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Catching up: Proposals surrounding the SP cap.

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Professor Nova's Super Ethical Auction House
#1 Posted: 2013.11.13 18:52
This morning we had a meeting with CCP, and during this meeting we were essentially given some homework. One of the things we railed pretty hard on was an emphatic urging that the old promise of a rollover system was sorely needed, The cap puts us in a bad spot, and we wanted people to have a way to rip down the barriers of segregation the cap creates between new and old players.

So, the purpose of this thread is to collect player thoughts and proposals about how to rework the system. What is the best way to introduce a "catch up" mechanic? SP Rollover, No cap until X SP, No cap at all? Something else?

The ball is in our court as players to propose to CCP the best way to move forward with this, so the CPM is coming to you guys in order to decide our play.

If linking another thread : Please summarize (Or quote the OP) to allow for reasonable discussion and/or easy linking to CCP in future to say "In X post Y player said Z, and people liked/disliked it"
Fatal Absolution
Bleeding Sun Conglomerate
#2 Posted: 2013.11.13 18:53  |  Edited by: Arkena Wyrnspire
SP rollover.

It does have the problem of boosters being used to do things like super back to back grind sessions to cut down on the value of booster needed, but that tends to happen anyway.

You could have SP trickle into the active pool much like passive SP over time, without a limit on it - when a booster is plugged in, keep the trickle the same but have an additional 'bonus' pool, for example.

Also, no cap for newbies until they have a solid chunk of SP. I would also suggest an accelerated rate of SP gain for newbies.

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HavoK Core
#3 Posted: 2013.11.13 18:54  |  Edited by: Brush Master
Banked and Roll-Over SP Discussion Notes

These comes from a couple skype conversations with Kane and a couple others and thought they would be good to reference here for CPM or CCP.

Weekly Cap = 192,400
Banked SP = SP that you can gain before you see a cap and are reduced to 1,000 SP per match
Roll-over SP = SP left over from the weekly allocated SP


  • Everyone would start out with xx Banked SP (we used 5 million as a nice number for everyone) when the system would be initiated. With each week adding to the minium Banked SP that a new character would get when starting the game. i.e. week 1 - 5M, week 2 - 5.1924M, etc
  • Each weekly reset, any SP not used for the week would be transfered to the SP Bank
  • Once you use all weekly SP, you start using your Banked SP until it is all
  • Events could apply to weekly SP only not banked

Talks about how boosters could work and what could be done to monetize.

  • Make the the time based booster actually a monthly subscription, offer things like faster SP gain along with additional SP that does not count against the SP Bank
  • Offer limited boosters that have no time requirement but boost xx amount of SP until its used up. You still have to play it out and have weekly/banked SP to boost so this is again pay to get ahead not pay for SP.

in progress...

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Nos Nothi
#4 Posted: 2013.11.13 18:56  |  Edited by: Krom Ganesh
First off, anyone under 5 million sp should not have a cap. This would allow new players to quickly become more competitive.

For the actual roll over system, allow us to accumulate up to 3 weeks of SP into an active SP pool with SP added either at downtime or a slow trickle like Arkena said. This is long enough that someone can go on vacation but not lose much if any SP.

SP boosters should add a static amount of SP into another pool that is earned at the current rate (50% of earned active SP)

If Dust went through a tiericide, then no cap wouldn't be a big problem. More SP just means more options or being able to more efficiently use things. However, with tiers, more SP becomes more power.

I like Laurent's idea as well.
Templar of the Glowing Blade
#5 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:02
No Cap. None, zilch, nada ever. Also acceptable, add up all the points for all the weeks someone could have capped but didn't and set the cap to that number of missed points plus a weekly total.
DUST University
#6 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:04
with the no skill levels beyond 5 system anyone can catch up to the older players by specializing as the older players hit the ceiling and expand horizontally until they get diabetes. However unlike eve this game does not have the game mechanics that allow player interaction to overcome sp gaps and the game boils down to do you know the best 16 people in game and are you one of them. This can only be fixed by implementing new game modes/expanded hardware/interacting instances, I don't believe the cap needs raised although eve did raise the starting sp and dust may not hurt from raising the starting sp as well. Though I would recommend if that were to happen to give everyone currently existing the raised amount as well.

The more important thing however that I would like to see is turning the currently weekly cap into you gain 1/7th of the current active sp cap and you have 7 days until it expires. This would remove the sacred Wednesday cap reset into something that allows you to take a few days breather and then catch up. I wouldn't complain if the expiration date was up to 2 or 3 weeks. Sure this system could be gamed to allow people to take advantage of 1-3 day boosters to grind out the cap, not that they didn't anyway, but on the other side that is more money for ccp to develop the game to get pve in and I can take a vacation without worrying about the evil that is Wednesday downtime.

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Professor Nova's Super Ethical Auction House
#7 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:04
Personally, I'm a strong supporter of the rollover system, but if given the choice I would much prefer no cap at all.

While this may encourage some heavy farming by some, for the most part we shouldn't need to fear exploiting too much with the new system CCP Greyscale has tossed out that limits WP/time, which was the largest concern with having no cap.

I feel that any cap (However large it may be) sends the message "After X point you should stop playing our game and do something else." which I feel is a pretty silly message to send to your loyal customers. As a gamer, I have absolutely hated the "You cannot pass GO until Z timer expires" prevalent in many F2P games. Further, limited progression implies that progression itself is the entire goal of the game (Which until we get some actual content, it kind of is) and I think that is incredibly wrong. SP shouldn't be the primary focus of the game. SP and progression should be something secondary that happens naturally as someone is enjoying the other content, in my opinion.

While we enjoy a (sort of) soft cap rather than an abrupt stop to progression, that is almost worse in my opinion. With the soft cap players are still rewarded for grinding, but trying to eke out progression one match at a time can be nothing short of painful after one hits their cap.

Even if players do not approve of removing the cap entirely, I think it is very important that however this system is revamped, a day 1 player should be able to catch up to someone who has been playing for months, if that new player wants to grind like a madman while the "vet" is only playing an hour or so a day.
DUST University
#8 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:09
As one of these players never seem to cap out unless I have a few days off in a row, I favour the SP Rollover system, so I'm not penalised for having a full time job.

But with some players having in excess of 32 million SP (and fair play to them for having ground that out) the SP gap between vets and new players needs to be considered also.

Untill Scotty the AI gets enough players for him to keep the pro's from the new players we should give them a chance to catch up a bit.

I'd suggest no skill cap for 90 days or till, as an example, 5m career SP for new players . That should enable them to spec up fairly well.

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CEO of DUST University

Caldari State
#9 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:22
I would like to see a removal of the cap unti a cetain amount of SP is acquired, then put the rollover system in place. That way you can play a lot to expeience the game when you're new (or get an alt with more SP faster) and continue to be rewarded. People with more SP can still make use f what they earn but not as rapdly.

I would also like to see a system that allows us to put earned SP into a "lock" so that we can't spend ituntil we reach a number we set. Too hard to sit on large amounts of SP for that big skill when I have others that tempt me so.

Also a bit off-topic but didn't CCP say they would consider having passive SP on all characters? Would that be worth asking into?

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#10 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:23
Whenever you go to the whiteboard and come back with a complicated scheme from one of the most hated industries in the world, you need to re-think your strategy.

The best solution to the SP cap is to remove it entirely.

You earn what you earn, and that's it. Simple.

As far as a catch-up mechanic... the game already has them built in: Boosters. Give new players 1 month's worth of active and passive boosters. That's enough training to get into a decent ADV suit. It can also lead to increased revenue after they use their last free booster and see the decline in SP gain.
OSG Planetary Operations
#11 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:26
Arkena Wyrnspire wrote:
SP rollover.

It does have the problem of boosters being used to do things like super back to back grind sessions to cut down on the value of booster needed, but that tends to happen anyway.

You could have SP trickle into the active pool much like passive SP over time, without a limit on it - when a booster is plugged in, keep the trickle the same but have an additional 'bonus' pool, for example.

Also, no cap for newbies until they have a solid chunk of SP. I would also suggest an accelerated rate of SP gain for newbies.

My friend Arkena beat me to the punch on this one, +1 to the above.

0.02 ISK
Imperium Eden
#12 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:27
Leave the cap.
Just give us a roll over system or a global max SP cap, so that new players are able to keep grinding up to the current max, and people that are on holiday for 1-2 weeks are still able to "catch up" if they are that way inclined.

With FW giving people the option of farming LP rather than SP, I don't see any weight to the argument of "people will stop playing if they hit the cap".

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Rise Of Legion.
#13 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:27  |  Edited by: Tallen Ellecon
I like the idea of a bonus SP pool that grows at the same rate as passive SP, and is sped up by boosters. The pool will fill over time and never be reset so if you leave for 6 months you have 6 months worth of passive SP as well as a bonus SP pool worth 6 months of caps, though you still have to play to get it. This means it is continuous, no downtime reset. New players can start with 5 mil bonus SP to start so it will be awhile before they ever hit their cap. This will mean that those who play a lot will have a maximum amount of SP they can make and those who don't have the opportunity to catch up. It still requires the grind but no SP is wasted.

This also prevents people from powering through two caps with a 3 day booster. Not to mention you can't waste any potential SP from an active booster either.

A dev was talking about this in a previous post I don't have the time to find, it sounded like a great idea.

It's great because I don't have to worry about capping while I'm busy at school and work, and doesn't limit me when I decide to play for long periods during break. IMO this is the best idea. CCP may want people playing, but as someone who took a break it's not a bad idea to make people feel like they can take a break for a couple of weeks without losing something. People will be more likely to come back if they don't leave burnt out.

Found it
CCP Nothin wrote:
Active boosters simply multiply the number of skill points you receive at the end of each battle. As such, you are better off activating them when your pool of battle skill points is full (e.g. at the beginning of each weekly cycle). If you play a lot, you might be better off with a shorter (e.g. 3-day) active booster as it will allow you to earn bulk of the extra SP by playing a lot while it is active. If you prefer a more casual style of play, you might prefer to have the boost active throughout and have the freedom to spread your play over more days without worrying about it too much.

Now, in regard to the weekly skill cap and the implications of it:

We acknowledge that the current implementation of the skill cap still isn't quite there yet. It doesn't quite allow people to choose when to play as freely as we would like, and it also adds some unnecessary complexity when it comes to using active boosters. This is why we are working our way towards a rollover SP system: instead having your pool of bonus SP being reset according to a fixed weekly cycle, you will steadily accumulate bonus SP to a pool over time that you can then empty through fighting in battles. As a result, everyone should be able to better choose when to come in and claim the available SP. Moving to such a system would have the added benefit of allowing us to make active boosters to give out a constant value over time by having them influence the rate at which SP accumulates into the pool instead of just multiplying SP received at the end of each battle.


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Fatal Absolution
Bleeding Sun Conglomerate
#14 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:33  |  Edited by: Arkena Wyrnspire
Cross Atu wrote:
Arkena Wyrnspire wrote:
SP rollover.

It does have the problem of boosters being used to do things like super back to back grind sessions to cut down on the value of booster needed, but that tends to happen anyway.

You could have SP trickle into the active pool much like passive SP over time, without a limit on it - when a booster is plugged in, keep the trickle the same but have an additional 'bonus' pool, for example.

Also, no cap for newbies until they have a solid chunk of SP. I would also suggest an accelerated rate of SP gain for newbies.

My friend Arkena beat me to the punch on this one, +1 to the above.

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#15 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:53
SP roll over with active boosters being worth Xsp rather then X days

Like if you were sitting on 10000 sp in your cap and you used a 20000 sp booster you could use 5000 now, 10000 next week, take the next week off and finish the week after with the last 5000

If blood and sweat don't teach them perhaps time will

Seituoda Taskforce Command
#16 Posted: 2013.11.13 19:58
I would be in favor of a diminishing returns scheme of active SP accrual.

The idea is that game design sits down and says how many SPs they think their median active player should be earning for their content-strategy to work out long-term. Below this threshold SP accrual is quick with a high SP/WP and SP/matchtime ratio. The closer the gained SP of the last 7 days gets to the threshold the lower these ratios get, making SP accrual more time consuming. Beyond the threshold these ratios slowly approach zero, never becoming zero exactly, but decreasing returns the more the player exceeds what game-design originally intended.

Here's an example:
Consider you've been away from home for 7 days. The active SP you accrued during this time is zero. Not a worry, CCP recently released roll-over-SP for Dust.
During your first games you earn 2 SP/second of matchtime and 5 SP for each WP you earn in the match. This pays out handsomely for the first couple of games.
After a number of games, or perhaps the next day, you start to notice that SP accrual starts to slow down. At some point you're only getting 1 SP/second and 1 SP/WP. This is the ratio we currently have in the game.
Nevertheless you're enjoying yourself with those black eagle suits and you keep playing more than the average player does. This is where you notice things getting progressively slower. At some point you'll only earn 0.5 SP/second of matchtime or even less, and even your WP only earn you 0.5 SP/WP.

I could whip up some nice degressive curves if I was a game designer, but I'll leave this as homework for the guys at CCP. I hope the concept is clear: Motivate players to turn on the game and get in a couple of games with large incentives at the start of the active SP pool, but stop people from chewing through all the content by handing out fewer skillpoints when the player starts to leave the rest of the community behind.

Important thing to note: In this model playing more always grants more rewards. The reward per effort ratio is just not constant but asymptotically approaches zero for a very large amount of SP earned per 7 days.
Bragian Order
Amarr Empire
#17 Posted: 2013.11.13 20:05  |  Edited by: Magnus Amadeuss
Why not just make active sp accumulate into a pool like the passive sp? Boosters increase the rate. This pool carries over indefinitely.

This way people cannot abuse active booster like now (getting 2 weeks for one seven day booster).

CCP makes more monies, the playerbase is happy, everyone wins.
#18 Posted: 2013.11.13 20:07
I voted for a rollover system and I regret that decision.

What I would like to see however is a Rollover SP or Banked SP system that has a cap on it.

I understand not everyone wants to play Dust all the time, people go on vacation, have lives, play other games etc., but I don't see why we should reward players for not playing the game. In eve passive SP is only gained if one is paying their subscription. There is no possible to way for a new player in EVE to go and grind out a 150m+ toon. Why are we trying to make it so in Dust? In EVE there are always bigger fish and I think that's something we've lost sight of in Dust.

"Bigger fish" is a misleading term anyways. In regards to "catching up with the pros" I strongly believe this is a myth supported by players who do not want to acknowledge that the reason they get stomped is not because there are people with more SP and better gear but because there are people who are just better than them. I have 30m SP right now. I was as strong as I was ever going to be on my main fit 15m SP ago. The rest is just luxury - new toys and expensive vehicles that don't put me any more ahead of the pack when it comes to 1v1 encounters. When I have 60m SP I won't be any stronger than I am today in my Templar Assault with my Templar ScR.

My point is that if you don't play the game, and don't invest the time into it, you shouldn't get the same rewards as the people who do just for showing up once in a while.

What I propose is that we limit the amount of SP eligible for the rollover system. This could be somewhere around 1 million SP players could grind out if they quit dust for a couple months, have busy work weeks, go on vacation, etc. It doesn't punish players for taking short breaks from the game but also it doesn't allow players who abandon the game for extended periods of time to come back without consequence.

1mil max SP rollover on active SP doesn't punish short breaks and encourages people to actually play


#19 Posted: 2013.11.13 20:12
I would like some sort of "rested" system like they have in other MMOs in combination with whatever system ends up being in place.

For instance, every X hours of not playing gives you Y amount of bonus sp that can be earned the next time you play. Active boosters can be used on top of this too. This way casual players who can't play for 48 hours will be treated to a nice bonus the next time they log in and will still be able to compete skill level-wise with players that were able to play constantly through those 48 hours.

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Condotta Rouvenor
Gallente Federation
#20 Posted: 2013.11.13 20:37
All passive should be removec from the game because it encourages AFK. Last week there was at least 3 people each mach on each team AFKing.
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