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TOPIC: It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #409

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Grekel! wrote:

Mike Steele wrote:

Xavon wrote:

Grekel! wrote:

edwin wrote:

Brokkr wrote: No experience is required to create a forum account or use the app. The player is still free to show up with out doing either.


Reminds me of an rpg I signed up for at GenCon. I showed up and GM expected me to have a character in an online application. GM said email was sent out. What email since I expected event lisrings to define everything I need to do. No cost either. Delayed the game for 15 minutes for everybody. That would be an issue for TD since they have a schedule to maintain.


THIS!


NOT THIS!

I had a big rant typed out, but it was getting too long and too personal. But long story short, I find it personally untenable not to read ALL materials associated with an event/game.


I understand what you're saying. But, at the same time, if I were running True Dungeon, I'd want as few barriers as possible to new players trying the game. It is already $80 per ticket at GENCON, which is a pretty big initial barrier. If new players were also required before the event to read and comprehend a bunch of materials, create an account and log onto the forums, figure out how to find the thread which corresponded to their run, and engaging to select a class.

Even if they can create an account and find their way to the correct thread on a forum they've never been to before, in order to pick a class they'd have to do a lot of research on the game in general (how combat is done, what puzzles are like, etc) plus research each class to figure out how each works and which they might prefer. That seems to me to be enough of a barrier that many players will either decide not to play TD at all, or decide to show up without doing all of that and be pretty unhappy that other group members have already claimed a number of the classes prior to the event.


Mike is right. Personally - I too like to read the rules and get t know the game. But personal preferences are one thing, the game and how it is presented to the public, especially brand new or casual players is something else entirely. The argument that "it should be reasonable..." is as varied and diverse as the population attending any gaming con. "reasonable" is extremely subjective.


I'd been playing TD for probably 5-6 years before I was even aware there was a players handbook, or had any interest in reading it.

I doubt I'm special in that regard.


I've never read all the way through it. :)

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #410

Rob F wrote:

lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote: no first come first serve
if the run is at 7pm. classes picked then (you show up after 7pm, you get whats left)..
if people want to play the same class..roll off


This is still the simplest and IMO best idea. And no harm in having players discuss and come to agreements on classes before the start time.


I can get behind this, certainly much better than the current rules.
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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #411

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Kirk Bauer wrote:

Rob F wrote:

lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote: no first come first serve
if the run is at 7pm. classes picked then (you show up after 7pm, you get whats left)..
if people want to play the same class..roll off


This is still the simplest and IMO best idea. And no harm in having players discuss and come to agreements on classes before the start time.


I can get behind this, certainly much better than the current rules.

Definitely agree!
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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #412

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Grekel! wrote:

Xavon wrote:


There are not separate events for veterans. They tried that with the Nightmare events of the past, but that was just more proof that even if it is in the event description, some people won't read/care.

And frankly, even if they come here, do they really have to do research? They can sign up, find the thread and start talking. Get advice from vets and not have to look at the cards or tokens if they don't want to. They have to sign up anyway, if they want to get XP for the events. And, again, players who are willing to do that are the ones who will come back, who will support TD. They are the ones we should want.


That last bit is the one that concerns me the most. This is the second time I've heard a variant of this statement in this thread...

I'm just going to say this and leave it. I have, in almost 50 years of life on this planet, never experienced, or read about a group that started out being openly welcoming of any who wanted to participate, with zero restrictions other than a willingness to be a part of the group - who then became concerned with "who we want in the group" or "who we should want" or any other variation... that didn't have all manner of negatives as a result of such a shift. By definition - that attitude is less open, and less welcoming, and can be a starting point for less pleasant attitudes.


Maybe I phrased it poorly. But given the cost of TD, and that it depends on volunteers, I stand by the intent of my statement. TD is ultimately a business. You will always want and welcome the people who come in, buy something once, and then vanish into the ether. But the repeat customers, the ones who come in every week (or year in this case), who tell their friends and family about you, who forgive your small issues and help you improve, those are the customers you support, you work with. The one time customers, you try to convert them, but until they convert, you have to be cautious about how much you invest into them.

That is why various stores have customer rewards programs. And for TD, the forums/registering are the closest thing. You get XP, which gets you rewards. And you get to have input to the process, and get help from the rest of the TD community.

If we think the level three reward (which still requires signing up), is bad for TD, I still think the best thing to do is replace it with something that still brings people in, brings them together, makes things easier, and rewards them for supporting TD.
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Last edit: by Xavon.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #413

Wayne Rhodes wrote:
Best argument for keeping the 3rd level bonus is that it helps players with a small collection and have put all there resources into 1 class (Bard, rogue, Cleric for example).
I am in favor of limiting how often you can pull 3rd level rank because I do understand it can be a bad look as well.

I think if you are more than 5 minutes late past the start time you should lose the right for 3rd level bonus and roll offs. This seems practical.

I proposed earlier in the thread a idea for a once a year card you could use that must be turned in but don’t see any comments on the merits of that idea for or against. Another idea in that vain that I have not proposed is when you hit 3rd level there could be a order option for that level that gives the player 5 runestones that allows you to use the 3rd level bonus. So you could only ever use the bonus 5 times and your giving up something to do it.

Overall I’m in favor of keeping the 3rd level bonus (in some form) because it helps retuning players that don’t have massive collections like mine, and only play each dungeon once, since this is the group of players that removing this bonus hurts.


Thanks for posting your specific reasoning in favor of the 3rd level bonus! I'm interested in exploring this in more detail. Let's imagine some PUG scenarios (using Rogue as the example class since I know it has a lot of single-class gear) involving pairs of the following players:

Alice: 3rd level (or slightly higher), small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Bob: 3rd level (or slightly higher), small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Charlie: 2nd level, small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Dan: new player, no token investment yet but thinks Rogue sounds awesome and really wants to try it

Scenario A+B: if the PUG contains just Alice and Bob, they either work it out, or they roll off and the loser is disappointed. The Lv3 bonus doesn't come into play, so it makes no difference whether we've kept it.

Scenario A+C: if the PUG contains Alice and Charlie, and we keep the Lv3 bonus, then Alice is happy and Charlie is disappointed. Is that better than putting them on an equal footing? Both Alice and Charlie are returning players with small collections (the group you say would be hurt by removing the bonus), but in this case one of them is hurt by keeping the bonus. And for what it's worth I think Charlie in this scenario is likely to be *more* disappointed than the loser of the A+B scenario roll-off, because the perception of unfairness adds insult to injury.

Scenario A+D: if the PUG contains Alice and Dan, and we keep the Lv3 bonus, then Alice is happy and Dan is disappointed. Maybe Dan is less disappointed than Charlie was (and/or less disappointed than Alice would be if there were an egalitarian roll-off and she lost), since Dan doesn't have a token investment at stake. But if that's true, it seems to me that Dan would also be more likely to work it out amicably with Alice if we eliminated the Lv3 bonus: "I can see this matters a whole lot to you, and those do look like pretty awesome tokens. It's not that big a deal to me, I'll try something else for now and play Rogue next time." Or maybe Dan has his heart set so strongly on playing Rogue that Alice would say "Hey, I love playing Rogue, but I also enjoy helping out new players, and I like your enthusiasm. If you don't mind loaning me that nice Rare you just pulled that's not usable by Rogue, I'll loan you some of my Rogue-specific gear and give you some tips." Or maybe neither one wants to give in and it still comes down to a roll-off anyway... but here's my point: keeping the Lv3 bonus makes it strictly less likely that there will be a constructive conversation and an amicable resolution, because Alice can choose the "nuclear option" instead. Maybe she won't (we've already established that the vast majority of people do not), but I personally think the overall situation is improved if the nuclear option doesn't exist in the first place and both players are equally motivated to work it out.

Scenario C+D: just like A+B, the Lv3 bonus doesn't apply, so it mostly makes no difference whether we've kept it; they either work it out, or they roll off and the loser is disappointed. But here's an interesting side effect: let's say Charlie loses the roll off and is really disappointed. If he's well acquainted with the rules, he might say to himself "Gee, I can't wait until I get to 3rd level and don't have to put up with challenges from noobs like Dan anymore." Is that really an attitude we want the rules to encourage/reward, even a little bit? Not only that, it doesn't really work out well for Charlie himself in the long run; it just sets him up for A+B disappointments later on once he attains Lv3 and then ends up in a PUG with someone else who's also Lv3. Whereas without a Lv3 bonus to (perhaps unwisely) look forward to, Charlie's takeaway might be "Wow, that really sucked. How can I avoid this disappointment in the future? Maybe I should get on the forums and pre-plan a run with other people so I know I will be able to play Rogue" and/or "if I'm going to keep playing PUGs, I should diversify my token collection a little bit, to better allow for a backup class or two." I think that in the long run those takeaways are much better, both for him and for the game.

I'm interested in reactions to this, from you and others who support the bonus... it's entirely possible that I've missed a scenario that shows it in a much better light, or missed an implication in one of the scenarios I did mention. But from where I'm sitting right now it seems to me that eliminating the Lv3 bonus is a win for the game overall, and even a win for the individual players it "hurts" on any given day if you're willing to take a little bit of a long view.
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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #414

David Zych wrote: ...


best reasoned response to eliminating the 3rd level perk in the entire thread. thank you.

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Last edit: by travis.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #415

Grekel! wrote:

Kirk Bauer wrote:

Rob F wrote:

lazlo_hollyfeld1985 wrote: no first come first serve
if the run is at 7pm. classes picked then (you show up after 7pm, you get whats left)..
if people want to play the same class..roll off


This is still the simplest and IMO best idea. And no harm in having players discuss and come to agreements on classes before the start time.


I can get behind this, certainly much better than the current rules.

Definitely agree!


Me too, isn't that kind of what we have now minus the 3rd level bonus.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #416

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Xavon wrote:

Grekel! wrote:

Xavon wrote:


There are not separate events for veterans. They tried that with the Nightmare events of the past, but that was just more proof that even if it is in the event description, some people won't read/care.

And frankly, even if they come here, do they really have to do research? They can sign up, find the thread and start talking. Get advice from vets and not have to look at the cards or tokens if they don't want to. They have to sign up anyway, if they want to get XP for the events. And, again, players who are willing to do that are the ones who will come back, who will support TD. They are the ones we should want.


That last bit is the one that concerns me the most. This is the second time I've heard a variant of this statement in this thread...

I'm just going to say this and leave it. I have, in almost 50 years of life on this planet, never experienced, or read about a group that started out being openly welcoming of any who wanted to participate, with zero restrictions other than a willingness to be a part of the group - who then became concerned with "who we want in the group" or "who we should want" or any other variation... that didn't have all manner of negatives as a result of such a shift. By definition - that attitude is less open, and less welcoming, and can be a starting point for less pleasant attitudes.


Maybe I phrased it poorly. But given the cost of TD, and that it depends on volunteers, I stand by the intent of my statement. TD is ultimately a business. You will always want and welcome the people who come in, buy something once, and then vanish into the ether. But the repeat customers, the ones who come in every week (or year in this case), who tell their friends and family about you, who forgive your small issues and help you improve, those are the customers you support, you work with. The one time customers, you try to convert them, but until they convert, you have to be cautious about how much you invest into them.

That is why various stores have customer rewards programs. And for TD, the forums/registering are the closest thing. You get XP, which gets you rewards. And you get to have input to the process, and get help from the rest of the TD community.

If we think the level three reward (which still requires signing up), is bad for TD, I still think the best thing to do is replace it with something that still brings people in, brings them together, makes things easier, and rewards them for supporting TD.


Well said, hopefully we dont loose sight of it trying to argue around corner cases or take one for the team.
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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #417

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Xavon wrote:

Grekel! wrote:

Xavon wrote:


There are not separate events for veterans. They tried that with the Nightmare events of the past, but that was just more proof that even if it is in the event description, some people won't read/care.

And frankly, even if they come here, do they really have to do research? They can sign up, find the thread and start talking. Get advice from vets and not have to look at the cards or tokens if they don't want to. They have to sign up anyway, if they want to get XP for the events. And, again, players who are willing to do that are the ones who will come back, who will support TD. They are the ones we should want.


That last bit is the one that concerns me the most. This is the second time I've heard a variant of this statement in this thread...

I'm just going to say this and leave it. I have, in almost 50 years of life on this planet, never experienced, or read about a group that started out being openly welcoming of any who wanted to participate, with zero restrictions other than a willingness to be a part of the group - who then became concerned with "who we want in the group" or "who we should want" or any other variation... that didn't have all manner of negatives as a result of such a shift. By definition - that attitude is less open, and less welcoming, and can be a starting point for less pleasant attitudes.


Maybe I phrased it poorly. But given the cost of TD, and that it depends on volunteers, I stand by the intent of my statement. TD is ultimately a business. You will always want and welcome the people who come in, buy something once, and then vanish into the ether. But the repeat customers, the ones who come in every week (or year in this case), who tell their friends and family about you, who forgive your small issues and help you improve, those are the customers you support, you work with. The one time customers, you try to convert them, but until they convert, you have to be cautious about how much you invest into them.

That is why various stores have customer rewards programs. And for TD, the forums/registering are the closest thing. You get XP, which gets you rewards. And you get to have input to the process, and get help from the rest of the TD community.

If we think the level three reward (which still requires signing up), is bad for TD, I still think the best thing to do is replace it with something that still brings people in, brings them together, makes things easier, and rewards them for supporting TD.

I can definitely see the strength and logic of your arguments. And stated as you have it above, it is very much on point. Frankly as we bat this back and forth, I've got to admit that there seems to be a definite need for some re-tooling. I know that the last time I coached, even with totally new parties, it was not nearly as easy as it was in earlier years to make a small bit of time to talk about gameplay and some of the key tips (keep your weapons where you can get them, put away everything that is not consumable or may need to be shown). As the game stands now - the coaches have a complex task to get the party down on paper, and little time for much else... (People who show up with a pre-generated party card notwithstanding...)

Incentives can always be really good for the game and the business... I just think the character class selection preference such as the "discuss it beforehand and get first pick..." type of logic - that would be a negative impact overall as well, and for all the reasons already discussed.

But a better way to communicate what to expect and what people will be doing... how the dungeons work basics... yes there should be more. Jeff greenlighted TD-101 to expand into a series of lectures, and the response to that has been really good (so far). Also, we (the DDA) are working to standardize and expand those presentations... but ultimately - as several have stated - the people who buy the tickets will do, or not do prep for the game as they see fit... and that is just how that's going to be. My primary concern is not incentives or perks to increase/encourage preparation... my main concern is if the incentivization becomes a penalty to people who don't do these extra steps (like communicate on the forums to pre-stage their party and classes etc... The penalty for that is kind of built-in (a less productive coaching room experience). As it stands I think that ditching the current level 3 perk is a good thing. I agree with you that a replacement incentive/perk could be very helpful and good for TD both in the business sense and with respect to the overall experience for the players... but a preference in class selection just doesn't seem like a good way to accomplish this.
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Last edit: by Grekel!.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #418

At this point I feel it’s pointless for me to keep posting the same things. I prefer we keep the current system with minor changes like lose the right do take classes away if you get to the room more than 5 minutes after the start time.
I’d like something that limits how often you can call rank but keep the option there for a specific class of players that I’m not a part of anymore. I have made reasonable proposals as solutions.

I will not be that upset if the rule changes or is eliminated. I feel everyone what’s what is best for the game.

I do feel there is a benefit to the back and forth and voicing of opinions, and I think it’s important that TPTB see that not everyone is on board with a change like this, and that reasons are given in good faith. This will likely be my last post on this thread.

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Last edit: by Wayne Rhodes.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #419

David Zych wrote:
Thanks for posting your specific reasoning in favor of the 3rd level bonus! I'm interested in exploring this in more detail. Let's imagine some PUG scenarios (using Rogue as the example class since I know it has a lot of single-class gear) involving pairs of the following players:

Alice: 3rd level (or slightly higher), small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Bob: 3rd level (or slightly higher), small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Charlie: 2nd level, small collection heavily biased toward Rogue tokens
Dan: new player, no token investment yet but thinks Rogue sounds awesome and really wants to try it

Scenario A+B: if the PUG contains just Alice and Bob, they either work it out, or they roll off and the loser is disappointed. The Lv3 bonus doesn't come into play, so it makes no difference whether we've kept it.

Scenario A+C: if the PUG contains Alice and Charlie, and we keep the Lv3 bonus, then Alice is happy and Charlie is disappointed. Is that better than putting them on an equal footing? Both Alice and Charlie are returning players with small collections (the group you say would be hurt by removing the bonus), but in this case one of them is hurt by keeping the bonus. And for what it's worth I think Charlie in this scenario is likely to be *more* disappointed than the loser of the A+B scenario roll-off, because the perception of unfairness adds insult to injury.

Scenario A+D: if the PUG contains Alice and Dan, and we keep the Lv3 bonus, then Alice is happy and Dan is disappointed. Maybe Dan is less disappointed than Charlie was (and/or less disappointed than Alice would be if there were an egalitarian roll-off and she lost), since Dan doesn't have a token investment at stake. But if that's true, it seems to me that Dan would also be more likely to work it out amicably with Alice if we eliminated the Lv3 bonus: "I can see this matters a whole lot to you, and those do look like pretty awesome tokens. It's not that big a deal to me, I'll try something else for now and play Rogue next time." Or maybe Dan has his heart set so strongly on playing Rogue that Alice would say "Hey, I love playing Rogue, but I also enjoy helping out new players, and I like your enthusiasm. If you don't mind loaning me that nice Rare you just pulled that's not usable by Rogue, I'll loan you some of my Rogue-specific gear and give you some tips." Or maybe neither one wants to give in and it still comes down to a roll-off anyway... but here's my point: keeping the Lv3 bonus makes it strictly less likely that there will be a constructive conversation and an amicable resolution, because Alice can choose the "nuclear option" instead. Maybe she won't (we've already established that the vast majority of people do not), but I personally think the overall situation is improved if the nuclear option doesn't exist in the first place and both players are equally motivated to work it out.

Scenario C+D: just like A+B, the Lv3 bonus doesn't apply, so it mostly makes no difference whether we've kept it; they either work it out, or they roll off and the loser is disappointed. But here's an interesting side effect: let's say Charlie loses the roll off and is really disappointed. If he's well acquainted with the rules, he might say to himself "Gee, I can't wait until I get to 3rd level and don't have to put up with challenges from noobs like Dan anymore." Is that really an attitude we want the rules to encourage/reward, even a little bit? Not only that, it doesn't really work out well for Charlie himself in the long run; it just sets him up for A+B disappointments later on once he attains Lv3 and then ends up in a PUG with someone else who's also Lv3. Whereas without a Lv3 bonus to (perhaps unwisely) look forward to, Charlie's takeaway might be "Wow, that really sucked. How can I avoid this disappointment in the future? Maybe I should get on the forums and pre-plan a run with other people so I know I will be able to play Rogue" and/or "if I'm going to keep playing PUGs, I should diversify my token collection a little bit, to better allow for a backup class or two." I think that in the long run those takeaways are much better, both for him and for the game.

I'm interested in reactions to this, from you and others who support the bonus... it's entirely possible that I've missed a scenario that shows it in a much better light, or missed an implication in one of the scenarios I did mention. But from where I'm sitting right now it seems to me that eliminating the Lv3 bonus is a win for the game overall, and even a win for the individual players it "hurts" on any given day if you're willing to take a little bit of a long view.


I was very indifferent to this entire conversation as I saw it as pointless arguing about something that almost never comes up. Until I read what David wrote here.

This argument is very strong. I heavily encourage those that do not read the entire thread to at least read what David has written here, and think about it.

Get rid of the 3rd level perk. Roll offs all the way (the gamer way). Pick a cutoff time for when people start getting what is left. Put it on a poster. Even if people don't read, the coach can literally point to the poster and read the rules off of it one at a time as they explain what will happen with disagreements. This changes the optics of the situation a great deal.

Thank you David.
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Last edit: by jpotter.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 11 months ago #420

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jpotter wrote:
I was very indifferent to this entire conversation as I saw it as pointless arguing about something that almost never comes up. Until I read what David wrote here.

This argument is very strong. I heavily encourage those that do not read the entire thread to at least read what David has written here, and think about it.

Get rid of the 3rd level perk. Roll offs all the way (the gamer way). Pick a cutoff time for when people start getting what is left. Put it on a poster. Even if people don't read, the coach can literally point to the poster and read the rules off of it one at a time as they explain what will happen with disagreements. This changes the optics of the situation a great deal.

Thank you David.


I do agree with what David wrote - enough at least that I wouldn’t e unhappy with this solution. The logic in his post was solid, and well-articulated.
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