Sunset Points from retired characters

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Sunset Points from retired characters

Post by Rias » Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:35 pm

Sunset Points are now a thing! See the wiki article or type HELP SUNSET in-game for details. The basic concept is to help encourage players to focus on a few characters rather than maintain a massive army of active/shelved alts. Hopefully giving people a reason to permanently give up old characters they don't have much interest in anymore will help. It can also help people let go of old characters who have had their time and are ready to move on to a new one, thanks to the increased rate of progress helping get through that starting grind for the new characters allowed by the retiring of the old ones.

The numbers are sure to be tweaked over time. Right now it's at a rate where essentially 50% of a retired characters' experience will be preserved via this sort of transfer-over-time to other characters instead. It's not one-to-one because I don't want to see silliness like people creating characters just to experience up via extremely easy means for the sole purpose of retiring them and using their sunset points on another character.

This has been a fairly frequently-requested feature over the years (even in The Other Game), so I'm hoping this makes some people happy! As always, feedback is appreciated.

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Re: Sunset Points from retired characters

Post by Irylia » Wed Apr 28, 2021 5:59 pm

Thanks for implementing this. I have a few suggestions that might make it a little more user-friendly.

1) Put something about retiring/sunsetting in the login screen area to people know it's an option.
2) Have some indicator that sunset is on/off in the "exp" command so people have an easy reminder anytime they check their bucket and don't accidentally forget it's on or misuse points.
3) Possibly change the color of retired characters or hide them so people don't have constant/brightly visible reminders of characters they won't ever play again. Or maybe separate them with some kind of spacer so they're not clumped with active and shelved characters.

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Re: Sunset Points from retired characters

Post by nobody » Thu May 13, 2021 9:57 am

I finally had some time to work through the math on this and wanted to post a little about that. I started with a two variable model (I used the sunset decrease amount and the efficiency rate, but you could also use the sunset decrease amount and the bucket drip increase amount and it would be the same model). TLDR: (1) The sunset decrease amount should be equal to or greater than the bucket drip increase amount +15 (it's currently equal) and (2) the efficiency rate should be 50% or lower (it's currently 50%). Great job Rias on nailing the math on your first go round.

(1): I found this quirk of the sunset decrease amount when considering what would happen if the efficiency rate stayed the same (50%) and the bucket drip increase amount were reduced to 2 (the same as the current benefit of reflection therapy). Suppose someone worked up to level 100 and then retired the character. They would have 1,732,500 sunset points saved up. Since each drip would yield 17 exp instead of 15*, the new character would reach level 100 after 101,912 drips instead of the normal 115,500 drips. During that time, their sunset amount would decrease by 407,648, or less than 25%. In other words, if you got one character to level 100 and retired them, that set up would allow you to use the sunset exp gains to help get 4 characters to level 100. Any time the sunset decrease amount is less than the bucket drip increase amount +15, the number of characters needed to deplete the sunset points is greater than 1, regardless of the efficiency ratio. This is arguably not a problem, it just feels weird to me because it seems to encourage creating more characters rather than fewer.

(2): The efficiency rate I mentioned some in the voice chat just after this feature came out. At an efficiency rate above 50%, getting a character to level 100, retiring them, and then using the sunset bonus to get a second character to level 100 and then retiring them would result in having a larger number of sunset points after retiring the second than after retiring the first. With a 50% efficiency rate, the amount of sunset points after retiring the second is the same as after the first, and with an efficiency rate below 50%, the number of sunset points after retiring the second character is lower than after retiring the first. I personally like the 50% ratio because it means you only need to get to level 100 the hard way once, and after that it's always easier (if you are choosing to retire your level 100 character, certainly not everyone will - it'd be tough to choose to lose your accumulated wealth and other stuff even if the leveling up will be faster). I also like that it helps to mitigate the issue Rias mentioned in the most recent chat - if you'd left cogg and wanted to come back as a new character just so you'd be certain to be unrecognized, you'd at least have less of a horrible low-level grind to get through. Not equivalent certainly, but a very nice thought.

(*): For all my work I've assumed all characters always get a full drip of 15 exp, which I know isn't always true for me. A partial drip happens when you have less than 15 exp in your bucket when it drips - it empties out completely but instead of getting 15 you get whatever was in your bucket. I don't think this will be a considerable source of error unless someone deliberately tries (or accidentally manages) to be weirdly inefficient with gathering exp. With partial drips, it is possible the sunset bucket would drain faster than it otherwise would (I haven't tested, so I'm not certain), and the outcome there is that the character will need to make up any exp they missed in earlier drips without the benefit of the sunset bonus (I think of this as a non-issue).

And lastly, some additional notes on balance. I'm not overly concerned with the rate of exp increase afforded by using a sunset bonus even as high as it currently is (though the current is what I would call a reasonable upper bound). This is for three reasons: first, the physicker's reflection therapy benefit has no marginal cost (once the physicker has put in the time to learn the ability, it costs them 30 seconds of RT to use it and costs the recipient no time but probably some riln, which for anyone above level 10 or 15 is probably not significant), while to get a sunset bonus, one must have spent the time to earn the exp once and make the difficult decision (still difficult in my opinion anyway) to retire the character before you can get it back again as a benefit. The two things both offer potentially faster leveling, but they are quite different in terms of real cost. The second reason I don't believe the sunset bonus is unbalancing is because leveling twice as fast as another character is already very possible. All one need do is log in and play twice as much as someone else, or alternatively be halfway to level cap with your character when someone else creates theirs. I don't view either of those things as unbalancing. If they were considered unbalancing, the remedy I might recommend would be regularly scheduled character wipes (no thank you) or daily exp caps (this would definitely discourage excessive grinding for exp, but some might still grind for riln or just logout so it might also not result in more people hanging out to RP). The third reason is that the current game design makes it not difficult to get exp - one could reach level 100 by farming or mining or metalworking your way there, just waiting for an RP-based life event to turn the character's path to violence, joining the warriors guild and advancing rather quickly in combat ability. It'd be a slow-burn story, but I've certainly heard worse.

All that arithmetic and rambling done, I love the feature and think it's a great addition.

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