The future: A reset free SSW? I have heard many people say they were caught off guard by the lack of reset, and I was also caught off guard, but I do like the concept. The only thing that can bother me is new players would be at a perpetual big disadvantage to the old. How could we solve this?
One idea I had was the "soft reset". In this case, these things would happen:
-All battle drones would be removed from space and inventories, and Ammie drones would appear
-All other item quantities would be capped at 1000
-Starbux would be reset to 10,000
-All stats would be capped to 10,000. This would allow old players to keep some progress while also leveling the field a bit.
-All players would be reset to degree 32, or their current degree, whichever was lower, and could dimit as desired
-Dimit bonuses would be reset
-Power would be reset
-Cages would be reset
That probably doesn't cover everything, but you get the idea.
I really love the idea of Reset, do it differently this time. I understand the draw for reset free, but I think the newer players will be gun shy even with capped stats. Again even if we only do reset once a year (or twice whatever happens) I think it will be cool to decide this time you want lumie, or try your hand at staying balanced and be ammie. I realize you can shift your alignment, but sometimes you're so deep in one or the other that it's just too frustrating to try to drag your self out....just thoughts
I ran a game for a few years called Pleasantville by Night which was pretty heavily inspired by SSW (technically I guess I still run it, I'm just not updating it anymore). At first, I pretty much ripped off SSW's system: made getting access to taking over the universe/city come after the last quest and made the round end when a society had a certain % of the city controlled for a certain amount of time.
I definitely think this way really is a bad thing for getting players to stick around. Most of the long-term players were former SSW players who were already used to resets. A lot of new players would play a round and then leave, and I had quite a few complaints about the reset. And in PBN, there was actually more reason to play through multiple times than SSW has...the societies all had different missions and different special powers.
BUT on the other hand, without resetting at all, the war part of the game is kind of pointless, so I do think some kind of reset is necessary.
Towards the end of PBN's active life, I made some changes to how things worked. It was too little too late, but here's what I did, in case any of these ideas appeal.
1) The round length was set (I think I did 2 months, maybe 3). The societies accumulated points every day based on how much they controlled, and the society with the most points at the "apocalypse" won. The time-til-reset was clearly displayed, so there's no way it could catch anyone by surprise.
2) When the new round began, players were given the option to reset. If they didn't want to reset, they weren't allowed to take part in PBN's version of the "drone game," weren't listed in the top society members list, and weren't allowed to PvP or send items to/buy items from other players (to prevent people staying behind to abuse this and funnel stuff to their reset comrades). If they chose not to reset, though, they had the option to reset at any point later on if they decided they did want to take part in the multiplayer part.
3) Players were allowed to keep a limited number of items of their choice from the previous round. To counteract them taking powerful weapons and dominating early game, I gave weapons and armor stat requirements.
4) On the page where they made the choice whether or not to reset, I explained why resetting was necessary for the game balance, how the "war" would get boring if people just continued to get more powerful, etc, and explained what they'd be missing out on if they didn't reset.
5) Players who had registered within a certain time of the reset were not required to reset. They were given the option, but were able to keep playing with their current stats/equipment/society if they wanted. The rationale is, having to start over when you've barely started is a bad first impression, and chances are anyone that new wouldn't imbalance the game by not resetting. Potentially someone could make a multi and abuse this, I suppose. I warned these players that they would have to reset next round, though.
6) I made players able to get into PBN's version of the "drone game" much earlier, so they felt more a part of the "war" earlier on and were able to see why the reset is necessary. I dunno whether or not SSW should do this, it'd be a pretty big balance changer, but I remember my first cycle, I had no idea what the hell was going on with drones and painting the sky til I got there.
I believe that SSW (and by extension PBN) suffer from a particular defect by design, and that is that they are at root level hybrid 4x and also MMO crafting/gathering/questing games. These two genres have polar opposite reactions to resets, with the MMO side abhorring resets and the 4X side requiring them. I'm certain this will always fuel the debate over resets, and it makes perfect sense that it does as long as we are comfortable with the fact that everyone's going to have differing opinions which often can be clearly traced to what part of the game they like best.
Simply put, SSW and PBN gameplay theory is by design schizophrenic, and no single solution will satisfy the players unless you rip out half the game to remove the discordant motivator. I actually pondered ripping out all of the quests & items and going pure 4X before I pulled the Willy Wonka in early 2012.
Thing is, I *like* the fact that SSW is schizoid. I accept that the schizophrenia will be off-putting to a majority of potential players, because they like games with well-defined motivations that do not conflict much with each other. You can dump the drones/war and just be a KOL-like and never have a reason to reset, but then you're locking yourself into a game that *has* to become more and more complex to maintain a userbase. You can dump the quests & items/crafting and go pure 4X and nobody would peep about resets again, but it wouldn't be the same game, and much silliness would be lost.
Given that in the end, the measures you took didn't really achieve the goal of retaining the playerbase, I would suspect that merely mitigating resets into something semi-optional and not completely clean doesn't really solve the basic conflict that makes the resets spark discussion and discontent.
well said, and you are just another reason I love this game. Most other games [and by extension their admins] thrive on free to play/pay to win. so the admins make new stuff JUST to make you spend more money to be awesome. But this speech above (didn't feel like making a quote 5 miles long) shows how much this game [your baby] means to you. You love what you have crafted, even when changes are made you adopt them in a fashion that you like....and I'm ok with whatever you want for your creation. Ive missed this so much that i'll play no matter what, just as long as you keep on loving what you have made here and realize that since we have been allowed to enjoy something you hand crafted, by that extension....we love it too