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Name of original poster withheld, but I thought I would pass this on....
Macroing currently is, for the most part, the end-all, be-all of skill progression in DFUW. To some, this is nothing new because of how commonplace it was in DF1. To other, perhaps newer players, it might be something you may or may not be fully aware of just yet. Everything from all stats, to weapon skills, to abilities, and ultimately to schools, can be macroed while AFK.
AV really wrestled with this in DF1. They increased stat/skill/spell gain on mobs drastically, multiple times. Increased overall gains drastically, multiple times. Implemented meditation, multiple ways. All to specifically address macroing and "the grind", in tandem. So now, it's pretty damn remarkable that with this entire new game, AV seems to have taken gigantic steps backwards to the days of the complete absence of all these measures, with just a pure macroable "grind" awaiting prospective players. Keep in mind I am not saying that the skill progression and "grind" in UW is overly long, or even bad in comparison to DF1. It may or may not be, and that is a topic for another thread. What I am saying is that the real issue right now is that you can simply macro through everything just like the inglorious days of old in DF1, because there are just no deterrents preventing you from doing so, nothing encouraging you to do otherwise, and is the most effective way to even move forward with individual character progression.
I had the pleasure of having some duels with a player from Afghan recently, and those fights made certain things clear. First, as is the FOTM and most effective playstyle by far in the (early) beta right now - he was a Dex warrior. He had high archery skill (a hellish grind atm, probably like 75k arrows just to hit 50 non mastery) and high dexterity (110-130), but in addition to both of these things, he also already had the 70 strength requirement (no idea on his actual strength, maybe it was 100+ as well) in order to wear Plate Armor. I play a Skirmisher, have 102 Dex, and 45 Archery. I was in a full suit of Studded Leather, which is the R30 Skirmisher equivalent to Warrior's R30 Plate. As a test, he used a Rank 0 bow against me, whereas I used a Rank 30 against him. I proceeded to hit him for 16-17 with my Rank 30 Bow, whereas he hit me for 24-25 with his Rank 0. Now keep in mind, what I'm saying here has little to do with class balance, and is not a reproach on the Afghan player's skill level or anything of the sort - on the contrary, he was a competent, chill dude who could legitimately aim - as well as the fact that in this particular scenario, it also has to do with Skirmishers being late bloomers, and Dex Warriors giving up all higher armor later on besides the R30 Plate they're currently equipped with, while no one can really craft anything better than R30 at the moment anyhow, granting early superiority to the Dex War. So please don't mistake this for an argument of class balance or the like, and read on.
There are bugged mobs all over the beta currently, but macroing on a mount, a player, or a bloodwall virtually is the same concept; rapid, and usually afk, gains. The point in the Afghan player's case is not that he had these stats and was able to capitalize on them, but rather that a player was able to achieve them so quickly over another player who would prefer to play "legitimately" (not using myself as an example, as I of course macro like every competitive player is forced to in order to compete in small scale engagements), but just imagine if a newer player who has been pveing, hitting mobs, hitting racks, crafting, gathering, gearing up, etc, and who, in terms of playerskill and ability, could be on par with or even surpass myself or the Afghan player, imagine if they ran into someone with a char of the Afghan's progression level, and proceeded to get steamrolled in seconds. What sense would this player make of what had just happened to him?
Our intrepid, capable adventurer would no doubt question how it was possible that another player could deal so much more damage (the margin would be absurd) to him than he could deal in return, when both parties involved had been playing actively from server up. He then has a choice to make: he could choose to learn how to afk macro every night/day, he could become a face in the crowd in some zerg where refined char progression is not as relevant, he could become a lone wolf and grind for months "legit" in order to "catch up", or he could just move on from the game out of lack of desire to do any of these things; none of which are actually positive outcomes. And this is the same EXACT flaw that plagued DF1's skill system for so long and caused many players who did not want to resort to 3rd party macro software and leaving their computers on overnight for months just to compete in an MMO, to leave. And now, somehow, here we are once again.
A classic example of a poor design decision on AV's behalf in regards to macroing is the progression of the transfers. When you get them as a new player, they take 50 from your base stat and return 45 to your transferred one. By 100 skill, they take 50 and return 64. That's a negative 10% yield vs. a positive 28% yield PER transfer via progression alone, progression that, if not macroed, would take EXCRUCIATINGLY long to raise to the increasingly positive yield levels, thus pretty much making it a requirement that it be macroed, and thus only serving to cripple the new and "legit" players, which is, ironically, the very people AV are trying to bring into the game, and why they made compromises to other aspects of the game in order to accomplish this goal. However, If things continue at this rate, AV will have only succeeded in alienating both factions of their prospective playerbase; many "vets" due to the concessions made to DF1's combat, vets who are more or less begrudgingly trying to accept the changes if it means a greater population, and new players alike because the macro-all situation is not a tenable proposition for many, less "hardcore" players. And what's more, EVERYONE loses here if macroing is kept as is, because it eliminates players from being out in the world participating in the world, and instead has them in some dark hole somewhere or in an encapsulated player city AFK skilling, without even regs to boot.
Some quick suggestions would be (I'm aware some of these are reiterations of other suggestions):
•Make skill gains on mounts and players have diminishing returns. This would allow people to still go out and pvp and skill up on other players from it, but would pretty much shut down macroing all together, if the DR's were made significant enough.
•Increase stat/skill gain on mobs similar to DF1, thus giving an alternative to macroing; that of skilling/stating up while venturing into the world, getting loot, and encountering other players, all while fighting for supremacy of the spawns out there, as it was meant to be.
•Implement some form of meditation again, or just allow players to buy skills/stats with prowess points, which would actually allow a player to do whatever they like in the world, and then choose their progression based on their activities alone.
Whatever you do, the point being, AV: Progression in your game should be under your control, and carried out as per your design. If it was intended for the progression to be "open to interpretation", i,e, circumvented, it should indeed be intentional on your behalf as developers, not the byproduct of negligence and oversight. Players should have a clear path of progression that doesn't involve finding the best ways to exploit through your system, but rather to work through it within the options they are given, and in a manner that doesn't feel like they're running on a hamster wheel. But regardless of how it's addressed, this issue needs serious consideration. We all know how depressing DF will be with another empty game world, and even more than that, personally, I'd really like to see all the guys who were never interested in the concept of having to macro/perma-grind/char-crutch/script in order to be able to compete in a full-loot PVP game, and instead just get in, progress, and get out in the open world and wreak havoc with the rest of us. Free Darkfall from this burden, AV. For fuck sake, good sirs, take heed.