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Let's talk about bonus points and RP rates...

Eminent Member

This is a plea for the staff to please consider alternatives to the current RP accumulation system. It's wholly flawed and relies too heavily on the reward policies and availability of present staff.  

Modern-day TEC is a vastly different climate than the 1999-early 2000s era. The player base is smaller, the staff is smaller. The majority of the player base is older, and with age comes responsibilities that limit our time in ways we didn't have when we were all thirteen-year-olds lying about our age to play TEC all summer. The staff has changed as well and their availability as well. Loving the activity recently, but historically, we go through lulls of silence from staff. We're all human and stuff in RL comes up which is understandable but the bonus point system relies on a staff member seeing you do exceptional roleplay AND rewarding you for it.

A bonus point is -supposed- to be awarded for above and beyond roleplay that exceeds the normal RP reward, a GM/SG would give for exceptional roleplay. That has not always been the case and as such, there are a select few people who have reaped the benefits of the bonus point era of staff policy where you got one just for showing up to events during the early 2000s for nigh two decades. 

I will preface with I have no ill will or am asking to punish or remove the RP rates from anyone who has reaped those benefits. I am just merely trying to point out the flaws in the system.

Base RPs 2.5/hr foor basic accounts and 5.0/hr for premium accounts.

Max Role-Point Accumulation Rate is 8.0/hr for basic accounts and 12.0/hr for premium accounts.

Flaw #1: Ten bonus points are only .5 RPs/hr. For perspective, I've been playing since 1999 and have been active in several @orgs, major story arcs, and consistently place in the top 10 for RPotM. I only have 16 BPs. Several of which have been for dying. At the rate at which they're given out by current staff, getting any form of RP increase in a reasonable amount of time is an unattainable goal. This is even more so unattainable for any newcomers or returning players who might not have the advantage of having an established character in the game world, limiting their roleplay interaction.

Flaw #2: Unfair advantage financially. Someone who has gotten their RP rates to a very high in the past can produce more RPs on a basic account for half the price than someone who hasn't on a premium account.

Flaw #3: Unfair advantage mechanically. Those who were able to get their RP rate very high in the past produce more RPs/hr which allow them to buy stat increases, skill swaps, skill slots, custom items, retraits, etc. at an exponential rate. RPs are a time-based finite resource. You can only accumulate them so fast, and being able to at an unfair advantage is a huge design flaw in the system.

Flaw #4: Bonus points in @perks. This was a nice gesture, but relying on an RNG machine to MAYBE give you something that is awarded for exceptional roleplay is not the right answer. I don't have numbers, but I'd guess it's less than a 5% chance to receive one and you'd need to win that lottery 10 times for it to mean anything worthwhile.

Flaw #5: No clear, concise definition of what is deserving of a bonus point. 

Flaw #6: Reliance on GM/SG availability and their policies on giving out bonus points. This and #5 are HUGE. The entire system is hinged on a) a staff member is online and b) them recognizing your roleplay as exceptional enough to warrant a bonus point. You could put on an entire recreation of the Battle of Windward in the colosseum with ten of your friends and if the staff isn't around, it means nothing.

Suggested actions in the current system:

1. If nothing changes, suggest that the staff clearly defines what warrants a bonus point and review their policy to let SGs be more brazen (but not excessive) with their bonus point awards.

2. Provide alternative ways to receive bonus points. This requires some work to implement by the staff but also lightens their workload by player sourcing.

    a) Lore submissions. 

         1. Library submissions. i.e. Codexes, artwork, poems, etc.

         2. Ambiance submissions i.e. gameworld emotes in areas that need them to make the world feel more vibrant

         3. NPC descriptions i.e. Provide character descriptions for NPCs that make them stand out or feel more alive.

         4. Room, item, weapon descriptions i.e. Bring life to bland items (You see nothing extraordinary about a lantern.)

         5. Worldbuilding. This might be a little tough if the GMs have some hidden lore wiki but provide lore for countries, religions, etc. to flesh them out. What holidays do Tucheans celebrate? What are the courting rituals of Aestiva? What is the favored dish of the Gaedaene people?

     b) Wiki work. The wiki is unofficial, but the go-to source of information for TEC. There's a handful of people who put in a lot of work to make it wonderful for newcomers and oldbies alike. It'd be nice if that went rewarded.

     c) Helping newcomers. This could be via IG or the OOC means. Stopping what you're doing to help a newcomer is great charity, but above and beyond newcomer support could be rewarded.

     d) Storyarc ideas. Submitting ideas for small or even large-scale arcs for SG/GM's to run with.


Suggested new "veteran" system:

This could be in addition to the current system or separate.

1. Reward system for account age. Not sure how technically feasible it is for GMs to track time in game vs. straight account age but it'd be nice if the more you play the better your RP becomes. It promotes people to be in game playing, and player retention and provides a permanent bonus as a thank you for supporting the community without GM or SG intervention. This also provides a way for people who can't afford to subscribe but also love playing the game to earn a small amount of RPs with a freebie subscription.

2. Reward system for subscriptions. Provides another incentive to subscribe to TEC. Suggest that every six months of basic subscription and every three months of premium subscription increase your RP rate by .5 or .25 permanently. Buying a quarterly or yearly subscription would automatically apply the permanent increase up front as a perk to subscribing that way. This allows folks who may not receive bonus points regularly an avenue of eventually getting the increased RP rate some have already achieved.

3. StP option: Permanently increase RP rate. In lieu of spending them for upfront RP 1:2.5 RP conversion or double RP weekly option, provide an additional StP option that instead permanently increases your RP rate for a certain amount of StPs. I'd suggest somewhere in the 250-300 StPs range for .5 RPs/hr. That's the equivalent to ~roughly a month of in-game time. 


I'm sure some others might have some great ideas as well. Hopefully, we can come to some compromise with the current system. 

Topic starter Posted : 09/03/2022 4:01 PM
Dragonus liked
Trusted Member

I fully disagree with your assessment of the current rewards system. I also fully disagree with your proposed solutions, as some of those solutions would result in the exact same problem you're complaining about in the first place, only, faster.

Posted : 09/04/2022 1:07 AM
Active Member Registered

The very recent adjustment to Kudos is a step in the right direction. Personally, I'd also like to see some sort of limitation on giving the same character a kudos back-to-back; maybe a 3-day timer between giving the same person another kudos to encourage spreading reward for interactions around a bit more. To tie that into the BP system, maybe add a new benefit to placing in the top-ten each month: just receive a BP for achieving that. As long as kudos continue to be monitored to ensure that they are being used correctly, then it implies that those placing in the top-ten are going above and beyond to create enjoyable RP interactions for players, and I think a BP for that makes perfect sense. Like you said, it's a difficult system to manage because of there not being a real clear guideline on what merits rewarding an interaction with some RP's versus what merits rewarding an interaction with bonus points, and if a GM or SG isn't around for the interaction, it's 100% not getting a BP no matter what. I know that when we started the SG system, Sceadu gave us the go-ahead to be pretty liberal with handing out bonus points at our SG events; not as participation trophies, but to ensure that at the very least, anyone that was making a genuine RP effort got rewarded for it. So in that handful of months between Sceadu starting the SG system up and then him stepping away and Wombat coming in and completely ruining it, there were a LOT of bonus points given out and the players that were active during that time are certainly reaping the rewards of that now.

Posted : 09/06/2022 12:11 AM