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 Getting past Onslaught to the Scrapyard
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Iriana
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 08:17 AM UTC  
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I've started jungling more after being away from the Island for a while, but recently it seems like a lot of outposts are on the verge of collapse a lot of the time. Is it just me? I found this thread because I was looking up what the threat levels in the Council Office mean. Right now there are four outposts at Interesting Times and two at Assistance Required, with CC and NP (Interesting Times) both with 0 wall points. ...Nope, actually, in the minute it took me to type that, New Pittsburgh went down. I just got boated in the breach.

My issue with Onslaught is not that it's annoying to have banks and pubs closed (it is), or that it's unfun (it sort of is and sort of isn't--I can't decide), but that it feels unbeatable to me. I've done 21 DKs. If I'm alone in a breach or in Interesting Times, I can jungle for an hour and... still not make a dent, apparently. I've seen 100-DK players open up the bank all by themselves, but I can't do that. Either I fight fruitlessly, or I fight to be Failed.

I feel like many people just avoid besieged cities, partly because it's inconvenient and partly because they don't feel like they can do anything or they're likely to die. Could making breaches/Onslaught easier to fight in, and easier to affect for individual players, help make people more willing to participate?

I bought a Cat Launcher and headed up to New Pitts, but now I'm stuck on the Failboat with 131 rounds left and 30 minutes to NewDay. What if you couldn't get Failboated in a breach? Stands to reason if that you can't wade through the hordes of monsters to get into the outpost, the Retraining Personnel can't wade through the hordes of monsters to get to you. You'd lose the same EXP, but be spared the trouble of cage-fighting or spending favor. A better way to heal than having to duck outside and waste a medkit, maybe? (This is why I miss Trains--assuming you made it far enough to be able to duck out, you could go elsewhere and get bandaged up.) Assistance from NPCs? A well-timed grenade lobbed into your desperate fight from the sidelines?

And as for easier to affect, I know that realistically one or a handful of people couldn't save a whole outpost, but... if I spend time fighting, it should make some sort of tangible difference. At least a way to judge your progress. Or, if not making it less inconvenient, make it more inconvenient--I don't know, but I sort of liked the idea of shutting down all the banks if one closes. Or otherwise doing something that would annoy anyone in NewHome and Kittania--the perpetually safe cities--into helping out.

I don't know if someone's said this all before or I'm just not understanding the problem or if these are terrible suggestions or what, but it's 1:08 in the morning and now I'm trying to bring down the breach at CC404. (And since AH and PV are both at Interesting Times, I can't bank my req or get a meal. Excellent.) I'm sorry, I really don't mean to sound like I'm just complaining. Just too tired to come up with solutions.


 
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fledermaus
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 10:24 AM UTC  
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One of the problems is the bands are 500 monsters wide - which
means you get no real indicator of your progress (unless you're
a 100 DK monster killing machine with a radioactive double
barreled dual-hopper spider-kitty launcher).

As to healing, you can duck into the jungle, but you have to
come back out thorugh the outpost. Or be a robot... But since
you can't make cash in a breach, that may be moot.

As to unbeatable - it really does feel that way when you're
at a low DK, and perhaps it should - but I agree there should
be some tangible feedback. An estimation of the monster
level that actually shows up the effects an individual has had.

Maybe there's a network executive/production assistant/whatever
outside the outpost who can be bribed to give you some breach
stats - monsters in the outpost at the start of the newday,
number of monsters in there now, number killed by the top 10
players in the breach so far this gameday, _something_
so it actually feels like you've made a difference.


 
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Ada
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 12:28 PM UTC  
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Iriana - do you usually play only on the weekend? Threat levels are usually higher then. More often than not I log in to find everything quiet and boring, so my experience is entirely contrary to yours. I also think you've been fighting particularly bad breaches / Interesting Times. Sometimes, I fight and fight for ages and nothing happens. Sometimes (more often?) I chuck myself into a breach only to find that it's gone before my plasma gun runs out of juice.

If you didn't get failed in a breach you'd just be handing players DKs. I mean, not that I'd complain exactly, but...

Of course, many people avoid breached cities. But - shouldn't they? Not everyone in the game is there to play the game (and not all of the players there to play the game are always geared for breaches). By and large the players who spend the most time on it are just rping - forcing those players out of NH and Kitt is just going to make them upset.


fledermaus - definitely agree that bands should be smaller than 500 wide. Not only is it no indicator of your progress, but you likewise have no idea if when you show up at 1000-1500 you only have 11 monsters to fight through.


 
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Iriana
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 05:17 PM UTC  
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Oh. That would have something to do with it, wouldn't it. I play most often on the weekends or late at night when other people are asleep, and looking at Buddleia's and Sessine's chart, last night was particularly bad--so you're probably right.

Well, if you got knocked out, there'd have to be consequences--but perhaps just the loss of the EXP, not the massive pain of having to claw your way off the Failboat, go back to the outpost, and risk being Failed again that same day. Maybe you could get a choice--go to the Failboat and take the normal EXP loss, or avoid the Failboat and get more EXP knocked off than usual. The more I say this, the more absurd it sounds.

And like you said, would that be so bad? It would convince lower-DK players that there's some... benefit... to fighting...
I just realized that it would only be higher-numbers-of-DKs (I need a word for that) players who would take advantage of that. So maybe never mind.

That's true. It's not--precisely fair to force them to play an aspect of the game they don't like or move to an area they don't like. Is there a way that they could fight a few battles in NH or KT and have that contribute to protecting Ace or CC? That also sounds absurd. I'm not sure. I think it goes back to the idea that the Island is a war zone, canonically speaking. Even if people are just there to RP, there is also a game element here, and it could be said that if they just wanted to write without paying attention to the game, they could just... get a pen and pass around a notebook. So part of the question is whether that's a statement that we agree with.

Also, does the Council Offices ticker show if an outpost is breached, or does it just stay at Interesting Times?


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 05:29 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Iriana
I just realized that it would only be higher-numbers-of-DKs (I need a word for that) players
"high-DK"?

It's not--precisely fair to force them to play an aspect of the game they don't like or move to an area they don't like. Is there a way that they could fight a few battles in NH or KT and have that contribute to protecting Ace or CC?
What if we had a box that was filled with breach, and every time you fought there, it'd take monsters out elsewhere?

That also sounds absurd.
Hey!

Even if people are just there to RP, there is also a game element here, and it could be said that if they just wanted to write without paying attention to the game, they could just... get a pen and pass around a notebook.
The Island is a great big pen and notebook, which anyone with a computer and internet can access, and which has delightful stationary and an awesome prompt at the top.

Also, does the Council Offices ticker show if an outpost is breached, or does it just stay at Interesting Times?
It shows the threat level and wall level, so you can generally figure it out.


 
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fledermaus
 Sunday, June 10 2012 @ 11:43 PM UTC  
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There is something people in NH and Kitts can do...
sort of. Not log on. But that's the opposite of what
we want to encourage.

Basically - the monster spawn rate is linked to the number
of players logged on everywhere, instead of to the players
at that outpost. (Or was, anyway - we know CMJ probably
tweaked the monster spawn numbers, we don't know if that
aspect of the onslaught module was changed).

So right now, the more people log on in Kitts and NH
(for example), the worse the monster threat gets for
everyone.

Having said all that - I think the general breachiness
itself is under control now - that part of the problem
(or at least that symptom) has been addressed. What's
left is the fact that low-DK players (or anyone, really,
when the spawn rate is high and you're trying to keep a
lid on the monster swarms all on your lonesome) don't get
any feedback on their contribution - if you could see that
you'd cranked the monster level down 10%, 1%, or even 0.1%,
you could tell you'd made a difference - it would feel like
you were plugged in to the island, like you were contributing.

And I think (in many situations, but especially for low-DK
players) that part of the feedback loop is currently missing.


 
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Liquii
 Thursday, July 12 2012 @ 06:13 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Logged.

Here's the average threat level, since April 21 when we started recording data:



i love how tinypic reuses image urls, makes so many posts surreal


 
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, July 12 2012 @ 07:04 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Liquii

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Logged.

Here's the average threat level, since April 21 when we started recording data:



i love how tinypic reuses image urls, makes so many posts surreal


*bland* ...what? Is there something unusual here?

But since you bring the subject up, here's an updated version of that, to July 12:


 
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