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SFRP v5 - System Overhaul

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Suggestion regarding Progression and Zenny
Topic Started: Sep 27 2016, 02:14 AM (532 Views)
The Zenny Economy system /as a progression/ is broken and doesn't work.

Earning Zenny is largely a time-gate, with a weekly paycheck and a weekly [Solo] thread. It's like having to play hearthstone in order to progress in WoW. That just doesn't work.

Additional Problems:
Work Threads don't engage the player in the core gameplay of SFRP, and are unreliable.
Work Threads are mandatory Solo threads. On top of that, earnings are based on the whim of the staff, rather than a fixed and measurable metric and as such you can even get /zero/ money for a work thread. This means that a player that the staff dislike can get shafted consistently on their progression. If I go collect 20 bear asses, I want to complete the quest and get the reward, not be given half the reward and only get a pittance of exp.

Zenny has limited utility of progress due to being implemented as a Time-Gate
Cards, Ability Waves, and Weapons are the only things that there is to spend Zenny on.

  • Cards are mediocre (Tiefy is addressing this).
  • Ability Waves are gated behind a completely seperate system on top of the Zenny gate.
  • Weapons aren't actually able to be directly upgraded, and are instead only able to be expanded, which increases flexibility/defensiveness, but doesn't actually increase power.

This makes progression feel very stilted and lackluster, since there's no obvious "goal" to work toward using the Zenny Economy once you've already acquired your weapon/attack slots.

Alpha's Proposal:
My goal with this proposal is to push Virus Hunts into being the primary gameplay/progression system, with cards serving as a central point of advancement/loot. PvP is a thing still, obviously, and RP is a focus still, but the primary means of advancement is PvE, rather than... masturbatory RP that the staff has to sign off on, or the passage of time.

Rehaul Card Acquisition
Push Virus Threads to be the primary means of acquiring cards. This has two components:

Make Card Shops Unattractive
Limit them significantly, hike up prices, or even just disband them. Personally, I'm in favor of multiplying the current costs by 5. This makes it /difficult/ but not /impossible/ to acquire a very specific card you want, without making it your primary means of acquiring cards.

Introduce "Booster Packs"
For a 5 card "booster" pack, 3 random "common" cards, 1 random "common/uncommon" card, and 1 random "uncommon/rare" card. Make these in the ballpark of 10k.

Increase card drops from virus threads
An, at best, 50% chance of getting the card you want /from each foe/ is on the whole okay, except for the factor that most of the time it's trash mobs and thus trash cards (this may be addressed in the card update). I suggest the drop rate for cards start at 75% and scale up or down by 25% depending on high/low performance (not necessarily post quality, though obviously it's more believable for someone to perform well with high post quality. If someone is being perfect and has shitty post quality, that's arguably God Moding.)

If we end up squeezing down all tiers in a card upgrade progression to a single card, I suggest that the drop rate vary based on the tier of the virus. 20/40/60/80 with a 20% variation depending on performance works out to be relatively fair.

Rework/Remove Zenny
The goal here is to reduce the impact of Zenny on progression. It's a precious resource, to be spent carefully, since a lot of stuff relies on it, but it is not something you're drowning in.

Remove [Work] threads. Remove or reduce weekly paychecks. Cards sell for 1/10th of the listed "Sale price". Cut the base payout from Virus threads in half but guarantee it. Introduce a method to go get money in a fixed manner, possibly dependent on Job (I don't want to suggest a PvP oriented system the way that EXE had, but it's better than nothing).

Make the full weapon loadout the baseline.
The current weapon upgrade system is a time-gate where there shouldn't be one. It doesn't add anything to time-gate the system, and the system isn't complicated enough to require a time-gate. It isn't like most video games, where you have to learn to juggle cooldowns, your mana bar, and enemy aggro all at once, so you want to ease players in. The super complicated system of character creation is available in its entirety right from the word go.

ALTERNATIVE: Introduce Upgrade Modules
Upgrade Modules replace the current system of spending zenny (and are costly to snag). 3 upgrade modules for a weapon slot, 1 upgrade module for an attack slot. 8 turn into a BBW. 40 turns your dude into an EX version, while an additional 80 turn your guy into an SP. These are merely cosmetic upgrades, but come with cool swag. An upgrade module costs 5k Zenny, and has a fixed 10% chance to drop during Virus Threads.

This is just my proposal. Lash's was "replace in game currency with "Credit" with the stores, while Gaia's just like "we'll look over the wonkiness of workthreads"
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Last Updated: December 11th
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Op: Kalinka Cossak
Wave Conversion: Dissonant Requiem

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Zenny: 8,000z
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I agree, the zenny economy as is - with weapon slots locked and shit starter cards - discourages new members and promotes doing nothing but camping for months on end. This (timegating) doesn't add complexity to the game, just artificially gaps out new and old players.

Increasing individual card prices (but having all listed and purchasable) will help encourage people to go out and EARN those cards. Adding a random pack generator is trivial- I can probably bash it out in an hour, given my current code.

Adding in a way to make trash cards less trash would be nice. Whether you could turn them in at a vendor for (ew) Zenny or combine them to make a more powerful variant... some way to make them less useless would be nice. Encore suggested Auguments for cards.
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(Everything I'm saying is just me alone, not staff collectively).


Some work has been done on cards but it's not finished yet. I don't entirely disagree with the notion that the price on cards should be increased in stores. Cards have been changed so it might not be a bad idea to change the prices as well. Times five is a little too steep in my opinion, but encouraging players to go out and get battle cards is kind of a nice idea.

I kind of like the boost pack idea, I think it could be expanded on/turned into an actual thing.

For changing the card drops idea I like that idea as well. With the standard grading scale for Virus threads coming I think it wouldn't be a problem implanting a system like this. I am also cool with the notion of being able to sell cards back to shops, but 1/10 sounds a bit too little for me. Maybe a system that fluctuates depending on the card class would work better overall?

Work threads/Paychecks:

I don't think that Work threads should be entirely removed per say, but they could use changing without a doubt. I say that there needs to be a system is in place that is similar to what the virus threads have, where there is a set amount a person can earn but that either decreases or increases depending on the quality of the thread.

I think that Paychecks should be changed. Earning a fixed 3,000z every week doesn't really sit well with me personally. (Although that's a more complicated one, as I'm taking into considering cards while you just need 3,000z for a weapon slot). I don't think that I can really come to a 'perfect' solution for this one.


This is a bit more complicated. I don't personally mind such a system being implanted, but the thing that kind of bothers me is the EX and SP versions of a Wave Warrior. What would that exactly detail? What would that mean for a Wave Warrior that's not an EX or SP version? Would the damage scale need to be adjusted for such a change or not really?

Ability Waves:

This needs to be changed, I agree. A system that revolves around interacting with people sounds kind of nice to me personally but when you have low activity like the site right now it doesn't really...work.


Those are just my thoughts anyways. I'll remind staff to give their input on this as well. If I missed something please let me know so I can adjust my post.
Edited by Thisguyiscalledsteve, Oct 28 2016, 08:25 PM.

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I actually really like where this is going, but, there are some things that I want to clarify before I give much of an opinion on them.

First off - I do agree that Zenny acting as a gate is unnecessary and kind of lackluster, because, in all reality, that time gate is like 3-5 weeks with consistent activity and is just really annoying to have to deal with (if you just focus Character Upgrades, that is.)

Rehaul Card Acquisition
I personally like the idea of making it more appealing to go out and hunt for cards than it is to wait a few weeks and purchase it with your Paycheck. However, I think that raising the price to x5 is a bit extensive - afterall, in my personal opinion, Virus Threads are already a more appealing method to obtaining battle cards than the Card Store, if only because it has the opportunity of dual rewards and literally no price for possibly high rewards, especially with the new changes made to the Card Library.

On the note of Virus Difficulty increasing chances of dropping the card, if we introduced Mega Viruses we could up those chances of producing a card even more, and possibly make it to where higher grade Mega Viruses had a chance to drop X-Versions, so that the only way of obtaining them isn't through Noise Frags (A system that is getting more and more controversial each time we talk about system changes.)

The idea of a booster pack is definitely something I could get behind, and would be good to expand upon and maybe tweak a little bit. I feel like it'd be a matter of making a more complicated Card Trader that dispensed Packs instead of individual Cards.

Rework/Remove Zenny

I agree with Steve that Work Threads should not be completely nixed. I feel like we'd see a better application of Work Threads by bringing back their previous form of Crimes, Patrols and Job Threads, where you did different things depending on your Class and got different rewards for it based on how difficult or dangerous it was for you to do them.

In the case of Crimes and Patrols alike, high risk sometimes meant high reward, and, for Crimes/Patrols, they had an interesting PvP facet where the Criminal or Officer could get greater rewards for fighting off someone who interrupted them. I believe it was originally removed due to how difficult it was to obtain zenny if no one interrupted your thread, but, I also believe that this was a better way of handling it than how it is set up now.

Make Full Weapons Available from Start
This is that one I wanted more clarification on, just like Steve requested, if you would.

Overall really good ideas, but, ultimately, it comes down to more than just what we see of the site right now - we have to think of how the site will continue to grow and progress once we get more members, and how all of these changes will affect PvE and PvP alike.

In my personal opinion, setting progression towards Battles in general, rather than Zenny would be a better way than just focusing it on Virus PvE. That way, it encourages people to not just sit around and do nothing, but go out and interact with others, fight alongside allies or against foes of all stripes. Viruses would be low level Exp, similarly leveled PCs would be average, advanced PCs and NPCs would be high level; etc. Of course, if we do facilitate the system around an idea of Experience instead of Zenny, we have to ask what exactly gaining experience would do for our character. If they already have all of their weapons, earn cards through combat, and can buy ability waves with Zenny, what more can they gain?
Edited by Gaia, Oct 29 2016, 06:41 PM.
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Card Feedback

The exact multiplier to card price is a suggestion; I want to emulate the TCG tendency for particularly desirable cards to have their price jacked up, based on rarity, because there's a relatively limited supply. There /isn't/ one on our site, but it's the thought that counts.

For Booster Packs, I was thinking of dividing cards into three broad "rarities" (Common, Uncommon, Rare) and each boost pack gives 5 cards. 3 guaranteed Common, 1 split between Common/Uncommon (50% chance of common), and 1 split between Uncommon/Rare (25% chance of Rare). You also assign cards to "Sets" to allow for some limited target farming, rather than making it purely random. For example, all the various Swords and Edges might be part of a singular 'Set' so you can go get a Booster Pack from the "Way of the Blade" set and be pretty sure you're getting a bunch of swords, some of which might be cool and others less so.

Having "Sets" also allows us to expand the card library in a pretty straight forward and understandable way, with "Sets" being released every 3-6 months or so. An important thing is to have sets follow a Thematic, try to avoid overlap, and avoid power creep. We can /also/ use "Sets" as an excuse to expand the virus pool, and run miniature plots based around the release of a set.

Card Selling at 1/10th was based on the premise of 5x multiplier to the current price. "half value" on the current price was the intent.

Work/Zenny Feedback

Work threads, as they exist right now, are a trappy and crappy option for making money. While I absolutely adored the job-based PvP of EXE, SFRPG doesn't have the population to support it at this time. If you want to implement it again, I think that you need to significantly decrease how fast the turn around from starting the topic to ending it is when no one shows up; it was something like 6 days last time I saw it and that's just way too long.

Regardless of implementation of PvP I am firmly against work threads remaining as something 'Graded' that requires staff review. That's just a whole bunch of extra busy work.

Paychecks I'd prefer being eliminated or made to make up for a weaker PvP pay instead of being a primary income in and of itself.

Zenny economy as it stands is a time gate. If you want to make it not one, you need to make it engaging. We don't have the current user base to introduce a PvP system, so I suggest cutting it for now and reintroducing a PvP system at a later date, if we get the numbers up.

Weapon Availability Feedback

Time-gates on player capabilities are almost always detrimental to fun; sometimes they are important (such as because you need to learn how to use things) but in the SFRPG system, you aren't actually adding anything to the experience by having one. The hardest part of SFRPG is designing a weapon set and making sure it's balanced. Having to delay that design into pieces results in overloaded early kits and a lack of ideas for late kits.

If you absolutely want to retain a wall, I suggest shifting it away from a zenny pay option and putting it toward a gameplay option, with the Upgrade Modules. But because Upgrade Modules are limited value (once you cap your profile, there's nothing to use them for) you should have something else to spend them on. I don't think "modular/upgradable cards" should be a thing, but SP/EX/Ω are cool "badges" to earn and work toward, even if they're purely cosmetic.

WRT Experience; I really don't like such things. A Forum Based Play by Post RPG shouldn't have a long "progression" or build up. The pace for a FBPbPRPG is slower, and a long progression will feel very grindy. You need to make the progression, if there is a significant one, fairly short.

An exception to that can be made if you have plateaus and a huge population, so at each level you have a large enough pool of people to have competition form but SFRPG does not have the population for that.
Edited by Alpha, Oct 30 2016, 03:12 AM.
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Last Updated: December 11th
RPG Data
Op: Kalinka Cossak
Wave Conversion: Dissonant Requiem

Faction: None
Zenny: 8,000z
Ability Waves
Chaos Server
Chaos Affinity
Battle Cards
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1 user reading this topic (1 Guest and 0 Anonymous)
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