This page being copied from the post on the Pseudoquest Forums, the post is from Xaroth, a little down the page.

Currently, turns regenerate at about 1 turn every 8 minutes, which works out to just about 8 turns/hour, as Squirrelborg correctly points out.

There are a number of reasons for keeping the turn rate where it is. The main ones are:

  • Helps maintain the pacing of the content. Because it's just me creating all the in-game content, and the game itself is pretty fast-paced, given unlimited turns the game's content can currently be exhausted in a couple of hours, maybe less if you already know where everything is and what you're doing. By spacing it out into 15-20 minute chunks/day, a player that might otherwise have eaten through the game in a couple of hours and then given up the game will instead be willing to come back to the game to see new stuff indefinitely.
  • Encourages people to come play once/day or more. There's enough turns granted in a day to make significant progress towards one's quests, and enough that it can be worthwhile to just log in and hunt monsters twice a day.
  • Maintains world distance. A common theme throughout the game is that of locality and distance. A larger number of turns "shrinks" the world, which would be undesirable given this as a stated design goal. A smaller world (as it would be) would disrupt the notion of local economies, which is something I'm hoping to foster through the game's development.
  • Encourages casual play. Because the game can be fit into a 15-minute break during the day, or a single 30-minute session after work or school, the liklihood that people will want to come back over and over again is high. This helps to avoid the "life waste" problem in other MMOs as well.
  • Subtly encourages thought and strategy in combats. Keeping the rate of turns regenerated modest means that death (and its associated 25-turn loss) can be expensive. Whereas the game can quickly become a click-fest otherwise, this limitation encourages players to slow down a bit and more closely monitor their resources, the effects they're using, and the equipment they have.
  • Keeps server load manageable. This whole endeavour is being financed completely out of my own pockets at this point. This means that I can only afford very low-end servers and modest bandwidth. (Incidentally, the hosting is through http://www.teratomic.com, and is quite affordable for what I'm getting.) If the game were making money hand over fist, or were funded by a larger entity, then scaling the servers out more would be economically feasible, and encouraging a larger number of concurrent players (through larger turn limits) would be easier to justify. Such as it is, there is a very real incentive to keep requirements modest until the game begins to sustain itself financially.
  • Maintains game balance. This will become more important when PvP is introduced (soonish!), but in order to ensure that the majority of players don't feel like it's impossible to keep up, the people who have oodles of time to dedicate to a game need to be limited in some ways. A turn-based approach with a limited number of turns/day is a good way to level the playing field for a casual game such as this. A skilled player will be able to use that limited resource to their best advantage, so a sort of meritocracy is formed, rather than simply rewarding the people who have the most time to devote to the game.
  • Regardless of how many turns people get, they will say they want more. Turn-based games of this type always have hoardes of dedicated players who wish they had just 1 more turn per (day / hour / minute / second), or that the turn-based mechanism should be abolished entirely. Nevertheless, the mechanic proves to generate some popular games (LORD, KoL, Trade Wars, just to name a few) for many of the reasons I've outlined here. Simply put, (and paradoxically so) the game would not be as much fun with more turns.
  • The game has been balanced against the current turn structure. This relates to content pacing, but also relates to the power curves across levels and monster difficulties involved. If the number of turns were increased, the amount of XP and pyrite generated from combats would have to come down in approximately the same ratio as per the increase in turns.
  • Achievements, such as completing major quests, gaining a level, and purchasing high-power equipment, are worth more when the turn regen rate is lower. If you look at other MMOs in existance right now, and - in fact - most CRPGs, you'll find that the rate of increase in levels is very rapid. As a result, you have instances where the only exciting thing that happens is hitting the level cap (eg: 70 for WoW, 99 for the old Final Fantasy's, etc.) or getting the single most powerful set of equipment in the entire game. Because getting to that next level takes time, determination, and skill, even something as seemingly trivial as level 2 feels exciting when you get there. Saving up to buy a Sharpened Squid while you suffer through lesser equipment so you can try to buy it earlier means that that purchase *means* something. It's no longer "just" a piece of equipment, or a completed quest, or another level - it becomes more than that, and becomes something actually worth trying to achieve.

All of these are powerful reasons to maintain the system roughly where it is now. The game's ecosystem depends on it, and - despite everyone wishing they could just have 10 more turns whenever they play - it makes the game more fun on the whole than it would be if turns were less "expensive".

Hopefully that provides insight into the decision process for keeping things roughly where they are. Some minor tweaks may happen as the game evolves, but they will be carefully weighed against the negatives of any sort of balance shift as fundamental as tweaking the turn regen rate.

Incidentally, the turns are paced so that a level can be gained by a dedicated player every 4-8 days, and the content structured so as to minimize dedicated grinding (not that people can't do it if they want to). The long-term running theory is that players should be able to finish up a content area right around the time that I'm getting ready to introduce the next content area. In practice, for longer-term players there will likely be some delays between content areas, but that's never stopped anyone before. ;)

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