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Pets and campgrounds

 
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:36 pm    Post subject: Pets and campgrounds Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, you get your first pet around level 7, and your second around level 11.

Campground improvements: Picket fences (pretty obvious). You get them early enough, and infrequently, but with some regularity just about anywhere. I've picked up three that I haven't sold, and several that I have.

But there doesn't seem to be another one by level 12.

Am I missing any campground improvements?

There doesn't seem to be many people playing in raiding. I'm not sure that people know about it, or how / why to play it. I know that at first I was concerned about VHL (very high level) players just coming in, but the reality is that TehLinuxKing and I have traded "nothing happens" back and forth for several days now.

In fact, it seems that the PvP game has an odd point. No one wants to be the lowest level player in PvP, so no one wants to start. I've actually had one successful raid on someone lower than me, and haven't seen them back in the PvP game. From their point of view, adding a campground improvement only makes them a target. There is no PvE side -- there is no fountain for the people at the bottom, to give them a reason to want to play campground. And if there is another improvement, then anyone below that point will be at a horrific disadvantage (excluding the new rage system) to anyone above that point.

When I had only one pet, I had the issue of "Do I take it with me, or leave it behind". I settled on taking it with me while fighting, and putting it in the campground while I was in town. It was actually a headache -- it would be nice if the game automatically had the pet defend while I was in town. Now that I've got a second, it's less of a problem -- I have #2 leveling with me, and #1 on defense.
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: Re: Pets and campgrounds Reply with quote

keybounce wrote:
But there doesn't seem to be another one by level 12.


Naturally, there is another one at 12. But I still haven't found it, except at the market; it's very unobvious, and really pricey.

But it does up you to three attacks per day. Opulence and power go up quite a bit.
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: Pets and campgrounds Reply with quote

It's true, aside from looting gold, there's no material advantage to participating in PvP, only the ego boost (and raid points) from defeating others. I've been considering adding a treasure chest to your campground such that you put expensive things in, and that raises your opulence, but you can't remove them (and they can be looted).

I'm open to suggestions on how to make PvP more interesting without unbalancing it.

keybounce wrote:
keybounce wrote:
But there doesn't seem to be another one by level 12.


Naturally, there is another one at 12. But I still haven't found it, except at the market; it's very unobvious, and really pricey.

But it does up you to three attacks per day. Opulence and power go up quite a bit.


Keep in mind the price fetched for it isn't just a function of rarity, but both rarity and desirability.
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If raiding is not a fountain, then there is no reason for a low level player to participate -- there is no one lower level / lower skill to steal from.

Hence, since no one wants to be the lowest level PvP player, the only time to join in PvP is at level max.

For me, it's different -- I make far more selling white picket fences than I'll ever steal or lose in direct PvP, so I want to raid just to destroy fences. Smile

Quote:
I've been considering adding a treasure chest to your campground such that you put expensive things in, and that raises your opulence, but you can't remove them (and they can be looted).

That just means even less likely to participate until level max.

You need to add a fountain for the low-end people; perhaps adding a generic_campsite that can be raided as a low(er) level PvE?

Probably several of these, at different levels (and defenses); otherwise, as soon as you are out of range of the generic_campsite, you won't bother to repair anything, and will drop out again until max.
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keybounce wrote:
You need to add a fountain for the low-end people; perhaps adding a generic_campsite that can be raided as a low(er) level PvE?

Probably several of these, at different levels (and defenses); otherwise, as soon as you are out of range of the generic_campsite, you won't bother to repair anything, and will drop out again until max.


Hmm...
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bump

Anything? Do I put down the new set of campsite improvements I've picked up, or do I regard putting any improvements down as self inflicted harm?
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keybounce wrote:
Bump

Anything? Do I put down the new set of campsite improvements I've picked up, or do I regard putting any improvements down as self inflicted harm?


One problem with adding the fountains is that then people can just beat on the fountains constantly (for all of their raids), making the PvP really just PvE, or the fountain is subjected to the regular raiding restrictions and only one or two people get to raid the fountain.

Perhaps a different set of restrictions is needed for fountains.
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only have "PvE" campgrounds at a few, known, spaced levels. So if you put down improvements to raid the PvE, you are only able to raid it for a relatively short period of time before you level past it.

These PvE grounds might only be hit a few times, but that puts money in some raiders; other raiders can hit the fountain raiders.

Hmm.... Raiders of the Lost Fountain!

So, as an example, if you have a PvE camp fountain at 8, you can hit it from 5 through 11. If too many people hit it, then you can go after the people who hit the fountain. And, it only pays based on what a level-8 campground is likely to pay (or, not much).

From level 12 through ... 14? 15?, you have no fountains to hit, until you level up enough to hit the next one.

The point is, there needs to be a reason for people not at level_max to go on raids. If you go on fountain raids, you can be hit by PvP raids -- sounds fair.

---
Idea: Normally, you can only take poe, or drop items, right?

What if you could steal (instead of destroy) campground improvements? Maybe a 50/50 chance of getting the improvement instead of destroying it?
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Rick
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mad Merlin wrote:
keybounce wrote:
Bump

Anything? Do I put down the new set of campsite improvements I've picked up, or do I regard putting any improvements down as self inflicted harm?


One problem with adding the fountains is that then people can just beat on the fountains constantly (for all of their raids), making the PvP really just PvE, or the fountain is subjected to the regular raiding restrictions and only one or two people get to raid the fountain.

Perhaps a different set of restrictions is needed for fountains.


Well that's exactly what I would do (raid only the fountains). The root problem is that raid participation is very low at all levels. Raiding characters are either too weak or too strong. A character can max out the campground at level 31 and can have all but one pet by level 25. This means that mid level characters (between level 20-25) that know all the tricks can be practically unbeatable. Any character can max out his raiding power (through pets, improvements, & gear) by level 40. This provides a level of equality, but turns raiding into a brutal struggle of attrition where the only way to be successful is to stockpile lots of campground improvements & extra gear as well as to develop allies and or minions to assist you. The end result is an uneasy truce between high level characters who mutually agree not to attack each other but who occasionally pick on new arrivals (at that level) who don't have all the required improvements, pets or gear. This ultimately results in not much raiding going on apart from the occasional inexperienced character who gets ruthlessly hammered for a couple of days until they decide they are better off not rebuilding their camp. I don't think fountains are going to solve this problem. Fountains will give the higher level raiders something to do, but as you correctly point out it will just transform raiding into an almost exclusive PvE format. It won't save weaker characters from getting raided unless they use up all their raids against the fountain as soon as the log ticks over (or at least before the stronger characters log in).

However I do have some suggestions for improving raiding. Not that any of these suggestions will necessarily fix the root problem, but perhaps enough slow incremental change will eventual bring about a functional raiding environment.

My suggestions (in no particular order):

1. Treasure Chests (discussed in another post, so not worth repeating here)

2. Optional Auto-rebuild of campgrounds. An optional feature that players could turn on. This would allow a player too keep his campground maxed out in order to defend against successive raids. In case you are thinking this is what Rage is for, well not really. Rage helps, but the best way to hammer a camp is to raid it multiple times with multiple characters thus avoiding the punitive effects of Rage. Auto-rebuild would serve to address that issue and strengthen overall defense, but it needs to be a feature that can be turned off or on at will so that a player can choose to conserve his/her stockpile of improvements.

3. It would be nice if players can see who has Rage against them and thus make a more informed decision about who to raid.

4. Make low-level campground improvements available for purchase from the item shop. This would low level characters maintain their camps and keep raiding between those characters on a slightly more balanced basis. These items are not usually available in the market as they are snapped up at prices that low level characters usually cannot afford (guilty as charged!)

5. It would be nice if the campground screen showed the number of retaliation raids a character has remaining and vs. who. Currently only the total number of raids remaining is shown and the who can only be guessed at by looking at the target list. Not really an issue if you were only raided by one character, but if you were raided multiple times by different characters the only way to figure out who to retaliate against is to flip back and forth to the message screen (and then dig for the message amidst dozens of other messages).

6. Show power levels in the target list. This is a double edged sword as it shows who the weak characters (prey) are as well as who the strong characters are (predators). But this will allow weak characters to avoid inadvertently picking a fight with much stronger characters. Level alone is not a good guide to how weak or strong a character is.

7. Wounded pets. There needs to be more consequences for the attacker, currently the worst that can happen is you drop some nice gear (which can be costly to replace) and your target retaliates. However, seeing as pets are a key part of your power level (and thus your strength on attack and defense), they should also be at risk. Thus the possibility that they might be wounded in an attack or possibly even on the defense. The highest probability of a wound should occur in a failed attack, followed by a successful attack, then failed defense, and finally successful defense. The pet to be wounded should probably be the highest level pets or selected randomly if all pets are the same level. A wounded pet would be unavailable to the character for X number of days and thus could not come along on an adventure or contribute to the power level of a character until it heals. I though about killing pets, but that seems cruel!, plus it is easier and faster to replace most pets than if they are out of action for X number of days (where X probably ought to be a number between 3 and 7).

My 2 cents!

Rick
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Well that's exactly what I would do (raid only the fountains).


Not if there are no high level campground fountains [/quote]

The root problem is that raid participation is very low at all levels. Raiding characters are either too weak or too strong. A character can max out the campground at level 31 and can have all but one pet by level 25. This means that mid level characters (between level 20-25) that know all the tricks can be practically unbeatable. Any character can max out his raiding power (through pets, improvements, & gear) by level 40.[/quote]

Well, first off, level the playing field.

There are no indications as to what the campground improvements are. And no indication as to what the pets are. Some of them are really, really odd.

Seriously, would you think that a flashlight or a bedsheet can turn into pets?

Would you think that a petrified raindrop is a campground improvement?

It sounds like people who are not yet up to level 25-ish need encouragement to participate, and once you are at level 40 there is no need to artificially encourage you (because you are expected to be maxed out).

Maybe all campground improvement drop rates need to be increased.
Maybe the "destruction" rate needs to go down.
I like the "auto repair" feature, combined with "stealing improvements".


Quote:
This ultimately results in not much raiding going on apart from the occasional inexperienced character who gets ruthlessly hammered for a couple of days until they decide they are better off not rebuilding their camp.


Which is what I did -- as well as staying away for several months while I just let my campground be totally turned off. That's not a good solution.

Maybe have a way to "clean up" your campground -- remove improvements, and become a power zero, non-raidable?

Quote:
I don't think fountains are going to solve this problem. Fountains will give the higher level raiders something to do, but as you correctly point out it will just transform raiding into an almost exclusive PvE format.

So have no fountains that a high level can hit.
Quote:
It won't save weaker characters from getting raided unless they use up all their raids against the fountain as soon as the log ticks over (or at least before the stronger characters log in).

And here is a flaw in the raid design. If you hit me, you restrict my attacks. That needs to go away -- who I can hit has no dependence on who hit me.

Quote:
My suggestions (in no particular order):

1. Treasure Chests (discussed in another post, so not worth repeating here)

What would this do? What does Opulence (putting stuff in chests) do?

Quote:
2. Optional Auto-rebuild of campgrounds. An optional feature that players could turn on.

++ ++

How about a better indication of what pets and campground items do?

===
If player level has no effect on defense, and all that matters is campground strength (improvements + pets) on defense vs. player + pet level on offense, then that is what needs to be balanced on the choice of who you can attack. Not player level, but improvements and pets.
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Rick
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keybounce wrote:
Well, first off, level the playing field.

There are no indications as to what the campground improvements are. And no indication as to what the pets are. Some of them are really, really odd.

Seriously, would you think that a flashlight or a bedsheet can turn into pets?

Would you think that a petrified raindrop is a campground improvement?


The only factors that have an impact on raid power are the number & level of your pets, the improvements you place in your campground, and the gear that you are wearing. This means that characters of a similar level are already pretty much equal in power and as you can only raid within three levels of your own level the playing field is theoretically equal.

It seems that the inequality that you perceive is based on not knowing what the pets and improvements are. True, if you don't have this knowledge you are at a disadvantage, but discovering this knowledge is part of the fun of Game! The only solution to the problem you have defined is to tell all the players what the pets and improvements are and how to get or make them. In opinion that takes some of the fun out of playing, but I realize that not everyone may share that opinion.

keybounce wrote:
It sounds like people who are not yet up to level 25-ish need encouragement to participate, and once you are at level 40 there is no need to artificially encourage you (because you are expected to be maxed out).


My point is that all players, of all levels, need encouragement to participate. There is no raiding at higher levels either, even among the players that are "maxed out"

keybounce wrote:
Maybe have a way to "clean up" your campground -- remove improvements, and become a power zero, non-raidable?


This is a good idea.

keybounce wrote:
And here is a flaw in the raid design. If you hit me, you restrict my attacks. That needs to go away -- who I can hit has no dependence on who hit me.


This issue has also been discussed in the other raiding thread. The idea is that by splitting capability between offensive and defensive raids you are free to use your offensive raids against whomever you choose, either for retaliation or against someone else


keybounce wrote:
How about a better indication of what pets and campground items do?


Figuring that out is part of the fun, though there are plenty of spoilers here in the forums.

keybounce wrote:
If player level has no effect on defense, and all that matters is campground strength (improvements + pets) on defense vs. player + pet level on offense, then that is what needs to be balanced on the choice of who you can attack. Not player level, but improvements and pets.


Your power level is determined by the improvements you have (some are way better than others), the number (& level) of your pets, and the equipment you are wearing. The same power level is used for attack & defense (Mad Merlin: correct me if I'm wrong!)

So I see what you are saying, instead of restricting raids by level, you think they should be restricted by a characters power? That is you can raid or be raided by any character that is close to your power level. That would definitely balance raids, but would probably restrict the pool of available targets even more that it already is and is not without its own set of attendant problems. I'm also not sure that this solves the problem of increasing participation, as lack of participation is due to a lot more than just lack of balance. However, this is nonetheless an interesting idea.
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keybounce
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
It seems that the inequality that you perceive is based on not knowing what the pets and improvements are. True, if you don't have this knowledge you are at a disadvantage, but discovering this knowledge is part of the fun of Game! The only solution to the problem you have defined is to tell all the players what the pets and improvements are and how to get or make them. In opinion that takes some of the fun out of playing, but I realize that not everyone may share that opinion.


There could be "Pet Owners Handbooks" or "Better [s]h[/s]gnomes and gardens", just like there are "Statistic Textbooks" or "Cookbooks".

Quote:
My point is that all players, of all levels, need encouragement to participate. There is no raiding at higher levels either, even among the players that are "maxed out"

Hmm.... So the high-end need a reason to attack. Ok, so a deposit only chest "I'm bribing you to attack me", with some benefit in response.

Quote:
This issue has also been discussed in the other raiding thread. The idea is that by splitting capability between offensive and defensive raids you are free to use your offensive raids against whomever you choose, either for retaliation or against someone else

That would be nice. Maybe retaliation raids are "freebies"?
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Mad Merlin
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This discussion actually spilled over into IRC (#game! on irc.freenode.net), but I'll summarize my thoughts here as well, as several new ideas came up (and not everyone was there).

Basically, it's been said in a lot of different ways, but the core problem is that there's very limited incentive for anyone to participate in raiding, particularly if they're not already 100% twinked out on gear.

One vague idea I've had rolling around in the back of my head for awhile now and which keybounce brought to the foreground once again is to have stealing from other's campgrounds be possible, particularly from treasure chests. On it's own, that idea doesn't really address the core problem. However, if you consider the possibility of having some items available which are only available through campground theft (they need not be made tradable either), all of the sudden there's a big incentive for even pure PvE players to participate in PvP. I'll elaborate, just in case that doesn't make any sense...

So let's say everyone gets a treasure chest at their campground, putting valuable things in your treasure chest increases your power and/or opulence, thus enhancing your raiding ability. It's important to note at this point that you cannot take items out of your treasure chest... After all, that wouldn't be very opulent or powerful, now would it? Due to this fact, you can just represent the treasure chest with a numeric value, and items stolen out of it need not be the specific items that were put in (indeed, the more interesting case is where you get something different than what was put in). To be honest, I've always pictured this as more of a melting pot than a treasure chest. Anyways, so on a successful raid, you can potentially steal from the victim's treasure chest, and what you steal from it could easily be an item that cannot be found elsewhere, for example, a Stolen Stick. The possibilities for new items hopefully don't need to be repeated here, but consider the fact that the Stolen Stick could provide a new campground improvement or it could out-Stick Sticks.

I believe this at least partially addresses the core issue as it can provide major incentive to pure PvP players and PvE players alike. In particular, it would make it impossible to wait until you're 100% twinked out on gear before you start raiding (some raiding items are only available from raiding). In fact, the longer you waited to start raiding, the further behind you could end up, as you'd be missing more and more items that are only available via raiding. As for PvE players, if you really wanted the best gear, you'd have to go raiding for it.

Before moving on, I'll point out that having the potential to steal campground improvements instead of just flat out destroying them is also a great idea, but largely amounts to gravy on top of the treasure chest idea.

For displaying an enemy's power and rage towards you, I think these would best be done "out of band". More specifically, I think the information should be less than 100% reliable and cost gold to obtain, something like sending spies to the victim's campground. Such a service could be provided via a new Shop in Town. However, if treasure chests were added, at least an approximation of their value would be quite reasonable to always show.

Now that you mention it, the number of retaliation raids available would be a good thing to show. They could even get grouped in with your rage display, as you would often have rage towards them.

Also, I like the idea of pet wounding (I hope PETA isn't reading this). Taking a pet out of action for several days could actually be a fairly serious blow to a character (particularly if it's their primary adventuring pet), and one that only heals with time.

Adding a couple lower level campground improvements to the Item Shop is probably also a good idea, it at least gives everyone a baseline to start with.

Opulence controls the number of raids you get per day, while power controls your raiding... power.

I think the matter of knowledge inequality is a pretty moot point, everyone starts off knowing nothing, and gaining that knowledge is part of the fun. Additionally, the cost for experimenting to find campground improvements and pets is pretty low, especially compared to combining and cooking. The number of possibilities to try is much smaller, and the potential for disaster is substantially lower.

Retaliation raids are already "freebies", you're guaranteed one retaliation raid in response to every offensive raid, but you have to use it before the end of the day.

I may have said this in the other raiding thread already, but splitting raids into offensive and defensive does actually make some good sense. The main purpose of the current system's latest overhaul is to limit the number of times a single person can be raided in a single day (and to guarantee the retaliation raids). It probably makes more sense to have a system where if you have 5 raids a day, you can take 5 offensive raids per day (and be retaliated against 5 times), then be attacked 5 times (and have 5 chances for retaliation), for a total of 20 raids participated in. Oddly enough, the case that makes more sense is more difficult to explain.

I know that's a lot to digest and it probably would have been easier if everything was quoted nicely, but I ended up replying to several posts all at the same time, and some things just don't quote as nicely as others.
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