Next big change?

This topic contains 44 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Tempus 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    And there there are people who want the rush and only want to play with other rushers. I don’t want to play with people who take two weeks to finish a map. And I’m the bad guy for this who needs to apologize. FO.



    Not for your opinions at all, but for the way you chose to express them. Given I’ve never seen you be anything other than respectfully eloquent and full of nice ideas otherwise, independent from whether I’d agree with those ideas or not, that was a pretty sad display, is all.



    @silverthorn: You’re incorrect that a star based filter would show only who likes to rush. It would show who is capable of a rush. You are correct that a lack of high star finishes doesn’t indicate a lack a skill, but that’s exactly the problem now. There isn’t a check on who gets into a level, which means weak players sometimes end up joining maps for which they are unprepared. My suggestion is intended to minimize that.

    Think of it as proving that you can parallel park on your driving test. Maybe you hate parallel parking, and will strenuously avoid doing so after you have your license. That doesn’t matter. The test isn’t there to see if you intend to use the skill on a daily basis, it’s there to make sure you possess it in the first place.

    As for getting rid of stars, what’s that supposed to accomplish? It removes an established way of recognizing skillful achievement, and to what end? Players who don’t care about stars already just choose to ignore them and play at their own pace. Players who enjoy the challenge were already pushing themselves for fast completions long before stars were added to the game.

    Finally, regarding Garmichael’s vitriolic post, I really don’t think people can justly fault him much. Blowing up after being crapped on for nearly two pages doesn’t make you a bad person (or even serve as an indicator of a short fuse). Congrats, we’ve confirmed that there is in fact a limit to how far you can push before he pushes back. Shrug.



    Clinton has got the right of it. If it wasn’t clear or if I improperly implied something else, then that was my mistake. My problem is your circumventing of what the game allows by having alternate accounts and filling up the map with just you. I don’t have a problem with you not wanting to play with inexperienced players. My problem is you filling up extra spaces with just and excluding everyone–skilled or not.

    @delha To use another analogy… Silaero is effectively saying that there should be no tryouts for sports teams. If you want to play, you should be allowed to join, regardless of how much of a burden you may be. Garmichael and I are saying that a competitive team trying to win a league/etc has no obligation to do so. I’d go so far as to argue that the team’s management has an obligation to the players already on the team dictating that they do what they can to improve the odds of victory. If that means excluding less skilled players, so be it. I feel the onus should on players to raise themselves to a level where the other skilled players no longer have to carry them. When that happens, they will naturally be included without issue.
    @garmichael @delha: that sports team analogy was perfect. That couldn’t be any farther from the truth. If you’re going out for a basketball team (limited to 5 people), regardless of how good you are, the two of you can’t fill four positions.



    Explain one way that it affects you.



    A couple thoughts that fall on both sides of this issue. First, I don’t buy the equal access argument. Consider the following example setup. A hard game is displayed for hours on end, but it is clearly undesirable and no one else wants to join it either. It is 1.5 days old and the players each have at most a few hundred gold income. Some folks are strip-mining, and there are no efforts at trade made.

    1) Join the bad game with a second heir or have your friends fill it up.
    2) The matchmaking system then typically is forced to offer you a fresh game. Join it!
    3) If you don’t like that map, abandon it, and repeat step 2 until you find the map of your choice.
    4) Invite your friends and pound the map.
    5) Repeat 1-4, to play whatever you like, whenever you like.

    Pick-up based
    1) Eventually give up waiting for a different option and join an easy game.
    2) It takes nearly a day to finish. Nevertheless, the inexperienced players are annoyed you “rushed” the map.
    3) The bad game is still advertised. Join it to check status.
    4) Most folks haven’t bothered to log back in. Other players barely expanded. Argh! How hard can it be to get a few players that will put forth some effort?
    5) Repeat 1-4, or attempt the same trick as the team:
    6) Use another heir to make a Disco Queen game. Folks are complaining about never seeing them available, so you’re bound to attract similarly minded-folks in a jiffy, right?
    7) Build a strong initial setup. A couple hours later, come back and improve it by reinvesting income.
    8) Hours later you are still alone. You see, all the other pickup players are being advertised the bad game and don’t even see your game.
    9) Abandon and repeat. After all, folks don’t like hours-old games with one player, so you’ve got to keep it fresh!
    10) A day and several respawns later, you are still alone so you give up. You join another game and talk to people there to confirm that your game was not visible.

    On the other hand, some of my worst play experiences have been with partial teams, so I’m not crazy about the idea of forcing them to mix with everyone else. Delha and crew are inclusive, but other groups are quite exclusive. They’ll quietly trade among themselves and initially ignore you, even if you offer nearby gems for trade. So, you keep to yourself and put down a couple towers to generate some income. You log in the next day to find that one of your towers was destroyed because they wanted that space and they play at a different time of day than you do, so you don’t even have that little bit of income. With experiences like that in mind, I completely support giving teams their own island to live out their entire leap life if they want to.



    @Silaero: You can try to change you tune now, but it’s a pretty obvious lie.

    You’ve spent the last two pages saying that discriminating against weaker players was a problem, and anyone can go back to reread your posts and see that. If your complaint was truly limited to perceived exploitation of the matchmaking system, then there would be no reason to bring up being “insulted” that they wanted to ensure all players in the game were competent. I’ve spent several posts pointing out that my problem with you is over telling people their game philosophy is unacceptable, and not once in your prior replies did you dispute it. Your position in this thread and in others has been quite consistent: That as a cooperative game, players here have an obligation to be inclusive, even to their own detriment.

    As for the team analogy, you are entirely missing the point. Since the analogy is hypothetical anyway, we can easily say that filling map slots with alt accounts is like cloning yourself to fill out a roster (unless I’m mistaken, there are 15 players on the Lakers btw). You might as well have said that it’s a bad analogy because people in wheelchairs cannot play in the NBA, while they can still play LeapDay. The issue you’ve been railing against has been about player exclusion, and trying to point your finger at what is physically possible with modern technology is a weak and ineffective sidestep.

    I’ll repeat it yet again: Your original argument was that since this is a cooperative game, it was wrong for strong players to take measures that lock out weaker ones. If you’ve changed your stance, you can take the high road, admit that you were wrong, and we can put this to bed (or shift focus to whatever tangent might warrant further discussion). If your pride won’t allow for that, you can just cut your losses and stop posting in the thread. Petty nitpicks though, are really just going to make you look worse.




    I’m not sure I have any constructive ideas, but here are some of the changes that I feel made it harder for new players and old ones to work together usefully (and is causing all the internet-rage in this thread :-0)

    1) Changes to recipes, and from factories to shoppes. Now most of the challenge for expert maps is
    – Efficient use of space cramming all the shoppes in
    – Tight resource restrictions, where, e.g., every last tomato on the map needs to be harvested and contributed to the boss items.

    Now, more than ever, a new player can really screw things up by being inefficient with the space and resources on their territory. In the old systems, they could still contribute pieces while the experienced players would handle the routing and timing issues (which used to be the main interesting puzzles to solve).

    2) No rails
    If a player doesn’t have rails, he’s hurting the team. End of story. For example A perfectly reasonable post, but it’s “you need trains or don’t bother joining” — you never saw any posts like this before the most recent changes!

    3) Recipes upgrades
    I’m kind of speculating here, but I don’t think a new player is going to be able to hang with a team who has well-upgraded recipes.

    I guess if we’re brainstorming, here’s some ideas that I know aren’t very good, but might be a step in the right direction
    – Keep shops, but make them 2×2 (or maybe most 2×2, but some 3×3)
    – Give back rails to all
    – Make all shops so they produce junk
    – Make upgrades less important overall. Maybe not even make them related to recipes. Perhaps shop upgrades, like:
    — Reduce the shop’s “processing” time between input delivery and output
    — Make it so it doesn’t produce junk
    — Make it 2×2 instead of 3×3
    — Make it so it can stack up outputs (so more inputs can be added before the output is taken away)
    — Make it so it can stack up inputs (so for ore, it could store extra wood even if the stone is late in coming)
    Whatever. the point is that upgrades should be “nice to have”, not “critical to finishing a map”. Or just scrap upgrades entirely. Grinding kinda sucks anyway.



    @delha: I haven’t said it, but thank you for your defending of me and the idea we’re trying to get across. It’s nice to have another voice who has experienced the exact same thing I have. I know I lost it and shouldn’t have, but man, you’re right about how they’re being. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine for someone to sling insults and judgment, but pretend to have the moral high-ground the first time someone else says a swear word.

    @qonen: This experience is 100% spot-on and if the devs aren’t totally aware of it, this post is a very good one to read.

    @azuckuss: These are some great ideas. Maybe not all would be feasible, but definitely something to think about. Two things stood out specifically to me:

    1) In the old systems, they could still contribute pieces while the experienced players would handle the routing and timing issues (which used to be the main interesting puzzles to solve).

    and 2) The point is that upgrades should be “nice to have”, not “critical to finishing a map”. Or just scrap upgrades entirely. Grinding kinda sucks anyway.

    These are huge for me. I preferred the ‘puzzle’ aspect of the game. Before, I felt like I had to play with a scalpel, planning and thinking about the structure, and getting it juuuuust right to make it work. There were less factories, but the placement of them was way more important. Now, I feel like I have to play with a hammer, jamming in as many factories and gathering as many resources as possible. Factory placement matters less since usually there arent many different ways to place the large, bulky factories around the resources. There seem to be just a few different patterns, and the challenge is figuring out the best way to pack as much stuff into as little space as possible.

    Regarding your ideas for the factories, I like them. I think I would like the game more if shops were 2×2 and all junked and the pick-up corner couldn’t be a drop-off. But also, I’d like factory chains to be shortened dramatically. The 100+ shops it takes for the Writ of Seduction is pretty ridiculous.

    Tempus and I were talking and he had an interesting idea along these lines. His idea is that early recipes, like Spices or Ore, are 2×2 shops. Mid-level recipes, like Hair Cream or Wine of Joy, are 3×3 shops. And end-level recipes, like Pink Flamingo or the Statues, are 4×4. Not sure how the UI would work for this, but if anything, I think it would make factory clusters look pretty interesting.

    Just another idea, of which there are many for this game.

    One of the things that interests me about the design of this game is that there is so much variation that can be done, and that each variation changes the game dramatically. I guess this can be said for most games (like adding one new unit to Starcraft changes the strategy in a big way), but I don’t think I’ve seen any other game that changes its play-style so drastically with such small changes.



    @Dehla Go back and read my first response to Garm and tell me what part about that isn’t saying I’ve got a problem with you abusing the system with multiple accounts. The “measure to lock out weaker players” being “abusing the system with multiple accounts”. That’s what I’ve been arguing against. If you have 7 friends (actual friends and not yourself on extra 7 accounts) then inviting them all to play a game and never mixing with anyone else is completely and totally fine. The part that is the problem is filling other castles with yourself and locking out people.

    And I took insult when you were specifically insulting me–that should be obvious.



    Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who. This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Seriously. :-)



    Sorry Daniel, can’t resist a parting shot. That said, I promise this will be my last post in the thread (unless the conversation actually becomes productive again, and there’s real discussion to be had).

    @Silaero: Please see below from your original response to Garm, BEFORE I had posted in this thread at all…
    “This is not a two player game and purposefully locking out others so you “don’t have to deal with other people” is just insulting.”



    @delha Exactly. Purposefully locking others out by logging in from multiple accounts. If you want to lock others out by playing with other actual people that’s how the game is intended to be played. As Clinton pointed out, you can’t use multiple princes from one account in a single game, so it’s obviously not intended for you to be able to play multiple princes in a single map. If you’re “locking others out” by inviting people beyond the two of you, then it’s no longer the two player scenario I mentioned.



    The hammer/scalpel thing is pretty much spot on for me too. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what’s missing in the new system, but that says it pretty well. The early game is still fun enough, but once it gets to boss-beating time, it just kind of gets tedious.

    One other thought:

    I think timed goals for stars are a problem too. Some people want to rush as quick as possible for max stars; others want to just check in a couple times a day and solve some puzzles. I totally understand why you’d want to hoard all the spots in a game — other people might not even be working toward the same goal as you! That’s just trouble for something that should be a cooperative game. Though, I can’t think of anything that doesn’t have its own issues. Award stars for having a low total of money spent? Use some complicated calculated metric? Get rid of goals entirely? It’s tough.



    Regarding the hammer/scapel argument, here’s a little example.

    Me and Garmy started a DarkeLorde recently, after the new system. We filled four slots, the other four remain empty. We started to amass money using our preferred strategy – stone busts. I won’t get into the lovely attributes of stone busts, but after 24 hours we’d hit 60 million, and at a day and a half we’d hit over 100 million. So we had the cash, and about 12 hours to go. So we spent an hour and fifteen mapping out where to place things, which shrines to activate, which of our avatars takes what space and for which setups… it’s going to be tight. REALLY TIGHT. And we need to activate a minimum of ten shrines, preferably more. And so, we just shut down. We don’t want to do start. Neither of us can bring ourselves to begin, knowing that it’s not at all unlikely we’ll just simply run out of space after eight to ten hours each of setup, and being unable to complete. There is nothing at all that strikes us as fun – our only incentive at this point is to desperately hope for fast train drops so we can level our busts past level 4. It’s not enough.

    So, what is wrong with this picture? There are a few things. The first is that the level up system makes you want to make a prince who levels the things you like to make – for us, stone busts, wine of death, and prayer stones. Conversely, though, the level goals require you to level up the same things as everyone else needs, things you don’t want to make. Things for Flamingoes, glowing stuff, statues. A lot of it can’t be levelled easily at all – you need four or five people to get together and make this stuff, it doesn’t happen organically in game, and the setups are more trouble than they’re worth financially.

    Another major thing is that the problems are too large. Humans in general shut down when faced with huge, tedious issues – they need to break them into little steps to tackle them. When you increase the requirements for recipes, and increase the number of factories in a chain, it becomes more difficult, but more than that it becomes more tedious. In the hammer and scapel analogy as above, you’re just asking us to swing the hammer more, and we get tired. The difficulty on your end of the issue, the one you seem to be trying to balance, is making the mechanics simple for newcomers, and difficult for expert stages. Of course, the new recipe paradigm makes first tier factories MORE difficult and LESS intuitive to understand for newbies, but that’s another story entirely.

    As for timed goals for stars, it might as well stay timed. I’m not about to start waiting around simply because the timer disappears – I don’t like being rewarded for having to wait, I like to be rewarded for effort I put in. Unless you directly penalize playing efficiently, I will continue to aim to complete stages at my preferred pace; as fast as I can. The real issue here, I think, that has been mentioned many times over the last month, is that game discovery and choice is poor. The devs do their best to force everyone to play together regardless of what they want, in as limited a scope of maps as they can manage. This means players resort to all kinds of tricks – forcing level spawns by using extra heirs and accounts, filling games with friends and then abandoning after an invite to the new map, etc, etc. The simplest answer to this is just to list one game of every time. Even better, have a mouseover list of who is in the game so you can hunt for friends. Have an option to start a new map of the same type. This is not complicated stuff – a lot of the interpersonal issues here come from the fact that you’re forcing players to live together in a tiny cage, when you could with minimal effort give them a luxurious paradise of games.

    Should the star goals be changed? Maybe. One issue of course is that stars give rewards, and so people want stars, so I’m unlikely to join a game past 1 hour if I can help it because it negatively impacts my ability to star the level. You could award stars a number of ways: total cash earned would promote longer games, boss contribution would promote hogging the boss towers, you could have ‘extra’ requirements – for Darke Lorde, for example, deliver a Shadow Sceptre to get one star, Shadow Earrings for two stars, a Crowned Statue for three stars, a Black Armor for four stars, and the Black Heart for five stars. While I don’t know if that fixes the hammer/scalpel issue, it would be a much neater way of getting stars, less dependent on time and rushing, and make levels more flexible for all difficulties. We could play MrJones with a single flamingo, and get a star, and one item. Doable. Two flamingoes would yield two items, three three, four four, and five five. In addition to loot, you’d get a golden chest bonus at end of game depending on your star rating – 1 for one star, 2 for 2 stars, 4 for three stars, 8 for four stars, and 16 for five stars. You wouldn’t have to carry over golden chests to the next level either, which is honestly a tad confusing, since factories = chests except in that scenario. Just add the chests to the rewards list and done. The reason for the golden chests award is to promote people to aim for higher stars, and not just jump quickly to the one star guaranteed reward over and over as fast as they can.

    tl:dr; for devs
    • Improve matchmaking to remove these silly arguments, it’s basically just a matter of adding a bigger selection of levels to the list
    • Have stars be dependent on different delivery requirements: see last paragraph for examples of Darke Lorde and MrJones, as well as suggestions on reward incentives

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