How to make brilliant events less annoying...

HalloMamiHalloMami Posts: 191 ✭✭✭
in Game Events #1 latest comment 04 June, 2021, 12:39 pm.

So, @HPWUTeam , a while ago you did this questionaire about events. I thought I'd give a little more detailed feedback about why in particular I find brilliant events more annoying than enjoyable.


Brilliant events have a fundamental difference to other events: Brilliant event add a new registry page that you can fill out ONLY during this event. Yes, they are also the only events where you can get RSBs, but if you miss out on a single BE that's not that big of a deal because you can always get more later. 


So, basically you have to play the event to get your registry filled (which is basically the primary goal of the game so I consider this a big deal). This is unlike any other events; yes, adversary events and CDs will help you to fill out certain registry pages faster, but you can totally do those later at your own pace.


This is already kind of annoying, but what I feel makes them really annoying are mostly two factors:


1. The foundables

Normally the events are about the foundables. Like, you might get rare traces or challenge foundables that you still need to complete your registry, you can place images to farm trunks for ministry manuals, gold presents, charm recharges, all that good stuff.


For BEs, none of this is a thing. Yes, occasionally the BEs would feature tasks related to a certain family or spell, which at times results in increase spawns of potentially rarer foundables, but the brilliant foundables themselves are just terrible. I wouldn't know why you want to return more foundables than you need to complete the tasks and fill the registry page.


- They are pretty annoying to return. Why are they not in the easiest class? If you feel making them easier to return would hurt your sale of energy, just make them 2 SE a pop.

- None of the trunk improvements work with BE registry pages, so no XP/charm refills/gold presents/ministry manuals but a runestone that you don't need after the event.

- After completing the event and the bonus tasks you still have these medium effort/low return foundables diluting the regular spawns significantly even when using trace charms or TTDs. So, you can't play normally during an BE either.


2. The tasks

Let's face it, nobody likes being forced to do quests just for the sake of doing the quests. The rewards for the quests so far have almost never being worth the effort. Tasks are nice to kind of guide you through the event. Like, they support they way you would play anyways if you are interested in getting the foundables of the event. This is something that adversary events and CDs typically manage to do reasonably well, but BEs more often then not fail in this respect.


Due to the fundamental property of BEs that they add a new registry page that you can complete only during the event, doing so should be relatively easy for every player (even if relatively casual or a fresh account). Given this, it is very good that the BE is about a week long. And I think everybody should be able to get at least the "fill the registry page" part done within a few hours of play time without any preparation.


This is currently not so because right now you have to go through 4x3 quests of varying difficulty to get the last fragment, some of which actually take several hours to complete.


Just adding the registry page already creates several implicit tasks, namely:

- Return 20 foundables of type A

- Return 20 foundables of type B

- Pick up and open 5 portkeys

- Collect enough runestones (at least three) and do enough chambers to get the 3 challenge foundables

and I think that everybody that puts in enough effort to do all of the above should get the last fragment. It is ok to hide (at least most of) the RSBs behind more tasks but the task fragment should be available early.


So, overall, I think that currently getting to the last fragment currently takes too much effort. Apart from that, there are other task related issues that are prevalent in BEs which makes playing simply annoying and non-intuitive:


a) Multiple lists of tasks:

Ok, not a big a fan of that generally, but there are a couple of tasks that are the source of a lot of annoyance due to in what order they appear in the task list in conjuction with the UI. Here is the issue: Typically, the structure is something like list 1 contains "Return 12 A", list 2 has "Return 12 B" and list 3 has "Earn x BE runestones".


Now, per se not a big deal because you want to return 20 of A and B anyways and you need the runestones to get the challenge foundable. Here is the thing, though: Earning the runestones normally takes quite a while, in particular at the second stage of a BE when you need 40 FXP. If you know what you are doing, the task isn't too hard because you collect the runestones only when you go to the BE registry page. So, you collect 12 A in part 1, 12 B in part 2 and then visit the registry page only in stage three and get a lot of runestones right away.


However, this kind of means that you have to use the interface in a non-intuitive way. Like, why shouldn't you be able to check out the registry page at any point without actually incurring a severe disadvantage? And it is actually worse:

Obviously you will not only encounter A at the first stage and B during the second, but - on average - both by the same amount. Ok, so assume you encountered 12 of each in phase 1 and returned them. Now you enter phase 2 and will quickly find out that you screwed up, because you need to return 12 more of B, but when you returned the first 8 (totalling 20), the game will always force you to go to the registry. The only way to avoid that is to force close the app which takes time. So, basically, to optimize this you have to make sure that you do not return more than 7 of B in phase 1 and no more of 7 in A in phase 2. 


If you return more brilliant traces in either phases you are at a severe disadvantage. In a brilliant event, no less! Not exactly a brilliant concept, eh? And then you occasionally forget this or to force close the app and collect the runestones prematurely... This is one of the instances where I think that the game really tries to be as annoying as possible. 


Ok, we have our runestones, we can place the images now, right? Like what we do this whole stuff for? Well, we could but again a little down the road (typically in the bonus round) there often is a "place x images" quest... Sigh.


b) Foundables:

Getting the desired foundable in the required number in a reasonable amount of time is a game of chance. And the problem there is that you can get extremely unlucky (and some players will if the number of players is large enough) to not be able to find enough of whatever they are looking for or at least not in a reasonable time range.


This problem is compounded by requiring certain foundables at certain stages, and also: What are the part 1 BE foundables doing in part 2 BE? There is no point for them to be there at all, really. 


To illustrate what the problem is:


Assume the task is to retrieve one Thestral and the spawn rate of Thestrals is 1% (like, 1% of all foundables are Thestrals). Now we assume that the players encounter 200 foundables. Yes, on average each player should see 2 Thestrals, but there is a certain chance that a given player can actually encounter between 0 and 200 Thestrals. It is actually easy to compute what the percentage of players (on average) will be that does not see at least on Thestral in 200 encounters, and this actually ends up at around 13%. So, for every 10k players, 1340 will have no luck with Thestrals and write angry comments in the forums.


Second case: Now we increase the spawn rate for Thestrals to 5%, but increase the required amount of Thestrals to 5. I.e. the ratio of spawn rate to required number of foundables remains constant, and thus the difficulty of the task on average is the same as before. So nothing changed? Well, wrong. The result of this is that the number of players that get extremely unlucky and can't find the 5 Thestrals is lower. I wrote a short program to simulate this case and having the same 10k players encounter 200 foundables and only about 250 where not able to find the required 5 Thestrals. Way less angry comments.


Just to drive the point home: 10% spawn rate, but the task requires 10 Thestrals. Angry comments down to around 40.


So, basically, you need a considerable spawn rate of whatever foundable a task requires and you can then adjust the difficulty by setting the number of required items accordingly. Low spawn rates just increases the potential amount of bad luck players can experience. Now, littering the map with e.g. Thestrals is no fun for anybody either, which in turn means: Don't use tasks that require you to find a specific foundable, but rather use tasks that require groups of foundables (e.g. the current Troll task is totally fine).


This is an issue in a lot of parts of this game, like, there is a lot of RNG going on that can be quite frustrating at times and that you can't work around, really. I guess the developers tend to think about these things in terms of "on average this should be so-amd-so hard". I think it would be better if you think more in terms of "what are the chances that a given player end up with the short end of the stick".


A lot of these issues can be at least reduced to some extent without much effort on your side. The next post will contain my suggestions of how to make BE less annoying.

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Comments

  • HalloMamiHalloMami Posts: 191 ✭✭✭
    #201 June, 2021, 03:17 pm.

    Ok, so, now on to the constructive part: How would I set up a BE (let's use the current "Unforgivable truth BE" as example).

    General changes:

    - Change BE foundables to lowest emergency level

    - Make BE trunks also have a chance to refill charms and/or to give spell books (spell book reward removed from tasks);

    - Make BE trunks contain 2 random foundables from past BEs

    - No part 1 BE foundables in part 2.


    Tasks:

    - Collect 10 Ingredients or Portmanteaus

    - Use Master notes 4 times

    - Return 50 BE foundables

    - Collect 6 BE runestones

    - Return 40 Foundables guarded by Mountain trolls

    - Cast 30 Good spells

    - Earn 7000 XP from traces

    Rewards: The chocolate frog, 5 RSBs


    Bonus tasks 1:

    - Earn 7500 XP from challenges

    - Cast 20 Great spells

    - Defeat 20 foes in challenges

    - Use 5 Potions (any)

    - Return 20 BE foundables

    Rewards: 10 RSBs, 5 DADAs


    Bonus tasks 2:

    - Win in the highest chamber for which you have a white number

    - Earn 15000 WXP (any)

    - Cast 40 great spells

    - Use 10 potions (any)

    - Return 50 foundables guarded by trolls

    Rewards: 5 DADAs, some title, extension for one vault


    There you go, I feel this would be much nicer to play than what we have now. You can actually play normally without playing around the interface and checking tasks of upcoming lists beforehand. Also, this should minimize the "Now that I need foundable B, I only get foundable As" experiences. And if you are mostly interested in completing the page (or the storyline for that matter), you are done after the first round of tasks.

  • RumpelstilzkinRumpelstilzkin Posts: 166 ✭✭✭
    #301 June, 2021, 05:59 pm.

    @HalloMami very nice write-up. I disagree on completing tasks, I personally like this more than the rewards (a noble quest!).

    I totally agree on that the way the tasks are structured is annoying. Typically, it’s “defeat 15 foes in fortress challenges” in one step and “get xxxx experience in fortress challenges” in the next step, which just screams inefficiency.

    I’ve given up on optimizing placing images and returning not too many foundables before they are asked for. There are enough spawns in my area that I can places images repeatedly and get runestones fairly quickly.

  • NorajCandiesNorajCandies Posts: 37 ✭✭
    edited June 1 #401 June, 2021, 07:20 pm.

    so the 1340 players have to play a little more to finish tasks so what?

  • NorajCandiesNorajCandies Posts: 37 ✭✭
    edited June 1 #501 June, 2021, 07:24 pm.

    after I agree that WB really needs to increase event spawn on the map and in tonic, it should be :

    • tonic 50%+ (against less than 25% currently)
    • map 50% if event lasts less than 48 hours and 25%-33% if one week
  • HalloMamiHalloMami Posts: 191 ✭✭✭
    #604 June, 2021, 10:46 am.

    @NorajCandies: Re the "so the 1340 players have to play a little more to finish tasks so what?"


    Yeah, well, that's not how that works. Whenever you have anything that relies on chance, there likely will be people with particular bad luck given that enough people participate.


    So, we had 1340 people for the 1% case after 200 foundables. Well, after 400 foundables we are at 180 players still not encountering the right foundable. After 600 we have still 24 players. And so on.


    Now, I'm not saying that the chance actually was 1%, I just used this number to illustrate the point. But the common complaints on these forums just indicate that often these tasks end up being problematic for some players (re, McGonagals OWL thingy, Moocalfs in the BE, Mummies in the AE and so on...).


    What I wanted to point out was merely that instead of asking the players to return a few rare foundables it is better to have them return more of a more common one. The average difficulty remains the same, but the individual player experience is more likely to be closer to the average. Like, there are fewer players that complete the task instantly and also fewer players that unsuccessfully try to find the thing. And all that for no downside or extra programming effort, as far as I can tell....

  • OlgaMalfoyOlgaMalfoy Posts: 29 ✭✭
    #704 June, 2021, 11:27 am.

    @HalloMami a girl named Sigyn Altarielvalice designs the questionnaire and she submits it to the @HPWUTeam. We have seen some changes since she submits them so they kind of hear us n I feel that they work well.

    I guess they hav a reason why they dont fulfill every request we ask but ur write up is pretty good.

    Mayb try to connect with Sigyn? She could use it in her reports and mayb that would help as well.


    It would be nice if she posted it on the forum as well but most other social media has the links. @hpwulola is it possible to hav the surveys posted to the forum for users to fill as well by you or can we get her to do so?

  • DrakoniteDrakonite Posts: 1,552 ✭✭✭✭✭
    #804 June, 2021, 12:39 pm.

    @NorajCandies the problem is those players (and many more) may not have the extra time, real world life, work, family, kids, many aplenty reason why ppl wont be able to, and these events are menat to be completable by everyone, not (just) ppl who can play 10hrs a day every day and/or spend ##$$$ per day/week/month etc. So, yeah if someone can only play 1 hr or 2hr a week they must be able to complete at least the 4 pages, since they give restricted resources (rsbs) they cant get elsewhere. (at least for now).

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