Q&A Answers (May 07)
Here are the Balancing Manager’s responses to the Q&A. Any questions that were unrelated to balancing were omitted. Also, rather than respond “I cannot comment on the inner workings of the dynamics of Entropia Universe”, any other questions that required such a reply were also omitted in the responses.
Thanks to all who provided questions for this thread. A New Q&A will come later on, and with a faster time frame between Q:s and A:s.
Are rare items expensive because they are rare or have they become rare drops because of inflation?
Submitted by Soundboy
It’s because of their rarity.
What were the biggest/most surprising balancing mistakes ever made?
Submitted by Pirx Danford
When the loot during 10 seconds after a release contained 1000 times more shadow armor parts than there should have been.
When am I going to get some decent loot or claims bigger than ample?
Submitted by dean
I actually don’t know and that’s a good thing.
The question is would a hunter have the same profit with the same loot on different LA’s with different taxes?
Submitted by Raffaele Meiers
On a land area with higher taxes the hunter pays higher taxes.
Why do you not “raise the bar” with SIB tools and weapons that require skills higher than the current “maxed” skills (~10k average) to give ubers something to aim for instead of destroying the chances of anyone new becoming uber (without an uber bank account)?
Submitted by Doer
We are doing that.
There are certain items that have disappeared completely from the game, or are stuck on old avatars not active anymore. I think it’s a shame that those items will be lost in history (and in some cases, all we have is pictures to know they existed). Not only talking about equipment, but rare clothing-pieces. We all know clothing doesn’t drop anymore so getting it back seems rather hopeless unless you plan to do something about it.
Do MindArk in any way plan for these items to have their “return” on Calypso?
Submitted by Skam
We have no plans to return these items.
Sometimes fairly common types of loot stop dropping completely, like Fine wool a few weeks ago. Is this on purpose or by mistake?
Submitted by Darkaner
There is always a natural variation cycle in drop rates on all items.
Is the promised MindForce update coming or have you given that up?
Submitted by nisse
It hasn’t been given up on. It will be done.
Does EVERY one in Entropia have the same programmed or instilled “luck”?
Submitted by jak
Of course everybody has the same installation there is no such thing as luck.
Why are rifles so plentiful and seemingly encouraged, with few options in melee weapons?
Submitted by Spud Striker
We are starting to introduce more now, with many more planned for.
Was the almost 20k ped HOF of Rugaritz a regrettable mistake?
Submitted by strakkan
No, but very rare.
Can we expect more L weapons to fill the incremental SIB equipment void soon?
submitted by The Nightbird
As the balancing manager how do you determine when you can release more Land Areas/Asteroids/Space Stations/etc without severely impacting existing owners and their profit?
Submitted by Vap0r
Time, statistics, and a pre-planned release strategy.
Will there be unlimited (!) melee amps, or improvement of melee generally?
Submitted by Alice
Yes to both.
Will you ever actually release a list (sort of a ‘Heads Up!’) in regards to HOW and possibly WHAT drops certain new items?
Submitted by Sunab Naverith
We have no such plans today.
What is the effect of the new auction fees on the general market transaction balance?
Submitted by helena
No unnecessary transportation sales, no display entries in the auction, an overall growth of the use of the auction and finally a growth of the use of participant owned shops.
What role do the commercial ads play with loots, ATH and HOFs?
Submitted by Haxtor moogle
They add money to the system by being watched.
When will you update with something not only MA is gaining on?
submitted by SODERD
We have done, and do so with every release – sometimes small things, sometimes whole systems. To take some examples: sweating, land areas, participant shops, auction system, real world and participant commercial system, Event system.
How many people are in the balancing department, what are their responsibilities and what is the process to balance a VU (loot changes, new features, etc.)?
Submitted by fluke
I cannot go into details here, but there is a group of more than five people involved in all balancing.
Will there be any amps for faps in the near future?
Submitted by Omega
We have no plans today to introduce them.
Why does MA make things better for crafters and worse for miners and hunters.
Submitted by bigdeal
We don’t, there are always ways to find opportunities in all systems.
Can we expect to see more frequent events and story lines that actually have both a head and a tail?
Submitted by JackFree
What makes an item balanced?
Submitted by Dunn
Many parameters determine balance, here are some of them. An item is balanced when:
It fits the user’s skill interval and current state in EU, meaning that it is fun to use and lets you interact with fun and intriguing events or mobs.
It doesn’t cost too much to use and its owner knows it.
You cannot drain the system with it.
It can be found in the way it was meant and with the right frequency.
The owner knows it’s expensive to use, but its fun to use or it has an interesting and unique advantage.
How many in game data points are you able to balance?
Submitted by Gazza
There are millions if you mean when items and rules are created. A lot fewer when the systems, items and Entropia are running. The goal is to sit beside the universe watching the nature of Entropia take its course.
I believe that the return rate (the “cash/ped” that the users are getting from the system as loot) should be increased. Why shall I play this game and not play on a casino where the odds are much more for me to gain some money?
Submitted by Niovara
I agree, everything we do aims for a better return rate for the users, but must still pay for the systems and us at MindArk. I think you should participate in Entropia because it’s a virtual universe and nothing else.
Market prices are at work, services are up for trade, socializing and training pays off. Opportunities are there all the time for the observant and hard working participant and not just at the same place everyday.
The universe isn’t static and predictable instead it’s built on natural laws and the goals of the users in it and that’s what makes it intriguing and full of possibilities.
As far as I know only CEO and balance-manager know exactly about and set the parameters of the loot-system.
Since this is the most important part of the whole RCE-game: Is some 3rd person/team checking their work or do they just proof each others work?
Submitted by Agnus Dei
There is a bigger team working with these questions today.
We’ve heard the term “Balancing Manager” ad nauseum, but there’s been no real description of what that position entails. Please describe exactly what you balance.
Submitted by AlphaGeek
Firstly, there is a whole team involved in balancing work. The team analyze every new system from when it’s only an idea to when you all are using it.
What will the system affect? What will it give and what will it take? What should the cost be to use the system and the items connected to it? Who will use the system, who are the real life users of system and who are the in world users? How will the system affect the performance of the hardware and the software platform and what will it cost to solve possible bottlenecks?
And of course the team continually analyze how a system works long after it has been released.
Does MindArk have any plans of rekindling the past staples of our economic growth, or is their vision purely of advancing into the future?
Submitted by Stryker
We are constantly working with both new and old systems. It’s just a matter of time and the point of view of the beholder.
Some time after VU with amp nerf has passed. Now what were impacts of it on “balance” (maybe reallocating part of loot from opalo users to high-lvl hunters etc.)?
Submitted by Denis
There is now a point in constructing, finding, selling and owning amplifiers other than just the best type. This has boosted the whole economy regarding amplifiers.
Why do some mobs loot a large variety of items while other mobs loot only 1 or 2 items?
Submitted by Chilly
All creatures have different benefits and drawbacks.
Is it balanced to make it better for low and high level players and worse for the mid-level?
Submitted by habanero
All users can find opportunities no matter what level they are at.
Today my hit ability is for example 3.9/10, 6.1/10 on EP-10 and the same up to EP-50, shouldn’t the hit ability be higher on low guns and get lower on high guns depending on your skills?
Submitted by Rapido
You have to use skill interval dependent tools to get what you ask for.
Is MA’s plan to keep going the actual process: Universe drain investor through big PR that deposit a lot of cash to buy “asset” and parasite gamer with tax and fee to use the new universe feature (examples: malls, CND, Land areas)?
Submitted by Etopia
We want to have many types of user groups. Investors with possibilities to enhance the experience of Entropia are one of those groups but certainly not the only one or even the biggest. Remember that they in many cases do important work with their areas and it’s voluntary to enter their areas.
Rare Items/Ores and especially Blueprints in inactive accounts are a huge balancing problem, because they can be reactivated.
Limited Items avoid this problem.
But what will you do to balance the existing rare Blueprints (etc) in inactive accounts?
Submitted by schnups
The inactive accounts are eventually purged and the items go back to Entropia open market. All this is taken account for in the balancing.
Are we all dealing with the same virtual world, insofar as odds/rules/chances?
Submitted by Amanita
Will Houses ever have the option of selling items when a player is off line like a shop without the need of a shopkeeper?
Submitted by TotalTwist
You need to have a shop or a shopkeeper.
Is Land Grab no longer existent?
Submitted by Mercury
It definitely is existent and will return, in a different way though.
When will respawn rate of mobs be fixed during events?
Since kinda hilarious to try to host nice events for community if there isn’t any mobs left after 5-15min of shooting in LA. No problem with Big mobs and 10 or 20 participants, but above 20 participants LA will be wiped clean.
submitted by Zap
The mobs will re-spawn faster after the next release.
In a previous support case I asked if there will ever be any whip better than my Cobra ME. The reply was NEVER. So if there will never be any whip with more damage – how can the taming system work with bigger mobs?
Submitted by Sneaky B’stard
Of course there will be more whips that do more damage.
The transferring of skills as it is now seems to be very confusing for most players. Will we see a system that is easier to manage, like just entering i want to fill a chip with 10 PED worth of skill x, then it shows how many of your skills that would take away and you press ok?
Submitted by Snakecharmer
No plans for that now.
What is the prime motivation in your balancing?
To create a sustainable intriguing world with indisputable natural laws that can host a vast number of users and activities.
I’m wondering if MA is going to introduce more mobs that use firearms as their
combat mode? There are currently 96 mobs in Entropia, of those only 5 are firearms.
Submitted by m0000
Whilst this isn’t strictly speaking a balancing issue, it does have a relevant impact for crafters. The lack of knowledge of what these attachments (scopes and lasers) actually do quite possibly subdues the market for them thus having a direct impact on the cost of crafting such attachments for crafters. Can MindArk provide a little more clarity as to the function of laser sights and scopes?
submitted by Jimmy B
More information has been delivered to all items, we are just not ready with all items yet.
Now that players will be able to upload content of their own in form of pictures, ads or videos, wouldn’t it be cool to be able to upload your own musical compositions?
Submitted by Glyphan
Will there be more shops available at places like Genesis, Omegaton, Sakura?
Submitted by Violet
Are there any plans to introduce farms in the game, or farming licenses?
Submitted by Dusk
Will we one day have the ability to take one melee weapon in each hand?
Submitted by ufcfl
Does MA has an “inferior loot list” for avatars that have been annoying?
Submitted by Micheva
Will an item appear on market by re-looting it after it was TTed (used up)? Is the rule applicable to any kind of items?
Submitted by Auktuma
I’m not going to give details, but it works something like that.