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Valse-KT

Pity Counter for RNG Related Mechanics

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Valse-KT   

Hi everyone, I wanted to ask about thoughts regarding a "pity counter" for the RNG mechanics in Aion (such as enchanting, crafting, etc.).  For those who are unaware of what they are, pity counters are systems implemented by game companies to basically guarantee success (loosely defined) for RNG related mechanics after an individual fails to succeed after many, many attempts.  For instance, in Hearthstone, which is a digital "trading" card game, players must add cards to their collection by opening card packs.  The rarest cards are called Legendary cards, and have a fairly low chance of dropping from card packs.  But, if individuals continuously open packs without receiving any Legendary cards, the probability of receiving one begins to increase, until after whiffing 40 packs in a row, there is a 100% chance of receiving a Legendary card.

Such a system rewards players who are willing to commit time and money into a game that they enjoy.  No matter how unlucky you are, you can still progress in that game; in Aion, this is not always the case.  The nature of this patch seems to be "grind hundreds of enchantment stones a week and throw them at a piece of gear until eventually you succeed 5 times in a row," or "spend hundreds of millions on crafting materials and hope that you a 1/5 chance, three times in a row."  Though these materials are readily available in game, there is such a low probability of succeeding with any given set of five enchantment stones or *set of all materials required to craft items*, that the system naturally lends itself to a larger separation between the really lucky and the really unlucky than there should be.  Furthermore, when the RNG rates are so low in certain areas, it is downright demoralizing to fail time and time again.

Last patch, it took an average of just under 400 ancient stones to get an ancient piece of gear from 10 to 15.  But when you failed going from 14 to 15 with your 300th stone, it would still take another 400 stones on average.  Yes, I know that doing such wouldn't have been a smart idea, but I'm just trying to make a point.  The worst feeling for me is failing to upgrade 6 or more legendary masterwork pieces into ultimate masterwork items in a row.  You've spent hundreds of millions for nothing, and your prospects of actually getting that critical success are still the same as they were before you tried to upgrade those pieces.  This just happened to me (both yesterday and today) which is partially what motivated me into writing this text wall.  On the flip side, just a few weeks ago, I bought a single legendary masterwork item and got a critical success, instantly netting me about 600 million kinah.  When the system is so skewed, it feels less like you're playing/grinding/paying for a video game and more like you're trying your odds at the lottery.

At it's core, Aion is simply not as fun as it could be because it's based on chance instead of skill or hard work.  You get instantaneous dopamine rushes followed by gambling anxiety and depression instead of sustained delayed gratification.  When you succeed, you feel good, but really it was just because an algorithm arbitrarily decided to let you succeed.  When you fail, you feel terrible knowing that there was literally nothing you could have done to prevent it.  This is why I feel as if a pity counter is absolutely necessary if this game is to survive.  A pity counter would reward players for continuously trying and working hard to progress through the game.  Perhaps the critical success rates on crafting could approach 1/2 or even 2/3 after 8 or more failed attempts.  Maybe there could be a quest that allows you to choose a PF piece after you've killed Frigida 20 times.  Even if the initial success probabilities on systems like enchanting and crafting were decreased slightly to keep the averages the same, this would at least make it feel like something is in your control.

 

I don't really know where I want to end this so I'll just leave it at that.

 

tldr; When playing Aion, it feels as if everything is under the control of RNG, making the game inherently less fun and less rewarding.  A pity counter would fix this, making grinding, and even failing, feel as if you're making progress.  This would motivate more players to spend more time in the game and be more willing to spend money on it.

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This is actually one of the more thought out posts I've read regarding changes and core issues with Aion, in the last few months.

The idea of a return to players who have felt more blows of RNG than those who have succeeded would be a great idea; being the company can choose the number of failures until your rate increases.

I am sure the amount of fails would be either quite long or the increase on rates a very slow, low climb; both of this I am fine with.

 

What about potential exploits? Can we spot any?

Edited by 2s30B77F-DN

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I'm sure the Aion developers are aware that a system like this can only be healthy for the game. In fact, pity counters have existed in the past for drops from certain end game instances, but were removed with patches as those instances became irrelevant. I can write paragraphs upon paragraphs detailing NC's blunders with Aion over the years, but to summarize: consumer friendly mechanics like this are either very low on their list of priorities or they simply don't care about them.

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24 minutes ago, 2s30B77F-DN said:

What about potential exploits? Can we spot any?

Everyone will just spam yellow stones. It is a good idea for crafting it can be pretty brutal.

 

This being said the Enchantment system already has similar systems in place. Not where you are rewarded for failing so much but you are rewarded for putting in the effort to obtain Red Enchant stones thus giving you the ability to never go backwards(well i have never seen anyone go backwards as of yet with red stones).

Edited by HealingSquid-KT

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Kubei-DN   

This sounds very familiar, I think I've heard it somewhere in another game (not Hearthstone though). You're absolutely right that a pity counter would in fact help in such case, but when money is on the table, it doesn't really matter that much. I thought 5.8 was tough but I feel as the current patch is making me physically sick in the stomach every time I try to enchant or get the damned daevanion book, only to see it's taken away from you (today I rolled 93 but someone else rolled 96).

It's depressing, you love the game, you work very hard but at the end of the week you get a big fat 0 and middle finger in your face. When a game exhausts you mentally this way, not even a pity counter would help. The devs nor NCWest cares about us.

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Welcome to Aion: Casino of Eternity, where things haven't really changed since launch. :(

That said, pity counter/transform 3 nonprocs into a proc/etc would be nice to see, and we know systems like the "turn X# of non procs into a proc" exist for the game, if they'd just add the designs in to crafting.

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Valse-KT   
1 hour ago, HealingSquid-KT said:

Everyone will just spam yellow stones. It is a good idea for crafting it can be pretty brutal.

 

This being said the Enchantment system already has similar systems in place. Not where you are rewarded for failing so much but you are rewarded for putting in the effort to obtain Red Enchant stones thus giving you the ability to never go backwards(well i have never seen anyone go backwards as of yet with red stones).

I'm not sure how a pity counter for enchanting would work.  If you fail 5 yellows on a yellow piece from 10-11 when the probability is 1/2, the game should probably just give you the +1, but then you're at a point at which you could lose your progress (by design), so it's not really that much of a help.  Then again, I don't think getting yellow pieces to +15 is that difficult right now.  I think you're right that the Enchantment system has a counter to the RNG of enchanting in morphing red stones - perhaps that's a better solution to a pity counter.  Even so, I've heard stories of players failing tens of red stones trying to get a piece from 14 to 15 which is where the system could be improved.

I think a pity counter would help the most in places like crafting, luna crafting, manastone socketing, opening RNG bundles (lockboxes, event boxes, etc.), instances, PvP instance bundles, minion combining, transform combining, and possibly world bosses/Anomos (though that's a really delicate line).  But seeing as they'd have to redesign a good portion of the game to implement such a system, I really highly doubt that this can be implemented any time soon, especially when it's just a bunch of players talking about it on the NA forums for a Korean game.

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How about that imaginary pity counter that I know you all think is there.  You fail one enchant and think well the next one should be better. Then since you failed two you must be getting a success on the next one... next thing you know you have failed 5 in row and are speechless.  When in reality you still have a 48% chance to succeed now matter how many you have previously failed. 

Don't know if I agree with a pity counter, but it is mentally draining to fail an enchant, then a manastone, then run a dungeon for the umpteenth time and not get your loot, then fail a craft. You pretty much just have to turn the game off.  Then eventually just end up turning it off and never come back one day. 

Instead of a pity counter why not just set proper rates in the first place.  48% chance seems to be the magic number for this expansion which is more failure than success. I think the people who make these games enjoy suffering. 

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Aion used to have a pity counter of some type in the older pacthes for crafting.

You could trade in 3 nonproc'ed version of a craft and craft a guaranteed proced version of the item.

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Summoning in Fire Emblem Heroes

  • 5★ (Gold - Ultimate): 6% (3% featured units, 3% others)
  • 4★ (Silver - Legendary): 58%
  • 3★ (Bronze - Ancient): 36%
  • For every five non-5★ unit summoned within the same banner, 5★ pull rate increases by 0.5% (+0.25% featured units, +0.25% others) "Pity rate" in the next summoning session (each summoning session is maximum 5 pulls)
  • "Pity rate" bonus only applies in the same banner
  • 5★ pull rate resets in the next summoning session when you pull a 5★ unit
    • Crappy 5★ units are referred as "Pity Breakers"

Note:

  • Common units are in both 3★ and 4★ summoning pools
  • Uncommon units are in both 4★ and 5★ summoning pools
  • Rare units are only found in 5★ summoning pools
  • Limited and legendary units are only summonable as featured 5★ units in select banners.

Perhaps Aion can have similar mechanics for Transformation Contracts?

Cash shop contract pull rates

White contracts pull rates (Crowdsourced and low sample size. Please submit your pulls!)

Edited by mooMOOMooMoomoo-KT

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