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 Why Kittania over New Pitts?
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Awesome Fred
 Tuesday, September 13 2011 @ 11:45 PM UTC (Read 15994 times)  
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There is an ENORMOUS discrepancy between New Pittsburgh and Kittania in terms of population. Seriously. The outpost HP should illustrate it.

- New Pittsburgh is regularly breached. (Although not nearly as much as before the Onslaught nerf)

- Kittania has 92 million Outpost hit-points.







Why?





(1)

When new players come into the game, they're humans starting at NewHome. Generally, they're pointed to the Museum Quest, which is a device to get the player to explore the Island.

With the World Map, the unknown stops being dangerous--or rather, the danger is no longer unknown. There's no fear of being stranded with too little stamina if you make easy judgements, since again, you know the distance to the next city.

But before the World Map, besides having the Museum quest, I found that in general, the zone I kept to as a newbie was the Newhome - Imp Central - Kittania triangle, even though the reality of the situation is that the other places are not too far away. The city furthest from any other city is CC404, and the real part that makes it an intensive journey is the amount of stamina that Mountain takes rather than the amount of squares.

I don't think equalizing the distance of NP to IC and KT to IC (or NP to NH and KT to NH) is going to solve the problem. Travel costs are negligible. Less so in the beginning, but overall negligible.

(2)

After one's first Drive Kill, one has the option of picking Zombie or Kittymorph. I picked Zombie because I enjoy the more grotesque side of undead archetypes--not vampires (no, this is not a Twilight revulsion thing, I was never into Dracula classy side either) or evil child apparitions, but ghouls and mummies and abominations. However, I imagine that more people pick Kittymorph, because when a game offers the ability to be a cat-person, a lot of people like to have cat ears. (If I could get statistics on the amount of Kittymorphs versus Zombies, or even 2nd DK Zombies versus 2nd DK Kittymorphs (which is probably not kept track of), that'd be nice.)

But I don't think Kittymorph versus Zombie is the major reason that accounts for the difference of Kittania versus New Pittsburgh.

(3)

One of the main reasons I'm sure Kittania is more popular than New Pittsburgh is STEAK. Kittania has a food item that doesn't fatten you but fills you up efficiently for its cost. It's second in food quality only to Pleasantville. New Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has shit for food. I don't think any of the choices there are non-fattening.

It'd be nice thematically, except there's no game advantage to fattening yourself up. All it is is a stamina loss. There's no added mass behind your attacks or absorption of impact. I believe food to be the primary factor to why Kittania is so much more populated than New Pittsburgh.

(4)

It is only after that primary driving force that we can consider things like RP convenience. People like to go to populated places in order to find people to talk to. The number of people who like to do this, I observed only anecdotally, far outnumber the people who like to go to isolated and low-populated places for a more intimate or slow RP.

This is a vicious cycle issue, and trying to fix the population discrepancy at this level won't be very effective.









Why is equal population distribution important?



Maybe it's not. But I'd like it if there were more people spread around, as that would really solve the whole Onslaught problem. (Which I still find enjoyable. NP and CC404 are the "challenging" cities, it seems.)


 
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Fox Kelfonne
 Wednesday, September 14 2011 @ 03:24 AM UTC  
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Kittania has the 500 req steaks.

Also, in my case it's also 4 map tiles from home, so it's convenient.


 
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Raimar
 Wednesday, September 14 2011 @ 03:55 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Fox+Kelfonne

Also, in my case it's also 4 map tiles from home, so it's convenient.



But people also have homes closer than that to the further outposts; I myself have one 3 from CC404 and Acehigh.
But I agree; food does seem to be the major factor.
Perhaps a way to remedy the distribution problem could be a)more city-specific quests/add-ons (such as Cuthberts', or Dans quests), or b)each race would get a bonus from their own food.

Possible? Or would this cause more problems than it would solve?


 
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Sonny
 Wednesday, September 14 2011 @ 09:26 AM UTC  
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Indeed. Zombies not getting fat from brains would the obvious thing and more coded quests would be nice.

But the new places are already enough work and maybe the players can do something themselves. Quests, games, whatever, to send newer players to other areas of the island.

Btw: NewPitts has very very nice drinks!


 
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talkydoor
 Wednesday, September 14 2011 @ 02:50 PM UTC  
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If anybody's counting, I was kittymorph second, and oh how I regretted it. I don't think anything since has been so difficult.

Personally, I spend more time at NP than K, but that's partly because of Danquests (as he doesn't seem to like Kittania very much. Or maybe he does. One or the other) and partly because it's far easier to travel from for crate and titan hunting. I don't visit Kittania unless I have to, because PV has better food and is more accessible. Maybe that's just my short legs.


 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, September 15 2011 @ 12:01 AM UTC  
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Some pretty pictures:





The second chart shows race-choice totals for characters with 14 to 334 DKs... players who have presumably had a chance to try any races that appeal to them. The high number of Jokers amongst higher-DK players is probably due in equal parts to cool image and unpredictable (hence non-routine) game play, but each race has its followers.

(Note: it's not terribly informative to chart absolute numbers because of The Shape of The Game that I mentioned in another thread. The scale is skewed by large numbers at the low-DK end and wide scattering at the upper end. It's maybe worth mentioning that at the very top end -- over 150 DKs -- the percentages shift to 40% Midget and 30% Joker.)

In any case... these figures pretty clearly demolish 'popularity of the races' as an explanation for why NP is near-abandoned.


 
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Matthew
 Thursday, September 15 2011 @ 05:29 AM UTC  
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I doubt it has anything to do with steak or travel or anything from a game standpoint. Rather:

Quote by: Awesome+Fred

However, I imagine that more people pick Kittymorph, because when a game offers the ability to be a cat-person, a lot of people like to have cat ears.


This is entirely the reason. I don't mean to be abrasive, but come on, let's not kid ourselves.

edit: I don't mean to judge you kittymorph players out there; in fact, I quite like it myself and I'll admit I chose it my second DK, too.


 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 02:52 AM UTC  
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Sessine, I love these graphs. Not only are they very pretty (they are very pretty though!), but they're DATA, and I love DATA. Data is very telling and speaks stronger than any anecdotal conjecture, which is what's almost always relied on when the data is not available (at least, that's what I think based on my observations, since I don't have any statistical data on it Razz )

While yes, Kittymorph is chosen much more than Zombie after the first DK, people don't remain majority Kittymorph as they unlock more races up to the 12th that gives players their Joker.

However, the Top End that you mentioned, Sessine, isn't useful for this particular discussion since that only represents the more combat-oriented players than the bulk of the regulars. Midget is fastest for DKs, so it's clear why they're 40% of the DKs up there. Instead, the second graph IS telling: nearly 1/5 of the bulk of players who are going to stay in the game (I am assuming most players who get past 14 DKs intend on continuing to play the game) are Kittymorphs. That strengthens (though does not prove) the theory that a lot of the population of Kittania is simply because they're Kittymorphs who are staying around their home city.

And I agree with Matthew, that it's probably because they have cat ears. Wink

I thought it would be steak for the powerplayers, but those players are probably hanging around Pleasantville I guess?

So now what seems like the most effective way of getting migrants to New Pittsburgh?


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 03:30 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred

So now what seems like the most effective way of getting migrants to New Pittsburgh?

Beats me. If they won't go there for those amazing drinks, I don't know what will do it.

My thinking was that if a race being a popular choice could suffice to keep an outpost safe, AceHigh ought never to be in danger! But, of course, there are overlapping factors, not one single cause. The players in the second graph don't have to hang about their home outpost... and mostly, they don't. They fight where the food's good, or where their Danquest sent them, or where they're socializing with friends in Banter, or where their RP scene is happening.


 
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Daedalus
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 11:24 AM UTC  
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Err ... before spending a lot of time finding a solution, might I ask: "Is this actually a problem?".

I'm not saying it isn't, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is.

And if it is, is it a big enough problem to warrant a significant amount of work?

Just thinking out loud really.

D.



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Caleb
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 12:22 PM UTC  
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Drinks have never been a particularly big draw for me. I can't speak for everyone, obviously, but at ~150 DKs, the number of monsters I have to kill to get through a level means that stopping every twenty to thirty rounds to drop by the pub and refill on drinks would be a right pain, and I'd rather be in PV filling up on good food in any case. They're not much use on the really high ranks, either, where I find I'm relying more on the base damage done by a weapon such as the Debris Thrower or Cat Launcher than any buffable bonus to my attack like you get from the Sun Gun. Maybe they'd be more useful for a player with few DKs attempting a high rank, but I still don't think they'd provide enough draw if not backed up by some source of good food.

On a straight comparison, Kittania has New Pitts beaten hands down in pretty much every area: it's more easily accessible from IC and NH; it's one of the first places new players are pointed to; it's got the second best food in the game and perfectly adequate drinks on top; and it isn't stuck behind a honking great estuary, which provides both an impediment to travel between IC and NP and a lovely visual barrier separating NP/SH and IC/NH/KT on the world map.

There's also the fact that KT is the best source of food in its neighbourhood, whereas NP is most definitely not. Anybody starting in NP/SH will most likely migrate to PV and hang around there instead, because that's where the good grub is. I guess if you really wanted to spread population distribution more evenly you'd make each place have food with its own perks and drawbacks, instead of 'HERE IS BEST FOOD, HERE IS LESS GOOD' which presents something of a no-brainer to your average combat-oriented player. (And even the dedicated RPers to some extent, I s'pose; can't build Places on empty stomachs.)


 
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Adder Moray
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 04:07 PM UTC  
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It's a combination of food and Kittymorphs. Almost no one mains Zombies. Most people usually main Jokers or Kittymorphs. There are some of us Human players, and a couple of Midgets. Zombies and Mutants don't get much love but PVille has the best food in the game.

Edit: Oh hey, Sessine put up a chart of exactly what I was pointing out on the last page. Go look at that. Though the conclusion is different than mine. Opposite in fact.


 
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Adder Moray
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 04:31 PM UTC  
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Was editing my last post to include this but ran out of time:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Some pretty pictures:

In any case... these figures pretty clearly demolish 'popularity of the races' as an explanation for why NP is near-abandoned.



I wouldn't think so. Popularity of race may not be the deciding factor in why an outpost is occupied, but I'd say it has a pretty big effect on why one is deserted.

Look at it this way:

PVille has the best steaks, Ace High is a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from PVille, which is itself a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from Kitt. Squathole is in the same boat. Those populations migrate and hole-up there, having little incentive to stay home. This creates even less incentive to stay home since the places now lack not only good food, but a decent sized population to interact with at any given time.

Kittania has the 2nd best steaks and the 2nd largest population of the native species on the island. Until you're ready to level there really isn't much incentive to leaving. On top of that it's the 2nd easiest outpost to get to from both NH AND IC, and the 3rd easiest to get to from PVille (and with the other two having bad/no food and being deserted...). And with all those people the place is constantly buzzing, which is great if you like that sort of thing.

NP has all of the negatives of AH with the added negative of a minuscule native population. There's nothing tying anyone to stay there unless they have to because there's really nothing to do there which only means even fewer people stick around.

Basically I'm saying population is like the spark that starts the fire. If you don't have good tender, it's not going to burn to well, sure. But if you're lacking both tender AND that spark, well, you're SOL.


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 05:53 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Adder+Moray

Was editing my last post to include this but ran out of time:

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Some pretty pictures:

In any case... these figures pretty clearly demolish 'popularity of the races' as an explanation for why NP is near-abandoned.

I wouldn't think so. Popularity of race may not be the deciding factor in why an outpost is occupied, but I'd say it has a pretty big effect on why one is deserted.

Look at it this way:

PVille has the best steaks, Ace High is a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from PVille, which is itself a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from Kitt. Squathole is in the same boat. Those populations migrate and hole-up there, having little incentive to stay home. This creates even less incentive to stay home since the places now lack not only good food, but a decent sized population to interact with at any given time.

Kittania has the 2nd best steaks and the 2nd largest population of the native species on the island. Until you're ready to level there really isn't much incentive to leaving. On top of that it's the 2nd easiest outpost to get to from both NH AND IC, and the 3rd easiest to get to from PVille (and with the other two having bad/no food and being deserted...). And with all those people the place is constantly buzzing, which is great if you like that sort of thing.

NP has all of the negatives of AH with the added negative of a minuscule native population. There's nothing tying anyone to stay there unless they have to because there's really nothing to do there which only means even fewer people stick around.

Basically I'm saying population is like the spark that starts the fire. If you don't have good tender, it's not going to burn to well, sure. But if you're lacking both tender AND that spark, well, you're SOL.

All good points. Probably what I should have said is that the second chart demolishes popularity of the race as the sole explanation. Or even the predominant one! Because... look at it: mutants are only about as commonly chosen as zombies, but Pleasantville is never short of jungle fighters. And, as I mentioned above, AceHigh quite regularly gets into Interesting Times, even though more than half of the players in this group have picked J0ker as their race.

I think the most important cause of the relative safety of Kittania lies in graph 1. We have a large contingent of characters who never bother to advance beyond their first DK. They have their cool cat ears -- which is all they really want -- and there's a lively social scene in KT.

This means that the outpost is a social magnet for other players who... do want to fight in the jungle and advance up the DK chart, who may not be kittymorphs at all, who have pretty much free choice of which outpost they pick to fight in, but who also want to be able to hobnob with their friends in between fights. The food in Kittania is good enough to allow them a decent amount of fighting, and they also get to hang out.

That's a rather slight bond. More of a habit, really, than any sort of tie. It could be easily overridden by other motives that gave people reasons to shift to other outposts. Increased req payouts did make a significant dent in breaches. Food would certainly help, but not boring food that's only a repetition of what already exists.

Here's a thought -- suppose some hardy itinerant NPC on the Island spots a business opportunity. He or she has a Food Cart with really excellent food... yes, and even a sunlamp-recharge for robots! which moves to whichever outpost is most at risk. The prices are sky-high, sure... but the buyers will flock. Especially after those sniveling cowards in the regular shops lock their doors and hide under their tables!


 
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Matthew
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 06:21 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Food would certainly help, but not boring food that's only a repetition of what already exists


Really, the whole food system needs a rebalancing. 'The best food is here, and the rest of the outposts have shit nobody in their right mind would eat' isn't a system that would promote spreading between outposts, especially since food is such a huge part of jungle fighting. It wouldn't be the best solution, but short-term, I think giving every outpost the same food as PV (except with different names for flavor, naturally) would be better than how it is now.


 
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Maniak
 Friday, September 16 2011 @ 08:02 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

The players in the second graph don't have to hang about their home outpost... and mostly, they don't. They fight where the food's good, or where their Danquest sent them, or where they're socializing with friends in Banter, or where their RP scene is happening.



This. While gameplay factors might be the reason people went there in the first place, it's not the reason they're still there. It's because their friends are there. Or at least someone to socialize.

Kitt (and NewHome) is, at times severely, overpopulated. Three or more simultaneous 'scenes' isn't uncommon, and I can imagine the high pace puts off certain people. (For instance, slow typists, beginning roleplayers or people that like to revise their sentences over and over again *raises hand*.)

If there is a desire from those people for a slightly calmer setting, it's apparently not big enough to move away from Kittania or NewHome. Perhaps, as Daedalus says, it's probably not that big of a problem for most.

I'm often surprised by how busy New Pittsburgh gets once I start roleplaying there. It's not rare to have a scene start with two or three people and it balloons to five or six.

Do you want a populated New Pittsburgh? Reside there. Make friends. People will come and stay.


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Awesome Fred
 Saturday, September 17 2011 @ 12:52 AM UTC  
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I basically live at CC404, but that doesn't mean that CC404 has a sufficient population to keep Onslaught from being too much of a problem. Sure, I don't have many in-game friends, but still, when I'm around CC404, the only people I actually communicate with are other people who are working to shore up the walls against another swelling of jungle monsters. There are seldom any RPers who venture there because it is so far out of the way.

CC404 has plenty of perks--the easiest place to teleport to in order to get Stone for building, the Scrapyard, the Rally. But there's simply no food there, and it's far from any other outpost. And that's what I chalk up no one being at CC404 about.

And frankly, I think it's okay that CC404 is not as lively as the other cities, particularly because it is so far out of the way. Of all the cities, it seems designed to be the one with the most isolation and the slowest pace.

But NP is not isolated and it is just simply a problem for anyone who does want to go there because it's already breached when people want to go. That's the main reason why I'm saying the population distribution is currently a problem--I do agree, as I just said about CC404, that population imbalance is not inherently or by-nature a problem. Many small towns like their small-town nature and would hate changing towards an urban metropolis. But New Pitts suffers from Onslaught too much, and there's too little that's attractive enough to make people fix it for the players who need the Museum quest or a Danquest. That's why I think population is a problem for NP.

I picked Kittania as an example because it is ludicrously safe, so we could analyze the features that made it so desirable for the players to frequent there. Pleasantville is almost always safe as well, barring a time I remember when a Titan managed to knock down its 50 million hitpoint walls. Both these cities have the best food, so I believed that to be the reason of their safety.

I like Sessine's EXTREME FOOD CART idea that goes to the MOST DANGEROUS CITIES to give THE MOST EXTREMELY RESTORATIVE FOOD to the fighters. That way, power players will flock to the falling cities. I agree with Matt that the food system as a whole is terrible and needs to be looked at.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Saturday, September 17 2011 @ 03:38 AM UTC  
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A couple random ideas, just throwing them out:

Cap NH and Kitt's walls. They're far stronger than they need to be, and it would force those who want to grind their reinforcement to do so in a city that actually needs it. Obviously, this is not an overall solution, but it might help, a little. Or not.


Move the DK requirement for kitty to 4, or beyond. Could increase NP's population?


 
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Omega
 Saturday, September 17 2011 @ 10:01 AM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Move the DK requirement for kitty to 4, or beyond. Could increase NP's population?



I'm not quite sure that would be a good thing. The Kittymorphs are especially good at traveling and at not getting failboated. This makes them the best race for people who want to roleplay often without caring about the game aspect, you see...


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Rob Anybody
 Saturday, September 17 2011 @ 01:09 PM UTC  
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I chose Zombie for my 3rd DK, and I've spent most of my time in New Pitts ever since.
Mostly because of the excellent drinks, decent food (brains brains brains brains and spam are quite ok), and the steady flow of cards from sources nearby. Although that changed a bit in the switch from dwellings to places.
Although it does feel a bit odd to see that when the outpost is really in danger of beeing breached there are only 2 or 3 people there to defend it. Perhaps some incentive for helping an outpost in need could change the "I'm not there so I don't care" mentality


 
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