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#26 2013-06-08 11:05:54

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

jasonrohrer wrote:

Thought:  if your backpack is infinite, why would you ever leave anything in your vault?

this.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#27 2013-06-09 06:00:27

Telurides
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Registered: 2013-06-06
Posts: 2

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

It's really gratifying to get some real response to this post, especially from you, Jason. I half expected people to call me a whiner and tell me to get lost. Having said that, I'll leave it to you all to decide how to fix it. I'm too new to the game to give educated suggestions. I do think that the solution is out there, and I'll keep checking in.

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#28 2013-06-09 10:10:21

metaldev
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Registered: 2013-06-04
Posts: 22

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

It seems to me the problem is one of how can we keep houses from becoming ridiculously impenetrable aka non-fun.  This means that the choice for a home owner should not be how to make my house impenetrable,  but how to choose my vulnerability wisely.

One way might be to limit the complexity of the puzzles by limiting the power sources. 
For example:  suppose a power source can only power up to 4 electric floors,  or 2 doors etc.   Each electric device uses X power from the source.  If there is not enough power in a circuit, nothing in the circuit works. So even destroying 1 power source could wreak havoc on a very complex trap system.  This would probably tend to make traps simpler, and used in more judicious ways.  Especially if the power sources became more expensive.  (damn you destroyed my power source... destroying an entire trap system AND $500!!)
If this change made the traps too simple... you might even be able to restore the feature of not having blueprints.

EDIT: also finding a room full of power sources could be a boon to a robber, knowing they likely disabled everything if they water a couple of them....  and owners having rows and rows of electric floor and electric traps would just be cost-prohibitive.  Also,  power redundancy would be very expensive as well.

Last edited by metaldev (2013-06-09 10:33:22)

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#29 2013-06-09 12:49:26

DrNoid
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Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 56

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

The problem with idea is that most houses have the power sources inaccessible, or only have those power sources accessible that are needed to get through the security. That means that if you fry that power source you lock yourself out...

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#30 2013-06-10 09:04:10

largestherb
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From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

indeed, power sources are not always something you want to destroy... unless you have already planted a row of ladders and are just coming back to destroy!

one of my houses has a lot of wiring you can dance on, but you wouldn't want to cut all of those wires!

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#31 2013-06-10 12:09:19

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Okay, this infinite backpack idea is starting to gel a bit more in my mind.  (Obviously, all this assumes that blueprints would be removed from the game).

You want the robber to have to make agonizing tactical choices the whole way through the robbery process.  You want them to have oh no moments quite frequently, but strictly because of ill-advised choices, not through making some tiny mistake in the series of 100 tedious steps needed to solve a puzzle (that's not an "oh no" moment, that's a "dammit, this is ridiculous" moment).

Obviously, if the backpack is infinite, and there are no consequences for filling it, robbers are going to simply fill it with as many items as they can to cover all possible circumstances that they might encounter.  Forget scouting.  When you've got 100 saws and 100 torches and 100 explosive, etc., you can just mow your way right through everything.  Of course, these items are wasted in the process (using 32 torches when it's possible to get through the house with no torches), but I don't think that's enough of a motivation (since after all, they are *used*).  The point is, you don't have to think about what you might need when you can carry everything you could ever possibly need with you at all times.

But what about if the backpack itself was one-time-use only?  Like, you have to ditch it as you run out the door (when you chicken out), and you have to ditch it when you reach the vault (to carry the loot home).  So, if you bring 100 explosives with you and find no concrete walls, you lose them, and they're totally wasted.

So, you'd want to bring just enough of each item to get through the house, but nothing more than that.  Thus, you'd do some scouting with only a few items in your pack each time, trying to go deeper and deeper into the house to see what items are needed, looking for weak points that will let you save items on future scouting trips and on the final robbery.

Also, money for buying these tools will still be a tightly-limited resource.

In such a world, every house would go down eventually.  The question would be who can do it first and with the least wasted resources.  There would still be plenty of room for skill as a robber, but it would be tactical skill.  The kind of skill that we all fondly recall from the early days of v5.  On the house-design side, there would still be room for plenty of skill as well, crafting the right balance of obstacles to kill and slow robbers down in the scouting process for as long as possible (and also returning to the house to change things around).

Furthermore, the "one-time robbable" issue would vanish.  The over-protected family would vanish.

And then my job would be to balance the whole thing through cost-tweaking (so that every object and tool sees active use).  Which would be way better than what I'm doing now (banging my head against provably-unsolvable design problems, whacking the mole down in one spot to have it pop up bigger somewhere else).

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#32 2013-06-10 12:16:21

metaldev
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Registered: 2013-06-04
Posts: 22

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

DrNoid wrote:

The problem with idea is that most houses have the power sources inaccessible, or only have those power sources accessible that are needed to get through the security. That means that if you fry that power source you lock yourself out...

Sure,  but the point would be to limit complexity by adding a dependency for all circuits.  For example,  right now i can just put 2 or 3 power sources on opposite sides of my house behind big walls and the entire circuit is relatively safe.  What I suggest would push the home owners towards either 1) expensive redundancy or 2) simpler designs

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#33 2013-06-10 12:29:30

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Well, the problem is that there could still be an unforeseen "complexity leak" in there.  If there is some way to make a puzzle that is impossible, in practice, to solve (regardless of cost), then some players will figure out how to do it, eventually.  That idea will spread, and the game will break at that point.

We've come up with a bunch of little tweaks like this that seem at first to solve the problem (What if you only have ONE power supply?  What if there are no wires allowed through walls?  What if you have no voltage-controlled switches?  What if you have no animals?) and even huge tweaks (What if you can see a full map of the entire house?).

But the core problem is much deeper than that.  When people have any degree of freedom to design a "puzzle," and they also have the ability to force other people to solve it in only one possible way, you cross a threshold into a place where brute force (explore every possible solution) is the only viable way to solve such puzzles.  Obviously, those kinds of puzzles are not interesting to solve.

Ideas like limiting the potency of power supplies (a good idea!) chip away at the "design freedom" side of things, but I fear that no small chip will do it (the only solution would be to restrict house design so much that it would no longer be interesting). 

I'm now thinking about ways to reduce the other aspect (the ability for the owner to force you to solve the puzzle in their chosen way).

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#34 2013-06-10 12:37:56

metaldev
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Registered: 2013-06-04
Posts: 22

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

jasonrohrer wrote:

But what about if the backpack itself was one-time-use only?  Like, you have to ditch it as you run out the door (when you chicken out), and you have to ditch it when you reach the vault (to carry the loot home).  So, if you bring 100 explosives with you and find no concrete walls, you lose them, and they're totally wasted.

So, you'd want to bring just enough of each item to get through the house, but nothing more than that.  Thus, you'd do some scouting with only a few items in your pack each time, trying to go deeper and deeper into the house to see what items are needed, looking for weak points that will let you save items on future scouting trips and on the final robbery.

Also, money for buying these tools will still be a tightly-limited resource.

Well, I think this could really work,  because it won't be worth robbing a 10,000 house if you spend more than $5000 to do it.


jasonrohrer wrote:

Furthermore, the "one-time robbable" issue would vanish.  The over-protected family would vanish.

how so?  because of the infinite but disposed backpack idea?

jasonrohrer wrote:

Ideas like limiting the potency of power supplies (a good idea!) chip away at the "design freedom" side of things, but I fear that no small chip will do it (the only solution would be to restrict house design so much that it would no longer be interesting).
I'm now thinking about ways to reduce the other aspect (the ability for the owner to force you to solve the puzzle in their chosen way).

  I understand.  Honestly, I think what you suggest is one of those things you can't predict how it will play without actually putting it out there.  I'll help!  tongue

Last edited by metaldev (2013-06-10 12:39:49)

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#35 2013-06-10 12:44:20

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

And then my job would be to balance the whole thing through cost-tweaking (so that every object and tool sees active use).

Have you thought about a player driven economy? For example, the cost of of explosives goes up when either a) more people buy them or b) they get used a lot on successful robberies. The same could go for house tiles too.

That would add an interesting metagame and keep you out of the balancing business.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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#36 2013-06-10 13:06:44

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

A few thoughts on unlimited backpacks:

Firstly, I think that, if combined with a moratorium on blueprints, an expanded backpack could go a long way to balancing out the game and recapturing the 'spirit of v5'.

However, an unlimited backpack wouldn't be any help vs an 'L' shaped electric floor (triggered when you stand on it), as you could still place all the vital elements of the puzzle out of reach of the player.

Prices would have to be balanced so that your starting money wouldn't give you a free pass for house griefing. (At today's prices it would cost only $3000 to cut straight across a map of steel walls — the most costly item to cut through.)

Would a truly unlimited backpack be necessary? If the vault is never more than 45 tiles away then maybe an item cap around a similar number would make sense.

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#37 2013-06-10 13:34:21

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Houses would no longer be one-time robbable (because anything could be cut through, eventually, no matter where animals move after a robbery).

Family would no longer be indefinitely protectable (because they could be cut through to, eventually).

Player-driven economy is interesting.  Could apply for both house objects and tools.  The costs could be relative to how many have been bought recently (and costs could drop if no one is buying something).  However, there are two problems:

1) implementing it well, in a robust way that works over the long term, will involve substantial coding complexity.  Feels like overkill compared to a bit of manual tweaking on the cost of tools (mostly in terms of cheapening things that no one is using).

2) will be harder for players to understand and reason about (right now, if you've been playing for a while, you can look at your budget and KNOW that you can afford two more pitbulls without checking the prices first, because they're $200 always).  New players, especially, will see prices jumping around and need an explanation.

Electric floor-based "step on it and die" traps, as you point out, would need a separate fix.  Wire cutters will disable "off" electric floors.  I shouldn't have left that loophole in place for so long.

Yes, starting money (probably would go back down to $2000) and a whole bunch of other money things would change.  Yeah, $3000 could cut across a map of steel walls, but you'd still have to figure out where to cut.

As far as a limit of 45 items, well, I think players will discover that on their own, especially if unused backpack items are lost at the end of each robbery.  No reason to impose that limit, that I can see.  A player who wastes a lot of money won't be able to do that very long (because money is precious and scarce).

I'm still thinking about keeping it at 8 slots, just for UI simplicity and screen space.  There are 12 items, so you wouldn't be able to take all of them (but an unlimited number of the 8 types that you pick).  Just wait:  some house designer is going to exploit THAT to make an unsolvable puzzle...

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#38 2013-06-10 14:43:06

largestherb
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From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

i think perhaps rather than delimiting the backpack/items, perhaps tools that break after x uses?

i feel like unlimited (or very large numbers of items) will lead to a kind of 'what's the point in building anything really at all if the person invading me is going to be able to counter anything i can throw at them with their x of each item' mentality. although, without seeing it happen it is just idle speculation. someone probably will indeed find a way to get past it!

large numbers of tools and the current pathing the family need to escape (can't walk over wires, for example) might return the family to a place of just putting them at the front door and hoping they get killed off quickly so you can just not have to think about leaving that path and 'wasting' those tiles.
it doesn't follow the games roots of 'i must protect my family!' but you know, i have definitely heard of real stories of people abandoning their family to protect their riches.

i'll agree that a completely unobtainable family (as we have now, slap them behind x pit bulls and walls with a one-time robbable) is not fun, but if you're confident you can curb the one-time haus issue then the family could be naturally picked off through repeated vault visits.

ps. if blueprints are removed again, i presume you'll be disabling the recordedgame logs that we get?

edit: ooh i missed a bunch of page one somehow!

But then again, a full cut-through-everything robbery would be expensive.  That means that it wouldn't be worth doing on a low-level house (you wouldn't spend $2000 in tools to get $400, would you?)  So, the rich would be able to afford to rob each other, which means that no one would be rich for long.

maybe i am just a psychopath.. but i spent a good $1200 to kill someone's wife and get $5 an hour or so ago. although there isn't much to do right now but sit in my mspaint blueprint collage and draw lines on it while wondering where the cats are going to run if i move to this next tile..

Last edited by largestherb (2013-06-10 16:43:03)

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#39 2013-06-11 00:38:24

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Well I was right about the maps after all... I had that prediction about 2 months ago that they will remove the old unique gameplay this game had back then. At the same time I also suggested an expandable backpack and I am glad the idea got iterated further. I think that the droppable backpack could work. Tool prices will need some tweaks though, I think.

I am looking forward to the new meta.

Last edited by Matrix (2013-06-11 00:55:00)

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#40 2013-06-11 12:10:38

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Concerning wirecutters and electric floors: A much needed fix. I'm wondering, though, if this actually changes the problem, since I can simply put a magic dance in place that provides power for a 8-deep-trapdoor chain or something similar and thus makes the safe impossible to get to if cut. This would force people to dance as before. It would need a non-destructive way to pass as is with trapdoors to be honestly effective. (I suggest a ladder; we could even have both fixes, allowing for floors to be cut AND passed using ladders.)


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#41 2013-06-11 14:44:09

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Matrix wrote:

Well I was right about the maps after all... I had that prediction about 2 months ago that they will remove the old unique gameplay this game had back then. At the same time I also suggested an expandable backpack and I am glad the idea got iterated further.

Yeah, I had been drinking the "puzzle" koolaid, because that was the direction the game seemed to be moving in, so I was trying to make that work.  Being able to cut through everything, eventually, subverts the puzzle-nature of the game.

Obviously, you were right!  Or at least I think you were right.... we'll see how v9 feels.

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#42 2013-06-11 15:05:06

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Well I'll be interested to see what happens with this. I'd be worried that such a concentration on tools would lead to a scramble to keep the amount of money in your vault down at all times, since if ever it gets beyond a certain amount it will be worth someone's time to ignore all your traps and just cut and club through the whole map.

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#43 2013-06-11 15:10:57

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

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

largestherb wrote:

ps. if blueprints are removed again, i presume you'll be disabling the recordedgame logs that we get?

Arrggghh....  I forgot about that.  I was thinking that the house maps were just in the stdout printout.  But yeah, the recordings must contain server responses, too.

Obviously, with a modded client, all bets are off.  The hope was to at least make map-peeking harder for the unmodded client (in the v8 client, you can just copy-paste into a third party viewer, and there you go).

Ah!  I just thought of something interesting....

What if the map sent by the server is encrypted using the player's download code and email as a key?  Then even if a third-party tool replicates the encryption algorithm, you'd still have to trust the third-party tool with your login details (i.e., access to your game account!) in order for the tool to decrypt and display the map.

Of course, people will make a downloadable tool that decrypts maps eventually, and people will trust that with their login details.

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#44 2013-06-11 15:23:20

jasonrohrer
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Registered: 2013-04-01
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Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Oh, I just thought of a better way to do this.

For each map request, the client generates a unique key and sends it to the server with the request.  The server encrypts the map with that key.

Thus, the data needed to view the map is NOT present in the server's response.  You'd have to sniff TCP stream to get the client's generated key (or mod the client).

Also, in my defense, I should point out that I HATE this kind of phony security stuff.  This is one rare case where it will probably have a small positive benefit (reducing the population of players who can easily peek at maps).

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#45 2013-06-12 00:23:57

DrNoid
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Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 56

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Not only that, but with the client being open-source, modding it is just way too easy. It would just be a matter of adding a printf after the decryption part.
And since we have the source code of the previous version as well, finding that spot is just one diff away.

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#46 2013-06-12 03:15:39

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Well we all know that a modded client can display any info that the game knows about so I don't think that extra time spent on obfuscating any of this is worth it.

Just make sure that this information is not available outside the client (debug output etc.) and that's it.

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#47 2013-06-12 06:00:11

largestherb
Member
From: england
Registered: 2013-05-27
Posts: 381

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

i feel like blueprints (or log output) is preferable to encrypted messages, with v8 settings.

1) blueprints, everyone has access to this data. less 'cheating,' but takes away the mystery of entering a house.

2) encrypted data that you can mod the client to print out somewhere if you know how, a few people have access to this data which is a return to some v5 cheating, which leads to people creating threads like 'HEY THIS GUY JUST WALKED IN AND KNEW MY SECRET DANCE AND TOOK ALL MY MONEY!!!!!'

i guess the new backpack in v9 will be interesting. in my head right now i am kind of comparing it to the people who could still walk around and rob the vault even after they had fallen in a pit or been eaten by a dog. except instead of walking around dead, they just walk around unstoppable with an army of crowbars and ladders.

ooooof, it is such a tricky situation!

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#48 2013-06-12 07:18:46

Laffinty
Member
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 46

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Well it isn't exactly required to tell the client about stuff the player doesnt see

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#49 2013-06-12 09:57:13

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

Laffinty wrote:

Well it isn't exactly required to tell the client about stuff the player doesnt see

THIS is a smart suggestion... if the client only knows what the player can see, cheating is rendered rather useless...


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#50 2013-06-12 10:40:04

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Thoughts from a Newbie who was truly looking forward to this game.

THIS is a smart suggestion... if the client only knows what the player can see, cheating is rendered rather useless...

We talked about this before: http://thecastledoctrine.net/forums/vie … php?id=290

I suggested removing blueprints (for some houses) and, ideally, switching to a system where you pinged the server on each turn. That's the only way to do what you're describing. Instead of just submitting your moves once done with a robbery, you'd have to do an HTTP request for every single move... potentially hundreds of requests. Then the server has to load your map into memory (or keep it there the whole robbery) and process  a single turn. Not only is this a huge amount of overhead, but it actually might introduce a little bit of lag. In most games you can do some sort of approximation while waiting for the server response, but here when you move into a new tile, you have to wait for the server to know what you're going to see.

I'd really like to see that stuff implemented because I think blueprints are central to the future of this game, but it's no small change.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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