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    • Shark

      Donations and Recognition!   12/22/2016

      Hello everyone! We are becoming a huge community and that doesn't come cheap. All staff here are volunteers and do this because they love the site. Right now, everything is paid out of pocket, by Erroneous. We would love for you to donate in order to help out with the site costs (i.e. Forum License, Domain Name, Hosting) so that we can keep Security and Forum Software up to date and possibly add some new features. If you do decide to donate, we have some fun, snazzy gifts of appreciation for you ;) Please message me (Shark) so we can get you the gifts of appreciation! We thank you for your support! Please use this link for more info   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How To Donate Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the donate button.

      NOTABLE DONORS LIST Here is where we honor the donors who go above and beyond the call of Aincrad! Top Tier Donors! Percival Row  Teayre Nezumi Benjamin Bookworm Zandra Alice Arc Atzo Baldur Claim Corvo Dominion Genji Ignavus_veneficus Jomei Kaya Kimi Lee Lessa Mack Macradon Nocturn Persephone Piera Ruus Sarial Hawke Shi Unyeilding Vale To express our gratitude, here is a picture of the iconic duo for all you wonderful supporters!
    • Shark

      The SAO Staff Team!   02/21/2017

      Hello members of SAO-RPG!

      I'm sure most of you (if not some) have noticed or heard changes were made to the staff team. If you are applying to staff, you may have noticed that the application process has recently changed. This has all happened because of a reformation of the staff team and the way it operates. The staff now has separate teams for development. These teams are: Floor Creation Team [Floors, Quests/Events, Bosses], Systems & Clarifications Team, and Player Support Team.

      "Who is on these teams?" Well the answer to that lies below! Floor Team Systems & Clarifications Team Player Support Team
      Minecraft Development Team
      * - Denotes Team Lead

      We also have a team to work on and develop the current systems but that team will search for its members and is not allowed to be applied to.

      Now you may be asking, "Shark, how does one apply to the Staff Team?" And I have but 1 simple answer!
      Go read this thread and it may answer all your questions!

      If you have any more questions, send me a PM and I will answer your questions about staff. (Only the format of teams and/or the application process)
    • Cardinal

      Patch Notes: Crafting and Adventuring Update   02/18/2018

      <<Crafting and Adventuring Update>>
      SAO-RPG Patch 2.5.1 Timeline Update! Please note that the following is out of character knowledge.
      Time progresses at a different rate in the game than in our characters' real lives. As of November 6, 2017 (OOC real time), characters should have the perception that 2 years have passed since the game's launch. This will continue to roughly mirror the passage of real time until the game's completion. The note that the perception of time is different in-game is to allow the idea that a set amount of time has passed in the real world (likely 2 years) upon the game's completion, regardless of how long it takes for the site to clear all 100 floors. We hope to release more changes soon that will streamline boss fights and floor clearing, as well as help new players establish themselves despite the time gap, but hopefully this timeline serves as a helpful tool for players throughout the rest of our time spent clearing the game. Site Changes: A post count feature has been added to the site. The number of each post (i.e. #1) now displays on the top-right, beside the "Link Post" feature. General Rule Changes: Word count requirement for posts in which a player is stunned or paralyzed has been reduced to 100 from 150. PvP and Player Killing Rules have been updated: No player can kill another without OOC permission. The rule for initiative rolls on Unauthorized Combat have been removed. The NPC Guard mechanic has been removed. Characters Level 5 and under are eligible to claim a New Character Bundle, regardless of when their journal was created. Unidentified items, when obtained in a thread, no longer have to be declared until they are identified by a Merchant. For example, a weapon drop can be claimed from a locked thread as an Unidentified T1 Weapon, rather than an Unidentified T1 2H Assault Spear. When identifying an item, the Merchant should then specify the item type in their roll(s). To clarify, items leaving locked threads should be specified according to the loot tables as: Weapon, Shield, Armor, Consumable. The Loot Table has been slightly adjusted, mainly to increase the number of consumables dropped from monsters. Crafting Changes:
      A note to all crafters: Be sure you are transferring your materials (col for Merchants) to the @Banker account when crafting. The <<Earning a Living>> quest has been updated, and is now profession-specific. Three new crafting/gathering-based quests have been added: <<Nature's Treasure>>, <<Witch of the West>>, and <<Challenge of Olympus>>. +CD bonuses for crafting have been reintroduced. These can be obtained through the new quests <<Challenge of Olympus>> & <<Witch of the West>>. Merchants: The chance to successfully identify a unique enhancement now scales with Merchant Rank. The identification chart for Consumables has been reworked. The process of identifying consumables has changed. Identification prices have been reduced by 20%. General stock items have been adjusted. Blank Recording Crystals have been removed, and five new items have been added: Glow Stone, Single/Double Tents, Spyglass, and Water Canister. Alchemists/Cooks: Enhancement lists for both professions have been reworked. Successful crafts now have a chance to yield additional items. The Crafting Die Result charts have been updated. Performers: Song types have been adjusted. Enhancement list has been reworked. Successful crafts now have a chance to become 'Masterpieces'. This allows the craft to be submitted for evaluation with an additional effect. Skill Changes: Hiding Mod: Surprise Attack Has been split into two mods: Surprise Attack (Assassin) Cost: 15 SP Passive Effect: Attacks made from stealth cannot miss. Attacking from stealth grants +2 DMG. Stuns and other status effects (Bleed, Paralysis, Burn, etc) cannot trigger. Cannot posses both Surprise Attack (Assassin) and Surprise Attack (Trickster). Description: You have mastered hiding, and now can move so silently that the target has no time to react, guaranteeing a hit. You focus on hitting critical zones and exploiting your target's weak points, allowing for bonus damage. Surprise Attack (Trickster) Cost: 15 SP Passive Effect: Attacks made from stealth cannot miss. Attacking from stealth reduces final damage by 50% and automatically applies all status effects (Bleed, Paralysis, Burn, etc) the player possesses on active equipment/consumables. Cannot posses both Surprise Attack (Trickster) and Surprise Attack (Assassin). Description: You have mastered hiding, and now can move so silently that the target has no time to react, guaranteeing a hit. You focus on slipping past the enemy's defenses and sacrifice strength in order to apply as many status effects as possible. Mod: Vanish Cooldown reduced to 3 Turns, from 5 Turns. Energize Can only affect target party member. Mod: Hyperactive Increases energy regeneration of target player by 3 for three turns, up from 2 for two turns. Can only affect target party member. Cooldown reduced to 3 Turns, from 5 Turns. Energy cost increased to 5, from 3. First Aid Mod: Purify Cooldown reduced to 1 Turn from 2 rounds. Mod: Sharpness Energy cost increased to 12, up from 8. Cooldown reduced to 1 Turn from 3 Turns. Mod: Barrier Energy cost increased to 12, up from 8. Cooldown reduced to 1 Turn from 3 Turns. Effect now applies a Safeguard effect to target party member that lasts until the beginning of the user's next turn. Does not stack with the Safeguard enhancement. A player can only be targeted by Barrier once per combat. Mod: Field Medic Cooldown reduced to 3 Turns, down from 5 Turns. Fighting Spirit Now affects hate-generating abilities (Howl & Focused Howl) Enhancement Changes: Thorns: Damage increased to (9 per slot * Tier) from (7 per slot * Tier).  Effect has been updated to specify that only damage dealing, melee attacks trigger Thorns. [Performer] HP Recovery Reduced to (20 per slot * Tier), down from (40 * Tier) per slot. Mass HP Recovery has been removed. Monster Call has been reworked into two different enhancements: Monsters' Fortune Cost: 1 Slot Cap: 3 Slots Effect: When played, gain +1 LD per slot when rolling for loot on the next monster killed. Monsters' Favor Cost: 1 Slot Cap: 3 Slots Effect: When played, gain +1 CD per slot when rolling for loot on the next monster killed. Familiar Call Renamed to Familiar Sight. Grants +2 LD when searching for a familiar, up from +1. Incarceration Effect now applies to one target. Effect now lasts for one battle. New Enhancement: Perpetuate Cost: 3 Slots Cap: 1 Slot Effect: When played, doubles the length of damage over time effects (Bleed/Poison/Burn, etc.) on a single target. Effect lasts for one battle. Applicable to: Debuff Song Misperception Effect now applies to one target. Effect now lasts for one battle. Hypnosis Cap reduced to 2 slots, down from 3. Effect now lasts for one battle. Lullaby Cap reduced to 2 slots, down from 3. Effect now lasts for one battle. Mesmerism and Berceuse have been removed. [Alchemist] Damage No longer scales with Tier. Mitigation Reduced to (5 per slot * Tier), down from (9 per slot * Tier). HP Recovery Reduced to (20 per slot * Tier), down from (40 * Tier) per slot. Mass HP Recovery Reduced to (30 * Target's Tier), down from (45 * Tier). Over-Health Cost reduced to 1 slot, down from 3 slots. Cap increased to 3 slots, up from 1 slot. Reduced to (15 per slot * Tier), down from (50 * Tier). Antidote Effect now grants immunity to negative status effects (Paralyze, Bleed, etc.) for a number of turns equal to the slots used. For example, if a player uses an Uncommon Antidote (1 slot), and is then affected by Burn for 2 turns, they would negate the damage from the first turn, and then take the appropriate damage on the second turn, as their protection from Antidote has run out. Toxic Venom Adjusted to (8 * Tier) damage over 3 turns, from (6 * Tier) damage over 4 turns. [Cook] New enhancement: Evasion Cost: 1 Slot Cap: 2 Slots Effect: Reduces the die value by (1 per slot) on an enemy’s attack against you. Cannot be used to avoid a critical hit. Applicable to: Snacks, Desserts, Meals, Feasts Mitigation Reduced to (5 per slot * Tier), down from (9 per slot * Tier). Over-Health Cost reduced to 1 slot, down from 3 slots. Cap increased to 3 slots, up from 1 slot. Reduced to (15 per slot * Tier), down from (50 * Tier). Protein Cap reduced to 2, down from 3. Effect reduced to (1 per slot) base damage and -(5 per slot * Tier) mitigation, down from (1 * Tier) base damage per slot and -(9 per slot * Tier) mitigation. Item Changes: <<Banner of Command>>, <<Banner of Leadership>>, <<Banner of Inspiration>>, <<Banner of Support>>, and <<Banner of Greater Support>> no longer have the ability to be recharged. Any players that have one of these items may continue to use them until their current number of charges have been depleted, after which they become vanity items. <<Name Tags>> now can not only change the name of an item, but the description/appearance as well. This includes any Name Tags received in the Fireworks Festival Raffle. Quest Changes: Quest Revamp: <<Earning a Living>> Whether you are looking to start crafting for the first time, or wish to change your current profession, the <<Earning a Living>> quest has been reworked and flavored for each profession. Materials gathered and a single item crafted in this quest are yours to keep, along with the ability to open a shop for your desired profession and some bonus materials to get you started. <<Earning a Living: Blacksmith>> <<Earning a Living: Tailor>> <<Earning a Living: Artisan>> <<Earning a Living: Alchemist>> <<Earning a Living: Cook>> <<Earning a Living: Performer>> <<Earning a Living: Merchant>> Quest Revamp: <<Witch of the West>> Witch of the West is a quest specifically for players who have a profession that takes place on floor fifteen.  By defeating the monsters and the boss players can receive a +CD consumable for their profession specifically.  By taking the quest again, you do not have to fight the boss but still must face the mobs in order to obtain the item. Quest Revamp <<The Iron Guardian> Loot drop changed from the <<Banner of Support>> to the <<Crystal of Support>> a mass healing crystal. New Quest: <<Nature's Treasure>> On each tier's first floor, players are able to take the quest.  The quest itself is designed to make material grinding easier whether you are actively searching for materials, fishing for materials, or fighting mobs for materials. New Quest: <<Challenge Of Olympus>> After reaching Rank 2 in a profession, players are eligible for a quest on the seventeenth floor in which they have a chance to accept a challenge from one of the Greek Gods/Goddesses in order to prove their worth as a crafter. This is an RP-focused quest for players who enjoy crafting, which awards a permanent +CD item to be used in a shop. <<Challenge Of Olympus: Blacksmith>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Tailor>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Artisan>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Alchemist>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Cook>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Performer>> <<Challenge Of Olympus: Merchant>> New Quest: <<Trouble in The Mines>> Mining on Floor Twenty One has ceased to a halt with the appearance of Drakelings in the mines. The town has requested your help in clearing them out, so they can resume work. Of course, bringing back proof of your exploits will be rewarded handsomely.  New Quest: <<Betrayal of The King>> Rumors of an old king long forgotten have began to resurface, bringing about fear that he had been resurrected. It is up to the players to stop him, and return this dangerous King back to the land of the dead. Those who complete this task will be reward not only with Col and SP, but the chance to obtain T3 equipment.  New Quest: <<The Hidden Village>> Players have been tasked with finding out more about the town of Charko, which has remained shrouded in shadow. Though the trip through the tunnels does not prove to be simple, as powerful monsters stand in the way of the players' discovery. After bypassing these mobs through either combat or stealth, it will be up to them to determine whether Charko stays a secret, or is revealed.  New Quest: <<Burning Phoenix Feathers>> Rumors of a powerful item that can change the look or description of an item have surfaced, and that these Name Tags are dropped by a powerful phoenix.  New Quest: <<Bane of Blood>> Word has been received that upon the fifteenth floor, a new more vicious wolf alpha has been terrorizing travelers and merchants. Bulletins of the beast are posted on exits to the city. Many merchants are fearful to travel around, and the city is becoming more afraid of not being able to get the supplies they need. Towns have gathered col and a few other rewards for the person or party who hunts down these powerful beasts and returns for the reward alive.  New Quest: <<The Swashbuckling Buccaneer>> Players will find themselves fighting against a crew of cunning pirates in the hopes of being rewarded handsomely with Col and other treasure.  New Quest: <<Keep Calm and Ki'Raion>> Rumour spreads of an exceedingly powerful monster, hidden deep in the far Eastern reaches of the 19th floor. Those that hunt down this Field Boss will find that its patterns change depending on the time of day this boss is discovered. Players will be rewarded with Col, SP, and Equipment for the defeat of this boss.  New Quest: <<The King of Lakes>> At the bottom of the Lake of Reflections lurks a powerful aquatic monster that has evaded many fisherman's lines for months. However, one fisherman has revealed he may know the trick to fishing him up. He sends you out to retrieve the bait before giving you a shot at catching the powerful King of Lakes.  New Quest: <<What We Fight For>> Deep in the Forest of Memories lies a chamber that has been said to reveal to players what they miss most of their real world outside of SAO. Housing Changes: Guild Hall Costs have been reduced. Room upgrade cost lowered to 15,000 col. Players who have spent col to upgrade rooms since the initial housing update have been reimbursed. Living Room Effect changed to: “Increases HP regen by (5 * Tier HP) and decreases full energy regen to 2 Out of Combat Posts” Dining Room, Living Room, Master Bedroom, Master Bathroom, Extended Workshop, and Mega Slime Farm slot cost reduced to 1, down from 2. Dining Hall room slot cost reduced to 2, down from 4. Removed restriction for having both a Basic Kitchen and a Chef’s Kitchen. Basic Kitchen is now able to create Tier-specific food items. The material costs for using a Basic Kitchen has slightly increased. Limited the maximum number of items created per thread to 3. Dining Hall and Dining Room effects have been reworked. Basement buff increased to +2 from +1. Cooldown changed to once every 10 posts(total), from once per thread. Clarification added: Food items created with a Basic Kitchen may be traded to and used by other players, but still may not be used outside of the thread they are created. The ability to Upgrade/Downgrade Plots of Land has been added.

State of the Site Discussion

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Hey everyone! I'm here with a topic that's been discussed and debated here and there for quite some time now that we would like to sit down and fully address.

There are three major issues that we feel have really been hurting the site:

  • The level gap between veterans and new players
  • Overleveling past floor content
  • Slow progression

Lately, it feels as though veteran players are losing motivation to keep playing, and new players are scared off by the disparity between themselves and those veterans. There have been huge gaps in the time between floor boss raids, which seems to come from multiple sources (tedious floor searching process, boss monster imbalance, a lack of new players in the frontlines, etc). And in part to those large gaps, players have little else to do besides grind levels which pushes them above and beyond the standard floor content.

While there have been many, many proposals and angles brought up on all sides, here are the most popular that we've seen. Keep in mind that these are general concepts and any solution that is decided on would need to be further discussed and developed before implementing:

1. Level caps, leveling rates, and new player stats.
    This can come in so many shapes and forms, but the core idea remains the same. This kind of option generally involves setting a hard level cap, increasing the leveling rate of low-leveled players, increasing the starting level of new players, or any combination of the three. Since this has been the most well-received option thus far, I'll throw out some more detail on one potential solution in this realm:
        Pulling overleveled players back to a cap.
        In this scenario, we would establish a level cap relative to the current unlocked floor. Players above that level would be brought down to that number. However, with the current SP = Level system, this is hardly a viable option. Taking progress away from players who have put a lot of time into this site is not what we're out to do. But as some of you know, 3.0 is slated to use an EXP leveling system. Utilizing this, along with segregating EXP and SP gain, would allow the strongest players to remain the strongest while we can pull back stats to a manageable place. Ultimately, this will give us the ability to balance bosses and events around the level cap rather than the outliers.

2. Floor jump and/or timeskip
    This has been up for debate before, and the result was pretty split. Most likely in combination with some form of option 1 so that new and low-level players aren't left in the dust and we don't run into the same overleveling issues, this option would involve bumping up the current unlocked floor. The new 'current' floor would most likely be somewhere around or just below where a lot of the current frontliners are in level.

3. Reset
    The most controversial and the least popular option, I won't get much into this. Whether it's a setting change that preserves the story, or a complete wipe, this option generally results in everyone starting over. In order to prevent the same issues from resurfacing, we would likely tie in pieces from the first concept along with many system overhauls.

4. Do nothing
    If you're happy with how things are right now, let us know that's what you think. We want to hear your opinion, whether you want any of these kinds of huge changes or not.

We'd like to bring the conversation to you, the community, to hear your voices and see where you land on the matter. There are many different proposals that have been brought up, discussed, and debated in order to solve these issues, but in the end we can't use every option, and as much as I wish we could, we can't make everyone happy. We really care about the future of this site and keeping it fun and engaging for everyone to enjoy. Let us know what you think, and how we can make SAO-RPG a better place.

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In my opinion, a wipe with the release of a new, better system,  might be best. It fixes most problems with the site, mechanics and otherwise, although it's more than a bit unfair to all the people who invested so much time into building their characters. 

Edited by Pinball

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In my opinion, it'd be against the long-term interests of the site to roll out a hard reset. Since a hard reset has never been implemented in this community, it's a little ambiguous with exactly how things would play out, but we can draw from how the community tends react to the sort of things that we might expect from some sort of reset or wipe.

First of all, a hard reset is essentially a more extreme version of a time-skip, at least balance-wise. The last time the question of a time-skip was raised, the number one reason that some people were averse to it was that they felt it was messing too much with their control over their character's narrative and development. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that resetting everybody's characters outright might be upsetting to this group of people.

The other reason why I think a hard reset would hurt is that it reminds me a little too much of the trend of veteran players getting bored and killing off their characters for a fresh start, then regretting it after figuring out that they hadn't actually addressed the actual reasons for their boredom with either the site or their character. 

I have a strong feeling that a hard reset actually would boost activity for a while because of the novelty factor, but that activity would also start tapering off at some point after that. Just think of all the players who essentially reset their RP experiences by either dying or by re-birthing their characters. There's precedent for people being enthusiastic about fresh starts, but there's also precedent for the novelty of fresh characters wearing off at some point. The problem is that once it wears off, there's now less tying you to the site than there was before, because you've already thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Edited by Azide

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Let's summarize a bit:

1.) Leveling Abuse - Some people are too powerful for the floors that we are on.  Either we boost the newer players, or f*ck over the older ones.
(Let it be known, that most of the older players that are at this point are either gone now, or busy with life.)

2.) Plot Skip? - Autopilot, like that one Adam Saddler move, into the future by a few floors.  Did we gain levels?  Hell, if I know...
(Some people dislike this option because it is a cop out of a good story.  To be fair, yes it is.  However, we're all roleplayers, so we can make up a good story to have happened in the mean time.)

3.) Total Recall - Heathcliff reveals himself to be not Kayaba, but it is instead Calrex and we f*ck up the timeline to the point where we have to go back, back to the past, Samurai Bal~...
(From the previous opinions, this is looking like the favorite option.  Not gonna lie, I don't like it at all.  It is much worse than the cop out time skip.  We're losing a lot of things that make up our characters stories.  We're looking at the disaster that was the Pvp incidents, but on a site wide level.  Everyone will lose their progress for a "fresh start".  We haven't even seen the full extent of 3.0, and that's what you'll bank on.  A chance at something a little better.  I'm not buying it.)

4.) Nothing - We keep everything the way it is...
(Honestly, I will say that this isn't the best option either.  With how most of the progression has been through the current front lines, I've noticed that most of us are usually not available to do anything.  Not as much as we did a few months ago.  Maybe even one year ago.  I can say myself that I can barely make a post a week, if anything.  Now, I'm not going to let myself die out, or leave the site for that reason.  I'm still here to help us get a better experience.)

Personally, I prefer the second option, over everything else.  It's bad, but not as bad as resetting everything.

This has been your friendly neighborhood hunter,



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As a veteran player, ex-GM, abuser of loophole builds, teller of stories, and slayer of Zelrius, I offer my take on this subject. (Pfft, that title was unnecessarily long but for the newer folk reading, hopefully it shows I'm not just talking out of my back side)

Like Hirru and Azide mentioned, a hard reset is just not good for business. Despite the resounding yes the newer players echo, they truly fail to realize that some of us have dedicated the better half of 3 years into this site and just wiping all that away would not only kill off what remains of most of the veterans, but also shorten the writer-base as a whole; at least in my opinion.

That being said, I feel that a more reasonable response would be a culmination of Option 1 and Option 2. While a time-skip can be seen as a "cop-out" think about how many threads are actually being written to drive a story and not to drive numbers and stats. If we were a more story based forum with less focus on the numbers, we wouldn't be where we are now. (I'm partially to blame for this.) Some of you reading/responding may not know but there was a time where sword arts weren't a thing and numbers were simple. There wasn't an energy system and narrative encounters were abundant between the community whether it was guilds beefing with one another, romantic involvements, or side stories intertwining with multiple people across all levels and skill, the site used to be so much more; until we added more and reduced the site to its current state.

Winded version aside, the point I'm trying to make is that, the site could do with a wipe, but not in terms of progress, but rather mechanics and direction.

So I offer this:

Timeskip- Yes: Timeskip up x floors and scale players accordingly. Example, jump to floor 50, all players auto scale to level 60. Players above level 60 retain their gap, but this catches new players up, and closes the major gap between the current players and veteran players seeing as how I believe Calrex is the only player above 70. But something along these lines.

Level Cap- Yes: Now once you figured out your time skip and new base level, cap levels by floor tiers. Every 10th floor unlocks the next tier of levels and once you hit max level in that tier, you cease leveling, or an option would be they gain exp/sp at a reduced rate and when the next tier unlocks they are awarded the accumulated exp/sp. (Sorry Cal you are too strong)

New Player Stats- Yes. Correlates with the mention in time skip. Scale up according to level what ever those stats maybe.

As far as mechanics, like i said, i'd like to see the site return to its more primitive form with so much less DnD elements and more of a story driven atmosphere. Last year, proved to me as a player and staff member that once we emphasized the importance of numbers over narratives, the site not only divided in terms of storytellers vs number-getters, but threads became less engrossing and more grinding. I dont know about you all here, but i came here to write a story, not play a crudely calculated text-based DnD game based on the setting of SAO.

P.s. I'm not saying to hell with numbers, but their impact is far stronger than it should be for a text based roleplay.

Edited by Oikawa

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Figured I'd add in as well, since apparently my name has been tossed around a couple of times :P

It is true that I am currently the highest player in the game at the moment, and leading this is just a personal feeling on m part in terms of should a hard reset happen. If that were to be the base, I honestly don't think I would have the drive to actually try and start from scratch on this character, which would essentially result in me retiring from SAO-RPG in general. 2.5-3 years have been invested in Calrex already, and a lot of that was in the first year, when I actually had a lot of time to do so. With my current situation, I doubt I would be able to reach even a quarter of that posting frequency. I didn't reach level 82 to try and be relevant, all of the topics I've made and posted in I aimed to RP to the best of my ability at the time, and never simply to just try and reach a level of SP number (even though I do joke about that in Discord). Players around me that provided quality RP content that ot my own creative mind going was what propelled me forward, not numbers.

I do have to agree that a hard reset on the current situation is a very bad idea in my opinion, as many of the others that have made lengthy replies have already said. While it may be something to help solve the current issue, it doesn't actually solve anything in the long run. Yes there would no longer be a level disparity now, but that would also be making the assumption that no new players will be entering in the future. If that does happen, we can't keep on resetting the level every time there's a large enough new player base, because it would essentially kill the point of doing anything because a lot of people will potentially just wait for the free reset/ride when enough new people come (also I do apologize if I sound a bit cynical in saying this). A new server is a viable option, but personally I would want to avoid splitting up the community base, with the veterans set on playing in the old board and the new players in the new one.

So far the other options I have no real opinions on, as they are all sound attempts. I would like to put up one that has had some back and forth made about it, and see what you all think about it as well. @Teion and I have discussed this a bit, and hopefully it is sound.

The idea I propose (I do credit Azide with it as well for initially conceiving it), is that we make a split system in terms of experience, detaching skills from level:



- A hard cap would be set on level by making experience to level up only obtainable by completing quests, with only the first time being when you can get experience. Repeat topics will only yield quest item rewards. This way the maximum level you can gain is set by the floor in relation to how many quests are available.

In terms of math, the maximum level one could potentially gain would be Floor+20, so in relation to now that would mean the maximum would be 44. Anything over that for existing players over the cap would be reduced to that cap.

- A soft cap would be applied to Skill Points, with any points past the cap being banked until the cap is increased, at which point it will be immediately available. For currently over leveled players, this would mean that the SP they currently have over the soft cap would be banked until the cap is raised.


This potential solution would be so that skills would be more of a marker of hard work then your level, as what comes with higher levels is HP, Energy, and Tier availability. These three factors drive A LOT of the survivability for higher levels, or at least from what I know. It allows lower level players the ability to catch up in the more important factor to their survivability, while at the same time allowing people that have investing a lot of time into their characters to have some way of showing that rather than just big numbers.

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Honestly that was the reason my group and I stopped playing after only a couple posts... We saw how long it took all the veterans to reach their current levels... and we realized that even if we grind our asses off and managed to make it to that level in said time, the veterans will still be leagues ahead of us... 

Though we really don't have much experience on this site, we all agree that things are unbalanced.

All of us agree that Calrex's idea is a pretty neat one. It gives us new players a chance to catch up to the veterans and feel more like equals.

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I don't have time (exams gdi) to write a full post, maybe later, but not right now.
This discussion had been in the Doner's section, so I'll insert some snippets of my opinion on the matter.


So from what I can see from this, the thing that would make most sense for me is Level-cap and Time Skip.

I can see how appealing a hard reset would be for newer players, but for someone who dedicated 3, nearly 4 years, I will not be able to rest easy and just go with the flow, I'm pretty sure my muse for the site would be eradicated for eternity, like many other Veteran players have come to. I can see how it will be able to fix a lot of the problems, but it would just create a new problem for those who have dedicated a lot of time an effort, I just don't think it's fair.

The level-cap and time skip ideas are what sounds more reasonable, because for right now, the activity on the frontlines is somewhat stagnant. While it's stagnant, what the users (who post order isn't there or isn't supposed to post anyways) do is just do some other threads to make the time they have worth something while waiting. What happens here is as described, overleveling, this is qutie often what happens and that throw the players up through the roof level wise.

Now, just putting up a level cap ain't gonna fix anything, the progress of the floor clearing isn't gonna go faster than this. Atm. I think the way you find the boss dungeon and stuff is pretty good, it's better than the old Roll after 20 posts to find it, albeit slower, it feels more immersive.

Now, do we need a Level cap even if we do a Time Skip? Probably, yes. It relaly depends on how far we skip on forward. If we push it to floor 90 or something, I don't think a level cap is needed, but if we only bump it up to floor .. 50-60? The level cap might be needed.

I could agree to the newer players to be bumped up in levels, something like the lowest level for the current tier.

My 0.02 dollars

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A lot of stuff to unpack here. Okay.

First off, I'm with most of the veterans. I've had to grind my ass off to get where I am, and although there would be advantages to a level wipe, I would be pretty much done motivation-wise. To newer players, it actually is possible to catch up to the vets, and even if it wasn't, you don't need to be level 50+ to be relevant. There are going to be some occasional boss fights that you should avoid until you're there, but the community is pretty open to new players and carrying people to bump up their level. I mean, I got a carry through a quest+dungeon and skipped straight to level like... 7.

I think the options here don't address the real issue of the site, which is that we're in the middle of a lot of transitions, none of which are done. I think a few quick fixes would be great, but those solutions need to be simple and quick to implement so the staff can get 3.0 out quicker. It's been the better part of a year since I joined, and they were saying it would be out in a month then. I know we've had a lot of staff retire and it's basically Teion's project now, but it's one that needs to be implemented so we don't have the piecemeal system we have right now.

My quick fix solution would be what some of the others have suggested:  Basically, whatever the highest tier is, no player is more than 1 tier below that. That means new players coming in get boosted to level 25 out of the gate. It gets people onto the front lines faster, and it makes new players feel more relevant.

To the older players who might feel this is unfair:

Sorry. Doesn't matter whether it's fair or not. The site is dying, and none of us want that. We need to keep new players engaged or we're going to be stuck with too few people to make things work. Also, keep in mind the unfair advantages you're playing with. Most of you came from an era where the system was very exploitable and have some experience or some items that would have never happened in the current state of things. You also have to keep in mind that in reality, everyone is on the same time-line, and constantly having players pop into the game who are level 1 makes 0 sense. They may not have been front liners since the beginning, but we've all been here since day 1. We need a system that reflects that.

Edited by Shield

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I have been reading the posts on this thread, and I have some things that I agree upon/feel the need to share. While new players indeed feel like a hard reset is a good Idea, there's nothing good about it. Heck, I grinded just to get to level 10. I couldn't possibly imagine what the veterans would think of this. After all, it would just be all that posting for naught, should that have been the case. Bringing players closer to the veterans sounds good in the sense that the newer players won't get scared off by level difference, and honestly, I have actually had a few problems with that situation... To be on par with the veterans, rather than pushing everyone back, is the solution I'm leaning towards. I'm with the current popular thought.

That's my opinion in this matter.

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Zelrius here on another account. (Zelrius account is banned, am allowed to use others)

As a player who is bordering 4 years on the site, I've seen it grow and die, much like a wildfire. To touch on what @Oikawa has said here before; The switch to numbers is, in my opinion, what did it in for most. Myself included. Near the end of my character's life, My activity cut down significantly; It was no longer about role playing the implications of my character and his situation, Instead, @Vale and I would spend hours pouring over numbers and stats, trying to exploit and gain even more of an edge than we had. That became boring to me very quickly, and while a good number of the exploits have been cleared up, As @Shield has just mentioned here, those who used such exploits (Intentionally or not so) are now leagues ahead, making the new comers feel the ever increasing pressure to disregard Character and Story, and focus on Gear, Stats and SP in order to remain completely relevant. This, like Oikawa, in my opinion, is what is draining the site of its activity.

In solution, I have a few ideas. One of my top arguments, especially during the Tristan and Zero era, was this; Stop scaling Bosses to be a challenge to the players just because. Let the stronger players clear up to their level, they will hit a wall one way or another. To better word it; Of course our Level 60s are going to shitstomp Floor 20 bosses, or atleast they should be. I can see how that can be completely unappealing to staff, which leads to my next proposal; The Timeskip. I am personally not of the school that it is a Cop out. This idea can go great with the minimum level cap that Shield had mentioned above. Give newer players a Kick to a Higher level when they start, Change nothing about current higher levelled players, since they already have the inheirt advantage, and it allows staff to make actually decently strong bosses without extremely slowing down progress. I say, Timeskip with the Low-Level Advantage, Along with instituting a plethora of overhauled systems and Level caps. That combination, atleast way I see it, will boost New-Comer activity, taking pressure off their need to feel relevant and focusing on their character development, Solve the age-old Roleplay problem that new comers have where they basically have to say they've sat around on the first floor for 4 years, and will give the Veterans something to do, while the level cap makes it so that the new comers have a chance to catch up.

To finalize, I am in agreeance with Shield on the matters presented above. Boost lower levels, Change nothing for higher levels, Add in Level Caps and Overhaul some systems, such as; Scouting of Bosses, Boss fights themselves, Adding more quests and doing more events. On that last note, I think having more events that allow for any and every player to go at their own pace and still get high-end rewards is an extremely good idea for boosting activity. So; focus on lower levels, and keep higher levels occupied while limiting their progress to allow others to play catch-up and focus on more story-based RP.

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I am more along the lines of the soft cap Calrex has described. With absolutely zero clue on how the experience system will work, I'm just going to make some small assumptions. Let's assume the experience system will be based off of threads (if this totally excluded non-combative threads, character development and actual role-play may be more sparse) with quests being more rewarded. This means that people with tons of threads will still have a massive amount of experience as compared to the rest, obviously. Thus, we'd still need a soft cap that Calrex described, even for experience.

The soft cap for both experience and SP may be necessary. It means that people MAY be motivated to help clear floors to pass their current plateau, albeit also coming with the possibility of decreasing player activity because of having to wait for players to gain their levels effectively serving as a possible double-edged sword.

I have been looking at some posts and I'm also wondering if Shield's advice will be helpful. It makes sense, ultimately, to give new players a starting jump but it'd still need to be paired with the soft cap (else they're still be a gap). However, and this may not be a bad thing, it may just make people purposely join in or make "alternates" once the new tier is unlocked for a sudden jump in power. So it may be required to make there to be a hard "minimum" but that makes it so someone just waits for a floor to be cleared, resulting in a lack of activity. So... Everything is complicated. 

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The idea of the minimum would be for it to be a universal minimum. Everyone's minimum gets bumped up at a new tier, not just the newbies.

I really want to stress the importance of keeping whatever we do simple. The more things we mess with on the front end, the more strain it puts on an already under-manned staff and the more balancing it will require in the long haul.

I also feel like having a level cap is unnecessary in the short-term since we already have tier capping. You can continue to gain levels and skill points, but the benefits of those after a while are minimal. The REAL advantage is to up your tier, since many of your primary stats and the effects of your gear are a factor of your tier. I can go into that more if necessary.

Keep it simple. A level cap is going to be messy to balance, and the payout would be long-term when what we need is a short-term workaround until the full update is implemented. There will also be a period of reworking after 3.0 is released, so there will be plenty of time to tinker then. Just know that equipment is the biggest part of balance (or lack there of), and the equipment system is being completely gutted and reworked for 3.0, so the sooner we get that out, the sooner we can have figure this out.

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Hey everyone, Endilix here for my regular, I don't post anymore but really wish I had the time/motivation nostalgia trip. So, it looks like I'm going to be the first, and maybe only veteran to go on record as saying that I think a hard reset is a good idea. But let me explain why.

I've made it no secret that despite the numbers game, my motivation is always the story. But from all my experience playing MMOs and actual video games, which SAO aims to emulate, and SAO-RPG further emulates, there is one key element missing for any and all new players. And I say this as someone who missed it myself. It's the chance to experience the story fresh.

Think about it. For you gamers out there who enjoy a good story, you boot up a game and you have this fresh, wide eyed wonder as you experience a world, fight all the bosses, and blaze your own trail. To bring people together, they have multiplayer, both co-op and competitive. If you beat the game but loved it, you can play it again. If you're playing an MMO, you get on the treadmill and keep running content for gear or stats, even if it's only once a week.

in short, your game is repeatable. And you can find new and creative ways to keep that childlike wonder in your heart because things aren't locked away behind the nostalgia of veterans saying, "Oh we did that."

I want to know what it's like to fight the first boss on floor one, when our characters had no clue what it was like. I want to feel like a veteran by floor 10, taking on the next level of harder bosses. I want the possibility of dying at any turn to feel real, and not something I can just avoid by not being in actual danger.

But I can hear you saying, "Well what if we do a hard reset and then you miss it again?" To which I say, get out of my head. But also, you're right, that is a real possibility. There's a few ways to fix that one. They're something that would take a bit of work either way, but seem better than allowing it to fester into nonsense again.

Option 1: Make a new "server" for the reset. Let everyone keep the ability to play their 2.X characters and ignore the new 3.0 server, separate of 3.0, allowing for the choice of a clean slate or veteran status with the old system. Realistically, I think 3.0 should be all new, regardless of it leading us to the promised lands, simply because staff needs a clear and defined way to know 100% that nothing exploited or broken is in the game.

Option 2: Make bosses and other "one time only" content fully repeatable. I already know your outcry on this one: "They didn't do that in the anime/manga, that's wrong!" And my main point is, let's be real here. The rules have already had to be pretty flexible and loose in order to get it working as a pen and paper type RPG, so what makes it impossible here? All of the end game content in MMOs is dungeons and raids. So let us do them again, and maybe the newbies will be more interested. I know I'd love that. Let me find a group to take down boss 1 and I'm a happy camper. It feels more real for people who want to be frontliners. Let's them build that story on the "front lines" without having to make up stuff.

Anyway, this is getting rambly and I'm sleepy. I hope I've gotten the gears turning at least. I think with a little more grease, a hard reset or fully repeatable content makes things easier on is a players. Now I won't lie and say it makes it easy on staff, but that's why we love you guys. See you on my next nostalgia trip everyone.

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