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#1 2014-01-16 17:57:29

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Too many impossible houses.

I brought this game today thinking it looked pretty cool however it seems most people have impossible to complete houses. I think this needs looked at, otherwise how can a new player ever make money at all?
According to the FAQ:

As an example of what I mean I walk into a house and I am instantly faced with a dog 3 spaces away. The other direction is a switches and electric floor traps
Option 1 - walk up and get eaten by dog.
Option 2 - walk south over an unpowered trap then onto a sticky switch which powers on the trap so you can now no longer leave.
Option 3 - leave.

Another house you walk into and can go north where you face a dog or south along a heap of unpowered electric floor traps. Choosing not to be eaten by the dog you walk south down the corridor of traps. Halfway along they turn on and kill you.

Another house is walk north into a dog or south through a series of doors with a dog behind the last one.

I could just start listing all the impossible houses but unfortunately there are A LOT.

As a new player I think this really needs to be looked into. All of the above examples are impossible to complete with a self test.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#2 2014-01-16 18:07:35

Bronxsta
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 3

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Got the game today myself. From what I've read, if someone robbed or attempted to rob a house before you enter, it doesn't reset. So while the house is not initially impossible, you're basically walking into someone else's mess. It's up to you to deduce this and decide whether to continue or back out.

Last edited by Bronxsta (2014-01-16 18:07:57)

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#3 2014-01-16 19:59:28

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Yea what I did was exactly that until I got killed by an impossible house that looked doable. Then I just started testing to see and most of the houses are impossible. It seems that if you want to be top of the table then you need to have your family killed for a start. Once you have had that happen you are set to never play the game again and just rack up value till you hit top of the table.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#4 2014-01-17 00:50:52

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: Too many impossible houses.

There are very few impossible houses on the list at the moment (if any) though most of the top ones would be very hard to break if not pretty much impossible without tools.

"Another house is walk north into a dog or south through a series of doors with a dog behind the last one."

This sounds like my house and I can guarantee you that it can be completed without any tools. Tip: the dog that eats you if you walk through the doors is the one you see at the start.

Right now is a good time for robbing actually, you'll just need to bring some tools along. I've been making a few bucks, even with some of the "top" houses.

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#5 2014-01-17 06:07:35

Antiblitz
Member
Registered: 2013-12-31
Posts: 32

Re: Too many impossible houses.

how could they be impossible for a self test if they are on the list?  Quite clearly they themselves had to complete the test.

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#6 2014-01-17 09:03:08

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Too many impossible houses.

You remain on the list after you've been robbed if you still have some money left in your house.

This means that:

A) Your wife is still alive.

or

B) Your vault has not been reached yet.

In either case, damage could have been done by the last successful robber that renders the house truly impossible without tools.  However, that state, if preserved by the owner, effectively prevents the owner from playing the game (they can't buy paintings, buy more tools, or anything, until they fix up their house and redo their self-test).

The game works this way because it's important to preserve consistency across robberies.  I want the owner to come home and find the damage left by a successful robber, which means the damage has to be saved.  On the other hand, value can be left in a house after it is robbed (in the form of money, tools, or paintings), so I don't want it trapped there if the owner happens to never return, which means the house has to stay on the list until all value is gone.  Finally, it allows each house to serve as two separate "challenges" for the community.  First, the challenge where it is possible to beat without tools, and then a second, harder, more uncertain challenge.

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#7 2014-01-17 11:14:37

iceman
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 687
Website

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Although it's true that a house can be broken, I'm pretty sure that all of the houses that you mentioned are (technically) possible to complete without tools.  The thing is, in PRACTICE, they're impossible unless you're extremely lucky or have been trying every combination of switches for a month (which the owner will notice, and can switch the solution).

I'll go through the houses you mentioned (and a few more) just to give an idea of how you could solve them. I'm guessing, of course, since they're not my houses, but the difficulty in these types of houses (combo houses, where you have to do a specific series of actions, such as step on switches 1,3,4, and 7, or go uuddudddud) isn't HOW to solve them, it's which of the many (many) combos is correct.

First one you mentioned
The sticky button and electric grid at the beginning is called a "commit gate", because houses use these to force you to commit to a decision (in this case robbing the house at all).  This forces you to either bring water to disable the grid, or rely completely on luck/scouting to solve the house on that try.  Since most of the time you can't even see what kind of house is behind the trap, it's best to bring water at least once to get an idea of what's behind it, or just suicide scout it to have info for your next life.

Line of electric floors (Mendez)
This is a classic case of a "magic dance" house, a type of combo house.  Basically, the dog that you see at the beginning is following you and pressing buttons behind the wall.  If he presses the wrong set of buttons, *ZAP*.  This can give you an idea of what could be behind the walls:
http://castledraft.com/editor/k5Y0vd
If you go straight down, the dog will press the switch, turn on the trapdoor to let him pass, then turn on the line of grids.  The solution would be to walk down until you reach the metal wall (so the dog presses his button once), walk up, then walk down again.  Since the switch is already on, the dog will turn it off, and in the next step fall into the pit, and he never triggers the death trap.

Series of doors (Elias)
Same case as before- since the dog follows you, if he doesn't press buttons the correct way, he'll make it to the bottom of the map and will be waiting for you at the last door (just like Hobbes!).

Burgess
This is your traditional combo lock house - some type of commit gate at the beginning, then a giant combo lock to get past the next trap.  Here's how it works:
http://castledraft.com/editor/MPGoo2
All of the wooden walls in this case are wired, so electricity passes through them.  In case you don't understand what's happening, when you press the final switch, the pit behind you will ALWAYS turn on.  However, if you've entered the right combo (in this case, #4), pressing the last switch will also cut power to the powered door, opening it.

Mahan
The current top house starts out with a more complicated commit gate, where the dog powers on the grid and trapdoor just as you step onto the trapdoor.  Then, there's a series of commit gates going down and doors to your right - behind each door is a cat.  Once the cat sees you , he runs away and presses a button.  This is similar to the combo lock house, but is a bit harder to break through with tools (because you'd have to pass through pits/concrete instead of wired walls).  Also, it could have an aspect of magic dance: since the cats run away from you, you could drive them up or down a tunnel based on where you are.  Here's an example:
http://castledraft.com/editor/b2iQYq
If the button at the end is powered when you press it, you're dead.  The cats behind doors 2 and 3 will press buttons that power the bottom trap, so if you open either of those, you can't reach the vault (and will die if you try).  However, if the first cat doesn't press his button, the electricity to the trap won't be cut off.  To get the cat to press that button (and solve the house), you have to open the door and move up (which is a bit counter intuitive) for a few steps, until the cat reaches the junction and goes down to run away from you.
(As I was trying to Survive, I found a house with 7 doors; 7 doors with 7 pits; 7 pits and 7 cats, 7 cats and 7 buttons; how many are going to Survive?)
Sorry, I couldn't help myself...


Hopefully, this helps you understand how these houses are possible.  If you know what's behind 5 walls/pits the house is trivial (although there are some that you can look at the whole map and still not have a clue).  However, since they are, in practice, impossible to solve without tools, they're both not fun to rob and extremely effective (hence why the 4 houses I've named are the top 4 houses).  Jason has done his best to remove them entirely; however, it's proven to be impossible.  Just look at the 4 houses: each one has a completely different way to make a combo house. To remove the combos from them, you'd have to remove cats, dogs, wired walls, pits, buttons, and doors.  The rest of us would be left with practically nothing to build an interesting house with, and someone would STILL find a way to make some sort of combo house (Jason often gives the example of a maze where every wrong option kills you somehow, leaving only 1 correct choice/path out of many).

So, how do you deal with those types of houses?  The best way is simply to ignore them - once you realize a house is a well protected combo house, just leave.  Sure, they'll be at the top of the board, but if nobody tries them they'll stop getting money.  Eventually, someone else (maybe you) will make a lot of money, buy 50 saws, and just tunnel through the entire thing to solve it (I have walked though the aftermath of a house like this, and I am not exaggerating).  Instead, focus on the less expensive houses.  They generally don't have enough money to build an effective combo house, so they do something like a maze which is MUCH more fun to rob.


Fortress Theory Mod - New objects, tools, and paintings!

I keep dying of a natural cause - Stupidity
The biggest thing that Castle Doctrine has taught me is that the price of your house is proportional to the stupidity of the mistake that kills you.

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#8 2014-01-17 13:19:30

DethBringa
Member
Registered: 2014-01-16
Posts: 160

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Well I suppose I should re-word what I mean exactly.
The houses are all possible with enough tools. But are impossible to do a self test on. Most of them also have no family so that makes it even easier.

The whole point I was making that was answered (and I kinda was half noob whining) by Jason. The houses seem to be broken and are left that way intentionally. This way you cant complete them with a self test and are impossible without a large number of tools. I'm not sure how they are set up to begin with as without being able to self test to start off. When you have 2 options death to the north or death to the south you cant complete them without tools. Although in saying that, with tools any house can be beaten.

As an after note....
WELL WORTH THE $ I PAID FOR THE GAME!!!!
Brilliant idea and perma-death although extremely harsh and painful is the whole point. Kinda like FTL. Keep up the awesome work Jason. I'm already telling my friends to look at this game.


If I vanish it's not due to a burglar shooting me as well as my wife while making his way to the vault....
I'm just a burst player.
tongue

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#9 2014-01-17 13:37:23

iceman
Member
Registered: 2013-11-09
Posts: 687
Website

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Actually, I have a very strong feeling that the houses you mentioned, and most of the top houses in general, are solvable without tools, even in their current state.  Looking at the top houses, I'm fairly sure none are broken right now.  The one's that SEEM impossible (say, dog above you and line of grids that turn on halfway down below you) actually have a "code" that lets you pass it safely that only the owner knows.


Fortress Theory Mod - New objects, tools, and paintings!

I keep dying of a natural cause - Stupidity
The biggest thing that Castle Doctrine has taught me is that the price of your house is proportional to the stupidity of the mistake that kills you.

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#10 2014-01-17 18:14:03

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Too many impossible houses.

Thanks DethBringa!  It means a lot.

To answer further, it is IMPOSSIBLE to submit a new house to the server without self-testing it.  Part of the house submission is your proof that you can move to the vault without tools (a move list that does so), and the server checks this proof (and kills you if you fail to provide proper proof).

So, any house that is actually impossible must have been robbed at least once since the owner last touched it.

And, you know, some owners might not play for a day or two, meaning that their house can stay that way for a while.

But in terms of doing this as a STRATEGY, the game pretty much blocks you from doing anything else until you fix up your house.

Some people do build "one-time-robbable" houses, where there is a mechanism in the house that "breaks" on the way to the vault (like a dog falling in a pit).  So, after one robber does it, it becomes much harder for the next (and the owner can't do anything in the game until the owner fixes it).

And of course, EVERY house is possible with tools.

And people who have no family left lost them earlier in this current life, and then kept going, re-building a house without them.  Lonely souls, they are.

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