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Count Sessine
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 04:27 PM UTC (Read 11551 times)  
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From the Places thread:

Quote by: Zolotisty

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IMO, Trains would benefit from some downtime to reconsider their impact on the Island -- even their current iteration seems unbalanced to me, and they're a major contributor to how we got to a state of imbalance in the first place. Players (and power players especially) have been very spoiled.

Let's get specific about what is currently wrong with trains and should be changed in the next iteration. I have already done quite a lot of reconsidering -- no need to stop the trains for that. Baby, bathwater, y'know.

Let me say from the outset that, yes, the current iteration is unbalanced. I do not believe that de-coupling transportation from the basic LotGD DK cycle has been a bad thing; for social reasons, it is important that there should be a way to get around the Island that does not depend on req or rank or joker bad days. Nor do I think that this provides an unfair advantage to power players; trains are, or should be, equalizers in that respect.

That said -- there are two major respects in which the current Trains system is seriously unbalanced.

First, there are far, far too many cards and passes out there; a player should have to think before using a rail pass; on the other hand, we don't want to make passes so difficult to obtain that players feel they must hoard them and are afraid to use them. I'd like to hear some feedback about what would be an ideal range that would make a rail pass really worth something.

Second, the current process by which players obtain cards is too predictable and therefore boring. It was intended to give people an incentive to go out exploring the many wonderful dwellings around the Island -- but it doesn't work like that. The card-drops near the outposts get all the traffic. Since there'll always be a card waiting in the same place every day, it becomes a regular, routine visit. That's no fun.

I have ideas to address both of these in the Trains rewrite. For the first problem -- the answer comes from ecology. To keep a population (even of playing cards and rail passes!) down to reasonable numbers, there need to be predators. I have a couple of card-predators in mind. Let your collection grow too big, and you will attract their attention. The current huge decks owned by certain players can be quickly whittled down this way to reasonable proportions, but players with only a few cards and passes won't run into trouble at all.

For the second... I had an answer -- but I am throwing it away, because it looks like Places will open up many, many, many possibilities for acquiring cards in new and interesting ways. I have some ideas, but details will have to depend on how Places end up working.

The train system also needs to make itself more evident to new players. I checked last night -- there are 723 characters who have card cases. Of these, only 452 have actually used a rail pass. (For comparison, as of last night there were 3,388 characters who had logged in within the last month, 1,854 within the last week, and 1,121 within the last day.) I know of at least one veteran player who had owned a card case for a long time, but didn't know to look in dwellings and had been collecting only those cards that can be found, very rarely, in the jungle or on the map. Word of mouth is good for social interaction, but it misses people who don't like to ask.

Redeeming cards for passes has to change, too. First class is too easy to get, right now, much easier than regular ones. I like that jokers are special; I like that when you have a joker you get to make a decision about when to trade in your cards. But at the moment there's no reason not to hang on to your hand. After you've collected thirty or forty different cards, nearly every new card that comes in translates to another first class pass. That needs fixing.


 
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Zolotisty
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 05:46 PM UTC  
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Re. point the first: Beyond predators, perhaps there can be a system of degradation and decay -- after ten or fifteen game days, say, a card could crumble to papery bits and be gone and away from your hand. It'd encourage people to trade more actively.

Re. point the second: One of my concerns with place-specific playing card drops has always been the favoritism inherent in the system and exponential difficulty of rewriting (or indeed, adding) place-specific flavour text as you pick up cards. I really like that it's not a generic 'you found a card!' message when you're wandering through a given Dwelling, but I think if the system is to encourage people to explore Dwellings generally rather than hit a specific handful as a part of a daily routine, there should be a generic message and a chance to find one in any Dwelling.

Also! Some of us don't use Trains not because we don't know to but because we prefer walking. I grind my Travel scores because I like grinding my Travel scores.

To introduce some new things I have thought about re. Trains:

- They are awfully consistent, and Improbable only in the fact that they are always running and always take you to the destination you intended. If an Outpost is under siege for example, why would a Train be running there? Why isn't the Island shifting tracks around? Why is there always a Train in the station whenever I want one to be there? How many engines are on the line, really, if there's one there for everyone all the time?

- For something working in a war zone on a dead-broke Island, they are awfully fancy, privileged, and well-maintained -- which on one hand, is part of the nostalgic allure of an old-school train.. and on the other, seems very inconsistent with our world's setting, era, and theme. Pretty things on the Island tend to be organically produced and alive, like the Common Ground. Pretty because nature and the Drive conspired to make it, not someone else. Everything else, while it can be very handsome, should be coming from scrapped parts -- because that's all anyone's got to work with. Subways and their attendant ambiance, in particular the NYC subway system, seem to me to be more consistent with what might be on the Island.

- I had more thoughts but they've escaped me. I'll come back.


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Hairy Mary
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 07:44 PM UTC  
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I agree with Sussine, and mostly agree with Zolotisty here.

I'll disagree with the last point though.

Is the train system man made as opposed to Improbable? The Drive has produced plenty of other mechanical objects, I'm not sure if kittybikes are Improbably generated or the result of late twenty first century technology, but they're certainly pretty, and also at least in part mechanical. For definitely Improbable, definitely mechanical objects, what about robots, or quite a few of the things that you meet in the jungle? The Perpetual Motion Whotsit for example.

But even if the trains are man made, then perhaps they're a relic from before the good Doktor created The Drive. They could still be very pretty and elegant, although they might break down occasionally. This of course ties neatly in with Z's first new point.

Now my new point.

One perspective to consider trains from is the point of view of game play elements.

-Effects on building dwellings.
For people who don't build their homes up in the north east corner of the Island or on top of an outpost, it makes transportation of stone easier. Outposts are important because we can use one-shot teleports to get there.

Even the mansions which is just two squares of jungle away from P.Ville. The best backpack can carry four stones. If I overload it and carry the twenty stones that I need for one extension, it takes about 6%. Not too much, certainly. Now consider the south west corner of the Island. The Jackalope for example. Getting stone there from NewHome takes some doing. So first class tickets that can take you straight to your dwelling are very useful. To the point where it changes things quite dramatically.

Any square is as good as any other square for building as far as materials are concerned, which isn't the way that the system was set up. Whether this is good or bad I'm not sure, but it's a very definite effect. Having a limit on the weight that the train will let on board? Or use multiple tickets for overloading or something might be an idea?

-Effect on the main game play.
Rather less sure about this one, not being much of a game player myself. Do some people start a day with a train ticket, visiting each outpost, and maximizing on what they eat/drink? Perhaps going round again when various buffs run out? All that needs only one ticket, but it would take a lot of one-shots.

I thought that it was this sort of thing that Z was refering to in the original post as quoted by Sussine from the other thread. I really don't know much about this, trains probably affect game play in other ways as well, about which I've got no idea.

What about role play on the train? At first sight, it should be a great role play space, but I've hardly ever seen it used for much. There was that big day when me (The Skronkys), Miss Helabore, and Calliaphone all got stuck in and did something. Ah, fond memories. But apart from that, not much. I should admit though, that I'm not sure that I've even been on the train in the last six months, so maybe that's the main locus of scene-centre'd role play today for all I know. Making it hard/expensive/however you want to term it to get on the train won't encourage anything. Maybe the comms tent has a speaker on the train?


 
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Makiwa
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 08:42 PM UTC  
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Some random thoughts spinning off from what's been posted so far. Apologies if it's all tosh:

Cards are obviously way too easy to come by at the moment and Jokers (unless I've just been lucky) are easy to come by too. Normal rail passes are irrelevant. First class passes are abundant.

So (all with question marks):
A set number of cards available in any dwelling per game day. Once x number of cards have been found in that day. That's all folks.
If cards are harder to come by they won't decay but rail passes will (expiry date). Adds value to rail passes and encourages planning.
Gifting cards stays free (encouraging trading) - why not gifting rail passes (for 1 or 2 SP)
More random diverts (i.e. Bingo Hall, Abandoned Waystation) but you also lose your pass (oh wait, devastating if your pack's full of rocks or wood, hmm, keep an OST handy.)
TMBs on a train could steal a card now and again.

Hell if I know how you balance this stuff. An expiry date on passes and/or cards might help i.e. if hoarding cards is till too easy the expiry date could be shortened and vice versa.

The randomness off stumbling over a card in the jungle is, IMO, perfect. It happens rarely enough to be special.

On Z's note about the trains themselves. I agree they are very predictable. Perhaps there could be a timetable of sorts or the stationmaster can tell you "Oh the train is just leaving Pleasantville, but won't be stopping in Cyber City as it's under attack so it should be here in about...." Might encourage RP in the stations while folks are waiting for their train?

It's not easy is it? Like Z I had some other thoughts that have run off and hidden somewhere.....

EDIT: Saw Hairy Mary's post after I'd posted. I see the trains as a leftover from bygone days. Restored and brought back to life. I think there is only one engine that improbably is at every station simultaneously.
I love the idea of the train breaking down now and again but can't imagine how this would work and what consequences this would have.

I wasn't here (or can't remember a time) when there were no trains so can only imagine how slow building dwellings must have been - unless you had a lot of help from friends.

I still travel on foot (ok well scrambler then) quite a lot and to me the train serves three main purposes. Gathering building materials, doing higher rank DKs while questing and searching for the Drive. Only one of these really needs a First Class Pass.

Rambling again. Bye.


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Sneaky
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 09:20 PM UTC  
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If you're going to use a thief system to curb high card yields, at least make it seem like less of a punishment. You could turn it into a train-only monster encounter (name it the Bounding Bully or Bandit, maybe have both as different encounters) and have them steal cards from losing contestants. Dunno how you'll do the power levels (might be good if it's stronger if the player has more cards than the foe currently holds and weaker if the player has less than them). Make it so winning contestants can instead gain a fraction of the cards from the beaten thief, kind of like the Raven Inn jackpots.

Heck, if you make both into AI bots and have them wander Dwellings of the island, that could even /compliment/ the current system if you don't make them too hard to track and chase down.


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Matthew
 Wednesday, July 13 2011 @ 10:53 PM UTC  
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My biggest concern about passes and trains being reworked is the huge impact on builders, as others have already brought up. Getting enough stone to build a remote dwelling, without the abilities of a first-class rail pass, is a long and stupid process, and if the ability is removed, then I guess say goodbye to any dwellings that are at all distant from the main outposts. That's not something I want to see happen. I know one may argue that perhaps remote dwellings are supposed to be tougher to build, but you just know that that philosophy simply won't translate to more effort by the players. They simply won't bother.

Maybe saying so reflects poorly on me, but I know people. Especially internet people.

As for making rail passes too hard to come by, well, quote:

I mean the thought that goes "But I might need it later" the niggling little doubt that prevents you from using all your most powerful insurance policies in case there's some kind of no-claims bonus at the end it all. So we have scenarios where you're sitting on a nuclear stockpile to shame North Korea and are throwing peas at a giant robot crab on the off-chance that there might be a bigger giant robot crab at the end of it all.



edit: I do agree that first-class passes are a bit too common. I'm not saying they should stay the same as they are, they definitely should be a little more prized; as of this post, I currently have 1322 First Class Rail Passes rotting in my card case. Something is wrong. I use one every day. I simply don't even think about it anymore. I collect at least one card a day, which makes up for that day's use or more. A more generic message possible in any room of any dwelling (maybe a small chance?) and an expiry date on cards (but NOT passes!) strike me as very good ideas.

You should still be able to save passes, which is why a limited time on them seems like a bad idea. Not being able to save a pass for when you want to use it kind of goes against the entire point of the system, but they should definitely be harder to come by. Save them for when you need to move vast amounts of stone or wood, and walking should be the smarter decision when all a rail pass would do is save you some clicks that day.


 
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Zolotisty
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 03:15 AM UTC  
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Apologies in advance for any typos or autocorrects, I'm posting quickly from my phone.

Re. relics of bygone days: Established train systems of yore on a jungley Island? I dunno, gang! The Island's very small, remember -- even if it had been inhabited in the Days Of Yore, it doesn't strike me as sensical to run and maintain tracks in such a small space when you could just as easily maintain a few truck routes and truck or hike between spots.

Re. building being made inconvenient: This is unbalanced, too; building Dwellings was never meant to be something you could easily accomplish on your own. The system was meant to encourage you to band together with friends -- indeed, it was supposed to make it necessary to get you to have help to complete Dwellings, and buildings were never supposed to go up very quickly. In S3 we will likely see very few dwellings distant from Outposts anyway, as I understand the most recent conceptualization of the S3 map system.

Disagree about 'no more distant-from-outpost dwellings', there were distant dwellings before trains were implemented.

ETA: 1322?! CHRIST MATTHEW

ETA2: Gifting passes seems good route to abuse and hoarding, to me.


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Makiwa
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 03:58 AM UTC  
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ETA: 1322?! CHRIST MATTHEW

ETA2: Gifting passes seems good route to abuse and hoarding, to me.[/p]


I thought I had a hoard with +-300 on hand and a trade in worth +-400 - bloody hell!

Gifting passes that expire = not so much hoarding?


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Matthew
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 10:29 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Zolotisty

- They are awfully consistent, and Improbable only in the fact that they are always running and always take you to the destination you intended. If an Outpost is under siege for example, why would a Train be running there? Why isn't the Island shifting tracks around? Why is there always a Train in the station whenever I want one to be there? How many engines are on the line, really, if there's one there for everyone all the time?



Quote by: Zolotisty

Re. relics of bygone days: Established train systems of yore on a jungley Island? I dunno, gang! The Island's very small, remember -- even if it had been inhabited in the Days Of Yore, it doesn't strike me as sensical to run and maintain tracks in such a small space when you could just as easily maintain a few truck routes and truck or hike between spots.



About this point: I don't know if I'm supposed to say so out in public where everyone can see it but whatever; I was talking about this very thing with Sessine and he told me that he's not going to code something that would actually be pretty involved and difficult to do (ie, making it so you have to wait a certain amount of time for your train) just to be annoying for everyone.

I have to agree with the sentiment. The main problem seems to be just how goddamn easy it is to get rail passes, as my current Deck-Held-Together-With-A-Few-Bits-Of-String is testament to.

Changing the flavor of the system is an interesting thought, though. Old, beat up trucks driven by nasty midget truckers who take you places in exchange for, I dunno, particularly shiny marbles? Exchanging cards for other gambling implements sorta kinda makes more sense.

edit: Or bus stations! With 'round the clock service! Also driven by nasty midgets


 
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Zolotisty
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 11:53 AM UTC  
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Mannn. Confused I wish that it wasn't read as 'annoying' and instead read as 'more interesting.' Sometimes you can't get what you want WHEN YOU WANT IT, that is life -- and in this case, it would be a consequence of otherwise being transported instantaneously to your desired location for free. ..which is bone bastard boring, really. There's nothing to strategize about with Trains after you've collected your pass; you know they will magically work whenever you want them to -- and really, one doesn't have to think very hard about collecting cards, either. It is a free, slow-release One-Shot Teleporter with a chatroom people hustle through to get to their next location.

The Travel Agency in Season 1 had a consequence for instantaneous transportation! You paid, and then you were strapped into a great bloody fucking catapult and launched across the Island by a team of skiving Midgets. Then you hit the ground. Very hard. Depending on whether you'd paid for a first class ticket, you lost some of your HP or A LOT of your HP, and you had to go heal your sorry arse. There was some strategy there -- not a lot, but some -- which ticket you were going to purchase on basis of how much HP you already had and on basis of how much money you had on hand, and whether you could afford to do it or not.

This got taken out cos CMJ put in OSTs, I think, but d'you see what I'm saying? Losing health AND money and probably more money to heal yourself when you land -- annoying, to some people! But also something you have to THINK about, and the game does offer you other ways of getting around.

ETA: Agreed that playing cards -> train pass = ??? for me, Matthew, but that's relatively trivial and will likely not be changed because of the law of conservation of pretty resources. Wink


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Matthew
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 01:20 PM UTC  
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Ah, apologies; I thought you meant you wanted a system where the trains worked like real trains, where you had to get at the station at a certain moment and then get off at a certain moment again to get to the place you want, as the train arrived at those places in a circuit. I don't really even know how to work the code the Island uses and even to me that sounds like a real bastard to do. That kind of thing might work in a more graphical game, like World of Warcraft or something, but in a text based game, I dunno.

I guess I'm in the camp where I think the train and passes themselves should be reliable, definite things, but the method of obtaining said passes shouldn't be.

As you say, though, S3 may come along and make the idea of trains completely obsolete so who knows really! As an aside, I am super stoked for S3 whenever that's gonna show up.

edit: oh and also

Quote by: Zolotisty

Re. building being made inconvenient: This is unbalanced, too; building Dwellings was never meant to be something you could easily accomplish on your own.



Maybe that was the original intent but then builder's brews kinda came along and turned that on its head, I think.


 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 01:26 PM UTC  
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As far as the feel of the trains goes, I think we should consider what would make the most enjoyable gaming experience first, and then come up with a justification afterwards.

I rather like the slightly faded opulent feel to it myself.

Plenty of cities have underground trains, how big is the Island? I'm not entirely sure, but at least as big as say a quarter the size of London? London has about 200 'underground' stations (slightly over half of which is actually overground) and about the same again in (mostly small local) train stations. It still feels the need for a large bus service. The Island might have been a lot smaller, with a lot smaller population, but I think that eight stations isn't too much, I tend to think of it as at least 10 miles top to bottom say. The Bluebell railway in Sussex runs for a grand total of nine miles and originally had eight stations.

Relic of a bygone age or improbably generated or a mixture of both, I wouldn't have any problems with that. But that's just my opinion.

Now. More improbably type events to make travelling more of a risk. Yes, I'm fully with Z on that. So, what could they be?

Bear in mind that the availability of tickets is going to drop sharply.

At the moment, there's a very small chance of ending up in the Bingo Hall (just one step from getting back on at Grand Central) or the Abandoned Waystation (miles from anywhere). The chances of that happening could be increased a bit maybe? Perhaps some more locations used for the same purpose?

There's also the dart playing midgets who do so little damage that only somebody on level one who's never had any HP increases even really notices them.

And Elias with his lucky dip. He's great, but doesn't add any risk to the situation.

What else could there be? The train won't go to a breached outpost, or perhaps one that's close to being breached (where the banks shut say). Yes, I like that, I can't think of anything else though. Any specific ideas anybody?

Matthew. 1322??? Eek! I was going to tell you how many passes I could get as an illustration of how there's too many floating out there, but now I feel positively poverty stricken, so I won't embarrass myself. Also, where was that quote from? I recognise what it's saying all to well.

Somebody said that they wouldn't want to randomly loose tickets, it's nice to have a spare one saved up. Possibly a system where it will never take your last one, a bit like twisting your ankle on the pinatra?


 
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Matthew
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 01:30 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

What else could there be? The train won't go to a breached outpost, or perhaps one that's close to being breached (where the banks shut say).



Eugh, no thank you. That's the kind of thing that smacks of Annoying For The Sake Of Annoying.


 
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Matthew
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 01:51 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

Also, where was that quote from? I recognise what it's saying all to well.



Here.

Also, to expand on what I mean by the trains being reliable: for player retention and simple fun's sake, I wouldn't want to hear about a situation where a new player buys a dwelling, mines 25 rock or whatever it is to build the foundation, then hits a first class pass to drop it back off in his dwelling, and then ends up on the complete opposite side of the Island with their 25 stone-heavy backpacks, completely screwed over because the game decided "HAHA HOW IMPROBABLE ISN'T THIS GREAT". That isn't fun. That's just irritating and unfair and that player would be fully within their rights, I'd say, to throw the whole thing in a bin, quit, and never look back.

Sure, a whole bunch of random events that might put you where you need to go or put you in outer space might sound pretty awesome from a flavor perspective, but gameplay ought to come first.

edit: I don't mean to be abrasive, I'm just offerin' opinions and discussion, both of which this thread was made for! If the trains system is reworked completely not in line with my suggestions, I'm not going to be completely heartbroken and have a hissyfit or anything.


 
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Swede
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 03:32 PM UTC  
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Well I think the problem lies with the way joker cards work.
Once you got a joker you can keep collecting cards indefinitely.

How would this be as suggestion:
A joker will no longer give you the ability to collect an unlimited number of cards, but it also won't count for your 5 card limit?

I think this will have the following effects:
The hands stay smaller, less first class passes
Collecting becomes harder, but not that much changes for those whom occasionally look for cards.


 
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Boudi
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 04:04 PM UTC  
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Okay. I am no vet like you folks, I only have 12 first class passes in store. I do hoard them up, I'll admit. Traveling by foot is no problem to me, but I save them up for building, usually not of my own.

This being said, I'm one of the more casual savers. Perhaps making them more random or less likely to be found would appeal to me, personally. But making the cards turn into mush or tear apart after a certain number of days would only encourage folks to spend a lot more time searching for them before their almost-full hand disappears or throw up their hands and resort to OSTs.

Keep 'em reliable, just undo the card-spawn sites and perhaps make them randomly attributed to any dwelling's room at a very, very low rate. Or page-prizes, but I feel that would have to be more work and might provoke favoritism of which pages could provide cards according to story or how well-written it is.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 05:26 PM UTC  
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I, personally, thought cards were rewards for good dwellings, and I think that's a good situation. It's like a sort of cosmic pat on the back for putting marvelous amounts of effort into creating a space.


 
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Trowa
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 07:47 PM UTC  
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As a frequent train-rider with a keen interest in how this develops, I'll try to organize my random thoughts on the matter and see if that helps (or hinders) any... If I repeat what anyone's already said, feel free to accept it as just me agreeing with you. There have been about five posts since I started writing this. (Probably a hint for me that it's too long, eh? Oops! )

  • If you look through the Abandoned Waystation, there's an office with a very well-written map of the Island that describes all the outposts before the Improbability Bubble. I don't know how canon it is, but it's very well done in my opinion, and adds a lot of flavor to the history of the Island (be it true or not).

  • As far as the rail system on the island feeling out of place... Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong (and please do, I'm going out on a bit of a limb), but IIRC the letters in the History Museum describe two scientists working on the Drive -- yet there are eight laboratories around the Island. I think it makes sense to believe there were more than just two scientists on the whole island. All that lab equipment had to arrive on the island somehow, which fits to the idea of New Home being a port for accepting cargo ships (since air-dropping scientific equipment would be risky), and then the equipment would have be transported around the Island to the labs. Speaking strictly from my mechanical engineering perspective, a rail system seems the most efficient manner. (Granted, parts of the Waystation make it seem like the Island was some sort of tropical paradise, as well as a scientific community, so maybe the rail system goes back even further than the development of the Drive?)

  • Gosh, I forgot the train sometimes dumps you at the Bingo Hall! I think that's only happened to me once! Every other time it's dumped me at the waystation (and almost always when I want to go to Pleasantville for steaks...hmmm...)

  • Now, going to pass availability: I agree cards are far too easy for me to come by. There's a Google doc that pin-points every location, and it only takes one of them to be on top of or next to a train station or outpost to make it super easy to collect every single day. Some days, if I'm too busy IRL to play, I log in just to collect interest and a card, which can be done if I sleep in the right dwelling. That probably contributes to the unbalancing issue. Oops!

  • If cards were a bit rarer, or less likely to show up, it would cut down on the folks who do exactly what I just described above, and I don't think it would harm the casual collector. You still have a chance to find them in the Jungle and while Traveling. If cards in dwellings only appear randomly, even if the locations don't change, it'll increase traffic to the dwellings with cards. Obviously this would have to be tied to the game day, otherwise people would just hop in and out of a room until the card showed up (I know I would). Maybe you tie it to Weather or Game Time in the new Structures system? For example, you can only find the card in the underground trapdoor when it's raining because it's floating in a puddle formed from a leak in the ceiling.

  • People have also brought up building dwellings: Don't forget we have over a dozen Teleportation Beacons all over the island, and I don't think OST's and beacons are going away any time soon (but who am I to say?). Using beacons takes a lot more strategy as far as planning out your stamina costs and how many logs or stones you can carry from the beacon to your dwelling, but you can still achieve a lot in one Game Day. Being able to carry hundreds of logs/stones instead of thousands (er...~1500, anyway) won't make that much of a difference in the long run, since building costs are relatively low after the initial construction (and yet Beeps still manages it without Trains!).

  • Like Swede, I think if we limit the number of cards players can collect with Jokers it would make a bigger difference in the amount of First Class Passes floating around. (Sheesh, Matthew, I can't even imagine how far your screen had to stretch to accommodate the thousands of playing cards you were carrying!) I saw in the Trains Google Doc, too, there was a potential idea of card cases 'breaking' after a certain limit is reached. If the card case behavior cannot be modified (as I suspect is the case, since it's in the Inventory screen), then maybe Joker cards can detect the number of cards you're holding, and turn into First Class Passes when you reach 'x' number of cards (say...20 or so)? You only get multiple passes if you have duplicate cards, and a low limit would definitely reduce your chances of acquiring vast stockpiles of passes without trading with other players.


TL;DR: I think trains are awesome, and fit the Island within my own (probably skewed) vision of its history. Passes should be revered, First Class passes even more so, but please don't take away our ability to hoard them, just make them rarer either by limiting the number of cards we can collect with Jokers, or making it more difficult to find cards. It's a lot easier to stockpile building materials with First Class passes, but you can achieve the same thing with OST's and careful planning. The same goes for Titan fighting.


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Count Sessine
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 07:51 PM UTC  
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These ideas are all very interesting -- keep them coming!

A few things that aren't going to happen:

- You will never find a card in a room that's boring or badly written.

- For technical reasons, I can't track the age of a particular card or pass. There'll be no cards crumbling, or passes expiring. This is not to guarantee that odd things won't occasionally happen inside an overloaded card case.

- The card/pass predators won't take every last one of a player's cards or passes. They'll miss something in a secret pocket, drop a few while fleeing, that sort of thing, and they won't bother people who have only a small number. People who have built up enormous collections aren't going to keep them, sorry, because that's gotten way out of balance, and long ago stopped being fun... but I will try to make the process of losing that collection entertaining.


 
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Maniak
 Thursday, July 14 2011 @ 08:51 PM UTC  
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Current situation:
You can collect a card a day and using a first class costs you about a card a day.

How about a higher conversion rate for cards to passes? Instead of two Ace of Spades, you need three Ace of Spades for a first class?

New situation:
You can collect a card a day, using a first class costs you about 2 cards a day.


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