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XP Loss/Enemy Territory

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  • BluefBluef DelosMember Posts: 2,176 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    "Achaea should be full of wars that never end, with all sides well represented. If conflict is conducted with the goal of the complete eradication of the opposing side, then conflict will end quickly with all combat-capable players on the same side. As a character you may (and should!) want Mhaldor to be driven in to the sea or Shallam to be wiped out of existence but as a player you should not."

    This stated philosophy sounds a lot different from "reward people who work hard by enabling them to be the most powerful."
    You can't make people join a city (and fight for it) if that city isn't any fun to play in for them, if their friends are in another city, if they feel as though they are the exception rather than the rule when it comes to PvP or RP (depending on the city), etc. You're never going to achieve some kind of social justice where all cities are equal in terms of wealth, the number of players, or the combatant ability. But you can change what inspires and motivates players to fight the good fight.

    Things may balance themselves naturally through the Renaissance, but inevitably it will be the case that one faction grows strongest because of what I just mentioned.

    The good news is that no one is being eradicated or likely will be. If that were the case, every room in an opposing city would be destroyed nonstop. They'd uproot your totems and implant their own, force assimilation into Ashtan's culture or citizenship, and call the new city Little Bastion or Ashtanville or something. There are problems, sure. But we're not there yet. 

    Ideas for making city raiding more challenging, for making defense more rewarding or engaging, etc. are all great ideas. But IMO XP shouldn't be the driving factor in any of it; if you choose to raid or defend a city, then you should expect losses at times. What makes you stay and play through those losses should be something completely different (that maybe hasn't been imagined yet).
  • RahvinRahvin Member Posts: 6
    Trying to be unbiased, but being apart of that 20 person raid on targossas was an absolute blast. I didn't necessarily feel scared to lose, which may have made it feel fun, but either way it was an intense feeling that I don't get just sitting around the city with no conflict occurring.  Anyone that starts conflict, whether it be with superior numbers/talent or whatever is okay in my book.  They are the kinds of people that care to keep the game interesting, and have to take the majority of the complaints.

    I am glad I don't have to login and do all of this myself or I would just QQ and not play.  I'm not so sure trying to be offensive should be discouraged because it's pretty obvious that it's the most fun part.  I think the divide between 'having to defend' and 'wanting to defend'  should be lessened.  And i don't think this is a game mechanic flaw, just an attitude problem. 
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Silas said:
    It's not a game mechanic that keeps Ashtan strong. Some things contribute to it, like the Effigy and the Icon boosts, but the balance of power can, has, and inevitably will shift to favour another city. 
    A positive feedback loop will keep a strong faction strong in any game. From the link, "A positive feedback loop can be thought of as a reinforcing relationship. Something happens that causes the same thing to happen again, which causes it to happen yet again, getting stronger in each iteration – like a snowball that starts out small at the top of the hill and gets larger and faster as it rolls and collects more snow."

    Why is this a player motivation issue in Achaea and not a design issue like it is in other games? 
    NimUlrike
  • NimNim Member Posts: 2,015 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Herenicus said:
    Why is this a player motivation issue in Achaea and not a design issue like it is in other games? 
    Although I don't disagree that it's a design issue, it's also important to remember that the organizations themselves are player-run, and therefore the players themselves have some capacity to manage the issue.
    HerenicusBluef
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'm not sure what 'other games' you're referring to where there's competition and not positive feedback loops.

    World of Warcraft, arguably the most popular game of the past decade, has always had positive feedback loops. Early on in the game on PvP servers one faction always ended up stronger, which would entice people to change factions, which led to Horde dominated servers and Alliance dominated servers. After the Arena was introduced, the loop became focused on the Tichondrius server. The top players moved to that server (and battlegroup),  resulting in a higher skill of everyone in the battlegroup, making it impossible to succeed in major tournaments like BlizzCon unless you played on that battlegroup because you simply didn't have the experience that players there did.

    Diablo 3's ladder system rewards bonus stats to players who reach higher Paragon levels, allowing them to more easily level. People want to group with other high paragon level people to maximize clear speeds, resulting in faster paragon level gains and better chances for better items for players in those groups. This in turns speeds them up further.

    Being vague and pointing out 'other games' is all good for maintaining your point when you don't actually have examples. The fact is games where there is competition and benefits for succeeding in those competitions are very popular. People enjoy experiencing gains for playing better and winning over their opponents.

    There's a reason other games have positive feedback loops.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    And also negative feedback loops. Could you provide any examples of a negative feedback loop in Achaea, since you are being helpful this morning?

    Edit: From the link

    Negative feedback loops are, predictably, the opposite of positive feedback loops in just about every way. A negative feedback loop is a balancing relationship. When something happens in the game (such as one player gaining an advantage over the others), a negative feedback loop makes it harder for that same thing to happen again. If one player gets in the lead, a negative feedback loop makes it easier for the opponents to catch up (and harder for a winning player to extend their lead).


  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    While it's amusing you continuing to make claims without supporting evidence, as has been your style this entire thread, please try to make a change and actually support -something- you say with examples. Anything at all, really.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Thank you for your visit, Jarrod. Your positive contributions to this thread are appreciated. 
  • JarrodJarrod Member, Seafaring Liason, Secret Squirrel Posts: 3,060 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    So that's a no then? Thought so.
    image
    Cascades of quicksilver light streak across the firmament as the celestial voice of Ourania intones, "Oh Jarrod..."

  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    I don't feel you've stated an argument that needs responding to, either. Let's allow some other voices to have a say; maybe they'll challenge us both.

    edit: Also, if you follow the link, there are many examples of positive and negative feedback loops from other games.
  • RipRip Member Posts: 231 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Personally I think there should be 2 XP choices.  One for killing/dying from Denizens and another for killing/dying from players.

    The first would effect your level only, and the latter would effect some special bonus, in fact PK XP could reset each month.  Everyone starts at 0, you kill 6 people, and you get some groovy bonus, like 5% health bonus...kill 12 people and you get another...You die, you lose it all...What these bonuses would be are totally up in the air but you see my point.  Dying from a player wouldn't effect your Denizen XP...I tried discussing this in another thread but...you know.

    I guess the only problem would be abuse from people killing friends to boost a player...there are other options to single XP gains/losses.

    Another option is to make Achaea open PK during the night (in-game) with no XP loss...see how it goes!

    Ethoas
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Silas said:
    The entitled attitude of some people ([...] Jacen) in this thread is honestly mind-blowing. I don't understand it at all.
    Please don't let those of us logging into the benefits of positive feedback loops tell you a thing about entitlement, @Jacen. Hashan was the last out the gate; how many combatants do you think dropped from comfortable positions to become pioneers
  • NemutaurNemutaur GermanyMember Posts: 1,068
    Herenicus said:
    Silas said:
    The entitled attitude of some people ([...] Jacen) in this thread is honestly mind-blowing. I don't understand it at all.
    Please don't let those of us logging into the benefits of positive feedback loops tell you a thing about entitlement, @Jacen. Hashan was the last out the gate; how many combatants do you think dropped from comfortable positions to become pioneers
    Targossas has benefits of a positive feedback loop? How do they have more of one than Hashan?

    Hashan gets raided less than Targ? The only difference between the two mechanically is icons vs new houses.
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nemutaur said:
    Herenicus said:
    Silas said:
    The entitled attitude of some people ([...] Jacen) in this thread is honestly mind-blowing. I don't understand it at all.
    Please don't let those of us logging into the benefits of positive feedback loops tell you a thing about entitlement, @Jacen. Hashan was the last out the gate; how many combatants do you think dropped from comfortable positions to become pioneers
    Targossas has benefits of a positive feedback loop? How do they have more of one than Hashan?

    Hashan gets raided less than Targ? The only difference between the two mechanically is icons vs new houses.
    Good morning, Nemutaur :)

    It isn't necessarily a matter of having more loops, just older ones. By the time Hashan was introduced, other factions were already going concerns with friendships and loyalties to keep their combatants rooted in place, same as today. Sure, Hashan gets a marquee name now and again but c'mon. And the olds have seen some REALLY good players take the reins in Hashan, which isn't to say the current crop isn't competent or trying. We could wait around ten years or forever telling them the same thing: get gud. I'd rather have six equally-playable factions a bit sooner.

    If you can think of an example of a negative feedback loop in Achaea, I'd love to hear it. I will even offer 1 credit bounties for the first five. Limit one per player.
  • NemutaurNemutaur GermanyMember Posts: 1,068
    Negative feedback loop? Sounds a bit like icons although there is no real loop there since its over almost immediately. But without icons you can't attack another icon so if you drop the enemy icon its over. Keep the credit though.

    From the Achaean wiki: "the city-state of Hashan, Crown of the Ithmia, is Sapience's third major city established in the year 222 AF. " So the only two older orgs were Ashtan and Shallam. So you have Eleusis and Mhaldor coming after Hashan, both of which are strong factions on the world conflict stage right now.

    So time is obviously not a factor.
    HerenicusBluef
  • RangorRangor Member Posts: 3,308 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    If you're in a city with good leadership, that rewards participation and activity, that city tends to attract more players and grows in strength and influence (both RP wise and PVP wise). (Current Eleusis and Mhaldor?)

    If you're in a city with an old stagnant leadership, that doesn't reward anything and punishes those who shows initiative and does things outside the norm generally looses players and drops in strength and influence. (old shallam?)

    Moving from the bad to the good is generally a very long process. First you need to make a change in the leadership, then the culture and then you're always fighting an uphill battle. The other sides has more players, more arties, more experienced players, icons, other buffs, they secure relics.
    image
    BluefEthoas
  • SarathaiSarathai Member Posts: 2,139 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Rip said:
    I guess the only problem would be abuse from people killing friends to boost a player...
    It's already illegal for experience.

    "Yet another way to gain experience is to enter mortal combat versus other adventurers. This may not seem all that much different from combat against denizens, but it is! This activity, called PK for short, is more restricted, you'll be expected to have a valid reason for attacking another player (see HELP PK). Killing another player, or letting another player kill you solely for the purpose of gaining experience is not permitted." (HELP EXPERIENCE)

    You're not even allowed to attack/kill somebody just for the sake of attacking them. There has to (in theory) be a valid reason for the person throwing the first punch. Granted, some people still might try killing each other for bonuses anyway, but given that a death appears on deathsight, I doubt they'd get away with it for very long.

    Rip said:
    Another option is to make Achaea open PK during the night (in-game) with no XP loss...see how it goes!
    I can't see this ending in anything other than mass griefing.
    - (Eleusis): Ellodin says, "The Fissure of Echoes is Sarathai's happy place."
    - With sharp, crackling tones, Kyrra tells you, "The ladies must love you immensely."
    - (Eleusian Ranger Techs): Savira says, "Most of the hard stuff seem to have this built in code like: If adventurer_hitting_me = "Sarathai" then send("terminate and selfdestruct")."
    - Makarios says, "Serve well and perish."
    - Xaden says, "Xaden confirmed scrub 2017."



  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Nemutaur said:
    Negative feedback loop? Sounds a bit like icons although there is no real loop there since its over almost immediately. But without icons you can't attack another icon so if you drop the enemy icon its over. Keep the credit though.

    From the Achaean wiki: "the city-state of Hashan, Crown of the Ithmia, is Sapience's third major city established in the year 222 AF. " So the only two older orgs were Ashtan and Shallam. So you have Eleusis and Mhaldor coming after Hashan, both of which are strong factions on the world conflict stage right now.

    So time is obviously not a factor.
    Yeah, thanks for catching that. I started doubting myself as soon as I stepped outside. I think we can still agree that Mhaldor and Eleusis were introduced with distinct RP styles and potent (at the time, OP) character classes.

    Chronology still supplies a design argument for why new Ashtan and Targossan players inherit a healthier advantage than new Hashani players. And there has never been a point in time, going back to 1999, where Hashan was stronger than either one.
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,325 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Icons are certainly not negative feedback. You have to be strong to raise and maintain an Icon, which gives you perks that help you stay strong. You have to have an Icon to destroy other Icons, which then keeps people from attacking your own Icon. 

    Hashan wasn't the last city created by any means, but it was created for the sole purpose of catching people who didn't want to join Ashtan or Shallam. It went for a very long time without having any actual purpose of existing other than that, which still plagues it. Eleusus and Mhaldor, on the other hand, were turned into player organizations to fulfill very specific ideologies and purposes.

    What would happen to Eleusis and Mhaldor if Rangor, Rom, Xer, and Hasar went to Ashtan? You don't want to have irreplaceable players in organizations. 

    At some point you have to stop considering the intentions of the system or the "What if everyone just got better?" and consider the actual effects and what the current state of the game is, and make adjustments.
    image
    Nim
  • NemutaurNemutaur GermanyMember Posts: 1,068
    Jacen said:

    What would happen to Eleusis and Mhaldor if Rangor, Rom, Xer, and Hasar went to Ashtan? You don't want to have irreplaceable players in organizations. 

    A-Team would probably switch to Mhaldor, Eleusis or Targ at that point. Probably Eleusis.
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,325 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Its a nice theory. Too bad similar circumstances in the past don't corroborate it. 
    image
    Jovolo
  • RipRip Member Posts: 231 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Sarathai, I see, well problem adverted then!

    Isn't greifing the lost of XP on a absurd level? (Borderline harassment?) The argument I hear is, get rid of XP and everyone would jump in and PK...then when that is accepted, everyone will complain they die to much?

    Right now you can defend your city without any XP loss and still people drag their feet into battle.  Maybe it's just a problem with laziness.

    I don't know...maybe there is no happy medium.

    Ethoas
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    ]
    RangorEthoas
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean

    I didn't realize that there's a gaming specific term for what we're talking about.  Interesting.  So right now my faction in Imperian has something of a lead in a thing called "shard research" (but who cares about the specifics).  Not only are people discussing this aspect of that mechanic (where one side can get such a sizable lead) as a problem rather than a desirable feature, it's pretty much a given (even on my side).  And that's because even with no XP loss, when one side gets a huge advantage, it tends to mean there's not nearly as many people for our bloodthirsty PK-ers to fight.  This discussion shouldn't be about some sort of judgment that certain cities just need to "buck up", or are trying to "tear down other cities", it's about making the game more fun by making it more dynamic (not stagnant with one faction dominating). 

    As for the experienced players, who really are key to organizational success, if a couple of you went to play in say, Hashan, not because anyone made you, but maybe because they had some neat class, or perk unique to them and you wanted to try it out, Hashan would benefit from your expertise and the other factions would benefit from having smart people on the *other* side to fight (and also just directing people in group situations).  Every city should have some unique carrot that is worthwhile - probably skills that are kind of awesome and that no one else has (but that the other cities have counters to of course).  Again, Ashtan's basic RP framework is comparatively sort of perfect compared to the other factions, too.  Either other cities need to be more PK-er friendly (and be *allowed* to be more PK-er friendly), or Ashtan needs to have similarly restricting RP framework (guess which one I prefer). 

  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Thank you, Jules. 

    For all the forum points we might award the souls willing to uproot themselves from friends and established RP storylines to begin again, I think a negative feedback strategy that relies on player charity is quixotic, at best. 

    UGS: 0
    UGSR: 0

    Jules
  • BluefBluef DelosMember Posts: 2,176 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I hope at least one of you recognizes that @Herenicus is attempting to employ a positive feedback loop in this very thread. After every post, even those telling him he's wrong, he thanks the person, reinforcing that he valued their contribution to the discussion. He wants people to continue posting here because every time you do, the feedback loop (his response to you) gets a little stronger/lengthier each time. I don't think I would have recognized it myself it this weren't the exact same tactic I use as an instructor replying to discussion board posts with my students. 

    Anyway... Achaea is already full of positive feedback loops. Every time we gain a new level, we get extra health and mana. That is a positive feedback loop. Every time we complete a difficult quest, we get an honours line. That is a positive feedback loop. These things are inherent to Achaea's make-up and each one makes it easier to progress (get the next level, figure out the next quest, etc.)

    While Herenicus is correct that a city that pummels another may create a negative feedback loop if there is vast experience loss and room destruction for the defenders, he's not taking into account that there are other rewards for participation in raid defense. City favours. Positive feedback. City bounties. Positive feedback. Increased military rank. Positive feedback. In addition to these, there is one more thing that could turn even the most disastrous raid defense into the kind of positive feedback loop he's advocating:

    Roleplay. If cities that raid merciless just take the time to reward others with this, it could all seem 'worth it' in the end, thus once more reinforcing the time and effort that took place with something positive. 

    To be sure, there are negative feedback loops, those things that make it harder for opponents to catch up and easier for the winning city to extend their lead,  in Achaea as well, including in city raiding. Anything that makes it more difficult for a group to raid (the Eye of Proteus) is one. Their strength is weaker with each of its iterations. This is a stablizing mechanic; however, what it actually does is draw out the conflict as well, which the cities seem to be complaining about (length of raids) rather frequently. 

    There are ways around this though. Raid their city instead of defending your own. Start defiling their shrines around the realm, drawing them away from your city. Clear your city out or place them all in a safe haven (this was done repeatedly during the Refugees time in New Hope). But what Herenicus seems to be arguing for is more of this type of negative feedback loop (from the article he noted):

    My grandfather was a decent Chess player, generally better than his children who he taught to play. To make it more of a challenge, he invented a rule: if he won a game, next time they played, his opponent could remove a piece of his from the board at the start of the game (first a pawn, then two pawns, then a knight or bishop, and so on as the child continued to lose). Each time my grandfather won, the next game would be more challenging for him, making it more likely that he would eventually start losing.
    He wants the opposing side to be more challenged. But as the article says, whether a feedback loop is good or bad is always going to be a matter of player perception. Even if we add more positive feedback loops to counteract the negative ones, or vice versa, the way people feel at the end of a raid will differ dramatically based on who they are as an individual, how a city handles a raid (Hashan is a great example of a city that does a really great job of creating a positive feedback loop for their players even in the face of some poor defense scenarios), etc. 

    Thank you for the article though, @Herenicus. What you're arguing for and against just became infinitely clearer in my mind. 
    HerenicusAelios
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Of course, @Bluef.

    I would offer that "positive/negative" in the sense of feedback loops does not correlate to "good/bad." A PFL makes it harder for competitors to catch up, making the early game (in this case, as early as 1997) more important.  An NFL makes the present day, or late game, more important. If you liked Mario Kart, you like negative feedback loops. From the article
    As an example, consider a “Kart-style” racing game like Mario Kart. In racing games, play is more interesting if the player is in the middle of a pack of cars rather than if they are way out in front or lagging way behind on their own (after all, there is more interaction if your opponents are close by). As a result, the de facto standard in that genre of play is to add a negative feedback loop: as the player gets ahead of the pack, the opponents start cheating, finding better power-ups and getting impossible bursts of speed to help them catch up. This makes it more difficult for the player to maintain or extend a lead. This particular feedback loop is sometimes referred to as “rubber-banding” because the cars behave as if they are connected by rubber bands, pulling the leaders and losers back to the center of the pack.

    Likewise, the reverse is true. If the player falls behind, they will find better power-ups and the opponents will slow down to allow the player to catch up. This makes it more difficult for a player who is behind to fall further behind. Again, both of these are examples of negative feedback loops; “negative” refers to the fact that a dynamic becomes weaker with iteration, and has nothing to do with whether it has a positive or negative effect on the player’s standing in the game.


    JacenNimUlrike
  • JacenJacen Member Posts: 2,325 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    IMO PFLs work better in single player games, or single player aspects of multiplayer games. Gaining health and mana while bashing due to leveling is a good example of a PFL loop in Achaea that works well. Gaining better equipment or abilities in SP games that enable you to tackle bigger and harder quests is a good example as well. 

    In multiplayer environments, or environments with interplayer competition, I think NFLs work better. In basketball and football, when one team scores they have to give the ball to the other team. In the National Football League, the teams with the worst records get the best picks in the draft. Racing games (as in Herenicus's example above) give the slower racers opportunities to catch up to the quicker ones. 

    You want to keep things balanced and interesting. Why haven't we had an A-list fighter come to Hashan or Cyrene and catapult them into the world conflict stage, in all these years? The game doesn't reward that behavior, and it doesn't encourage balance among the cities. 
    image
    Ulrike
  • BluefBluef DelosMember Posts: 2,176 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Herenicus said:
    Of course, @Bluef.

    I would offer that "positive/negative" in the sense of feedback loops does not correlate to "good/bad." A PFL makes it harder for competitors to catch up, making the early game (in this case, as early as 1997) more important.  An NFL makes the present day, or late game, more important. If you liked Mario Kart, you like negative feedback loops. From the article
    As an example, consider a “Kart-style” racing game like Mario Kart. In racing games, play is more interesting if the player is in the middle of a pack of cars rather than if they are way out in front or lagging way behind on their own (after all, there is more interaction if your opponents are close by). As a result, the de facto standard in that genre of play is to add a negative feedback loop: as the player gets ahead of the pack, the opponents start cheating, finding better power-ups and getting impossible bursts of speed to help them catch up. This makes it more difficult for the player to maintain or extend a lead. This particular feedback loop is sometimes referred to as “rubber-banding” because the cars behave as if they are connected by rubber bands, pulling the leaders and losers back to the center of the pack.

    Likewise, the reverse is true. If the player falls behind, they will find better power-ups and the opponents will slow down to allow the player to catch up. This makes it more difficult for a player who is behind to fall further behind. Again, both of these are examples of negative feedback loops; “negative” refers to the fact that a dynamic becomes weaker with iteration, and has nothing to do with whether it has a positive or negative effect on the player’s standing in the game.


    Did you reference "as early as 1997" in your post because that's the year of the game's creation? if so, what specific positive feedback loops do you see as being in place from that specific time that have made it more difficult for other competitors, in terms of cities, to catch up?

    I'm curious because in a game where people create alts on a daily basis and quickly (within weeks if not days) can get them to exactly the same level as their main character (and decked out with all the same artifacts), the argument that people can't catch up seems moot. The real issue would be, "Where are those alts gravitating toward in the game and why?"

    In addition, the article itself states that feedback loops, whatever their kind, will always be perceived as good and bad, depending on a player's perception. This would suggest that the  feedback loop you feel Mhaldor and Hashan are currently under, and which is affecting their motivation to log in and defend, is not necessarily an issue of a poor game mechanic, but that it is your perception that it is that is really at issue.  Do you think that's true? 
  • HerenicusHerenicus The Western FrontMember Posts: 1,734 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015
    Bluef said:
    Herenicus said:
    Of course, @Bluef.

    I would offer that "positive/negative" in the sense of feedback loops does not correlate to "good/bad." A PFL makes it harder for competitors to catch up, making the early game (in this case, as early as 1997) more important.  An NFL makes the present day, or late game, more important. If you liked Mario Kart, you like negative feedback loops. From the article
    As an example, consider a “Kart-style” racing game like Mario Kart. In racing games, play is more interesting if the player is in the middle of a pack of cars rather than if they are way out in front or lagging way behind on their own (after all, there is more interaction if your opponents are close by). As a result, the de facto standard in that genre of play is to add a negative feedback loop: as the player gets ahead of the pack, the opponents start cheating, finding better power-ups and getting impossible bursts of speed to help them catch up. This makes it more difficult for the player to maintain or extend a lead. This particular feedback loop is sometimes referred to as “rubber-banding” because the cars behave as if they are connected by rubber bands, pulling the leaders and losers back to the center of the pack.

    Likewise, the reverse is true. If the player falls behind, they will find better power-ups and the opponents will slow down to allow the player to catch up. This makes it more difficult for a player who is behind to fall further behind. Again, both of these are examples of negative feedback loops; “negative” refers to the fact that a dynamic becomes weaker with iteration, and has nothing to do with whether it has a positive or negative effect on the player’s standing in the game.


    Did you reference "as early as 1997" in your post because that's the year of the game's creation? if so, what specific positive feedback loops do you see as being in place from that specific time that have made it more difficult for other competitors, in terms of cities, to catch up? 
    Because creating new cities does not automatically create new players, populating a new city depends upon individuals willing to lay aside existing privileges/advantages to begin again. Isn't it reasonable to presume that the most valuable members of these pre-existing organizations would be the most deeply entrenched in an existing power structure that, in many cases, they built themselves? What did that leave for our 3rd man on the scene? What do you suppose life was like way back in 1999 for our fledgling city? 

    I'm curious because in a game where people create alts on a daily basis and quickly (within weeks if not days) can get them to exactly the same level as their main character (and decked out with all the same artifacts), the argument that people can't catch up seems moot. 
    Even Jhui cannot afford to create another Jhui. Ernam, bless his heart, would be eating out of garbage cans behind Panera Bread if we forced such a thing upon his pocketbook. Let's not underestimate the value of our respective investments. Not many of us can afford to clone our main.

    In addition, the article itself states that feedback loops, whatever their kind, will always be perceived as good and bad, depending on a player's perception. This would suggest that the feedback loop you feel Mhaldor and Hashan are currently under, and which is affecting their motivation to log in and defend, is not necessarily an issue of a poor game mechanic, but that it is your perception that it is that is really at issue.  Do you think that's true? 
    Oh, absolutely. I disagree that the presence or absence of PFLs or NFLs can be chalked up to subjective perception, they exist or they don't, but individual decisions on whether to like or dislike the impact of these loops will depend on the individual. Someone who REALLY wants to win a race will not appreciate the last car getting a power mushroom. Get gud.
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