| >>I guess my only question is, if the change were to turn out to be massive, would you reconsider it?|
I'm having trouble answering this question... Things would have to be very different than they are now for a race re-choose to be justified. Nothing is changing about what the stats mean or what the races strengths and weaknesses are.
>>And maybe could you reassure the players a little more about how small the change will be?
I'm... not sure how to do that besides to keep saying that it's not a very major change?
>>Can you clarify that this is compared to the rate we currently drain exp? That is, we'll proceed exactly as now, except for if we're training fewer skills, when we get a bonus?
It depends on who 'we' is. Under... 120 ranks I think? Things will drain slower due to the loss of the major bonuses. Additionally, we needed to smooth the curves a little bit, which made things slightly easier for some ranges within the 120-900 range and some easier. I don't remember exactly which points on the curves it was, though. There were some weird curves. It made me sad.
However, there's no 'across the board' reductions to drain rate. If you're training 10 or more skills, you'll get the normal base drain rate. Fewer, you'll get a bonus.
>>Changing three stats from "useless" to "useful" alone seems like a pretty big change to me.
To be honest it's difficult to say where the PvP lines will be drawn. We'll find those over time. Some of the contests are using stats that have been underutilized in the past - Stamina counts in some contests, as does Charisma and even Strength, but abilities that use those exist today, too. However, none of the stats are changing their theme - Stamina is still the primary factor in things that contest your constitution, strength is still used in contests that are all about physical power, and agility is still used in contests where you're using your dexterity to score a hit. None of these concepts have changed, and if you chose your race on the assumption that the poorly-scaled mechanics would stay that way forever, I can't say I'm terribly convinced. I know this sounds harsh but it's a concept I can't get past every time I read arguments for a race change.
>>But I think the point is that we are all getting a stat respec because we made our choices under certain circumstances, and now those circumstances are changing. The same is true for race.
There's a major difference in scale, though. Stats are something that you grow slowly over time, and that as things subtly change, you can course correct pretty easily. The whole notion of training new stats up as you gain more ranks means that you can do micro-optimizations (or store up TDPs and do major optimizations, either way). Since there's a constant, organic flow of stat increases as you progress in the game, you're regularly given choices as to where things will go. Sometimes, a change comes along (or in these cases, a bunch of changes) that means that those optimizations you made over time aren't relevant any more, and the difference is enough that you might have a fundamental shift in the arrangement you want your stats to have. I suspect that if we were offering a 50% stat respec instead of a 100% stat respec, the end result (As far as people's builds go) would end up the same.
However, with your race, that's one of the decisions that you make and you really have to stick with it. You never get a chance to re-assess your race or guild (barring the weirdness where you join one guild and another, which I think literally nobody's done in years), because those are formative and permanent decisions.
I'll use an extreme example, because that's where the most significant changes would be seen. Gor'Togs are presented with the very clear assertion "Good at being strong, bad at being smart". Let's say there's a scenario where mentals only matter until 30 points, and after that it was worthless. Could you argue in good conscience that you should roll a Gor'Tog War Mage because the difficulties training mental stats fall off once mentals start being useless? If you make that argument, you're banking on the fact that mentals will never be worthwhile to train above 30, so 'Togs are always better. Since you're making this decision in a game that is constantly evolving and claims (even if it doesn't always happen) to strive toward balance, I feel like a mistake has been made somewhere.
That's one of the several reasons that the arguments for a race change fall flat for me - The only arguments are firmly couched in a stance that is completely and explictly OOC. The only times when somebody is impacted so significantly by a stat change that their ability to play plummets is when they've been metagaming and using mechanical loopholes without regard for the roleplaying consequences. All other arguments aside, I find it difficult to get behind an idea that only really tends the wounds of people who discard the spirit of the game and were taking advantage of the mechanics of today.
>>Also, "gaming the system" implies somehow cheating, but actually they are just trying to find the best way to accomplish something within the set of rules given -- which is a kind of game that some people enjoy.
It is - If we assume 'gaming the system' isn't a loaded term (and it kind of is, but pretend it's not), if you make choices that don't fit in the theme of the game, don't be surprised when the theme stays consistent but the mechanics supporting it change, grow, get fixed, and evolve.
>> so what's the cost of a race change? Granted, Soch said it is too high for such a "small" change -- all I was asking for was more clarification on how small the change is and how large the cost is.
There are several costs. The first cost I think of is technical - It's a heck of a lot of code. It's not just "change the race and be done with it" - There's a whole bunch of items, systems, etc that rely on you being the race you are. What about racial perks? What if you're in moonskin? What about race-specific items, etc, etc. It can be done, but it's NOT a pretty picture.
Then, there's the lore cost. Right now, since there's basically no representation of stats, it's really easy to hand-wave a stat respec - Nobody can tell when you do a stat respec unless they're very intimately familiar with how your stats affect your performance, and see you before and after. A stat respec, then, really doesn't have a lot of lore impact, and is certainly low-impact enough to use as a solution when we DO make changes that affect how people have trained their stats.
Changing your race, though, is vastly, vastly different. How would people feel if half of the people in Stone Clan all of the sudden became Togs, or Gnomes, or (worse) Elves? How would Rakash communities feel if all of the sudden, half of their members left and were replaced by people who until that day were halflings and prydaens? It gets really messy, really fast. Racial communities start to fracture around the edges (Not the cores, because they're dedicated to their RP decisions, but at the edges), which leads to smaller communities. Not to mention whatever voodoo we have to cook up on the back end to make it even remotely consistent for people to magically change their race. The RP question is a very big one, and in one of the few games left out there that DOES care about roleplaying, this is a huge deal.
There's also the customer support cost. "I accidentally changed my race, help!" If we say "too bad, you confirmed the choice", that's a very possible recipe for unhappiness large enough to discourage somebody from leaving. If we revert them, even in 'rare scenarios', we end up spending an enormous amount of time either writing code to handle racial reversion OR manually doing it, both of which keep those GMs from doing whatever they would normally want to do (which, I can assure you, is not handle an assist about somebody who messed up a transracial operation).
That's just off the top of my head - I won't even go into the higher-level game design/theory stuff about permanence, choice, freedom, etc, both because I'd rather not write a thesis and because I have much, much better things to do. That is the tip of the iceberg of 'how large the cost is'.
As for 'how small', it's becoming clear that there's little I can say to convince you that it will be small, because at the end of the day you get to decide how to react to it. The game is changing and evolving, and as much as we're trying to make it as easy as possible for you to adapt to the changes, you have to take that final step into finding what your joy is in DR3. It could very well be the same joy you got out of DR2, but because the game is changing, the way you play will have to change even the slightest bit.
>>o don't think of it as involving humans. Here's an alternate way to express it: below 99, the tdp price is 3(stat value) + (racial mod)(stat value/2); at and above 99, the tdp price is 15(stat value) + (racial mod)(stat value/2). All that's changing is the 3 to a 15.
Yeah, 'human' was just a way of saying 'without exacerbating the already-high racial costs'. Think of it as an equation where there's a big buffer of TDP cost added to your normal racial TDP cost.