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 RANT: Outposts constantly down - considering dropping support and quitting playing.
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Scorpio
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 03:25 AM UTC (Read 12326 times)  
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The continuous seige state of New Pitts and CC, and to a lesser extent Squat and AceHigh is really beginning to strip the fun from the game for me. I'm not a huge roleplayer, my primary fun is in the combat and moving through Dan quests and drive kills.

When I can't go into an outpost semi-reliably to bank some req, or even get the fuck out of there safely after a days combat in the jungle it really rips a lot of the fun out of the game for me. It gets rather tiring when it comes down to a choice of loosing the req on hand that I can't damn well bank because the fucking outpost I'm questing in is constantly down to either fighting the breach, or the monsters in the jungle around the outpost, or the monsters in the jungle while trying to travel to somewhere that has a bank open is really beginning to wear on my nerves and strip the fun out of the game for me.

Prior to the last 2 months, both my wife (who plays Silverwind), and myself have been regular site supporters, we've had to help out some family, so there hasn't been the ability to support the site. This will change in the next few days, but we've both wondered if it is even worth supporting, or indeed even continuing to play with the outpost situation.

Some options that I see are:
1 - put in a way to get to travel from the jungle around an outpost, that way a breach doesn't have an effect if you are just trying to complete a quest.
2 - tweak the settings so the outposts don't go under seige as often.
3 - some type of reward for players actually keeping the outposts up, as it stands now, you go in a fight a breach and you get no req, no meat, nothing but experience. If you're not careful you wind up level 15 with shit for armor and weapon and no way to improve things so you can make the drive kill.

Seriously, I love the game overall, but this is really beginning to piss me off to the point where I am ready to say to hell with it and go find some other thing to waste several hours a day on and throw a bit of money at.


 
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Azhron
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 04:44 AM UTC  
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This happens every now and then, when something gets unbalanced. Probably now because of the holiday drop in site traffic. It'll be back to normal after the first of the year, I'd bet, so just wait until then to play, if it bothers you so much.
That being said, a way to get straight from the jungle to the world map would be nice for times like these.


 
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Scorpio
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 05:44 AM UTC  
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So, Azhron, in the same vein, if I had a game locally installed that was unplayable to my playing style for two or three months out of the year, I should just let it sit there and occupy disk space? No, I'd dump the damn thing, and if it was a non-free game simply never purchase from that source again, and if it were open-source, simply let the devel team know that they needed to fix the problem in it.

We'll see how it does, but I think there should be measures taken, especially if there is a history of this behavior in the game, to correct them. How does it look if a new player comes in, starts playing, and attempts the museum quest, only to find out that it's something that is going to take 2 MONTHS to complete simply because one or more outposts is constantly overrun? Kind of a hard sell to get them to keep playing and contribute to a game that has unplayable elements.

As an addendum, a way to tell if an outpost is overrun before entering it would be nice as well. It should be pretty damn obvious when you walk up to that front gate that the walls are breached, or are about to be.


 
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Iriana
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 05:49 AM UTC  
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I understand your frustration. I play as much as I roleplay and it's annoying, to say the least, to be stranded outside an outpost (especially CC, since it takes forever to hike up there anyways).

But... well, a breach is a breach. It just doesn't seem canonical to be able to strike the monsters blind and sneak in under their noses. I'm not sure your first suggestion fits with this. As for the second, I think it's more about outpost traffic than any particular setting that's making the northern outposts go under all the time; people just don't spend much time up there.

That said, I do like number 3. Breaches are nice for exp if you want a fast DK, but I still don't find them interesting, or useful. Mostly because you don't get the monster descriptions. I don't mind the deluge of monsters; I do mind the deluge of boredom. I love the funny descriptions, and it seems kind of mindless to just be killing descriptionless text blurbs, especially if you get no game value other than exp from them. Plus, it's sad to be the only one fending off inevitable doom. Some incentive to draw more defenders would certainly be nice.

At any rate, you can run from monsters that are too high-level for you; I make use of the Run option quite a bit up at CC these days.

(edit)
An idea has been batted around about having an indicator in the Council Offices to tell which Outposts are breached or about to be, so you could stay away or go fight as you chose. /shrug


 
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Scorpio
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 06:05 AM UTC  
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The first suggestion is a way to work on a Dan quest without having to put up with fighting your way back out of a breached outpost. Say your quest is in CC, so you hike there (or whatever) and slip into the jungle from the world map. You knock your way through a day of fighting, with or without finding your quest item/monster, then you get ready to head out and find a bed or turn it in. Right now, the only way is through the outpost, and if it's breached there is a very good chance, even with running, that you will loose any req for the fights you just completed. Granted, you still keep the quest completion proof, but why should you have to face the risk of failboating just to slip away. This also ties into the search for the drive. If you've gone and gotten a gargle-blaster and other short term buffs for the drive hunt, a breach, even with running can bleed those dry before you face the drive.

Yeah, the most obvious solution would be to have more people going to the northern outposts so that the walls can be built up, but how to do that? Over the last 2 months, I've gotten to the point where I could give a crap less about the outposts, I mean it doesn't really matter how many new days stamina I spend building up defenses, within a real world day or two they are all gone and we are right back in the same position again, breached walls, no bank, and way too high of a chance of loosing an entire days req because of it. Now it's one thing to say my character doesn't care about the outposts, I've got him written as an outlaw biker, it makes sense from the character standpoint to grab what he can and get the hell out of dodge, unless a fellow clan member needs help, but for me, the player, to get to that point, well, that's not a good thing.

Also, I wouldn't have a problem with occasional breaches, but when it gets to the point where it is the same outposts, and it's a continual thing, that is where I have a problem with it.

Quote by: Iriana

I understand your frustration. I play as much as I roleplay and it's annoying, to say the least, to be stranded outside an outpost (especially CC, since it takes forever to hike up there anyways).

But... well, a breach is a breach. It just doesn't seem canonical to be able to strike the monsters blind and sneak in under their noses. I'm not sure your first suggestion fits with this. As for the second, I think it's more about outpost traffic than any particular setting that's making the northern outposts go under all the time; people just don't spend much time up there.

That said, I do like number 3. Breaches are nice for exp if you want a fast DK, but I still don't find them interesting, or useful. Mostly because you don't get the monster descriptions. I don't mind the deluge of monsters; I do mind the deluge of boredom. I love the funny descriptions, and it seems kind of mindless to just be killing descriptionless text blurbs, especially if you get no game value other than exp from them. Plus, it's sad to be the only one fending off inevitable doom. Some incentive to draw more defenders would certainly be nice.

At any rate, you can run from monsters that are too high-level for you; I make use of the Run option quite a bit up at CC these days.

(edit)
An idea has been batted around about having an indicator in the Council Offices to tell which Outposts are breached or about to be, so you could stay away or go fight as you chose. /shrug


 
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Harris
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 07:17 AM UTC  
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Seems to me that the sudden upswing in outposts being breached coincided with the beginning of many Christmas vacations.


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Silcatra
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 07:41 AM UTC  
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A way to know if an outpost is under siege before you go in would be wonderful. I wasted almost half a builder's brew a couple of days ago because I went and mined for a while, carefully rationing stamina so I could also log, then went into the jungle to heal. And since there's no way OUT of the Jungle but through the outpost, I had to go into 404.

404 was under onslaught, and I was attacked. Just RUNNING AWAY took me from 135% stamina to 12% stamina. I could have gotten a LOT of logging done with that, but instead I couldn't do a damn thing.

I'm still pissed about it, to the point I didn't make my own thread because I am still not sure it wouldn't come out an incoherent mess glued together with profanities.


 
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talkydoor
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 09:46 AM UTC  
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I like breaches. The exp is very handy to get over (aargh, aaaaaargh) levels 1 and 2, and I even like watching the descriptions of the outposts change as I fight in the jungle. It makes me feel special.

Also,

Scorpio: How does it look if a new player comes in, starts playing, and attempts the museum quest, only to find out that it's something that is going to take 2 MONTHS to complete simply because one or more outposts is constantly overrun?
I think rookies are automatically opted out until they reach level 10 of their first drive kill, precisely for this reason, so this really isn't an issue unless they delay starting the quest, or somehow manage to progress fast enough for it to become a problem.

Give the game a week. The change in titan and overrunning monster levels very definitely follows the holidays, and we're nearly out of that now. The onslaught and titan modules were developed to make the game more interesting, and in my opinion have definitely done that, even if they do get a bit enthusiastic sometimes.


 
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Scorpio
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 10:53 AM UTC  
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talkydoor: I think rookies are automatically opted out until they reach level 10 of their first drive kill, precisely for this reason, so this really isn't an issue unless they delay starting the quest, or somehow manage to progress fast enough for it to become a problem.

Not entirely true, while they are opted out from a breach, the council offices are still closed, which means they cannot compete the museum quest until they manage to hit all the racial outposts while they are in good order. About a month ago I got my oldest son playing, he's playing ratman. Anyway, I sent him off on the museum quest to show him around the island, and when he got to New Pitts, the walls were down far enough that everything, including the council offices were closed.

I'll hold judgement to see how the island is doing in a week or two, but the breaches at this level have made a part of the game unenjoyable for a considerable period of time. I think that some kind of solution should be implemented.


 
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Reverb
 Thursday, December 30 2010 @ 12:35 PM UTC  
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It's important to remember that the Titan and Onslaught modules are self-correcting parts of the game. The outposts are all supposed to fall everyu now and then, and if that happens more or less often than it should, the module will try to fix that by adding or removing monsters from the pool there.

Less traversed outposts (Ace, Pitts and 404 mainly, due to No Steak-syndrome) however, have a bit more trouble keeping up against even the lowest settings, so when the playerbase abruptly changes it's behaviour (by, for instance, massive christmas breaks from playing), it can take some time before the modules catch up to that change.

On the upside, the regulars will all be back next week, and then the module will need about the same amount of time to adjust again, so the forecast for next week is;

Quiet and balmy with occasional spells of blood and gore, and only a mild chance of Breaches.


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Awesome Fred
 Friday, December 31 2010 @ 01:50 AM UTC  
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I by my own choice have elected to forgo playing normally in the past 2 months in order to try to keep Cyber City up. I think of my character as a 404 resident, even though I was never big and still am not big on roleplaying. I hear that Hairy Mary keeps Cantankerous Biggs in Squat Hole most of the time? I do the same with Awesome Fred now for Cyber City.

Obviously, we can't expect players to dedicate themselves forever to just working on keeping a town alive. I enjoy it because I love the idea that I affect the environment that others play in (this is also the reason why I play with the markets with spare money--just because I can). But still, keeping a town up that doesn't have regular traffic is absurdly difficult. Breaches should be a constant threat to a city, not a constant state of a city. As a robot at 100 Reinforcement with 125-135% stamina every day, I still don't make enough walls to be able to hold the city together on my own (not that a single player should be able to stop all breaches, but still, I'd like to be able to keep the city together between waiting for players from other cities).

I really think that the always-breached states for CC404, Squat Hole, AceHigh, and New Pittsburgh are really really un-fun, even with my enthusiasm for the challenge of keeping the cities up. I never feel like my work means much when the city's walls fall down whenever I'm gone for 2 days. (I usually don't play every day--that's a bad habit I don't want to regain.) I was rather discouraged when after all the work of getting CC404 up to 3 million, I logged on a day later to find it all gone, because a Titan had spawned nearby and gotten to it before anyone could deal with it.

My opinion is that the rate walls fall should be watered down, and the rate that monsters rise in the jungle be linear (if it's not already). A certain monsters/minute would be nicer than a self-correcting method that keeps increasing the difficulty of saving cities, because trying to achieve a "balance" of time a city is breached and a city is unbreached isn't realistically fun. Players don't want a city to be down, they want a city to have the potential to be downed if they don't meet a reasonable challenge. (Breach EXP grinders notwithstanding.) I think Titans can have the self-correcting method because it's based on time alive rather than number of cities breached? If that's not right, could someone post the info for how those work?

Before we do a change like that, maybe Scorpio's option 1 would be good. Going straight from Jungle to World makes sense because you can go from World to Jungle. It would mean that players can still quest in a breached outpost without the risk of dying coming out of the Jungle. Lastly, those questers' Jungle fights still decrease the amount of monsters at the Outpost, meaning they helped put a dent in the breach monster number.

I'm not sure I like #3 that much, mostly because I can't think of what that reward should be. If it were cigs, I might just be rolling in them. (Pun not intended.) But that could be good incentive, maybe. But we also thought the Rally might have been suitable incentive to increased Cyber City traffic, eh?

Edit:

The constant falling of Cyber City and New Pittsburgh is not a Holiday Weekend issue. It has been constant. For a long while.


 
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Anonymous: Anonymous
 Friday, December 31 2010 @ 07:07 AM UTC  


Quote by: Azhron

Probably now because of the holiday drop in site traffic



Maybe just make the outposts harder to breach or have double reinforcement during the holidays?


 
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Mogar
 Friday, December 31 2010 @ 07:14 AM UTC  
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I'm in a sort of similar position as Fred with this, I've made Mogar a sort of Cyber City resident. Part of it is because Dan sent me to CC404 for some dumbhead quest thing that won't show up, which I had actually completely forgotten about for a while. So I've been just fighting in the jungles and within the walls, reinforcing them afterward. Here and there when other people show up, I'll do some roleplaying outside the town, or in it when the walls are woking, even though it isn't the thing I'm best at on the island.

But the almost-constant breach state has gotten really old. It was fun for a while, being a Cyber City defender, but not using a bank or getting to buy new stuff while I did have money got to be a pain in the butt. I don't know how the self-correcting thing or whatever it is works, and I didn't know it really existed until now, so I won't whine about it too. Like everyone else, I'm voting that Scorpio's option #1 would be wonderful at a minimum, because I enjoy sleeping at least on the floor somewhere and not just sticking to the jungle and letting time log me off when I don't want to risk a stroll through the breach (and getting a stamina-unboosted New Day inside the jungle when I get back on). I do like #3, though, only getting experience is baloney, although somewhat realistic, since cameras don't hang out in outposts (or do they?). I don't really care if #2 changes or not, though it would make things easier, and (again) bank use'd be nice. If things don't change though, I suppose I'll just keep to the city and get over myself.


 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, December 31 2010 @ 08:31 AM UTC  
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Oh, by the way. Guys. I "bank" in a threatened outpost by buying Nicotine Gums. eBoy's doesn't close until a full breach, and while you lose a good portion of your money on the resale value of Nicotine Gum, that's better than losing it all on a risky fight.


 
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Mogar
 Friday, December 31 2010 @ 11:17 PM UTC  
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Aha! Excellent idea. Though perhaps investing in an even cheaper item would be more useful, re-selling wise? I also like the outpost's new whopping bunch of health.


 
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Maniak
 Saturday, January 01 2011 @ 09:39 AM UTC  
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As a joker, I bank by buying the cheapest grenades, sell as improbability bombs the next day. Sometimes it even works out better than the interest the bank would give.

The good thing about the nicotine gum is that it's the lightest of all. Buy 80 ratpacks or medkits and your backpack is filled.

BTW Fred, I made a killing buying/selling gum between PV and CC404. I'll send you something as a thanks.


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Awesome Fred
 Sunday, January 02 2011 @ 06:13 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Maniak

As a joker, I bank by buying the cheapest grenades, sell as improbability bombs the next day. Sometimes it even works out better than the interest the bank would give.

The good thing about the nicotine gum is that it's the lightest of all. Buy 80 ratpacks or medkits and your backpack is filled.

BTW Fred, I made a killing buying/selling gum between PV and CC404. I'll send you something as a thanks.



Oh, so that was from you! Thanks a bunch, and no problem, I'm already sucking up more of those gums. ;D


 
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Mr Geppetto
 Tuesday, January 04 2011 @ 09:55 AM UTC  
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I have to partly agree with Scorpio on his one. While I do enjoy the 'free' experience while I'm doing a low rank DK, a breach on a high rank can be a pain in the unmentionables. And having those outposts forever and ever breached (even before the holidays) begins to be irksome. I get that 'oh, no, not aaaagaaaain!' feeling more and more often.

There was, a while ago, another thread on the exact same topic. A huge rise in onslaught happened as soon as dwellings were introduced, since people ran off to build and there was a drop in the number of 'defenders'. It was tweaked down then, I think, and it remained so for a while. (here's the link: http://enquirer.improbableisland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?forum=18&showtopic=12350 ). While I find the self-tweaking system fascinating as a principle, having it 'know' about holidays and long weekends would be even more fascinating, though not in-game coherent. Might do a lot for game enjoyment for a lot of people, though. Maybe.

Other ideas, out of the top of my head: Yes, having an option to see whether an outpost is overrun or not, when standing outside, would be swell. It's not the same as seeing the state of the outposts from the council offices, since by the time you get there from another (not overrun outpost) where you saw the reading it can become overrun or cease to be so. Also, having an option to bypass an overrun outpost as you go from jungle to travel would be neat. Only if it's overrun, so it won't be an easily exploited way to avoid leveling up. Maybe this can be accomplished by buying an item, say a new e-boy item, something like a crate-finder, in principle? A detector that would allow one to see from the jungle that the outpost is overrun and allow you to duck the swarm of monsters and, phew, escape, letting the outpost fend for itself. Or a cheaper and crappier version of the one-shots, allowing one to teleport just outside the city, from the jungle, not further.


 
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Matthew
 Tuesday, January 04 2011 @ 10:58 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Mr+Geppetto

Also, having an option to bypass an overrun outpost as you go from jungle to travel would be neat. Only if it's overrun, so it won't be an easily exploited way to avoid leveling up..



I'm not entirely sure how it'd be an exploit to avoid leveling up. Putting off picking a rank is no longer a problem, and I'm sure that the hook to pick a rank is in both the Jungle and the Outpost. The only thing I could see is maybe fighting for lots of money, but then you couldn't bank it anyway. And there's infinitely more efficient ways to get money anyway.

I dunno. I'm just not sure if I see the downside of putting a Travel link from the Jungle for everyone to use all the time. Unless it's not that way to make the game 'harder'.


 
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tehdave
 Wednesday, January 05 2011 @ 01:31 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Quote by: Mr+Geppetto

Also, having an option to bypass an overrun outpost as you go from jungle to travel would be neat. Only if it's overrun, so it won't be an easily exploited way to avoid leveling up..



I'm not entirely sure how it'd be an exploit to avoid leveling up. Putting off picking a rank is no longer a problem, and I'm sure that the hook to pick a rank is in both the Jungle and the Outpost. The only thing I could see is maybe fighting for lots of money, but then you couldn't bank it anyway. And there's infinitely more efficient ways to get money anyway.

I dunno. I'm just not sure if I see the downside of putting a Travel link from the Jungle for everyone to use all the time. Unless it's not that way to make the game 'harder'.



Not choosing a rank...leveling up. If you don't enter an outpost, you can't get hunted down for truancy. That's what Mr. Geppetto was talking about, I think. Though you can now do that with One-Shots and dwellings, but that's a slightly more expensive way to go about it...


Isn't sanity just a one-trick pony anyway? All you get is one trick: rational thinking. But when you're good and crazy, oooh, oooh, the sky's the limit.
 
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