An Overview of the Void Crate and its Implications on Rares Design

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by albasant, Jul 24, 2020.

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  1. albasant

    albasant Member

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    In this post I'm going to try and address 3 topics:
    What makes a good crate item
    Why Power Creep is a problem
    Library Books and Suggestions

    What Makes a Good Crate Item?
    The answer is deceptively simple, it's an item that people are excited and happy to open. This reflects the goal of crates which is to have people want to open them. The worst feeling for every type of player is when you go to use your crate key, and you open something that you don't want- Or by extension, a rare that nobody wants.

    A good crate item is an item that most people will want.


    This is where the Void Crate excels, much like the Superhero crate, the majority of the items it contains are items that most people want. This means that when people go to open the crate, they more often than not end up satisfied with what they open. The general feeling when people open the crate is largely a good one, which leads people (including me) to say that it is one of the best crates of all time- both in terms of the overall design (the Deep Void crate being a particularly novel idea) and EV (estimated value of opening the crate)

    The Void Crate is one of the best crates of all time because it contains mostly items that people will want.

    This is where I want to take a moment to define the three basic types of rares: PVP rares, Utility rares, and Purely Cosmetic rares. Every crate has a healthy balance of these items, with the Utility rares being the most valuable, followed by PVP rares and Purely cosmetic rares.

    What makes a good rare (A rare people are happy to open) in one of these categories doesn't necessarily make a good rare in the others, This is where we get to the second feature of what makes a good crate item- its relationship in contrast to other rares in its category. This is the point where I shift to the second topic, Why power creep in Utility rares (tools, movement, building aids, etc.) is a problem.

    First of all, what is Power Creep?

    Power creep refers to when newer items are much better then older ones, for example, The new ender dragon disguise is exactly like the old one, except it is Unbreakable. The new ender dragon disguise is better in every way when contrasted with the old one. There is no reason to have an old ender dragon disguise if you can have the new one.

    Why is this a problem? Simply put, it feels bad. Not necessarily for the new player who opens the new ender dragon disguise, but for all the old players who now posses what is essentially an inferior product. The Ender Dragon disguise is one thing, but where it really starts being frustrating is with items like the Void Pick or Enderbow from this crate- Both of which are VERY power crept versions of items that had been the Industry standard for literally years (Unbreakable pickaxe and original ender bow). As awesome as those items are, It feels bad that now I feel obliged to replace items that I have been using for years to upgrade to their new and improved versions.

    Power Creep is a problem because it makes your current items feel irrelevant and outdated.

    This is made even more of an issue with the common advent of library books, like them or not, they have become a mainstay of crates for a while now. Now it feels extra bad if an item you have invested many of these books into an item that is now the less-optimal version. Again, Void pickaxe and Enderbow are particularly egregious here, as they are often enchanted with power 6 and efficiency 6 respectively.

    This brings me to my third point, why library books are the future of rares design, and my suggestions for what Apple should do going forward.

    Essentially, I think Apple should be sidestepping power creep by making it so effects like the Void pickaxe are on books instead of their own items. Had the Void Pickaxe effect been on the book, there would be no reason to feel the need to replace your old pickaxe, the Void Pickaxe effect is still equally valuable and important, it just dosent step over the territory of other rares.

    Items like the reprinted Enderbow have no reason to be unbreakable either- especially since Nanotech mending is literally in the same crate. I suggested nanotech mending specifically so that you WOULDENT feel like making items like Enderbow unbreakable. By all means continue the trend of making new rares unbreakable, but not if their original versions weren't.

    Void Shears are also an example of power creep, why do void shears break glass? Had the Void shears not have had that ability, They still would have been very useful and sought after, but they wouldn't be trespassing on the territory of the smasher.

    *Edit: I think we could have still reprinted glass smasher, but have it be a seperate rare then the void shears.

    Essentially, you DONT need power creep to sell crate keys, or to make crate items that people want.

    If a good crate item is an item that most people want, the right place to push rares design is in innovation, not optimization of already existing rares. Instead of marching on the same territory, expand into new areas.

    Items like Nanotech Mending book or Void Wanderers or the Deep Void Items are great examples of this- these are items people get excited about and that are very powerful in their own ways, but they don't trample on past rares and give older players a bad feeling. I'd argue that the Void Crate is an amazing crate, but I'd also it'd be equally amazing if not more so if the items in it weren't Overpowered- they don't need to be.

    ~


    Thanks for reading this! If you have any questions or comments please tell me! I absolutely love talking about rares design!
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  2. DocPBush

    DocPBush Member

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    disagree with enderbow and dragon disguises being unbreakable making the old ones inferior, they still hold value as a collectors item. I'd argue making a reprint of these items being unbreakable actually encourages people to use them, as they don't run the risk of damaging the rare or breaking it.

    either way i really wasn't a fan of the deep void crate, just seems like a weird one-off gimmick. im really hoping there's no "deep stone" in brimstone.

    and as rares like glass smasher get older, they're going to get older and harder to come by, on red it's fairly uncommon. on purple even rarer, making new rares like it is something i appreciate
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  3. albasant

    albasant Member

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    Intresting point, however I dont think the value of it being a collectors item as an argument really holds up. First off all, Having items you used to actually use be relegiated to the status of "collectors item" is a feelbad in itself, and second of all, remaking strictly better/power crept versions of old items destroys the market value of said items. Ender dragon disguise, for example, tanked almost all of its value when the new one came out. Even if you accept that those items are now "collectors items" as thier primary function, the fact is that those items rarely hold up thier value as time goes on. Its an issue that an item becomes less usefull or valuable just beacuse a newer more powerfull version came out.

    Even if you dont personally like the deep void key, its certainly an item that makes people excited to buy/open crates, which is the primary function of crate items. It serves its job very well in that regard.

    And as far as glass smasher, my argument isint that it shouldent be reprinted, its that it shouldent be buffed so much apon reprinting. Had the void shears been split into "Void glass breaker" and a seperate void shears without the glass breaking effect, that would have been much better. Essentially retaining thr hype of having those items return but without them making old items obsolete.
     
  4. EveAlex2015

    EveAlex2015 Member

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    dude stop doing whatever you're doing, go do journalism or something wtf
     
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  5. Lornon001

    Lornon001 Grumpy Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't think it really matters since the crate isn't meant to be an economy stabilization tool. It's just supposed to be something extra on the server. If you want the issues you have to go away Apple could always just get rid of the crate altogether along with destroying all rares. That would solve the problem outright. If you really have enough time to get this in-depth about a video game you might need something else to occupy your time. And might I suggest working for a nonprofit activist organization as a place of employment.

    Disclaimer: This post does not reflect the opinion of other MODs, the Admins, or in any way the server owner Apple.
     
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  6. smbailey

    smbailey Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I know, I got my computer in 2011. It should be better than your computer since I've had it longer.
     
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  7. Lornon001

    Lornon001 Grumpy Staff Member Moderator

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    I see people don't like the nuclear option when it comes to solving things. lol
     
  8. albasant

    albasant Member

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    Computers=????Rares Somehow? im not sure I understand this parralel.

    My argument is not that I want new rares to always be worse then old rares beacuse i want old rares to be good forever, but that we avoid making rares that are better in every way then previous ones. Keep the strengh and utility of rares the same, not higher or lower. Making new rares should focus more on innovation rather then optimization.
     
  9. albasant

    albasant Member

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    I really didint expect the "get a life" argument lol... Especially from a moderator.

    I really love rares, its in an artistic area I heavily enjoy, thats why I took an hour to write this up. I don't just want all rares to be deleted. Thats a rather extreme and unessesary approach to an issue which I think could easily be solved by a slight change in design philosophy, thats what Im suggesting. I even went out of my way to make to emphasize that I really like the void crate, the idea that i somehow want it deleted is a little jarring. I am certain that this server would be worse then it is without rares.

    As far as the economy goes... Its niether here nor there for me, this change in design philosiphy im suggesting wouldent really change things.

    Im not sure I really agree that rares are "something extra", the server revolves around them, especially in the late game on Blue. I doubt purple or red are much different. Its certainly worth discussing design.
     
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  10. Lornon001

    Lornon001 Grumpy Staff Member Moderator

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    Once again I must say that this is my own opinion and does not speak for any of the staff members and is only based on my observations, I have played the server for almost 2 years now.

    Time is the factor that is hard in play with here, Apple codes all the rares herself. You could make an argument that she needs more people to code them but people can be sneaky with code and build in things that do things that are not wanted.

    Secondly, innovation is a problem as more often than not more innovative rares become game-breaking and several rares have been removed entirely because of this issue. They were definitely innovative and totally broke everything.

    Third, the argument of power creeping and library books kinda takes a hit here. Making things unbearable as a rare was due to a huge outcry from the community of items breaking that were not intended to break, it is also why you can no longer PVP in disguise. The community as a whole pushed for this change as most players thought it was a good idea to do so. On the whole, this was done for current and future community players.

    Lastly when addressing library books, So far I have seen library crate happen twice on the server or something similar to a library crate. Books were somewhat well-received on the server yet were very lackluster in actually making people excited to have them.

    I would like to break down your 3 main points as to how I see them.
    What makes a good crate item? This is a subjective question and is based solely on one's opinion. Hence you will never have a "good" crate item for everyone and someone will always be upset no matter what you do with it.

    Why Power Creep is a problem! Personally I could care less if some newer items get unbreaking or not. Since rares are meant for everyone and not just a specific group of players it would be very rare many players are upset about this. Yes on occasion some players do get upset with this, mostly those who focus very much on the rare items that come from crates. On a whole, though this doesn't affect the server very much and the player base at least on red which is my main server takes very little notice of such things.

    Library Books and Suggestions. This I find somewhat redundant since players are the main driving force behind what gets put into the crate and what doesn't. The whole crate is based on player suggestions and if it can be coded in the time frame allotted to do so. Least this is my understanding of it.

    My personal opinion on it, I wish no server had crates period. I find they take away from the original game just like using a hacked client it gets boring after a short period of time.

    On a separate note: you took me saying you should go into a certain job field as an insult. It is not I am serous you have a way of expressing your opinion in such a way people would listen and I think you would do very well if you ever decide to pursue it. I get it I am not very good at expressing that I am being genuine about it, yet I am.

    I hope that clears up a little bit on how I think about this and see its effects on the server.
     
  11. Drunk

    Drunk Head Drunk Admin

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    crates are wack
     
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  12. kersplebedeb

    kersplebedeb moad Staff Member Moderator

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    wait, people used the glass smasher? i love void shears, especially the glass bit. i didn't use the glass smasher even before void crate cos it doesnt drop the glass. was worth it just slowly destroying with a pick to get the drops. i was so happy when void shears came along cos i can finally instabreak glass and get the drops.
     
  13. smbailey

    smbailey Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My point, while made in jest, was that even in the real world if you hold onto something long enough there will often come along something better. And it's the same in pretty much any game with regular updates. People say "power creep" like it's a bad thing when it's really just a fact of life.
     
  14. Viskristof

    Viskristof Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    As a purple player, this crate is the only way to obtain glass breaking rares, dragon disguises, etc. Before this crate, we had around 7 enderbows maybe? Power creep was always a thing just look at the warrior crate swords. They got so power crept no one uses them. (Bookworm blade might be the only exception) And that's an entire crate, not just 2 random rares. And I still think warrior crate items we're actually balanced. Not overpowering, doesn't grant you a huge advantage, etc. While we have rares that make you literally unkillable, a disguise and the bow would be my last priority.
     
  15. albasant

    albasant Member

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    This is something I really want to address actually, I almost want to make a p.2 post just to address this idea (I think i will actually lol)- its a very interesting concept overall. In reality, not all games have a power creep. The best example of this is the 2000s years of the Magic the Gathering TCG- TCG's are actually very similar in nature to the rares system we use, probably the closest parallel we have to them.

    Power creep IS a bad thing, the world is littered with games that fail or drop off because the developers get too greedy and push new things too hard in order to get them to sell. Again look at the MTG, it's a game that saw significant drops in its player base activity come the release of some sets that pushed the power creep envelope. Last saga, Yugioh, Clash of Clans, etc. there's a TON of examples of games from all genres that died due to power creep. My argument is simply that it (Power Creep) is not necessary to sell/get people excited about crates here on Applecraft. It's NOT a fact of life at all, rather a deliberate design choice that often only does more damage in the long term than good.

    Things should get better, I agree that eventually, rares should come along that generally outclass old ones in a general sense. A perfect example of this is Void Wanderer's leggings, a rare which generally outclasses the original Unbreakable leggings. However, Void Wander's leggings don't allow you to use supermans elytra or void walkers because it gives levitation immunity, this means that though they are usually better then unbreakable leggings, a player can still justify using unbreakable leggings over them- rather than basically being told they now possess a strictly inferior product.
     
  16. albasant

    albasant Member

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    I absolutely agree with this actually! It sucks that Warrior crate got power crept so hard on purple, especially when you realize that warrior crate was largely made with purple in mind over blue and red.

    *Edit: Note that the Warrior crate came into existance on blue/red already well below the power standard, thats not what i want at all, i dont want crates to be strictly above/below eachothers power level, but on the same power level.

    I still want to clarify some things!

    Being "unkillable", however, is very overrated (on blue and purple) and is not really what I'm talking about here. I'm specifically referring to Utility rares, as PVP and Cosmetic rares are a separate argument entirely.

    I should specify that I'm talking about a particular type of power creep that would be best described as "Strictly better" Power creep, this refers to where the previously existing standard of item is totally overwritten by the existence of a newer item. it's, in essence, the same concept, but the idea being that this only applies if the new item is better In every way. Something like a Void pick or Void Shears for example and not something like Void wanders leggings or Recycling Pickaxe.

    I am totally on board for ender bow and Dragon Disguise reprints! It's just that they didn't need to be strictly better than previous versions for that to happen.
     
  17. albasant

    albasant Member

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    Yes, the Glass Smasher was a pretty heavily used item- It was around 2 stacks before the reprinting.

    I also appreciate the use of Void Shears, however, I think that effect could exist without having to power creep the original.
     
  18. albasant

    albasant Member

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    I'm going to try and parallel answer your post since the ideas are very dis-jointed. Here goes!

    Ive been playing since crates were first introduced and have watched them with interest since then, that was almost 3.5 years ago on original red.

    How/what is time a factor at play here? I'm not sure I understand this paragraph.

    Innovation CAN be an issue, however it is not inherently an issue, and though you did not list any examples (the only one I can think of is hyperspace orb), any example of this being an issue is really just an oversight in design that is equally possible for rares the push too far into optimization and become problematic there. In general, I think Apple has been very good with not having rares ever be game-breaking, so this isn't a real problem. The idea that most innovative rares are broken is just factually not true, a very low % of innovative rares are broken and the vast vast majority of them are properly implemented.

    I agree that Disguises should be unbreakable going forward, I removed that section from the original post as It does not reflect my opinion. I do not, however, agree that any other items that were previously breakable should be made unbreakable. Again, that's specifically why things like mending and nanotech mending exist. Disguises get a pass because in reality, they should have been unbreakable from the start and that they are leather and break incredibly fast. Enderbow does not get a pass because it is very hard to break without you noticing and is a perfect example of how bad it feels to have an item reprinted in a strictly better manner. I (as well as several people I know) have Power 6 Mending enderbows over infinity because they had this breakability issue, it feels bad that now we all have a vastly inferior product that we really can't replace economically because we already invested so much in our current enderbows. Once again, the solution to this issue is not to make enderbow unbreakable, but rather nanotech mending, which is a much more balanced way to solve the mending/infinity problem.

    This paragraph on library books is like, crazy to me. I remember the pure chaos on blue when the library crate came out, people bought that crate like crazy because it was so hilariously broken. Library crate is probably the most controversial thing to ever happen on this server (outside of the world reset in 2017).
    And it certainly made people excited, we're talking about a crate where the average value of the books is like over 2 stacks, by far the highest average value of any crate ever. This, however, is unrelated to the library books I'm talking about. Im specifically refrancing the type of library books that are in the current crate- Curse, Bane, and Nanotech library books. These books are perfect because they allow for people to upgrade their current rares instead of having to outright replace them.

    Its "Subjective" in that you can like or dislike a rare, however, anything that has a specific goal is inherently tied in objectivity. In this case, the goal of a crate is to get people excited to open/buy them. That means any item that does this is, in terms of this argument, a "good" crate item- as it serves the goal of the product. If nobody wants a rare, it's not a "good rare". The idea that someone will always be upset is a copout answer used by PR's to make themselves look better and the opposition look like crybabies, In rational discussion, it's just not a good argument. "Someone always being upset" doesn't mean you can't improve or that you are necessarily in a good place. Though I don't think this whole power creep thing is a major issue, again, I really like the void crate, but I still think it's worth talking about the few issues it has. I'm always happy to talk about design!

    Yes, I agree that it's not a huge issue, however, it is something that can be improved upon and therefore is worth discussing. I certainly don't think Power Creep really has any upside, so there's no reason to keep doing it. In fact, I would argue that people on red take note of power creep, they just don't use that term. Superman's elytra is a great example of this. Though yes, I agree that with utility rares Red is less likely to be upset about this as their attachment to their items as a whole as well as specifically their attachment to their utility items is going to be much lower.

    Yes, rares are player suggested, however apple often modifies rares and changes rares to suit her design philosophy. My example here, referring to the Void Pick, is specifically saying that in this case apple should have modified the suggested rare and turn it into a book rather than keeping it as an unbreakable pickaxe. This sort of technique can be done for other rares as well going forwards, as well as splitting rares up that do too much for one item or other techniques to help keep the rare power level on the same plane.

    Yep. Rares certainly do have that effect. We've come along way from rares that only give potion effects, and especially on blue the vast sheer number of rares is incredibly jarring for new players.
     
  19. LavenderCrumbs

    LavenderCrumbs Member

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    i think there should be rares that are power crept, but not too many. if all the original rares are better than new ones, eventually we will end up with only shitty rares in all the new crates
     
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  20. Drunk

    Drunk Head Drunk Admin

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    [​IMG]
     
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