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 Cigs - my relation with them and an idea.
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Hairy Mary
 Saturday, May 08 2010 @ 10:15 AM UTC (Read 3115 times)  
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Right. I'm very predominantly a role player, not a game player. For ages I pootled around doing my thing on rank 1 and virtually ignored the game aspects of the Island. I got myself to a position where I could do what I wanted. As long as you don't do drive hunting that's fairly easy. All my characters have got large chempack charges, Biggs could use 60 chemical highs on the trot if need be.

But not totally, game aspects do impinge on role playing a little, mainly in terms of stamina, exp, req and cigs.
Stamina isn't too much of a problem, even as a Midget, Biggs can usually get where ever he wants to go in a game day.
Exp, you deal with by getting failboated every day. No problem.
Req, well, you spend a bit of time and effort getting up to around 100,000 req and then live off the interest, whenever you need something.
That leaves cigs. OK, you don't need them too much, when you do then you hit the abandoned factory repeatedly. Can be a little tedious but not too bad.

That was the case until dwellings happened. Dwellings are fantastic, I love them. They're also predominantly a role playing tool, and a bloody powerful one at that. As has been mentioned elsewhere, there's really not much point in building your own dwelling for a purely game play point of view.

But they do mean that cigs have suddenly taken on a much more significant position, and I'm having to game play rather more than I did to get hold of them, two of my characters are now playing rank 5 in an attempt to get more cigs. They're also jungle fighting a lot more for the same reason, and I have to spend more time worrying about losing exp and balancing everything, which quite honestly, I'm not especially enjoying. Also, I have to worry more about whether I'll be able to get around between outposts. It's just not my cup of tea.

I suspect that I'm not the only person like this *looks round* anyone else like to back me up on that?

SO. Here's an idea that would really make Island life more pleasent for me. Could there be some way to trade in exp for cigs? Make it a sufficiently large amount of exp so that it's not at all attractive to game players (who are usually regularly playing rank 6 and 7, giving them more cigs anyway.) That would be so nice for me and my ilk without unduly unbalancing it for the game players.

As an in game justification, I don't know, maybe there's a mad scientist who pays you in cigs for letting him perform 'experiments' on you, or something like that.

What do people think of this idea?


 
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Kash
 Saturday, May 08 2010 @ 05:45 PM UTC  
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First thing that came to mind when I started thinking about this idea was "he has too many characters."

But then, once I realized that not everyone can be content with just one (like I am) I realized that the Mad Scientist idea is a superbly clever workaround. I don't think it would be game-breaking if done well... but I foresee a nigh-impossible balance needed between making it sufficiently unattractive to game-players without also scaring off the role-players. Since level is locked in regardless of experience, a large experience requirement would mean you'd have to avoid truancy for long periods of time if you wanted to avoid leveling up. I don't know if leveling itself is a concern at all for you, but it does get you ever closer to that DK you are trying to avoid.

In the meantime, assuming this wouldn't be considered exploitative of multiple accounts, you might create an extra character whose sole purpose is to game-play and collect cigs et cetera for the purpose of adding to your other characters' dwellings. I don't think it would be account abuse simply because it doesn't provide a benefit to you as the player overall... just a role-playing (i.e. non-game) benefit to your other characters.

Of course, I'd ask about it anyway before trying it... I just don't personally see anything wrong with it. But I don't know these sorts of things.


 
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Bernard
 Saturday, May 08 2010 @ 06:46 PM UTC  
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I have to say 'here here' to Ole' Hairy. To be fair - the only reason I go into the jungle is to get cash to buy teleporters. And the cigs. Oh and some of the flavour text...

However, I have an aversion to being 'failboated'. I don't know why I just can't stand it... Hence I do go through levels... Because I can't lose the Xp in the same way some of you can... But you're right - the idea that you can progress through the game doing stuff other than fighting isn't quite true at the moment, it's still a necessary part of the game.

I wonder if Jungle Fighting could be a selection a la PvP in S1, something you can opt out of? I accept that travel between the outposts is still risky, and so it wouldn't do not to take precautions - but if there could be other means to generate the means by which you can build, well, I'd be delighted to sign up.


 
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, May 08 2010 @ 07:38 PM UTC  
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The mad scientist's cigs-for-xp thing would be nice, but even as you describe it, you wouldn't be able to keep on using it without going back to the jungle to accumulate more experience.

For a player who's willing to jungle fight -- that is, most of us, most of the time -- here's how it could be (mis)used: get to level 13 or so, visit the scientist thus acquiring a massive xp-debt and a boatload of cigs, jungle fight for more cigs and req until the red xp bar starts turning white again (with high level monsters, this wouldn't take nearly as long as the first time through), rinse... repeat until filthy rich and/or bored.

To prevent this, you'd have to limit it severely. Maybe even restrict it to once per character, like the museum quest. The mad scientist would have to pay very well.. maybe 100 or 200 cigs, enough for a couple of land stakes. To keep Rookies from short-circuiting the early part of the game, there'd have to be a DK minimum before the scientist would even be interested in you. 12 is enough to qualify for Joker, so maybe that's what his research would be about.

And... this is starting to sound like a job for... Improbable Labs! (cue theme music)


 
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Hairy Mary
 Sunday, May 09 2010 @ 12:44 AM UTC  
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Sessine, forgive me for carrying on here, I'm not going to code it myself, or anything else come to that, I'm throwing ideas out, as is my wont.

Now. If something like this was available, then I would use it quite a lot, if for no other reason than to shed exp in a convenient fashion. You really don't have to worry about where that's going to come from, it piles up by itself quite fast enough. Perhaps you could make the cost in exp dependent on the level of the character? If you got 2 cigs for the exp you need to get to the level you're at, then that would be something. It would give the likes of me an extra option. Maybe make it dependent on rank as well some how.

I realise I'm changing my story here a bit, but the loss of exp is taking up more of my attention than I'd like as well. I'm feeling my way a bit here. My different characters have different needs.

Two of them, Cantankerous Biggs and Skronky are Midgets, the failboat's a home from home for them. A bit posh maybe, doesn't have that distinctive Squathole aroma, but not bad. I send them both to the failboat at almost every opportunity. The one exception to this is when Skronky's building, in which case I have him sleep in CakeNinja's dwelling in Pleasentville to maximise the stamina I can use for building with. Exp isn't a problem for them.

My third character, Alexander Quandle is different. For a start he doesn't like the failboat. More importantly, not only is he doing a lot of building, so he wants to stay in Soup and Pants the night before, but also he is sharing the dwelling in question with his wife. We build together, and then we spend RL hours sitting round and chatting. And then, he's building this dwelling, he wants to sleep in it and actually use it. He doesn't visit the failboat that often.

I could spend less time building and more time failboating I suppose, but it's the building and the chatting that I really enjoy, and I really, really don't want to cut into that if I can help it. Point is, exp gets to levels where it's worrying, and I have to put the fun aspects of the game on hold to get that down again. So just being able to get rid of exp would be of enormous benefit to him.

Kash. Levelling doesn't per se bother me. AQ and Skronky are both level 11, Biggs is level 13 (after a rather unfortunate episode involving me failing to notice that fighting in outpost invasions gave out rather large amounts. He went up three levels despite visiting the failboat seven or eight times, and despite not wanting to.) But there is a limit to how far you can go with that. Now I try to avoid leveling at all, so I've got a safety buffer against accidently killing the drive. I'm at that highish level because I was trying to save req, and you get rather more there. If I had to avoid masters, then that would be very bad, it means that you couldn't go into outposts, and you couldn't even use the failboat, because you get taken back to an outpost. That would rather hurt roleplaying.

Also, I'm pretty sure that using an alt like that would be frowned upon. Elsewhere in the forums, someone was talking about using an alt purely for storing wood and stone so they didn't get stolen, but just using one main character for quarrying/lumberjacking/carpentry/masonry/decorating/carrying materials around. That was deemed by admin as being a bit cheaty.

I would agree with that (not that my opinion should count for anything at all, the admin is, and should be, the god on this Island.) It's a thin end of the wedge argument. There's shades of grey running from the above behaviour right down to out and out 'farming' I believe it's called, and then it boils down to 'who can spend the most time on the Island, using as many alts as necessary'. Where do you draw the line? You either spend ages drawing an incredibly thin line which requires a team of lawyers to interpret, and still having people upset because 'they did that, why can't I do this' when they fall just the wrong side of it, or else you keep it simple and say 'no help from alts, full stop.'


 
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zamboni
 Sunday, May 09 2010 @ 07:25 PM UTC  
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Ciggies are the one rare commodity on the Island. Req (and the gear that you buy with it) is super easy to get (if you make the effort).

I respect your right to play the game differently than I do; however, choosing to play a certain way is going to have ramifications. Ciggies need to be earned and a solution that allows you to simply trade something trivial (like xp or subjecting yourself to an experiment) seriously devalues them.

So, if there's a need to generate ciggies for role playing pacifists (or people who aren't against fighting, they just don't come to the Island to do so), there also needs to be a non-trivial way to earn them.

For example, how about a "Habitats for Inhumanity" project? Donate a certain amount of your time (and stamina) to building housing for down-on-their-luck midgets in the swamps outside of Squat Hole, earn some ciggies. Put in some hours at the delousing facility in Kittania or the brainzz kitchen in New Pittsburgh.

Again, the rewards have to be relatively small (100 points in the Hunter's Lodge only gets you 7 ciggies, after all), but it would be a way for roleplayers to earn ciggies through non-traditional means.

* * *

On a completely different note, some of us have the opposite problem - too many ciggies, not enough to spend on. I'd love to see some new non-expiring items that can be purchase for ciggies - but that's another thread!


 
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Count Sessine
 Sunday, May 09 2010 @ 08:42 PM UTC  
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Quote by: zamboni

Ciggies need to be earned and a solution that allows you to simply trade something trivial (like xp or subjecting yourself to an experiment) seriously devalues them.

Yes, that's a very good point. So if there were to be an "experiment" module for veteran players that gave a large one-time cig bonus, it would have to be a non-trivial experiment. Risking more than xp (permanent damage, maybe?), or a very difficult test. (It would, after all, be run by a mad scientist.)

On a completely different note, some of us have the opposite problem - too many ciggies, not enough to spend on. I'd love to see some new non-expiring items that can be purchased for ciggies - but that's another thread!

Mn, yeah, another thread. One that's likely to elicit a lot of "world's smallest violin" music from those who don't have the problem...


 
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Hairy Mary
 Monday, May 10 2010 @ 04:48 PM UTC  
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I do appreciate that you can't get cigs too easily, certainly not in any way that would unbalance it for game players. That's axiomatic.

Is exp really that trivial to gamers? Isn't it the fundamental thing that you're trying to attain, to rise though the levels and go have tea with Horatio? What I was thinking was a huge amount of exp for a small amount of cigs, one or two, not hundreds or even tens. A small extra trickle. Would you give up the exp that you need to get to level 13 say, for 2 cigs? 1 cig? Put in a clause where you can't do this once you reach lvl 15 say. Would that be game breaking? It would be good for me, I'd definitely use it. I'd quite happily give away that much exp for 5 req. I'd pay probably 1000 req or so for the priviledge of losing the exp because it's a pain in the arse.

Zamboni, if there was something like you suggest, use up a days stamina for a cig, then I'd use that a lot as well. After all, what's a game day? Nothing at all. Skronky is building a dwelling, I do some work every third game day, to maximize amount of stamina to use with whichever kit that I'm hiring out. Also to regenerate req via interest. So what are the other two days stamina if not useless? I start a new day, check that my bank account hasn't gone over 100 000, and if it has then use it to buy kit (one shots, energy drinks, whatever), then go back and crack a chronosphere. Sometimes I might failboat first, unless I'm planning on working the next day, in which case I'll sleep where it's most convenient for me. If I've got time on my hands then I might travel round a bit on the theory that that's raising my travel stats, which might help sometime somewhere, but mostly I don't. OK, there's a little bit of travelling between outposts sometimes, but very often I don't use any stamina at all in a day. Why would I?

Ok. Why I might is to jungle fight to get cigs, which has this unfortunate side effect of throwing exp at you, which I then have to worry about as well. You can't escape exp in this game, it hunts you down and catches you from every angle. The dojo masters are just the manifestation of this.

So yes, a days work, I don't know, 100% stam for a cig, would be a very useful thing for me. I'd use it straight away. In fact I'd consider this even stronger than swapping exp. It didn't occur to me at all, because that just seems too game breaking to me, anything that strong.

Failing all this, just a foolproof way of disposing of exp would be useful.


 
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Wongo the Sane
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 11:18 AM UTC  
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My 2p

Trading XP for cigs seems inherently broken to me - I get to level 15, I trade all my XP for cigs. Repeat as often as possible 'till Horatio catches up with you.

The ability to trade actual levels, however, on a 1:1 basis... well, that seems much cleaner. You lose a level to the mad scientist and your XP drops to the minimum necessary to be that level. Does this look less abusable?


 
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Awesome Fred
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 04:35 PM UTC  
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Alright, so I guess I'm going to out myself on this:

I am predominantly a game player, not a role player. I used to roleplay in a lot of games, but I've been less enthusiastic about that sort of thing over the past couple years. But of course, there ain't nothing wrong with role play.

However, it's very hard for me to try to get into the social role playing scene in this game because I am constantly irked by people's RP habits. It's not about all the cybering or such, I can endure that; it's that people roleplay their character beyond their game character's capabilities. If you have a shiny green revolver as a joker, sure, go ahead, brandish it in the middle of Improbable Central and scare people. But being a mage or an insect or a pokemon always seems to be taking it a bit far in my mind, because those things aren't totally grounded within the game lore. (No offense, Paul Lo and Ferryn, is it?) There's of course arguments to including those things, especially since Kittymorphs and Doggymorphs and Spidermorphs are all in-game, but there are undefined and subjective lines that I feel are being crossed.

To me, RPing should really be stricter to the game's own mechanics than what I see here. A joker with kittymorph ears makes perfect sense to me, a joker with fur, whiskers, claws can be believed if it's a player with a high amount of DKs due to in-game lore saying that parts can get retained. But if you're a tree-dragon-octopus-morph, it really just screams "I'm a special snowflake!" to me. Keep it in moderation.

Your individuality in-game should be derived from your personality and your actions as the other players perceive it. When your individuality stems mainly from your appearance or your backstory, it really feels more like a cry for attention rather than a well-integrated character in a living story.

This all being said, I now turn to say that it's my unauthoritative opinion that the idea of exchanging experience for cigarettes is a bad idea not only for game breakage, but for ruining some consistencies between game mechanics and game lore. More powerful contestants are rewarded cigarettes by the camera hoppers for performing well on television and making the ratings go up. Therefore, it makes sense that, unless you were some sort of loan shark or market baron that extorts cigarettes, those who fight in the jungle a lot and make good television by being powerful contestants are going to be the ones who get the most cigarettes. Contestants, which we all are and shouldn't RP ourselves out of (in my unprofessional opinion, again), who need more cigarettes are the ones who need to do more high-rank DKs to make more exciting television.

The system for obtaining cigarettes is very good as it currently stands, because not only of the game balance, but because it scales appropriately between the lore and the gameplay. If you want to RP a lot, you should integrate it with being a good gameplayer. If you can't accomplish something RP-wise because you're restricted gameplay-wise, most likely it stands to reason that it should be like that.


Why do I have to expose myself as a roleplay snob? Frown


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 10:29 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred



To me, RPing should really be stricter to the game's own mechanics than what I see here. A joker with kittymorph ears makes perfect sense to me, a joker with fur, whiskers, claws can be believed if it's a player with a high amount of DKs due to in-game lore saying that parts can get retained. But if you're a tree-dragon-octopus-morph, it really just screams "I'm a special snowflake!" to me. Keep it in moderation.

Your individuality in-game should be derived from your personality and your actions as the other players perceive it. When your individuality stems mainly from your appearance or your backstory, it really feels more like a cry for attention rather than a well-integrated character in a living story.



I will be perfectly frank:

Imposing rules on the roleplayers like that is a horrible, horrible idea.


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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Awesome Fred
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 10:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: K.K.+Victoria

Quote by: Awesome+Fred



To me, RPing should really be stricter to the game's own mechanics than what I see here. A joker with kittymorph ears makes perfect sense to me, a joker with fur, whiskers, claws can be believed if it's a player with a high amount of DKs due to in-game lore saying that parts can get retained. But if you're a tree-dragon-octopus-morph, it really just screams "I'm a special snowflake!" to me. Keep it in moderation.

Your individuality in-game should be derived from your personality and your actions as the other players perceive it. When your individuality stems mainly from your appearance or your backstory, it really feels more like a cry for attention rather than a well-integrated character in a living story.



I will be perfectly frank:

Imposing rules on the roleplayers like that is a horrible, horrible idea.



I hope I get across the idea that it's the way I view roleplaying and the reason why I don't participate strongly in the social roleplay of this game, not that I demand the RPers in this game follow the way I want it to be.

The purpose of my post here is that I find that doing a exp -> cig conversion for the sake of making it easy for roleplayers possibly detracting to my immersion in the game's setting as it is.


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 10:45 PM UTC  
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How often do you see the cig counts of other players? How could it detract from your immersion experience of the game if you can't really see the difference that it would make anyway?


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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Awesome Fred
 Monday, May 17 2010 @ 11:05 PM UTC  
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Quote by: K.K.+Victoria

How often do you see the cig counts of other players? How could it detract from your immersion experience of the game if you can't really see the difference that it would make anyway?



I'll be seeing the cigarette counts of my own character. I'll be farming cigarettes from experience too if it becomes the faster way for my character to receive cigarettes.

It leads towards the idea that the player's character is not a part of the game Improbable Island but rather the player's character is in a sandbox with a pre-rendered background of jungles and towns and zombies and midgets.

Why not make it so that the player can choose however many cigs they want by typing in an input box, and the players self-impose rules to how many cigs they earn each time they do some relevant RP action with other players? That kinda thing can be very fun when done properly, but in those scenarios, it's a sandbox thing where the entire story is told by only the players involved. As I view it, Improbable Island is the storytelling of CMJ, and we participate in his story as players. I like his story: it's amusing and interesting. Game mechanics integrated with game lore means that we are participating in his story--us self-imposing rules means we're starting to make it our story.

I mention self-imposed rules to head off the argument that if the exp->cigarette conversion is there but I don't like it, I don't "have" to use it. If it gets me towards the end I want as a player of this game, though, I'm going to use it.

I can ignore it if it's a horribly inefficient way to gain cigarettes, but I'll sigh heavily at the fact that I know it's there for players to circumvent the main storyline of CMJ's that we're participating in, which is for the player to be the Best Contestant Who Defeats The Improbability Drive. That's where it stems from my original mentions that I don't particularly enjoy how deviant the RPers in this game get from the game's mechanics-supported lore.


In conclusion, I'll be playing the game if exp -> cig conversion gets into the game in a balanced method. It's not a deal-breaker. But I don't like the idea of it coming in, because its purpose is counter to the way I would wish the game to go. I'm not going to get involved in any sort of fight over what boils down to my simple preference, so these are my last words on the topic and I invite anyone else to have their last say against me.


 
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Ada
 Tuesday, May 18 2010 @ 02:08 AM UTC  
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It does not matter what rp you are playing, there are going to be characters who want to be special snowflakes. No matter how strict the canon, there is going to be a Mary Sue or a Blah Blah the Most Incredible or whatever. You are on the Internet.

Not only does such an opinion have nothing whatsoever to do with gaining cigs, this is in a thread started by one of the most strict-to-canon roleplayers on the whole island. He plays the midgets. As midgets.


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Tuesday, May 18 2010 @ 02:09 AM UTC  
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Consider the small impact cigarettes actually have in game to the player.

If you're a player, you probably have no interest in houses.

Abusing smoking leads to shorter cigarette buffs if you smoke them.

The costs for weapons and armor in cigarettes is slight, and if you're getting into higher cig costs, the reck costs are ludicrous as well.

Tattoos and jewelry don't have much impact on the game.

So what good are they?

I direct your attention to the thread where some players are complaining that they don't have enough to do with their surplus of cigarettes.

http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=14072


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, May 18 2010 @ 03:26 AM UTC  
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Should I weigh in on the matter? Maybe. Yes, yes I shall.

Experience to cig conversion? No. Never, ever, ever going to happen, ever. Likewise with Req to cig conversion, Stamina to cig conversion, or pretty much anything but supporter points or blind luck. When you start going down that road, you end up wondering why you made a game and not just a forum.

More things to do with cigarettes? Yes, with a particular focus on new Mounts (and in S3, a whole new Mounts system).

The fact that some folks ignore the game in favour of the roleplaying community... I don't know whether that says more about the game being boring or the RP community being awesome. The latter is made of yay, the former entirely boo. The latter I can control to some degree - creating systems like Dwellings or [redacted] (no, not giving that surprise away just yet). The former is more under my control, and I clearly need to work more on the actual plot.


 
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Hairy Mary
 Tuesday, May 18 2010 @ 05:44 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

The fact that some folks ignore the game in favour of the roleplaying community... I don't know whether that says more about the game being boring or the RP community being awesome. The latter is made of yay, the former entirely boo. The latter I can control to some degree - creating systems like Dwellings or [redacted] (no, not giving that surprise away just yet). The former is more under my control, and I clearly need to work more on the actual plot.



Er, I wouldn't read too much into what I say, I think that I'm a pretty extreme case. I've just realised that Biggs and Skronky are 1 and 2 in the restorations high table, with AQ at 11, and he does DK occasionally.

I'm just not much of a game player. I am mildly interested in the game as a game, AQ will get around to playing a robot and a joker probably at least once each, so that I at least know what it's like from personal experience, but I'm certainly not going to do that with more than one character. So I think that it says more about me than either the game or the role playing community. And that's not under your control at all.

P.S. I noticed that 'redacted' comment, I know that I'm being tantalised here. And it's working.


 
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Cousjava
 Tuesday, May 18 2010 @ 07:26 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Should I weigh in on the matter? Maybe. Yes, yes I shall.

Experience to cig conversion? No. Never, ever, ever going to happen, ever. Likewise with Req to cig conversion, Stamina to cig conversion, or pretty much anything but supporter points or blind luck. When you start going down that road, you end up wondering why you made a game and not just a forum.


If there was exp ->cig conversion, I would use it, because I want a house. I'd use it to get a house, then carry on with normal gameplay, and every time I wanted more cigs I would just do conversion.

More things to do with cigarettes? Yes, with a particular focus on new Mounts (and in S3, a whole new Mounts system).

One thing only to say on this: YAY! Big Grin

The fact that some folks ignore the game in favour of the roleplaying community... I don't know whether that says more about the game being boring or the RP community being awesome. The latter is made of yay, the former entirely boo. The latter I can control to some degree - creating systems like Dwellings or [redacted] (no, not giving that surprise away just yet). The former is more under my control, and I clearly need to work more on the actual plot.[/p]


The RP community is awesome. I quicky discoved that, and that is going to be a big reason why I continue playing this forever if I can. This is what makes the game stand out, becuase what I do in the game has an influence on the future of the game. Just look at the Skronkys. I am now embarrassed that I didn't know who they were when I first came across them in Squat Hole, and what I said clearly made that out.

One last thing for why I play, from the retired veteran The Chesire Cat:

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.
The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
Alice: How do you know I'm mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.
Alice: And how do you know that you're mad?
The Cat: To begin with, a dog's not mad. You grant that?
Alice: I suppose so,
The Cat: Well, then, you see, a dog growls when it's angry, and wags its tail when it's pleased. Now I growl when I'm pleased, and wag my tail when I'm angry. Therefore I'm mad.


A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a trombone; what else does a man need to be happy?
 
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