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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.
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      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 Zandra Alice Arc Atzo Baldur Claim Corvo Dominion Genji Ignavus_veneficus Jomei Kaya 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 * - 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

      [Live] 2.5.0 Patch Notes   10/02/2017

      <<2.5.0 Patch Notes>> Main Guide: The main rules/tutorial section has been rewritten. Resources: A Resources section has been added. This contains reference material such as the SP/Level chart, Skills list, Enhancement list, individual profession stats, and a new FAQ. General Rule Changes: Word count requirement in Merchants & Shops section has been reduced to 100 from 150. Col logs are no longer required to include in journals. The Banker system will be used to track currency/materials going forward. New characters and Rebirth characters may choose a Starter Package containing a variety of basic equipment, col, materials, and/or potions. NK/KE tags have been removed. The table for SP gain based on the number of players in a thread has been removed. SP gain is now issued at 1 SP per 3 posts, up to the number of completed pages. (e.g. 3 SP for three pages, requires at least 9 posts) A Skill Refunding System has been added. Players may now pay a col cost to remove known skills and receive a refund of the invested SP. Rules on vanity items have been clarified. Health regeneration outside of combat has been adjusted to (10 * Tier) per post. Stealth and Stealth Detection no longer have a base rating for players. Both now use a LD roll plus a Stealth Rating/Stealth Detection modifier. NPCs and monsters still utilize a base rating (10 as a baseline for player-created mobs). 'Using cover' no longer adds to Stealth Rating. Low light or darkness conditions grant a +1 to Stealth Rating, down from +2. Switch has been added as a game mechanic (no longer a skill). Players may call for a Switch when landing a successful attack. If the Switching player also lands an attack, a Switch is performed and the two players may immediately swap hate values. Players are required to post their level, stats, equipment, skills, etc., in their first post in a thread. This should be a snapshot of your character and should not be changed after the initial post. Players are still allowed to declare their characters at a lower level or with fewer items than what they currently have, but may not claim items that have not been approved or were obtained in an unlocked thread. Turn order rules have been modified slightly to reflect the leniency of Boss Raid combat. Players may post in any order so long as each player and the enemy has gotten one action in a single round. Outside of Boss Raids, parties may have a maximum of 4 players. Combat with more than 4 players should follow a Group order similar to boss raids. When fighting multiple enemies, players must now make individual rolls for each mob. This applies to both making attacks against multiple enemies and multiple enemies making attacks. One roll no longer applies to/for all targets. The Running Away mechanic has been updated. Running away from combat now uses a LD roll with a set of situational modifiers. The col/material values and frequency in the loot table have been adjusted. Labyrinth searching rules have been adjusted. The map fragment system has been removed. Bonus rewards for scouting and defeating the field boss have been adjusted. Housing and Guild Halls have been completely revamped. PvP rules have been adjusted. Players must make an initiative roll when engaging in combat with other players. The extended Player Killing rules/restrictions have been removed. Rules on player cursor colors have been expanded. There is now a strike system for criminal infractions that would cause a player's cursor to turn orange. Killing a green player outside of a duel now results in a permanent orange cursor. An NPC Guard mechanic has been added. Orange players may now enter safe zones, but must stealth/run from guards in certain safe zones. NPC guards have a Stealth Detection rating equal to (Floor / 3), rounded down. Added more detail to character death rules. The RGQ system has been removed. Crafting Changes: Fishing as a profession has been removed. It is now a skill. The CD result chart has been adjusted across all professions (except Merchant). Good and Bad quality items have been removed from the CD result chart. Salvage chances have been adjusted. Alchemists now have a chance to salvage one or both materials when attempting to craft crystals. Crafting Die tools no longer have an effect. Consumables, familiars, housing, and some items still provide EXP and Crafting Attempt bonuses. The process of crafting Feasts has changed slightly. Cooks may now take 3 identical food items and spend two materials to combine them into a Feast. A Feast can be used in a thread to provide that enhancement to up to six players. Artisan craftable item types have been modified (Trinkets, Jewelry, Sculptures). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Alchemist craftable item types have been modified (Salves, Potions, Crystals). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Skill Changes: Extended Weight Limit Removed Ranks - 15 SP cost Now adds +3 Battle Ready Inventory slots Adjusted Mod: Large Pockets Now has 3 Ranks Cost set to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3) Now increases single Battle Ready Inventory slots to 7/10/15 Removed 'Larger Pockets' and 'Largest Pockets' mods New Skill: Fishing Cost: 10 SP Effect: Use a dice roll to fish something up based on a natural CD result: Gatherer Now has a chance to yield 1-3 bonus materials based on a natural CD result Sneak & Hide Renamed to 'Hiding' Now grants +1 Stealth Rating per rank New Rank 3 Mod: Untraceable Cost: 9 SP Effect: Negates the effect of the Tracking skill against the user. New Rank 3 Mod: Blindside Cost: 9 SP Effect: Gain +2 Stealth Rating. Natural BD rolls of 9-10 reduce the target's accuracy by 1 for one turn when attacking from stealth. New Rank 5 Mod: Vanish Cost: 12 SP Cooldown: 5 Turns Effect: Allows the use of a post action to re-enter stealth while in combat. Getting a killing blow on an enemy allows Vanish to activate without using a post action. Search & Detect Renamed to 'Searching' Now also grants +1 Stealth Detection per rank Mod: Night Vision Now requires Rank 1, down from Rank 3 Cost reduced to 5 SP, from 9 Mod: Reveal Now also grants +2 LD when searching for Labyrinths and allows Labyrinth searches at 15 posts. Mod: Tracking Now requires Rank 3, down from Rank 5 Cost reduced to 12 SP, from 15 Tracking requirements for monsters, players, and NPCs have been clarified. Mod: Detect Cost reduced to 9 SP, from 15 No longer uses or affects Tracking. Now Grants +2 Stealth Detection. Grants +1 LD when searching for sub-dungeons and labyrinths Battle Healing Now recovers 1% of max HP per rank, instead of (Rank * 5 * Tier) Mod: Emergency Recovery Cost reduced to 10 SP, from 15 Now recovers 10% of max HP, down from 25% Block MIT gained is now set per rank: 5/8/12/18/25, down from 1 MIT per SP invested. New Rank 3 Mod: Shield Bash Cost: 10 SP Cooldown: 2 Turns Energy Cost: 10 Energy Effect: Make an attack with an equipped shield. On a hit, deals (Base * 10) damage, stuns the enemy for one turn, and applies paralyze/thorns/flame thorns enhancements present on the shield. Note: When calculating Base Damage for Shield Bash, Weapon Skills do not apply. Mod: Safe Guard Reworked into 'Rampart' Added a 5 turn cooldown Added energy cost of 8 Now uses a post action to reduce final damage that would be dealt to you by 25% (rounded down). Effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. Energist Removed Ranks - 12 SP cost Now adds (5 * Tier) to total energy, instead of (Rank * 2) Howl Added energy cost of 10 Mod: Focused Howl Added energy cost of 8 Parry Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 1 turn cooldown Energy cost has been fixed at 5, instead of (2 * enemies parried) 50% damage reduction has been specified to apply to the final damage (after mitigation). Effect applies to the next attack against the user, and cannot reduce damage from multiple enemies at once. Mod: Vengeful Riposte Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 3 turn cooldown Damage reflected is now 50% of raw damage, up from 25% of damage taken. This damage can still be mitigated. Switch Skill has been removed. Two-Handed Weapons The +2 DMG bonus for 2H weapons has been clarified in the first rank of 2H weapon skills. All Weapons The Ferocity and Finesse mods have been condensed into a single description. You must still specify the weapon type when acquiring the mod(s). Mod: Ferocity Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now increases base damage of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by 1. Mod: Finesse Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now has 3 Ranks Cost adjusted to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3), down from 15 at Rank 5 Now reduces energy cost of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by an amount equal to its rank. Mod: Quick Change Cooldown reduced to 3 turns, down from 5 Now allows the user to swap, equip, or unequip a weapon in their Battle Ready Inventory. Mod: Stamina Now reduces the energy cost of all attacks by 1. Heavy Armor Increased the amount of MIT gained to 8>12>18>25>35, up from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health increased to (15 * Tier), up from 15 Mod: Stonewall Bonus health has been adjusted to (15 * Tier), instead of equal to mitigation from other skills. Now also grants 10 MIT when wearing heavy armor Now also reduces damage taken from damage over time effects by 25% (rounded down) when wearing heavy armor. Light Armor Adjusted the amount of MIT gained to 5>8>12>18>25, down from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health adjusted to (10 * Tier), from 15 Familiar Mastery 'Accurate' now has 3 ranks. 'Assistant' now provides bonus EXP (crafting attempts at max profession rank) instead of CD. Meditation Removed Ranks - 8 SP cost Added a 5 turn cooldown Now recovers (3 * Tier) energy. Getting hit by an attack before the beginning of your next turn reduces the energy recovered to (2 * Tier). Survival Added 3 SP cost Increases out of combat health regeneration to (15 * Tier), instead of 20. Enhancement Changes: Life Steal has been renamed to Vampiric. The Crafting Die enhancement has been removed. Alchemist and Artisan item types for enhancements have been modified. Sword Art Changes: Multipliers have been simplified to a single number (x6) from the two-part formula (2x3). Several descriptions have been updated. Quest Changes: The 'Redemption' quest has been revamped. The level and repeatable restrictions have been adjusted to affect only the bonus SP rewards: The First Few Lessons Are Free The Second Lesson is Also Free The Third Lesson is Just As Free The Fourth Lesson is Actually Free The Venemous Warg Repeating the 'Earning a Living' quest now allows a player to change their profession. Changing professions will reset experience to 0. Repeat completions of the Earning a Living quest will only award bonus materials if the quest-taker is changing their profession. The following quests have been removed: «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.M.H & S.B.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.L.C.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures «The Falling of Tagas» Housing Changes: The cost and size of Player Housing is now determined by a 'plot size'. The plot size dictates how many room slots, yard slots, and stories a house can have as well as the initial cost when purchasing. Purchasing a PK-accessible home (outside of a safe zone) has an additional cost. Buffs from Guild Halls/Player Housing now comes from the type of room, rather than furniture. Certain rooms for Player Housing have upgrades. Player Housing buffs must be assigned to a player. Home owners may use the Housing Evaluation topic to re-assign a room's player(s) once every 30 days. New/Rebirth Character Changes: Players who have submitted a new or rebirth character journal for approval in the past 30 days are eligible to add one of the starting bundles. <<2.5 Update Survival Guide>> Skills: If you spent more than 15 SP on the Extended Weight Limit skill, refund any SP over 15. If you have spent less than 15 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 12 SP on the Energist skill, refund any SP over 12. If you have spent less than 12 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. If you spent more than 8 SP on the Meditation skill, refund any SP over 8. If you have spent less than 8 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 8 is invested. If you have the Parry skill, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you have the Survival skill, you must spend 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 3 is invested. If you had the Switch skill, remove it and refund 10 SP. Mods: If you have the Detect mod, keep it and refund 6 SP. If you have the Tracking mod, keep it and refund 3 SP. If you have the Emergency Recovery mod, keep it and refund 5 SP. If you had Rank 1 or 2 of the Ferocity mod, lose it and receive a refund of the SP spent. If you had Rank 3 or 4 of the Ferocity mod, you must spend 6 or 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 10 SP on the Finesse mod, refund any SP over 10. If you have the Large Pockets mod, you must spend 1 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 10 is invested. If you had the Larger Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 2 SP. If you had the Largest Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 5 SP. If you have the Night Vision mod, keep it and refund 4 SP. If you have the Vengeful Riposte mod, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. Professions: If you had the Fishing profession, all EXP may be transferred to any other profession. If you had a Tool with the 'Crafting Die' enhancement, you may post it for re-evaluation with the Ambition or Crafting Attempt enhancement (item name/description may not change). If you retake the Earning a Living quest in order to change professions, your EXP resets to 0 for the new profession. Edit your existing shop thread with your new profession information. Housing: Existing Guild Halls and Player Housing have been removed. They may be repurchased through the Housing Evaluation template. Players who previously bought a home or hall have been reimbursed for the total col cost in their original housing application. If a guild had shared col lost due to the removal of a guild hall, PM the details to @Teion for review/reimbursement.
    • Teion

      State of the Site Discussion   10/03/2017

      Please provide your thoughts and opinions! This discussion will affect the future of the site, so it's important that we get as much feedback as possible.
    • Aereth

      2.5 PK Rules / Thread Tags Discussion   10/16/2017

      Hello Players,
      Once again your feedback is needed, so head over to the thread and tell us what you think. LINK
Teion

State of the Site Discussion

Recommended Posts

@Genji There are already players that do that here. Having stats doesn't exclude you from focusing on RP. The issue is, for those who do things that require stats, like boss battles and crafting, how do we balance it in a way that's not discouraging to new players. There's nothing saying you can't have a low level player that goes around and has lots of adventures. You're just limited on things like... actual combat. I don't think there's anything stopping you from RPing story-based mob combat with just text and no numbers or stats. You just can't get rewards from it other than basic col and SP from just completing a thread.

I feel like my character is just fine. He's got plenty of meat on his bones, and he's had a lot of great RP-focused threads along the way. And this is coming from someone who raced through about 90% of the available quests in time to hit tier 3 as soon as it became available. You can do both. Or just one. It's up to the player. But if we want official levels, it has to be based on something, and there's a pretty decent system behind it. It just needs tweaking.

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@Shield

For the record, I don't think anyone is claiming that there are no players with rich histories. But there are players who are asking for more, as I'm sure you can see in this discussion, and on Discord. I could write a dozen solos and have an awesome story. But how does that tie me to the community? How does that build overarching themes that everyone can benefit from? I'd like to see us open the world to everyone by creating events and stories that can't be wrapped up with a bow in 21 posts.

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More to the point, if we sell a product with a singular merit, we're not selling for retention. It's well and good we have a dynamic system that involves grinding, quests, and boss battles, but this is a roleplaying site. 

What sort of events and things do we have that set us apart from other sites of the same genre? Realistically, we're trying to compete on the merit of having an ingenious combat system and not much else. This is in no way an attack on that system, nor is it an attempt to do away with it

What I want is more, real, impactful story that fosters character growth in more than just levels and gear.

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On 10/3/2017 at 4:39 PM, Vale said:

@Lessa

If there was a site revival of characters. I'd be all for that, but there could be some specific characters that the Staff doesn't want to see revived. Namely Dom and Zel, and I will have to say for good reason too. This is purely an opinion before anyone gets mad. But some limitations should be placed on players that do revive that way, and a way to fairly figure out where the gray ends to become Black and White.

But let me deffo say, I'd be all for a revival of dead characters. I was lowkey having that thought a few days ago but didn't pitch it because I didn't know how well it would be taken to if I said it. xD

I had left the site altogether due to inactivity on my own personal problems IRL. Life got stressed hardcore for me and I just couldnt handle 'the grind' while maintaining a high level character while making things fun for myself. At the time, I thought my Opal had a good run with her story and I tried to kill her off as a means of moving on from her story. But with that came much regret, not that I have enjoyed my time with the alts I created in the meantime. However, nothing has been able to fill that void so to speak. I have been gone roughly 3 months, it hasnt actually been that long I think. I just recently came back to the discord to chat with some people, but I still feel weighed down by life in general to make a come-back of even if that is a chance to do so with my current schedule. I do plan on clearing this up by the end of the year and...I will be honest here. Having a chance to RP as Opal again would certainly feel like a nudge to get back into it things here. But I wouldn't say it's a 100% sold on the idea. From what I have read, it looks like the staff are really working hard on making this site active again. 

I figured I would say a few words on the subject since I found myself here. I'll keep an eye out on the developments and of course anyone is more than welcome to hit me up on Discord if you see me online. 

 

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I'm going to add a preface to preface my preface here in post, my past self didn't realize quite how much opinion he had floating around in his mind. This post is probably way longer than it should be, so I should warn any prospective readers that you're in for quite the ride. Incidentally, I'm going to go in and tag where I mention specific names. It's not so much to address people directly. I'm more so trying to bring attention to this thing that probably took me two hours to write, as I've a vague suspicion that this thread died eight days ago. We'll see how that goes. In all honesty I feel quite awkward tagging people who don't know me like this. I suppose this as good an introductory post as any though, putting up this wall of text to offer up my opinion.

 

As a preface, I've had literally no interactions with this site prior to this post (unfortunately). I have however been lurking around for quite some time, at least a year and a half by this point. That probably makes me completely unqualified to make statements on a thread like this, but since I've once again started considering actually rp-ing here I figured I might as well voice my opinion. I also noticed that most (with a few exceptions) of the people here are long time veterans of the site with a top-down view of what's going on. As someone who's quite literally at the bottom in terms of both numbers and roleplaying experience within SAO, I might be able to offer a different perspective. (More likely though I'll just reiterate points that have already been said through a different lens, and maybe try to argue something. I'm not sure yet at the time of writing this sentence. I've mostly just got opinions in my head without a structure as to how I'll present them.)

Firstly I'd like to say that I think a hard reset would be an absolutely terrible idea. I saw it tossed around a lot that such a change would benefit newer players, and that's probably true from a numbers perspective. It might even provide that novelty feeling of terror and wonder to the writing as everything is reset to floor one. However I think that would take away from the experience of joining a site and story that's been going on for... I think someone said it was four years now? As much as I hate the thought of having to grind to catch up with the frontliners (more on that in a bit) I actually thought it was kind of cool that there were already these legendary characters who'd molded the setting before the arrival of whatever character I intended on writing. They were figures to look up to, maybe even figures to envy. Perhaps if your character wasn't really motivated to be a frontliner they might instead view those figures as heroes, or perhaps just as fools lacking a self-preservation instinct. That's probably just my own weird perception of it though. I suppose the more solid argument (one of those things I'm just reiterating) is that the people behind those legendary frontliners would lose all the work and storytelling that got those characters there. I'd feel a little off joining a level playing field, knowing what was lost in the process.

I should point out though that I'm a little biased on that particular opinion. I may not have been roleplaying here over that year and a half, but I have been occasionally popping in to read some of the threads. It was kinda fun honestly. Popping in every few months to see what was new, check out the latest boss raid, maybe catch a particularly controversial thread. (Not pointing fingers at Dom or anything.) Since most of my reading focused on the frontliners, I personally find myself not wanting them to be erased in a reset, even if it would make things easier on me as a new player. It also may be worth noting that I'm listening to songs from the SAO soundtrack as I write this. It doesn't help at all with keeping sentimentality out of my writing...

I said that I'd return to the subject of grinding to catch up with Calrex the frontliners, so here I am. To be perfectly honest, this is one of two reasons why you aren't already familiar with a character of my design. The first (somewhat embarrassing one) is that I could never for the life of me figure out what I was going to write in his journal. I could go more into depth on that, but I'm not going to as I'm here to elaborate on the second reason. The level difference. Knowing what had to be done to earn SP and seeing what the frontliners were already at was quite the demotivator for me. Especially so as I knew I wanted to write a character with a competitive personality, which would mean he'd be constantly pushing to try to catch up with the high level players. Such an undertaking would've required an amount of writing that I don't think I can pull off. I'd be burnt out long before my character actually got anywhere interesting in terms of level. To summarize, about 95% of the reason Ricard isn't already a character is the looming threat of having to grind through that level gap.

As for the solutions offered previously in the thread (I told you I'd be reiterating) I'm personally in favor of bumping up the starting levels of newer players. You can sense the bias right? It just oozes out of the text. Yes, that opinion is largely due to the fact that I don't already have a presence on the site. However I also agree strongly with a point that @Shield made, a point that kind of cemented my favor for this idea. I mentioned that I wanted to play a competitive character right? Well since my interest in SAO has recently been on the rise, I've been revisiting the ideas I had for that character's personality. One thing that kept bugging me was how such a competitive, driven person had been sitting around twiddling his thumbs for literally four years. The only solution I can come up with is to somehow shoehorn something into his personality that would keep him stuck in The Town of Beginnings for so long, never even picking up his sword to maybe take a stab at trying to kill a boar. In that context the idea of having a higher minimum starting level makes a great deal of sense to me. It would effectively solve two problems with a single action, helping make newer players relevant while also sealing the gaping plot hole that only gets bigger with each new character.

The time skip, however, is an idea that I don't particularly like. While it may have the possibility of cleaning up the stagnation that the site has apparently fallen into (I say apparently since I haven't personally been too in touch. The only indication of that stagnation from my point of view is that there hasn't been a raid in forever.), I think it may heavily disrupt stories that are already occurring. In all honesty though, this is another one of those biases from me. Something that I was annoyed with when watching the show was that massive portions of Aincrad (to me one of the most interesting aspects of the show) were simply skipped. Of course this makes sense when telling a narrative, especially in anime, but I'd hoped that the rp would be able to maintain itself through all one hundred floors. An impractical hope I suppose, but there's a side of me that wants to see all of what that massive floating castle has to offer, as well as the stories that form along the way.

I've seen tell of an idea to split the website, starting a new server where newer players might be able to have their experience in early Aincrad without destroying what the veterans have built. From the perspective of my own opinion, I personally prefer the idea of just having the one persistent world. It might be nice to have a fresh start running alongside the main game, but I think it would draw away all of the new players, so there wouldn't be any dynamic between the frontliners and the lower level characters. From a more practical perspective, it sounds as though SAO doesn't really have the player base to support such a split anyway. So my two cents? Probably a bad idea, for now at least. (Oh look, I'm reiterating again.)

From a roleplaying perspective, I actually don't mind that Calrex some people are way higher leveled than everyone else. I think it's cool that there's people like @Calrex to be that sort of legendary player within the game. From a game design perspective however, I can definitely see how that absurd level difference causes issues. If I recall correctly even a few of the recent floor bosses were child's play thanks to the sheer power of some players. As someone who's enjoyed reading the occasional floor boss raid, that particular aspect took away some of the intrigue from the fights. It removed a fair bit of tension when I knew there were players on the field who could probably pose a threat to the boss by themselves, let alone with a team of sixteen+ other formidable characters. In this I agree with the idea of a level cap. Whatever form it would take, I think such a cap would go a long way to making floor bosses the milestone threats they're depicted as. It might also serve to restore at least a little challenge to the game for those frontliners who've long since outclassed everything around them.

The last point I want to address is @Lessa's, primarily because it's probably the one that I'm leaning both ways on (I'm also totally just reiterating here). To talk about the negative first, I think that bringing characters back from the dead defeats a large point of SAO. One of the main hooks that makes the setting so interesting is that people are permanently killed within the game. On the other hand, from what I've seen written in this thread alone the site seems to be having trouble with attracting new players. I'm not sure how much encouraging experienced writers to come back would do to solve that, but it would certainly bring back some spice to the story lines that may have been lost with their deaths. Take the very post above me, for example. I actually didn't know that @Opal had died before I read that post, and as an outside observer I was honestly saddened by it. I remember being so shocked as I watched her and @Oikawa cut down two of the biggest players in the game, the culmination of Opal's grand plan. Her sudden reveal as a villain was something exciting that I looked forward to seeing in future threads, or maybe even something that might've affected my own character if I had decided to finally join. Now I don't know if she would continue on that line were she to be brought back to life, but either way she and many other characters would likely make the world of this roleplay even more appealing.

Huh, I went into that paragraph intending to play both sides. Maybe I just like the character Lessa? Regardless, I think that's all the opinions I have on the subject. Honestly I'll be a little surprised if anyone bothers to read, even more so if someone responds to it or takes it into account. Still, that was my two cents as a lurker who is considering joining once 3.0 drops. Now excuse me while I go add a preface to my preface at the top of the page.

 

On an unrelated note, I remember an announcement being made that accounts who hadn't posted within a certain amount of time from their creation were going to be removed. Knowing this, why is this account still here? I mean I can't complain, but I created this account over a year ago and it's done literally nothing until this very post.

Edited by Ricard

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1 hour ago, Ricard said:

As much as I hate the thought of having to grind to catch up with the frontliners (more on that in a bit) I actually thought it was kind of cool that there were already these legendary characters who'd molded the setting before the arrival of whatever character I intended on writing. They were figures to look up to, maybe even figures to envy. Perhaps if your character wasn't really motivated to be a frontliner they might instead view those figures as heroes, or perhaps just as fools lacking a self-preservation instinct.

I ... I never actually thought of it that way. That may just be becasue I'm living in the frontliner Bubble, not experiencing a lot of the lower floor's quarrels like that. Very interesting point ot be made. 

1 hour ago, Ricard said:

(I say apparently since I haven't personally been too in touch. The only indication of that stagnation from my point of view is that there hasn't been a raid in forever.)

There haven't been any active in the raid meeting. I'd like to have a raid as fast as possible as well. The motivation of the frontliens is quite stagnant.

1 hour ago, Ricard said:

I think it may heavily disrupt stories that are already occurring.

I agree, a Time Skip may solve the stagnation, but all of the things that could've happen in the timeskip isn't there, and so much could've happened within the floors that were skipped.

 

My stance for the time is, Level Cap, raise new player's Starting level (unless they want to make a lower leveled character). I've fallen off from the Time Skip idea, as right now it doesn't touch me where it used to, and I'm not for it.

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So it's late here and I have been up for far too long. However, after shooting Shark a PM on discord and saying how much I've enjoyed the site and community as a new player, wanted to chime in. 

Couple things to get out of the way: 

  • I like story. I love story. It is why we do what we do. If it wasn't for the story, there are tons of video games we can play to get a gaming fix.
  • I love numbers. I love finding that Nth detail that links up a character concept and makes it viable or strong even.
  • I won't sacrifice story or the thematic/aesthetics for numbers, but I won't skimp on the numbers cause I like being as strong as I can be. 

Now...all told, this sounds like mixed messages I admit. But to give clear perspective, let me show how I came up with Havok.

  • I brainstormed on what the core components for gameplay I wanted to emulate: surviveability and damage. 
  • I settled on a Lancer/Dragoon aesthetics as they seemed to embody this.
  • I started working out builds and numbers and gear to get that settled. 
  • I crafted a personality that lent itself to this style. 
  • I established his backstory and motivations for fighting at all.

Now, sure, I worked backwards compared to some people who claim to prefer story over numbers. But in D&D, MMOs, other Fantasy RPs...I have to find a style or weapon concept that meshes or resonates with me before finding out anything else. But that is how my brain works. Yet, understand I have been at this for over 16 years now. I was in middle school when 9/11 went down in the United States and I lived about 20 miles from the pentagon. I was sent home early and started my first RP account on gamefaqs. So I have a tangible date when I started. I can tell you how many words I've written across multiple forums. I've done at least, 3 million this decade over 2 characters. I've done stuff that ranged from pure free form to things much like SAO-RPG. Hell, I did eight months of a D&D campaign in play by post. 

Point is, I have seen a lot, done a lot, and enjoyed a lot. I am neither afraid of a grind, nor am I resentful of those who have grinded out years of activity to achieve their level of power. I should not have everything handed to me in the beginning, rendering 3+ years of activity moot for the vets. But we all, I think I speak for everyone there, but we all know what it feels like to be at the bottom and looking to catch up to others. Sure, maybe I never hit level 80+ but if I can hit level 30, I can begin to contribute in ways that meaningfully impact people who have been so kind enough to talk to me and help me out. However, it's a crap shoot if I ever get there if we are all being honest. Depending on the progression rate for new players, if I am working 50+ hours a week as a restaurant manager and still contributing on my home site [been there 6 years] how much effort and time do I have to put into here? Sure that's selfish, that's very...narrow in scope of experience...but I think it's a valid concern for new players in general. 

That we have to work to achieve something is not a problem, how fast we can is though. I don't know the reasonable expectation of hitting level 30 or higher. I don't know if that takes 2 years, 15 months, 10 months, 3 months or next week. [Ok, I joke, I imagine it's not under 3 months] So if I put in daily activity over 6 months, what is my expected level of power? RNG is RNG, so unique toys and rewards cannot be accounted for, but a reasonable estimated number of SP or the like should be. And once you have that number, does it provide me with the means to be relevant in the frontline areas? Not dominate, not even be a focal point...but can I contribute? Can I participate? That is what I think should be the end goal. Not treat me or other new players like special snowflakes that need everything handed to us, but instead, we need you to help us create reasonable expectations for progress. And those expectations for progress should be centered around a system that is inclusive and not meant to make even a dedicated poster like me [potentially!] feel marginalized after a good investment of time and activity. 

So, from a new guy's perspective who has been through server wipes? Ain't fun to lose 3+ years of activity. However, if there could be a wipe that saved items or gave a small level advantage to vets? I could see that being more...easily stomached than a hard, hard reset. If you're level 50? You get a level 5 start, etc. I don't know the ins and outs of your system yet, so maybe that's off. 

Time skip might be interesting, and others have alluded or outright said that it fits in the anime's progression. Though truth be told, I have always taken exception to how fast the anime moved. 12.5 episodes were dedicated to what I thought could have been 100+ episodes. But that is a critique of the creator and the storyheads.

Regarding level cap, or at least...raising the starting point of newer players, I selfishly like this the most. It has the least impact for the vets, but I ultimately...it feels imperfect and half hearted.  I think that it would be a temporary bandage treating a symptom and not the illness. But I would prefer that to doing nothing if the concerns of the community are valid.

Ultimately, I have been through soft and hard resets. I have found soft resets, where I keep modicums of my past achievements to be the easiest to stomach. At least into comparison to waking up with nothing that I had earned before. I am not sure what the right answer for this community is, as I have been a member for less than 24 hours! But, I do know the fact that people are concerned enough to talk about it makes it worth saving and trying to better. 

I hope my mumbling and musings have contributed! Thanks again for having this community at all!

Sincerely,

Dan aka Havok

 

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