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#1 2013-07-09 00:01:34

liq3
Member
Registered: 2013-07-07
Posts: 5

Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

It's not possible to defend the wife with starting $2000. The only two ways I know of that even get close is two dogs with thick walls which costs about $2500. The other way is dog/cat chain which costs even more. Both rely on them not being able to reach the safe.

...And well I figured out a way I'm 99% sure stops them reaching the safe or the wife, for $4915... Assuming they don't figure out the magic dance (which they can't scout). Or get $2100 in tools.

It feels to me the game design really wants the wife to die.

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#2 2013-07-09 05:15:17

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

It feels to me the game design really wants the wife to die.

Yea I think that's the idea.

As heartless as it sounds, I actually wish we had the option to start without a family. Sure, the wife provides a huge salary, but the family is also a huge liability. As you said, they're nearly impossible to defend with starting money. And they even prevent you from making many house designs. What's interesting about the family is they're a part of the house that gets "designed" by robbers. If you want to get rid of your family for the previously mentioned reasons, you have to depend on the random violence of others.


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#3 2013-07-09 06:35:47

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

V8 was the sweet spot in that respect - it was actually possible to defend them and I kicked myself if I lost them due to stupidity in my house design. At the current state it's probably best to put them next the door and hope somebody takes them down before you really get started building. Or probably you might be really jaded and try to use them as incentives to lure robbers into a trap. That might be devious but sweet revenge if you can pull it off morally. (Have them behind a concrete wall so the robber knows where they are but is lured into a trap if he hasn't brought explosives...)

Especially since the "salary" is not for you but for robbers, having them around is an added liability as the house gains cash way quicker, so you'll struggle more while building AND be victimised sooner.

Edit:
One thing I have found that if the safe is visible, it takes one's eyes off the family. Even though you know they might be somewhere, I didn't feel like going after them if it looks like there might be quite the labyrinth, probably filled with dogs. If you do a compact safe defense thingee (like what blip did I think), then you might just fill the rest up with cheap plywood or (better) metal corridors and a few pitbulls so that the robbers don't feel like taking the risk. However, the empty safe sprite might change that since you'll know from the start that the safe is empty. Either way, this is not for the 2k phase. At that stage, you can only put them in a corner and hope that the humble beginnings of your safe defense distract robbers...

Last edited by bey bey (2013-07-09 06:43:22)


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

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#4 2013-07-09 06:52:07

ukuko
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Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

Yep. $2000 worth of tools still beats $2000 worth of house hands down. And the robber's 2k is infinitely refillable as long as you can get home to the sweet embrace of your noose.

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#5 2013-07-09 07:51:26

Ludicrosity
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From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

As far as I can tell, there are only three ways to keep your family when starting out:

1. Successfully rob a rich house using only your starting funds and use the money to build an expensive and secure house.

2. Happen to be playing at a time when there are several other players online and a bunch of active houses to rob. When there is a lot of activity online, you can build upwards of $10-15K in a very short period of time by robbing others and looting vacant "freebie" homes. This is usually enough to build a reasonably secure starter house.

3. Just start building a house you have nowhere near enough money to complete and happen to be lucky enough that nobody kills your family while you add to it piece by piece until it becomes secure.

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-07-09 07:52:13)

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#6 2013-07-09 08:18:23

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

This problem is magnified when the player base is small. When there's a lot of folks playing fresh houses get a slightly easier ride.

Last edited by ukuko (2013-07-09 08:18:41)

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#7 2013-07-09 09:19:47

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

In general, we keep coming back to the issue that house cash needs to be more than tool cash. Strangely enough, even the drastically upped tool prices didn't sort out this issue.

Maybe it might be time to introduce the tool limit again. If all magic dance setups could theoretically be reached with 8 tools now, due to animal restrictions, unlimited tools are no longer necessary. A rich robber would then have to bring, say, 7 ladders and a gun to get to the first doggie/kittie, take notes, flee. Then solve it, and so forth. That would a.) require skill and b.) limit destruction somewhat and also reintroduce the need to consider what tools to bring more wisely. I liked it when the issue was more about "which tools do I really need" instead of "how many ladders can I afford". (Whereas now, for random robbing, I'd always fill up on cheap stuff like crowbars, water bottles, doorstops etc. and just use them randomly because they are there.) I think one could lower tool prices again even, because a well-defended house might mean quite a time-consuming effort of taking notes, waiting out chills etc. for robbers, so that a big house might stand for a long time still. (And I'd not be upset if somebody robbed an expensive house of mine through various runs of cunning.)

That would then also mean, that one could protect the family again at least against starting cash (no more 20 crowbar attacks) at a cost not that much over 2k (wooden walls & pitbulls).


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

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#8 2013-07-09 09:30:43

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

bey bey wrote:

In general, we keep coming back to the issue that house cash needs to be more than tool cash. Strangely enough, even the drastically upped tool prices didn't sort out this issue.

Maybe it might be time to introduce the tool limit again. If all magic dance setups could theoretically be reached with 8 tools now, due to animal restrictions, unlimited tools are no longer necessary. A rich robber would then have to bring, say, 7 ladders and a gun to get to the first doggie/kittie, take notes, flee. Then solve it, and so forth. That would a.) require skill and b.) limit destruction somewhat and also reintroduce the need to consider what tools to bring more wisely. I liked it when the issue was more about "which tools do I really need" instead of "how many ladders can I afford". (Whereas now, for random robbing, I'd always fill up on cheap stuff like crowbars, water bottles, doorstops etc. and just use them randomly because they are there.) I think one could lower tool prices again even, because a well-defended house might mean quite a time-consuming effort of taking notes, waiting out chills etc. for robbers, so that a big house might stand for a long time still. (And I'd not be upset if somebody robbed an expensive house of mine through various runs of cunning.)

That would then also mean, that one could protect the family again at least against starting cash (no more 20 crowbar attacks) at a cost not that much over 2k (wooden walls & pitbulls).

It is still easy to create a house that needs more than 8 tools to defeat. Either through one time robbing, or clever use of animal placement and a guessing trap.

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#9 2013-07-09 09:39:15

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

If you reintroduced a tool limit people would just build combo locks again.

I think the heart of this issue is that even with the new animal movement rules and the changes to drugged meat, you still only need to shoot one dog to crowbar the rest. So for the starting money you can likely kill 11 dogs. More than can be bought with starting money, and that's before you even buy any walls!

Since dogs are are the only method of protecting the family, you can assume that a gun and 10 crowbars will get you to the family in any fairly new house. There's no real strategy required — just backtrack and club away.

Sure, you could build a fancy contraption to release a dog behind the robber, preventing him from returning to the shot dog, but that would take up as much space/cost as much as 10 dogs. Its nice, but there's no economic benefit.

The mid-late stages of the game seem quite well balanced at the moment, but the beginning is heavily biased towards the robber. Robbing is a fun way to play the game, but the fallout of this bias is that content is being solved/broken faster than it is being created.

I don't know if making dogs cheaper is a good idea. That fix seems too easy, and prone to dog spamming. What would be great is a nerfing of the gun/crowbar combo (like the oft suggested "pile 'o dogs"), or some other method of protecting the family aside from pitbulls.

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#10 2013-07-09 09:53:32

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

Fair enough, combo locks are a different issue. One might limit the field of reach of power sources to 5, the same idea as with animals moving on sight, so you could theoretically cut to the (very limited) workings of the electrics. Or one could limit the conductivity of walls, so they can only conduct 4-deep and the rest would have to be wires. But it does seem rather arbitrary, I'd have to concede.

I'd also share that feeling that the starting phase is the problem right now. It's a bit of fun randomly robbing poor people and pouring water over their generators, but it wears off quickly. The 2k don't feel like a good starting point for a house that will withstand any serious robbing attempt though. And it's just not really that much fun to put in lots of work right now since it's gone quicker than it has begun at the moment. Realistically, I'd say 10k in starting building cash would feel more appropriate right now. 2k means that one has to rely on a.) freebie houses popping up and b.) no random robber being online at the time to even get started. That's not really the point of the game imho.


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

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#11 2013-07-09 10:30:12

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

So, they were protectable in v8 simply because of the tool limit?  I don't think anything else has changed to make them less protectable now.

Obviously, any imbalance like this can be addressed through a change in tool prices.  There doesn't need to be a separate budget to accomplish this (giving the robber half as much money for tools is the same as making all tools cost twice as much).

You're not really supposed to be able to do much with the starting budget as a home owner.  Build the best thing you can to stall robbers until you get more money.  That includes stalling them from reaching the family.

One gun plus crowbars only works if your dogs are all in the same area.  If they are spaced out more, then I believe it's possible for each group to require a gun.  I'll play around with this and see if I can come up with an example.

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#12 2013-07-09 11:05:35

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

In v8, 8 dogs meant a safe family (roughly this for a bit over 2k: http://castlefortify.com/c/6fe16ad). In v10, starting cash alone buys one gun and 10 crowbars, which is is more killing power than the starting cash spent on dogs alone. (11 dogs killed vs 10 dogs to buy.) Every triggered dog can be killed by walking onto a dead one and waiting, which is always possible because family can't cross wires etc. (Would be quite easy otherwise.)

I'd be very intrigued about a solution to that. If the family always ran away from the robber when presented with a choice, one could try something like this (again, roughly). http://castlefortify.com/c/07402a2 (The idea being that the family runs away but getting back to the entrance requires a second gun.)

Last edited by bey bey (2013-07-09 11:06:12)


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

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#13 2013-07-09 11:22:46

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

Yeah, you folks are correct here.

The problem is that you can lead a dog from one side of the house to another.  Dogs are good enough at following you that they route around stuff without getting caught anywhere.  Thus, even if dogs are spaced out initially in a tricky way, you can kill one with a gun and lead the others back to that spot, over and over to stand on the shot-dog body safely, until all are crowbar-dead (as pointed out above).

It seems like changing animal behavior so that animals avoid standing next to dead animals (like, they smell the death from one square away), but that pit bulls still attack you if you're standing next to a dead animal (their desire to attack overrides their aversion to the death-smell) would change this.

Thus, you could stand behind a dead pit bull and still move around safely.  But the square just beyond the dead pit bull (the one just between you and the next living pit bull) would be a deadly square for you.

So, you could no longer use a dead dog to easily change a 2-square-away pit bull (unclubbable) into a 1-square-away pit bull (clubbable).

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#14 2013-07-09 11:25:30

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

In v10, starting cash alone buys one gun and 10 crowbars, which is is more killing power than the starting cash spent on dogs alone.

Agreed, but it's even better than that for the robber. You can sometimes replace the gun with a saw and drugged meat and come with perhaps 18 crowbars (enough to kill $3400 worth of dogs AND take out the wife).

I've tried to demonstrate that here using the wife in place of the robber and the a chihuahua in place of a sleeping dog (3 turns occur between the two states): http://castlefortify.com/c/33db8c6

By the way, Castle Fortify is obviously awesome. It'd be neat if it also had a robber object and included the different states of each object (sawed, dead, etc.).

Last edited by jere (2013-07-09 11:29:33)


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#15 2013-07-09 14:06:42

Ludicrosity
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

jasonrohrer wrote:

The problem is that you can lead a dog from one side of the house to another.  Dogs are good enough at following you that they route around stuff without getting caught anywhere.  Thus, even if dogs are spaced out initially in a tricky way, you can kill one with a gun and lead the others back to that spot, over and over to stand on the shot-dog body safely, until all are crowbar-dead (as pointed out above).

An extreme version of this happened to me yesterday. I had a house that was one long, winding passage to my family with lots of dogs. Someone robbed my vault (right next to the door), which pulled the first dog down one step so that it became clubable with a crowbar... Well some very patient robber came in with 20 crowbars and walked up and down every passage, luring each and every one of the dogs all the way back to the entrance, where he could stand on the previous dog's corpse and club his latest victim. It must have taken forever. I lost all my dogs though (I think I had exactly 20). I scrapped that house...

Here's what it looked like:

http://castlefortify.com/c/170291d

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-07-09 14:08:00)

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#16 2013-07-09 14:32:32

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

And that cost $11k!

jasonrohrer wrote:

It seems like changing animal behavior so that animals avoid standing next to dead animals (like, they smell the death from one square away), but that pit bulls still attack you if you're standing next to a dead animal (their desire to attack overrides their aversion to the death-smell) would change this.

Thus, you could stand behind a dead pit bull and still move around safely.  But the square just beyond the dead pit bull (the one just between you and the next living pit bull) would be a deadly square for you.

This sounds great!

Last edited by ukuko (2013-07-09 14:33:50)

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#17 2013-07-09 18:11:24

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

@Ludicrosity - I feel your pain.

@Jason - that should solve the problem nicely!! It would mean that, if employed smartly, two dogs are  enough against starting cash combined with a few solid walls or an extra dog behind the wall or so. (As long as there are no open spaces on the map where one could use drugged meat and step around the dog.) With a potential 1600 cash left that should be doable! Brilliant!


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

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#18 2013-07-09 19:00:41

Ludicrosity
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

This is entirely unrelated to the discussion at hand, but I was just wondering what the purpose of the wired wooden wall is. It cost the same as the metal wall ($20), but is inferior because it can be destroyed by a cutting torch as well as a cheaper saw. Is there any reason to use it over metal wall?

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#19 2013-07-09 19:30:50

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

It's minor, but the wired wooden wall stands out less than the steel wall. If you're trying to obscure electronics, it might be a better choice.... assuming robbers are not always paying close attention. It would be a lot more powerful if the wired wooden wall was completely indistinguishable from wooden walls during robberies.

I liked it when the issue was more about "which tools do I really need" instead of "how many ladders can I afford". (Whereas now, for random robbing, I'd always fill up on cheap stuff like crowbars, water bottles, doorstops etc. and just use them randomly because they are there.)

So it might not be very realistic, but I think it's high time that the cheapest tools get a price increase. It's a no brainer to carry a bag full of waters, doorstops, and bricks for the price of a single crowbar.

More to your point, wouldn't it be cool if you had fewer backpack slots? Sure there's only 8 slots and 12 items, but because there's a few redundancies (e.g. explosives are an expensive substitute for torches/saws), there's not much to decide there.

Last edited by jere (2013-07-09 19:37:31)


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#20 2013-07-09 23:28:37

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

jere wrote:

More to your point, wouldn't it be cool if you had fewer backpack slots? Sure there's only 8 slots and 12 items, but because there's a few redundancies (e.g. explosives are an expensive substitute for torches/saws), there's not much to decide there.

explosives are the only way to get through concrete. the voltage detector is more or less useless though, if you know what to look out for. if there was ever a tool to be replaced out of the twelve, there would probably be a very popular vote for that one.

brick, water and doorstop could probably be raised to $10 safely. they are cheap for sure, but very, very, very, very useful. to the point where, as you say, for $100 you can have 10 of each - a price that has made me (very almost) always carry that many on every scouting trip. it isn't even a thought, really. maybe $20 would make it more of a thinker as to bring more bricks or more waters or more doorstops on my scouting party?

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#21 2013-07-10 01:48:56

dalleck
Member
Registered: 2013-04-13
Posts: 250

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

jasonrohrer wrote:

It seems like changing animal behavior so that animals avoid standing next to dead animals (like, they smell the death from one square away), but that pit bulls still attack you if you're standing next to a dead animal (their desire to attack overrides their aversion to the death-smell) would change this.

Thus, you could stand behind a dead pit bull and still move around safely.  But the square just beyond the dead pit bull (the one just between you and the next living pit bull) would be a deadly square for you.

So, you could no longer use a dead dog to easily change a 2-square-away pit bull (unclubbable) into a 1-square-away pit bull (clubbable).

Exactly what I was going to suggest.  This will make dogs 10x more useful.


The rich aren't safe. Nobody is safe. -jere                   ...but the smell wafts out from the pit, obviously. - Jason Rohrer

And the more dickish they are, the more I feel like beating a house to destruction after finally figuring it out. -bey bey

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#22 2013-07-10 07:24:49

jearr
Member
Registered: 2013-04-18
Posts: 42

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

The "stay one square away from dead dogs" dog rule that has been suggested seems pointless because of $8 drugged meat.  IMO drugged meat should have its range reduced to 1.  With dogs not moving between tool use, it is a stupidly-effective foil to anything you try to do with dogs.

I can't get a house to survive the night.  By the time I wake up in the morning, my house with a living wife will have made over $5000, which is more money than I have spent on my house up to that point.   I am always robbed with family dead in the morning, house is broken, and no money for repairs.  This makes the game very difficult to gain ground in right now, which I suspect contributes to the small number of available houses.

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#23 2013-07-10 08:10:10

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

jearr wrote:

I can't get a house to survive the night.  By the time I wake up in the morning, my house with a living wife will have made over $5000, which is more money than I have spent on my house up to that point.   I am always robbed with family dead in the morning, house is broken, and no money for repairs.  This makes the game very difficult to gain ground in right now, which I suspect contributes to the small number of available houses.

Yup.

But in a corridor, a drugged dog cannot be passed, so whatever lies behind it is safe except from wall cutting. That's a huge improvement.


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

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#24 2013-07-10 09:06:13

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

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

The metal walls being the same price as wired wooden walls is a mistake!  I'll change that now.

Drugged meat is weak because the affected dog becomes impassable (in a corridor, as bey suggested).


I have thought about reducing backpack slots to fewer than 8.  However, I think there's a cross-over point where houses become unbreakable again, and I haven't reasoned about what that crossover point is.

Clearly, you could build a house where, if the robber cannot solve the puzzle, they MUST use:

--Explosives (only way through concrete)
--Torches (only way through metal walls)
--Ladders (only way to cross pits)
--Water (only way to cross electric floors that are on)
--Crowbar (only way to open closed doors)
--Gun (only way past certain dogs, assuming that I get this part of the game fixed)
--Wirecutters (only way to pass electric floors that will come on remotely when you step on them)


So, right there we're up to SEVEN.  A home owner can potentially force you to use all seven tools to bypass a single house.  If I set a limit of SIX slots, then unbreakable houses will be possible.

And, I'm not sure that, in practice, reducing the slots from EIGHT to SEVEN really accomplishes what we'd want to accomplish by reducing slots (you'd really need to get down to 4 slots or something to make the choices feel tougher for the robber).

I'm not sure that "always carrying a brick" or water is such a bad thing.  Bricks are limited to basically clever uses (I've seen people use them to trip switches from afar in ways that always surprise me as a home owner).  Water only works on "on" electric floors, and its cheapness forces home owners to hide their power supplies, which is good.

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#25 2013-07-10 09:17:22

jearr
Member
Registered: 2013-04-18
Posts: 42

Re: Minimum Price to defend the wife from $2000 in tools?

I forgot that Mr. Rohrer changed drugged meat so that crowbars don't work on drugged animals anymore.  In that case, the "dogs stay away from dead dogs" suggestion would be very helpful!

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