This SP system seems only good for solo, it's baffling. I play an MMO to play with others, not solo, otherwise I would play Dragons Age or something.
I am so disappointed after being so happy about the UI fix.
The SP change is fine for both soloing and grouping. You just can't group in the exact same way as the prior system and expect the same results.
Get into a smaller group and roam around killing mobs a little higher than your ranks. Not 10-15 ranks higher than you like before. While you may not be getting 500SP every kill, you can use your weaponskills to kill faster, allowing you to rack up far more SP over time.
I think this is the solution.
I'm trying very hard to do my part not to let this devolve into another debate about how an MMO should work and how one should be played, but at the end of the day it all boils down to what you're doing and what you're expecting to be rewarded for.
Based on KnocturnalOne's experiment, they started out on a yellow mob (solo) that earned them ~100 SP. They then added someone to their group that was pretty close to their rank and illed another and got ~70 SP (30% less). And so to my way of thinking, you've got twice the people and hence should be able to kill each mob twice as fast + share a wider variety of buffs. So assuming you're in an area with a reasonable mob density, you kill twice as fast for 2/3 the xp per kill, and after two kills you're ahead of what you might have been in terms of SP as a solo player. Even if you're having to run a bit from one mob to the next you're still killing those mobs twice as fast, so for every minute you spend in combat you're actually earning more.
So then if you want to up the SP maybe you would find mobs a few ranks higher. Nothing major...theoretically high enough in rank to award more SP but low enough in rank that the kill rate scales appropriately so you still come out ahead.
And this is the part that, if anything I said so far didn't, is going to **** people off:
Working as intended.
I love seeing people in groups having fun. I love having fun in a group. I enjoy grouping (with the right people). But I don't expect to be rewarded for anything just because I'm in a group. I have to be accomplishing something in that group that I couldn't accomplish on my own if I want to feel entitled to say I should be getting more.
And now we continue testing and try to find a sweet spot...a reasonable balance between mob rank, time to kill, and SP gained per kill.
I'll admit, the only reason I didn't mock people in their 15 person groups killing mobs 20 ranks above them is because...they were killing mobs 20 ranks above them. Hard to find fault with that. But when they're milking a system that is tuned so that sloppy play + party size = 5-10 times the SP a solo player can hope to get, I'm sorry but it's just broken. When you're encouraging people to soak all kinds of damage so your healers can maximize on SP potential, it's just broken. There was just SO much wrong with the way group play was shaping up and I didn't want to be the dink who takes it out on the players because I have to give them credit for being innovative and working with what they were given.
What it sounds like to me now, however, is that we're back to a scenario where the skilled players with appropriate builds and gear will be rewarded because they'll be able to kill things faster and keep up a strong pace that will allow them to progress faster than a solo player. They'll be earning
a faster rate of progression instead of having it handed to them simply because they accepted a group invite, and that, to me, is what MMOs are all about. It's not about being rewarded for being in a group, it's being rewarded for leveraging the advantages of a group to accomplish what a solo player can't accomplish.
Will SE tweak and tune the system going forward? Quite possibly. At least now we're at a baseline for consistency.