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Posts regarding the experience system, nodes, super nodes, and Gift of Lumnis since 2015. For posts prior, see experience (saved posts archive)

LUMNIS Command

Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic: General Discussion about Gemstone IV
Message #: 1883
Author: GS4-COASE
Date: 10/27/2015 07:15 PM EDT
Subject: Gift of Lumnis Updates!

A new command has been released: LUMNIS!

With this command, you will be able to check your current Gift of Lumnis (XXX) status, including whether it is in effect or, if it is not in effect, when it can next start.

Alongside this release, we have also added the ability to schedule when you'd like your Gift of Lumnis to start each week via the LUMNIS SCHEDULE command. You can acquire uses of this command as part of the Login Rewards system or (soon) via purchase from the SimuCoins store.

For example, if you'd prefer your Gift of Lumnis to start each Tuesday at 11:30 (all times are in-game times, accessible via the TIME command), you can set it as such. From then on (until you either clear the schedule or choose another), your Gift of Lumnis will always refresh on Tuesdays at 11:30, meaning that your Gift start time will no longer be in danger of creeping forward, should you miss earning experience on your preferred day!


Experience System Major Update

Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic: General Discussion about Gemstone IV
Message #: 2479
Author: GS4-COASE
Date: 11/22/2016 10:48 PM EST
Subject: Updates to the Experience System!

We have a number of incoming changes to the experience system to help make it a little bit more friendlier and fit your busy schedule! This update has three main components: Offline Experience, Long-Term Experience, and changes to the weekly Gift of Lumnis and RP Award systems.

Offline Experience Absorption

Characters on paid subscription accounts will now continue to absorb field experience at a reduced rate when not logged in. Point-based and global experience modifiers (Gift of Lumnis/RP Awards [see below], Death Sting, F2P, etc) will apply to the offline absorption amounts, time-based experience modifiers (Login Rewards Doubled Experience Boosts) will not. The rate for offline absorption is a flat 15 exp per 10 minutes.

Long-Term Experience

A new BOOST has been released, BOOST LONGTERM. Using this boost immediately deducts 500 experience points from your field experience pool and adds 250 experience points to a new experience pool, your long-term experience pool. Experience in your long-term pool is normally absorbed much more slowly than your field experience pool (250 experience points per day), but has no cap on the number of points that it can hold. Experience absorbed from the long-term pool is not increased by RP awards, the Gift of Lumnis, or other such boosts.

Characters that are at or above level 20 on paid subscription accounts can earn up to two (2) long-term experience boosts per day via random drops upon LOOTing creatures that they are eligible to earn experience from. These drops are weighted to occur within the first 50 LOOT drops per character per day. Even if you cannot login every day to hunt, you can still earn a lesser number of long-term boosts; for every three (3) days that you go without earning a long-term boost (the days need not be consecutive), you will get one (1) free "away" boost upon your next login.

Aside from the daily 250 experience point absorption, you can also absorb long-term experience via continuing to absorb experience after your weekly Gift of Lumnis has expired. For every ten (10) points of field experience absorbed while outside of your Gift of Lumnis period, you also absorb one (1) point of long-term experience.

Gift of Lumnis Changes

Currently, the length of your Gift of Lumnis is based on the number of experience pulses that you are present for. Consequently, an experience pulse that occurs when your field experience pool only has a few points left in it results in less total bonus experience being awarded than if your mind is saturated, which can "waste" parts of your Gift. Therefore, we are changing the mechanics of the Gift of Lumnis from pulse-based to point-based. Instead of having a 3x absorption bonus for the first 3 hours of experience pulses per week and then a 2x absorption bonus for the next 3 hours of pulses, you will instead have a 3x absorption bonus until a fixed amount of bonus Lumnis experience is earned and then a 2x absorption bonus until the next fixed amount is earned. The net effect of this is that there will be no more "wasted" Gift of Lumnis pulses -- everyone that completes their Gift of Lumnis will have received exactly the same amount of bonus experience.

The exact size of this Gift of Lumnis point pool will be determined via a recurring contest every 90 days, that runs for a week each time. The top 50 (top 5 in Plat/Shattered) players that absorb the most base exp (measured under the current Gift of Lumnis rules) during the contest period will thus set the size of the weekly Lumnis point pool for everyone until the next contest occurs (their exp returns will be averaged to create the point pool). We will be paying particularly close attention to the players that are contenders for the top 50 during the contest period, so AFK script at your own risk. You can use the LUMNIS verb to see the recurring contest status, those who "won" the contest, and the option to remove yourself from being displayed in the contest list to all players.

Putting this altogether in an example: If the total point pool set by the most recent contest is 18,000 points in total, then your allotted bonus for the 3x multiplier will apply to the first 6,000 points of base field experience that you absorb (netting you 12,000 bonus experience points), followed by a 2x multiplier on the next 6,000 base field experience (netting you a further 6,000 bonus experience points, making 18,000 Gift of Lumnis bonus points in total).

The first Gift of Lumnis contest will commence early Monday morning, November 28 at 00:00 and finish exactly 7 days later. Once the contest has finished and the first point pool established, the Gift of Lumnis will migrate from being pulse-based to point-based.

Role Playing Award Changes (RPAs)

Similar to the Gift of Lumnis changes, RPAs will be changing from a time-based to point-based system. The size of the point pools awarded will continue to be determined entirely by GM decision rather than through the contest, but the end goal of removing the pressure to remain saturated to not "waste" an RPA remains the same.


Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic: General Discussion about Gemstone IV
Message #: 2546
Author: GS4-COASE
Date: 11/23/2016 04:04 PM EST
Subject: Re: Updates to the Experience System!

Regarding the complexity of long-term experience, it need not be considered particularly complex. The basics of it are "you can store some field exp away to slowly absorb later". If, at any time, you have a full head of exp but would like to keep hunting to finish a bounty, or for more loot, or because your group partner is not yet fried, or perhaps because an invasion is ongoing and you think you might die and lose all your field exp anyway, then you can tuck some field exp away and keep going without waste. There are no caps on storing the boosts or on the size of your long-term exp pool, so you can save as many long-term exp boosts for as long as you want and use them all at once for a marathon hunting session, or simply use them as you get them. Either way, there are no complex hoops you need to jump through to get the maximum bonus from these boosts.

This, combined with the Lumnis changes and offline exp, are intended to actually reduce complexity in the long-run, as we have gotten quite a few complaints that people feel the need to grind out exp on strict time-table or else they feel like they are "wasting" their various exp modifiers. These changes are focused on reducing that stress and to allow players to play as they'd prefer to, not how the experience system used to push them towards. While this may seem complicated on the surface, its actually removing a load off many players' shoulders by moving the maximization calculations onto an automated system that takes care of it for you.

Regarding the contest, for clarification, it will be based upon tracking only bonus Lumnis experience that players earn during the contest period. That means only the extra experience added via the Gift of Lumnis multiplier counts toward the contest, which excludes the base experience amount, RP award modifers, Login Award modifiers, instant absorption, Death Sting inefficiency, and so on.

We have been tracking exp numbers in detail since August of 2015, so we have a fairly broad view of what people have been earning on their own even without a contest to motivate them. The mathematical maximum Lumnis bonus exp that one can earn is around 26,460(assuming a burghal gnome with maxed logic, max logic enhancers, always absorbing their maximum chunk on a supernode). We have never observed that occur in the last year. In fact, we have not seen anyone surpass 22,000 in that time period. Most weeks, the top earner earns slightly more than 20k. When motivated by a contest, we believe that there is a good chance that the average of the top 50 will, in fact, beat the top 1 person for almost any given prior week (the gap between the top 50 and the top person is not particularly large).

The contest should actually reduce the workload:exp ratio for powerhunters too, since they will need only focus on maximizing their Lumnis output during one week every 3 months, and then be able to reap the same rewards without having to put forth the same effort for the remaining ~11 weeks. We did think about using only one contest result to permanently fix or inform the size of the pool, but we also think that a recurring contest actually might be a source of fun and motivation to play for a good number of players, but if that turns out to not be the case, we will certainly be willing to review the frequency of the contest once we see the end results.


Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic: General Discussion about Gemstone IV
Message #: 2561
Author: GS4-COASE
Date: 11/24/2016 05:07 AM EST
Subject: Re: Updates to the Experience System!

>It looks like the last exp pulse is able to take out more exp from the pool than it has. I think I had 1 point left in the pool and absorbed approximately 40 exp. It pulled out 4 and left me with a -3 available.

This should be fixed.

>Does the offline absorption occur every X pulses or only if you're logged out for a full 10 minutes?

A full 10 minutes.

>I see that for Lumnis but long term exp not only looks complex to maximise, it looks like miscalculating can actually leave you worse off than if you didn't expend the boost at all.

The calculations involved are not complex unless you're already timing your hunting schedule down to the minute. For general hunting, unless you expend the boost and then are not able to refill your head, you should be able come out ahead with not too much difficulty.

>There's still some bug where I'm absorbing significantly more than 15 exp per offline 10 minutes on Lumnis, even though this is nice. I logged off for 15 minutes while saturated on a fresh Lumnis and absorbed the 250 LTE instantly plus 174 more in my field experience bucket.

This should be fixed. If you encountered this, you may get one more free pulse and then you'll be back on the intended pulse schedule.

>I used 3 of the Long term exp boosts, but it only put a total of 500 xp into my pool.

This was related to the bug immediately above. You got an unintended free pulse that absorbed 250 outside the intended schedule.


Lumnis Contest Clarifications

Category: Game Design Discussions
Topic: General Discussion about Gemstone IV
Message #: 2558
Author: GS4-FINROS
Date: 11/24/2016 01:54 AM EST
Subject: Re: Updates to the Experience System!

I'll add some additional clarification on the Lumnis contest.

As originally stated by Coase, the contest runs for a one-week period every 90 days. That timing is chosen specifically to stagger the contest periods rather than (for example) holding them during the first week of each quarter, which could systematically exclude some players based on their real-life availability.

During each contest period, a character's experience gain is tracked over a six hour period that corresponds to the Lumnis system as it exists today. That is, six hours of experience-earning pulses are tracked with the first 3 hours counting at 3x gain, and the second 3 hours counting at 2x gain. The recording period starts whenever your Lumnis cycle is scheduled to regularly start, and your "entry" is recorded when the six hour period ends. There is special messaging to indicate when your contest tracking period begins, and messaging in the EXP verb to indicate that it is ongoing. The scheduled start for the next contest period can be found in the LUMNIS verb.

Note that your actual experience gain, even during the contest period, will still be based on the point-based Lumnis system. Players who don't care about the contest period won't have the race the six-hour clock to gain full Lumnis benefits even during contest weeks.

Based on current data, the average amount of Lumnis experience from the top-50 in Prime is between 18k and 19k on any given week; the number one earner is usually in the 20k range, and it usually gets down to the 18-19k range by the number five earner (and almost always by the number ten earner). With known contest periods, I would expect that average to rise somewhat. Just as an interesting data point, the mean Lumnis experience earned across all experience-earning characters is in the ~9k range, and the median is in the ~10k range, per week. Again, these numbers are Lumnis experience only and don't include the base experience amount, or any other bonus or penalty experience. As others have noted, 18k Lumnis experience would be earned from 12k regular experience, for a total gain of 30k experience, plus bonuses or penalties from a variety of other systems.

Contest "entries" are only accepted from characters that actually have a Lumnis period that week. I've seen some comments about creating hordes of scripting F2P characters to try and game the system; it won't work unless you're also purchasing Lumnis passes, so anyone thinking along those lines, please refrain and save both yourself and us from the annoyance.

I might also add that precise tracking is inherent in the system, so if we do suddenly see a bunch of throwaway maxed-logic-enhancive burghal gnomes sitting on supernodes and calibrated to earn max experience every pulse, we'll likely impose additional restrictions on eligibility. Try to push the limits on experience gain with an established character and a support structure, and we'll cheer you on for being creative. Create throwaway characters with the express purpose of trying to boost the average, and you'll just end up making it more irritating for everybody else as we impose additional restrictions.

And as a brief non-contest note, any character currently on their Lumnis boost at the time of the switchover from time-based to point-based will complete their current Lumnis cycle as time-based. The first Lumnis cycle that starts after the switchover, and all subsequent ones, will be point-based.

Lumnis Contest Ending

Category: Combat, Magic, and Character Mechanics
Topic: Developer's Corner
Message #: 893
Author: GS4-Estild
Date: 09/25/2019 10:23 AM EDT
Subject: Lumnis Contest Ending

The Lumnis Contest has now ran for 10 periods and will no longer run in the future again. It was originally designed to measure how much experience characters were earning over a period of time so we could better determine a bonus value for the Lumnis weekly experience boost. We originally thought it could be a fun game for players to best each other at and help set a global bonus. It originally did meet that goal, but as more time went on, it became something to dread due to the amount of work that would go into trying to achieve the highest possible bonus and the type of behavior it promoted. Going forward (in all instances), the global Lumnis experience boost will multiply your first 7300 experience points by 3, and your next 7300 experience points by 2, for a total bonus of 21900.

A few details from the contest will continue to exist in the LUMNIS verb for historical purposes, but will later be removed.

GameMaster Estild

Experience Penalties

Category: Combat, Magic, and Character Mechanics
Topic: Developer's Corner
Message #: 1280
Author: GS4-Estild
Date: 05/13/2020 03:41 PM CDT
Subject: Experience

The experience penalty for holding a weapon or shield while outside of town has been removed. It previously created an unfair advantage for certain hunting styles and this should level the playing field going forward. Thanks to GameMaster Oscuro for removing it.

GameMaster Estild