Game Suggestion to Stop Experience Farming

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This topic contains 200 replies, has 34 voices, and was last updated by  Jolly Joker 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #229636

    cbower
    Member

    I know experience farming is an ongoing issue, and I have followed some of the changes to reduce it’s viability. Recently I have picked up playing PBEM. In this environment it is becoming clear to be that you must have a decent handle on farming experience to stay competitive. Clearing is so important in these games the advantages gained quickly snowball. I still find it interesting, but the other day I was attacking a a scoundrel camp. I position my leader at the edge of range of the nearest scoundrel, and my healing leader behind. I spent like 15 turns trading small a amounts of damage and healing. Watching each action waiting for the unit to cap, getting annoyed when I would crit. There are many encounters like this, where is no longer about winning the encounter it’s about farming the most experience from it. Honestly it’s not the worst, but it just strikes me that it’s not what the game is meant to be. I don’t think it’s what we want strategically and definitely not thematically. There are a lot of smart people on here, and I think we can improve, that we cane come up with an approach that rewards fighting more then farming.

    My suggestion is to have each site have a total number of experience related to the level of the units. The experience is given as a reward, and the player allocates the experience as he sees fit. You can’t gain more then one level per encounter, but now we cap at the next level. So if your hero’s medal the remaining experience has to be distributed elsewhere. Then we have a bonus multiplier for how quickly you are able to win the encounter. This would give some incentive for players to get out of their shell buffing game, create a risk/reward system to allow for different tactical approaches. Any loses suffered would have that experience subtracted from the pool by their tier level. This would reward players for good tactical play.

    I think this would change people tactical approach from farming to fighting. Either aggressively to bones on time, or conservatively to avoid experience loss due to casualties. It shifts are focus from being so hero oriented to being team oriented. every action we take is to best win the encounter, not to max experience points.

    #229660

    Shakey
    Member

    position my leader at the edge of range of the nearest scoundrel, and my healing leader behind. I spent like 15 turns trading small a amounts of damage and healing.

    I hope this isn’t in my game, lol.

    I don’t actively farm, but I will make sure the leaders get the kills when possible. I’m of the mind that it’s just a necessary evil of the game.

    I don’t like the shared XP idea.

    Then we have a bonus multiplier for how quickly you are able to win the encounter.

    This is the most interesting of your ideas. Not sure how to best implement it, but there is a nugget here worth exploring.

    #229664

    cbower
    Member

    @shakey The XP wouldn’t be shared. You would distribute it as you saw fit. It would only be shared if your heroes cap or other units capped and you had remaining points to distribute. More or less it would just continue the one medal per encounter rule.

    I just started PBEM and I was playing in like single, where I don’t farm. Soon in PBEM I realized I was well behind in hero leveling. So I have been making adjustments. With the rate at which players level it seems as a certain amount of “experience farming” is required to entertain a competitive game. I also accept it as a necessary evil of the current game. It’s not the worst thing ever, but I don’t believe it’s good for the game.

    I don’t believe this is an issue for single player. It’s not an issue for live multiplayer. For PBEM though leveling is proving to be such an important element that it has I believe a large effect. Since the issue is only PBEM, maybe it doesn’t justify such a drastic change to fix, but I think it is worth discussing at the least. Maybe it can be addressed through settings, mods, smaller tweaks, or house rules, but my feeling is with the current system “farming” will always remain a significant part of the game that we just have to accept.

    #229669

    NINJEW
    Member

    weird farming shenanigans would probably be a huge turn off for me with PBEM games if i wasn’t already turned off by how long PBEM takes to complete

    i like these changes

    #229708

    cbower
    Member

    @ninjew I don’t know how people strictly farm, and there is a blurring line between farming and fighting. I do think though that some awareness and capitalization on farming techniques is important to try to keep pace. Maybe I am wrong, maybe their are things I am missing, but when I see the pace that some people set with their leveling, it makes me think that some amount of farming at least most be prevalent in PBEM. Since it’s allowed by the game, and unless your allies with someone there is no way to know for sure. I just kind of assume that it is going. So I partake when the opportunity arises, though I am sure I am not the best at spotting them. That being said the devs have done things to contain it. The most effective thing seems to be the cap on xp you can get from any single unit and the cap on xp from the same abilities. I recognize there is an effort to reign it in.

    #229709

    SpiritSeeker
    Member

    I really like the idea that you get bonus xp for clearing a camp in a minimal number of turns. That could lower the appeal of using tactics like healing your entire army using spiders and healer hero (web and wait for cooldown of healing). It would increase incentive to come up with some aggressive, risky plays.
    I guess some balance would have to be present, based on the power difference between armies. I mean, attacking with an overwhelming army and killing the enemy in one turn should not give you the bonus, I feel.
    Perhpas it could be fun to get bonus xp for fighting a much stronger enemy and winning.

    I’ve used the exact same trick with the scoundrel camp.. It’s just so hard to resist doing it, but it does not feel quite right indeed. I may web to get an extra heal, but not infinitely to heal my entire army. I will use any abilities before killing off the last unit, even if it is useless, just for xp. So, I use some farming tactics, but up to a certain point.

    I do like that actually participating in a fight yields that unit XP, so I’m not all for the manual xp distribution. You could theoretically ‘power level’ a unit or hero, while he’s standing in the back the whole battle doing nothing.

    I find the camp clearing in PBEM the most fun part of the entire game, but indeed it could be even better with some speed/risk-taking incentive, and somehow getting rid of the incentive to do ineffective things just for xp.

    Perhaps casting a blessing should only give xp once the blessed unit has actually felt the benefit (i.e. was attacked or made a spell save)?
    Perhaps we should have an incrementing ability cooldown for certain strong abilities, like heal, web, etc? First 2 turn cooldown, then 3, then 4, etc. Or perhaps a maximum number of usage per map turn. Like 3 heals per map turn, including BOTH in-battle and start-of-map-turn healing.
    Another balancing suggestion could be that all charming type of spells have a double resistance check: overcoming the lower one gives you control for a few turns, or the battle, and overcoming the higher one gives permanent control.

    All right, post is getting too long 😉

    #229714

    cbower
    Member

    @spiritseeker In PBEM camp clearing seems to be what really separates players. Which I like, but I just wish the challenges were more about effectively fighting then farming. Honestly I don’t mind the farming elements, I just feel like we could do better. I love fighting dungeons or sanctums before I really should, winning with spells and positioning. I would like to see things move more to system that rewards tactical play over farming play.

    #229715

    SpiritSeeker
    Member

    I totally agree!

    #229725

    quo
    Member

    I think to curb it you could just go the traditional RPG way, and award a flat amount of XP to all units in the winning party based on what they as a group defeated.

    #229810

    I really like the idea that you get bonus xp for clearing a camp in a minimal number of turns. That could lower the appeal of using tactics like healing your entire army using spiders and healer hero (web and wait for cooldown of healing). It would increase incentive to come up with some aggressive, risky plays.
    I guess some balance would have to be present, based on the power difference between armies. I mean, attacking with an overwhelming army and killing the enemy in one turn should not give you the bonus, I feel.
    Perhpas it could be fun to get bonus xp for fighting a much stronger enemy and winning.

    I’ve used the exact same trick with the scoundrel camp.. It’s just so hard to resist doing it, but it does not feel quite right indeed. I may web to get an extra heal, but not infinitely to heal my entire army. I will use any abilities before killing off the last unit, even if it is useless, just for xp. So, I use some farming tactics, but up to a certain point.

    I do like that actually participating in a fight yields that unit XP, so I’m not all for the manual xp distribution. You could theoretically ‘power level’ a unit or hero, while he’s standing in the back the whole battle doing nothing.

    I find the camp clearing in PBEM the most fun part of the entire game, but indeed it could be even better with some speed/risk-taking incentive, and somehow getting rid of the incentive to do ineffective things just for xp.

    Perhaps casting a blessing should only give xp once the blessed unit has actually felt the benefit (i.e. was attacked or made a spell save)?
    Perhaps we should have an incrementing ability cooldown for certain strong abilities, like heal, web, etc? First 2 turn cooldown, then 3, then 4, etc. Or perhaps a maximum number of usage per map turn. Like 3 heals per map turn, including BOTH in-battle and start-of-map-turn healing.
    Another balancing suggestion could be that all charming type of spells have a double resistance check: overcoming the lower one gives you control for a few turns, or the battle, and overcoming the higher one gives permanent control.

    All right, post is getting too long 😉

    IMO it is easier (and more importantly, maintains the pace of the game) if instead there was a you stopped gaining any additional XP for taking too long in fights against neutral camps.

    The game could calculate what the length of the fight should be, by taking how long the fight would have lasted in auto and adding 5 turns. If the fight drags on for more than this calculated threshold, you gain no additional XP for any actions from that turn onward. This would be only in PvE fights.

    This would limit how much XP farming can be done to a large extent, is relatively simple to implement, and provides an incentive to try and end the fight quickly.

    An increase in XP would be more difficult to implement and would change the pace of the game drastically (if it were to be an effective counter-measure it would have to grant more XP than sitting around and healing/webbing/attacking).

    #229822

    Twahn
    Member

    I think the bests and easiest solution is to have a total XP reward available for winning a fight dependent on the quality of the enemies, like you suggested earlier.

    I’d suggest that instead of allocating this XP as you see fit, however (which would certainly result in power leveling heroes and also a potential balance shift for at least evolving units), that units would be awarded a share of the total available in proportion to how many action based XP they earned. Action based XP (which is what we currently have, and which I’ll call AP from now on) could be completely hidden and the calculation done behind the scenes and summarised at the end of the battle.

    So, for instance, my hero takes 3 goblin marauders into a fight with a total value of 50XP. The hero earns 22AP, one of the marauders 13AP and the other two earn 5AP each. 45 AP were earned in total, meaning;
    Hero gets 22 / 45 * 50 = 24XP
    Marauder A gets 13 / 45 * 50 = 14XP
    Other Marauders get 5 / 45 * 50 = 6XP each

    I hope that makes sense. It’s very simple really.

    This would provide an effective end to any XP farming shenanigans and still keep the battles otherwise as they are now, rewarding units in line with their contribution but completely removing any reward for ‘skill’ in being ineffective with your actions.

    #229905

    chiefdruid2
    Member

    I think there should be a total victory points created for each side. Whoever wins gets the total divided by the whole army that entered the battle. Thus, there could be no farming by getting everyone killed except the one you wanted to get all that experience. Dead or not the experience is distributed equally.

    None of this he who hits gets experience points that thus causes farming. Make it so everyone gets a piece no matter alive or dead. Remember WINNERS write the history of the wars and battles “all of them” 🙂

    #229946

    I’ll be honest, I just started a single-player game with the express purpose of training myself on experience farming neutral camps. I’ve just recently gotten into PBEM and largely come to the same conclusions as cbower.

    Healing seems really powerful under the current system. Of course, healing is always useful, but reusable heals make experience farming much more efficient. Trying to farm experience without a theocrat, archdruid, or necromancer hero is far more difficult in my experience, which puts a premium on those heroes and classes in a PBEM environment.

    I’m the kind of player that enjoys trying to fight through whatever situation I find myself in, so in my view “that’s just the way things are” is how I will end up focusing on the game, but I understand the frustration in, for example, a dreadnought leader getting a rogue as the first hero being at a disadvantage in this part of the game.

    If the game system is changed, I suppose I will just adapt my strategies to the new rule set.

    As for suggested changes, I suppose a system where experience is divided among all participants at the end of the battle makes a certain amount of sense. It loses the satisfaction of nurturing a hero or baby serpent through the levels and makes champion rank units less obtainable though. A hybrid system in which part of the experience is awarded to the unit dealing the killing blow and part of the experience is put into a global shared pool might preserve that aspect of the game.

    If reusable skill spam is an issue, maybe another solution is to remove experience gains from being attacked (so retaliating in melee would still give experience, but being flanked or shot at would not) and capping skills like healing to only give experience the first time they are used in a battle. That way spamming shocking touch or web after a battle has already been won and reusing heals over and over wouldn’t result in more experience. The fact that reusable healing already allows you to fully heal between battles is in itself a pretty big advantage.

    #230030

    NINJEW
    Member

    I think the bests and easiest solution is to have a total XP reward available for winning a fight dependent on the quality of the enemies, like you suggested earlier.

    I’d suggest that instead of allocating this XP as you see fit, however (which would certainly result in power leveling heroes and also a potential balance shift for at least evolving units), that units would be awarded a share of the total available in proportion to how many action based XP they earned. Action based XP (which is what we currently have, and which I’ll call AP from now on) could be completely hidden and the calculation done behind the scenes and summarised at the end of the battle.

    So, for instance, my hero takes 3 goblin marauders into a fight with a total value of 50XP. The hero earns 22AP, one of the marauders 13AP and the other two earn 5AP each. 45 AP were earned in total, meaning;
    Hero gets 22 / 45 * 50 = 24XP
    Marauder A gets 13 / 45 * 50 = 14XP
    Other Marauders get 5 / 45 * 50 = 6XP each

    I hope that makes sense. It’s very simple really.

    This would provide an effective end to any XP farming shenanigans and still keep the battles otherwise as they are now, rewarding units in line with their contribution but completely removing any reward for ‘skill’ in being ineffective with your actions.

    i like this

    #230205

    kwibus
    Member

    Good grief. Positioning your leader just in range for an enemy scoundrel to hit and return the hit every turn with a healer hero behind him to get maximum XP.

    I’m glad my mind doesn’t even come up with these kind of ideas. If PBEM really comes down to this I’d better stop playing completely, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that when some people get lvl 15 heroes within 20-30 turns.

    A change to the XP system is a must if winning a PBEM game boils down to being the best abuser of the XP system. Ridiculous stuff.

    #230207

    NINJEW
    Member

    more or less how i feel. abusing systems like that doesn’t sound fun to me.

    #230645

    cbower
    Member

    Well I have been thinking about it. I think we may be able to align this more appropriately with better use of settings. The more I think about it, the more I think house rules wouldn’t work. You can’t just say don’t be an abuser of the system, because everyone will have different interpretations on what that means. I don’t think it’s realistic to list out ever scenario as well. I am thinking of the following settings minimize xp farming, but I only have one open slot right now so I haven’t tested yet. I am not sure what the best combination would be.

    1) Strong defenders – The easier the site the easier it is to farm xp from it. I am finding strong defenders means you need to give more consideration to winning the fight.

    2) Fast Play / High resources settings – farming hero leveling / evolve strats work best on slow low resource settings. Yes this shifts the focus a bit, but I would argue hero leveling and evolve still remain valuable. This just diminishes that. I think this helps to even the playing field for different strategies.

    3) High water / ug walls – regardless of type of map type you pick. Farming advantages start to create unfair turn advantage most when you can stack easy sites close together and do 2-3 a turn. The higher water walls the less likely you can stack them.

    4) Reducing the frequency of sites. I think this is obvious.

    5) Far start. I think farming advantages are truly most scary with an early attack. When it’s turn 20 and a power stack starts rolling your homelands. It’s too early to have any reasons to defend it, if you haven’t created a similar power stack to defend or counter, your done.

    Thoughts?

    #230648

    NINJEW
    Member

    that all sounds pretty well thought out and reasonable to my inexperienced ears

    #230651

    Bob5
    Member

    I’m mostly in favour of giving some bonus xp if you clear a site fast, like within 3 turns, and halve xp gains as a penalty for slow clearing, say more than 6 turns. Maybe give an extra turn for strong defender settings or very strong defenders.

    #230663

    Shakey
    Member

    1) Strong defenders – The easier the site the easier it is to farm xp from it. I am finding strong defenders means you need to give more consideration to winning the fight.

    This has the opposite effect of what you are hoping for. A skilled player would just have more experience to troll, where weaker players would suffer more.

    2) Fast Play / High resources settings – farming hero leveling / evolve strats work best on slow low resource settings. Yes this shifts the focus a bit, but I would argue hero leveling and evolve still remain valuable. This just diminishes that. I think this helps to even the playing field for different strategies.

    I still prefer the normal (middle) setting. Things get a bit cartoony when you start with too much.

    3) High water / ug walls – regardless of type of map type you pick. Farming advantages start to create unfair turn advantage most when you can stack easy sites close together and do 2-3 a turn. The higher water walls the less likely you can stack them.

    I agree. Though island maps tend to be a bit tedious.

    4) Reducing the frequency of sites. I think this is obvious.

    This may solve the hero leveling issue, but at what cost? It’s no fun to ‘produce merchandise’ with half your empire each turn because there aren’t enough gold/mana sites.

    5) Far start.

    I agree.

    The most fair solution to the problem has already been given above (shared party-based total exp). For me personally, I find this solution to suck some fun out of the game. I don’t have a great answer.

    #230665

    cbower
    Member

    @shakey I would have agreed with you on #1 awhile ago. But SpiritSeeker and my current games have persuaded me. Spirit seems pretty good and he says he sees better results on normal vs Strong. I have been running about 10 games for a few weeks, some strong, some normal, all of my normal games pace is way above strong pace. Certainly it’s possible it’s just a me issue, but at this point I just don’t think so.

    #2) I have one fastest and highest resources and battle start. This one did go off the wall. Hit a sanctum way early got earth elemental, one of my opponent out expanded me, out leveled me (11-5), and the earth elementals just crushed him. It just feels bizarre, but I think a lot of it comes from the battle start. Some hard sites rewards are just so over powered that battle start just seems like such a bad idea. The fast speed just let me crank out casting points. I did see sage around 15. So maybe fats and high instead, definitely no battle start.

    3) I think you could do a land or continents map, and crank up the water and walls. It should still put a little distance.

    4) I am with you. It might be best to leave mostly along, just because it would be boring having to many pass turns.

    I agree the best solution would be a programmatic one, but I just wanted to explore ideas to contain it within the game we have today.

    #230670

    NINJEW
    Member

    with mod tools released i believe that triumph is very much minimizing their further changes after the latest 1.7 patch. finding a solution that doesn’t involve dev intervention is pretty prudent, since dev intervention might not actually come.

    #230671

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    I can tell you just what the problem is; this problem is twofold:

    1) Make all special abilities ONCE-PER-COMBAT abilities. ALL. not stuff like Charge which is an intrinsic modifier, but all abilities that have their own Icon: Dispel, Steal Enchantment – whatever. This should be true as well for Ghouling (once you Ghoul a unit, that’s it for that unit/hero and that combat), and of course all Healing and Disabling abilities would be affected as well. I know, it sounds radical, but it would solve the problem and do the game a lot of good, since you couldn’t spam abilities anymore.

    2) Make hero developing ladders steeper.

    OR:

    Multiply with a factor for strong and very strong defenders (with normal defenders you had the actual XP level limoits, with Strong Defenders they would be multilpied for example with 1.5, with very strong defenders with 2.

    Would make the game WAY more interesting at that, having only 1 shot with everything.

    #230674

    Shakey
    Member

    I can tell you just what the problem is; this problem is twofold:

    No, you can not. You want to change the game, not balance this very specific problem.

    #230677

    SaintTodd
    Member

    Personally, I like farming. And, in the single player game, it’s the only way I can compete with the CPU’s production bonus on the higher difficulties. I don’t want this changed in the single player game, and I can’t imagine the devs working on it for MP alone.

    #230680

    madmac
    Member

    Do note that the game already has a system that no longer grants XP for using the same skill (including attacks) after X number of uses (Not sure what X is offhand) per battle. If that isn’t functioning for some reason it needs to be reported as a bug.

    #230682

    NINJEW
    Member

    i like being able to use abilities more than once

    #230683

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    The

    I can tell you just what the problem is; this problem is twofold:

    No, you can not. You want to change the game, not balance this very specific problem.

    I already did. And that specific problem – farming XP – is just PART of the problem. Even if you would get only limited experience, you’d STILL web opponents and web them again, in order to heal all damage, since it’s good play, no matter the experience.

    Limiting XP is no solution. Think about the fights where units are raised again – isn’t that justifying additional XP?

    Balancing is best possible when everything can be compared. If every SPECIAL ability has only one combat use, everything becomes very much comparable.
    Also, additional abilities become important.

    It has nothing to do with CHANGING the game, but just make mindless, mechanical ability spamming impossible.

    #230686

    Jolly Joker
    Member

    i like being able to use abilities more than once.

    Dude, I also like winning. Fact is, though, that some abilities ARE already limited to once per combat. And if you think about it – limiting all abilities to 1 use per combat, makes having more than 1 ability quite interesting.
    This is especially true for heroes.

    #230687

    Shakey
    Member

    It has nothing to do with CHANGING the game,

    Once you talk about removing the cooldown mechanic, you’ve lost all credibility.

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