Adjust certain achievement thresholds

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by TawnyFrogmouth, May 9, 2019.

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  1. TawnyFrogmouth

    TawnyFrogmouth Well-Known Member
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    Even though this is a suggestion thread, let me first say that I really like the principle of the achievements system, and I think many of the achievements are well-balanced and fun, pursuing most of them will make for enjoyable gameplay for a lot of players. The cosmetics are great permanent, displayable trophies, and the idea to use the early achievements to answer common player questions ("Where can I sell things?") and introduce players to important resources (e.g., /faq) is outstanding, and should make acclimating to the server a little easier for new players and reduce the burden on both staff and experiences players answer their questions. Finally having legitimately accessible dragon eggs after three years is just awesome, and will no doubt inspire player trophy rooms, and /regeneration is really an awesome meta-job-perk. More broadly, the rapid rate of bugfixes and (somehow concurrently) the sheer quantity of new quality content being produced by the content team marks a highwater point in the history of Castia's content.

    So, from that perspective, I have some feedback and constructive criticism about the achievement system, some of which is synthesized from helpful conversations with several players (thanks to them!):

    (1) I recognize that this was probably at least partially unavoidable for technical reason, but as many players have already pointed out in Towny /g, it's frustrating that for many achievements actions players have already done don't count toward the totals. (Plugins can pull player statistics, which are stored serverside, but apparently these were reset at some point since I killed dragons to level hunter.) In some cases, the achievements entail redoing a massive amount of work: Dragon Slayer IV requires killing enough dragons to level a new hunter up to level 58, which is roughly 20% of the work required to max the hunter job. (!) For those of us who have already spent hours doing exactly these tasks, it's frustrating to have to do them all over again.

    (2) While the achievements involve tasks for all jobs, the requirements across jobs are pretty wildly uneven. Lumberjack III can be managed within maybe 20 minutes, others will take /many/ hours. Besides this, the system grants massive benefits to some jobs over others. For example, at prevailing market rates for skulls and legendary essences a non-hunter net-loses $14k per wither skeleton, which over the 500 withers required for Wither Without You IV incurs a loss of $7 million. Put another way, a max-level hunter like myself has an $8.8 million advantage over a nonhunter from withers along (this says nothing of the dragon achievements), and this figure dwarfs the relative advantages other jobs have for their respective achievements.

    (3) This is in my view the most important concern: As again many players have pointed out in /g and privately, several of the thresholds needed to finish an achievement are to put it directly, absurd. To be clear, this does not apply to achievements like Miner IV (mine 100,000 blocks) or Revenant IV (kill 10,000 of the four standard mobs) which will require many hours of work for which the entailed actions are ones that nearly anyone on the server does anyway. (After all, if you don't want to mine or kill mobs, you're probably not playing Minecraft in the first place). But several of the achievement requirements require unnecessary hours of boring, highly repetitive mechanics that players wouldn't be doing otherwise, at least not within orders of magnitude of the counts required. In some cases, this problem exacerbates the issues in (1)-(3). Some staff, content, and other players have commented that some achievement tasks are supposed to take a long time---which is itself reasonable. But in the cases of a few achievements, the gameplay required for the achievement is at best poor, repetitive, and (much) too time-consuming.

    There are arguably others, but the worst offenders are:

    (a) A Deep Loathing II - The ghast spawn rates on Castia are typically low, sometimes on the order of several per hour. (I spent a large portion of the time writing this post sitting in my reasonably well-optimized ghast farm, and only five ghasts spawned the entire time, and only a handful of pigmen.) Even at a comparatively generous rate of one ghast every five minutes, this amounts to 125 hours of hanging around a ghast farm---which is roughly the amount of time it takes to level a job from start to 75 at the target xp rate. (!)

    (b) Endsterminator - As someone who has to respawn an Endermite manually occasionally for his Enderman grinder, even spawning one Endermite is annoying, and it can be time-consuming, since the Enderpearl damage you take from attempts limits the rate at which you can attempt spawns. Having to spawn an Endermite 1,000 times--which means acquiring ~23 dubs of Ender pearls---and then kill those mites (which are particularly annoying to kill) would be a miserable, empty task.

    (c) Something's Fishy IV - This is (somehow) even worse. Even with perfect skill and no gap between casts, catching 10,000 fish/treasures would take more than 69 hours of fishing, which is widely and rightfully reviled as one of the most tedious and repetitive mechanics in vanilla Minecraft. Using a rod with high lure and taking advantage of Master Angler can reduce this amount by some fraction, but, frankly, even a tenth of that figure is far too much time to ask players to spend on such a bad mechanic.

    As my rank and job levels show, I've spent hundreds of hours grinding to reach key goals in-game, and I probably have a bigger appetite for grinding and doing achievements for their own sake than most players. But as these achievements stand, even for a player with my playstyle it's frankly not worth bothering with them, and from server chat and private conversation with other longtime players, this sentiment seems to be common. Simply put, I and surely many other players will just do something else more interesting, rewarding, and/or satisfying with our dozens of hours of gameplay. Someone suggested that these tasks are endgame gameplay---in principle this is great, Castia needs a more substantive endgame---but if the designed endgame is interminably grinding some of the worst mechanics in the game long past the point of any plausible enjoyment, I want no part of that.

    To address (3) (and partly (2)), I suggest that content reevaluate the achievement thresholds and adjust them to avoid the significant problems I cited above. In my view "appropriately" includes drastically reducing the thresholds for (a)-(c) above, and possibly some others. Concretely, I'd suggest dropping the threshold for A Deep Loathing II to perhaps 100, replacing Endsterminator altogether with some other, less annoying End-themed task (killing Endermen, say), and dropping the threshold for Something's Fishy IV to no more than 250---which still entails a few hours of fishing and so still feels high---or better yet eliminate Something Fishy IV altogether and replace the threshold for Something Fishy III with a more reasonable. (Separately, some of the rewards seem strange for their corresponding tasks, but that's a separate and I think less serious issue, and this post is already long enough.)

    Even though (and in fact because) I was deliberately detailed in my criticism, I want to emphasize again that I think the achievement system is a great idea, that much of the system is well-designed, -balanced, and -implemented, that I look forward to using much of it, and, more generally, that content deserves continued praise for their broadly excellent work on the server.
     
  2. Ngete

    Ngete Active Member

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    Tawny im personally fine with the enderman one... mainly cause i sell ender pearls and for 23 dubs of pearls i would earn a quarter mil which isnt that much but its enough lol
     
  3. Madeyemann

    Madeyemann Well-Known Member
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    I think his point is that it is /extremely/ unenjoyable to do such. I personally agree with how annoying endermites are. I think this is just an achievement that would not be enjoyable at all...
     
  4. Ngete

    Ngete Active Member

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    TRue, im just trying to look at the business end of it cause i am going to need to bigtime ramp up my production of wither skulls and ghast tears
     
  5. ZroZlame

    ZroZlame Member

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    I feel like staff should read your posts, I didn’t realise how awfully time consuming some of the achievements were.
     
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  6. CrashBSD

    CrashBSD Member

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    Before going on my rant, I first want to say that this post is a work of art. You put a lot of thought and time into this, and you are 100% correct in everything you are saying. I feel like this is college-level thesis kind of writing, and I just want to say bravo. While you are 100% correct, I think there is a facet that you are not addressing here with all of this, and it is exclusivity.

    You are correct in your statement that some of these achievements take a ridiculous amount of time to accomplish doing "boring" tasks, that amount to a less than epic reward. This is the point of the achievement in the first place. The people that choose to pursue these objectives are sacrificing far more than just their time, they are compromising a little bit of their sanity as well. The act of this sacrifice is what makes finishing these achievements special and momentous to the player, which in my opinion is far more memorable in the long run. We need to have tasks that are almost impossible to accomplish. We need to have people logging 40 hour weeks sitting around casting a line into a water hole just hoping for a nibble. These people will be heroes when they accomplish it, and I think that is fantastic.

    They will walk proudly with their earned cosmetics knowing that a little bit of sanity was left in the game. That the permanent dent in their office chair was due to not giving up. That for once, their unique ability to do repetitious tasks with minimal bathroom breaks finally paid off. That is the exclusivity that I mentioned in the beginning. Similar to the rock climbers that spend months preparing to climb Mount Everest with the sole desire to make it to the top. When in reality it is a big rock, that will try to kill you at every step; Has no real payout other than bragging that you did it and survived.

    I will conclude my rant with something a homeless man once said to me on the street: "A person is often happier chasing their goals, rather than catching them... can you spare some change for the bus?"
     
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  7. MadMikael

    MadMikael Well-Known Member
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    This post was well written, and I do believe taken seriously, as now many of the thresholds were indeed modified.

    However, I can't help but notice that one that wasn't even looked at was crafting.
    I'll leave this to the math wizards here, but how long would it take to make 100k crafts MANUALLY BY HAND?
    I suppose if you chose something really easy to craft, where it's all waste product, sure, time is cut down...
    But I hate being wasteful - I don't like crafting things to trash them (and I have dubs upon dubs of potions to prove that, even though I did trash some)... and I do not use a macro program (and to those of you who suggest to get one, the words I'd reply to you with would get me warned).

    Anyway, the hunting achievements were never an issue for me, but I do see how they would affect a non hunter. But that's my playstyle - I kill stuff, and I'm good at it. I'm not good at crafting ridiculous amounts of useless stuff. Looking at what I do craft (mainly end crystals, lol), and crafting all those manually 1 at a time, step by step, will take me far longer than 500 dragons ever would (including harvesting the tears myself). Looking at my progress in both mining and digging, I doubt either of those would take nearly as long. Sure, these are estimates based on my observation only, without actual numbers to back them up (I already logged off, sorry, I can get them later if you need them).

    However, I don't think it fair for "time required" to do crafting to include any sort of macro whatsoever; while they may be widely accepted and allowed in Castia, there are also many here who can't (or won't) use them. Also, I don't really like any achievement that encourages players to use 3rd party programs or autoclickers.... yes, the fishing achievement falls into that... why don't we have a fishing job again?

    Food for thought, hope it will be considered.
     
  8. alex_marie1324

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    As a cook, a job that does a lot of crafting, I'm actually quite close to completing the crafting achievements. I do use a macro, but I also spam click my mouse alongside holding down the macro button, so it goes pretty damn fast. If you spam click your mouse, it goes faster than any legal macro anyway.. I think the only thing wrong with the crafting achievements is the rewards. I mean, who needs 100+ crafting tables?
     
  9. DeluxeMark

    DeluxeMark Active Member
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    As a cook i agree. Even 5-10k is way better :/
     
  10. ZroZlame

    ZroZlame Member

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    I weirdly find 100k to be reasonable relative to the dragon threshold being so difficult, if you’re gonna make it awful for non hunters then make it awful for non cooks too I guess.
     
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  11. MadMikael

    MadMikael Well-Known Member
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    That's not the full issue.
    The impression I get is, this achievement is centered around the idea that everyone uses macros.
    Again I state, not all of us are able to use them.
    Doing 100k crafts by hand is far different from doing 100k via macro (which only takes a couple hours or so).
    If you're going to go that route, why not add an achievement for installing a macro program?

    I'm only asking for the same consideration to be given to all achievements as were to the ones already nerfed.
     
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  12. alex_marie1324

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    Like I said above, spam-clicking goes faster than any legal macro. Its not that hard to spam-click
     
  13. Classicalad

    Classicalad Well-Known Member
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    lmao
     
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  14. Madeyemann

    Madeyemann Well-Known Member
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    Unless you're some sort of robot that doesn't have any nerves in your hands, I'd certainly like to see how you can spam click for 100k different crafts...
     
  15. alex_marie1324

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    According to my statistics, I’ve crafted around 1 million bread and almost all of that was done w my macro AND spam click method.
     
  16. Madeyemann

    Madeyemann Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure if that's allowed. Is it allowed to spam click with a macro and get over the maximum 9 cps with a macro?
     
  17. alex_marie1324

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    My macro is within the legal times, the speed is gained only by me manually adding it
     
  18. TawnyFrogmouth

    TawnyFrogmouth Well-Known Member
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    Whenever players have asked staff about this in /g staff have told them that it's categorically not allowed to use both a macro and manual clicking to achieve click rates faster than the max allowed macro rate.

    That said, the rules governing macro usage don't prohibit doing both at the same time, so probably the rules page should be updated to reflect the macro rules as enforced.
     
    #18 TawnyFrogmouth, May 21, 2019 at 10:15 PM
    Last edited: May 21, 2019 at 10:23 PM

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