Goodness me, I see more of Ashtu's Anarchy Annex these days than I ever had before, and most of you card-carrying folks know why.
I am also blissfully happy with Sessine's train system.
Here's are my two questions:
a) Is it possible for one's dwelling become a card depot? How?
b) Let's assume there's a grand dwelling with a soon-to-be-rather-elaborate Subway system. Is it possible to connect it to the rail system somehow?
Here are my two answers:
a) Not easily, and never just for the asking! These are Improbable cards; they must not be predictable.
b) See a).
There is a Trains 1.1 under consideration, though, in which card-finding will require more effort and more communication, and... there might be some new things to do.
@Ashtu: That gore was there already. Moreover, I have no idea how it got into the coffeepot.
Also, can you replenish the coffee tin? Last thing I saw in there was a half empty container of Nescafe instant, two coffee beans and a shrunken midget head -- not to be redundant.
And would it KILL you to have a Brita filter? Also running water?
I heard strange noises emanating from there, so I got out as quickly as I could after shaking some Nescafe crystals and some powdered creamer into my canteen.
Leave it in the sun for an hour, and it's a decent cuppa.
Well, the Dunbernarding has more than adequate provisions for the hungry or weary card-collector. And, of course, at least three card-spots! (There might actually be more that we simply haven't found yet...)
Four card spots! (The ominbus has one.)
I found one in one of my hairballs yesterday.
Yanking this thread back on track by sheer force of will (Yeah, right... See how long that lasts!)...
Since I am doing some tweaking to the Trains system, now would be a good time for people to mention changes they'd like to see. No promises -- but if you don't say something now, chances are it won't happen!
As I said above: cards are going to get harder to find, and there are going to be some limits put on both rail pass use, and the number of cards you can hold. I want to make trading cards easier. There might also be a few special card combinations that will yield interesting results.
So what else should I be thinking about, hm?
I was actually going to make a new topic entitled, "I am a nitpicker", but now you've made this thread appropriate:
Get rid of the, "You're so busy fighting in the Jungle that you fail to notice the card hidden under the bush near you," or whatever.
A problem I have with this is that it is one of the only narrative pieces in the game where the player gains knowledge that the player's character does not. Awesome Fred does not know, and will not know, about that card. From his perspective, it does not even exist. I, as the player, don't gain any benefit from knowing that I received a Card-Find event but had already hit the card limit that day. It's all-around needless. Instead, the event should just not be capable of showing up if one hits the card limit of that day.
The reason I was going to make it a separate topic was this digression: the character may know things that the player doesn't--like when I go into the Cool Springs Cafe with 0 req, Awesome Fred peruses the entire menu and finds he can't afford anything, and so I the player receive no options on the left side except to leave. This also means I the player have no list of the costs of the items on the menu. For my first two DKs, I didn't realize that I could purchase steak from the Cool Springs Cafe because the option never came up as I always went in with just enough money for salads, and I thought the text describing steak there was just to mention that the NPC Kittymorph customers were meat-eaters. Once I actually had 500 req with me as I went in, I slapped myself in the head for not realizing I could buy steak there as well. And the system still exists in such a way that there could be a 50,000 req meal in the cafe that shoots us up to 3000% stamina and none of us know about it, because the player won't ever know for sure how many items are in the shop unless they waltz in with the maximum amount of req possible, whichever power of 2 it might be.
I find both cases, the player knowing more than the character and the character knowing more than the player, as bad presentation in a game where it is mostly player<->character equivalent knowledge, especially spurred on by the amount of fourth-wall-breaking integrated right into the actual story.
Back to the actual thread-point:
Cards being harder to find: Yes, please!
Limits on rail pass use: Not sure, must see.
Limits on number of cards one can hold: Yes, please!
The new card trading system opened the door to something: intra-player commerce. People can actually provide services (like stone-delivery *coughcough* ) in exchange for cards as payment. Anything that facilitates easier trade, like being able to see someone's Deck if the someone allows it via Preferences, would be most welcome.
For card-finding, I don't find anything particularly lucky the way I do it. Because all I do is visit Dunbernarding and get my fill of cards each day. I think it would be a better design if the cards were randomly placed in different dwellings or rooms that changed every Game day or every person's new day. I don't know how difficult that would be from a programming perspective, however.
I'll have to think of more suggestions later then.
Personally...I'd set a max number of railpasses you could get from having a Joker card -- because otherwise you just keep collecting cards until you reach the point where every new card you collect = another first-class ticket...and really, there's no reason to stop collecting then until you've got a lifetime's supply of rides.
Also, when I read this: "The person accepting this free ticket assumes all risk of accidents, and expressly agrees that the Company shall not be liable, under any circumstances, whether of negligence by their agents or otherwise, for any injury to the person, or for any loss or injury to the property of the passenger using this ticket." I assumed that train-riding was going to be waaaaaay more dangerous than it is. Maybe more along the lines of using Improbability Bombs -- chance of death/substantial HP loss/loss of stuff in your inventory/chance of getting dumped somewhere random/chance of getting where you want. This would mean that you'd think before taking the train, instead of using it like a one-shot on steroids. First-class tickets would of course be assumed to be safer.
And this may just be cosmetic, but why even bother to put a weight on cards -- because nothing happens when you super-overload (i.e. Joker card) except that it stretches out your inventory screen.
Love the train system though. It's great
CMJ is concerned about unlimited access to "buy low, sell high" trading between branches of eBoy's. Me, I'm not sure that's a bad thing... but he knows a lot more about game balance than I do, so he's probably right.
The price of a one-shot has been lowered by the existence of trains, but it hasn't dropped through the floor -- and you're right, a good part of that has to do with the currently plentiful supply from crates. (Look at what's been happening with medkits, for instance.) The demand definitely hasn't gone away. Trains aren't a replacement for OSTs; they address a different need. When you want to get to a succession of outposts in a hurry, like if you're drive-hunting with only minutes to spare to the newday, nothing beats firing off a rapid succession of one-shots! They also work well in conjunction with first-class passes -- if you're building in a remote location, yes, the train will drop you off there, but to get back to civilization... well, of course you can walk, but that takes stamina that you probably used up on building.
I hear what you're saying, though, about unlimited passes just having a different feel to them.
Personally speaking, I would be very very sad to see the number of cards that one could hold be limited. Simply because it would absolutely destroy the Improbable Card Trading Cardtel
(shameless plug) Contact Rykar or Buddleia to trade cards for a more efficient hand, and more net passes! (/shameless plug)
However, as much as I do love my role as the Cardfather of the Card-Tel (and I love the puns as well), I would understand if people thought it was bad for gameplay. I think it's a fun take on cooperating to get people more passes, what with making duplicates the only way to get more. On the flip side, centralization can take the fun out of things as well.
And if it is decided that a maximum number of cards is instated, please give us advance warning... the Card-tel would hate for that stock to go to waste.
Oh, and any thoughts on the Card-tel, while I'm talking about it?
I really do hope that the number of times we get to ride the train on one pass don't decrease- I don't have a dwelling yet, and have been saving up passes for just that purpose!
Couldn't making the cards more combination specific and/or harder to find balance things just as well?
I'd be sad to see a limit on how many cards you can collect. I don't ride the train very often (have a giant stack of passes to prove it). Mostly I just find it fun to get gigantic collections of cards.
I certainly agree that getting four cards a day was serious overkill once things really got moving and people found jokers, but I think that now we're down to one card a day (I think?), if you're also going to make it harder, it's not really necessary to reduce hand size as well.
One thing you could do to limit people's ability to get a crapton of passes in one go is to make a limit on the number of first class passes you can get at one time. Maybe the guy will only give you ten first class passes, for example. This would be a real bummer if he still took our whole hand, but if perhaps there was some way to give him only certain cards? For instance, I choose to give him a joker and 11 Aces of spades. I get my ten first class passes, keep the rest of my hand. This would limit the number of first class passes you can get for a single joker. Right now I have only one joker, and could probably get upwards of 25 passes for it and my cards. That's a bit much - and there are many, many people with bigger hands than that, I am sure.
As for limiting rides - perhaps regular tickets have a ride limit, but first-class passes do not?
When first exploring, I thought the card drops were random, like jungle events when travelling, or perhaps even like crates. I think this should be the case. I assume that each "room" has an identifier, so the random event would check to see if the room has a special description for a card, and if not default to a generic result. Also, this could open up the possibility of other card-related events. I think there should be a low chance of finding an already punched card (can only use it for the remainder of that game day), a ridiculously low chance of finding a complete rail pass, and some random "Is that a card? No? Awwww" moments.
I realize that adding this hook to "house" movement might be difficult or add server load at a time when you're trying to decrease it, but I think it would encourage more exploration - which seemed to be the point of the random drop cards to begin with. Right now, Dunbernarding means "never having to go more than 1 step from IC".
I also think that once you get a joker, you shouldn't be able to get any more. Keep those jokers rare, but make people consider how they will use them. I LOVE the idea of special card combo rewards. We were discussing possible "hands" in another thread... not a bad starting point for inspiration.
As far as the train passes, I really think the "normal" passes need to be converted to one-way trips only, like the OST, but from station to station. They're free and you're guaranteed at least one every 5 game days (averages about 2 every 5 game days in my experience, but that may have changed), so why not? The first class would remain unlimited rides for a day, or perhaps "several rides" then you have more room for the unlimited pass.
Just a few thoughts.
I just hope this won't be one of those "by the way, we just limited the the cards you can hold, so those 250 cards in your wallet just became 20 cards" - lots of advance warning please, so we can adjust our gameplay accordingly!
My biggest pet peeve for online games is when things get taken away that the playerbase has come to expect.
I can see a strong case for needing one joker per first class pass, so that a hand with 3 joker and 8 (seven of spades) will give you 3 first class passes and seven normal passes.
Ada, if you only want to trade certain cards, then give the cards you want to keep to your mate to look after while you do the trade, and then have them return them to you. This is why I now permanently have jokers.
Also, just throwing an idea out here, instead of a hard limit on cards, you could have a system where if your case was over full, then you run the risk of some random cards getting ripped and made unusable perhaps?
Not sure if this has been mentioned, I only skimmed through the previous posts, but would eliminating the trade of jokers fix the issue of people getting tons of cards? Once you trade them in, you need to find a new joker, rather than getting another one from your buddy. That, in my opinion, seems like the simplest way to fix the situation without angering many players. Then again, maybe I'm just crazy.
It isn't going to be just one change, but a re-balancing. My thinking is that if I take away something from players, even something boring like cards always being reliably findable in the exact same places, I should give some new play-value in exchange -- or at least provide a story-reason for why things are now different. Preferably both!
I'll fit together a few of the ideas proposed here, plus some of my own that I've had simmering for a while, into what I hope will be an integrated whole that makes trains more exciting.
What about one of the ways we can get cards is a randomly encountered Jungle version of the stones game, and the old man lays out CARDS instead?
And you lose cards, not money, if you lose?
Or going off of story, perhaps there is a Jungle Monster/Non-Contestant Train that our enemies can ride, and that requires Req to ride instead of Cards, so Old Men and special mobs always try to take our req, but reward us with cards if we win those wagers or fights?
Or... maybe not. Just brainstorming.
Spiffy idea, but we don't wish to break our dear mods or CMJ INTENTIONALLY...
What about a simpler version, like train robbers happening as random on-board encounters, and we win no experience from them, OR req, but can get cigs or cards off of if we win (and they can take OUR cigs/cards if they win). Could such a thing be programmed using a variant on the Pinata or Kissing Booth code?
Req and Passes. That's what Train Robbers might be after.
You win some, lose some, it's all a game for me...
[shameless song quote]
People like collecting cards. This is a proven fact. See: the success of the CCG genre, whether the cards are tangible or virtual. So I feel like it would be a definite mistake to limit people to only 5 cards. One obvious alternative is to water down the value of any given card or set of cards.
Why not simply change the trade-in mechanism so that you might get a rail pass, but you might not? With a better hand, you have a better chance to get a pass. With a Joker in your hand, you have the same chances but the pass will be First Class if you do get one. If you don't get a pass, you get something else instead, also based on the hand - so a random 5-card hand will probably give you some req, maybe a little experience, maybe a grenade, 5% of the time you get a pass. A hand with three-of-a-kind might give you a greater amount of req, greater amount of exp, maybe an imp bomb, and 15% of the time you get a pass.
You could set this up in a number of ways; I might suggest a general framework similar to the following:
- Identify a set number of prize categories.
- Associate hand strength with a certain breakdown of prize category chances. (Currently, the only measure of hand strength is the sum of all duplicate cards in excess of the first of the type; but it could also be the poker hand strength, a numerical measure of rarity, or any other measure.)
- Weight the prize quantity (not category) proportionally to the number of cards in the redeemed hand.
For example, here's a graph (not to scale) showing the association mentioned above between hand strength and prize category chances. The prize categories used in the example are Requisition, Experience, Item and Railpass. A player redeeming a hand of strength 0 has a 40% chance of being awarded a prize from the Requisition category, and only a 5% chance of being awarded a prize from the Railpass category. A hand at strength 10, on the other hand, has an 80% chance of awarding a prize from the Railpass category.
If the player is awarded a prize from the Requisition category, the amount of req would vary with the size of the hand. Redeem the minimum size hand of 5 cards, get between 100R and 500R. Redeem 10 cards at once, get between 200R and 1,000R. And so on. I chose those numbers somewhat randomly, but the proportion was intentional - the average reward is the same on a per-card ratio. If you want to discourage hoarding, adjust the numbers so that the average reward from the minimum size hand is higher. If you want to encourage hoarding, do the opposite. If you want to really mess with the number crunchers, go one way for one category but another way for the other! For instance, average reward if you get Req might be higher when you redeem one 10-card hand than when you redeem two 5-card hands, but the 10-card hand might give you a chance of being awarded 3 Railpasses at once while each 5-card hand only allows for the possibility of a single Railpass each.
What I like about this sort of proportion-based system:
- It can be comprehended graphically.
- It translates easily into code. (There's no need for linear calculations when your independent variable is limited to integer values.)
- It can be tweaked with a "hands-on" feel in Excel or on scratch paper with a ruler - simply adjusting your min-max points lets you eyeball the system. Or if you don't have min-max points in mind, looking at the system will tell you exactly what sort of adjustment you need to make to have a particular impact on the prize breakdown.
- The math is simple, but figuring out the exact mechanic via in-game experimenting requires a large number of trials (unlike the current mechanic, which was deciphered by examining only a few dozen trials). This helps to preserve the mystery of the game, which supports its immersive quality. This last point is probably the most important one to me, personally.
Anyway, I've typed this up at such length as much because I enjoy rambling (and it's Friday, so I can) as for any other reason. I realize that Dan may already have a lot of very good ideas in mind, and to some people much or all of this post may seem so obvious as to be patronizing or insulting. Blame my professorial tendencies, I suppose. I think I'll give those professorial tendencies an enormous noogie now by biking up a very, very large hill. I go! I go! Look how I go. (Shut up, professor. Callista Flockheart sucked in that movie.)
I so want to know what happens if you beat it.
*Selected railroad sector temporarily shut down*
Hey, Crash here, with another g******ned idea.
How about your very own II deck? Complete with smokin' Dan jokers, and five, that's right, five suits?
And then some kind of wonderful logo on the back with the II URL?
What would you pay for such an item?
Can you imagine what others would say if they found you playing solitaire with (gasp!) five lovely suits?
Well, I just looked it up, and there are multiple site that will do custom card printing.
Seems like it would be a nice collateral item that devotees of the Island would want, and with the right mark-up, would also turn into a splendid revenue generator for Mr. Dan.
Here's a link:http://www.yourplayingcards.com/pricing_and_payment_methods.php
Seems like an order for 100 decks would probably go quickly -- Dan (or others!) would front around $880, and a price point of around $15 wouldn't hurt people too much, and allow Dan to double his investment.
And Dan already has the artwork for the card made...so all he'd have to do would be to upload it.
If it's wildly successful, more could always be ordered.
I know I'd buy one or more.
Just saying. I think the key challenge is to make the back design TIGHT, and ensure that the front of the cards displays the requisite weathering. It could even be a trick deck...
I have to say - I really, really like Bakemaster's suggestion for getting passes/other items. It makes getting them a bit harder and adds a bit more surprise into the whole deal.
This could be explained IC by exchanging your cards with the ticket machines (which I have seen in a station or two) instead of the station master. At times, it could malfunction and instead spit out req or cigs that silly people have tried to pay with or occasionally, if you have really bad luck, eat a few cards entirely.
I also like the idea of adding new events - midget train robbery = awesome. Perhaps falling asleep on the train also and having some req or a cig stolen? Crying babies or children/midgets kicking your chair causing stam loss? Having a mutant sit next to you would be so horrendous as to force you to get off the train at a random point, rather than risk wanting to gouge out your eyes/ears? Getting into a fight with a train bum or some scrappy youth and then winning cigs or cards?
And about dwellings and card drops:
As it stands, will card drops be added to secret rooms and their extensions? Or have they already been? I'm not sure how many dwellings as of now have secret rooms, but it would, I think, encourage exploration.
And along those lines, would it be possible to stick the command tags onto card finding? For example - typing in "SEARCH DRAWER" or "EXAMINE BOOK" in a specific room would yield a card instead of leading to a secret room.
Also, letting cards stay in one room, but adding a chance of not finding the card itself? Having flavor text along the lines of "What luck! You find a smudged, battered old playing card - ! Oh, nevermind, it's just an old business card/scrap of paper/useless cardboard." or maybe "What bad luck! You find a smudged, battered old playing card etc. etc. but it's all torn up! This is worthless to a collector. You throw the useless card away in disgust."
I have no idea if any of this is feasible along a coding standpoint - they are just some suggestions.
Oh please, Powers- DO add this. Somehow!
What I would really like is a method of sorting the cards.
it's pretty awkward at the moment to keep my card list up to date for trading as new cards just get added at the bottom of the pack.
if it could be ordered by number and suite that would be awesome.
just my tuppence really.
I know I am proving myself a clueless waste of kidneys by asking this question but:
What on earth are these card-things? I got a message whilst wandering the wilds of the Island but noticed it too late and pressed Continue before I could properly read it so I am still in the dark.
The Improbable Island Enquirer - Forum