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Docenspiel
 Sunday, September 29 2013 @ 06:45 PM UTC  
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We can already use SP to build Places, though I'm not sure if you still need to have the necessary materials. I think we just need a bulk option for that. Build five rooms for 500, 1000, 5000 SP or whathaveyou.


For rent: one skull, in serious need of dusting.
 
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Hairy Mary
 Sunday, September 29 2013 @ 10:10 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Docenspiel

We can already use SP to build Places, though I'm not sure if you still need to have the necessary materials. I think we just need a bulk option for that. Build five rooms for 500, 1000, 5000 SP or whathaveyou.



I didn't explain myself well. I meant use SP to buy the whole thing. Kapow! It's back! All of it.

Yes you can build rooms for SP, and even decorate. True. But even if you can remember what went where and you have copies of all the descriptions, then for some of the bigger Places, that's still a pain in the arse. And that's before you take programming into account, which can be a huge headache.

I know that I won't rebuild my place (Puzzle Land, NNE of Ace High*) from scratch, but I would pay SP for it to just magically reappear. I payed enough (in terms of Builders brews and programming kits and bits and bobs etc.) in the first place.

Also, it has been pointed out to me that we did not get all our Places back at the beginning of S2, or in a sense I suppose we did, but only because there weren't any to get back. I was thinking of when Places took over from the previous Dwellings as they had been before.

The point remains though, that IF we get all our SP back, then there will be a huge amount sloshing around, and I think that this would be a good thing to spend it on.

----

*See how I slipped in a crafty plug there?


 
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Sneaky
 Sunday, September 29 2013 @ 10:58 PM UTC  
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Please end the Rank system.


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Docenspiel
 Monday, September 30 2013 @ 12:53 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Sneaky

Please end the Rank system.


If there are multiple ways to "drive kill" to go along with the multiple ways to level up, I think it'd make sense to scrap it. But I'd like to have some sort of Hard Mode.


For rent: one skull, in serious need of dusting.
 
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Trowa
 Monday, September 30 2013 @ 04:02 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Trowa

Oh! I remembered something else now from May: infinitely adjustable difficulty instead of Ranks anymore.


Still unconfirmed in this thread, but that was part of CMJ's pitch back in Spring.


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Count Sessine
 Monday, September 30 2013 @ 05:09 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

IF we get all our SP back, then there will be a huge amount sloshing around....

This is something worth talking about. In the transition from Season One to Season Two. we did get back all of our SP ever, unspent and ready to spend all over again. There are reasons this might not be such a good idea this time around. HM has put his finger on the main one.

The Pilot was only a few months. S1 lasted one year and was, as I remember it, just barely managing to pay its rock-bottom server costs. S2 seems to have been doing better than that. We've got a good server, the game manages to advertise (most of the time), and CMJ still runs into financial emergencies but he's not generally having to worry about his next meal.

S2 has been running now for four years and change -- and S3 is still officially another year away until further notice. We're talking more than five years' worth of donations that would all be thrown back into the system at once. That's going to be hugely imbalancing. It will also, probably, mean a big drop in donations until those points have been used up, because people donate for two reasons -- to keep the Island going, and to acquire shinies. If one of those reasons drops away... yeah. Could be bad enough to be an Island-killer. Nobody wants that.

So what to do?

1. CMJ could do the same as he did the last time, give us all back everything, but then think up some REALLY BIG NEW SP SPONGES to soak up all those extra SPs. HM's suggestion above is an example of that.

Fly in that ointment is that we have all been trying to think up SP sponges for years. We've come up with some, CMJ has devised more, but there's always the limiting factor that while he needs donations to survive, he doesn't want the Island to turn into a crass pay-to-win money-grab like some other games out there. He's been there, flat broke, he knows what it's like. Anything that costs a lot of SP really has to give some sort of big payback, tangible or not, or people won't buy it -- and if it's too big, someone's going to say, "Hey, wait, no fair charging for that," and he'll go, "Oh. Yeah. Right then, I'll just make it cost you gameplay time instead." Which shows that he is an awesome person, but then, there goes another way to use up SPs.

But, okay. Assume a stellar-mass spherical cow with zero radius... er, that is, a sink for SPs that is simultaneously fair to players who didn't have the money to contribute, valuable enough that players who have been contributing would really want to buy it, and big enough that it could soak up the donations made over a period of five years and counting, many of which were originally spent on consumables. If such a thing were to exist and could be written, it would then be... well, actually, I suppose if it stayed in the game it would either be horribly unbalancing -- or it would make CMJ rich! I'm still not holding my breath for it to materialize.

2. CMJ could preserve the SP status quo. He could drop all S2 characters into S3 with their SP spent and unspent totals staying exactly where they were at the end of S2. "But," someone's going to say, "what about all the permanent Lodge items people have spent their points on... shouldn't those be transferred, too?" Well, no. It's a reset. We're starting over. Most of those items wouldn't work in the new system anyway. He's already said he's re-writing the Items table so that we can have weapons and armour as items that can be equipped to body parts, and other very cool stuff, but that means there are serious structural changes. Not to mention big conceptual changes, so the current Race Changer, for instance, may not even mean anything any more.

There's a very small number, perhaps, of Lodge items that need to be converted over. The only one I can think of at the moment is the HyperRing, because that's a promise that was made to people who might not be here at the time of change-over but who cared enough about the game to pay real money to ensure they could come back later. Mn... well, and then there's programming items, whether acquired with SP or not... Places Programming is a whole big can o' worms. I'm going to cop out and say it's beyond the scope of this post because I don't have a clue what can or should be done there.

3. Some intermediate compromise. Perhaps you'd get to spend again the SPs you'd acquired in the last six months or a year?

4. Or, I suppose, it could be a complete reset. A new game, different enough that everyone just starts over again, equal, with zero SPs. You'd be able to get the 500 points over again for reconnecting to World Community Grid. There'd be other ways to contribute for points, with creativity, without having to spend money.




We can talk about this. We should talk about this. It's an issue. I'm sure some of you will be able to suggest other possible solutions. But CMJ should not tell us which of the above he's going to do, or if he's going to pick up some other idea suggested here, or if he's figured out something completely different and awesome that none of us have thought of, until S3 changeover is IMMINENT. (Reminder: right now it is not. It's a whole year away. Word of God.)

By 'imminent' I mean, less than a month away. Maybe only a couple of weeks. Enough time for people to get in some last-minute S2 donations if that'll be a good move, or hold off until S3, if they'd rather, but not so long that CMJ's income dries up!


 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Monday, September 30 2013 @ 10:50 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Hairy+Mary

IF we get all our SP back, then there will be a huge amount sloshing around....

This is something worth talking about.


It is worth talking about.

Something to keep in mind is that previously spent SP points have already gone to things like CMJ's rent and food and evil puppies or-what-have-you and he doesn't get the benefit of resetting his bank account when he resets the Island.

Mostly I'm just throwing this out there in anticipation of belly wails about 'BUT NO MY PRECIOUS SP POINTS!!!!!'

Cause yeah, it'd be nice to have some again, etc, to reset our characters, things we love... but CMJ still has bills, and bottom line, SP barely helps with those now amiright?

So... maybe just a cautionary moo. Don't forget about that when you pitch ideas and stuff. This feels like one of those threads that could get firey quickly.

(Yes I know most of us are aware of it, just throwing it into the pot formally).

-moo loves


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Sneaky
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 12:30 AM UTC  
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Are you taking suggestions for core combat mechanics?


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Tor NaGoth
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 01:47 AM UTC  
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There's a very small number, perhaps, of Lodge items that need to be converted over. The only one I can think of at the moment is the HyperRing, because that's a promise that was made to people who might not be here at the time of change-over but who cared enough about the game to pay real money to ensure they could come back later. Mn... well, and then there's programming items, whether acquired with SP or not... Places Programming is a whole big can o' worms. I'm going to cop out and say it's beyond the scope of this post because I don't have a clue what can or should be done there.
. He's already said he's re-writing the Items table so that we can have weapons and armour as items that can be equipped to body parts, and other very cool stuff, but that means there are serious structural changes. Not to mention big conceptual changes, so the current Race Changer, for instance, may not even mean anything any more.

3. Some intermediate compromise. Perhaps you'd get to spend again the SPs you'd acquired in the last six months or a year?



As one of the older players who isn't as active anymore, I definitely have to agree about the hyper-rings. Permanent means PERMANENT, or at least it should.

I'm not sure what sort of dwellings or places system Dan has in mind for season three, but I do know that I personally found the loss of time involved in the loss of dwelling a bit daunting when Season 2 started, and then again when Dan reset the dwellings. It would be nice to get some sort of compensation for the loss of that investment. It would be really nice to have some sort of restoration option, even if it did cost some reasonable number of supporter points to activate it.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 03:15 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Sneaky

Are you taking suggestions for core combat mechanics?



Not until I manage an alpha release.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 05:09 AM UTC  
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Right now I'm working on a generic shop file.

HOORAY FOR YOU:
Being able to sell things from your backpack and bandolier, and being able to buy a grenade and then have the option to immediately move it to your bandolier in one click!
Being able to buy and sell more than one item at a time!

HOORAY FOR ME:
One common file for shops, with its description text and items for sale changeable via module! This will mean MORE AND DIFFERENT SHOPS.
One single loop through the inventory, for reduced server load!

Woooo!


 
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dizzyizzy
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 08:32 AM UTC  
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This is veering wildly into extortion, but I'd be willing to pay $100-$150 to recover my SP. I'd imagine people with means who have donated more/ran WCG for more than a week would be willing to chip in more - some of us have stupid amounts of SP and have been salivating at the thought of being able to make 40,000 dildo mementos.

I do agree with Sessine that we shouldn't know CMJ's decision until right before it's relevant.. There's plenty of other stuff for us to bicker about until then, don't need something that's going to be as passionate as that will be.


 
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Trowa
 Tuesday, October 01 2013 @ 09:43 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

HOORAY FOR ME:
One common file for shops, with its description text and items for sale changeable via module! This will mean MORE AND DIFFERENT SHOPS.


I see much potential with this! Different weapons available in different areas! Lightning Guns could be exclusive to the Robot domain! Elephant Guns sold only by Jokers! Wooo!


Actually, on an entirely unrelated note, if I could ask a small favor for those of us who might be playing this highly addictive game on their lunch breaks at work (*coughcough*), would it be possible to not include the entire name of Pleasantville in any URL? My proxy at work currently blocks Mutated Munchies because of the 'tv' in Pleasantville. Along the same vein, there's also "player" and "watcher" in some URLs that are also blocked, such as the Gifting Station and certain story bits. Frown


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Genevieve
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 02:54 AM UTC  
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There's too much stuff for me to quote so I'm just gonna say stuff and assume everyone's got context since it's this far:

I think that, at the start of the new season, we should get back any unspent SP we've got at the end of s2, only because it's money we've already given (or won, in my case) that we've not spent and it'd be right awful to just lose it because we were too slow to splurge with it. He's got the money, there's no reason why we should lose the benifit of it if we've not spent it. Spent, though? Well, that's spent, isn't it?

Big SP dumps for the new season? Well... If I have to re-build Port Foley from scratch I don't think I'd bother. I've spent well over a year writing and building and putting so much effort into that place and if it just disappeared and required me to re-build it I'd not. In fact, I'd probably give up entirely. I know that sounds extreme but that's a rage-quit worthy moment, really. Now, if I popped a few bucks (I've noticed 30 bucks seems to be the highest Lodge item) to get my Place back 100% as is with all the fiddly little pages and programs and cncs and every item that was in it (perhaps more than 30 bucks for this) I'd absolutely do that. Gladly. I'd do it for The Jackalope, too. I'd gladly spend money, as Hair said, to get my place back instantly. Because I worked way too hard on that to start from scratch. I'm sure Dirk would feel similarly for his giant places. Really, I think most Place-owners would love to not have to re-build, but if they don't wanna pay the option to re-build without having to re-write would be greatly appreciated, I'm sure.

This is obviously moot if we just get our places from the gate (which would be preferred) but that's a good suggestion for getting people to huck over cash in the new season.

but seriously I'd likely give up on the game entirely if I lost this Place of mine. It's a huge part of my enjoyment. It's a huge part of my investment of time and money, and it'd be crushing to lose it and have to start over.

Also yay shops and unique items and such. Very very cool.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 04:02 PM UTC  
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Even at this early stage, two things I can promise:
1. Your Places will be carried over.
2. Unspent SP is unspent SP. That'll be carried over too. I'd also like to give you back at least some of the SP you've spent, and as many lodge items as will still make sense in S3. Right now I'm thinking, well, we gave back all the SP that was accumulated in the year between S2 and S3 - I'm considering a year's worth or 25% of spent SP, whichever is greater. That may well change, and as Sessine said, it's not really worth considering until we're much closer to release date. Either way, now is still a good time to be donating, since you'll be able to spend your SP more than once. Smile


 
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Temper
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 08:50 PM UTC  
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I know CMJ JUST PROMISED Places would carry over, but honestly? I'd much rather see them go. Go the way of the Stocks, and Trains, and the Statue in Improbable Central. Places are awesome and all, and creative, but honestly? They ruin the setting of the Island for me like little else can. Wandering around this "battleground" filled with "dangerous monsters" is just kind of blown out of the water by the two castles, the theme park, and the mansion I see every time I take a step. It's an oversaturation of Places, I think, that's problematic.

Of course, I know this'll never happen, but I want to get it out, so.


I'd rather see Places work like Monster Suggestions. Have them be subject to approval by higher-ups. Cuts down on the sheer number and arguable world-breakery set by the scenery that exists right now. I know it's an unpopular stance. But honestly? I never write in 95% of the Places because they are A) empty, and Cool make little to no sense in the context of an Island that is a warzone. And before anyone goes, "But Improbability!" I say that is a weak reasoning for why your magical floating dolphin house hasn't been turned into a Magpie roost or a squalid Midget Opium Den.

Another thing that would be even LESS popular is to chuck Places altogether, and just have mod/CMJ made places existing outside of outposts. I agree that on the Island, despite EVERYTHING (or perhaps because of it), little areas are going to crop up. Small, half-overgrown cottages, or compounds set up by unhappy contestants. I can believe those, and I'd personally visit AND write in them.

Because Writing Things is what my view is concerned with. Today's Places are about creativity and writing, but almost all of them never get written in.

Again, Places just got promised to carry over. This is just me going, "Oh, okay. I'd like to see this happen sometime maybe though too."

... It's okay to disagree, right?


 
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Clueless
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 09:19 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Even at this early stage, two things I can promise:
1. Your Places will be carried over.




Woohooo!

What about 'abandoned' places? There are more than a few that are nice and out there and deserve to stay because they are nice even if unused, but then there are also many places which are no more than a room or two, their owners having long since ceased coming around. More than a few of these places inhabit outpost squares or are directly adjacent to outposts.


Edit:

Oh my, a Temper post! I must say more


Temper, I must agree with you significantly when it comes to how ridiculous it seems that there are so many perfectly peaceful and idyllic places to hide out in the jungle. It doesn't make much sense at all, and very few places seem to have much of a mind for security. What happens when a Panthzer comes knocking?

On the other hand we do not want to stifle creativity, and I love many of the places I have had the joy of visiting, helping review or create. I think it is more up to the players to decide what makes sense, however. If all of the places and every tiny change to every place has to be mod approved, we would need a Mod who specifically was dedicated to that task, for the workload would be immense. Not even considering the backlog of what has already been created. (I'd totally volunteer, by the way.)


I'd be ecstatic if monsters could attack places, if they had to be defended like Outposts, though to a smaller scale, and likely a scale proportional to how large or active the place is. I'd be more than happy to go around slaughtering monsters, storying parts of the appropriate and cannon-kosher bloodbaths, and of course be able to add another feather into my hat. Oh, and before anyone freaks about their hard work being destroyed by monsters- I'd propose it'd be like threat levels. A few degrees of nothing wrong with the place. Then you can't sleep there, then you can't use pages, then you just can't get in without fighting. With the monsters gone everything is back to normal.


Because I need more of those. Ask anyone.


 
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Rykar
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 09:24 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Temper

I know CMJ JUST PROMISED Places would carry over, but honestly? I'd much rather see them go. Go the way of the Stocks, and Trains, and the Statue in Improbable Central. Places are awesome and all, and creative, but honestly? They ruin the setting of the Island for me like little else can. Wandering around this "battleground" filled with "dangerous monsters" is just kind of blown out of the water by the two castles, the theme park, and the mansion I see every time I take a step. It's an oversaturation of Places, I think, that's problematic.

...
Because Writing Things is what my view is concerned with. Today's Places are about creativity and writing, but almost all of them never get written in.



I would second that, but not quite. I would actually call places both problematic and necessary. Speaking as someone who's built the hell out of his house (by a very outdated standard, I assume), it is absolutely lovely to have my own little slice of the island.

I also see them as a problem for the writing community. RP and Story and community depend on awesome people being there to play with other awesome people, and meeting new people and creating more awesome in the process. (Or fun, or wacky, or intriguing, or... you get it.) But places seem like they interfere with that, a little bit. The first part is the tendency for people to hole up in their places- I'm guilty of this myself. It varies from person to person, but having awesome people all doing their own thing in their own Places doesn't create nearly as much collaborative awesome. It can be much easier to story with characters you know and like, rather than meeting new characters or new players.

And, while there is the need for privacy in some scenes, whether it be conspiratorial, dramatic, or even erotic, perhaps that could be provided by, say... tents? A sort of temporary place, a consumable item?

Of course, all of this depends on the mood and setting of S3. Maybe it's not a battlefield anymore, so much as an island of wackiness! Or maybe not.

Another approach might also be to move places from scattered about the island to being contained within outposts. Sort of a residential district, if you will.
(Anyone else remember the giganto-bank of vending machines?)
Would make it easier to transition between Outpost-hectic-and-collaborative to more personal scenes, and back again, and make it easier for folks like me to avoid getting holed up forever.

It also might help the more oddball dwellings 'fit' better. It seems much more sensible to have built a mansion behind the walls of an outpost...

Edit:
Clue, that gives me an idea. Approving places to exist would be monumental, but what about letting all places exist in outposts, but having players select or vote or something on what places should exist on the world map, perhaps with mods giving the final approval? Everyone gets their own house, if they want, on 123 improbable lane, and the best of the best become landmarks across the landscape?


 
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Temper
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 09:35 PM UTC  
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Holy balls yes. A residential district for Improbable Central? Then Soup'N'Pants could finally actually be reached inside Improbable Central! I wasn't even thinking of expanding outposts- I don't think that's a bad idea.


As for moderator review for Places, I think it might be more feasible if people started out with sort of a Place overview. Like, what it'll be called and the sort of things that'll be inside it. Then, if that gets approved, the person goes ahead and begins to write. It'd still be a great deal of work, but I think that would cut it down to a somewhat more manageable size, in that whoever was doing the approving would have less fully written places to read through.

But I think it would be useful beyond belief to do. So maybe someone manages to build a castle. Maybe it's written out in-story as being the work of a number of people. Maybe it's the only castle on the Island. I'd find some excuse to write in it, knowing it's been mod-approved, and? And, it'd be much more likely that I'd find someone else there, on account of there aren't fifty bloody castles to choose from.

Plus, it'd make exploring the Island more fun for new people, I think. If you wander for ten spaces before finding an abandoned shack or a crashed Omnibus, there's that moment of "Whoa, I've found something! This could be awesome!"

Right now, every time you move you're assaulted by large, bright titles. Who cares about a crashed omnibus cradled in a nook in the jungle when you've found a floating tower, three cottages, a Japanese garden, an underground compound and a zoo on your way to it?

That's just my opinion, of course.


 
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Clueless
 Wednesday, October 02 2013 @ 10:43 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Temper

Holy balls yes. A residential district for Improbable Central? Then Soup'N'Pants could finally actually be reached inside Improbable Central! I wasn't even thinking of expanding outposts- I don't think that's a bad idea.



While being able to get directly into a place from an outpost would be cool indeed.. I don't think there is much point to it. The external decoration shows it being in the outpost, and people are more than free to story in central going into the Soup'N'Pants. It's something I've done before, wandered up along to March street to show a 're-rook' character a better place to take a nap than a bench in an outpost.

The programing required to make places go into and out of outposts as opposed to just the map may easily not be worth the effort, as it would be essentially exactly the same as it is now, save that we would click on the place instead of the travel button and then the place.


I still totally support having really cool and special places.. But being able to make your own place and do with it what you will is also one of the largest SP sinks we have. I can't even fathom how much money has gone into Valskyr, for example, and there are still another dozen places, at least, the size category of Carter's Cottage..

Asides from how valuable it is for keeping the kitty (and CMJ) fed on donations alone it is also one of the larger selling points of why to stick around. And the Island is always growing. A large part of the reason we have so many deserted places is because people have moved on, even just since the Cataclysm of September of 2011 and the deletion of all the places that remained as untouched plots after that, we have had so many many places be built up and become forgotten about. Many of those were abandoned almost as soon as they were rebuilt, by those wanting to hold on to what once was. We will keep on having an influx of people, and as long as the standards for places being accepted isn't obscenely high, we are going to have a lot of places being created as well. No matter what the standards are, if a person wants a place enough, they will write, write, and write again until it is approved. And then they can do whatever they want with it.

Not that I see that as a bad thing, mind you, forcing higher quality is just fine with me. But requiring quality will not significantly affect the quantity, especially when we have such a constant flux of contestants.


As an aside, perhaps there can be a compromise. A mix of new and old. And yes, I am about to argue myself back down about places in outposts, for the purpose of being functionally different from places on the map.

Basically in outposts we have the residential district. Or perhaps something else, as there are many places which are not residences, the stores, gardens, things like that.. Anyway, this would likely be its own area in the outpost, to ease on the navlink clutter of the main outpost. In addition there may be a few hubs out in the wilderness. Essentially the same thing, they function as outposts without any of the services except maybe a comms tent and council. Or not even those. These house more places, both those from before, as well as some of the more unusual ones. All of these sorts of places may be created by anyone with the proper resources.

Now, out there, we have the much rarer stand alone places. These would be the ones requiring review before they may be created, and it may be desirable to limit each map square to one of these places maximum.

I have ideas about monsters and how they interact with this proposed version of places, though I will leave that for a later time, if there is interest in theory.


 
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