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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, December 24 2008 @ 05:18 PM UTC  
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You've said a mouthful there, on much of which I agree with the overall point you're making, but I reckon it could be implemented differently.

This thread has already gone so far off topic that it's in sodding orbit around the moon by now, so I figure it couldn't hurt to reply to your first point here:

If we tweak the combat routines so that they're dependant on your weapon, then we'll effectively remove the incentive to get better weapons. But, it did prod me to re-investigate an idea I had a little while ago: weapon experience.

Say you're a level four rookie (I'm probably gonna change "Newbie" to "Rookie" for S2), and you've managed, by whatever means, to get the money for a Chainsaw. Now, from a realism perspective, there's no way that an inexperienced fighter is going to be able to wield a chainsaw and use it as a weapon without cutting off their own legs. From a game balance perspective, putting in a mechanism to allow a player to cut off their own legs would be undoubtedly hilarious, but rather cruel.

So, we add a mild debuff to any weapons that are a higher attack level than the player's current level. The debuff doesn't last until they reach the appropriate level, mind; just for a little while. While they get used to it, as it were.

Inversely, we can also add a mild (say, 1.05 or 1.1) positive buff to weapons that the player has held for a long time, because they'll be used to how they handle.

This system allows room for expansion too; perhaps by S3 we could include weapon experience levels in far greater detail, with each weapon taking a different amount of time to level up and so forth.


 
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Count Sessine
 Wednesday, December 24 2008 @ 11:31 PM UTC  
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Since this thread is already orbital and CTP just described his typical routine, I figure this is as good a place as any to note for the record that the game as it now stands is eminently playable in reverse.

What do I mean by that? Simply: turning everything in the game on its head. Instead of striving for ever more xp, ever more monster kills, ever more DKs... one changes the goal to resisting the built-in structural pressure to advance. Now of course, one way to do that would be to stay out of the jungle entirely and spend all one's time role-playing. I gather some players do that, but that's not what I'm talking about. What I mean is... actively playing, every day, but never advancing in level.

I undertook to try it as a challenge some time ago, right after our clan bank was disbanded. I went through one last DK, worked up to 5th level, and have managed to stay there ever since. It turns out to be a rather pleasant, relaxed way to play. (I do have to put up with being rudely insulted by the game text rather a lot, but... (*shrug*) I'm accomplishing what I set out to do.) With Joker buffs, there's enough variety to keep it interesting. I can take the brakes off and start moving forward again anytime it starts to get boring -- but so far, it hasn't.

What makes the balancing act possible (and yes, I know it won't exist in Season 2) is the ability to shed turns and stamina for travel points.

Here's how it goes:

A New Day. Usually I'm in CC404, so the first job is scavenging, which takes maybe thirty seconds. Make a budget tour of the cities hitting the high points like Lucky Dip, the Old House, the Gauntlet. First stop on entering a city is always the Trading Post for some low-key trading in canister goodies. No urgency, Horatio's not on the horizon, just a consistent policy of buy low, sell high.

Then it stops being ordinary. If my xp is nudging the top of the bar it's back to CC404, don't heal, bank all reqs, help myself to travel points all the way down to negative stamina, then into the Jungle, look for Very Big Trouble, and (if necessary) Run. With full clan buffs it can sometimes take multiple fights, but eventually I'll find myself looking at the Daily News, having shed 10% of my xp.

If I've got some wiggle room on xp, I can end in my Quest city (re-rolling my Joker buffs if they're too high), and then seek out Easy fights -- and Run from them. (Being called a "cowardly dog" all the while! but hey, it's not cowardly if I'm running to save them from being killed -- by me. I especially like it when I manage to spare the life of that poor Orc with his wife and child.) The point of doing this is, of course, the Improbable Events. Foilwench has bummed a whole carton of ciggies off me, it seems, and I have built up a lot of use points. I always fight the Thieving Midget Bastards, but I have to teleport from the boss monsters because they dump too much xp. I'm leery of Stonehenge not because it could kill me, but because it could do so without the 10% xp loss. Eventually I will run into my Quest Monster, then it's back to the pub for the next one.

I can go deep into the red on stamina -- and sometimes I'll turn around and kill some Very Big Trouble just to prove that I can -- but eventually I'll stop fighting, return to CC404, and head for the failboat. The Factory is not much use because it doesn't drain xp.

In this topsy-turvy mode, cage fighting on the failboat is a welcome change of pace because there I fight to win. I always use all my turns. Favor with the Watcher builds up -- I'm currently hovering around 1200 points -- so when I lose there it's annoying but not a disaster.

Once back in the game, repeat from the beginning -- except that when I'm Restored, there's no point going to the failboat again unless I want to cash in 100 of those Favor points to get a additional day. I just play my turns down to zero (or trade them in for travel if I'm too close to the end of the xp bar), and wait for (or trigger) a New Day.

This low-key way of playing leaves me plenty of time for role-playing, etc. I've been having a pretty good time.

I've detailed this here because I would guess it hadn't occurred to you, Dan, that there was such a different, yet sustainable, play mode implicit within your game. Moral of the story? Players do invent their own challenges.


 
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crashtestpilot
 Thursday, December 25 2008 @ 05:44 PM UTC  
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That explains your obscene amounts of req.
Damn. That's. Just brilliant.

And it raises something that's bugged me about something Dan said, IE, the game SHOULD be challenging enough.
Well. Sure. From a programmatic perspective, yes.
Otherwise, why futz with game balance, spreadsheets, etc.
What Sessine is proving is that once the world is constructed, the approaches to success (of any sort) are both user-defined and user-executed.
And rather than fight them, these oblique strategies should be embraced.
Because player-defined meaning is always stickier from an adoption perspective than any particular skillgrind/reqgrind/HoFgrind, etc.

~CTP


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, December 26 2008 @ 05:50 PM UTC  
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Wink Thanks, CTP. Now you know why I keep grumbling about the lack of places to spend reqs!

While I'm in this play mode, sure, reqs aren't lost to Horatio... but they don't come in very quickly, either. No long strings of Flawless Victories, and 5th level isn't exactly req-rich territory. Nearly all turns have to be used on running from easy fights.

Most of the reqs you see in the HoF against my name are what's left of the now-defunct Spoon Clan Bank. Dan said he would tell us what we would be allowed do with it, and then he never got back to us. Figured it was a solved problem, I guess. And, you know, it is. Confused Except for the Hall of Fame, reqs sitting there unspent in a player's bank account might as well not exist.

Color me stubborn, but I'm still looking for something interesting to do with them.


 
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crashtestpilot
 Saturday, December 27 2008 @ 11:09 PM UTC  
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Looks like SPOON found something VERY interesting to do with REQ over last few days -- ie, city takeovers.
Nice job, guys. Very intimidating!

All best,
~CTP


 
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Tor NaGoth
 Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 02:10 AM UTC  
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Actually, Unless I'm mistaken, none of that actually came from our clan bank funds... Cool


 
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crashtestpilot
 Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 05:36 AM UTC  
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Good!
If it's private funds, that will make the Yule War a little more interesting for both clans!

CTP snaps off a salute, and returns to his corner.



 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 03:46 PM UTC  
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War? My dear sir, SPOON is composed of Jokers. We don't do anything as mundane as war.

As near as I can reconstruct it, the recent episode was triggered when one of our members decided to give the clan a Christmas present. Then, you know... once people noticed, there turned out to be some lovely opportunities out there, and events followed with Joker logic, which is to say, placing a high value on randomness and surprise.

It may be over, it may not be. Who knows? Those dice have not yet been rolled.


 
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crashtestpilot
 Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 10:37 PM UTC  
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Well, if it's not a war, it's sufficiently close to not need the real thing.
I've been running myself ragged all over the Island keeping tabs on you blokes.
No time for RPing, no time for serious hunting.
But it's good times all around.
I'm calling it the Yule War.

All best,
~CTP


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, December 28 2008 @ 11:07 PM UTC  
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Is it a War... when only one side thinks of it so? Yes, I suppose it is. For that side.

As far as SPOON is concerned, there are no enemies here. We may play tricks on anyone; we do not fight wars.


 
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