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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Flari-Merchant
Bob,
How difficult would it be to turn "Bag of Holding" into an actual object/container that holds things so it could be traded and or banked with items within? Rather than just an encumbrance bonus.
We actually worked up some rough time estimates for that back when we first got the Bag of Holding working. It's not a ludicrous amount of work, but it's all code work and probably more than we could do any time soon.
Bob
Azure_Zero
I can come up with some ideas (in fact I have a few that were posted up) and most would be re-using code and stuff that is in the game or Has been in the game at one point in time and only need minor tweaks here and there to be put in.

This is a good thread for both bringing up new ideas and revisiting previous ones in an organized way. Probably best to focus on one idea per post to keep the discussion readable, though I'll just try to break my responses up into separate posts whenever the muse compels anyone to write up multiple ideas at once.

Probably also best to keep the initial idea posts fairly short, since it's likely that many will turn out to be harder to implement than they seem and thus beyond the scope of anything we can tackle until the cloud and Unity upgrades are complete. Even relatively minor code changes take a while to figure out and get working, in part because we're building on top of a very large code base originally created by a much larger team. Lots of twists and turns in the code that need to be sorted through to make sure each change is safe. Always worth asking about, just better not to write a full design doc only to find out the core idea isn't technically feasible.
Bob
As discussed on another thread, we're looking to focus some of our attention on improvements that making the gameplay more fun, but need to do so in ways that involve virtually no code (maybe just a tiny bit, once in a great while) until we finish up the cloud and Unity upgrades. Things like the Home Sweet Home Event are completely based on content additions and GM-adjudication, so that's one area to consider. It's also surprising what kinds of changes can be made by just tweaking some numbers.

I know it's not always obvious what requires code and what doesn't, often even I have to a little research before I can be sure a content-based change is possible. And sometimes a fix that at first glance requires code can lead to a smaller fix that only requires content. Throw out your suggestions and let's see if we can find a way to make some of them happen. I'll throw some of my own in here along the way.
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
Also personally I do wonder if we are letting the perfect get in the way of the good on this.

Make as robust a system as you can but it wont ever be completely foolproof.
Very true. We just don't want to introduce a system that's as easily bypassed as the original implementation of Max Influence was, though I should point out that it wasn't quite as broken before we introduced Free Trials.

Paddy Fitzpatrick
On a different note I do think streamlining some of the day to day tasks and just small quality of.life improvements can be a good start for the existing playerbase. Just little things like that can go a long way in player retention.
One of the other things I'm working on is revising the Roadmap to reflect what we're likely to be able to achieve while Cole is focused on the cloud and Unity upgrades. I'll try to include what changes I can along these lines, but a lot of the ideas we've had along these lines either require too much code for now, at least in the variations we've considered so far. May be able to find simpler solutions that we could do one or two of, or perhaps ways to achieve partial improvements through content-only changes.
Bob
Paddy Fitzpatrick
It would not be virtually identical if I may be straight with you, because when tracking influence generation you can also track influence spending. If a company is spending influence on say feuds it is certainly an active company.
Good point, influence spending is a form of activity. I think it could actually be incorporated into either variant, either by increasing Max Influence by the same amount that gets returned whenever influence gets unbanked, or recording it in the influence history so that the calculation is based on both influence generation and spending.
Bob
Kenton Stone
I really didn't want to have to wade in on this but it is significant enough to warrant my input.
Thanks for wading in, always appreciated. Now that I have time for more than a flippant remark, I'll join you in the not-yet-implemented water, with apologies for cutting back on the many excellent points in the name of brevity:

Kenton Stone
His initial value of (.5/holding)/day was a doctor saying I am going to test your reflexes and then pulling out a sledge hammer and taking aim at your knee cap. My reflex is to freak out, jump off the table, grab a large object and pummel you to death with it.
That is effectively what happened, I actually feel sorry for Bob if he had suggested a .14 loss per day I don’t think the reaction would have been nearly so severe.
Agreed, my bad. Should have crunched the numbers a bit more before writing up the original post.

Kenton Stone
Why would a new company need an influence buffer? They couldn't have any holdings so no daily loss.
True, they don't really need it, but it will be nice to have the buffer when the first holding is placed. Also, it's there for a purely technical reason, to keep the code for "set the initial Max Influence value" the same whether it's being set for a new company or an existing company that hasn't had the value set yet (or, worst case, forgot it somehow).

Kenton Stone
As stated most hexes have been claimed with the exception of the ring of hexes around Fort Inevitable that Bob has never gotten around to adding pads for holdings and outposts.smile
Thankfully, this is now higher on my list of things to tackle since I'm largely restricted to content fixes. It's probably not feasible for me to give those hexes permanent holding locations, nicely centered and always close to the roads, but I believe I can convert the most promising 30m encounter site in each of those hexes to a holding spot. Those hexes don't have as many 30m spots as other hexes, so it's not ideal, but it will work for now, and won't be that big of a problem until escalations can spread. When we get a chance to do a more permanent fix, holdings should just magically move to the final holding location.

Kenton Stone
For the Love of GOD Bob, make this game more fun to play, give people a reason to log in every day and play, not just check queues.
My options are a bit limited for now, but content changes can be surprisingly effective. The Home Sweet Home Event, for example, is entirely built on content additions and GM-adjudication. Had a lot of takers on Choose Your Own Escalation as well. I'm working on more ideas, and will start another Crowdforging thread for suggestions/discussion.

Kenton Stone
For my last slightly off topic point, Give me a way to reassign a Hex(Holdings and Outposts and influence intact) to another company so distribution of Hexes among companies can be achieved, Make them a marketable commodity. Right now the cost to move a hex to a new company is Hideous and therefore almost never happens.
This is absolutely something we want to do. It's a bit tricky to code, because we'd need to link up requests from company leaders of both the current owner and the desired owner, then unbank the influence in the first company and re-bank the influence in the second company while switching ownership of the holding and any connected outposts. Or maybe we'd just transfer the banked influence, though that does feel a bit fictionally weird. For now, maybe we can justify treating this as a GM-adjudicated thing, with a more minimal cost involved, as long as its use was relatively limited.
Bob
Flari-Merchant
A flawed direction, in my humble opinion, is staying the course to keep on looking for small fixes to the large conglomerate mechanism to try and make it work right. At least while the population is so low that it really can't work well at all in a fun way.

While you have such a small population, it should just be shut off. Everything but the most essential functions, if there really are any.

Fair point, it's often tempting to make things "more interesting" when the better solution is to make them simpler. We've occasionally considered pulling back on some mechanics (perhaps not as often as we should have), but usually get nervous because it feels like we're removing a load-bearing mechanic. I'll think on some of the options for simplifying, see what the likely complications would be.
Bob
Kenton Stone
Submit to the might of my Empire or you will be Obliterated.smile Happy Father's Day
You make a very compelling argument. smile
Bob
Flari-Merchant
Seems to me that all of these issues stem back to how complex the entire system has gotten coupled with how easy it is to create "imaginary" bodies to fill an unlimited number of Charter Companies.

Again, all about unchecked "creation of resources". Imaginary Characters are another "resource" that is easy to create. Once set up, it is quite easy to set them up generating real usable resource types in the game. Without any real checks on this natural evolution of behavior.

That is where your real problems are and until that is addressed nothing will work right or balance whether real populations are large or small.

The funny thing is that our workaround for that issue was to temporarily acknowledge the system was too easy to bypass. The planned fix was to only count Active (paid) characters, but since that was too complicated to get into at the time, we instead just set everyone's Max to 1,000,000 so nobody had to bother creating a bunch of Free Trial characters just to get around the system. We could bring back the original version of Max Influence, with an Active character restriction, and rebalance the numbers a bit to fit our current population, but that system is also pretty unforgiving. One or two members of your company go Inactive, or switch to another company to help out with a feud and forget to switch back, and suddenly your holdings and outposts are shutting down. There are solutions to that, like adding in a delay, and to most other issues with it, but each solution makes the overall task more difficult. On top of all that, we just weren't real happy that the system was based on Active status rather than some sense of Playing Actively. Since influence generation was always intended as our measure of in-game activity, and is also now only earned by Active characters, that's where we looked first for a solution.
Bob
Azure_Zero
As currently settlements can have infinite holdings, what if instead you capped the number of holdings a settlement can have?
In a way, we already have one soft cap on the number of holdings in any given settlement, in the form of decreasing DI from each additional holding. Beyond the holdings needed to provide a settlement's required DI, it's far better to transfer a holding to another settlement, at least in DI terms.

A harder cap, perhaps set at a very high number, could potentially add another hurdle to expansion, requiring that alliances grab another settlement whenever their limit for their current settlements is reached. Actually grabbing another settlement is a fairly big deal, and even just keeping a minimal settlement active involves a certain amount of effort, so that could provide some of the disincentives we're looking for.

As Kenton points out, holdings are really owned by companies, and there are definitely some issues with making a cap work. From an implementation standpoint, we'd have to block member-companies from placing new holdings if the settlement is at the cap, and block new companies from joining if they'd put the settlement over the cap. We generally lean toward mechanics that make each additional member less valuable rather than just completely blocking them, but at times hard caps are necessary.

All that said, this does make me wonder if there's some solution that's more about adding incentives for matching the number of holdings a settlement has to that settlement's needs. Just spitballing here, but if we gave some kind of bonus for having X-or-less holdings for any given Banked DI, settlements would have a meaningful incentive to build up their structures somewhat in line with their territorial expansion, and to shift their expansion to another settlement whenever they could no longer take advantage of that bonus. Of course, they'd still get the extra bulk resource output, but a good enough incentive would make that only worthwhile if the settlement could truly take advantage of it. Gonna put some more thought into that, try to turn it into a cohesive idea and make sure it doesn't create more problems than it fixes. For example, this may just overly increase the incentives to attack other settlements, but there are probably ways around that. And, of course, I have no idea how difficult anything along these lines would be to implement once this was fully thought through, have to wait until it's developed enough to get an accurate estimate.