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TOPIC: Discussion of Class Selection Process

Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #73

First off, I want to say that I started this thread because I was asked to (by someone involved in that True Raid situation who thought it would be more neutral if I created this thread).

On the issue of online signups, note that online signups ARE currently in use (as tradition) for the Golden Ticket runs, where signing up online is used not only to determine your class but also which GT run you are in. And remember that a few years ago there was some controversy because one player who got a GT signed up early (for a desired run and desired class) and then sold his GT and it was argued whether or not he should be able to transfer his signup slot. So if online signups are so bad, then maybe they shouldn't be used for the GT....

@Brad Mortensen: Part of the question is how "early" do people need to show up? Can someone show up 10 minutes, or 30 minutes, or 1 hour early? When players have back-to-back runs, they sometimes try to check in early (more than 2 hours in advance). Can they also "check in" with the player coach then? Another common issue is volunteers, who have complicated schedules and can't always get runs that match perfectly with their available time. If they need to finish their volunteer shift, is it okay if they show up super early or a little late? Or sometimes, as a volunteer I have stuff I can do instead of sitting around waiting for the rest of the party. If I should up exactly on time but no one else is there, can I check in with the player coach and call "dibs" on a class, and then come back later (the event has already started and I'd come back during the initial 24 minutes)?

@PalaDan mentioned being late because of registration delays. That has happened to me in the past as well. That was the reason I was "late" one time when Henwy was coaching and he got mad because I wanted to die roll with someone for a class.

In terms of random class assigned, I'm reminded of the story of League of Legends, told to me by someone who plays it. I guess in the old days, players could call dibs on the different roles but because the chat was asynchronous, it would become unclear who claimed it first. This caused a lot of tension and arguing. Eventually they changed the system so that roles would be randomly assigned and then you could trade with the other players on your team and this significantly improved the atmosphere.

As others (including @Joshua Basselar) have pointed out, allowing duplicate classes creates a host of problems, including running out of character cards and needing twice as many slides (20 pucks) in each room. That just seems to be a logistical headache!

I don't think that allowing 2 of each class is going to sufficiently solve the problem. Even now, I see players squabble over there not being enough Fighters or not being enough Wizards. And there have been plenty of times when more than 2 people have wanted to be Ranger, Monk, Rogue, or Druid.

@Matthew Hayword & @jedibcg: I do think this is a problem. As a DM who does a fair amount of coaching, I've seen such conflicts happen many a time for True Grind or True Raid. And as a player, I see this commonly become a problem with pick up groups. Whenever I play a PUG, almost invariably there are going to be multiple people wanting to play Rogue. Sometimes some people back down (but are sometimes still sore about it) and sometimes it comes down to pulling rank or a die roll. In fact, this past Origins I played a PUG where I and another experienced player both wanted to play Rogue. The Player Coach made things worse because he knew there were two wannabe Rogues but then when he was explaining the classes to the newbies he spent an awful lot of time talking up about how cool the Rogue class was.

Also, @jedibcg, there can still be issues if you buy out a run and plan everything out. A few years ago I did just that. Bought out a full run and we pre-arranged all the classes. I knew I was going to be arriving late to this run (due to a prior run or volunteering) so I sent off my stats beforehand. Lo and behold, one of the players decided to not do the run and sold his ticket to someone else (I had bought all the tickets and distributed them previously) and that someone else wanted to play the same class I had planned to play, and this was a situation where I "arrived late" which had been known.

@Kent / Kurt Reznor, yeah that's what I mean by a cascading effect. If a player loses the die roll, they shouldn't be relegated to whatever is left. The proper thing to do is to have everyone roll a die and to choose the class they want to play in order - and they have to play the class they choose. They can't trade it to someone who rolled poorly. Otherwise like a group of 5 people can all help one of them get the one role they really want which is like double-teaming.

@Noodle: Uh, the game has always been very "pay-to-win!" Just look at the power level of tokens. That's also why a "pay extra for the class you want" wouldn't exactly be inconsistent....

Then again, @Edward Deangelis, considering how easy TD is (due to the difficulty level being scaled down to pander to players too scared to die), beyond a small amount, tokens don't really matter. You don't need good tokens at all to do Hardcore and you can get by on Nightmare with just decent tokens. So when it comes to Normal difficulty, tokens don't matter as much. Though it does mean you can wipe the floor in combat with monsters.

@Matthew Hayward: I actually think that eliminating the 3rd level benefit would make things worse and cause even more tension and fights over character classes.

@Picc: I definitely agree with you. Not all players are worth the same, especially from a business perspective for TD. That's why I always find it interesting that some players feel that the veterans should give up their own preferences just to make some new players feel better. I mean, you shouldn't be mean or be a jerk to them. But I also don't think you should just roll over for them.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #74

Wade Schwendemann wrote: What I'm taking from this thread thus far

Most have what I consider the right idea about class selection:
1. If you're joining a group with people you don't know, be flexible and don't push newer players around.
2. If you're late, take from what's left.

I would add this:
If joining a group that doesn't know one another, choose classes based on what is best to help the party succeed. I did a spur of the moment PUG (pick up game or group, your choice) with one other NM player early Friday of Origins. That group didn't have a Rogue, Cleric, Bard or Druid. Since they were new, we went Druid and Rogue (for the clues, and to show them the box). That may have been the 2nd most fun run I did all weekend (after the 8 token), because they were all happy, and were VERY into it.

I'm not particularly confrontational, so I have never pulled "level 3" rank on anyone for class, even when I only had a few tokens, best suited for a particular class.

I couldn't agree more that if one is geared for NM or EPIC, they can play any class on normal without even opening their 10 pack.

Please, please PLEASE, don't try to push new players onto HC just because your build is EPIC. They could have a terrible time.

I agree that we will lose people every year no matter what we do. I also agree that we hear about bad vs good much more because of the different ways the human mind processes things, and shared misery, etc.

I think that for every new player that has a great experience, they might also have a gaming group out there that could try TD as well. That can only help the game.



Here's another idea - let's remove the extra tokens gained by the Rogue through the Rogue Box.

Most of us like treasure. Just look at how crazy people go for treasure enhancers.

I also think a lot of people like Rogue, mainly because of the extra treasure. To be completely honest, that's the only reason why I like to play Rogue and why it is always my first pick. When it comes to non-Rogue classes, I am usually pretty flexible and can go for any of several classes.

And I do think people want to play Rogue for the treasure. Because every time I have a conflict as the Rogue, I offer "well delegate the Rogue Box treasure to me and then I'd happily give up the class and let you play it." Yet no one ever seems willing to accept that deal.... And occasionally another experienced player asks why I won't just roll over and give up the class and I offer "well why don't you give me 3 random rares and then I will" yet they've never been willing to do that either....

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #75

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Incognito wrote: Also, @jedibcg, there can still be issues if you buy out a run and plan everything out. A few years ago I did just that. Bought out a full run and we pre-arranged all the classes. I knew I was going to be arriving late to this run (due to a prior run or volunteering) so I sent off my stats beforehand. Lo and behold, one of the players decided to not do the run and sold his ticket to someone else (I had bought all the tickets and distributed them previously) and that someone else wanted to play the same class I had planned to play, and this was a situation where I "arrived late" which had been known.

No system you design is going to eliminate all problems. Buying out a run or joining a fully organized group on the forums are still your best bets for playing the class you want to. Random classes don’t solve this. Online doesn’t solve this unless everyone in the group signs up and then it is still not a guarantee because if someone signed up before you they could still have taken the class you want. Multiple classes doesn’t solve this unless 10 of each class is allowed and then that opens a whole lot of other issues.

Your comment about not all players being worth the same seems odd to me. How do you judge the worth of a player? How much they spent on tokens ever? The past year? In the future? How long they have been playing? How much they will continue to play? How much the volunteer? How much they will volunteer? How many additional cons they travel to? How many other players they have brought to the game, that they will bring to the game? Are they famous? Do they have a media presence? Are they a reviewer of games? All things that no other play or coach or DM knows unless it is supplied by the player if they even know (okay they could know if they are famous, on social media and a reviewer of games). If all ‘new’ players are written off as worth less than other players you will never have more ‘valuable’ players.
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Last edit: by jedibcg.

Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #76

jedibcg wrote: Your comment about not all players being worth the same seems odd to me. How do you judge the worth of a player? How much they spent on tokens ever? The past year? In the future? How long they have been playing? How much they will continue to play? How much the volunteer? How much they will volunteer? How many additional cons they travel to? How many other players they have brought to the game, that they will bring to the game? Are they famous? Do they have a media presence? Are they a reviewer of games? All things that no other play or coach or DM knows unless it is supplied by the player if they even know (okay they could know if they are famous, on social media and a reviewer of games). If all ‘new’ players are written off as worth less than other players you will never have more ‘valuable’ players.


In business, there's a concept called the Pareto Principle, that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. The goal then is to identify which 20% those are and to focus on them because they are more important for the business.

There are also cases where a high touch customer is so needy and disruptive that they consume too much time and resources and so in some situations it's actually better for a company to drop or lose those specific customers.

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Last edit: by Incognito.

Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #77

So OBVIOUSLY you have given this a lot of thought and energy. Not directed at Incognito but the community as a whole, This thread has devolved into what sounds like a bunch of spoiled children not getting what they want and throwing a temper tantrum. IF you have a solution for the betterment of the ENTIRE community please share it. I'm sure TPTB would be greatly interested.

Incognito wrote: On the issue of online signups, note that online signups ARE currently in use (as tradition) for the Golden Ticket runs, where signing up online is used not only to determine your class but also which GT run you are in. And remember that a few years ago there was some controversy because one player who got a GT signed up early (for a desired run and desired class) and then sold his GT and it was argued whether or not he should be able to transfer his signup slot. So if online signups are so bad, then maybe they shouldn't be used for the GT....


So obviously signups are messy and for something with limited runs sign up is the best option. Is there another out there that I am missing????
Imagine the staff required or the online capabilities to allow players to claim their class before the convention.
Does this negatively impact new and casual players?
Do you have a better solution?


There is an established policy and if followed mitigates the problem. If you have a better solution please share it. I coach quite a lot and so will put forth the policy as I understand it. Druegar, please correct me if I am wrong. (Never known to happen but there's always a first time)

Incognito wrote: @Brad Mortensen: Part of the question is how "early" do people need to show up? Can someone show up 10 minutes, or 30 minutes, or 1 hour early? When players have back-to-back runs, they sometimes try to check in early (more than 2 hours in advance). Can they also "check in" with the player coach then? Another common issue is volunteers, who have complicated schedules and can't always get runs that match perfectly with their available time. If they need to finish their volunteer shift, is it okay if they show up super early or a little late? Or sometimes, as a volunteer I have stuff I can do instead of sitting around waiting for the rest of the party. If I should up exactly on time but no one else is there, can I check in with the player coach and call "dibs" on a class, and then come back later (the event has already started and I'd come back during the initial 24 minutes)?

Players are requested (allowed) to enter a coaching room 30 minutes before their run time start. This allows the previous group time to exit the room, restock the room, and any cleaning necessary. If you are volunteering and have a complicated schedule (Actually for any reason) You would be operating outside of established parameters and SHOULD expect that you may not get your desired class.
NOT OFFICIAL POLICY - This entire discussion is essentially to mitigate unhappy players which most often happens when new players choose a class a more experienced player has chosen. In my time coaching, I have only Once seen two players not be able to work it out amicably, as adults, with little to no hurt feelings. Back to my point, I have heard of players contacting a coach when they had back to back runs to pull a particular class card for a certain run, if they have the correct wristband. (not endorsing simply reporting) What happens when the rest of the PUG shows up? If there isn't a rogue card in the stack of character cards, they don't feel like they are missing something. If it occurred and there were more experienced players who knew about the rogue card and asked specifically for that card, I would guess that the class would belong to them. The facts are: you aren't there to claim it so it goes to someone else.

Back to Official Policy: If you show up on time and no one else is there you are Certainly able to claim a character class, show your stats on the approved app, website, or excel spreadsheet then go do something else until you're supposed to go into the training room.

What is the job of the Coach? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?
To get the party into training 24 minutes after the start time.
For someone to show up late then want to start bumping players makes that job very difficult.
Do you have a better solution?


TLDR: Be an adult, this is a game. It's not the end of the world if you don't get to play your desired character class once in a while. At Origins, a friend and I joined a group where classes had been chosen. He has played Druid for at least the last 10 years and in the last 6-7 hasn't missed a single skill check. I had additional tokens and the best remaining class available was Ranger. Guess what, he really enjoyed playing Ranger.
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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #78

In my group, the biggest conflict we've had with multiple people wanting the same class is when we had two people who both historically played the Cleric. The conflict was that each of them was trying to let the other play the Cleric class. :)

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #79

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Incognito wrote: In business, there's a concept called the Pareto Principle, that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. The goal then is to identify which 20% those are and to focus on them because they are more important for the business.

There are also cases where a high touch customer is so needy and disruptive that they consume too much time and resources and so in some situations it's actually better for a company to drop or lose those specific customers.


Pareto Principle is not a business concept, just to be clear, it can be applied to business model but is not limited to it. The adage " that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers," is just that an adage. It may or may not be the case for TD. But for argument sake let's say it is. So who is that 20% is it token buyers, ticket purchasers, volunteers? Which 20% should TD deem more worth than the other? What equation should we apply to everyone customer to determine their worth and ranking to see who should get better treatment than others?
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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #80

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My friends and I have a rule for the deception game "Are you a werewolf?" If you are unfamilar with the game it is a hidden role/deception game were players are eliminated from the game until one side wins. We call it rule 101. 101 states we don't eliminate new players in the first couple rounds because we want them to enjoy playing a bit so they continue to play. If there are no new players we don't eliminate someone who has just joined the game if the rest of us have been playing for awhile at that time.

I am NOT suggesting TD adopt this strategy. It is what I adopt though for my groups without realizing that I borrowed it from our other game. When I have brand new players playing with the group I let them pick first because they have had zero chance to play that class before. After that I work backwards giving those that have played the least the chance to pick first. I ALWAYS pick last. I do something similar in pug groups where I will pick last or as close to last as possible. 1 because I play a lot. 2 because I want to make sure we have a bard, or a cleric or a druid or whatever I feel will help the party the most that hasn't been chosen. Because I play a lot and have plenty of chances to play all sorts of classes. I know not everyone does get to play a lot and cannot adopt this strategy. If you only get to play 1 game then you are more likely going to have a class preference I think. If you have played multiple times then your care about a class is less likely.
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Last edit: by jedibcg.

Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #81

jedibcg wrote: My friends and I have a rule for the deception game "Are you a werewolf?" If you are unfamilar with the game it is a hidden role/deception game were players are eliminated from the game until one side wins. We call it rule 101. 101 states we don't eliminate new players in the first couple rounds because we want them to enjoy playing a bit so they continue to play. If there are no new players we don't eliminate someone who has just joined the game if the rest of us have been playing for awhile at that time.

I am NOT suggesting TD adopt this strategy. It is what I adopt though for my groups without realizing that I borrowed it from our other game. When I have brand new players playing with the group I let them pick first because they have had zero chance to play that class before. After that I work backwards giving those that have played the lest the chance to pick first. I ALWAYS pick last. I do something similar in pug groups where I will pick last. 1 because I play a lot. 2 because I want to make sure we have a bard, or a cleric or a druid or whatever I feel will help the party the most that hasn't been chosen. Because I play a lot and have plenty of chances to play all sorts of classes. I know not everyone does get to play a lot and cannot adopt this strategy. If you only get to play 1 game then you are more likely going to have a class preference I think. If you have played multiple times then your care about a class is less likely.


Thank you for having a player friendly attitude and for allowing the new players to experience the best of the game
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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #82

@Incognito - my main concern is for the coaches and the players who are already set. I don’t have a strong opinion about when the deadline is, just that there should be one. There’s barely time to make up one party card, let alone starting over because someone showed up at the last minute and pulled rank.

As for volunteers and back-to-back players: if these folks are playing PUGs they may have challenges. But WHY you show up late and make life difficult for the coach and rest of the players is much less relevant than THAT you show up late and disrupt things for ten other people.

So they shouldn’t PUG if they can’t get there in time.

I love the Pareto Principle. I use it all the time in planning tasks for my team. The problem is that you only know the 20% in hindsight. For the first two years I played, nobody knew, including me, that I would end up dragging my wife into this, and we’d both be FT volunteers with a handful of patron pins. If my first run had been with a bunch of jerks, I doubt any of you would have any idea I even existed. (To anyone who would be happier that way, sorry about that. Blame those seven cool people on day one.)

So sure, you can safely alienate 80% of newbies without harming TD’s future, if only you could predict who they are. So IMO I think it’s prudent to encourage and nurture everyone.
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Last edit: by Brad Mortensen.

Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #83

Brad Mortensen wrote: @Incognito - my main concern is for the coaches and the players who are already set. I don’t have a strong opinion about when the deadline is, just that there should be one. There’s barely time to make up one party card, let alone starting over because someone showed up at the last minute and pulled rank.

As for volunteers and back-to-back players: if these folks are playing PUGs they may have challenges. But WHY you show up late and make life difficult for the coach and rest of the players is much less relevant than THAT you show up late and disrupt things for ten other people.

So they shouldn’t PUG if they can’t get there in time.

I love the Pareto Principle. I use it all the time in planning tasks for my team. The problem is that you only know the 20% in hindsight. For the first two years I played, nobody knew, including me, that I would end up dragging my wife into this, and we’d both be FT volunteers with a handful of patron pins. If my first run had been with a bunch of jerks, I doubt any of you would have any idea I even existed. (To anyone who would be happier that way, sorry about that. Blame those seven cool people on day one.)

So sure, you can safely alienate 80% of newbies without harming TD’s future, if only you could predict who they are. So IMO I think it’s prudent to encourage and nurture everyone.


I'm not sure what the time limit rule should be, but it seems like a pretty reasonable rule that once someone's character is captured on the party card, that person/class combo is locked in. Unless, I guess, both they and the other party really want to make a switch.

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Discussion of Class Selection Process 5 months 1 week ago #84

Brad Mortensen wrote: So sure, you can safely alienate 80% of newbies without harming TD’s future, if only you could predict who they are. So IMO I think it’s prudent to encourage and nurture everyone.


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