Major Update Incoming!

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Delha 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #12439

    Delha

    I think mana probably needs a nerf again. As Toquerific has mentioned, the blender approach is stronger than ever, since the production now naturally filters it into the appropriate goods. Given that Mana is pretty much the most efficient use of all four resources in the game, I suspect that Mana Orbs are going to be the new default for high end players.

    For reference, I threw together a basic layout for 2x Mahna Mahna in about 10 minutes (then made some minor tweaks to ensure the flan didn’t end up all carrying food at the same time). This morning I came back, plopped a torch down and injected 4 more of each resource into the loop (2.3k income or so). The new addition took all of 5 min.

    I will also say that I unfortunately think this version may well prove too easy. Since the shoppes naturally filter out unwanted resources, as long as you can get the necessary goods over to the factory, you’re good to go. Part of the difficulty before lay in making sure your production line didn’t get contaminated and start producing junk. That concern is now moot. In the 3/5 factory days, the power of statue components was you didn’t needing to control your inputs. Now, with everything getting that same benefit, I suspect the game will be too easy overall.

    The nature of this change allows me to hypothetically build a single massive loop loaded with resources, plop down a pyramid of shoppes, and just set the shoppes to the appropriate chain of goods. If I later decide I want to produce something completely different, I can just set the shoppes to different goods. A production line like this that was generating say, Absinthe should easily produce Armors or the like, so long as the appropriate resources are in the raw materials pool feeding your pyramid.

    Edit: @death – I don’t see why you would be having space issues. The new system allows for much more compact production, since you no longer have to worry about mixing up which goods go into what factory slot. Let’s say you want 4xOre. Whereas before you’d need to have two separate loops, one hitting the wood input and the other hitting the stone input, now you can just build a single loop and not worry about the resources mingling, since the shoppe naturally handles the segregation. A setup that would give you some Oak, some Brick, and maybe an Ore or two before can now easily and reliably gives you only Ore.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Delha.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Delha.
    #12460

    Delha

    Apologies for the double post, but here’s a screenshot of my current layout.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Delha.
    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Delha. Reason: Changed image link
    #12484

    crisofer

    So far, I think I’m enjoying this update far more than the miser-factory update. I think the key here is that it seems more interesting in how things work. I will have to play around with it some more to see.

    One minor UI problem I’m having is that I find that it’s more involved to rotate / pickup a shoppe. I know why it needs to be this way, since you have the “set recipe” now, but I was wondering if it’s possible to, when you pick up a shoppe with the right mouse button and place it back down, preserve the recipe of the last shoppe you placed, similarly to how you use the “pickup” option from the left-click menu.

    I think this would make it easier to tweak layouts (if you needed to move a shoppe over 1 tile). Right now, I’ll pick up a shoppe using the right mouse button (out of habit), then place it down and find that I’ve either momentarily forgotten what that shoppe was building, or find that I have to drill through the recipedia to find the recipe again.

    #12500

    colemanpants

    @delha: Our current sense is that that is a viable and relatively easy strategy but not necessarily optimal, much like blendering. We also believe the game is relatively easy to make more difficult and that the Shoppes provide several interesting ways to do so (imagine if some high-level Shoppes don’t filter but instead produce Junk if delivered the wrong Good).

    @cirsofer: I hear you. We will probably overhaul the UI somewhat to provide a little more explicit control. We’ll think about your idea.

    Best,
    J

    #12516

    Zerack

    Greetings again all!

    I looked at the screenshot that @delha posted, and realized that I need to start playing again or I’m going to have _no idea_ what is going on in pretty short order! You mentioned a new update – were there any mechanics changes that I need to update for my recipedia? I’ll be able to take a look again shortly, but as I’ve been out of touch for a few weeks it might be helpful to get a little insider info, so to speak.

    Just let me know if something secret-and-cool was added that I should add!

    Thanks!

    #12518

    colemanpants

    @zerack: I don’t think your Recipedia should be affected by the most recent changes other than you’ll need to update it from the most recent xml. There will be some incoming changes that *will* have a rather large impact on the Recipedia though those changes may be a week or more off. Once we are a little further along on it, I’ll see if we can’t give you some prep.

    J

    #12520

    Zerack

    @colemanpants – Thanks for the heads up! I’ve updated the current Recipedia from the XML currently available, so that should hopefully all be in order. Any advance warning on big changes would of course be appreciated, but don’t ruin the surprise on my account :)

    I anticipate having way more time to work on this now that my big busy stretch is done, so I have a few other features (as mentioned in the recipedia thread) that I would like to add as well.

    #12615

    Delha

    @coleman, later factories requiring controlled inputs after all could definitely serve to add some oomph back into the endgame. Having vastly simplified earlier stages will definitely still impact, but I’m happy to wait and see how that plays out.

    In regards to the issue of mana being strong but not optimal, my big concern really is that whether the additional gains end up being worth the effort. At any rate, I’m confident you guys will keep adjust things until they’re at a reasonable point. Just thought I’d chime in with some early feedback.

    #12623

    kheldar633

    Could you please restore the last build available of the 3/5 factory system so that I can enjoy the game that I signed up for and paid you to play and help test? I’m not asking you to make it the ONLY version available, but please make it accessible somehow. I’d pay 10x my current investment in your game for it if that were an option.

    I don’t care about the money. I just want LeapDay back.

    #12646

    Delha

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyChangedItNowItSucks

    I can’t believe you’d actually ask for a return to the Statuetopia days. How do you actually consider it fun to do nothing but dump as much of a single resource into a factory as you can gather? I don’t understand how people would actually think the game is better as “Go for wood statues almost every single game”.

    #12678

    qonen

    The new system is rather different from the old structure, so I’ve given this some time prior to forming and relaying my thoughts and comments. Note, I have not yet participated in a new expert game. I could not find an active (or fresh) expert game to join. First, I agree with Delha that Mana Orbs still feel a bit strong for starting areas that support them. Five shoppes and just 32 resources for 1584 income cannot be beat. If I don’t have much food, spyglasses are great if you can make four, but they require 8 shoppes. They are nice because they can be easily upgraded into rowboats or gunships. I don’t think a thoughtless blender approach is effective, but after working with shoppes a bit you quickly see how to make a controlled blender. After that point it is just about following a few guidelines to make a good setup. It does not feel particularly hard. By this I mean you either have the space to build and connect all the shoppes you need or you don’t. With some experience you can look at an area and say with confidence whether the area supports making some desired output or if it doesn’t. If it does, within a few minutes you are done. If it does not, then it probably isn’t possible so you move on. With factories (especially 3/5-input), some areas felt like workable toward some goal, but it took some cleverness to get there, whether it was from factory reuse or minimizing track used.

    Adding recipes with more ingredients won’t matter if players are blending ingredients anyway. Junk on high-tier recipes won’t matter either, because blending is only important at the lower tiers. I’m not sure what adjustment could be made. Either recipes have common components, making blenders effective, or they are a mess of unrelated parts and thus entirely shunned. This all being said, for a week it has been novel to blend high-level stuff and the new art is great, but it does not feel challenging. Lately the only difficulty I have had has been interactions with other players. It would be more fun to battle the game than each other.

    #12695

    azuckuss

    Delha, don’t be a jerk. Yeah, it sucked to start in a forest in the old system, but, as qonen says, there’s not much strategic or tactical depth anymore.

    In the old game, you had to consider routing raw resources without cross-contaminating the lines. You had to have different crystals separated into appropriate spots, instead of just ramming them all into a shoppe. You had to be careful not to drop off inputs at the wrong factories, but if you were clever you could use the same factory twice, for different outputs, or purposefully loop its output back to the input. If you wanted to use a single shield factory for three different shield items, you had to pick them apart with timed cranes, or merge the different inputs into the same line. Mass-producing mana was tricky and making shields and hammers could be downright difficult to time out right. And even the old statues, while boring, were a lot more difficult than they are now. I could go on.

    Now that those are gone, what tricks are there to learn in the new system? I guess making a gunship using only one gunpowder factory? Nothing that’s not pretty obvious from the start. The Strategy forum has always been the quietest, but there have been zero new posts since the Shoppe build, which I think is telling. There’s not much to discuss.

    #12703

    colemanpants

    This is all super thoughtful feedback and great points for us to noodle over. We certainly don’t have any intention of simplifying the expert-level play or not supporting certain key styles of play and we’ll keep working at it until we get the mix right. The line from making a good game great is rarely a straight one but I guess one could say that about most things. :)

    Misers-only was not the right direction but it taught us much about why not. We are quite enthusiastic about the Shoppes on multiple levels in that they solve some fairly intractable problems of the original system regarding early game and long-term play while opening up quite a few new possibilities. Some of the companion ideas are in process and should be rolled out shortly and we’ll see how far that get us in addressing some of your concerns.

    As an aside, the overall tone of conversation both in the games and in the forums continues to be amazing. Great stuff.

    Best,
    J

    #12707

    azuckuss

    Sounds great. I miss the old system, but am looking forward to what you guys come up with.

    A couple more subjective things — not mechanics as such, but just feelings:

    – Big set-ups used to feel like well-oiled machines. Everything was just so, and if a single road was out of place the whole thing would come crumbling down in a pile of junk. Now, it’s just, whatever. If it doesn’t work, then just add more houses until it does. There’s not as much satisfaction.

    – Each boss used to feel very different, and required a different bag of tricks to succeed. Making 4 statues was different than making a writ, which was different from flamingos, which was different from hammers and shields. Now, it’s all very samey. Ram ingredients into a shoppe, railroad the result to the next shoppe, rinse, repeat until done. I miss the variety.

    I have no doubt that this will be, as you say, a great game when you’re done.

    #12711

    colemanpants

    Interesting point, azuckuss, regarding the fragility. It seems to related a bunch to how many timing choke points there are. All factories were essentially “chokes” in this regard. When I’ve gotten goofy with something like Catapults, I’ve made setups that worked (and were cool!) but had that sort of fragility with the Shoppes. But this is a good dimension for us to explore explicitly. It’ll be interesting to see how our current plans address both of these concerns. Off to it…

    J

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