Skill and training Feedback

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Gregorovitch
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by Gregorovitch » Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:52

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:50
Gregorovitch wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:42
a) Because it's a boring repetitive task that nobody wants to do for any length of time........
Speak for yourself. I enjoy playing an active role in the Trade part of the game.
Fair enough, I should have said for myself. But I seriously doubt I'm wrong that the majority of players are the same.

GCU Grey Area
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by GCU Grey Area » Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:59

Gregorovitch wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:52
Fair enough, I should have said for myself. But I seriously doubt I'm wrong that the majority of players are the same.
No way to tell, the overwhelming majority of players don't participate in forum discussions &, of those that do, there's a significant tendency for those with complaints to be more vocal than those without. However in general most people think the majority agrees with them.

Imperial Good
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by Imperial Good » Wed, 29. Apr 20, 23:26

j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 20:53
Problematic as that would introduce arbitrary numbers that are completely invisible to the player which I tend to avoid. Would introduce discrepancies in this case such as it being physically impossible for pilots in some ships to be able to do 100% efficient trades. Granted it's difficult if not impossible to find such efficient trades for the larger trading ships, but I tend to think of them (more as a player than as a developer) as more specialized pieces of equipment. Superfreighters that aren't very well-suited to use as trucks.
Issue with the current system is that it rewards lots of small fast ships doing trades rather than trader ships being traders. The best trade ship for levelling currently is something like a Pegasus Vanguard, which is not a trader and useless as such due to its tiny cargo. On the other end of the spectrum L trade ships are the worst for levelling since they make very few journeys and need huge amounts of cargo to be full which the trade logic seldom manages.

Making it based on some unit like 1,000 m^3 or 10,000 m^3 would mean that volume moved matters as well as rate. This means that trade ships naturally become better at this since they have better haulage capability. If anything this would be more intuitive to the player since using traders to level via trade rather than scout ships is more logical. It also is kind of balanced out since larger slower transports haul more but make trips less frequently. However there may be new sets of exploits such as manual operation of L traders with a single station transferring wares on and off of it.
j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 21:14
I meant what's wrong with manually queueing up trades to just trade as opposed to using it as a means to improve skill. Is it just tedious?
Micro vs macro play. One could queue up traders manually, or use that same time to set up a dozen auto miners or stations which keep making money with minimal future attention. Manual trade does not scale well with player economy as income per effort spent remains constant so revenue is linear with time as opposed to other sources of automatic money earning which increase exponentially.

As for manual effort to level the traders. It just is not practical. To reach level 3 one is looking at hundreds if not thousands of trade orders per captain based on my current observations. This becomes the worst sort of chore and not something people play for. It is far less work to power level a manager to rank 4+ than it is to get a single trader to rank 3 using trading from what I can tell, which is why one usually just leaves managers to level naturally and it works well for them.

Manual trade is only really a task one does when one really needs specific wares moved between places. For example a supply mission, or building a station early game when money is tight. The gain for the amount of effort is too little compared with other activities the player could do, especially given how using map view to issue orders is not the most exciting of activities in a space combat simulator.

This is why people want access to some sort of auto trade default order fairly easily that is similarly as practical to sector mine for mining ships. For example if it was limited to only a single ware and maybe import or export only from a sector (either buy or sell value non-zero, not both). If such an order existed than trader pilot skill is less important as having access to full auto trade is just a nice bonus similar to having access to advanced or expert mining order is.
phrozen1 wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:31
The ability to define trade-routes and assign ships to them would be great.
Would make it much less tedious, more strategic and fun to create and refine the routes for maximum profit.

Also an option to just repeat a single trade a set amout of times, forever or until it's not profitable anymore.
This would certainly help with manual trading. For example moving excess stock from one of your stations to a distant consumer outside the manager's operating range.

rene6740
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by rene6740 » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 00:15

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:25
rene6740 wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 22:06
The best offer might only be 20 units but the second best sells 5000. Sometimes I just want the quantity, sometimes I want the nearest one.
You can filter the trade info to exclude low volume trade offers. It's a bit vague (minimum volume can be set to none, low, medium or high, but doesn't specify what those levels are), but it is nevertheless effective at screening out those good price/low quantity trades.
I am aware of that filter and I also make use of this. But as you said it’s very vague and it’s different depending on the Ware volume. Also when you want to do multiple trades, e.g buy and sell a stock of like 30k you need to switch the filter in between...

A lot of ppl probably hated it but I’d second bringing back the Trade Window from X Rebirth. That table was great in showing all the trades, it was sortable, filterable and searchable. You could also see the distance for selected ship and trade. The only bad thing about it was the trade ship selection because you needed to loop through each ship until you got to the one you wanted to do the trade.

I‘d also second that trading should reward using actual trade ships and not small s sized scout for maximum efficiency in pilot leveling for trading.
j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 20:53
Problematic as that would introduce arbitrary numbers that are completely invisible to the player which I tend to avoid.
Well you might want to look at some aspects of the game then... Pilot leveling for example is nothing else than an arbitrary number we don’t see. We only see those thirds of a star. I observed ships over 30+ hours not gaining a single third of a star. At that point it’s pretty much invisible to the player.

PS: you then might also look into Trade and Fight Ranks. Again arbitrary numbers we definitely not see... while the Xtreme Trade rank is somewhat doable the Xtreme fight rank would need 25million boarding operations...

Gregorovitch
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by Gregorovitch » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 00:15

Imperial Good wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 23:26
This means that trade ships naturally become better at this since they have better haulage capability. If anything this would be more intuitive to the player since using traders to level via trade rather than scout ships is more logical. It also is kind of balanced out since larger slower transports haul more but make trips less frequently. However there may be new sets of exploits such as manual operation of L traders with a single station transferring wares on and off of it.
My 2c on that would be I don't think players are going to be much interested in bothering with that sort of exploit, I think most are going to be perfectly happy if they have a range of decisions and a clear path to pilot progression via natural play with their ships doing what their ships intuitively should be doing given their assigned roles. In part this is because....
Imperial Good wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 23:26
Micro vs macro play.
..and notwithstanding GCU Grey Area's point that there is no actual proof the majority favour macro vs micro play, I think fiddly exploits of that nature would be largely ignored for the same reasons that manual trading is in the main only done, as you say, for specific reasons in certain circumstances occasionally.

The sort of exploit I would be concerned about would be an automatable exploit because it would present me with a nagging dilemma over whether to use it, feel like I was forced to play a certain unnatural way 'cos the benefit was hard to ignore.

rene6740
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by rene6740 » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 00:31

Gregorovitch wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 00:15

The sort of exploit I would be concerned about would be an automatable exploit because it would present me with a nagging dilemma over whether to use it, feel like I was forced to play a certain unnatural way 'cos the benefit was hard to ignore.
Yeah I started to set up some fleets of 20 S fighter and let them camp indestructible khaak stations that are constantly spawning new ships. Why I do all that? Because I need pilots for almost everything. My attack fleets, distribute wares to keep the economy going, for auto miners and auto traders. I think the next thing I will do is to park a destroyer next to a station and just let it kill the endless drones... just to get those 2 or 3 Star pilots so that I can let them trade...

It currently just takes way to long. By the time I got my first 3 star pilot I already had 2billion in my account and pretty much ignored the whole auto mine and auto trade thing. There are lots of other ways to make more money more quickly than using a 3 star pilot on autotrading.

GCU Grey Area
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by GCU Grey Area » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 01:46

rene6740 wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 00:15
I am aware of that filter and I also make use of this. But as you said it’s very vague and it’s different depending on the Ware volume. Also when you want to do multiple trades, e.g buy and sell a stock of like 30k you need to switch the filter in between...
Tend to leave it set on medium myself & most of the time it selects appropriate trades for me.
A lot of ppl probably hated it but I’d second bringing back the Trade Window from X Rebirth. That table was great in showing all the trades, it was sortable, filterable and searchable. You could also see the distance for selected ship and trade. The only bad thing about it was the trade ship selection because you needed to loop through each ship until you got to the one you wanted to do the trade.
Not me. That trade interface from XR is probably the single biggest thing I miss from that game. I do like the map in X4, however for the Trade aspect of the game it pales in comparison to the sheer amount of spreadsheety goodness the XR trade system provided.
I‘d also second that trading should reward using actual trade ships and not small s sized scout for maximum efficiency in pilot leveling for trading.
Using proper freighters is certainly rewarding if your primary focus is Trade rather than training pilots. The Monitors I'm using in my current game don't have the biggest capacity (29k) but they can still bring in about 700k profit with a single cargo of Adv Electronics. Got 4 of them currently & at any given time generally have trades queued up worth around 15-25 million profit, mostly high tech goods & intermediates. If it ever drops below that I queue up a few more for each one.

lilbean
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by lilbean » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 02:11

j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 21:14
I meant what's wrong with manually queueing up trades to just trade as opposed to using it as a means to improve skill. Is it just tedious?
I've done that for 40 hours in my current game across 3 traders and none of them have hit three stars. It's tedious but it's also so, so rare for the pilots to hit three stars that it completely sucks the fun out of it.

zakaluka
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by zakaluka » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 02:46

dougeye wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 16:10
so do pilots actually level up slowly still? combat and industrial?
They do. Combat kills have added benefits: even though credit for "hard" kills is divided among everyone; every pilot who assisted gets full credit for an "easy" kill also. Means you get many times the credit for each kill. Depends how you build your combat fleets. Many more chances to level up your pilots in fleet combat.

Mining ships get credit for selling their inventory but for some reason they're affected by the "unfavorable trade" condition. Basically when buy order prices get low (and they will) your pilots get much less credit for each sale.

Transport ships just don't really get enough credit for each trade or move fast enough to progress into 3-star reasonably. In a group of 20 pilots even if you started them all with fast couriers, and at 2-star (or even if not, that's hard to get so many books) - with the low probability for advancing with each trade - it's expected to take around 300 hours before you get your first 3-star trader. Ugh.

Combat is moderately effective. Building a station is the quickest way to get autotrade / automine functionality though, by far.

micelak
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by micelak » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 07:04

This single issue, the high dependency on pilot skills mixed with the extremely grindy means of raising pilot skill, along with the extreme ease with which a pilot can be loss....just killed it for me. Stopped playing after building multiple complexes that were making millions for me, so credits weren't an issue....a fundamental aspect of the game I enjoyed from X3 being .... ham strung and butchered was the issue.

Many people have posted how they print money with out auto-traders. If the goal was to slow down the money supply, the goal failed. All that happened was the killing of a play style that some found fundamental to their X experience over past iterations.

I really hope you guys make a hard shift away from this 'balance' over fun mindset in a single player sandbox....

zakaluka
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by zakaluka » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 07:58

micelak wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 07:04
high dependency on pilot skills
But you're not dependent on pilot skills at all. The instant you set up a station you can do everything. A suitable station costs less than a million cr to get started and managers level up magnitudes faster than pilots.

ITT earlier one of the egosoft designers even commented on this, saying (without quoting directly) that setting up a station early on is probably a better way to go than trying to force pilot skills.

The PHQ quest (usually first story quest most players run into) even encourages you to tinker with stations. But they're complicated so most players say to themselves, I'll come back to this later. But when they realize they can't do much with their pilots, they never return to stations. Interesting.

dtpsprt
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by dtpsprt » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 08:34

j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 20:14
Keep in mind that there's a bug at the moment with miners gaining skill. (Shout out to Mackan for finding that bug.) They only gain skill when they go in to trade the resources they've mined. Don't think the fix for that is out yet.

Distribute wares is actually particularly bad at improving pilots since it's the buy-once-sell-many script so mechanically doesn't offload full cargo holds worth of wares. Easiest way I've found via trading is by setting up a station that trades in high-volume wares in an area where those wares move quickly. Imperial Good described an even more efficient way in one of his posts, but I personally never felt the need to resort to something like that.
I would say that RNG levelling up of skills is something out of the worst Orwellian fantasy... There needs to be "certain" rules for advancement, and not "lucky dips". You people just make up your minds which logical (and even strict) procedure will be followed. Would you be working for (or with) Egosoft if your income was based on RNG? Don't think so...

EDIT1: Did the pilot choose to just distribute wares? Did the player? Don't think so... So they are "punished" to stay in limbo forever so that an impossible scheme can stay on... DO SOMEHING!!!
EDIT2: Using this way you can also prevent bugs from surfacing their ugly face... Like the Miner's Bug for example...
Last edited by dtpsprt on Thu, 30. Apr 20, 08:38, edited 1 time in total.

rene6740
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by rene6740 » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 08:35

zakaluka wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 07:58
micelak wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 07:04
high dependency on pilot skills
But you're not dependent on pilot skills at all. The instant you set up a station you can do everything. A suitable station costs less than a million cr to get started and managers level up magnitudes faster than pilots.

ITT earlier one of the egosoft designers even commented on this, saying (without quoting directly) that setting up a station early on is probably a better way to go than trying to force pilot skills.

The PHQ quest (usually first story quest most players run into) even encourages you to tinker with stations. But they're complicated so most players say to themselves, I'll come back to this later. But when they realize they can't do much with their pilots, they never return to stations. Interesting.
Problem is, After you‘ve got the Station there is almost no need for pilots for trading. I mean they nerf getting good pilots while at the same time say you could build a station? A dock with some storage is dirty cheap and basically does the same as auto trade. No pilot skill needed. What’s the point in having auto trade/auto mine tied to a 3 star pilot when setting up a cheap station is basically the same functionality. Once set up it’s fire and forget and it just costs you the worth of a moderately equipped freighter to set up, while good pilots, if you find them, costs tens of millions.

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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by dtpsprt » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 08:50

j.harshaw wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 20:53

Out of curiosity, what's wrong with manually queueing up trades? It's a lot easier in X4 than in XR and (I vaguely remember) in X3. I remember back when I was really playing, I had so few ships building up that it wasn't much of a bother and by the time I started thinking of ships as masses in large numbers, I had already built more than one station and was automating trade that way.
To satisfy your curiosity I can give two reasons to begin with:

1. There is no centralised table of prices offered and demanded to make decisions (like in X Rebirth), so the player has to constantly panning around the whole map trying to find the trades. So... are we flying a spaceship or a map in a Space simulation? Also there's no "guideline" of the average price for each (and every) Item like in previous X releases
2. By the time the ship will reach the "last" order in the pile, the Station might well be destroyed or filled to the brims... This is why the NPC pilot needs to decide on the trades itself, and not on a long term basis too...

dougeye
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Re: Skill and training Feedback - Improved in 3.10 beta 1.

Post by dougeye » Thu, 30. Apr 20, 09:04

zakaluka wrote:
Thu, 30. Apr 20, 02:46
dougeye wrote:
Wed, 29. Apr 20, 16:10
so do pilots actually level up slowly still? combat and industrial?
They do. Combat kills have added benefits: even though credit for "hard" kills is divided among everyone; every pilot who assisted gets full credit for an "easy" kill also. Means you get many times the credit for each kill. Depends how you build your combat fleets. Many more chances to level up your pilots in fleet combat.

Mining ships get credit for selling their inventory but for some reason they're affected by the "unfavorable trade" condition. Basically when buy order prices get low (and they will) your pilots get much less credit for each sale.

Transport ships just don't really get enough credit for each trade or move fast enough to progress into 3-star reasonably. In a group of 20 pilots even if you started them all with fast couriers, and at 2-star (or even if not, that's hard to get so many books) - with the low probability for advancing with each trade - it's expected to take around 300 hours before you get your first 3-star trader. Ugh.

Combat is moderately effective. Building a station is the quickest way to get autotrade / automine functionality though, by far.
looks like ill stick with the mod which gives them a 10 % chance per hour of progressing a skill point, i think its fair as you still need to physically play for 10 hours at least to progress the pilots. I would like the mechanic to be a bit smoother though or at least not restrict what they can do but rather how well they can do it.
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