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#1 2014-01-16 18:39:25

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Motivation

As a non-psychotic player, who doesn't get a kick out of butchering families or leaving them destitute, my motivation when playing this game is to protect my family from the psychotic players I know are out there. I always understood this as the intended motivation.

Since salary was removed, there seems to be a simple winning strategy for this: put your vault by the door, and spend all of your initial $2000 on basic family defence. Optionally, although it doesn't seem necessary, take the odd $1000 from neglected starting houses and spend it all on further improving those defences. Make sure that there are no tricky traps which might kill a newbie - you don't want to get any bounty!

Now your only worry is that someone truly psychotic will bring in a load of tools to your $0 house just to kill your family. But it looks like there aren't any of those at the moment (and yes, I know writing this has probably condemned my family to death at the hands of someone perverse enough to want to prove me wrong on that...).

I'm not sure how best to solve this. One way or another, staying at $0 should be disallowed or punished, rather than strongly encouraged as it seems to be now.

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#2 2014-01-17 06:24:28

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

Re: Motivation

I think most people who want to kill the wife are looking for the money, quite simply put, i will club the mans wife as a way to show him, "he should have protected her".  Yes that sounds horrible, but maybe on his next playthrough he will keep her alive better.  As for me, i always protect the family and something as simple as a dog and a shotgun makes your wife quite safe.  They would need to purchase 2 guns to get to her, if using a single dog and her shotgun.  Thats a whopping $2400 and not even worth going after her for if she only has like 500 bucks on her.  If you have more then that, then im not sure why you wouldnt have more defending her, as the price will continue up for every dog you place, and guns arent cheap ya know.

Even if they used a drug meat to counter your dog, placing the dog directly in the path to your family alleviates them even reaching them, so a dog is a great wife survival tool.

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#3 2014-01-17 06:41:06

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: Motivation

I may be wrong, Zed, but I think folks with your motivations are in the minority. Most want to climb the ladder and become neighbourhood kingpin, right? That means getting as rich as possible, setting yourself up as a target in the process.

What do y'all think?

I do agree that there should be some device to discourage players from playing down to $0 and essentially removing their content from all but the most curious/bored robbers.

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#4 2014-01-17 09:13:13

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

Re: Motivation

Hmm... Well, salary was removed to discourage "scary house turtling" strategies.  But you have discovered a different kind of turtling strategy.

So far, I don't think it has become a rampant strategy, so I think it's okay.

And thematically, the "take whatever you want, just leave my family alone" message of a vault by the door is pretty awesome.

I think it's okay to have a mix of players who are playing the game in different ways and have different goals, as long as one style doesn't end up swamping the rest and making the game less interesting overall.

One theme in the game is something like, "Everyone is vulnerable, and no amount of security spending will really protect you in the end."  Does your strategy contradict this theme?  Essentially, you are observing that if you are poor as dirt in a world of the wealthy, you are less of a target.  I think this is thematically accurate.  The wealthy become more and more paranoid, while you can sleep soundly at night with your door unlocked.  Mahan, at the top of the list now, has been visited by over 200 robbers.  That's certainly not "the good life."

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#5 2014-01-17 13:48:04

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

Re: Motivation

One interesting thing to solve this would be to have a cost of living - not for your family, but for you (maybe call it rent?).  Let's say 100 is deducted from your account every day.  If you don't have that money, random bits of your house are sold.  This would force you to have at least some money (which would give an incentive to rob you), or else your defense is going to start to develop holes, endangering your family.


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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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#6 2014-01-17 14:47:36

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Motivation

iceman wrote:

One interesting thing to solve this would be to have a cost of living - not for your family, but for you (maybe call it rent?).  Let's say 100 is deducted from your account every day.  If you don't have that money, random bits of your house are sold.  This would force you to have at least some money (which would give an incentive to rob you), or else your defense is going to start to develop holes, endangering your family.

This would most likely just make it incredibly frustrating when you have no cash and can't get people to rob you.

Also the random disappearing idea seems really off, and allow for 0-time-robbery houses.

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#7 2014-01-17 16:29:13

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

Re: Motivation

An alternative would be that, if you run out of money to pay, then the next time you log on you're given a certain amount of time (say, 1 hour) to get the money, or else you're evicted/executed (or maybe houses that can't pay are simply removed from the list).  Of course, it would be frustrating if you popped in for a minute to check on your house and you don't have time to rob someone, and I'm not sure this issue of motivation needs to be addressed at all.

On the idea of taking money away, I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I feel like taking away (if it's $100 an hour) about $2000 from the entire game an hour isn't going to be good (that's an understatement...), so if there does end up being this mechanic, it would probably be less.  That said, I do like the urgency it gives the game; you're constantly forced to rob or kill robbers, or else you're going to end up losing.  It also means you either need to have a REALLY tricky house or need to rob often to stay at the top of the list; simply turtling behind a combo lock isn't going to cut it.

On a side, it's really weird suggesting non-minor changes to the game when it's a few weeks from release...


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 18:27:02

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

Re: Motivation

This is a funny idea!  Like Oregon Trail.

"Jeb is starving, and Ezekiel died of dysentery.  RIP"

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza.  Well fix it, dear Henry.

The problem is that there's already a huge drain on money in the game (people spend stuff on tools, and then it gets eaten when the tools are used, and parts of houses are destroyed, and then some rich guy dies and takes his fortune to the grave).  So, I'd be very wary about adding another drain (I'd have to pump up bounties to compensate).

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#9 2014-01-19 18:14:13

zed
Member
Registered: 2013-04-16
Posts: 161

Re: Motivation

Jason:
> Essentially, you are observing that if you are poor as dirt in a world of the
> wealthy, you are less of a target.

"The only way to win is not to play", eh?

I do worry that this leads to some thematic dissonance. Since players *do*
want to play, the game discourages them from assigning too much value to
family safety. It encourages them to instead primarily aim to maximise their
wealth, since that's the aim that leads to an interesting game.

Since keeping the family alive is helpful as a means to that end, this perhaps
isn't too much of a problem. It still seems odd though.

But I take the point that now isn't a good time to be making changes to the
fundaments of the game.

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#10 2014-01-20 10:16:58

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

Re: Motivation

Hmm... but protecting the family IS encouraged by the current mechanics of the game, even if players want to "do well" by climbing the wealth ladder.  I mean, it's not impossible to keep playing after they die, but a single robbery after that point will fully wipe you out.

So, you're saying that "to play longer, players should maximize wealth."  But for the same reason, they should keep the family alive to play longer with a given house (so they get a second chance after being hit once).

Perhaps you're saying that the whole thing has a dissonance as a game that players want to play, and want to do well at, even though there is no win condition and your hopes of finally becoming invulnerable are futile in the end. 

I'll point out that life itself has that very same dissonance, though.

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#11 2014-01-20 13:28:18

arakira
Member
Registered: 2013-12-01
Posts: 176

Re: Motivation

Concerning the family, I've noticed that many players want to get rid of them quickly, by putting them near the front door right from the start. I can see that their logic is to have only one thing to focus on protecting (the vault), and get more room to set traps (they can even put some trap on the very first tile so the robber has to commit right away with wire cutters or a ladder). I can understand their reasonning even if it is quite disturbing to enter a house where you feel that the wife and the kids are not taken care of. Personnaly, I put a lot of care to protect my wife (more than my vault) because if I get robbed, I still have some cash. However, I have been tempted more than once to give away my kids because, technically, they are just a burden. I often use this technique when I try to rob a wealthy house: locate the family, and kill family members one by one while making progress in the house. For example, I set a ladder, kill a kid, scout a bit further, leave the house and come again. The ladder is now permanent and further scouting is almost free. This is especially useful in complex/wealthy houses. So, if you want to better protect your expensive traps, you better be without kids (and you save 2 tiles). This discourages taking care of the kids, which I think is sad. But maybe I reason this way because I live with my girlfriend and we have no kids...

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#12 2014-01-20 17:39:00

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

Re: Motivation

Yes, I think the family is a liability if you're really trying to build an impenetrable death fortress.

This is okay, though.

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#13 2014-01-20 20:09:52

nathan
Member
From: A ditch somewhere
Registered: 2013-06-15
Posts: 61

Re: Motivation

It also isn't good, structurally. If you have a family, you have to devote space at the beginning of your trap to the family, which makes your walls thinner since you have to put them somewhere. If your family is killed, you have nothing to stop you from putting a chihuahua powered trapdoor at the beginning of your house that stops all of the unsuccessful people from even trying your house. Of course, my trap requires walking over the corpses of my son and wife (my daughter is still alive) because I'm just a sick person like that.


"I just robbed Mr. Rogers." -Ludicrosity "The wood is my desk, and I'm knocking it with my head." -Blip
"I'd rather pack 25 meats than 1 crowbar if you know what I mean..." -Jabloko
"This is one of the most disturbed things I have seen in quite a while. I blame global warming." -bey bey
"that seems like more resources than I'm willing to put into having my kids killed." -cbenny

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