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Gavyn the Mighty's avatar

Revered Inquisitor

I would like to take a look at the recently implemented essence cap and address some potential areas of improvement, as well as give my opinion on why I feel it was implemented and what it means for the HoC community.

Note: when I refer to Armageddon in this passage, I am referring to the forced final battle at end game; not the situation that arises from a legitimate scenario where both players acquire their 6th portal in the same turn

Regarding the Essence Cap and Farming:
In order to address the essence cap, we must first realize why it was put into place. The reasoning for the cap is simple, players were ‘farming’ essence; instead of playing the game to get portals, players agree to build up armies and fight it out in Armageddon. This is a fair strategy though as it ultimately causes one player to win while the other loses. It does however, introduce a lot more essence into the game than the developers had foreseen. To remedy this, they implemented the cap. We need to address what a win is though, in the overall context of the game.

As the rules of the game currently stand you can win in one of three ways:
1] Find 6 victory portals
2] Annihilate the enemy forces
3] Win the final battle (similar to 2, except you both generally build up forces until the end)

These ways of winning were all put into the game by the developers, yet, by implementing an essence cap they are valuing the portal method of winning over the others that they implemented. In fairness, then general rule of thumb for the game is to attain the portals, with the other methods being secondary.

What this cap is doing, however, is punishing everyone who plays, not just the ‘farmers’. This cap is lowering the essence for everyone who plays, regardless of the mode. This isn’t right. I am also marginalized in my opinion that it is unfair to ‘punish’ those who have ‘farmed’ their essence to the extent that they are too, because that method of winning was put into the game and it still takes quite a lot of time and effort to do.

I believe that this situation needs to be remedied to an extent; however, the ‘farming’ should be curbed. I’ve read reports of people making 5000 a game, that is what needs to be stopped, while at the same time not completely hurting everyone’s ability at actually buying new cards. It is of my opinion that the likely place for farming to occur would be within the ‘Friends’ matchups. Against the AI you are fighting it out throughout and in regular PvP you are pit against a random opponent so coordinating ‘farming’ is far more difficult. Thus, I would look into ‘Friends’ matchups as the only place that the capping should take place. I would also do it slightly differently than is currently implemented.

Currently, the cap scales in some [unknown as of now] manner. It is random as well. This randomness is the first thing that needs to be removed. A hard cap needs to be put in place, nothing random or abnormal about it.

My suggestion is twofold. First, scale back the ‘Friends’ essence multiplier from 3* to 2*. This will overall lower the amount of essence a player can make in games that are easy to coordinate. Second, place a hard cap of 2000 essence on ‘Friends’ matches. Additionally, put in a hard cap on PvP games of 3000 essence, just because essence gain any higher than that should be avoided as it is likely do to farming, even in that manner of game play.

Next, the AI modes of the game need to be restructured. This is where the definition of farming comes into play. Are people not farming the AI? That is to say, are they not battling over and over for essence, instead of solely going for portals? I’d venture to say that people are. You get less for playing against an AI, but it is generally far quicker and far more predictable. I am unsure of the scores that are put up in most of these modes, but perhaps a hard cap would be good here as well… but not simply a randomized, scaled cap. Something like: Intro = 750, Easy= 1000, Medium = 1500, Nightmare= 2500, would suffice (saving Hard= 2000 incase that mode gets introduced). It still gives a lot of essence, but isn’t as much as PvP or friends since these games are quicker to play.

Overall, it is of my opinion that ‘farming’ should be curbed and done quickly. The manner, in which it has been implemented currently, seems highly unfair to the general game players, not just the farmers. Players shouldn’t be able to make ridiculous amounts of essence i.e. 3000 and above per game; at the same time, players who have earned 1800 essence shouldn’t have their total knocked down to 1000 just because. There needs to be a hard cap, not a scaled/random cap, because the latter hurts everybody who plays (unfairly, I might add) while the prior merely shows that you are trying to prevent the amount of essence in game, while still not punishing most who play the game in the manners you implemented as was to win.

I feel if the current cap is not changed, and quickly, that it will have a large negative impact on the HoC community. It will do so by making it ridiculously hard and tedious to improve your decks, it will slow down the already slow process of making gold via conversion (which was already separately lowered to the point where not nearly as many people do it) and it will cause a lot of users to not want to play nearly as frequently, if at all.


An Armageddon Thought to Curb Farming:
I am starting to think that Armageddon and the cap should both be removed. The cap should be gone so players can actually acquire the amount they earn, while removing Armageddon removes the aspect of building up armies for an all out essence gain.

That said, players could save up for the turn before the final battle, etc... so it would have to be randomized so that anytime within 5 turns of when Armageddon should happen, that the game ends. This means it has a lot less cards building up, players won't know when the end of the game will happen and thus have to actually battle it out through the game and try to get portals to win.

Since a final Armageddon wouldn't take place, there could be a possibility no one to get 6 portals. this could be averted by having the player with the most portals win when the game 'prematurely' ends. If they end in a tie, i.e. each have 4 portals, etc, then they would end in a tie. A tie would not count as a win or a loss in the leaderboards and there would be no 'victory' essence awarded for this situation.

This is the best I can come up with for remedying farming, removing the cap, and keeping most of the integrity of the game in tact.

Going about addressing farming in this manner would prove the hard caps referenced in the top part of this post irrelevant as the players would all be making their essence in a non-farming manner... i.e. they earned it in a more respectable way.


I hope that the entire community, developers and players alike, take time to think about what this cap means for them and for the game and work towards fixing it to be fairer, while still keeping the ridiculous essence totals at bay. Doing so would make the game better, the community happier and overall improve the experience of HoC, instead of hurting it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate and encourage critiques and discussion of this. Additionally, please read the posts throughout this thread as there has been significant in-depth discussion far beyond what is stated here; both from myself and others in the community alike.

Cheers,
Krovahn

Grimsbok's avatar

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I did read any of that but I think there should never be a cap on what players can gain especially if there's a way for players to buy a better chance cards with money.
Gavyn the Mighty's avatar

Revered Inquisitor

HoC - User Designed Card Contest
My Thoughts on the Essence Cap


I feel this could use a bump.


If we play a PvP HoC and I forfeit on turn one, it is only because I refuse to play against someone who has forfeited against me more than twice mid game. This is the only reason I will ever forfeit.
Shadow the Kitty's avatar

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I read that whole thing, and the only part I disagree on a little, is removing the Final Battle stuff (not Armageddon). Me and my girlfriend play against each other, going for Final Battles not just because it gives a decent amount of Essence for both of us (~700-1500 for winner or loser), but the battle itself is just fun. The huge battle of 20+ units on both side is just a lot of fun for both of us (even with the insane miss/critical rates, and the weird thing where hits 'fizzle' and do nothing).
I - FFXIV - I's avatar

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'Fizzle'. I have only ever seen that used in 1 game before whee
I oppose the thought of removing the "Armageddon" fights because that is
how I make a gaia-living and it's the quickest way to get Card Packs without
fighting the AI again and again, you can just have 1 fight with a friend
and make a payload, I've finally coped with the conversion cap tho.
I now don't convert anymore cause of it and focus on Card Packs.

Altho, People farm because win or lose you gain more xp then from
a AI fight and, because if the Card Packs are gonna cost a pretty
penny just to buy then why not do giant battles over and over
if you get alot of essence, 5,000 is ALOT and anything over that is
just like ---& emotion_0A0 / emotion_kirakira / emotion_jawdrop <---. But the Card Packs
cost 1,500 so you could only use that farming to buy 3 Card Packs
and with how bad the chances of getting a rare is, that 5,000 isn't much
(I'm going off of the Platinum Pack cost cause I'm 33, I don't have
the Sapphire unlock) and I saw a post about how much
you can buy the Chaos Cash packs for with essence and now farming seems like
the only way to ever accumulate that much to sustain buying those, this
also shows why the "essence cap" needs to be removed

P.S: To anyone who thinks my grammar is bad, that's cause it actually is and I'm incredible lazy and don't wanna be 100% accurate all the time
Shadow the Kitty's avatar

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'Fizzle'. I have only ever seen that used in 1 game before whee

Lol, I don't remember which game I got it from, but it fits perfectly right? There's a current bug where sometimes hits do absolutely nothing. No damage and it's not a Miss.
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Shadow the Kitty
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'Fizzle'. I have only ever seen that used in 1 game before whee

Lol, I don't remember which game I got it from, but it fits perfectly right? There's a current bug where sometimes hits do absolutely nothing. No damage and it's not a Miss.


I experience that ALOT, really can screw up a battle that is leaning in your favor. Only game that I can remember it from is Wizards 101, my brother, sister and mom plays it so it's what instantly popped into my head and yes, nothing else fits it better
ZephyAlurus's avatar

Beloved Lunatic

I don't think Armageddon should be removed since it's part of the game. I do agree that friend matches should have it's rewards reduced. Since you could use 2 computers and farm like that or just ask a friend to keep doing Armageddon.

I thoguht of a new idea for essences instead xD
http://www.gaiaonline.com/forum/feature-requests/new-essence-system/t.83245977/

Also posting in the box make it really hard to read. Especially with the blue font.
Also posting in the box make it really hard to read. Especially with the blue font.Agree with this. Very inefficient way of getting people to read a long post.
It would just be easier to add a cap to the private matches so boosting/farming might be avoided granted not everyone is like that but hey you cant make everyone happy. Also they should remove the essence cap from everything else though, but that's just my opinion.
RoseRoyal's avatar

Hardened Lover

I thought there was no bonus for friend vs friend... Thought I read that from one of the announcements or something for HoC when it was first opened up to Gaia. I remember reading how you do the friend v friend (ie send PM, wait for friend to notice the PM, then read PM, then click link to join, etc), and thought, wow, no bonus for such a tedious process just to play a friend!
Then my fiancee brought up a good point as to why that was probably the case... because people would then abuse it and coordinate wins with each other.

So if there is a bonus for playing friend v. friend (Gaia Friends), then that should be taken away immediately! It would be too easy to use that to farm exp and/or essence.
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RoseRoyal
I thought there was no bonus for friend vs friend... Thought I read that from one of the announcements or something for HoC when it was first opened up to Gaia. I remember reading how you do the friend v friend (ie send PM, wait for friend to notice the PM, then read PM, then click link to join, etc), and thought, wow, no bonus for such a tedious process just to play a friend!
Then my fiancee brought up a good point as to why that was probably the case... because people would then abuse it and coordinate wins with each other.

So if there is a bonus for playing friend v. friend (Gaia Friends), then that should be taken away immediately! It would be too easy to use that to farm exp and/or essence.


....That happens thru Meebo now...not messenging eek
RoseRoyal's avatar

Hardened Lover

I do not think Armageddon should be removed, either. It is not unusual for my games against the computer to end that way, especially if I did not get good units during the game and it took me too long to spread out.

If people are just building up their armies for the Final Battle to farm essences, then it shouldn't be too difficult to find those battles where there are less than 5 (or some low number) of battles all game before the Final Battle. If there is an extremely low number of battles before the Final Battle, then most likely they are 'farming' and should be punished. Maybe no essence or exp for both players?

I would think it would be extremely difficult to have a game with fewer than 5 battles without sitting on portals as even cataclysms cause battles to happen.
RoseRoyal's avatar

Hardened Lover

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RoseRoyal
I thought there was no bonus for friend vs friend... Thought I read that from one of the announcements or something for HoC when it was first opened up to Gaia. I remember reading how you do the friend v friend (ie send PM, wait for friend to notice the PM, then read PM, then click link to join, etc), and thought, wow, no bonus for such a tedious process just to play a friend!
Then my fiancee brought up a good point as to why that was probably the case... because people would then abuse it and coordinate wins with each other.

So if there is a bonus for playing friend v. friend (Gaia Friends), then that should be taken away immediately! It would be too easy to use that to farm exp and/or essence.


....That happens thru Meebo now...not messenging eek

I don't use Meebo, so I guess I would not be able to use Gaia Friends? (I use the old Footer)
I - FFXIV - I's avatar

Malevolent Hunter

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RoseRoyal
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RoseRoyal
I thought there was no bonus for friend vs friend... Thought I read that from one of the announcements or something for HoC when it was first opened up to Gaia. I remember reading how you do the friend v friend (ie send PM, wait for friend to notice the PM, then read PM, then click link to join, etc), and thought, wow, no bonus for such a tedious process just to play a friend!
Then my fiancee brought up a good point as to why that was probably the case... because people would then abuse it and coordinate wins with each other.

So if there is a bonus for playing friend v. friend (Gaia Friends), then that should be taken away immediately! It would be too easy to use that to farm exp and/or essence.


....That happens thru Meebo now...not messenging eek

I don't use Meebo, so I guess I would not be able to use Gaia Friends? (I use the old Footer)


I thought everyone used it cause it's at the bottom of the screen, you will see a small square of your avatar/avatar picture and you just click it and you can IM your friends, but no, you should still be able to use it

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