance itself if uses are added for these skills, for example when object wear is working and people need Mech to repair stuff.

    Using a balanced baseline, we can skew all skills on a daily basis - unpopular skills like body would get a higher pay... while popular skills like cooking would get a lower pay. Additionally, the game would pick one "golden" skill per day, which would receive a notable boost from its calculated pay skew. If you don't have that skill, you might be inclined to ignore it, but if you have two skills at high, you might be more inclined to earn solo object money with the "golden" skill, if for some reason you don't want to play the online jobs or group objects.

    You'd be able to find out what the current state of the skills looks like from the newspaper, which would have a new plugin for this and reading recent server news, making them less completely useless. More on this later, but it might be a while before you see something like this.
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  6. ron1

    ron1 Member

  7. ron1

    ron1 Member

    would it have to be city wide or lot specific? i dont understand if the objects are counting each other can you just remove the thing that "says only count other bookcases" ? since the skill speeds are contained to a single lot i guess it might see if other lots are skilling that same object but then again i dont know.

    i understand the concept of skill stacking, but had to remove that part because the post was getting too long. the lot cap might be too high then because it still monopolizes players into single lots. if it was lowered to 18 again then it might force players into other lots.

    the population we have seems to be discouraging skilling because nobody can do anything but learn cooking. i get why chalkboards are better but people still prefer single job objects even if they pay badly. so maybe allow all the single money objects to contribute to the group bonus? i think these are ways to re-introduce some elements that were popular before and are not so as much now. i dont see the harm it would do to raise payouts to make them more evenly distributed it would allow people to use the skills they have not one they dont have skills to use. the kickbacks might as well be $0 because nobody can sustain a lot on kickbacks let alone pay for objects to earn them not to mention profit from having a successful model. if its that great of a concern to raise kickbacks then the property bonuses can be taken out and replaced with higher kickbacks.

    skill stacking, we have the reverse problem it seems. its cutting off 84% of the skills at a given time.

    i get the multi skill object idea, adding "learn this" to every skill object or a single skill object and allowing those to stack could be a solution.
    i dont understand treating single money objects as the "enemy" to "better" objects like code or pizza. they are vital to the community of the game because they allow sims to do things other than IM each other in Pizza or follow code instructions.
    if we want people to play the game and make it viable we have to stop looking at everything as being autmatically bad because X,Y,Z. whatever has been changed ths far in reguards to this hasnt worked out and isnt going to work out in the long run. nothing but a slow perpetual decline no matter how many old features are enabled. this should have been obvious months ago.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  8. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    Your last paragraph is a little annoying. This project is first and foremost about reviving The Sims Online in its entirety - telling us to work on new features before completing this isn't going to make it happen. It takes enough time implementing the original features. Pizza is not meant to be done with one user telling 3 what to do and code isn't meant to be done following a cheat sheet. You might find more fun in the game if you didn't spend so much time min/maxing it - the human element is the fun part of the game.

    Regarding group job objects - you are ignoring that skill objects let you do even less - you literally stand there doing nothing while you talk to other users (ideally, but most people just stay dead silent). During pizza and code, you are not denied this opportunity to talk to people (you seem to have implied this), and you actually get to do something relating to the game.

    All I can say is that anyone can implement this, and at this stage it might not even be me. It takes a lot of time to do any of these things, and I'm running out. If I do it, you'll have to trust me that it will make things more interesting. If I'm gone, it's up to the community to come up with something that works, rather than something which just makes the game too damn easy, and fills servers with afk bots that new developers would need to add detection for.

    I don't make things harder because I'm satan or whatever, I do it because games can't just be a pisstake. If everyone gets what they want immediately, what is there left to achieve?
    AquilaSim, mrpenguinb and Jowiko96 like this.
  9. ron1

    ron1 Member

    dont want any new features just rebalancing. chalk boards are no incentive do to single money objects "because they pay more" because if people did single money objects for "just money" they sure wouldnt do jams. jam tables are already the lowest paying single money object and changing them to make them worse turned off a lot of players. i like the idea of averaging the single money objects, right now they are all over the place making all of them but chalkboards sort of bad. i dont understand the position that making the pay more makes "the game easier" if people wanted the game to be easier they wouldnt do single money objects, again thats not the point ive been making. we are forced to min/max because the social elements of this game are being neglected by turning off players.

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