low stealth means many encounters, and that means many exp from them so characters who invest skill points on fighting skills - get encounters and winning them get exp.
characters who invest skill points on stealth skill dont get encounters and dont get exp. paradoxically, they dont get exp becouse they are good at stealth, and when they are unsuccessful at it - they dont have good skills to fight...
what do you think about changing it? if someone is good at something - he should be rewarded. so my proposition:
a) successful test for stealth should be treated as successful escape from hostile enemy who even noticed that and should be rewarded or b) successful test for stealth should get warning "Captain, sensors pick fast and heavy armored ship, probably warship. Should we awoid it?", and when player choose to avoid it - he should be rewarded
Stealth is not just used to determine chance of encounter, but also it's heavily used in combat, especially at longer ranges as a determinant of whether you are able to dodge enemy weapons fire or not. So this means if you have a very low stealth score, sure you are able to get more combat experience, but you'll also get hit more frequently as the game progresses and enemy levels increase.
Finally - high stealth doesn't mean you won't get lots of encounters - you still do. You don't get as many encounters where the enemy ship is actually hostile (red text) and turning to attack you. This gives you that wonderful opportunity of deciding whether you want to be an aggressor or let the more challenging fish escape your wrath ... for today.
I'd like Tactics to be modified to really increase your offensive abilities in combat - but then again, I don't know exactly how Tactics really works in the first place
stealth + all upgrades giving bonus for avoiding encounters makes you almost invisible - and there is problem, you dont fight - you dont get exp
in about 10-20lvl there is a 'full circle' - enemies are not good enought to spot you, you are too good at stealth to be finded, and contracts give you only 1 exp - to advance now in reasonable time you now need to fight, but when your'ra playing non-fighting class, fighting is not good option
think about smugglers crossing green border - they try to be stealthy as possible
I have to agree with OP in the terms of fighters getting more XP. But this is basically fundamental flaw of old-school-RPG experience system. You are rewarded with XP whenever you succeed with risky action. Such as combat.
I have tried this a few times and I am convinced that playing pacifist is nearly impossible. But you have to understand that it may be the same in a lot of RPG systems.
I played pacifist / stealth / liked by everyone explorer on Demanding. I avoided everyone not friendly and was not forced to fight. Around turn 13000 I was lvl 8 and unable to explore anything successfully.
I played aggressive / fighter / hated by a half of the universe pirate on Impossible. I was fighting all the time. Around turn 13000 I was lvl 70.
You can make your own conclusion. But I am not seeing a real way around this. You can not reward non-risky actions with much XP as it will break the flawed XP model.
But this is basically fundamental flaw of old-school-RPG experience system. You are rewarded with XP whenever you succeed with risky action. Such as combat.
i must agree with you in that point, but in the same time old-school-RPG didnt have merchant or smuggler classes - only fighters. In pen&paper rpg characters try to achive goals with their all skills, not only with force, and they are rewarded when they achive them.
Cory made good game, giving us possibilities not only to fight, but also to play as non-fighting characters, he even named this game Star Traders RPG not Star Fighters RPG
I just want we sit together and try to better balance those non-fighting characters, and in fact - whole game
Post by Cory Trese on Aug 13, 2011 12:10:11 GMT -5
Ah I think you might be overlooking many rules in the way that XP is assigned when you avoid combat screens, but I am looking at the code so my view is probably a lot different. Using Stealth to gain XP by avoiding combat is one tiny facet of the solution to
"fundamental flaw of old-school-RPG experience system"
I recognize this flaw and love to fix in my games. Ask Andrew, I spend a lot of time postulating about the mathematical underpinnings of that issue. You can find that a lot of the rule chains used in pen and paper games. ST RPG gets to roll "unlimited dice" so you'll find that if you play the *game* you'll find success.
BASIC LAW OF STAR TRADERS
STOP MAKING ALL THE FACTIONS LIKE YOU.
If you stop doing that, which probably the vast majority of players understand, you will find that you can reach Level 70 WELL BEFORE 13,000 using a pacifist character.
Post by Cory Trese on Aug 13, 2011 12:12:14 GMT -5
slayernz -- Tactics is a skill that is used when the Crew is being marshaled to do something they WANT to do. Intimidation is a skill that is used when the Crew is being marshaled to do something they DO NOT WANT to do.
Therefore, Tactics appears in Combat, Non-Rumor Exploration, Landing. Characters with high Tactics skills should upgrade Crew on the Ship because more Crew = More Loyal Pawns
You are right, but newer pen&paper RPGs have also another ways how to measure character's success based on a lot of subjective factors, such as the way how you entertain your co-players etc. Also setting your own goals is something not well applicable to computer games, at least not easily.
The balancing has to be done carefully, because there are hidden problems and exploits with the standard experience system.
For example pirate choosing to fight is basically trading experience and loot of possibility of damage to the ship, risk of being killed, loosing reputation and thus risking in the long term. Explorer is risking injury and killed crew, exploring takes time, it is risk in the long term, so he should be rewarded with experience.
But you can not reward trader for buying / selling stuff. There is no risk associated, so he can do it all the time. And even explorers and pirates sell their stuff. Also rewarding avoiding enemies with experience is something you should not do, because if you fail there is no real risk. It is win-draw situation, you avoid damage to the ship, avoid possibility of being caught or looted AND you get the experience. If you fail, you have to fight as you would without the skill.
Post by Cory Trese on Aug 13, 2011 12:47:38 GMT -5
In the end, everyone plays the game different. Balancing a single player mobile game is different than, say, a pen and paper RPG or an MMO. You use different techniques when you are balancing for one person vs. many.
Post by Cory Trese on Aug 13, 2011 12:50:19 GMT -5
Yah every once in a while I get e-mails or posts from people who for some reason believed they had to be positive with all Factions.
It's an interesting way to play the game -- we even added some advanced awards to honor those play modes.
But it is a little bit like the random e-mails I get along the lines of "I want to play with only 7 Hull and the game isn't balanced because I die a lot flying the Repair Shuttle. You should re-balance the entire game around my desire to fly the Repair Shuttle."
Post by Cory Trese on Aug 13, 2011 12:52:25 GMT -5
Also the ST RPG game simulator's result seem to indicate that the benefits of all positive (the simulator will always buy trade permits / warrants / promos if it has enough rep) reactions are equal to, or slightly better than and reduction in combat XP.
At least that is if you measure the success of the simulated players based on Credits Earned instead of Ships killed.
I think that one of main rules of the game should be:
Are you a looser? Dying often? Not having enough credits? Not having enough experience? You have to understand that you are playing AGAINST the game. Against time. And you are doing it wrong. Think, what that may be. Go and try something different.