A reasonably simple way to improve the current paradigm

Home Forums Archived (Inactive) Forums Leap Day LD – General Discussion A reasonably simple way to improve the current paradigm

This topic contains 23 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  dornbeast 6 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #15114

    Tempus

    qubits and Delha are certainly right about “I think this is an interesting idea, but my first thought was the same as qonen,that there will be a lot of issues where players disagree on a target star level to shoot for.” I hadn’t considered it, but with the timing system, one player can usually just rush and is hard to lock out. With a multi-requirement system, disagreements would pretty much be required to be resolved by torch demolishing via votes, in cases of disagreement. There isn’t a simple and clean way to address that, I feel, which makes me sad.

    Regarding “recipe diversity”, the game really isn’t suited to it. As a resource management game, the basic rule is to optimize. There can only be a few optimal recipes, so the majority of recipes don’t meet the criteria for usage, as Garmy expanded on. As a player, you generally want to pick the recipes you have determined to be optimal. The meta-system of golden chests further exacerbates this issue – it promotes constant usage of the same type of item, because using a recipe means chests, which means the recipe is more valuable.

    As he also said, this is the cause of the dissonance with level completion recipes. Levelling those recipes makes level completion easier, but means your games have to be devoted to subpar and uninteresting pursuits. With everything at level 4, my potteries were about 2k each, and since there is no ‘stone’ starting spot and it’s evenly distributedish, it’s unusual to start without access to enough stone for a pottery. And I only need four factories. By comparison, a stout barrel yields only 1500 each, requires about 15 recipes, and needs more resources, and you need all five types (and sharing!). Stout barrels are/were important to level for completion, but useless for the meat of the game.

    The golden chest system rewards specialization in terms of income, but rewards homogenization in terms of map completion. In a game like a shooter, players often specialize – a sniper, a medic, a rocket dude, a shotgunner… and doing so makes the team stronger. In Leap Day, specialization hurts teams – sharing provides huge income bonuses, but everyone needs to be making the same stuff since just delivering isn’t worth anything. So they all need to level the same things to get higher income. In the same way, for boss collaboration, it’s always the same handful of difficult items that need levelling, and the more people that have them, the easier it is. Even now that the first tier recipes have been nerfed to all need levelling, it’s not like I can specialize in lumber and garmy can specialize in spirits – the recipes aren’t setup so that we can easily mix and match with each other.

    So, here are some options to address the root causes, some are drastic, some are not. just brain stormin’.

    • Allow players to ‘borrow’ factories from other players, so that you can use their level recipe on your terrain (but no chance of golden chest for you from it). This idea promotes teamwork, specialization, helps with income sharing a tad (as high income players can purchase factories for low income players), and in general means that you’ll never be jipped in a scenario where you need to make a wood bust and a stone bust but only one of you has levelled Ceremonial Floats, or you need to make six flamingoes and can’t complete because you’re the only one who has level 30 everything and can manage the b-stards.

    • Ice Altars don’t require specific items at all, but have ‘breadth’ and ‘income’ requirements. For example, the altar requires you to deliver 20k worth of deliverables to it, with at least 5 different items over 2k. This helps promotes specialization – everyone can do different things, and level different things, and no matter what you level it’s good for helping with completion. In the current paradigm, this would make a lot of subpar income recipes useless, because it simply isn’t worth it to make a lot of things. In my own calculations for determining which recipes were best (much of Garmy’s post mirrors those results), there are really only a very small handful of recipe chains that were worthwhile, when you cross-indexed income with availability and map footprint and complexity. This can be rebalanced, though, with a couple hours of solid math.

    • More levels have more strenuous default penalty/bonus setups. Currently, there are maps that have things like ‘no stone’ or ‘no food’ or ‘these things are worthless in income’. That is neat. But then you stick all these shrines into the level, like “Those conditions were neat, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to”. That’s not good. If there’s a level without stone, make it literally require no stone. No shrines for stone, nothing. If there are many stages with penalties for various things (no resource X, low income on resource X, high cost of item X, etc), it promotes changing play style to match the level. Currently, they’re more like temporary penalties until you can reach the correct shrines than they are unique map conditions. Same with the changes to Darke Lorde and Cougarina, et al. The shrines don’t fix anything, they just highlight that there was an issue to begin with. This idea would be best paired with a shifting towards less resource variety in resource chains, as Garmy suggested. If the majority of recipes take two resource types, or three, then specialization in this scenario becomes more pronounced and useful. You’ve got more than 140 recipes, and more than 3/5ths take four resource types, and almost half take all five. Most of the ones that don’t are tier one (perfume, spirits, etc) and tier two (glass, cooked food, etc) recipes, and aren’t very valuable on their own.

    Anyway, the main point is, I think that your game mechanics are geared towards specialization. Rather than trying to make a player want to make every recipe, you should be trying to make each player choose a different subset of recipes that they like in particular, so that Tempus the Stone Bust Bastard, the Prayer Stone Preacher, the Wine of Death Drunken Master can mix it up with qubits the Statement Bangle Bandit, the Cooked Food Chef, the Wine of Joy Bartender and we can both benefit from the specialties of each other in any given stage. Just like how in other games, players will choose a class or play style and master it, and have it be useful, so it could be done with Leap Day. Rather than just having everyone do stone rings and bust and then switch over to flamingoes and glowing junk for every altar.

    #15149

    jchrisholmes

    Daniel – what is the flow of the game that you want to see? As I described it, it’s 1) trade for money, 2) expand a bit and start making some expensive recipe, 3) tear everything down, build toward the boss.
    I think that tear everything down bit is a big detriment to the game.

    Right now, everything gets reset at the end of the day, but money comes in regularly during the day. Have you considered “charging” people in-game for what they do? Right now everything costs more money each time you lay it down as a way to slow down progress, and it works well. What if either instead of the increase in cost, or in addition to it, there is an extra cost for upkeep? I.e. each flan needs N pieces of food per day, and if you don’t deliver that food to your prince by the end of the day, you just get charged an extra amount of money? Trains/roads could have the same sort of upkeep costs. For every 4 stone tracks, you need to deliver 1 stone to the prince. Then recipes can be about increasing the value of that type of good. Berries are 1 food, berries + water = muffin = 4 food, etc.

    At minimum, you won’t want to tear your empire down at the end because either you won’t be able to afford the upkeep, or you’ll need it as a safe-guard as you’re building toward the boss. You’ll still have the option of tearing down, but you’ll have the extra upkeep mechanic to slow down progress.

    #15171

    claudekennilol

    That’s a great point about the branches vs trees. Complicated setups are great fun, but insulting when they don’t pay out against the effort put in.

    And you’re right, goods are produced for only two reasons: boss or income. One thing I think could alleviate a bit of the frustration is if shrines/towers didn’t stop accepting goods after the first. If I just spent a lot of time making something (that probably isn’t worth much) the least you could do is have it accept as many as I can make so I can earn some money off of what I’ve spent time building. Obviously for very complex goods I’m only going to make one, but for things such as windows, jewelry, or stone rings, let the shrines accept as many as can be made (obviously with the shrine being activated after the first, but the rest still yield income).

    #15181

    Delha

    @Tempus:
    1. I do like the idea of sharing factory progression. That said, my gut reaction is that I’d prefer to see something along the lines of all factory levels being available to all players rather than one player needing to “buy” the factory for another. I would probably implement this sort of idea by simply saying if someone with L15 Stew Barrel shows up on the map, everyone can now has the ability to set their Stew Barrels to L4, L14, or L15.

    I think I’m okay with keeping your golden good exclusion in place, with the simple revision that the exclusion only occurs when you set the recipe to a tier above what’s already available to you (with this lockout propagating up the production chain). In other words, if you have Ore 6, and use my Ore 14 factory instead, no problem. The recipe isn’t changing. If your Ore was below L5, then the lockout would occur. I figure this fosters cooperation, since it pushes strong players into setting the factory on their border for the growing players to utilize, while still helping to mitigate the “dead weight” scenario by allowing newer players to forsake their golden goods potential in return for stronger production ability (presumably most desirable during boss kills).

    2. I’m not so sure about the alternate Ice Altar idea. The scalar nature of top end goods means that even small changes can have huge effects on the sell value of top end goods. Basing boss completion on something even more volatile than component requirements seems like a a bad idea. Also, this encourages people to choose a single path and follow it every single game. Fully leveled Porcelain Busts are 40 stone for just over 100k value. Once someone reaches that stage, I suspect that Jones/Dark Lorde wouldn’t even be very difficult to solo.

    3. Maybe I misunderstood, but I didn’t read Garmichael’s post as a statement that resource diversity should be reduced across the board. I instead read that as explaining why statues are overpowered. As a side note, an idea that just popped into my head… Perhaps statues could be balanced by simply adding more low tier single resource goods into the production. For example, Porcelain might be 1x Fired Brick + 1x Marble (made from 5 Stone) + 1x Granite (made from 3x Stone). That maintains low resource diversity as the hallmark of the statue line, but adds complexity in the form of infrastructure diversity. It also increases difficultly through production layout, since one now has to segregate which stone is going where. The above example might be too complex, or still too simple, but I just wanted to get the idea out there.

    4. Specialization + Hard Resource Penalties (as opposed to the current “soft” penalties) is probably going to lead to a lot of cases where players simply never play map X since they are a Stone Bust specialist and the map has zero stone. It really sucks putting in a lot of time/effort leveling something only to be forced into situations where that progression is entirely worthless.

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    @jchrisholmes: I think you really need to do your homework before trying to make suggestions where you don’t have the knowledge base to back it up. On expert maps, you don’t tear down because you need the money, you tear down because you need the space and resources to produce the boss items. I couldn’t even really understand what your suggestion was trying to accomplish, but I can tell you straight off than maintaining your economy for “upkeep” purposes is outright impossible at the top end.

    Where on this map are you going to fit the “upkeep” infrastructure you suggest? This isn’t even that resource intensive relative to say, Jones or Dark Lorde.
    http://leapdaygame.com/index.html?observe=Pub_0e98fd3e-5562-44a5-b3cc-90fc476bb283&player=8&x=59&y=42

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    @claudekennilol: Making altars accept multiples of a good would probably make Jones impossible (even before the last recipe change to Flamingoes). I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a Jones setup that didn’t deliver via rail hitting multiple altars. Shrines I can sort of see, but honestly… Who overproduces for a shrine? Production lines always fall on a spectrum of Speed vs Volume. The nature of shrines is such that they should almost always be activated as quickly as possible. At just about any point where the extra money from delivering an extra Potion of Joy or two to a shrine is making a notable difference in my income, that’s an indicator that I should be using that extra gold to set up a better economy instead.

    #15182

    jchrisholmes

    Delha – and is tearing everything down because there isn’t any space fun? If you have to do this to beat a map, does that make the game fun, or does changing the game so you are encouraged/penalized to not do that more fun?

    Also, you need to work on your delivery because you come across as very condescending and rude.

    #15184

    Delha

    I don’t need to work on my delivery at all. My tone to you is deliberate.

    I am being condescending to you because as I stated earlier, anyone having trouble completing Sad Uncle clearly lacks a thorough understanding of the game, and really ought to develop their understanding before making judgements on whether various aspects of the game need to be changed. There’s nothing wrong with a rookie who knows where they stand. Everyone has to start somewhere. That said, there’s a lot wrong with a rookie who insists on bemoaning a system they still lack the experience and knowledge to speak intelligently about.

    I am being condescending to you because your suggestion is bad. The later maps currently demand a good amount of space in order to set up boss production. Your clearly believe that it’s “unfun” to tear down your economy to free up this amount of space. And yet, you make a suggestion that would eat up MORE space, and exacerbate the issue. That’s before we even touch on the fact that the last change to the game literally made several maps impossible to complete due to lack of resources (note that Mr Jones is still offline), and you’re now suggesting the implementation of a system that consumes even MORE resources. When approaching the game from your perspective of “not having space sucks”, your suggestion actually makes the game less fun.

    To address your question directly: This game is all about building up then starting over. Every time you complete a map and start another, that is exactly what happens. All that you’ve built gets swept away and you start with some land and a bunch of resource nodes. So, no. I don’t at all mind tearing down my economy when going for the win (although I would appreciate a button to clear all your stuff at once).

    Bottom line, I think that the constraints (most notably time, space, and raw resources) are what drive the game and give it challenge. Working through those constraints is the entire point of the game, and exactly where my fun comes from. I emphatically do not want to see one of those negated entirely.

    #15188

    jchrisholmes

    Delha – just stop responding to me. You aren’t actually listening to me, and given your poor attitude, I have no interest in your replies either.

    #15190

    Delha

    If you want to be taken seriously, you need to up your game. Like I said, develop your understanding to the point where you can actually discuss the game at a deeper level. You say tearing down your economy to set up the boss kill is very bad for the game. Well, then back that up. Explain the negative impact, and explain the expected positive impact of your suggestion.

    #15195

    dornbeast

    “…is tearing everything down because there isn’t any space fun?”

    For me, redesigning to meet the final challenge is fun.

    If you have to do this to beat a map, does that make the game fun, or does changing the game so you are encouraged/penalized to not do that (make it) more fun?

    Tearing everything down gives me a new opportunity to design factory layouts, and that’s fun for me. And changing the game to make it boring makes it less fun. Yes, I said boring. I’ve played games where the only reason we won was that we destroyed a slacker’s towers, and in one of them it was still necessary to steal resources from his flan as they marched by in order to win. I was in one game that went over two weeks as we struggled to get resources set up just the right way to finish the boss.

    The net effect of your proposed change on my gameplay would be to keep me in cash-building placement longer – that is, I would be sitting around long after fire towers had completely unfrozen the map, because the expense of setting up a boss-defeating arrangement is too high if it turns out that I can’t do it; I’ll lose money several times before I finish setting it up, and if it turns out that we can’t finish, when I rebuild my maintenance arrangement, I may be forced to go to a smaller, less productive factory set, effectively setting me back several days.

    In short, the optimal strategy as I see it would be to sit around, twiddling my thumbs, until I’m sure that I can set up a win, preferably arranging the final push for a time when everybody can be on at the same time. This means reducing my group of acceptable players. Boring, but that’s what I’ll get from what you suggested.

    Parable/true story: A friend of my brother’s was walking down the street when he came to a stoplight. A car was sitting there, and the driver was revving the engine. Then suddenly, the engine made a *vroom, vroom, KTHUNK* sound. It turned out that the driver had just installed a new, more powerful engine, and was taking it for a test drive. When they opened the hood, the engine was upside-down. The more powerful engine had snapped the engine mounts. End result: a broken car.

    This game can’t simply have changes thrown at it; every change has an effect on the entire game, and if the effects aren’t considered carefully, a change can break the game.

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