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 RANT: Outposts constantly down - considering dropping support and quitting playing.
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Count Sessine
 Thursday, January 06 2011 @ 07:21 PM UTC  
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The current system is designed to respond to players' actions; it treats "players" as if they were a single unit. The unspoken assumption written into the code seems to be, "Well, if they aren't cooperating, they ought to be, so let's set this up to be an incentive to get them cooperating."

Trouble is, it doesn't work. One high-powered player can and intentionally does run the titan hit-points up at times to a point where they're a challenge even for him. And the spawn rate seems to be tied to the level of player activity -- no, I haven't looked, but I've noticed you can generally count on there being more titans on a weekend. In combination, this means the Island is periodically going to be flooded with 8+ mil titans.

It's no use scowling at that one player; if a game's design makes it possible to optimize and get really amazing at doing something, it's not reasonable to get mad at someone for doing it. No, not even if it's causing problems for other players. Compare -- for those who remember it -- PvP in Season One. The solution has to be in the game design, not in exerting pressure on someone not to play the game the way he has quite legitimately shaped his character to play.

(As I found recently, even a veteran with the req and cigs for anything Sheila sells can't switch titan-fighting modes. With enough chronospheres and time I can eventually take down any titan just mashing the 1 key... and that's how I normally want to do it. Good fighting practice, you know. But I cannot switch into a "biff, baff, that one's swatted, now where's the next one?" mode, not even with an elephant gun. For that I'd have had to re-shape my character quite differently over a long period of time.)


 
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Beeps
 Thursday, January 06 2011 @ 07:52 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

The current system is designed to respond to players' actions; it treats "players" as if they were a single unit. The unspoken assumption written into the code seems to be, "Well, if they aren't cooperating, they ought to be, so let's set this up to be an incentive to get them cooperating."

Trouble is, it doesn't work. One high-powered player can and intentionally does run the titan hit-points up at times to a point where they're a challenge even for him. And the spawn rate seems to be tied to the level of player activity -- no, I haven't looked, but I've noticed you can generally count on there being more titans on a weekend. In combination, this means the Island is periodically going to be flooded with 8+ mil titans.

It's no use scowling at that one player; if a game's design makes it possible to optimize and get really amazing at doing something, it's not reasonable to get mad at someone for doing it. No, not even if it's causing problems for other players. Compare -- for those who remember it -- PvP in Season One. The solution has to be in the game design, not in exerting pressure on someone not to play the game the way he has quite legitimately shaped his character to play.

(As I found recently, even a veteran with the req and cigs for anything Sheila sells can't switch titan-fighting modes. With enough chronospheres and time I can eventually take down any titan just mashing the 1 key... and that's how I normally want to do it. Good fighting practice, you know. But I cannot switch into a "biff, baff, that one's swatted, now where's the next one?" mode, not even with an elephant gun. For that I'd have had to re-shape my character quite differently over a long period of time.)


Don't get me wrong, I'm not holding people who can take on the titans in contempt. More, I was trying to say that the current system seems to have "roles" (as you sort of mentioned here, given that there are 'builds' for Titan-slaying).
  • A titan slayer can slay titans, mostly on their own, but aren't equipped to defend an outpost on their own.
  • The titans, partially due to them being handled by a single person and partially because they're walking anti-outpost (Think about it - Something with the hitpoints of an outpost that negates the outpost's hitpoints on contact?) cannot be taken on by a group of people who aren't set up to fight titans - However, Cleaning out an outpost and reinforcing walls is essentially unskilled labor that can be done by said group of people.

However, while we have several people whose chosen task is to hunt titans, we don't have a collection of wandering bands of liberators, mostly because to be effective, this requires a unified team effort by a task force of people with the same free-time schedules. Even if everyone in a clan devoted themselves to keeping outposts up, unless they're on at the same time, working together, they'll have little success in actually reclaiming an outpost. It's very easy to organize a single person to clear out Titans, and Jakell's done a fantastic job of it, though he's but one man (or Titan-slaying god-king). When someone has a vested interest in an outpost, they usually try to organize a group to reclaim it, but it's generally a one-time thing. The only thing you can try to do to make a 'build' for keeping outposts clear is fighting monsters, so you can fight monsters... more? Jokers have the best chance for having a build that actually allows them to create a 6-mile monster-free zone around an outpost by themselves, but this is entirely luck, per day. The alternative is, of course, not letting the outposts get too overrun in the first place, but as Fred's mentioned, a single person still can't handle this on their own usually. It's not just a matter of traffic in the outpost, but also enticing people to battle when they get there, which can be hard for the unskilled labor portion of the user base, who may be out of stamina from the trip alone.


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Scorpio
 Friday, January 07 2011 @ 03:19 AM UTC  
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Not sure if anything has been changed yet, or if it is just a few people getting together and doing something about it, but CC is open for the moment, not strong walls, but at least walls, and a bank for the first time in what must be months. Still looking forward to that jump directly from jungle to travel.


 
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Scorpio
 Friday, January 07 2011 @ 03:39 AM UTC  
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While I'm at this, would it be at all possible to either change the point in the alert status where the banks close, or even put in some form of deposit only mechanism that has the same close level status as say eboys and shielas, something along the lines of an improbable drop box? That is my other main gripe, and it is shared by (even more so actually) my wife, who plays Silverwind.

That way, even with an outpost being breached there is some way to deposit req and not loose it due to stumbling into a breached outpost.

I know it can be done, at least in some form. There is a LotGD mod out there based on Harry Potter that has a system to deposit even when you are fighting in the jungle.


 
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Scorpio
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 02:44 AM UTC  
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Apparently nothing has changed yet, less than 24 hours and CC is down again, completely breached.


 
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Beeps
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 03:00 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Scorpio

Apparently nothing has changed yet, less than 24 hours and CC is down again, completely breached.



Give it time. Changing things and fixing things takes a while, especially when there's six days in twenty four hours. CMJ's been swamped with the weather system these days, and it looks like there are more server issues stumbling about in the background.


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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:03 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Beeps

Quote by: Scorpio

Apparently nothing has changed yet, less than 24 hours and CC is down again, completely breached.



Give it time. Changing things and fixing things takes a while, especially when there's six days in twenty four hours. CMJ's been swamped with the weather system these days, and it looks like there are more server issues stumbling about in the background.



This. It will take time.


 
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Scorpio
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:15 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: Beeps

Quote by: Scorpio

Apparently nothing has changed yet, less than 24 hours and CC is down again, completely breached.



Give it time. Changing things and fixing things takes a while, especially when there's six days in twenty four hours. CMJ's been swamped with the weather system these days, and it looks like there are more server issues stumbling about in the background.



This. It will take time.


Thank you for the update, and I can understand that it'll take a bit of time. Hopefully whatever happened that took the server down around 09:00 GMT overnight didn't put you too far behind on getting things done. I'll wait as patiently as I can, and I look forward to seeing the changes when they are rolled out.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:25 AM UTC  
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You know what, on second thoughts fuck it. The Onslaught system is fundamentally flawed, I don't think there's a way to make it work, and it's brought me nowt but arse-ache. I've got more important things to work on than trying to patch this thing so that Outposts never fall - 'cause if they do fall, they tend to stay fallen.

Taking a vote on its deletion now.


 
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Matthew
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:28 AM UTC  
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Goodness!

What would replace it? Anything? Would outposts just... not be breached, now? Would there be any point to walls? What about Titans? What threat would they present?

Maybe a system where monsters are only able to flood an outpost if a Titan knocks the walls down, first?


 
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Beeps
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:31 AM UTC  
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My, this is a drastic solution. One that solves the problem, but drastic nonetheless.

Total deletion seems harsh. Perhaps... Deactivated, pending overhaul?


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Fox Kelfonne
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:33 AM UTC  
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Why not make it so the Titans only reduce the walls by the amount of their remaining HP instead of being an instant kill?

I know Kittania had its Wall HP up in the 43 Million range at one point, and got wrecked by a Titan over the holidays.

That way, people who can't fight directly can still assist in the defense of an outpost from Titans?
Also it'd take care of situations where people ARE fighting the Titan, but just can't pull the victory out. If the walls are that strong, you would think they could hold off the Titan long enough for the guards to be not-quite-so-useless. After all, by all accounts, the wall-guards should be contestants as well, and should be able to fight jungle monsters the same way we can.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:35 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Goodness!

What would replace it? Anything? Would outposts just... not be breached, now? Would there be any point to walls? What about Titans? What threat would they present?

Maybe a system where monsters are only able to flood an outpost if a Titan knocks the walls down, first?



There wouldn't be any point to walls, and Titans would likely go out the window too. In their place, I'd have more time to write quests and roleplaying content.

One of the hard things I've had to learn is that co-operative content in a text-adventure is always pretty much going to suck. If it's based on combat, it'll suck because text-based combat has always sucked (that'll change in Season Three!). If it's based on sheer numbers of players up against sheer numbers of other players (or sheer numbers of monsters or what-have-you), then it's a game by spreadsheet, and it's gonna suck.

I was toying with the idea of forcing the system to only ever allow Outposts to become nearly breached, and then to make it seem like the players drove back the horde - but that's not gonna work, 'cause the moment someone finds out that that's how it's programmed, it'll become pointless. One of the very first things every programmer learns (or should learn) is when he's wasting his time, and trying to fix this thing to the point where folks can live with it and not have the system secretly cheat in the players' favour really is a waste of time.


 
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Beeps
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:36 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Fox+Kelfonne

Why not make it so the Titans only reduce the walls by the amount of their remaining HP instead of being an instant kill?

I know Kittania had its Wall HP up in the 43 Million range at one point, and got wrecked by a Titan over the holidays.

That way, people who can't fight directly can still assist in the defense of an outpost from Titans?
Also it'd take care of situations where people ARE fighting the Titan, but just can't pull the victory out. If the walls are that strong, you would think they could hold off the Titan long enough for the guards to be not-quite-so-useless. After all, by all accounts, the wall-guards should be contestants as well, and should be able to fight jungle monsters the same way we can.


I do agree with this. The fact that a titan can wipe out an outpost regardless of HP is annoying. Something to consider if you were to work on it idly.


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Awesome Fred
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:44 AM UTC  
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Vote yes to SUSPENSION until we figure out what to do with it. I don't support total deletion, understand if it happens though.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:48 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred

Vote yes to SUSPENSION until we figure out what to do with it. I don't support total deletion, understand if it happens though.



Well, on the one hand, nothing is ever really deleted until my hard drive dies along with all my backups.

On the other hand, suspension means deletion. If I take this off the Island and there's a huge sigh of relief, then there's gonna be fucking uproar if I propose bringing it back.


 
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Marly
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:50 AM UTC  
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Okay, so this is me when I read the poll in MOTD the first time: Oh goody, I won't have to unbreach CC404 3 times in 4 hours if it goes again.

This is me the second time I read it: Oh, shit, it'll take forever to get EXP to DK now. ...Oh well, small price to pay to actually use the outpost.

Third time's the charm, of course, reading CAREFULLY through it: No... titans?

CMJ, you say there's no way to scale it back that will help it. I believe you 100%, especially after those 4 hours I spent. I gotta cast my vote that the onslaught part should go. But do the titans really have to leave, too? I mean, that's pretty much the only way I can get an appreciable sum of EXP for standard fighting. And it's good cash and my hat can stand to be more amazing, Deimos tells me.

I like titans. They go stomp stomp and give me shineys.


 
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Matthew
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:53 AM UTC  
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Well... I'm gonna throw my name in the hat for suspension, as well. I'd rather not Titans and Onslaught go away forever the end, because I find the latter occasionally fun (if frustrating when Cyber City is under invasion 90%) and the Titans a barrel of fun sometimes.
And think of what poor Jakell will have to do with his time when there's no more Titans! Though if he played it up in-character as him having driven the Titans to extinction, I would [i]totally[/i] support that. Guy deserves it.

As they are now, though, they're worth looking over, definitely.

Quote by: Marly

No... titans?


Thing is- with no Onslaught, what would Titans do? I love TItans, maybe they should stay, but have some other purpose... besides just being wandering req-pinatas.

I dunno what that would be, though.


 
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Beeps
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:53 AM UTC  
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I do see people not wanting to lose Titans. Maybe - Again, as an alternative to completely deleting everything, as a "eventually" project - make it so that at any given time, there are Titans simply wandering the island?

That step on Supply Crates because they don't realize they're there? It would give some incentive to stop them.


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Awesome Fred
 Saturday, January 08 2011 @ 05:53 AM UTC  
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That's a good point, but I thought the problem with it was that it suffered a vicious cycle idea. The ones that don't stay up can't get back up, the ones that stay up stay up. The issue wasn't cooperation, the issue was just setup. The challenge to overcome the hordes can and was at times fun, and there was at times cooperation successfully. It's not a lost cause, it's just a mechanic with too many issues for now.

You can have an MOTD vote to bring it back at a later date, it doesn't have to be an uproar. I have faith in the players. Razz

EDIT

The poll's at 14/14 right now, and I think it really does look like people don't want to get rid of Titans while not so much minding the loss of Onslaught.

My personal opinion's to not get rid of Reinforcement, I like that as a concept.

My quickie proposition is to remove monster numbers, and have Titans take down a flat numerical amount of wall HP equal to the remaining health of the titan when they arrive at the outpost (and does it again on each hour that it's still not killed while above a city). That way, walls and reinforcement exist, and titans exist, but places don't get Breached easily. When places are breached, it should just be like a flat number of mobs (500?) that need to be killed before the city can be raised again?


 
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