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Improving The Gear Building System

Discussion in 'Regular Discussion' started by Smash Arena, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Smash Arena

    Smash Arena Inkling

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    It's no question that the gear building system could use some improvements, considering how creating a custom piece of gear is extremely time-consuming and tedious.

    Before even getting into the problems with the current system, the value of a custom gear should be discussed, which should determine the difficulty of obtaining it. Gear in Splatoon has a strong effect on a player's abilities, allowing the player to augment both him/herself and the chosen weapon. In fact, gear can make some weapons far more viable, like Ink Recovery Up on a Charger or Run Speed Up on a Splatling. Thus, the value of being able to customize your gear is high. This means that gear customization should be accessible, but require effort and resources (Cash/Chunks).

    Unfortunately, the current gear building system is anything but accessible, and makes obtaining chunks an absolute RNG-induced nightmare. The two main problems with the current gear building system are:

    1. The only way to obtain chunks is through RNG.
    2. Gear building is too time-consuming, especially for the average player.
    The first problem is definitely the biggest, and plays quite a bit into the second problem. There is no way to obtain desired chunks with 100% certainty. Instead, there are ways to influence the RNG associated with gaining chunks from leveling up gear (drink tickets and brands), but this results in an unreliable chunk farming system which becomes extremely expensive/time-consuming considering the amount of scrubbing (for 20,000 a pop) or re-rolling it takes to gain a required amount of chunks. While Salmon Run rewards and the Octo Expansion vending machine offer chunks as well, these are also completely random, mixed in with other rewards.

    This leads me to the second problem. For a system which already makes it incredibly-difficult to obtain desired chunks, the chunk requirements for gear building are absurdly high. Just to place the first non-repeated sub on any piece of gear, it costs 10 chunks. That's already an enormous amount of chunks. Try to make a double sub, it's 20 chunks for the second, in addition to the 10 for the first. Even worse, it's another 30 for the third sub, making for a grand total of 60 for a triple if none of the desired subs had already been rolled. That amount of time, effort, and resources to reach that amount is insane, and there's absolutely no reason making a custom piece of gear should be that difficult.

    One might argue that this encourages people to play the game more, and also rewards players who put in the time and effort, but I strongly disagree with this. For the amount of time and effort exerted by the small percentage of players who are actually willing to spend hours farming chunks (like me), the payout it pitifully low and barely a reward, as the ability to customize gear should be a regular feature as opposed to a privilege of players who have the time to build it through the current system. As for encouraging people to play more, there are better ways of doing this, which leads into my solution.

    The core of the problem with the current gear system is one acronym: RNG. To fix this, a way of obtaining the desired gear chunks with no RNG must be created. My idea for fixing this actually would fix another issue I've noticed in Splatoon, especially for players who spend a massive amount of time with the game. Once a player has bought all the weapons and most of the gear they want, cash suddenly becomes increasingly useless, as its only use at that point is for scrubbing and re-rolling. Rather than wasting it on RNG-based chunk farming, a chunk vending machine could be introduced, which exchanges cash for specific chunks. Players would be able to choose which type of chunk they want to buy, and purchase as many as they would like with their cash. The price for each chunk could be 1,650, which would make a triple built from 60 chunks cost nearly 100,000, like buying a triple from Murch.

    This method would fix a plethora of issues. First of all, the RNG issue would be solved, as desired chunks could be reliably obtained while still requiring effort to be expended to pay for them. Second, gear building would become less time-consuming as rather than fiddling with scrubbing/drink tickets/re-rolling, cash generation would become key, and cash can be obtained reliably through a variety of sources. Third, cash would become even more valuable, as dedicated players who already bought everything they could would have a reason to use/generate cash again. Fourth, this would make gear building accessible to average players, helping even the playing field a bit for them and more dedicated players. Lastly, it would offer more gameplay opportunities to all players, as everyone could have fun experimenting and playing with custom gear sets that were previously to difficult to obtain

    Overall, I think that with some changes, gear building could become much more accessible and enjoyable than the current system, improving the game for all players.
     
    tch, Ansible, WïçK3d_BOI and 4 others like this.
  2. Enperry

    Enperry Inkling Commander

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    I like where you're going with this, but wouldn't it make more sense as a slot machine with random chunks and high risk high reward trade off?
     
  3. Euxis

    Euxis Inkling

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    Making abilities easier to get kinda ruins the feeling of achievement when you get perfect or pure gear. Although it is tedious and time consuming to build gear, grtting the build you want gives you some achievement. I think the time consumption and dedication is thr point of getting perfect gear.
     
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  4. Dessgeega

    Dessgeega Squid Savior From the Future

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    I'd be on board with some variation of this idea. Maybe keep the random options but add money sinks to directly buy the chunks/main abilities/whatever that you want. It gives people a goal and the folks with millions sitting around something to play with.

    I have 42 pures and while I like them, I wouldn't say I feel proud of them or that it's an achievement. It just means I randomly grinded for hours and hours and hours until the game gave me what I wanted. It's hard to feel accomplished over luck, in my opinion.
     
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  5. Euxis

    Euxis Inkling

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    That was a quick response. I should have said that I personally felt accomplished, sorry.

    Anyway, I also forgot to mention that getting rid of the RnG of the chunks would also mean grtting rid of the clothing brands.
     
  6. Dessgeega

    Dessgeega Squid Savior From the Future

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    I was looking at the thread at the time :p No worries, you shared your perspective and I shared mine.

    I don't think the RNG should be gotten rid of, leave it there for people who like that system or can't be bothered to pay, but give money sink options for those of us who just want to spend a fortune to get *exactly* what we want.
     
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  7. techton

    techton Senior Squid

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    This but make it way more expensive, like around 8,000 per chunk
     
  8. MINKUKEL

    MINKUKEL Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    The thing about RNG is that, in the long run, it averages out. If you use a drink ticket, you'll get perfect gear about 2% of the time. Considering you can get roughly 6 (give or take, based on your performance and gear rarity) pieces of gear upgraded in the span of one ticket, I think that's fair. I find myself getting perfect gear every so often, and if I have enough chunks saved up, I'll spend 30 to get the third one on a piece of gear I have two of the same on. Right now, I can wear pretty much every combination of abilities I want.

    You gotta take a few things into account:
    1) Upgrading abilities is the only thing really left in the game to do, as far as customization and getting new stuff goes, after you unlock every weapon.
    2) It's not supposed to be too easy to get perfect gear, since it's the only thing besides your own skill with a weapon that directly affects your play.
    3) Due to the nature of how sub-abilities work and the law of diminishing returns for every stack-able ability, you're not missing out that much if you don't have that much perfect gear. There's all kinds of ways to get around the lack of perfect gear, especially now that chunks exist. In Splatoon 1, when chunks didn't exist yet, we often had to make do with whatever we had at hand. You can spread out your sub abilities over multiple pieces of gears (which will also cost less) and wear them together, like what was commonplace in Splatoon 1 as well. Is it as elegant? No. But it's functional. See perfect gear as a luxury.
    4) You're obviously not supposed to place 3 of the same chunks on one piece of gear. That'll cost you a whopping 60 chunks. Using a drink ticket to get the first two and then using 30 to finish the piece of gear is much more reasonable. Yes, 30 chunks is still quite a bit, but there's no reason to double that. Spending 60 on one gear can easily be prevented.

    All in all, the current system gives long-time players something to do, while not punishing those who play less too much. And if there would be a way to buy chunks, having them priced at 1650 cash would be ridiculously cheap. That's ~1 match = 1 chunk (considering wins will net you 1000pts in TW). Consider the fact that you only need 30 chunks to complete a perfect gear, that would be one-and-a-half perfect gear for each 2.5x Cash food ticket you use.

    I'm not saying the current system is perfect or anything, but there's a reason why it takes the amount of resources it does. And I don't think there's anything wrong with rewarding those who play a lot.
     
    Nerdbird likes this.
  9. Coolkid

    Coolkid Pro Squid

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    i got to admit..i never really pay attention to my upgrades,with new gear i do get them but i just think ''meh cool but lets continue playing!'' i really never pay attention to the chunks i'm getting since i personally don't care,besides does it really affects on how someone plays? i mean will you play better just cause you got the same chunks multiple times? i personally don't think so ^-^''
     
  10. MINKUKEL

    MINKUKEL Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    It does. Abilities allow you to use your weapon longer, throw bombs farther, get more specials, track people for much longer, move faster in a duel, etc etc. It's a major part of the game, and it really makes it deeper if you pay attention to it.
     
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  11. BBGrenorange

    BBGrenorange Inkling Cadet

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    The grindy nature of perfecting your gear makes players want to keep playing the game which is exactly what Nintendo wants. Full stop.
     
  12. Smash Arena

    Smash Arena Inkling

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    As I explained in my original post, there are better ways than an RNG-based grinding system to keep people playing the game. One for example is making cash more useful by creating a chunk-purchasing system, encouraging players to earn cash by playing variety of game modes. This would be more effective than the frustrating RNG-based system which offers little reward for enormous amounts of gameplay. In addition, this would be helpful to the competitive community, as it would allow them to more easily obtain and experiment with different gear builds, creating a more diverse gameplay environment and expanding the meta.
     
  13. BBGrenorange

    BBGrenorange Inkling Cadet

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    RNG has an addictive effect on the human brain, that’s why gambling is addictive.

    So yeah your suggestion wouldn’t make the players want to play the game more.

    YAY FOR SCIENCE
     
  14. Dessgeega

    Dessgeega Squid Savior From the Future

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    Because gameplay on it's own merits isn't enough of a draw...

    This isn't some free-to-play game or money-grubbing "AAA" title where keeping players grinding = additional revenue. Nintendo already has our money and they've delivered a good experience, filler to keep players stuck in the game is unnecessary. Needless RNG can just as easily push people AWAY.

    Also, do you really have to be so backhanded and passive-aggressive in your responses? Eesh.
     
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  15. Flammie

    Flammie Inkling Cadet

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    Or you could order & buy a 3 star ranked gear from someone else and bypass that "RNG".

    Can you explain so everyone knows what you are talking about?
    Not trying to be rude, but that means waking up in the morning and not knowing what's gonna happen, is addictive, right?
     
  16. J'Wiz

    J'Wiz Inkling Cadet

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    I think the gear building system is fine. It takes time to get to where you can easily make gear, but once you get to that point, the world is your oyster. I don't mean grinding time, I mean a month or so of playing SR every rotation, or doing a turf war session every day and scrubbing your gear a few times.

    I had a few times where I made a whole set in a rotation, and I will often make a piece of gear or two in a Splatfest. I don't even grind for chunks either. I just do SR every rotation I can. I get plenty of chunks and tickets over time.

    Just don't expect to be able to make gear very soon. I think I made my first complete piece of gear after a month of playing the game.

    If I were to add anything to the system, it's a rare item that changes a piece of gear's main ability. Like...make it a Splatfest reward, or charge for 200k for it. It should be rare at the very least. There's so many pieces of gear that I love, but I can't do much with them because they have abilities I don't like (I'm looking at you Annaki yellow cuff!).
     
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  17. calamaro

    calamaro Inkling Commander

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    Just let me change the main ability of the piece of gear. So much fresh stuff out there with really crappy main abilities.
     
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  18. BBGrenorange

    BBGrenorange Inkling Cadet

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    Ok so pretty much you get a rush of excitement (varying types of hormone depending on the situation) when anything good happens (in this case getting the gear ability you want).

    The RNG or ‘gambling’ effect only heightens this rush - you’re feeling very tense while the thingies in the slot machine are still rolling, hence you feel REALLY good by comparison if you get the ability you want. That’s what’s addictive.

    But yeah, I’d say I’m pretty addicted to getting out of bed in the morning too XD
    I mean I figure Nintendo wants it’s players to keep playing, maybe to convince them to buy their other games or even in-game dlc? My point is that RNG like this in games is usually to keep the player grinding.

    Also I don’t really understand how I was being passive-aggressive, I just really like science.
     
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  19. MINKUKEL

    MINKUKEL Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    @Smash Arena If they were to replace the RNG-based system by some other system, they would still make it so that it would roughly take the same amount of time as it does now.

    Like I said, RNG, in the long run, averages out. It might seem more frustrating than paying your way to pures, but it isn't actually. The odds to getting two or three of the preferred ability on a gear aren't too crazy. For example, if you use one drink ticket and you upgrade about 6 pieces of gear in that time, you already have about 15% chance of getting at least one pure.
     
  20. Elecmaw

    Elecmaw Lord of the Squids

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    Man... you all are spoiled lol. This system's far from good, but it's nowhere near as bad as the horror show that was S1's gear system.

    BBG's right though, rewards being given randomly instead of being given in an even manner will keep players grinding for them even if they don't need them right now, just in case they'll need it in the future. It keeps players playing longer than if you'd reward them with the stuff they'd exactly want in a fixed manner. Look up the concept of a Skinner box and it'll probably sound familiar.

    I find it strange that Nintendo for some reason decided to base the RNG system around ability perks and not being given gear randomly. You'd think that a game that has a large focus on dressing up your Octosquid would do that, but... they didn't.
     
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  21. Chaos_Knight

    Chaos_Knight Inkling Commander

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    How about we get rid of solo builds first. The moment you're allowed to put in your abilities, I knew the system would be abused. This is what I propose:



    Basically, if you have too much of the same abilities equipped, most of them will be canceled out. And because there are people who won't even listen, only other players will see this from their POV.
     
  22. Elecmaw

    Elecmaw Lord of the Squids

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    No, people are just bad at making builds. Stacking any ability beyond 3 mains should be met with skepticism, because beyond that point the diminishing returns becomes so bad you're better off with different abilities. 3 mains of swim speed up moves almost as fast as an entire loadout of SSU. Take a look at this fun little graph over here. (Do note that the NS graph is outdated, but everything else should be fine)

    An Inkbrush is a lightweight-class weapon, which while it does move faster than normal or heavyweights, it receives less benefits from SSU. While SSU is still useful for it, it absolutely shouldn't be stacked to ridiculous lengths when you can use things like Quick Respawn+Comeback or Stealth Jump+Quick Super Jump for it to get around the battlefield faster. You get way more mileage out of your build that way.
     
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  23. Chaos_Knight

    Chaos_Knight Inkling Commander

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    If people are so bad at making builds, then they should be prevented making things like this and be taught that what they're trying to do just doesn't always work out.
     
  24. Flammie

    Flammie Inkling Cadet

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    I use Hydra Splatling, so 3 swim speed up benefits me.
    It does help zip zooming away when you are a sitting/standing duck and needs to move from position posthaste.
    What more abilities do i need?
     
  25. Elecmaw

    Elecmaw Lord of the Squids

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    Gonna disagree with you on that one.

    Builds lets you experiment and further tweak your playstyle beyond the limitations of your own weapon, which is part of the appeal of builds in games in general. There's going to be optimal builds among the combinations available, for sure, but you can still tune it however you like and let it support your playstyle. There's also the benefit that the devs can use the player data to gauge what abilities are desired the most on certain weapons and balance the game accordingly. That, and devs do not have the foresight to know what makes a weapon viable, and if it turns out a few perks are good enough to make a bad weapon work, then well problem solved right?

    If someone wants to deck their entire build with one perk, let them. They'll eventually learn what they're doing is a bad idea, and not only change their build, but also get better at the game. Managing your abilities is another skill needed to learn on how to get good, and forcing arbitrary restrictions on the perk system in a way you personally think is better for the game doesn't make things more interesting.
     
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  26. BBGrenorange

    BBGrenorange Inkling Cadet

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    Yeah you can’t force people to git gud lol
     
  27. calamaro

    calamaro Inkling Commander

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    Being good has nothing to do with understanding the ins and outs of gear stacking and how it effects each class of weapon or pairing with other abilities.
     
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  28. MINKUKEL

    MINKUKEL Inkling Fleet Admiral

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    To be fair, the game could be clearer regarding the ins and outs of abilities. You would expect Run Speed Up to affect Rollers and Brushes, for example, and you would think something called 'Stealth Jump' hides your jump marker at all times.
    I mean, when you get invested in a game like this, you really oughtta look around for information online and wikis and stuff like that anyway, but it could be a bit more accessible.
     
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  29. Hiro Protagonest

    Hiro Protagonest Inkster Jr.

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    I always feel strange when thinking about things like this, because I'm not compelled by RNG at all, and I'm not in love with numeric progression. I know there are people who share the sentiment, but we're relatively few; I'm a serious fighting game player. I can still grind some mobile/handheld games while watching videos, I still like Rune Factory 4 for its general vibe, dialogue and polish.

    I wish I could stack Drink Ticket effects even if it had some dimishing returns (like first one gives 30% chance, second one is 45% or 50%, third one is 60% max), because man do I have a lot of tickets from Grizzco. I also have tons of cash yeah, though not gaining enough at any point that I don't slightly lose cash during the dedicated ability grind. Spending money for another source of chunks would be good, even if it's RNG too.
     
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  30. calamaro

    calamaro Inkling Commander

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    I'm trying to think of another game where you can`t see how a piece of gear effects your character. Be it some sort of percentage, number, or meter. The trial and error of splatoons gear system is pretty meh if you think about it.
     
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  31. Hiro Protagonest

    Hiro Protagonest Inkster Jr.

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    Oh yeah, the game should at least talk about diminishing returns.

    A "shots per tank" value would be nice and subweapons already have the line on the tank. Special Charge Up could give the effective painting points to fill the gauge, like loadout.ink does. Hiding away the movement stats where kids won't easily find them and get confused would be fine.

    (I also think the test area could use some improvements for practicing things)
     
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