The Currently proposed mechanics concerning Mutaplasmids are a bad idea

I’ve have heard the devs say on multiple occasions that they want to present players with meaningful choices, and I believe that the way mutaplasmids are being designed fails to achieve this goal. Under the currently proposed system, your choices are: (1) Sell the Mutaplasmid or Roll the dice and (2) selecting the module type and value that you’re willing to risk. Player knowledge and skill does not affect outcomes, with the results being completely randomized.

To make matters worse, it is likely that the system won’t feel good to many players. Indeed, player feeling is something that I heard a dev mention at this year’s Fanfest. According to CCP Fozzie (iirc), actual ECM rolls aren’t that important to how to how it feels to players. ECM users tend to remember all the missed jam cycles, while victims tend to remember all the successful jams. This results in both sides having negative experiences with ECM (yay psychology \o/). Thus, I question why it is reasonable to assume that players would have a different experience with the random effects of mutaplasmids, especially when it can result in the destruction of mods worth millions or billions of isk. Imagine how it will feel to them to destroy an expensive module due to random chance -without the ability to chalk it up to a personal mistake and without them at least being able to learn something from the experience.

To sell or to gamble is not a meaningful choice.

This system flies in the face of what Eve is and what the devs are trying to accomplish. I prefer games that employ chance sparingly. I want to win or lose based upon my knowledge and performance, and not on a dice roll. If I wanted random chance to be the sole factor in determining outcomes, I’d go play Candyland. To Sell or to gamble is not a meaningful choice. Moreover, I imagine that ruined modules are going to leave a sour taste in many players mouths. Because people hate loss more than they like gain, the system must have positive results at least twice as much as negative results just to break even with player feeling -this is, no ■■■■, backed up by psychological research (Wikipedia on Loss Aversion). And the system is probably going to have to do even better than that if the devs want players to feel good about pulling that lever. Of course, at this point, I’m like why? Why introduce the randomness? Why allow such a wide range of effects sizes, greatly increasing the chances of balance breaking effect sizes (Extra Credits on Break Points). CCP Rise, even said that they are worried about balance, but hopefully, the players will find it fun to deal with it. Lol.

Well, I don’t always have good alternatives to problems I see, but I kind of like this idea. So please humor me. Under certain D&D rulesets, the point cost of boosting an attribute during character creation increases based on how high that attribute is. For example, increasing strength from 12 to 14 will cost 1 point per level, for a total of 2 points. However, increasing from 14 to 16 will cost 2 points per level, for a total cost of 4 points. Naturally, increasing from 16 to 18 will cost 3 points per level. Not only that, but you can actually decrease attributes below 9, in order to free up even more unallocated attribute points. What’s the optimal strategy? That’s debatable, but I have personally seen players take all three possible paths (1) Maximize the most important stats at the expense of everything else, (2) Maximize overall attributes by balancing out point spending during character creation, or (3) somewhere in between paths 1 and 2. Do you go for a well-rounded character with no notable strengths or weakness, or one that does insane DPS, but who can only grunt and is highly susceptible to mind affecting spells? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can use your knowledge of the game and its systems in order to make a meaningful choice that will impact your performance, play-style, and experience.

Do you go for a well-rounded character, or one that does insane DPS, but who can only grunt and is highly susceptible to mind affecting spells? Doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can use your knowledge of the game and its systems in order to make a meaningful choice that will impact your performance, play-style, and experience.

You can probably already guess at where I’m going with this. I propose that:

  • Mutaplasmid levels are differentiated by unallocated point totals and minimum and maximum possible effect sizes.
  • Players have the ability to increase and decrease the stats of their choices, within predetermined limits and according to unallocated point totals.
  • The cost of boosting effect sizes increases as the effect size goes up (i.e. the cost to increase from a 20-25% boost should be larger than the cost to increase from 10-15%.
    Not only will this system allow meaningful player choice, but it should also help with balancing issues -especially if you want to keep possible effect sizes of up to 40%.

Let’s compare systems.

  1. The current system could conceivably result in uber powerful modules with no significant drawbacks. The new system, on the other hand, could still result in powerful bonuses, but at the expense of fitting cost, cap usage, and/or other drawbacks like sig penalty.
  2. Affects under the current system are completely random, and do not allow for meaningful and satisfying choices. The new system allows players to use their knowledge of game mechanics and the meta to create custom made modules to suit their particular PvE and/or PvP needs.
  3. The current system can potentially ruin valuable items completely at random; player knowledge and performance has no impact on outcomes. Because of human psychology concerning loss, no ability to blame one’s own mistakes, and no potential for a conciliation prize of knowledge, this is highly likely to result in poor player experiences and overall dissatisfaction with the system. Under the new system, players bear the responsibility for under performing mods, and can use knowledge gleaned from mistakes, research, and advice in order to create better modules in the future.

I’m not a game dev. There may be factors that I have failed to consider with my proposed system, and I wouldn’t be butthurt if players and devs knocked it in the dirt. However, I strongly assert that the current mechanics concerning mutaplasmids run counter to why many players love about Eve and to stated developer intent. Thus, it is my hope that a better system be implemented, even if it means a content delay.

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TLDR. You gamble every time you undock.

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You make good points and i’m not contributing much to the conversation by saying this but… I love randomness in games. I do DED sites not knowing what I will get and chances are I will come out in the negative based on isk/hr because I could of simply continued supercarrier ratting. I do exploration because it can yield 10m or 100m in thirty minutes. I click endlessly to scan down signatures while mapping wormhole chains to hopefully come across a Superior ghost site and get the 4.5b bpc.

But to go a little bit towards the discussion… what’s your opinion on officer mods? Or even the more accessible DED loot drops? Do you think there is “skill” in being lucky enough to find an officer spawn and hopefully getting literally the best modules in the game? Or getting Deadspace Invulns/EANMS?You probably don’t. With the Abyssal system, it gives players another opportunity to spend personal resources (in the form of time) to farm Abyssal keys or spend time in making ISK to buy Abyssal keys off people. This gives players another opportunity, another outlet to farm and have access to the best modules in the game.

Also, one more thing to note is that we don’t know what method will be used to obtain these keys. If they are easily obtainable then probably the good rolled modules prices will plateau in a few months after release which will allow players to buy them for reasonable amounts of ISK. If the keys are very hard to obtain then the ISK cost of the good rolled modules will be extremely expensive and rare (just like Officer mods).

You are missing the point.

There will be so many doing it, that there will be an increase in fitting options, allowing for a bigger variety of choices regarding ships, their fittings and the meta. Choices that affect the outcomes of fights, and choices that you allow you a more unique approach to certain roles, unforeseen by others.

I am looking forward to this change, because it sparks my curiosity and my desire to experiment with fittings.

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“i’m not contributing much to the conversation by saying this but…”

Not at all. Player preferences are important; and yours are probably rather representative of many explorers. So yeah, many explorer type people will probably respond more favorably to the system.

BTW, sorry for the wall of text. I have a problem with them.

“Do you think there is “skill” in being lucky enough to find an officer spawn and hopefully getting literally the best modules in the game?”

Alright, so different games have different levels of chance built in; and players can use knowledge and performance to influence outcomes in these games to varying degrees. At one end of the spectrum are games of skill like chess -where there is no randomness affecting piece placement or performance. It all comes down to player choice. At the other end are games of chance like Candyland. Here, most moves are determined by chance, with only one card allowing players the space to make a decision. Such games provide for very little player choice, and extremely limited opportunities for players to strategize. And, of course, there are games that fall all along the spectrum. An interesting thing about many such games, however, is that the better you get at them, the less and less random chance matters. For me, the exemplar of this assertion is Dominoes. When I first start playing as a little kid, random chance was basically the only hope I had at winning. But over the years, as my knowledge of the game improved (and as I learned to start playing my opponents, and not the dominoes), the randomness of the draw became less and less of a factor in determining outcomes. I’m not opposed to chance in games. They create a degree of unpredictability and excitement; moreover, they can help level the playing field a bit, creating better matches (i.e. I think close games, whether I win or lose, are a hell of a lot more fun than blowouts). However, I quickly lose interest when there is little room for strategy or improvement.
Eve has numerous activities, which do posses differing degrees of randomness. Incursions, for example, have completely predictable payouts; while exploration rewards are highly variable. As you can probably guess, I tend to do incursions more than exploration. However, I still do dabble in exploration. And I appreciate that my PvE knowledge and ability to evade players both play a role in determining my efficiency and chances of safely extracting with the loot. So, even though plenty of randomness is present, there is still plenty of room for strategy.
Tying it all together, yes there will be plenty of strategy involved in getting safely in and out of the Abyss with the loot. I’m looking forward to that. However, the idea of straight rolling the dice with mutaplasmids is completely unappealing to me. Basically, my strategy will be to play the numbers. Just keep applying the same mutaplasmid to the same module 10 times, and claim your 3 decent results, 2 good results, and 1 great result (or however many). At that point, it’s kind of like invention. I don’t know how other people do it, but I keep spare T2 BPC’s made. Naturally, I replace them after use. However, I don’t do 1 run of invention at a time. If I have a 50% success chance, I’ll do four runs, giving me about a 94% chance that I get at least one success. If all four runs fail, I get annoyed; and if all them succeed, I don’t get happy. Instead, I just throw them all into my T2 BPC drawer where they wait until I need them.
Maybe I have a problem with trying to control for chance. I don’t know. But I don’t like the idea of having to roll twice for a loot drop, especially when the second roll is completely chance based. For someone like me, it just means extra grind.

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Yeah, I don’t know if I was unclear, or if people just give up before finishing my absurd walls of text. But no, I get that. An increase in choice is definitely cool. I specifically don’t like the complete randomness involved in the creation of the modules. I’d much rather have the ability to customize the modules attributes myself.

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I would like to see a special attribute only attainable by solving some insanely hard puzzle locking out most of the population simply because they would be too dumb to solve it. And they deserve to be reminded of that.

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The devs see this a a way to introduce crafting to the game, allowing players to create unique items - within boundaries.

To me, craftsmen are skilled artisans, there is always some risk of failure but skill should play a part in the outcome, similar to invention - and most other activities in Eve.

To the best of my knowledge, all of the items that can be affected by mutaplasmids have T2 variants. Perhaps the 3 science skills used in the invention process for the item should influence the result. Higher skill = higher probability of successful outcome where the attributes affected and range of possibilities remains the same.

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This brings me to a point, can we then have our char names attached to the individual item?

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It’s simply another attribute. Obviously, you couldn’t list it on the market - only contracts, and it would revert to standard issue if repackaged. Both limitations will also exist for items modified by mutaplasmids.

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Nobody’s forcing you to risk expensive mods, the only reason this thread exists all is because you want a module with amazing stats rolled from the highest meta officer mod. All of the modules that can be affected by mutaplasmids have tech 1 and tech 2 variants, and you can always risk those instead.

As long as there’s only a fraction of a chance to get say 5/6 rolls great or goodish and more to ruin your mod I’m happy with it.

or just add the flag “cannot be repackaged”, like faction lenses or bpcs.

that’s what I’m assuming will happen. If you could use it on an officer mod and then repackage it if you get a bad roll and just get the officer web back then it’s pretty much risk free.

I’m waiting to make judgement till we at least get a dev blog, or see the numbers on sisi. Right now almost everything is just wild speculation.

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I’m actually a cheap bastard who typically fits T2. Moreover, not only do I believe that player knowledge is the single biggest factor in determining outcomes; it is something that I say all the time. Regardless, I will figure out ways how to maximize my profits, even if I think that it will result in extra grind under a system that doesn’t present players with meaningful choice.

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Pretty sure they’re limiting it to Deadspace and lower. Officer stuff cant be modified.

I don’t think any class of weapons (aka Officer) were excluded. You can potentially take a Deadspace module and make it superior to an Officer variant, so…

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You lost me at D&D.

Loss/Risk aversion wikis were great though. Goes against everything CCP and their RMT masters claim, which is hilarious. “Oh, the more you lose your expensive indy ships to cowardly gankers and bullies, the more you will want to play…”, says CCP in their ignorance.

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being pedantic, can’t do it on any weapons,

For where you can use them, I got a screen cap of the presentation slide:

Sorry, I meant Officer modules - not weapons.