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Ada
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 02:07 AM UTC  
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I'd be sad to see a limit on how many cards you can collect. I don't ride the train very often (have a giant stack of passes to prove it). Mostly I just find it fun to get gigantic collections of cards.
I certainly agree that getting four cards a day was serious overkill once things really got moving and people found jokers, but I think that now we're down to one card a day (I think?), if you're also going to make it harder, it's not really necessary to reduce hand size as well.

One thing you could do to limit people's ability to get a crapton of passes in one go is to make a limit on the number of first class passes you can get at one time. Maybe the guy will only give you ten first class passes, for example. This would be a real bummer if he still took our whole hand, but if perhaps there was some way to give him only certain cards? For instance, I choose to give him a joker and 11 Aces of spades. I get my ten first class passes, keep the rest of my hand. This would limit the number of first class passes you can get for a single joker. Right now I have only one joker, and could probably get upwards of 25 passes for it and my cards. That's a bit much - and there are many, many people with bigger hands than that, I am sure.

As for limiting rides - perhaps regular tickets have a ride limit, but first-class passes do not?


 
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Kel!
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 02:41 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Sydney++Fletcher

Also, when I read this: "The person accepting this free ticket assumes all risk of accidents, and expressly agrees that the Company shall not be liable, under any circumstances, whether of negligence by their agents or otherwise, for any injury to the person, or for any loss or injury to the property of the passenger using this ticket." I assumed that train-riding was going to be waaaaaay more dangerous than it is. Maybe more along the lines of using Improbability Bombs -- chance of death/substantial HP loss/loss of stuff in your inventory/chance of getting dumped somewhere random/chance of getting where you want. This would mean that you'd think before taking the train, instead of using it like a one-shot on steroids. First-class tickets would of course be assumed to be safer.

And this may just be cosmetic, but why even bother to put a weight on cards -- because nothing happens when you super-overload (i.e. Joker card) except that it stretches out your inventory screen.



I'd like to second these points... train riding as is feels too probable right now. Could really use something like the Midget Dalton Brothers Trainrobbery Special Encounter and similar events of less probable nature. You could also add some 'advanced' card cases, like with backpacks and bandoliers, and then make the holding limit fixed - that would actually be an incentive to trade cards, especially if you intend to add some 'special' card combinations and effects anyway. This also would prohibit extreme stockpiling as a side effect.

I take it you don't intend to remove the request stops, as they are the only advantage of first class right now ... and a limit of six stops per day should only hurt travelling salesmen, which i'm not too concerned for.


 
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snicker
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 03:34 AM UTC  
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When first exploring, I thought the card drops were random, like jungle events when travelling, or perhaps even like crates. I think this should be the case. I assume that each "room" has an identifier, so the random event would check to see if the room has a special description for a card, and if not default to a generic result. Also, this could open up the possibility of other card-related events. I think there should be a low chance of finding an already punched card (can only use it for the remainder of that game day), a ridiculously low chance of finding a complete rail pass, and some random "Is that a card? No? Awwww" moments.

I realize that adding this hook to "house" movement might be difficult or add server load at a time when you're trying to decrease it, but I think it would encourage more exploration - which seemed to be the point of the random drop cards to begin with. Right now, Dunbernarding means "never having to go more than 1 step from IC".

I also think that once you get a joker, you shouldn't be able to get any more. Keep those jokers rare, but make people consider how they will use them. I LOVE the idea of special card combo rewards. We were discussing possible "hands" in another thread... not a bad starting point for inspiration.

As far as the train passes, I really think the "normal" passes need to be converted to one-way trips only, like the OST, but from station to station. They're free and you're guaranteed at least one every 5 game days (averages about 2 every 5 game days in my experience, but that may have changed), so why not? The first class would remain unlimited rides for a day, or perhaps "several rides" then you have more room for the unlimited pass.

Just a few thoughts.


 
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zamboni
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 06:03 AM UTC  
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I just hope this won't be one of those "by the way, we just limited the the cards you can hold, so those 250 cards in your wallet just became 20 cards" - lots of advance warning please, so we can adjust our gameplay accordingly!

My biggest pet peeve for online games is when things get taken away that the playerbase has come to expect.


 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 10:45 AM UTC  
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Quote by: zamboni

I just hope this won't be one of those "by the way, we just limited the the cards you can hold, so those 250 cards in your wallet just became 20 cards" - lots of advance warning please, so we can adjust our gameplay accordingly!

My biggest pet peeve for online games is when things get taken away that the playerbase has come to expect.

Well, this thread counts as advance warning, doesn't it? Mr. Green Should be plenty of time for you, Zamboni, seeing as the code is not even written yet and I'm not nearly as fast at this as CMJ.

(Not everyone reads the Enquirer. So yes, I've already been thinking about ways to give a fair in-game advance warning.)


 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 11:02 AM UTC  
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I can see a strong case for needing one joker per first class pass, so that a hand with 3 joker and 8 (seven of spades) will give you 3 first class passes and seven normal passes.

Ada, if you only want to trade certain cards, then give the cards you want to keep to your mate to look after while you do the trade, and then have them return them to you. This is why I now permanently have jokers.

Also, just throwing an idea out here, instead of a hard limit on cards, you could have a system where if your case was over full, then you run the risk of some random cards getting ripped and made unusable perhaps?


 
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skoddy
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 11:27 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

...
Also, just throwing an idea out here, instead of a hard limit on cards, you could have a system where if your case was over full, then you run the risk of some random cards getting ripped and made unusable perhaps?



Was about to suggest something similar. Or maybe a little stamina loss for overfull wallet, though I have no idea how to justify it


And now for something completely different...
 
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Awesome Fred
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 12:54 PM UTC  
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Quote by: skoddy

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

...
Also, just throwing an idea out here, instead of a hard limit on cards, you could have a system where if your case was over full, then you run the risk of some random cards getting ripped and made unusable perhaps?



Was about to suggest something similar. Or maybe a little stamina loss for overfull wallet, though I have no idea how to justify it



What if instead of stamina loss, it were Improbability risk. The cards are loaded with Improbability, after all. It's all about luck (even though actual implementation may not be quite yet <.< ) and the cards just turn into a rail pass via Improbability (which is still fairly reliably done, again <.< ). If you have an overfull wallet, perhaps you start becoming in danger of crazy events. Randomly while walking, you might lose 10% of your req because of a nasty trip, or roll down the side of rocky hill and lose 5% stamina, or sometimes, you'll suddenly feel Nicotine Withdrawal out of nowhere and gotta deal with that. And the worst bad effect would be just losing one of your cards at random, which of course also goes towards solving the problem of having an overfull wallet.

After all, the way to have an overfull wallet is to have a Joker in your hand, and Jokers are often dangerous.


 
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Ada
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 01:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

I can see a strong case for needing one joker per first class pass, so that a hand with 3 joker and 8 (seven of spades) will give you 3 first class passes and seven normal passes.

Ada, if you only want to trade certain cards, then give the cards you want to keep to your mate to look after while you do the trade, and then have them return them to you. This is why I now permanently have jokers.

Also, just throwing an idea out here, instead of a hard limit on cards, you could have a system where if your case was over full, then you run the risk of some random cards getting ripped and made unusable perhaps?




Certainly, I do do that when I am trading in cards to get passes. But uh, that's pretty broken actually! Because then I can separate my multiple jokers and get a whole big pile of passes, while still retaining at least one joker so I can go back and have a huge hand again. You're doing that too. Both of us - and, presumably, most people collecting cards - therefore have an essentially unending supply of first-class passes. What I was suggesting is a way for the first-class passes to be limited - because I think it's a bit broken that someone can trade in a whole hand for an unlimited number of passes. If the station attendant will only give you a maximum number of passes for a single joker, it does not limit any player's ability to collect or trade cards (like a hard limit on cards would), but it does limit the usefulness of jokers.
And if he's only going to give me ten passes for my forty-pass hand, it's only fair for him to only take the cards he's counting.

(Also, do remember that the vast majority of this game's players do not really interact with other players. It is much better for game mechanics to allow people to, for instance, choose which cards in their hand they are spending, than to force them to make an alt for the sole purpose of card transfers.)


 
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bl0b
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 01:49 PM UTC  
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Quote by: skoddy

... Or maybe a little stamina loss for overfull wallet, though I have no idea how to justify it


Well, cards do weigh 2 kg each...

My thoughts on the current train system.
The way it is at the moment, if you remember to collect cards every day you get at least 1 pass per day in the long run. I think this wouldn't be as bad, if the passes weren't unlimited day travel. The way it is at the moment, you can do eBoy trades between NH, CC, AH and NP right at the beginning of your DK without any stamina cost or risk of failboating.
I say, one trip per card. Daly passes are a bit much. Also add a 10% per trip (maybe?) chance of losing (some?) items in your inventory/requisition, or a fight if you don't have anything and it should make it more balanced (Them thieving midget bastards!) The difference between regular pass and first class one should perhaps be a higher chance of getting robbed on a first class seat, but a higher chance for a fight on a regular seat.
And the last thought i have is on the frequency of getting cards. The way it stands at the moment, I get one card from improbable events for about every 10 cards collected from dwellings. That includes missed cards as well. What if at NewDay (including crono), a set of rooms the size of daily card allowance would get selected from the list of card-giving rooms at random, and you would only be able to get cards from those rooms for that day?

That way there's no need for heavy, vanishing and/or exploding cards, limited trade-ins and eBoy bans. Just my loose change.


 
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Mack
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 04:25 PM UTC  
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Not sure if this has been mentioned, I only skimmed through the previous posts, but would eliminating the trade of jokers fix the issue of people getting tons of cards? Once you trade them in, you need to find a new joker, rather than getting another one from your buddy. That, in my opinion, seems like the simplest way to fix the situation without angering many players. Then again, maybe I'm just crazy.


You can toast them, but it's dark magic. - MotPax on hotdog buns.
 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 05:26 PM UTC  
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It isn't going to be just one change, but a re-balancing. My thinking is that if I take away something from players, even something boring like cards always being reliably findable in the exact same places, I should give some new play-value in exchange -- or at least provide a story-reason for why things are now different. Preferably both!

I'll fit together a few of the ideas proposed here, plus some of my own that I've had simmering for a while, into what I hope will be an integrated whole that makes trains more exciting.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 05:48 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

It isn't going to be just one change, but a re-balancing. My thinking is that if I take away something from players, even something boring like cards always being reliably findable in the exact same places, I should give some new play-value in exchange -- or at least provide a story-reason for why things are now different. Preferably both!

I'll fit together a few of the ideas proposed here, plus some of my own that I've had simmering for a while, into what I hope will be an integrated whole that makes trains more exciting.




OOH, both. Please!!! Please!!!!!!


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Harris
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 06:20 PM UTC  
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*bounces*


IDEA!


What about one of the ways we can get cards is a randomly encountered Jungle version of the stones game, and the old man lays out CARDS instead?

And you lose cards, not money, if you lose?


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Awesome Fred
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 06:29 PM UTC  
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Or going off of story, perhaps there is a Jungle Monster/Non-Contestant Train that our enemies can ride, and that requires Req to ride instead of Cards, so Old Men and special mobs always try to take our req, but reward us with cards if we win those wagers or fights?

Or... maybe not. Just brainstorming.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 08:15 PM UTC  
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Spiffy idea, but we don't wish to break our dear mods or CMJ INTENTIONALLY...

What about a simpler version, like train robbers happening as random on-board encounters, and we win no experience from them, OR req, but can get cigs or cards off of if we win (and they can take OUR cigs/cards if they win). Could such a thing be programmed using a variant on the Pinata or Kissing Booth code?


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Kel!
 Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 09:52 PM UTC  
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Req and Passes. That's what Train Robbers might be after.

You win some, lose some, it's all a game for me... Razz

[shameless song quote]


 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, August 27 2010 @ 03:50 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Kel%21

Req and Passes. That's what Train Robbers might be after.

You win some, lose some, it's all a game for me... Razz

[shameless song quote]



...and gamblin's for fools, but that's the way I like it baby, I ain't gonna live forevah...


 
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Bakemaster
 Friday, August 27 2010 @ 10:20 PM UTC  
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People like collecting cards. This is a proven fact. See: the success of the CCG genre, whether the cards are tangible or virtual. So I feel like it would be a definite mistake to limit people to only 5 cards. One obvious alternative is to water down the value of any given card or set of cards.

Why not simply change the trade-in mechanism so that you might get a rail pass, but you might not? With a better hand, you have a better chance to get a pass. With a Joker in your hand, you have the same chances but the pass will be First Class if you do get one. If you don't get a pass, you get something else instead, also based on the hand - so a random 5-card hand will probably give you some req, maybe a little experience, maybe a grenade, 5% of the time you get a pass. A hand with three-of-a-kind might give you a greater amount of req, greater amount of exp, maybe an imp bomb, and 15% of the time you get a pass.

You could set this up in a number of ways; I might suggest a general framework similar to the following:

- Identify a set number of prize categories.
- Associate hand strength with a certain breakdown of prize category chances. (Currently, the only measure of hand strength is the sum of all duplicate cards in excess of the first of the type; but it could also be the poker hand strength, a numerical measure of rarity, or any other measure.)
- Weight the prize quantity (not category) proportionally to the number of cards in the redeemed hand.

For example, here's a graph (not to scale) showing the association mentioned above between hand strength and prize category chances. The prize categories used in the example are Requisition, Experience, Item and Railpass. A player redeeming a hand of strength 0 has a 40% chance of being awarded a prize from the Requisition category, and only a 5% chance of being awarded a prize from the Railpass category. A hand at strength 10, on the other hand, has an 80% chance of awarding a prize from the Railpass category.

If the player is awarded a prize from the Requisition category, the amount of req would vary with the size of the hand. Redeem the minimum size hand of 5 cards, get between 100R and 500R. Redeem 10 cards at once, get between 200R and 1,000R. And so on. I chose those numbers somewhat randomly, but the proportion was intentional - the average reward is the same on a per-card ratio. If you want to discourage hoarding, adjust the numbers so that the average reward from the minimum size hand is higher. If you want to encourage hoarding, do the opposite. If you want to really mess with the number crunchers, go one way for one category but another way for the other! For instance, average reward if you get Req might be higher when you redeem one 10-card hand than when you redeem two 5-card hands, but the 10-card hand might give you a chance of being awarded 3 Railpasses at once while each 5-card hand only allows for the possibility of a single Railpass each.

What I like about this sort of proportion-based system:
- It can be comprehended graphically.
- It translates easily into code. (There's no need for linear calculations when your independent variable is limited to integer values.)
- It can be tweaked with a "hands-on" feel in Excel or on scratch paper with a ruler - simply adjusting your min-max points lets you eyeball the system. Or if you don't have min-max points in mind, looking at the system will tell you exactly what sort of adjustment you need to make to have a particular impact on the prize breakdown.
- The math is simple, but figuring out the exact mechanic via in-game experimenting requires a large number of trials (unlike the current mechanic, which was deciphered by examining only a few dozen trials). This helps to preserve the mystery of the game, which supports its immersive quality. This last point is probably the most important one to me, personally.

Anyway, I've typed this up at such length as much because I enjoy rambling (and it's Friday, so I can) as for any other reason. I realize that Dan may already have a lot of very good ideas in mind, and to some people much or all of this post may seem so obvious as to be patronizing or insulting. Blame my professorial tendencies, I suppose. I think I'll give those professorial tendencies an enormous noogie now by biking up a very, very large hill. I go! I go! Look how I go. (Shut up, professor. Callista Flockheart sucked in that movie.)


Unofficial Improbable Island out-of-character chat is at irc.foonetic.net, channel #iisland - come on by!
 
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Miss Hellebore
 Friday, August 27 2010 @ 10:27 PM UTC  
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I hope will be an integrated whole that makes trains more exciting.



Something Improbable!

You were walking around the jungle, minding your own business, when BAM! KAPLOW! Hit by a train.

Shit luck, friend.

Frown


 
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