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How the slot machines *should* have been fixed


tomcn

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People had a legitimate concern that the slot machines could be exploited by macros and bots. Crew mission specialists had a legitimate concern that the slot machines made crew skills obsolete.

 

Both problems should have been addressed by keeping the token cost and drop rates the same, but adding character debuffs similar to the debuffs from stronghold resource nodes. In other words, after receiving X number of Jawa scrap items from a slot machine, you get a debuff preventing you from receiving more Jawa scrap items for Y amount of time. The values for X and Y could be adjusted as needed.

 

Full disclosure: I bought 2 hypercrates, partially motivated by the slot machine, and I got 2 slot machines in the packs. I sold one, and had a lot of fun with the other one before the nerf. I kept all the Jawa scrap I got for use in personal crafting only.

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People had a legitimate concern that the slot machines could be exploited by macros and bots. Crew mission specialists had a legitimate concern that the slot machines made crew skills obsolete.

 

Both problems should have been addressed by keeping the token cost and drop rates the same, but adding character debuffs similar to the debuffs from stronghold resource nodes. In other words, after receiving X number of Jawa scrap items from a slot machine, you get a debuff preventing you from receiving more Jawa scrap items for Y amount of time. The values for X and Y could be adjusted as needed.

 

Full disclosure: I bought 2 hypercrates, partially motivated by the slot machine, and I got 2 slot machines in the packs. I sold one, and had a lot of fun with the other one before the nerf. I kept all the Jawa scrap I got for use in personal crafting only.

 

First fix would be to limit the amount of machines used by a single character to 1. When this is done, they can start to think about a rate which yields a minimum profit over time with a low chance of getting the jackpot price. that is a slot machine, and not a gaining machine. your fix would still make it a gaining machine, you only have to add breaks into it.

Edited by Neglience
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It was never 50% on the cartel certs, it was 2%.

I meant lower the win chance on Cartel Certs by 50% :)

then they (Slot Machine) would have been fine...

...with removal of Grade 11 blue and purple from Jawa Vendors

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The pre-nerf cartel cert drop rate wasn't as serious as the Jawa scrap, since it primarily affected the prices of Twi'lek dancers.

 

However, it should have been addressed with a similar debuff: after receiving X number of cartel certs from a slot machine, you get a debuff preventing you from receiving more cartel certs for Y amount of time.

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Slot machines didn't need to be fixed (except perhaps 50% cartel Market Certs), what they need to do is remove Grade 11 blue and purple from Jawa vendors.

 

Which would have done nothing at all to addressing the issue they stated needed to be address, specifically the accessibility of Grade 11 mats.

 

Prior to the release of 3.0, grade 9 mats were available on the Jawa Vendors. So you could take Jawa Scrap from cartel packs and purchase the 'top mats' (Though not every single one of the exotic mats etc) and happily go about your business. 3.0 introduced a problem where legitimately purchased/acquired Jawa Scrap no longer allowed you access to top tier mats. So their eventual placement on the vendor is a given and only fair.

 

That they concurrently put into place a game mechanic that allowed you to gather so much Jawa Scrap material in a single short time span as to eclipse the number you may have gained after a year+ of purchasing Hypercrates and hording the materials until they were needed and in such a quantity hat is was mathematically idiotic to EVER go on another crew skill gathering mission..... yeah.. the drops were not OK.

 

The vendors needed the scrap because per the developers, who despite this Snafu still know more about the game than you (and me), the grade 11 materials were not accessible enough. The materials can and should, in fact _need_ to remain on the vendor to facilitate accessibility of the materials. slots just eed to be more carefully balanced. They were definitely 'over' fixed and I expect they will be re-fixed in the near future.

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Instead of nerfing the drop rate, simple set each toon or each legacy to X number of slot plays per day/week, like the gathering nodes in strongholds.

 

Perhaps 99 pulls per day, or perhaps 495 per week (5 stacks). This can be set per toon, or per legacy...

 

That is enough to give mats for personal and perhaps guild crafting and a small amount of money, but not enough to overrun the economy.

 

---

 

This also solves the "bot" problem, without having to actually do anything about bots. Making a macro to click over and over doesn't help when you're limited in your clicking.

Edited by Heat-Wave
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Instead of nerfing the drop rate, simple set each toon or each legacy to X number of slot plays per day/week, like the gathering nodes in strongholds.

 

Perhaps 99 pulls per day, or perhaps 495 per week (5 stacks). This can be set per toon, or per legacy...

 

That is enough to give mats for personal and perhaps guild crafting and a small amount of money, but not enough to overrun the economy.

 

---

 

This also solves the "bot" problem, without having to actually do anything about bots. Making a macro to click over and over doesn't help when you're limited in your clicking.

 

Your fix requires several code changes. First, a persistent attribute on the character that measures the number of times they perform an action and keeps a running tally. This tally need to be reliably refreshed based on time so either it is a hard and fast server time comparison or it is some other iterative comparison.

 

Second, it does not resolve the 'cost per material 'issue that arose and what was the actual lynch pin issue for many. Even when limited to a certain number of pulls in a day (lets go for 99) you are still very likely to make 12.5 or more Jawa Junk with those 99 pulls. Do you know how long it takes to earn the same amount of Jawa junk running gathering missions? Do you know the equivalent cost to the person running those missions to achieve the like amount of Purple Mats?

 

It was far faster and far cheaper to use the slot machine to gather the materials. Therew as no reason to use your companion skills and even in a pull limited system, there would be no reason to run these missions. It would actually take you less time to get your 99 pulls then it would likely take you to do the 'travel dance' and refresh your mission lists so you got only the missions you needed. so in the same amount of time it took to _set up_ your crew missions, you would have already gotten far more than the return from those crew missions were and, for a lot cheaper.

 

Your solution would not have been a solution. problem would have remained.

 

Solution is for the cost per material obtained to exceed the cost from gathering, but not to the extent that are now.

 

Presuming 75% buy back cost on rep items, it would still be 187,500 credits per purple mat with the current 1 in 1000 odds. This is significantly more (like 20 times more) than the cost of mats from gathering skills. So the slot machine isn't even worth anything even with your 1 in 100,000 odds of a hastily crafter speeder and the chance for some blue or green crap and maybe a cert or two.

 

Bring the expected rate of return for Jawa Junk down sothat the cost per jawa junk exceeds gathering skills but likely no more than by 100% more and the slots would be viable and desireable due to their speed and convenience. Crafters would still have the best profit margins as their materials, gathered traditionally, would cost them less.

 

Playerbase benefits because the Grade 11 materials are more readily accessible as was indicated as being necessary by Eric in his post on why they put the slots out/had them reward stuff.

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Instead of nerfing the drop rate, simple set each toon or each legacy to X number of slot plays per day/week, like the gathering nodes in strongholds.

 

Perhaps 99 pulls per day, or perhaps 495 per week (5 stacks). This can be set per toon, or per legacy...

 

That is enough to give mats for personal and perhaps guild crafting and a small amount of money, but not enough to overrun the economy.

 

---

 

This also solves the "bot" problem, without having to actually do anything about bots. Making a macro to click over and over doesn't help when you're limited in your clicking.

 

but that's the whole point to the change in drop rates. They DONT want you to have access to a constant stream of mats through means that have nothing to do with crew skills. My guess is they saw crew skills being run drop to nearly zero this week. If they did what you suggest it fixes nothing with the crew skills being worthless. This "fix" is all about the fact the crew skills were broken with the slot machine and instead of "fixing" missions they just took back the slot winnings. Not saying which way is/would have been better but at least crew skills have some kind of use now.

 

The certs being nerfed though......don't understand that unless they were really afraid of people not buying packs anymore for the certs. That's all I can think of.

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Your fix requires several code changes. First, a persistent attribute on the character that measures the number of times they perform an action and keeps a running tally. This tally need to be reliably refreshed based on time so either it is a hard and fast server time comparison or it is some other iterative comparison.

 

Server reset each Tuesday, that isn't hard, which is why I suggested a weekly.

 

A debuff would be the easy solution, just give it a count to 99 or 495 or whatever, it gets removed every Tuesday morning.

 

Bring the expected rate of return for Jawa Junk down sothat the cost per jawa junk exceeds gathering skills but likely no more than by 100% more and the slots would be viable and desireable due to their speed and convenience. Crafters would still have the best profit margins as their materials, gathered traditionally, would cost them less.

 

Playerbase benefits because the Grade 11 materials are more readily accessible as was indicated as being necessary by Eric in his post on why they put the slots out/had them reward stuff.

 

The challenge is that Bioware has provided two ways to obtain crafting materials that cost money. One is crew missions, the other is a slot machine.

 

Either the crew missions are cheaper or the slot machine is cheaper. Why would I stand around clicking a machine for an hour if the cost is 100% higher than the crew mission mats? Likewise, why would I run crew missions if that cost was 100% higher?

 

If the cost is higher, then my crafted items wouldn't compete with the crew mission items, thus making it pointless.

 

It would be an interesting challenge to try and make them equal, but you could probably get close since it is just math.

 

The difference, of course, is that bots can run the slots, they can't run the crew missions.

 

---

 

In any case, this whole thing was clearly not thought out very well before being released.

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but that's the whole point to the change in drop rates. They DONT want you to have access to a constant stream of mats through means that have nothing to do with crew skills. My guess is they saw crew skills being run drop to nearly zero this week. If they did what you suggest it fixes nothing with the crew skills being worthless. This "fix" is all about the fact the crew skills were broken with the slot machine and instead of "fixing" missions they just took back the slot winnings. Not saying which way is/would have been better but at least crew skills have some kind of use now.

 

The certs being nerfed though......don't understand that unless they were really afraid of people not buying packs anymore for the certs. That's all I can think of.

 

Ok, then why not remove the drops completely?

 

The current rates make using the machine pointless, your cost is more than triple the crew mission cost.

 

Now we just don't use the machines.

 

That isn't a nerf, they might as well have disabled them.

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I think this is a matter of math.

 

They wanted to provide an alternate source for the Grade 11 mats.. That is a good thing.

The slot machine, as released, provided an overabundant source of those mats.. Bad thing.

Adjusting the drop rate to make the slot machine an absolute horrible source for the mats... Bad thing.

 

The devs had a base point of comparison for dropping purple mats... they should have looked at the crit rate on the crew skill missions... took an average all grade 11 purple mat drops via crew missions, and adjusted the drop rate in the slot accordining (adjusting for time).

 

I'm not saying make one better than the other... put the two on equal footing. Adjust the drop rate of the Jawa Junk (adjusted for time) to be roughly the same as a person running a crew mission with 0 affection, and no companion bonus for getting a single purple mat.

 

Someone did the math on the drop rate/cost for Midlithe crystals... time invested, cash invested etc. That should have been used as the base for determining the drop rate via the slot machine.

 

It provides exactly what BW had originally intended... another source of grade 11 mats. But did not favor any one source. All existing sources were still valid.

 

Results: Increased access to Grade 11 Mats

Crew Skill Missions still viable

Some reduction in GTN costs (more sources = more availability), but not flooding the market

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I think this is a matter of math.

 

They wanted to provide an alternate source for the Grade 11 mats.. That is a good thing.

The slot machine, as released, provided an overabundant source of those mats.. Bad thing.

Adjusting the drop rate to make the slot machine an absolute horrible source for the mats... Bad thing.

 

The devs had a base point of comparison for dropping purple mats... they should have looked at the crit rate on the crew skill missions... took an average all grade 11 purple mat drops via crew missions, and adjusted the drop rate in the slot accordining (adjusting for time).

 

I'm not saying make one better than the other... put the two on equal footing. Adjust the drop rate of the Jawa Junk (adjusted for time) to be roughly the same as a person running a crew mission with 0 affection, and no companion bonus for getting a single purple mat.

 

Someone did the math on the drop rate/cost for Midlithe crystals... time invested, cash invested etc. That should have been used as the base for determining the drop rate via the slot machine.

 

It provides exactly what BW had originally intended... another source of grade 11 mats. But did not favor any one source. All existing sources were still valid.

 

Results: Increased access to Grade 11 Mats

Crew Skill Missions still viable

Some reduction in GTN costs (more sources = more availability), but not flooding the market

 

And that would be fine, except you have to stand at the slot machine, I can send companions on missions and log off.

 

Also, the cost issue... 4K credits for a mission or 160k credits for an hour at the machine (give or take).

 

If the cost of purple mats via crew missions averages 5k, then make the slot machine cost about 5k per jawa junk.

 

I'd be ok with that.

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New idea...

 

Forget debufs and lockouts and drop rates...

 

Simply adjust the price of the coins and the drop rate to make the net cost of Jawa Junk about the cost of purple mats from crew missions.

 

The slots, on the plus side can be run more often, but you have to be there to run them. The crew missions take longer, but can be run offline (and you can send 12 alts at the same time, total of 72 companions), which adds up.

 

So if the average cost of a purple via crew skills is 6k credits, then make the Jawa Junk about 6k credits to get. Leave the rep tokens but change their value (only as dropped from the machine), to 1 credit each) to remove that as "payment" and change the Cartel Certificates to 1% drop rate (or 25k each, whichever you prefer).

 

Thoughts?

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And that would be fine, except you have to stand at the slot machine, I can send companions on missions and log off.

 

Also, the cost issue... 4K credits for a mission or 160k credits for an hour at the machine (give or take).

 

If the cost of purple mats via crew missions averages 5k, then make the slot machine cost about 5k per jawa junk.

 

I'd be ok with that.

 

Well its a choice... you can stand at the slot... or run missions... but either choice should award approximately the same in the same period of time... for approximately the same credit cost. I am no statistician.... but I am betting there are those around here who could do those figures.

 

I know there are figures on Crit% and Cost Pr Mat from crew missions etc... take the costs, and time and you should have your drop rate.

 

Edit: The crew skills calculation should be at 0 affection... or some midrange number (not top affection) to keep some purpose to maxing affection).

Edited by Drockter
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Well its a choice... you can stand at the slot... or run missions... but either choice should award approximately the same in the same period of time... for approximately the same credit cost. I am no statistician.... but I am betting there are those around here who could do those figures.

 

I know there are figures on Crit% and Cost Pr Mat from crew missions etc... take the costs, and time and you should have your drop rate.

 

Edit: The crew skills calculation should be at 0 affection... or some midrange number (not top affection) to keep some purpose to maxing affection).

 

It takes 3 to 4 runs of Rich slicing to get 3 purple mats...

 

People are not going to stand at the slot machine for 3 hours clicking to get 3 purples... (9 JJ really, since Adaptive Circuits cost 3 JJ each) In such a case, send the crew on missions and log off and go do real world stuff... The only incentive to clicking on the machine is to get JJ faster. It doesn't have to be cheaper.

 

Of course, bots might, but that is another issue... you're suggesting a system that would ONLY be used by bots...

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slot machines should have nothing to do with crafting materials

 

This is the only truth.

 

Outside of the Conquest rewards, which make a twisted sort of sense considering the amount of materials you burn through to get your guild a top ten slot or your toon to the goal, the only way to get materials should be through missions and world gathering.

 

The Cartel Market needs to remain a separate system. It has already intruded heavily into the game by hammering crafting skills, making crafted shells, weapons and crystals almost worthless.

 

A Cartel Market slot machine needs to reward Cartel Market items. If EA/BW wants to increase the amount of materials available to players it needs to do so through the existing crew skills system.

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They should never have gone live dropping crafting materials - period.

 

If they had gone live with a low chance to drop rare CM items from the same packs as those which drop the associated rep (Contraband), they would never have caused such issues as they did by trying to interject a CM toy into a core game system such as crafting.

 

And most likely they still would have been desirable and fun toys.

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A Cartel Market slot machine needs to reward Cartel Market items. If EA/BW wants to increase the amount of materials available to players it needs to do so through the existing crew skills system.

 

I can agree with this notion. A previous poster in another thread suggested pushing out more prizes like credit booms, mounts, maybe emotes. Those all seemed like cool things that would make me absolutely play the slots again.

 

What really annoys me is that everyone pointing to the cost analysis with the slots compared to the crew missions is that they act like grade 11 mats were the only thing that the slot machine was good for, or that crew missions were good for. Apparently to them you have two choices stand around and farm the funbox or stand around and send your crew out for missions. It's like they don't understand what each are good for, and that there's a lot of game to play.

 

By destroying the rewards to this slot machine it's hampered a great many crafters who were coming up through the ranks, but since leveling happens at a speed much faster than crafting, the crafting angle never kept up. I'm sure the section of the population that wants to craft all their own mods and armorings, and barrels as they level is minute, but still that slot machine made it possible. None of us were trying to rip off other people for credits, we just wanted more access to all materials. It just bugs me that people can't seem to realize that there's a lot more to the game than just end game raiding. And then the whole "breaking the economy" notion was a total scare tactic. Just utterly ridiculous as a claim. The same people said that disciplines would break the game as well...and that didn't happen. Anyway, I hope the slot machine gets some sort of bump whether it's a greater prize pool from cartel stuffs, or they increase the material access to a reasonable level after all I want the green scrap too for leveling and for conquests. Probably makes me a bit selfish oh well.

Edited by Shwarzchild
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I can agree with this notion. A previous poster in another thread suggested pushing out more prizes like credit booms, mounts, maybe emotes. Those all seemed like cool things that would make me absolutely play the slots again.

 

What really annoys me is that everyone pointing to the cost analysis with the slots compared to the crew missions is that they act like grade 11 mats were the only thing that the slot machine was good for, or that crew missions were good for. Apparently to them you have two choices stand around and farm the funbox or stand around and send your crew out for missions. It's like they don't understand what each are good for, and that there's a lot of game to play.

 

By destroying the rewards to this slot machine it's hampered a great many crafters who were coming up through the ranks, but since leveling happens at a speed much faster than crafting, the crafting angle never kept up. I'm sure the section of the population that wants to craft all their own mods and armorings, and barrels as they level is minute, but still that slot machine made it possible. None of us were trying to rip off other people for credits, we just wanted more access to all materials. It just bugs me that people can't seem to realize that there's a lot more to the game than just end game raiding. And then the whole "breaking the economy" notion was a total scare tactic. Just utterly ridiculous as a claim. The same people said that disciplines would break the game as well...and that didn't happen. Anyway, I hope the slot machine gets some sort of bump whether it's a greater prize pool from cartel stuffs, or they increase the material access to a reasonable level after all I want the green scrap too for leveling and for conquests. Probably makes me a bit selfish oh well.

 

Sorry, but I "made it up through the ranks" with crafting just fine while leveling without a single piece of Jawa Junk. I did it the old fashioned way, by sending companions out on missions while I leveled. I had zero difficulty doing so on multiple toons and I'm no great player so if I can do it, anyone can.

 

The economy was broken. Badly. Materials prices dropped to a sixth of where they were once the Jawa Junk started flowing. The only people claiming the prices were too high were people who had no idea how difficult it is to get those materials. Those of us who knew either paid the price off the GTN or spent the time and effort to get them ourselves through missions.

 

That slot machine intruded on an area that it didn't belong. Let it give out items from the Contraband Pack. Leave the economy alone. It's bad enough as it is without throwing curves at it like this.

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