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Substat Control

So I've written and rewritten this a couple times. It's something that's been on my mind a lot at certain points playing this game, basically since the concept of substats was explained to me. I'm gonna try and keep it under one page in word though, as my last couple attempts at writing this have led to two attempts that went about 5 pages in word long.

So, to wit, Substats at current are implemented in a way that both obfuscates and removes control from the player as to how their character develops. It also is one of/the only significant random chance in character development. And one of the few places where you lack any kind of control over it.

This can create situations where background and RP can be voided by RNG. Which is distinctly unpleasant to think about, at least for me.

Consider the ugle charmer, someone who has mastered psychology and uses it to play people while retaining an uglier outwards appearance than that mastery of psychology and charm would portray. This is something that would be impossible to do in a situation where the gains are randomized.

Consider the slow and steady marksman, who while they can't run very fast, is proficient in coordination and almost never misses a shot, this is another thing that can be potentially screwed over by random substat gains.

Opening up control, even to a minor degree, in substat development, improves player RP and provides a way to guide stat development, whether negative or positive, this doesn't have to expose more of the inherent systems it simply gives the players more control to shape their characters development in a way that makes sense. Hell it could be a placebo as well.

Space remaining permits that I can provide two potential solutions to this problem and discuss consequences of them shortly.

Solution One: Open up the stats system fully, and allow the selection each raise of the requisite substat.

Consequences vaguely: Too much control, allowance of too many variables, unrealistic and permits minmaxing a lot. However, provides a level of freedom you don't have now. I wouldn't choose this, but it would probably(Maybe) be the easiest to implement.

Solution Two: Selected Bias to the RNG. Essentially, where now presumably you have a 50% chance to gain one level in one substat or the other as you raise it. Add a toggle, either permanent or semi-permanent per rank or set number of raises that allows you to set a bias, so that it goes from what it is now to say 70-30 or some ratio between 65-45 and 80-20 that the devs think is sane.

Consequences: Freedom and control without unobfuscating the substats or allowing minmaxing too heavily, it would also require a lot of thought on the devs to generate the right setup of sane variables. A middle ground between total control and unobfuscation and the blackbox substats sit in right now. This can be paired with a say a mandatory minimum afterwhich you can change the ratio to allow players to not be overwhelmed with depth.

generally disagree. should be left up to RNG and vague on purpose because those substats are crucial to game systems and they're balanced for a reason. you can't have one and minimize the other and the chances of characters breaking would be way too much

it's fine the way it is

If this got rolled in, like six people would become monsters overnight because they understand how stats work and the rest of the game would get even more frustrated about the ooc skill gap than they already are.
*gasp!*
you Know what they say about things that aren’t broke?
To sum up responses and respond in turn.

Ranger:Change is bad, mmmkay.

But why? And what makes the current blackbox state better in the long term.

Ephmeralis+Vera: Change is bad because of mechanical information and metagaming that should have no bearing on character development is made to take precedence over the stories we can create.

This is a good point, and opening up the system any in the short term would create monsters out of said six people. However in the long term, as the mechanic was disseminated, and structure was applied. You'd probably see less inconsistent results from new players, provided skills and substat relations actually make sense. And you'd see better RP occurring because people can prioritize what they want to train and RP as or around it, rather than doing what they are doing now, which is picking one blindly that might not match up to the facts.

Power gamers do ruin everything about even having substats as a system, however in this game we're told to EXPLICITLY avoid powergaming.

Grizzly:Idioms.

Perfect is the enemy of good.

To sum up responses and respond in turn.

Ranger:Change is bad, mmmkay.

But why? And what makes the current blackbox state better in the long term.

Ephmeralis+Vera: Change is bad because of mechanical information and metagaming that should have no bearing on character development is made to take precedence over the stories we can create.

This is a good point, and opening up the system any in the short term would create monsters out of said six people. However in the long term, as the mechanic was disseminated, and structure was applied. You'd probably see less inconsistent results from new players, provided skills and substat relations actually make sense. And you'd see better RP occurring because people can prioritize what they want to train and RP as or around it, rather than doing what they are doing now, which is picking one blindly that might not match up to the facts.

Power gamers do ruin everything about even having substats as a system, however in this game we're told to EXPLICITLY avoid powergaming.

Grizzly:Idioms.

Perfect is the enemy of good.

Right. Good luck with your idea.
I didn't say anything about power gamers. I said that if most people had the choice, they would spend their limited pool of xp as efficiently as possible and climb that much further out of everyone else's reach.

As-is the system has many benefits and changing it to satisfy some peoples' OCD would be a massive net negative.

Vera:"Didn't say anything about power gaming,"

Also Vera: "Applies the basic principles of powergaming to show the point."

Well if you're going to be disrespectful I'll just point you to the dozens of forum posts that have already been made about this topic and the many, many replies from lead devs talking about the game design philosophy behind it.
no I'm not saying change is bad, I'm saying THIS CHANGE particularly would be bad and make things worse

people who play a very specific type of character and with the know how of substats and the system after playing long enough/learning would benefit massively while people who aren't specialized won't benefit at all

you would directly force people to over specialize and minmax their characters because others will be doing it too

some people like doing it, some people don't -- you might think this will give people more freedom except it won't and it'll put even a lot more shackles

This is why the aliens haven't visited us yet.
This entire system is the balance behind combat, as no player knows their our or any other's lean.

I can't think of a worse change to be suggested for stats.

Let's just take out any commands except 'go' and remove all items and leave one building that's a highschool, make all our characters furries and rename Sindome to "Furry Highscool RP 18+'.
Combat ability should be wholly based on charisma. Style over substance!
what holychrome said

there are combat characters with other skills that can keep up with strict combat characters due to their relevant substats matching up because of RNG

suddenly combat characters will have to be only combat characters and nothing else with your change because then they won't be able to compete with the strict combat character who's put all their ue into relevant combat substats

I don't think you should suggest ideas of this caliber without a know how of how things work and why they are there, then go around insulting players who have been here longer than you and know what is going on.

Don’t take offense to having a bad idea, which is clearly what you got going on here.

But good luck with it!

I'm up for that idea, Stiza13. What kind of fursona are you going to make? I'm sure it'll be howl-tastic when we wind up being furends in highschool RP with a bit of bromance.
Stiza and Crooknose have the most relevant answer here. To add;

Let’s replace combat with dance offs. You wanna get served, punk?

@Beepboop

Zeke the Hedgehog, he's green, wears aviator sunglasses, leather tunnel snakes jacket from fallout 3 and DC skate shoes. When he gets mad he summons a katana made from souls.

I don't think you should suggest ideas of this caliber without a know how of how things work and why they are there, then go around insulting players who have been here longer than you and know what is going on.

This. Just like, listen to the feedback and appreciate that other people may be seeing things you're not. Unfortunately, part of putting out an idea, even one that makes sense to you, is that you may have blindspots or a lack of information, and that's not a knock on you. That's just how learning occurs.

Why not just give the ability to unpowergame then? Like suppose the stat that someone wants isn't the powerful one. Let them balance 80-20 that way.
Because each substat is powerful on it's own. There is no "lesser substat". Each substat is important and relevant to specific skills.
Neat.

I still understand nothing then. 😆

I, Joe Oldbie, roll a new character after 10 years of gameplay, and I know that certain substats give me an upper edge in certain combat situations. Using that meta knowledge, I roll with the best possible substat combination, and fight against Joe Newbie, who despite having the same UE as me, only has been around for 6 months and isn't really aware of where should the UE allocation go. As a result, I get to micromanage my stat arrangement and will always have an upper edge on Joe Newbie despite our equal IC training, but my superior OOC knowledge.
The only issue I have with substats is that I have absolutely 0 idea where are they at, even in approximation for example that you are more technologically gifter or generally knowledgable
You can ask about that stuff IC and get some pretty good data.

Building on what Villa posted above, if I see that he's doing that I can do the exact same thing and work out some rough calculations in my head about where he's at and where I need to get to to beat him. That's not how real life works, though. You can't do some quick math ahead of time to figure out how many days you need to train in order to beat someone in a real life boxing match. The information is kept vague for the benefit of eberyone.

Except that old player can easily figure out the mechanics behind and new players are stuck trying to put together dribs and drabs.
The obfuscation of substats curbs the benefit of metaknowledge.
Old or new unless you are behind the curtain you can’t see or control your substats so why this is even an issue is odd.

you as a new player might not know where your substats are at, but nobody does. eberyone is equal that way
Statistically this is also a non-issue. There is -RARELY- a significant delta between substat numbers. While it does happen, it is exceedingly rare in of itself and even more uncommon in oldbie's.

If you wanted this to be done properly, stat increases could favor (55-65%) the substat you most commonly use but that seems excessive and adds even more meta.

Lastly, if you think skills/stats are what makes long time players effective - you are mistaken.

>Lastly, if you think skills/stats are what makes long time players effective - you are mistaken.

This this this this this.

Can confirm, have easily blown hundreds upon hundreds of UE with like no noticeable difference since Day 1, but still have had tons of RP.