ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

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For the next Arena, I plan to join:

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Free Will
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Total votes: 14

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ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by Wassail »

Safe space to discuss arena experiences & thoughts & suggestions

Preface - One understands Arena was put out very quickly using what was technically convenient and the current implementation is not the ideal state.

General Experience

For me the best experience was probably up til a little past the first month. Maybe you can tell because I was making a lot of sh*tposts at the time. I know there were a lot of chatter about fratricide and then that kerfluffle about hit-heal but actually everyone played mostly organically in the beginning. BUT tbf all the people I know were ES classes and non-combat alchemy bots. I don't know how non-ES combat classes managed to level up but I imagine it was painful and also annoying to be hunted all the time with little recourse.

Thots -

Non-combat and combat XP seems skewed too far in the other direction now. Small bump like 5XP/10XP for ES/NonES finding of a hidden person could be nice.
ES actually quite nice in a small space. EoD is ofc completely busted (good) even though it was busted (bad) and you would waste AP on unrevealable people.
IMO Evil was the worst off because no PMs. Plum doesn't count because I saw skeletons like once.
I already said my piece about XIs and I stand by it. I died like 4 times the last 6 weeks and that's counting the wraith.
The end of arena started to bog down for me as it became more difficult to meaningfully progress the win condition playing naturally. See below section about victory conditions.

Character slot/Instance Stuff -

Refer back to the preface but many people are saying this! and what they are saying is a dedicated slot for arena would be nice. Also a completely separate instance like it's a new Breath.

Bennies -

All exploration and titan badges naturally don't apply!
Corpse can't get stolen by outside lich. Haha.
Can re-enable pacts and respawn discounts. Even if the plane doesn't exist maybe?
Breath stats get reset so we can have a true leaderboard at the end and not spoiled by all the existing characters who maybe weren't thinking about that.
We don't suddenly have random 100 xp gain and 30 infusion dumps for hitting random badge thresholds we happened to be close to.
Nice clean slate as you can't bring any items that don't survive Breaths. Tho I'd like to note here enchanted items were explicitly allowed! whereas clearly it was unintended to benefit from exploration CP as these were meant to be disabled. So I don't think these are comparable. Also I was even going to bring in a GR scythe before my mercantile inquiries triggered the FBI whispernet and SOMEONE stopped me.

Victory Condition Thoughts

I said my piece about this too but I would like to re-iterate the beleaf that the current implementation of infusion victory and particularly tile count only makes Arena very un-engaging. There is literally nothing you can do to efficiently flip a tile if your enemy doesn't do you the privilege of standing on it! (You have to haul over a bunch of books or targets). So either you play with yourself or you just play in-faction solitare and mass flip tiles with flying invisible elementalists or healing myrmidons or suchlike. It's all very sad and everyone says I have infusion brainrot so instead of trying to police them I just let them build fonts or summon wraiths or stay on 200+ tiles or whatever. Please have pity on me.

Therefore my suggestion for next round is 3 factions and the faction with the greatest renown at the end wins. Thank you. Also vote in the poll so we can try to have balanced sides. You can change your vote as circumstances change.
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Re: ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by Poinf »

echoing Wassail in that I understand that Arena isn't fully polished/implemented in a perfect state.

thoughts on arena:

I played a free will Lich with the inital plan of spawning wraiths, then transitioned to alchemybot life after I got bored of it.

XIs - Agreed, needs a nerf. It's easy to chain XIs and be unlocatable, especially if you aren't killing anybody and thus can't be tracked by EoD. Causes the arena to be less interactive then the main game, since everyone is either invis or getting EoDed and murdered.

EoD - I was generally safe from getting scryed as an alchemy bot that doesn't kill people, and I believe there's only one other Rev in the arena that isn't on free will's side, but it sounds miserable to be chain-ganked without counterplay like being able to go off-plane.

Don't know how technically feasible it would be, but maybe within the arena, EoD could be changed to work like active desecration and doing it consumes the corpse and tells the Rev where the corpse's owner is currently at that moment. If you suspect that your corpse is going to be tracked, you could hold off on respawning for a few hours instead of being at risk of getting tracked for 24 hours.

Victory Condition/Infusion - TBQH I don't care about who wins, but I do think the whole petfighting with allies is pretty silly.
Would like to see a different goal like Renown gains, as suggested in the OP, or EXP gains (but disable combat exp on allies, ala factionmates) that encourages interacting with the other side, not just sitting in a circle with your buddies.


Ideas for next time

Besides things like having a dedicated arena slot, I think starting everyone at T2 or at level 6 or w/e would be good, as someone who doesn't enjoy trying to kill people with 35% accuracy.
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Re: ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by NearNihil »

It'd surprise me if EoD wasn't changed for the next round as once you die you're stuck in the void for 24 hours unless you feel like giving whichever side has the most revs more xp and infusion. Even if Free Will didn't have the most people I'd wager it would still be the top dog for this reason alone.

Win conditions, xp configuration and all that have ideas on the table but it's good to have feedback on the matter. But EoD is my personal bee in the bonnet.
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Re: ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by Stoopkid »

I think EOD needs either to be disabled completely or at least a serious nerf in the arena, considering its sole counterplay - hiding off plain - is completely absent. Dark pacts, a keystone to evil's success in B5 and essential to their infusion strategy, were completely disabled due to there only being 1 plane and that held evil back more than anything. I think EODing a body becoming an active thing that costs the ap and mp of desecration and also consumes the corpse would be a reasonable fix, although that still doesn't give any active counterplay to the one being hunted.

Without being able to generate slice through pacts, all demon MP was extremely limited while it flowed freely in neutral and good from SMing and prayer etc. This alone tipped the balance heavily against evil, but there was also several other significant ramifications: a shortage in blice for the same reason, no way to give Pariah exits desecration to generate more ice/boons/hp/mp, no way to pact out autohit spells to help level mortals/t2s, no way to pact out GGE to deal with goods glyphing, no way to pact out Reveal, Sixth Sense, or Shadow Wrap so evil martial classes could actually hunt and hide on their own. Last but far from least, the extra infusion and xp generated from pacts, again a central factor in evil's success in infusion wars, was completely taken away. When you really look at what a linchpin pacts are to evil, it's very obvious why they fell behind in the arena.

For evil to have any kind of chance, pacts need to be enabled. Some type of alternative drawback to respawning in Stygia could be implemented, but for many demons (and nondemons...) in B5 the Stygia respawn is more of a feature than a drawback, and even the drawback can be mitigated by a DO call, so I wouldn't want something added that feels more punishing than the base game's skill is.

Alternatively, if that's too hard, we could simply disable both pacts and EOD. I think that would be fair. I also think teams should be considered factions for the purpose of disallowing xp gains from fighting each other, skill targeting, and such.

Also, give VWs the damn ES skill back, both in base game and arena. I think VWs are tired of being told to wait for a hunting skill to materialize for them vaguely in the future. At least with ES they would have some method of hunting and would be competent hunters in the arena.
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Re: ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by Kandarin »

Some thoughts in no particular order:

Adding an arena slot or arena character creation process would be doable, perhaps even easy. Adding a whole separate site instance would be very hard.

We can probably get an alternate downside to pacts e.g. spawning in some adjacent hell-demiplane that you want to get out of. Vassalage was never disabled in the Arena, so getting Desecration to team Evil would have been possible if they had a Dark Oppressor.

I'd agree that factions (with strongholds? without strongholds?) and renown are probably a better direction for future victory tracking than infusion+guilds. Renown isn't perfectly balanced either, and I expect some other kinds of minmax shenanigans with renown, but it is a pretty good overall gauge of activity and fight-winning, especially if there's no way to spend it down.

Infusion works as a territory gauge in the main instance because strongholds encourage concentration of characters and their activities, which pools their infusion activities in geographic ways. It doesn't work so well in a map where there's no incentive to hang out in any one tile over any other.

I would totally agree that this turned into an arms race between Extended Invisibility and EOD, for which some kind of corrective nerf/removal is probably in order for Round Two. That said, if we nerf one we should nerf the other.
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Re: ARENA PRE-MORTEM also POLL (non-binding)

Post by lunalu »

agree with wassails points. being a PM, EOD was not a massive problem for me as i usually had enough protection but I can see why its an issue for other classes.

would like it if we can have people on the same side appear as a different colour to enemies, more of a qol thing than anything. Also for pets to have a setting not to kill friendlies?

i think only PMs and EOD hunters had an easy time getting to level 30. with how short arena is, might be an idea to start at a later level or tier? or even offer double xp? oooorrrrrr go cray, give us double AP AND XP!!

As same with comments above, other win conditions would be nice. pet fighting on the same side for infusion is not very engaging! Also having Wassail stand over you with a whip and shouting ''MOVE TO A GOOD TILE" is pretty scary. i would love a different game mode or win condition each time if not too hard to implement, i think that keeps things fresh.
maybe something like controlling a random neighbourhood? where you earn renown for being in there alive and killing enemies in that zone? the area to control can change every x hours to keep people moving around.
or mini shs/outposts to raid?

more ideas to follow maybe...
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