Request for Comment - Champion System

Discussion in 'Renaissance Discussion' started by Chris, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Chris

    Chris Renaissance Staff
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    Starting tonight we will be temporarily disabling the Harrower chamber while we complete work on a new reward system for the harrower champion.

    Over the life of the server we have always intended the champion system to be a high risk/high reward situation. However after watching the last few champion spawns it has become clear that with players running more and more public Harrowers the problem is being exacerbated a bit.

    We will start by reviewing the system as it works now.

    Players must defeat the 6 champions and collect skulls in order to summon the true Harrower. Players can earn 4-15 platinum during a champion spawn depending on their methods, how they are killing monsters and other factors. Attempting to use more than one account to earn a platinum reward from the champion is more of a challenge since the champions move around a great deal. The changes made to the base champion spawns over time have been successful and have for the most part deterred attempting to cheese a reward out of the champions death.

    Once the players collect all 6 skulls they can summon the true harrower. Once his first form is killed and the second phase begins the harrower becomes locked in place and summons a ring of tentacles. During this phase 50-100 players die on average. Most never recover their corpses.

    Once the tentacles are defeated the harrower maintains his static nature and he is usually swamped by players. The reward for a player being part of a kill on the harrower is 20 platinum.

    In the last 30 months the harrower has been summoned and killed 70 times. That is roughly one time every 2 weeks. There are 516 champion skulls currently in the wild. (Reference)

    Now for our analysis of how the system has evolved.

    During the last few Harrowers there have been a few core concerns of the staff. The sheer amount of players showing up to a public harrower is way beyond what the system was designed for. We may not be as large as OSI, but during a Harrower spawn traffic to/from the server triples.

    Additionally players are more focused on finding a way to somehow get 2 or 3 of their characters to qualify for the bonus platinum.

    This has been a subject of much contention in a variety of forum posts with misleading statements about how much gold someone is making per hour. Given that a harrower is run around every two weeks these statements are inaccurate.

    3 years into the life of the server we have an economy in which items have a high value. Players strive for items to purchase in the platinum store and given the fact we do not have a donation shop they have to be earned. Common sense would indicate any system that allows these goals to be obtained would be mastered by the players.

    And like most things on Renaissance once a system breaks down or is not be used for its intended purpose that system will need to be addressed. This is not the first time this has happened (The whole champion system was disabled for 3 weeks a while back) nor will it be the last time the players master something that we create here.

    While most players have not mentioned this I have a great deal of respect for the players who put the time and effort into collecting the 6 skulls. The rewards from killing the harrower were meant originally to reward this accomplishment. I think everyone has witnessed how the public harrowers, the lure of platinum and the global teamwork that is going into these spawns has drawn us away from their true purpose. ​

    Now how do we proceed?

    To start we will be disabling the harrower spawn until we have addressed the risk factor involved in earning the platinum.

    We will be considering the following aspects for the new reward system for the harrower.
    • Damage from the first phase, tentacles, and final phase will now be pooled into a single dataset to better determine who qualifies for a reward.
    • Allowing the final phase of the harrower to be more mobile will be considered.
    • The updated reward system will need to discourage players from inviting the whole server to defeat the harrower for the sole purpose of "free money".
    • The update reward system will need to reward the effort expended by a player to defeat the harrower.
    • The system will need to force players to choose between trying to use more than one account against not getting a reward at all.
    • Review the option of developing new AI behavior or special attacks for the harrowers final phase.
    • Require animal tamers to effectively manage their pets or face deductions for the amount of health that is drawn to heal the harrowers.

    The staff has been discussing these aspects for a few weeks now and we have a rough plan for an improved system that is already being coded. However we would like to hear from the players and make sure their concerns are incorporated into the final version. ​

    Note: Negative statements will be removed from this discussion. This is not the place to air your opinion regarding various templates, playstyles or the behavior of other players. This discussion is focused on improving the champion system and fairly rewarding the effort of the players who go through the trouble of summoning him.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  2. newme

    newme Well-Known Member

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    Hi. I have not done that champ spawn myself; but one aspect i gathered from your discussion was the amount of players

    " The sheer amount of players showing up to a public harrower is way beyond what the system was designed for". My suggestion is (obvious to me) limit the amount of players who can participate during one event according to what the system was designed for, I presume this would include pets, such as dragons, since the system must process their activities as well.
    I don't think this would take away from players using two tamer accounts, just the amount of pets they can bring. Could be to advantage of the tamer as well, healing/curing less pets.
    Again, please remember I haven't done this champ spawn myself, so I might be way off.

    Thanks so much, Staff, for all this hard work. You all are the best.
  3. Mes

    Mes Well-Known Member

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    There is one major difference between spawns and harrowers on UO:R and the ones in era. Stat loss was disabled in dungeons once the harrower was introduced. This made it possible for groups to police their spawns and harrowers if they wanted to keep unwanted guests out.

    There was more to this system, like weapons/armor/regs no longer dropped on death in dungeons, but gold and scrolls were considered 'cursed' and were still lootable. More than anything, I think it was preparation for the removal of statloss altogether in Age of Shadows.

    So because of the risk of statloss and the trouble of dealing with damage from and the health pools of pets on UO:R, noone has ever really tried to kill those who crash their harrower. I've thought about it at times. The closest I came to an idea to commandeer a harrower involved trying to release tons of dragons and it was pretty poorly executed. Even if it had succeeded, it would have been impossible to hold it down.

    So I never start a harrower with the intention of killing those that show up. You can try to pop it discreetly but once everyone knows it is too late to stop them. They can flood you with murder counts, kill your reds in stat too easily with pets, and each of your own players that is assigned to policing would be giving up loot from the boss.

    I do have a suggestion that I don't think would be popular - limiting the amount of total players that can be eligible for plat from the boss. (as there was a limit to the amount of stat scrolls awarded from the harrower in era).

    Although I'd personally rather it be left as is at this point. Also as I have said since back in 2013, if it was possible to implement the household/IP system (limiting people from getting plat from a boss more than once on an IP) then I would support that too. Although I am concerned about how many people may be pretending their brother/wife/sister/etc are playing beside them in order to game that system.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  4. Bixby Legbone

    Bixby Legbone Well-Known Member

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    I look forward to seeing what's to come.

    Just a wild idea off the top of my head, but what if the harrower was made into an instance like amibs?
  5. Erlkonig

    Erlkonig Well-Known Member
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    Make it an instance - Gives more control to the people that put in the work to farm 6 skulls to control who gets to go and how much platinum is generated.
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  6. Dalavar

    Dalavar Well-Known Member
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    The first phase is currently the highest risk, lowest reward portion of the event. So this would probably be a nice change to tip that back in the generally desired direction.

    I think the whole server showing up to the public events is pretty awesome. Some of us don't regularly interact with other people in-game, so it's nice to see tons of different people out and about at once. Aside from the Halloween event, it might be the one thing that the entire population online can work together for at the same time. You could easily drop it to 10 plat per character if you wanted, and pretty much everyone would still show up, but get a little less "free money" out of it.
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  7. Laretheo

    Laretheo Active Member
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    Just a wild thought, but how about if the harrower was able to summon his own dragons (to match the same amount in the field) or able to tame the tamers tame turning him against his master.


    also Could have a 3rd form which would be resistant to magic and tame attacks but would require weapons and not instant kill you (high HP of course).


    just a rough thought of idea's that just popped into my head i'll brainstorm some more later
  8. Pill

    Pill Well-Known Member

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    I didn't read through all think because I am doing other things at the moment, but someone sent me this link. Why not just simply solve it by making the skulls a 1/10 or 1/5..etc drop chance or similar and maybe adjust the reward system to accommodate the change in difficulty to obtain a skull set.
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  9. Bogugh

    Bogugh Well-Known Member

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    This sandbox has too many holes as it is. If we instance what is currently the ultimate pvm end game on UOR, then we might as well just install trammel and be done with it. I'm not really into champs (but I've still done them all a few times), so I thought I'd be relatively neutral on all of the replies. I was wrong. We already have the zookeeper quest, AMIBs and the holiday events. Level 7 maps are coming soon. At least one of the overworld events was trammeled too. The last thing we need is more instances. Especially for something like this.

    "Over the life of the server we have always intended the champion system to be a high risk/high reward situation."

    ------

    "Damage from the first phase, tentacles, and final phase will now be pooled into a single dataset to better determine who qualifies for a reward."

    I like this.

    "Allowing the final phase of the harrower to be more mobile will be considered."

    Ok.

    "The updated reward system will need to discourage players from inviting the whole server to defeat the harrower for the sole purpose of 'free money'."

    Easy. Make the harrower drop a fixed amount of plat that is distributed by damage.

    "The update reward system will need to reward the effort expended by a player to defeat the harrower."

    Covered above.

    "The system will need to force players to choose between trying to use more than one account against not getting a reward at all."
    "Require animal tamers to effectively manage their pets or face deductions for the amount of health that is drawn to heal the harrowers."

    I'm not really sure how you intend to accomplish these, so it is difficult to comment, but I prefer one character at a time anyway.

    "Review the option of developing new AI behavior or special attacks for the harrowers final phase."

    Interesting.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  10. willie

    willie Active Member

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    I like the instance idea too for multiply reasons;

    1. Control that the people who did the work collecting skulls reap the reward.

    2. You don't have someone leaking it and the whole server showing up.

    2. It would make it harder with the lessen numbers and you would earn the plat.

    4. If you drop harrower to 10 plat or one account--you are better off running other champs in a faster and easier manner, therefore, I think an Instance would correct all this.
  11. Alice Asteroid

    Alice Asteroid Well-Known Member
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    Please do not make it an instance. Part of the excitement of these big events is the risk of thieves and other players doing nefarious things. I agree with Bogugh that we already have enough instanced events on this shard as it is.

    I know a lot of people like to PVM but there are other ways to play this game and it would make me sad to have another thing that excludes alternative playstyles.
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  12. Alice Asteroid

    Alice Asteroid Well-Known Member
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    And borrowing Bogugh's format:

    "Damage from the first phase, tentacles, and final phase will now be pooled into a single dataset to better determine who qualifies for a reward."

    I think this makes perfect sense. Would it be too difficult to also take into account damage done on the 6 champions that gave the particular skulls used to summon the Harrower when the final plat is given out? That, to me, seems like it would solve the problem of wanting to reward the people who've been working on it since the beginning, not just the ones who show up at the last minute. You could still give plat to the people who jump in at the end, just not as much.

    "Allowing the final phase of the harrower to be more mobile will be considered."
    "Review the option of developing new AI behavior or special attacks for the harrowers final phase."


    Could be neat! I think it might not be necessary if the reward system is tweaked.

    "The updated reward system will need to discourage players from inviting the whole server to defeat the harrower for the sole purpose of 'free money'."
    "The update reward system will need to reward the effort expended by a player to defeat the harrower."


    See my first comment.

    "The system will need to force players to choose between trying to use more than one account against not getting a reward at all."
    "Require animal tamers to effectively manage their pets or face deductions for the amount of health that is drawn to heal the harrowers."


    Seems reasonable.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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  13. HateCrime

    HateCrime Well-Known Member

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    No instance for the harrower, please. This is a Fel shard and making something like that un-grief-able would be bad in my opinion. Clever reworking of the harrower with his movement/special abilities can easily combat "double/triple boxing" accounts for easy plat. Also a rework of the formula and amount of plat that drops can solve the issues at hand without an instance. There are plenty of other things such as Amibs and lvl 7 Tmaps for those that would like an instanced event.

    It could be instanced in the same way that the lvl 7 maps are where the entrance is "collapsible" but 9 out of 10 times the party would wipe anyways. A banker would have to be added in the instance so people could re-stock. I can only imagine the outrage to something like that.

    I'm confident staff can come up with a better idea than an instance allowing X amount of players to enter.
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  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    What if the Harrower tree could teleport to all of his perished Tentacles, and when he does he summons 'minions' to make more targets

    Maybe present two options for trying to kill the harrower

    Option 1:
    Kill all Tentacles to prevent health regen, but risk being overwhelmed by minions

    Option 2:
    Neutralize only certain tentacles to reduce how many locations it can 'teleport to, and then try to take it out with ranged attacks, dragon breath etc.
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  15. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I also disagree with the instanced version of the Harrower.

    I see the public harrower events have been a good thing for all play styles to attend.
    Alice Asteroid likes this.
  16. DonWonDelanooch

    DonWonDelanooch New Member

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    im all for making the harrower harder..dont mind earning my plat. but if you instance the harrower u might as well just add trammel
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  17. The Musician

    The Musician Well-Known Member
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    Please keep harrowers server wide and NOT instance based. I've had harrowers get interrupted and I've also done my fair share of raiding champ spawns/other guilds private harrowers.

    Instance based harrowers will do more harm than good:
    - no thieves
    - no risk but awesome rewards
    - no pking (yes I pk and I enjoy that aspect of this game very much too)
  18. Chris

    Chris Renaissance Staff
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    Instancing is not something we are considering, this system works best in the dungeons that it originates from.

    Ill give everyone a chance to comment and then reply to everyone's suggestions.
  19. Basoosh

    Basoosh Well-Known Member
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    I actually like the system as is. Its cool to see the server convene and work together, as Dalavar said.

    If too much plat is coming from harrowers, I would say the best and easiest solution is to have a plat pool with heavy diminishing returns when more players are present. Eliminates the triple account problem and the "free money" problem in one change, without instancing.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  20. Erlkonig

    Erlkonig Well-Known Member
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    The people who make the harrowers happen spend 7-9 hours working towards just 1 harrower. An instance event would be a nice reward for their hard work. Griefers, thieves, pks, and others have a 7-9 hour window to do their thing. An instance solves the initial problem of PUBLIC harrowers. The guys working the 7-9 hours get more platinum in the 7-9 hour window then they do at the Harrower. Basically everyone else is piggy-backing off of that hard work and flooding the server with plat generation because you cant fight off the entire server when a Harrower is publicly announced.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
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