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Mister Rawr
 Monday, February 22 2010 @ 04:56 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Onslaught determines its monster spawn rate based partially on the number of players signed up



That's pretty spiffy. Thanks for the insight! (And that whole dialing things back from eleven bit. Thanks for that too!)


 
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CavemanJoe
 Monday, February 22 2010 @ 05:00 PM UTC  
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I've put the spawn rate down considerably, halved the wall damage multiplier, and set today's (as in, this game day's) spawn rate to 1% of normal. This should help Onslaught settle down a bit. Later on today I'll tweak the spawn function so that it only takes into account "regular" players - not brand-new Rookies who are still getting their bearings.


 
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Count Sessine
 Monday, February 22 2010 @ 05:51 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

I've put the spawn rate down considerably, halved the wall damage multiplier, and set today's (as in, this game day's) spawn rate to 1% of normal. This should help Onslaught settle down a bit. Later on today I'll tweak the spawn function so that it only takes into account "regular" players - not brand-new Rookies who are still getting their bearings.

It's still going to need a manual override to set the spawn rate to something negligible whenever you introduce a spiffy new stamina-intensive feature. The people who have been keeping outposts open against Onslaught are, by and large, the same very-committed players who can be counted on to rush off and explore every last wrinkle of any new toy you give them. When you add something wonderful into the game, part of the new-feature release procedure should be to pull Onslaught back to near-zero for a while to let people frolic, then inch it back up until you see what the new stamina balance ought to be.

There is only so much stamina available per player. If Onslaught means players are forced to fight monsters with that stamina instead of doing what they want to do, then, yeah, that's very realistic. It's war, right? War is supposed to be hell. You're not supposed to be able to choose not to fight. Except... in real life people can't escape. This is a game. If it becomes unpleasant instead of fun, players will eventually decide to do something else with their time.

So it's important for Onslaught to feel like an exciting change of pace, not a constant grim duty which if not performed will make the game unplayable.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 05:34 PM UTC  
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Agreed. I think it's time to revisit this.

For a start... Has anyone actually gotten any companions while fighting, or is the switch broken? I was expecting someone to make a comment or two about fighting alongside Mister Stern or The Watcher. So either those features are too boring to comment on, people aren't noticing them 'cause of heavy fighting, or they're not happening at all. :-/

Right now I'm adding a new option to the break-in-fights menu that'll allow you to look around and take stock of the situation - who's fighting with you, roughly how many monsters are here, wall hitpoints and so forth.

(I also reset Cyber City's monster count to zero, after fighting in there for fifteen minutes with Admin Super Powers and barely making a dent)


 
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Aeridus
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 05:52 PM UTC  
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Thank you for resetting Cyber City! It was getting pretty ridiculous in there. And no, I haven't gotten any messages ever about someone fighting alongside me.


 
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Mister Rawr
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 05:58 PM UTC  
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Very spiffy! I haven't seen any companion messages yet, but think it's a great idea. I'm looking forward to it!


 
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Ebenezer
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 06:07 PM UTC  
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I am, as always, a bit late to reply. Even though everyone's pretty much said everything I have got to say, I'll put it down anyhow.

+ I've been working around Onslaught. I was building on CC404's map space and I avoided entering the Outpost. (I walked from Pleasantville, whereas I would have used a teleporter if I didn't know that the breach would kick my ass).

Along that same line, it seemed odd to me that after using a one-shot to teleport into a breached Outpost and fighting through the initial rush of monsters, then running, I should be booted back to where I had been pre-one-shot.

+I was a bit concerned about the possible rate of monster-growth in 404. I don't know for sure, but I was imagining that the monster numbers were just building and building because nobody was fighting them. (But CMJ just said he set 404's monster count to zero, so YAY.)


+Concerning Rookies and other Newbs: I think that they've been a bit disturbed about Onslaught recently. I have been approached during RP scenes and begged to stop what I was doing to go and help save Outposts. They don't understand why I, and other players should have that "fuck it" attitude and not want to help try and fix it. -The truth of the matter is just that other things are a lot more fun...and if I bother saving 404, I know it'll just be back to hell again in a few days, so why bother?

+Concerning companions: I haven't seen any. I've poked my head into breached Outposts a time or two to take advantage of the XP, but I've not seen any companions at all.
Unless I've seen them and not realized, though that seems a bit unlikely. (I admit, it's possible. I can be very oblivious at times).


 
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talkydoor
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 06:51 PM UTC  
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Eek!

I want to fight beside the watcher. I've even roleplayed waiting for her to show up so we could kick collective arses together. Although I'm not the most attentive person, I think I would have noticed that flavour text... Looking forward to its implementation! Big Grin


 
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Hairy Mary
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 07:16 PM UTC  
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Certainly haven't noticed any companions fighting alongside me. Fought through about 85% stamina the other day, and didn't see anyone. I might have missed it I suppose, but I don't think so.


 
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Dulcibella
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 09:21 PM UTC  
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I haven't seen any battle companions either, but I like the idea. As a relative newbie (5 dk's to my name) I avoided the breaches like the plague at first and only recently jumped into the fray a few times... the XP wasn't much of a draw (I like earning req to kit myself out, and I'm not playing at a high enough rank to sniff at missing out on ciggie drops!) and the actual mechanics of fighting felt too much like regular jungle fighting minus (a) shiny shiny earnings and (b) choice in the matter. The only time I really got sucked in was on the hopes of running into my quest monster.

I really like hearing all the ideas about making breaches more of a communal wartime experience... calling in a medic or getting backup (in the form of the Watcher, or better yet, a nearby co-combatant heeding your desperate cries for assistance!) I would gladly participate in breaches if there was more feedback for the fighter: either in the form of a carrot (i.e. "Look, you made a dent! They're falling back! For now...") or some more interaction with other fighters (at least knowing that you aren't fighting alone, though better would be an opportunity to join forces and present a united front!)

It sounds like the easiest implementations for now (not that I know about these things) are:
-fixing companions so they can start showing up
-adding a call for a medic hit
-presenting some sort of metadata (how many folks are currently fighting with your forces in the breach? are we routing/matched/outnumbered 10:1/ outnumbered 100:1? a running tally of outpost HP on the fight screen? how many are currently working to reinforce defenses?)

I'm sure it would be a huge undertaking to re-code breach battle and make it less like jungle fights, but I think it may be necessary in the long run to differentiate the "feel" of breach combat and make it it's own interesting and fun undertaking. I don't know how easily turn-based fighting in a melee can be adapted for cooperation between players, but if season 1 had PvP it makes me think something must be possible.

Until I'm cool enough to get anywhere close to building my own dwelling, I'd gladly throw in stamina and fight if it feels like I'm actually helping! My glorious efforts may be in vain, but I have no way of knowing. That means I am more likely to assume they
are probably in vain and go do something else.


 
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 11:04 PM UTC  
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All very good points, Dulcibella. Though Season One PvP required one of the participants to be asleep -- the system handled the combat using the victim's stats. (CMJ explained at the time how extremely difficult it would be to allow both combatants to be awake and actively controlling their characters.)

Maybe something along the same lines, using the Companion code (once that's working) and the other player's stats, to create the illusion of fighting together? Or maybe not... I don't know this stuff well enough to tell if that's even a reasonable suggestion.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, February 23 2010 @ 11:38 PM UTC  
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Multiplayer battles are something that's on the table for S3 - it'd need a complete rewrite of the core combat system, y'see.

But now that you mention it...

It's not impossible with S2 core. Or rather, it wouldn't be impossible to have a monster controlled by a module, complete with a sort of battle log that would keep all the hits up to date and so forth.

This wouldn't be for everything, mind - there's no way with S2 to apply multiplayer capabilities to every battle. But if every now and then a massive, multi-million-hitpoint monster spawned on the World Map, one that could be tackled by multiple players sequentially or simultaneously... Well, for one or two monsters, we could do that. Perhaps one could appear to signify the end of an Outpost invasion.

I'll investigate this tonight.


 
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K.K. Victoria
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 12:45 AM UTC  
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Citizens of Improbable Central: Prepare yourself

BOSS FIGHT

This would be awesome. Though I'm not sure sequential fighting would work. If you meant like, Person A charges valiantly at the Beastie, gets flattened after a while. Then Person B charges valiantly!

--The image of people waiting in a line with a sign saying "Valiant Charges" pointing to a beastie is kind of hilarious, but it seems like that would count on people dying during the fight, which seems kind of... Well, why would you attack something knowing that you're going to die? You'd rather wait and keep your valiance on reserve until it was almost dead before you charged valiantly.


"You saved Pineapple!"
 
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Anonymous: g_rock
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 01:32 AM UTC  


I love the idea of a monster that requires multiple people to take down. I feel like that and a monster-ometer that tells you how close you are to clearing an onslaught would really revitalize the entire invasion feature. The thing that really killed it was the hopeless feel. This seems like exactly the sort of thing that would happen on the island, squads of contestants banding together to fight a common enemy. One question I have though, is whether knowing exactly how many people are fighting with you would be a burden as well as a benefit. If you end up the only one in a fight, is that incentive to stay in it, or to bail and find reinforcements or bail and go build a house?


 
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Freya
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 02:27 AM UTC  
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I really loathe the Onslaughts. Originally, I thought they sounded interesting because I assumed they would be an occasional event to add some excitement and colour to the game. I helped my clan organize an Outpost Defence rota. I ran to help with breeches, I spent stam on restoring defences. But it became a chore and then a miserable chore and now a loathsome aspect to be endured only because I like the rest of the game so much. The implementation as it is leaves me completely teeth-gritting annoyed when I walk into an outpost and get caught up in non-consensual violence.

And that is my main complaint with Onslaughts. The complete lack of consent. Depending on my mood or the time of day I'm playing I may be up for some action and willing to run to an outpost and help defend it. But it would be my choice. When I come into the game because I want to have some fun playing at some other aspect of the game I find fun like my house or role playing or even jungle fighting or if I want to play very gently because it's very late at night and I come into the game to relax, being caught in an Onslaught feels like I am being run over by a train. Too much, too often, and forced. Not Fun.

I say either make the Onslaughts an occasional occurrence or make them optional. I play this game for fun and relaxation. There should be room in this world for those who prefer to listen to a different drummer.




 
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Hairy Mary
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 04:20 AM UTC  
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I used to agree with all the people who said 'too much'. BUT. For the last month prior to dwellings, I was more or less ignoring it. (Ok, doing a bit of wall reinforcing here and there, Alexander Quandle was a bit more likely to stay jungle fighting in an outpost if it looked under threat, but not really getting into it.) I hadn't been in a breech for ages.

Recently Squat Hole went down and Biggs was there, so I thought, sod it. I'm going to go for this, and throw everything I've got at it. I've been on the same DK run (DK stand still?) for long enough that my chem pack was on silly levels and so I could heal in fight as much as I wanted. I was there consistantly fighting for about an hour and a quarter, and it got really tedious. I got failboated in the end, mainly because I'd stopped paying attention, and didn't throw a chemical overdose at something when I should have.

I didn't use some of my 2,000 favour with the watcher, or any of my chronospheres to get back in the fight, I heaved a sigh of relief and turned off. That was the most boring hour I've ever spent on the Island.

I suspect that getting some feedback in terms of monster numbers and defender numbers might have made a difference, I think it would have in fact. But not that much of a difference I wouldn't have thought.

What g-rock said about the difference it makes to whether you stay or not going either way is valid. It will probably depend very much on the person. Some might be less inclined to stay if they know that there's plenty of other defenders. But either way, they can make a more informed choice, and it will probably be more enjoyable for them. It will still make Outpost invasions a more enjoyable experience or at the very least, a less painful one.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 04:52 AM UTC  
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The new option during a break in fighting has been implemented. During an Onslaught, if you get a break in fighting, you can use the "Check out the situation" link, which will tell you:

* Roughly how many monsters are around
* The names of everyone fighting alongside you
* The wall hitpoints

This will do for a start, but I'm far from tinkering yet, and suspect I'll be doing another all-nighter. Smile


 
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Azhron
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 05:10 AM UTC  
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Mr. Green The outposts just got fixed, but now I find myself waiting for a breach with bated breath, just to check out the new features.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 08:28 AM UTC  
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Okay, yeah - preliminary experimentation shows that multiplayer monster fights are possible with Season Two core combat, albeit with some restrictions and not an insignificant amount of buggering around. I've successfully got The Watcher and Admin CavemanJoe fighting the same monster on my test server, and the monster's hitpoints are being saved centrally between page loads.

What I propose we do with this, and how it affects Onslaught:

The difficulty of Onslaught gets turned down considerably. Like, to the point where it's barely relevant except for now and then. So that it's relevant now and then, each day we'll have a chance that a multi-million-hitpoint Titan will lurch out of the sea and begin crawling across the map with a particular Outpost in mind as its destination. It'll move quite slowly - some Titans may move faster than others, and we'll have to balance this, but let's say for now it'll take between one and two real-life days for a Titan to reach its destination. During this time, you'll be able to see it on the map (which is due for a graphical and technical overhaul anyway), and the presence of a Titan will be announced in the Outpost to which it is crawling.

(the AI to get it to move in the right direction across the map (and not just spin around in circles going DURR DURR A HURRR GUESS WHO PROGRAMMED ME) is quite straightforward)

If/when the Titan gets to its destination, it lifts up one massive hoof/flipper/tentacle/whatever and cheerfully smashes the Outpost walls to bits. WHAM! All the monsters surrounding the Outpost flood in, and the Outpost goes under siege, AND there's a bloody massive monster sitting in the middle of it looking very pleased with itself.

The upside? Outpost invasions will be less frequent and more horrific, you'll have a good bit of advance warning and the ability to truly fight alongside your peers, teaming up to battle a horrendous beast in such a way that the results of your efforts are immediately apparent. Also, we can use this as a working model for at least part of the S3 combat system.

Thoughts?


 
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tehdave
 Wednesday, February 24 2010 @ 08:33 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Thoughts?



Yes. That is Awesome!
My only question would be: Would the Titan be attackable on the World Map? Or would it attack contestants in its square? That might make life difficult if it's hanging around a square containing a Dwelling, for instance...
Other than that, I approve wholeheartedly with this idea.
<3


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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