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NS Feature: Estimated Update Times Displayed

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Looks like we're getting the next new NS Feature: Estimated Update Times Displayed

Ballotonia (Game Admin)

 

HEADS UP!

Part one of the changes are now implemented. Players will see a shift in update order (as warned about earlier, though I intended to implement it sooner when I wrote that).

The update itself however is still running on the 'old' variance mechanism. Shifting that is part two, but first we need to run this new update order.

And for clarity: this new update order will stay with us for quite a while.

The thread on the NS Forum on this Change is here:

http://forum.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=259002

 

This change would see an estimated next update time displayed on each region's page. However, this time would only be an estimate, and there would be a "window of uncertainty" for the exact update time of the region.

The intention of this change is to:

•Reduce the barriers to involvement in raiding/defending by making information on update times publicly available to all.

•Have the estimated update time displayed on regions be the most accurate information a player can obtain on a region's possible update time, negating the need for other tools.

•Prevent split-second timing from being an absolute necessity for success.

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It's not so much the chaos that bothers me as the apathy that will follow.  The R/D game flourished when it took skill and coordination along with political acumen.  They killed the politics first.  Now they will inadvertantly kill the need for intellect.  Who wants to boast a raid or defense that a monkey could pull off?

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I expect this will get tweaked along the way after it's been in place for a bit. But I don't recall NS ever removing a feature once it's been implemented. Best to figure out how to make the most of it and put it to use.

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The purpose of it all is to increase accessibility to R/D by eliminating the technological advantage certain groups enjoy through third party technology. It's annoying because it essentially renders some of our things pointless, stuff that we've put a lot of personal time and effort into.

 

It's the same thing they've done with recruitment - made it more accessible - and that has had disastrous consequences. The recruiting systems in this game are fundamentally broken and all UCRs are falling in population.

 

This "accessibility" thing essentially attempts to create a level playing field between lazy players and those who really put in the extra effort, and I personally think that's ridiculous.

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Yes, the game has been expanding its feature set by building-in some of the concepts created by the players. While it's nice to bring more of the wider game into the game itself, it does throw a wrench into what the players have made of things. I just hope that these changes don't have the impact on the game that Influence did. A lot of people left the game, and most of those that remained refused to adjust and figure how to work with the new situation.

I'm starting to notice a touch of an NS2 feel in the background of the game. And that worries me a bit. I also see a touch of CN in the direction of gameplay these days.

But R/D wants gameplay to get more attention, and they want more players involved. So away we go.

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The operative word in that phrase is "estimated", and it is why I feel it is imperative that those involved in TWPAF need to be familiar with how to narrow down update times to fractions of seconds.

 

To quote the Scouts "Be prepared"

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NS itself will give you the information that the XML did, but publicly, with the same variance as currently exists. (although there is talk of altering the exact amount of variance)
 
Some important notes:
 

The daily dumps will stay; however the way that regions are updated will change, meaning that they can't be used to calculate update times any more. 

 

 

An uncertainty window will be provided for the update time of each region. This window will vary over time, but be similar between consecutive updates. Within this window it will be impossible to determine when exactly the region will update. It will be utterly random, so no amount of measuring the update or algorithms gathering data over time will help to determine a more accurate update time than the uncertainty window provided. This means also that regions will no longer update in the exact order as listed in the XML dump, and will even abandon the notion that regions cannot update at the same time: the timing of regions updating will be made independent from one another.
 

 

 

This proposal removes the skill required to terminate a jump time (triggering). The system would be doing that for you, without the possibility of miscalculations. Shouldn't that make life easier for all sides?

 

 

 Expect the procedure for the update changes to follow a similar path: planning including simulation, then monitoring afterwards including fine-tuning. Current objective is for it to have a variance as close as possible to what we have now, with times displayed for all to see instead of them being triggered by players. The reduction of required expertise should make it easier for inexperienced players to participate. Time will tell if they will.

 

 

The entire point of this change is to make r/d more accessible to new and inexperienced players, without requiring technical skill to get into gameplay.

 

I also read into this change that having a jump point region may be rendered useless if the update varies for a region to the degree indicated.

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*chuckles*  Yes, it's been a common gripe about the impending change.  The basic reply is that 'well, you wanted r/d to be more accessible to more players didn't you ?'

 

We didn't do triggering back in the old days, so it really doesn't worry me much.  Still need mission leads, spotters, etc.  And creative thinking will figure ways to use the new system.  A lack of creative thinking is why NS players failed to adapt to Influence for quite some time.  Too many players gave up instead of trying to brainstorm new ideas, methods, tactics and strategies.

 

Thus came the Crimson Order to fill that vacuum of inactivity and negligence. :P

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I don't understand the accessibility argument. It already is accessible. Most regions offer full training to any interested, and it's really not all that complicated. People who are interested are already involved, and people who aren't interested aren't going to change because of this.

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