Barriers/obstacles to team work in Dynamic Events e.g. The Pyramid of Shut'thend

This thread is about feedback on dynamic events for dev's. My aim is to raise some concerns that are important to players but I feel may have been overlooked by dev's or not given enough weighting.

I can see some reasons why dev's may want to focus on or promote teamwork. I'm going to look at the opposite of that the negatives or rather barriers/obstacles to teamwork. Even when players want to engage in teamwork its not that easy and there can be constraints that mean they choose not do a teamwork oriented event. For example recently there was the Shrine Dynamic Event for Elder Gods Suit. In the end I decided not to participate in it because I would have needed to invest in a weapon with around 30 dps. Buying a new weapon just to do one event I felt was going to be cumbersome and not worth the effort involved.

This leads me nicely onto the number one player concern which is monetary or economic concerns which usually over rule anything else including fun/entertainment. Even players whose primary reasons for playing are fun/entertainment can choose to avoid or check their activities due to economic reasons.

I'll throw in a quote by Messi on pcf:
"I will pass 2023 then since your goal is nowhere as potential profit planet.You can keep the fun."

This was in response to the recent Arkadia update where they focused on activities and fun. Dev's often think fun activities will lead to more engagement from the player base and hence economic gains for their planet. This couldn't be further from the truth as Messi points out his concerns are more about profit for himself and the planet. "You can keep the fun" :) so eloquently put, I'd have to agree with him. Sure some players can be persuaded or influenced by "fun" but in the long term it's all about profit and I think dev's should take that more in consideration when developing or designing anything.

The Pyramid of Shut'thend is one of my favourite areas in game and I decided form a team to do the dynamic event there. The following is based on my experiences in trying to form a team to do the event i.e. barriers or obstacles that came in my way:

Differing time zones
Players in game rarely are all in the same time zone so it can be problematic trying to set a time for it that is suitable to everyone.

Real life commitments
Real life obviously has to take priority and some players may be working, have family engagements/chores etc. The list goes on and on. Again finding a time that is suitable for everyone can be a major obstacle.

Markup item or loot split rules
Arriving at a consensus on how to go about loot can be another major obstacle. Personally I'm in favour of we keep what we loot. This is not the case for everyone other players can consider this to be the worst option and decide not to be in a team with this kind of rule. Since I'm more flexible and in the interests of the group as a whole I decided to drop this rule. We are still deliberating on this and no consensus has been reached. This goes to show how heated and potential "team breaker" this can be. The whole team can quite easily disintegrate and break apart due to these concerns. In the end there is no ideal solution just what people decide what is the most comfortable to them as a group.

General group dynamics
People can be different with differing sensibilities, egos, priorities etc the list here can be endless. On the whole players in Entropia tend to be more mature and this can be an advantage. Having said this never under estimate human stupidity, even the smallest of details/things can rub someone the wrong way and before you know it there is a crisis or drama to be dealt with. I'll refrain from specific examples as that can upset some people, which is not my intention.

General in game logistics
Not everyone in the group may have the tp for The Pyramid of Shut'thend. Even trying to clarify if everyone has it or not can be problematic in the end perhaps best mentioned to the group on having the tp and leaving it at that and hope everyone has it and everyone has been smart enough to acquire it. Trying to do more can raise problems.

Another is looting the Cthylla Bone that is required to start the event. This can be more problematic than I think devs designed or aimed for. I get that it is never going to be easy and for good reasons. Due to how I think the loot system works its currently more difficult to loot than I suspect devs wanted because its no where near the sweet spot between easy and impossible. I suspect the bottle neck here is some players "hoarding" Cthylla Bones which makes looting more of them more difficult than intended.

This whole post is getting longer than I had planned for :) so I'm going to cut it short and end it here and jump to possible solutions.

Some possible solutions to The Pyramid of Shut'thend event
In the end most players are nomadic like myself going from planet to planet to where opportunities lie. Sometimes that can merely be doing some codex on a mob but players I think gravitate towards profit. There is a reason why Moloch depths or the gorgon wave event on Next Island are so popular and why Pristine elements are sought after on Cyrene and mobs that loot them often hunted.

Comparing the gorgon wave event on NI to the Pyramid of Shut'thend event I think can be enlightening. With the Gorgon wave event it is started and players come and go, naturally forming teams as they are hunting. Why the stark differences in forming teams to hunt in these events? the gorgon wave event can be done solo most of the time except for the last two waves. For the last two waves people naturally start hunting together and there is no discussion over loot split rules. It's generally accepted players keep what they loot and their is no sharing.

One solution to the Pyramid of Shut'thend event I think could be to have some additional mark up items/loot drop from all waves that are not currently there. For example if my idea for upgrade able armour plates is implemented then parts/items related to those plates could drop from pyramid waves. For that suggestion see:
New upgrade-able armour plates

This would give more reasons for players of all levels to start the event even the ones who cant do the final wave. This means the event would be run more often and more players doing it. Hence, naturally it would I suspect become similar to the gorgon wave and players naturally coalesce to form teams to do the last wave.

In the end most players prefer to do events and mobs solo for good reasons and I think dev's should take that more in consideration. This game is RCE and hence not like other games where team work may be fun. In here team work can be the opposite a complete nightmare. In the end profit over rides fun.
I was in a bit of a rush in posting the above and missed out an important aspect. So I'll try and add it here.

Why do people generally prefer solo over teamwork? There can be many reasons for this and I can only answer from my choices and preferences. Hopefully to explain a solo oriented mindset.

Firstly to prove players generally prefer solo over teamwork lets look at the cyrene "skill juice" event as I call it, that is currently running on Cyrene. The devs have I would say set up a good event where you can do it in a team or solo. If we look at the results most people given the choice between teamwork or solo choose solo in this event. The mobs in it range from generation zero with 300 hp to generation 12 with considerably higher hp and all generations in between. I did it for a while but why did I choose solo? well personally because it's all under my control and no obstacles to overcome as mentioned above in my opening post. For example no need to discuss markup or loot split rules.

Why am I not on Monria or Toulan for any great length of time? For some reason Toulan and Monria lack anything for me to aim for. I would like to do the shrine event for the Elder Gods Suit. Even though it is the ugliest looking suit I can think of :) but it has a nice buff. Which is probably why most people do that event. Since I cannot do it solo and the cons over weigh the benefits I doubt I'll ever do it.

For Toulan there is the on going special loot prizes e.g. shops and apartments. Which would be nice to loot. However, I don't really engage in that all out because the way it is set up. For dev's sure there are benefits of setting it up the way they have and I can understand that. Anyway I'll try to explain my mind set. From my perspective prizes can loot from any mob any level, crafting or indeed mining. This to me means doing anything I would normally do ignoring this event. Which amounts to zero for me. So without that there is nothing really for me to focus on. Although, I think to be fair that is lack of research on my part. The mirsal trader approach I haven't really researched either but since I'm starting now years after that particular event started it wouldn't be very productive. I would most likely gather the amount of "tokens" or mirsal after everyone else. Hence, would be foolish to even start at this stage.

At the risk of muddying the waters I'll try to explain my mind set for the Calypso TWEN token event that is currently running. Currently you can make a bit of profit in going all out and focus on looting Twen Tokens. I decided to not to engage in this event. Why? well it would be too boring :) I'd rather do other activities. This is not the general opinion of players and I'm an "outlier". Most people are actively hunting the mobs that loot them the most twen tokens.

I considered looting twen tokens and buying twen tokens to acquire some prizes from twen token traders but decided not to go down that route. It would be far too expensive, i.e. initially the twen tokens would be too high compared to what I personally value them at. I could wait till the value drops and then start buying tokens. Problem then is others who have a head start on me, buying at a higher price will buy out anything I want before I reach my goal. The people who bought at a higher price will settle for a lower valued prize to avoid ending up with just twen tokens in their hands. Anyone left holding twen tokens after all the prizes have been claimed is going to loose out as those tokens will be worthless once all prizes have been claimed. Hence, too much of a risk to even start.

So all in all personally there isn't really much value in me staying on Monria or Toulan for too long. Sure I visit from time to time and do what I find fun but in the end profit over rides fun. To be more precise an attempt at trying to profitable over rides fun.
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Ace, it seems your comments tend to be more personal choice based than collective thinking, because many in our community can attest to the fact that our dynamic events are not only fun as a group activity, but have been overall successful.

We've had a lot of positive feedback regarding them and I personally have witnessed many of these group activities that were run smoothly and very successfully, exhibiting exceptional team work. I also have the chat logs with the participant's responses to prove how much they enjoyed them, as well as the team work effort employed to get everyone to Tier 3 @100% Contribution before the event ends.

There have been many who said group activities is something they were waiting for, and many continue to host groups for these dynamic events with success.

The Shrine event on the 24th was with a massive group, and probably the largest we've ever had, which made it more difficult for the hosts to manage. All of the details for the event were posted at the forum weeks before the event and link given in game chats as well as Discords. The hosts, as well as myself spent a great deal of time in chat giving out information and instructions. I was with them the whole time.

Participants in events have to do their own diligence with regard to learning the details before participating. When they don't and choose to ignore additional info and instructions during the event, it only causes disruption, and that's not on the hosts, or even the design of the event.

We've had enormous positive feedback about all 3 of our locations, and our stats back it up. We invite feedback and pay close attention to it, and why we continue to make adjustments, the community can attest to that as well.

Your posts truly come across as more personal preference than anything else Ace, because you even included a bit of a rant on TWEN Tokens, and how our estates on Toulan is set up, and Toulan and Monria having nothing for you.

Engaging in the universe is all about choices, and everyone makes those choices according to what works for them, or not. You know as well as anyone else how things work, and every engagement doesn't mean profit. This is true across the universe.

Loot and items is something I can't address, other than to say that I'm sure every Entropian would appreciate better loot and item options.

Our feedback tells us we're doing something right, and we have made many adjustments and added things based on community requests and suggestions. We will continue to do so.

Every Planet Partner offers unique destinations and opportunities for a reason. It is known that players don't want the same game play at every location because that would become boring quite quick. Planet Partners should not be compared because each development team has their own dynamics.

My recommendation would be to continue making your personal choices Ace on what works for you, but please don't include that all players think as you do, because that is not our experience.

Thank You

Heidi Stassinopolis

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Shop Owner
Volunteer Mentor
VCAT Team Member
One solution to the Pyramid of Shut'thend event I think could be to have some additional mark up items/loot drop from all waves that are not currently there.

Hi Ace and DME, not wishing to get involved in taking sides or anything but the above point might be worth considering. I only say this as I have only done the event once, when it was first brought out to get the suit and the spines. I don't really have any incentive to do it again but if there were say pages for estates in the village etc that would be a big attraction. Like the Toulan event weekends have I mean.
I think once you have the event items then the only reason to jump into the dynamic event is to help friends or in passing if you are there already?
None of us are mind readers. Which makes communication all that more important. We don't have to agree with one another. It would be rather unusual if we always agreed. People should not be afraid to share their opinions.

All opinions can be important in the process of arriving at better solutions.
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