This topic contains 68 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by azuckuss 6 years, 2 months ago.
August 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm #13707
Minor update: New games should give all players that contribute to a trade a trade bonus of 80% of selling price versus 20% in the previous release. You still also get the value of the goods that you crafted or harvested. Give it a try and see how it feels.August 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm #13719
that makes a huge difference.
once you have stone rings unlocked, it gives a pretty good early-game collaboration route to bring in ~1.5k. perhaps it also means that when rings aren’t an option, trading lower-tier goods with a neighbour is still better than the dreaded strip-mine? I haven’t tested that yet, but it would be a win if so.August 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm #13822
@higekun: From what I’ve seen, this is definitely true.
In my current game, I didn’t have gems in reach, so decided not to bother trading with a neighbor, but once we started collaborating on even relatively simple stuff, it was a pretty solid boost without crazy amounts of effort, and of course leaves me with the resources to upgrade further. Gems are unsurprisingly still king though.
August 4, 2013 at 1:13 pm #13845
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Delha.
Did I miss something or do we not get crowns in loot anymore?August 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm #13846
<i>Did I miss something or do we not get crowns in loot anymore?</i>
I don’t see any other answer for that question. You did apparently miss something because we do not get crowns in loot anymore.
edit: Though, to be fair, Dan said they were testing it without them for now to see how the game played and implied that crown rewards would be enabled later.
August 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm #13917
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by claudekennilol.
One of the big issues with the game (when we look at the stats) is getting people into the game. When we do usability tests a lot of people are overwhelmed, well by a lot of things. Number of recipes is one of the problems that comes up.
-> There are a lot of recipes because there are 4 basic resource types and each starting location has a different set of available resources, and everyone needs to have a viable start. When there are a lot of different options available, some people get into action paralysis trying to plan out the most optimal thing to do. That’s one reason that old games quickly became just building statues -> easy to do, very worthwhile. Trying to go for depth along any of the other trees was difficult.
The number of recipes is a problem, but you haven’t addressed any of the real problems with it. There are so many recipes because there are so many possible combinations of 4 basic resources plus then the added depth of combining basic resources and complex resources.
Have you considered a system like Transport Tycoon Deluxe had? You already have bosses/totems that take one of a good and then go away. If they instead became drop-off points for more valuable goods, then that would solve the initial action paralysis. I see 2 drop offs in my area, I can decide what to build from there instead of needing to sift through the recipedia for something to build.
And since you have shops that produce specific goods (which I still find to be bad and clunky), you could easily reduce the number of resource types on the map and focus on choosing what complex goods to produce.
Though every change still feels less interesting than the 3/5 system.August 5, 2013 at 4:16 pm #13925
Read the last 2 sentences
About getting the tracks and trains and everything back, and people crying how it is impossible without rails: Last game i had 7.2k profit. Was it hard? Hell yeah! Was it impossible? Hell no! Not having rail’s and trains sure makes it hard, sometimes unbearable, when you see that if you had trains by your hand, you could be getting 1k or more income, but hey, get over it, and find a better way. I felt the same way in that game where i finished with 7.2k in the end. I saw I had low amount of space, because I plenty trees, and some stones in a really tight place. I was all qq until I noticed I could be making some Metal Ingots. And I did a bit of planing, removed torch here, placed some extra workers there, and my profit jumped from 800 to 2k. In the end of the game I had done the Desk and the Luxury food by myself, but nothing to be proud of, since there were fire ring and necklace to be made, so my part was some easy stuff. Point? There are 102391251041925(read: infinite) more ways to make better use of resources than simply “strip mining” the whole palce.
One thing I agree with everyone, and that is the wooden road. I think it should be available to everyone. Maybe make it so once player reaches certain lvl(like 50) he get’s them for free, but even if you don’t make them free, think hardly about lowering the cost, since it is really expensive. 250-350 crowns should do it if you ask me. Also that bother’s me are prices of tracks and the normal/slow train. I think tracks should cost less, and Slow train should swap prices with normal Train. I mean, in the same way fast train is more expensive than the normal one, because it is faster, so should the price of normal train be higher than that of the slow one. Yeah, I know that using slow trains can get you some nice things if you plan ahead, but same goes for the normal trains, but their speed makes them more valuable.
August 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm #13965
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by fichom.
What I miss is the lack of ability to earn crowns. The total current cost of all infinite items is 7500 crowns, which is about 100$ (depending on how you buy em’). On top of that, extra princes are 20$ each. That’s just unethical, in my opinion. Leap Day is fantastic, but is it worth more than double the cost of a AAA physical production game? In game crowns were intended to mitigate that price, I presume, but the game progresses very slowly. If you earn 10 crowns per game, and each game takes you 2 days, it would be 50 days of consecutive skilled play before you unlocked the basic stone path. I would personally see a good pace as being 100 crowns a game, so I could get a new thing every five games (10 days) or so. Of course, as a skilled player, I’d also like to see bigger bonuses for star clearing. It’s frustrating to solo or duo a level to five stars only to get no more experience than all the other guys, and only maybe 10 more than another game who goes for 3 stars.
Golden chests also suffer from this intense sluggishness. How can I ‘build a custom prince’ when the chest rate is so low and so random? I’ve gotten about 30 chests for my prince across a couple dozen items, and I’ve been playing it faithfully and skillfully since the big update. At the current rate, it would take me more than year before I’d see my first level 30. There are a large number of recipes out there that aren’t even useful until you level them at least five times, and tons that are not respectably profitable until you level them to level 30. Analyzing how the recipes levels gave me only six valid solo player recipe paths that could be expected to turn consistent profit, upgrade easily, and profit from being upgraded (the four busts, wine of joy and rowboats). There were also two two player paths (prayer stones and wine of death), and two four player paths (shadow sceptre and glowing shield). All the other recipe paths are bad investments for quick running.
A large part of that is that chests are too slow. The other large part is that resource density is higher, and any recipe that adds goods invariably lowers the income per raw goods ratio, income per map footprint ratio, and income per factory ratio. All of those upgrade paths are junk (well, there are two exceptions). All tier 1 fabs – bread, spirits, perfume, ore, bricks, etc, should never be upgraded past level 4. It’s bad for every reason, when you work out the math.
So you’re stuck. Most recipes are difficult to make, and impossible to upgrade in any serious time period, and so useless. Stone statues? Requires four players working together, huge amounts of resources and space, incredibly fast working, and is less profitable than the equivalent resources in stone busts would be until level 30 rolls around. But you could play two or three games with four players making a stone statue before one (just the one with the factory!) gets a single chest. It would take well over a year of competitive gameplay… if the price of upgrades doesn’t increase, and the requirements for the major levels are really easy. And they won’t be.
The solutions to these problems are: Make a way for players to get crowns at a respectable rate. Make gold chests frequent, have them granted automatically so you can’t miss them, and make them have predictable protocols for being generated (like, every 100 items of this type fabricated). Have golden chests awarded for trade goods as well as your own factories. Significantly increase the valuation improvement that occurs when you add fabrications to a recipe after levelling, especially on upper tier items, but even on lower tier.August 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm #13968
The solutions to these problems are: Make a way for players to get crowns at a respectable rate. Make gold chests frequent, have them granted automatically so you can’t miss them, and make them have predictable protocols for being generated (like, every 100 items of this type fabricated). Have golden chests awarded for trade goods as well as your own factories. Significantly increase the valuation improvement that occurs when you add fabrications to a recipe after levelling, especially on upper tier items, but even on lower tier.
I love this idea. There are far too many variables in earning golden chests (I just got 3 from a match where I was unable to log in for over a day, my wife got at least 5). With supposedly a chance for one every hour this is too few–the chances are too low. Let’s say I’m making 4 gunpowder in a day because I just started out and this was the best I could attain. Make golden goods based off of goods produced, and you get a bonus on top of that if it’s an item you’re getting a trade bonus for.
I haven’t done the math, but about 100 bucks to get “everything” in a game (not including extra princes) is outrageous. I enjoy this game, and I don’t mean for this to be insulting, but there’s no way it’s worth more than something like Skyrim or even Call of Duty (ugh).
I’d offer a “complete pack” for a _significant_ discount (forty or fifty bucks, leaning more towards forty, that comes with at least each building). I remember when the flan image was first released, I’ve paid less for games that have been developed over a longer time frame–even indie games(I don’t know your team size, however). Over $100 for the ‘complete’ game is insulting, to be quite frank.
August 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm #13976
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by claudekennilol.
Level 30 Porcelain Statue requires a grand total across all those 30 levels of:
73 Golden Porcelain Statue
6 Golden Mahnamahna
3 Elbow CraneAugust 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm #13979
I cannot understand the point of creating a requirement for upgrades to achieve a base of profitability for recipes that are ultimately unattainable. And that’s only a single recipe.
Literally impossible. No player will ever make close to even level 15 for the top 1/3rd of recipes.August 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm #13985
First concerning the prices of everything you can attain in the game. I agree with others that 100$ for everything is too much. But I disagree that you should make it so player get’s 100 crowns for each game. That is just nonsense… I mean think about it. How many games do you know that have premium currency(like Crowns in Leap day), and that you can earn hundreds? In most game, you get 1 for every level you get and maybe 5 or 10 for some quest you do, that usually requires you to get other people helping(like for example 99% of facebook games), so yeah, I think getting 10-20 per game is enough. I mean think, if you got 100 per game, that is up to 800 crowns for free. If you check the prices, you notice that 800 crowns, without the bonus Crowns, costs 10$. Now imagine, when and hopefully if this games get more or less popular, and has let’s say 500 players. This means that ever 3 days you are giving out 50000 Crowns. Wanna do some math? By current “best” offer, that is equal in 500$. Now even if they cut down the prices by half, it would be 250$. Imagine what kind of support those 250$ could be for developers. Well you certainly think: Well if there’s 10 of them working on Leap day, that is 25$ each, not much. But when you are more or less independently trying to set out your own product, every penny counts. So don’t be spoiled kids, that want some toys back! Those toys are from the neighbor, and if you want to get them, you will have to persuade mommy to buy them!
I also proposed a system, in which one could trade their golden goods for low amounts of Crowns. How low? Well basic stuff would only bring 1-3 crowns, while the most advanced would bring around 30 or 40. Now some of you may think this is not enough. Sure, make few crowns be reward for finishing the level(for example 10), but you definitely shouldn’t make it in the way that players who deliver goods to the boss Ice towers get more Crowns… It will be a carnage.
Speaking of golden chests. I don’t mind the rate at which they are dropped. It is ok, though I certainly would change these things: Chest visibility is first. Make chest have some gray(metal) parts on it, so it is easily notable. I mean the way they are right now, they are not gold, but more like greenish yellow, not to mention that player’s field is pretty much the same color, so you made a hide and seek game out of it. Chests are hard to get as is, don’t make us have to look for them for 20 minutes on a 10×10 field…
This rate of 4-5 chests per game is good. I will again use other games as example, but if you had this kind of game made by any larger company, you would probably get 1 chest per week, not few per game. Of course they would add some friend invitation rewarding system and buying system. Be lucky they didn’t make chests super rare and put a price of 20 Crowns for each chest if you want to buy any. I mean there are games that “force” you to pay to open special chests… And here we not just get them for free, but we get them pretty often.
One more thing about the chests is that, if I recall correctly, devs mentioned that higher tier goods will be more likely to drop, in a manner that if there is something to be dropped in a gold chest, it would most probably be the higher tier good you are making. Now correct me on this one if I’m wrong. I just noticed that few games I was making stone rings, but I would still get primarily low tier goods(bread, oak, spices etc.).
Now back to crowns a bit. If this community ever grows larger, and I hope it does, devs could always introduce some kinds of forum games, that would for winning bring Crowns. There are plenty of forum games out there, and you could make a weekly tournaments, with a reward of let’s say 100 crowns for the winner. This is also a great way to introduce people to the forum, which is a very important part of any browser game.August 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm #13994
I agree, winning 100 crowns per game would too much for a premium currency (at current priced buildings). I agree with what fichom posted about selling golden goods for crowns in his other post and reiterated above.
I’m fine with the color of the chests, though, and don’t think they blend into the ground at all. Only problem I have with finding them are when they’re hiding behind a building (I had one spawn right at the square above my castle so it was behind the peak and the only reason I found it was ’cause I tried to build a road there and clicked on it). I like the idea of having a glowing pillar of light on it, much like the pillar of light that appears when a good is produced at a shoppe, only having this pillar persist until the chest is picked up.August 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm #13995
Small note on golden good drops: Right now it does appear to be a bit low. It is one of those systems that depends on player behavior (what and when you craft something) so the easiest way to tune it is to put a rough draft with our best guesses in front of you. Then we adjust. :-)
For pricing logic, with a free game like this, the expectation is that not everyone buys everything. It is closer to have a bunch of items listed in a big store…we’ll keep adding new ones and cycle some old ones out, but just like a retail store you’ll probably never buy all of them. We could certainly charge $60 like Skyrim does and then cease all updates like they did when the sales drop below a certain level. My personal dream is that instead we get to keep updating and improving the game for years to come.
If you like a couple of unlimited plans and feel like they’d be worth your money (hopefully after you’ve tried them with some of the free plans) pick them up. If history is any indicator for this sort of thing, most people will play for hundreds of hours and spend nothing. A small number pay less than 20 bucks and then an even tinier percentage of kindhearted folks will spend more than that. Those are the Power laws of this particular business. The sanest path that I’ve seen (and one I try to encourage) is to pay for what you feel is fair. Then put money out of your mind and focus on enjoying the company of all the wonderful players.
Great comments…keep ’em coming,
August 6, 2013 at 9:06 pm #13999
- This reply was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Daniel.
Hi Daniel, thanks for commenting. I understand free to play, I make mobile games myself. As a player though, I cannot justify the purchase of an unlimited item at these prices. Do I want a train? Sure. Would I pay 10$ for only the default station + rails? Well, no. No I wouldn’t. I would pay 2$. Strip away the crowns, and imagine the list as if it were individually priced DLC (all prices rounded to the nearest 25 cents).
Wood Path: 5.50$
Stout Tower: 9.00$
Elbow Crane: 7.25$
Carousel Crane: 4.50$
Default Train: 2.25$
Slow Train: 4.50$
Fast Train: 13.50$
That’s some of the prices without the intermediate currency junk. Which, of course, accumulates wastage itself by not being sold in quantities equivalent to the prices you can buy things for. To me, this simply seems high for a single component of the game. I understand that making money is of course your main priority – developers have to eat. I just hope that you can find a sweet spot that is a little more where I would place the value of these items to me. But enough about that.
Let’s talk about Golden Chests. As I understand from your previous posts, chests are potentially created every hour, for anything you are fabricating at a factory, regardless of delivery. From what I can gather, the chance is reasonably small – it has been my experience that in a 24 hour period, for a setup with four factories, you are likely to earn less than a single chest. That puts the generation chance at less than 1% an hour per factory. At this time, I believe it is calculated per factory, rather than globally, or perhaps per factory type.
I have been told that a level 30 recipe takes 84 golden chests total to level, plus the few game item pieces. That’s 1 for the first five levels, 2 for the second 10, and 3 for the last 15, plus extras at the major upgrades. At a rate of 1% an hour (estimated), how long would it take us to get to level 30? 8400 gameplay hours, with the factory on map. That’s 350 days. A whole year. Per recipe.
How many recipes are there? If I counted correctly, there are 132. So, let’s see how many factories are normal per game? At the moment, I’m playing an expert game, that is 36 hours in. I can’t say it’s a direct survey, but let’s count how many factories per player we’re averaging, 36 hours in. A quick count suggests there are 41 factories over the 8 players, and more than 1/2 of those belong to one player, who is trading primarily with me. But we’re talking average, and that’s approximately 5 factories average. If we consider 36 hours a good midpoint in terms of factory scaling during a match (which is approximately right, but suspect) we can come up with a number.
To master every recipe, it would take approximately 9240 days (25+ years) of concerted, consecutive playing. As I understand it, the goal is to ‘customize’ your prince to have a specific build, or style of play. To qualify as customized to me, you’d need to have at least two major final item paths, at least to level 15, plus a smattering of other things. So how long would it take to have a prince that is significantly different from other princes? Assuming a path (such as statues, which take 32-6 factories depending on type, or wine of death, which takes 25-50 factories depending on level), we can give an approximate value, let’s say 20 recipes at level 15, and another 20 at level 5. You could honestly say then that you have a significantly unique prince. This was the intended goal of the level up system, along with gradual unlocks. We’ll get back to that later though.
To get that customized prince, it would currently take 500 days. Five hundred days of consecutive play, concentrating only on two major item paths, and levelling the items on those paths for less than 1/3rd of the total gold items to level them up completely.
So that’s too long. How long SHOULD it take? As mentioned, the goal of the level up systems are: to ease players in by gradually unlocking recipes, which according to developers should take about one week (but actually will take more like two for a skilled player, and maybe a month for a more unskilled one), and the second goal was to make a customizable prince. It would seem logical that by the time you’ve completely unlocked the full game, you should have made a start at making the prince your own. We’ll say that completely unlocking of the game at two weeks is the distinction point between ’novice’ and ‘intermediate’, the customization of your prince is ‘intermediate to advanced’, and a more complete prince or set of princes would be ‘advanced to expert’.
There’s a well known rule of thumb that says that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Skill is also known to progress logarithmically. So, in this case, we can suggest that stage one (completion of unlocks) should be at about 100 hours in, completion of a basic customization at 1000, and expert status at 10000. That means unlocks should finish at day four, customization at day 41, and you’ll be a certified expert player after hanging around Leap Day for over a year and two months.
To support a rate at approximately that scale, golden chests should have a drop rate of about 1 per factory every eight hours, or 12.5%. A player would get around 30 chests in a two day game. Certain consequences would have to be made to deal with that. The first is, chests would not be vault items anymore. Doesn’t make sense to have them as vault items anyways, since the point is free customization, right? Either that, or give them their own separate vault, and have them sold off at two crowns a pop (assuming 10% wastage for sale, that’s 6 crowns for a two day match, give or take, and a 60 crown max for a skilled player on a two day match, which is about what the old game offered. Or, better, higher recipe gold items sell for more and lower level recipes sell for less. This would be a better trade off to avoid farming). A second consequence is that chest would probably have to be auto granted rather than picked up. It would be even better if the chests were more predictably earned than just random chance, mind you, but more work is more work, am I right?
You’d also want to increase skill points a tad as well. I’m at level 28, and have earned about 100 skill points. To get that ‘customized prince’ as I defined him above, you’d need 640 skill points (I’m presuming that skill point requirements increase at the same rate as gold items, if they are always just one per level, then you’d only need 400). Presumably, then, you’d want to offer at least double that at max level, or around an 800 skill point cap. As skill points earned seem to be increasing at higher levels (feedback is unclear on skill points), That may already be in effect. First 25 levels are 100, next is 175, next is 250, last 25 are 325 or something.
Another option I’d like to propose is offering chests for trade goods as well. In such a case, you would also earn chests for factories involved in trading. This encourages trading, but also eliminates issues like “I want to level up glowing shields or shadow sceptres with these four other people, but only one person at a time can have the factory. And it’s never allowed to be me.”. Implementing a trading rule such as this would allow you to lower the drop rate to around 5-6.25%, I feel, from my above proposed projections.
Phew! That was a long read, and thanks for bearing with me. I am not on your development team, so I understand that all the above is completely at your discretion and dependent on where you want to take the game. I just wanted to give my opinions and breakdowns of the game’s progression, as that is the sort of thing I do. I hope that some of the numbers and arguments are helpful to you, are at least thought provoking and interesting.
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