I know this is not a new topic, and a myriad of ſolutions has already been propoſed, but here is my beﬅ ſuggeﬅion for fixing a few iſſues with the current skill level ſyﬅem.
Here are my axiöms:
- When a harder skill level is applied to a given miſſion, the miſſion ſhould be more difficult.
- The difference between two adjacent skill levels ſhould be ſuch that a max-difficulty miſſion on the lower skill feels like a mediüm-high-difficulty miſſion on the higher one.
- All players ſhould be accommodated; the worﬅ players ſhould ﬅill be able to complete the eaſieﬅ miſſions, and the beﬅ of the beﬅ ſhould ﬅruggle to finiſh the hardeﬅ miſſions.
- There ſhould not be an economic benefit to flyïng miſſions for which the player is wholly untrained.
- There ſhall not be a high “barriër of entry” to harder miſſions; the main iſſue muﬅ be the exceſſive difficulty, and acceſſing a higher skill level ſhould not require grinding.
Here are the main iſſues that I ſee in the current ſyﬅem:
- There is currently a very ſmall difference (baſically unnoticeable) between skill levels.
- The hardeﬅ miſſions are not hard enough.
- The biggeﬅ factor in miſſion difficulty is the choice of miſſion, not choice of skill.
- There is currently an economic benefit to flyïng on the hardeﬅ difficulty even if one is not up to the task, as evidenced by variöus forum poﬅs.
In my propoſed ſolution, I cannot give preciſe deſcription of the changes I’d like to ſee, in part becauſe of this:
Therefore, I ſhall explain the fundamentals of my propoſed overhaul, and then liﬅ ſome further improvements at the end. I will not diſcuſs changes to Touriﬅ level, as I do not feel qualified to do ſo.
To ſolve iſſue #1, we ſhould change the range of miſſion difficulties per skill level thus:
Basically the lower bounds are juﬅ adders to the nominal difficulty of the miſſion, juﬅ as it works now. Theſe are calibrated in line with axiom #2; for example, a 100% difficulty miſſion on Rookie would feel like a 60% difficulty miſſion on Seaſoned.
In addition, in order to make the higher skills more…memorable, there’s my “rogue wave” concept, which now that I think about it is ſomewhat ſimilar to a bug in the firﬅ verſions of the game. During miſſion generation, for each wave a random number between 0 and 1 is generated. The wave difficulty then gets a difficulty booﬅ given by this formula:
[n^2] / [2(1.1-x)]
Where x is the random number, and n is an integer correſponding to the skill level:
Rookie = 0, SSH = 4
Note that on Rookie, rogue waves aren’t a thing becauſe the formula always outputs 0.
Here are a few more notes: rogue waves have a much greater effect on harder skill levels, but regardleſs of skill level moﬅ waves are pretty cloſe to the nominal difficulty. The idea is juﬅ to have the occaſional wave that makes the player go “oh, wow” when the chickens ſhow up. I know a few people will complain about beïng “ſcrewed over by RNG”, but 1) the rogue waves are barely noticeable on anything below Veteran, and 2) the RNG is per miſſion, not per flight. If you fly the miſſion again, the waves won’t be any different.
With theſe changes iſſues #1, 2, and 3 will have been ſolved. I expect that iſſue #4 will alſo be fixed indirectly; at any rate that can hardly be addreſſed now. On a more perſonal level, my complaints about lack of epic waves will alſo be voided as I expect the rogue wave concept will add them in very nicely. The exact values may need tweaking, though.