The Castle Doctrine Forums

Discuss the massively-multiplayer home defense game.

You are not logged in.

#1 2013-07-25 12:26:17

Jennuman
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 7

Thoughts of a New Player

Hi there,

Really like the game but I am having difficulty enjoying it as an early player and was wondering what people thought of these ideas.

After watching some videos on youtube I have come to realise that since the videos have been made two key things have happened to tools.  They are:

1)  They seem to be a lot more expensive; and
2)  If you leave a house you are robbing you have to abandon all of the tools you brought with you.

For me this detracts from the strategy of trying to unpick other people's puzzles (which is the most exciting component of the game) and drives the game even more into pure guessing.  In my view the further away from pure guessing the game gets, the more rewarding an experience players will have.

As a new player I am finding it difficult to create a cost effective and interesting defence mechanism that isn't "pitbull spam" without spending nearly all of my money.  Therefore I effectively start with no tools or a few tools that are hugely valuable.  This discourages me from bringing tools on robbery missions and effectively forces me into "guessing houses".  This means that all but the most basic houses are simply too dangerous for me to even attempt.

So how do we get away from pitbull spam and guessing houses?

Everyone's been there - you walk into someone's house, take a couple of steps and oh look, over 9,000 pit bulls - so what do you do?  You just walk out.  Some people might come back with loads of drugged meat.  Great! You drug the dogs and get past them but then you come to 5 possible doorways with the sticky switches and pits/electric floors.  Are you feeling lucky punk?  Of course you aren't you just leave - and it has cost you ALL of your investment into tools due to a "guessing house" you had no idea was a "guessing house".  For me this breaks the experience of the game.  The game is at its best when it encourages you to take risks and you feel able to delve deeper into people's houses.

I propose the following 2 changes.

1) In order to incentivise people to create intelligent houses with actual traps and not pitbulls, every time someone dies in their house the owner of the house makes some money AS WELL AS gaining the tools that are lost.  Let's say they sell the corpse for scientific research.  This would mean that people who create "pitbull spam" and "guessing houses" would not make any money from this as would-be thieves would simply leave after taking one look.  This would encourage people to design houses that suck their victims in, trapping them with cunning.

2)  Allow thieves to keep their tools.  By keeping the pricing at the same level it would still be a disincentive simply to spam lots of tools.  If you consumed some tools but still felt that you had to leave then you still suffer a loss.  By restricting carrying so many tools that it could break the house maybe you could limit the stack size of tools or restrict the total value of tools that can be brought to certain value houses?

I believe the combined effects of these changes will lead away from the pure guessing houses and incentivise players to design the houses more intelligently.

Thanks for reading if you got this far, I would be interested to hear what other people think.

Offline

#2 2013-07-25 13:07:38

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

I agree with change 1, perhaps the money could be a proportion of what that person had left in their vault? That way building a genius trap that fools one of the best players would earn you a lot more money than killing a suicidal newbie who accidentally jumps into a pit.


I think losing items in exiting the house however is necessary. Without it there isn't really any incentive to not bring all the tools that you can and be completely safe from any threat, the current method is meant to support scouting out houses with few tools, which raises the danger thieves are putting themselves into.
Around V5 used to have a tool cap and there were pages of unbeatable guessing traps.

Offline

#3 2013-07-25 18:47:17

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

ahh colorfusion thank you, as i read number two i was thinking .. wait, i can't even remember why tool losing was added to the game..

tools vanishing into the air was added a few versions after unlimited backpack was added. it was definitely a good change, but indeed.. i have lost many thousands of dollars of tools because i clicked the wrong house, or simply picked a house at random that my toolset was useless for.

Offline

#4 2013-07-25 20:32:40

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

largestherb wrote:

i have lost many thousands of dollars of tools because i clicked the wrong house, or simply picked a house at random that my toolset was useless for.

Yes! That has happened to me so many times. tongue I think I need to be more careful about remembering which house I intended to go into.

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-07-25 20:32:55)

Offline

#5 2013-07-25 21:07:18

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

largestherb wrote:

ahh colorfusion thank you, as i read number two i was thinking .. wait, i can't even remember why tool losing was added to the game..

tools vanishing into the air was added a few versions after unlimited backpack was added. it was definitely a good change, but indeed.. i have lost many thousands of dollars of tools because i clicked the wrong house, or simply picked a house at random that my toolset was useless for.

Whatever happened to "don't lose your tools if you only stand on doorstep and leave"?  Wasn't this getting implemented?


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

Offline

#6 2013-07-26 04:09:38

Noshire
Member
Registered: 2013-07-23
Posts: 13

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

dalleck wrote:
largestherb wrote:

ahh colorfusion thank you, as i read number two i was thinking .. wait, i can't even remember why tool losing was added to the game..

tools vanishing into the air was added a few versions after unlimited backpack was added. it was definitely a good change, but indeed.. i have lost many thousands of dollars of tools because i clicked the wrong house, or simply picked a house at random that my toolset was useless for.

Whatever happened to "don't lose your tools if you only stand on doorstep and leave"?  Wasn't this getting implemented?


That would indeed be a good addition. That, and some sort of indicator color for "houses visited in the last 10 minutes" or something of the kind.

Offline

#7 2013-07-26 08:34:35

Jennuman
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 7

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Hey guys, nice comments,

I can understand the rationale behind dealing with unlimited tools issue but I think it could be addressed better for newer players by restricting the stack sizes and variety of tools you can carry.  It might be that there simply aren't that many people playing at the moment but when I start a new life it is almost impossible for me to successfully rob someone's house.  Also I feel like I don't have enough money to properly defend my family from invaders but maybe I'm just a scrub.

I am getting better at "casing the joint" but I also think a valuable addition would be information on a rough region of how much money someone has spent within their house.

I also think a good new addition would be:

When you first start your house and you have $2000 to spend - a problem I am having is that I have to spend ALL of that money to make a robust enough system (that isn't dog spam) in order to defend my safe/family.  A result of this is that I have no money so people won't try to rob me.

I don't think it encourages new players to design interesting houses if, after they have built it, no one will be interested in robbing it because there is no money.  It seems a bit harsh that after you have built your first house you have no money to buy tools and no one will attempt to rob you so all you can do is log off and wait for some money to come in.

Therefore I suggest the "family heirlooms".  These are items that are in your safe for the very first time you log in, have no function and cannot be transferred to your backpack.  They have a sale value of $1,000 if stolen.

This will mean that beginner houses are still attractive and reduce the temptation for killing the wife for early houses.

Last edited by Jennuman (2013-07-26 08:47:26)

Offline

#8 2013-07-26 09:02:36

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

The problem of nobody wanting to rob you feels addressed enough by the wages to me. Going a night without getting robbed it already really hard.

Last edited by colorfusion (2013-07-26 09:02:54)

Offline

#9 2013-07-26 11:46:34

Jennuman
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 7

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Some more thoughts about beginner families. 

If you're going to make a game about burglary then your main sources of income should be from either robbing people successfully or having burglars die in your house trying to rob you.  I think something must be going very wrong with design when you're making more money/hour by not actually playing the game than you do by playing.  How does this incentivise people to play?

I understand all the points relating to tools being too strong with infinite money - for me the solution should not be money or tool-abandonment related.  Tool-abandonment and more expensive tools will actually mean nothing to the hypothetical player with infinite money.   Tools are super expensive?  He buys them anyway.  He loses his tools on a gamble?  He buys more tools anyway.  The players that this solution affects most are the players with NO money.  With little money the tools become disproportionately valuable and so poor burglars are left in a position that actually going and trying to burgle someone is prohibitively expensive in money and risk terms.  It must be remembered that new families start the game poor and in a game where you permadie the majority of your play time is going to be spent at early net-worth.  To be honest I am not surprised to see very very few low cost/level houses as the game currently is horrible if you don't have enough money to even build a satisfactory house.

I also get the feeling that $2,000 is not enough money to build even the most basic house that doesn't rely on dog spam.

Therefore I propose:

1) Reduce the cost of tools and allow your tools to remain if you flee from a house.  To keep the tools balanced you heavily restrict the maximum number of tools and tool types that can be carried.

2) Families start with $3,000 - $2,000 is money from a bank that can only be spent on construction, $1,000 is in cash and can be spent on construction OR tools.

Last edited by Jennuman (2013-07-26 12:11:24)

Offline

#10 2013-07-26 12:25:20

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

I agree with your point on playing getting less money than not playing; before the wage changes it used to be the opposite of this and, although grindy, I think it was better than a few not worth robbing houses and just building up money by offlining.

I don't agree with tool caps being a solution to this though. When they were in place you could just easily force the player into doing your puzzle, and most of the time this ended up being a guessing puzzle. V5 ended up with 3 pages full of combination locks with walls 1 thicker than you could get through with tools. If it weren't for all of the smaller abandoned houses gaining money at the time, robbing any decent house would have been more impossible than it is now.

The starting cash raising could work, but I think something would need to be done to combat all forms of abusing new lives to get another account money before it's raised.

Last edited by colorfusion (2013-07-26 12:27:25)

Offline

#11 2013-07-26 15:24:01

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

quick explanation as to why tools will probably never be limited again:
a while ago there was a limit of 8 tools, maximum. this simply meant that every house would have a wall 9 tiles thick, impenetrable.

(almost) any limit on tools is likely to reintroduce these impenetrable fortresses. or fortressi. like fungi. fungal fortresses. fortressal fungi. wait what was i talking about

Offline

#12 2013-07-26 15:36:07

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 231

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

I can imagine a scenario with limited tools, if every damage you do to a house is saved and you have to wait until you can penetrate the same house again. That means, you can carry n tools with you, and of course the owner will make his walls n+1 thick. But the clue is: if you try to rob that house and cut through n walls, the next robber will only have to cut one more wall and will get away with all the money you tried to rob so hard. So i suppose you wouldn't cut n walls. This would be quite interesting, because you would have to be careful with damaging a house.

Of course it only works in theory, because people can die and start over without having to wait to rob the same house again. And even if that could be solved, there are still multiple accounts or people collaborating.

Offline

#13 2013-07-26 18:22:21

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

colorfusion wrote:

I agree with your point on playing getting less money than not playing; before the wage changes it used to be the opposite of this and, although grindy, I think it was better than a few not worth robbing houses and just building up money by offlining.

I have to agree that it is not desirable for the primary source of income to be offlining. I constantly find myself wanting to play this game, but being forced to sit and wait while I earn money; 90% of the game now takes place... outside the game. It feels like it has almost turned into a game about waiting lately. There is only one game ever invented (that I know of) that should be this way... and this game pretty much invented the "waiting" genre (and is pretty much the only game in the genre). That game is, of course, Progress Quest (and it's a truly awesome game - Wiki Article).

Anyway, my hope is that it gets better with more players, so hopefully this problem will go away if enough people join in.

gyuri wrote:

I can imagine a scenario with limited tools, if every damage you do to a house is saved and you have to wait until you can penetrate the same house again. That means, you can carry n tools with you, and of course the owner will make his walls n+1 thick. But the clue is: if you try to rob that house and cut through n walls, the next robber will only have to cut one more wall and will get away with all the money you tried to rob so hard. So i suppose you wouldn't cut n walls. This would be quite interesting, because you would have to be careful with damaging a house.

I don't think this would be a good idea because then anyone could effortlessly rob any house. All you need to do is lay siege, retreat, commit suicide, restart, rinse and repeat. In fact, there have already been updates in previous versions to limit how many times damage to a house can be saved because of this sort of thing. Allowing damage to be saved without killing a family member or reaching a non-empty vault renders all houses impossible to protect.

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-07-26 18:27:36)

Offline

#14 2013-07-26 21:34:15

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Jennuman wrote:

Some more thoughts about beginner families. 

If you're going to make a game about burglary then your main sources of income should be from either robbing people successfully or having burglars die in your house trying to rob you.  I think something must be going very wrong with design when you're making more money/hour by not actually playing the game than you do by playing.  How does this incentivise people to play?

Jason wants the game to play out like this.  Then you are forced to stay away from the game and have thoughts like "Am I being broken into right now?".  I think it works quite well.

Jennuman wrote:

I understand all the points relating to tools being too strong with infinite money - for me the solution should not be money or tool-abandonment related.  Tool-abandonment and more expensive tools will actually mean nothing to the hypothetical player with infinite money.   Tools are super expensive?  He buys them anyway.  He loses his tools on a gamble?  He buys more tools anyway.  The players that this solution affects most are the players with NO money.  With little money the tools become disproportionately valuable and so poor burglars are left in a position that actually going and trying to burgle someone is prohibitively expensive in money and risk terms.  It must be remembered that new families start the game poor and in a game where you permadie the majority of your play time is going to be spent at early net-worth.  To be honest I am not surprised to see very very few low cost/level houses as the game currently is horrible if you don't have enough money to even build a satisfactory house.

Yes, there is indeed a class divide.  Also intended.

Jennuman wrote:

I also get the feeling that $2,000 is not enough money to build even the most basic house that doesn't rely on dog spam.

This could be true.  But increasing starting money may not actually achieve improved early defence, because now you have people running at you with $3000 worth of tools to start with.

Jennuman wrote:

Therefore I propose:

1) Reduce the cost of tools and allow your tools to remain if you flee from a house.  To keep the tools balanced you heavily restrict the maximum number of tools and tool types that can be carried.

2) Families start with $3,000 - $2,000 is money from a bank that can only be spent on construction, $1,000 is in cash and can be spent on construction OR tools.

1) You are suggesting to take the game back to prior releases.  Both of these changes weren't made lightly, and are there for very specific and important reasons, as has been noted above.

2) Interesting, but maybe a little convoluted.  Similar suggestions have been made (coupons), but it seems like the current money works just fine, you just need to think carefully about how you spend it.  Besides, you shouldn't be able to afford tools if you have spent it on reasonable defence anyhow.


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

Offline

#15 2013-07-27 01:35:33

Jennuman
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 7

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

I really want to enjoy this game but it is impossible for beginner families.  My family make some money by "playing" offline - my terrible $2k house gets destroyed by tools - the damage persists - I have no money to rebuild - GG.

Offline

#16 2013-07-27 03:39:55

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Jennuman wrote:

I really want to enjoy this game but it is impossible for beginner families.  My family make some money by "playing" offline - my terrible $2k house gets destroyed by tools - the damage persists - I have no money to rebuild - GG.

It pays to know what deters people.  A single trapdoor at the entrance is often enough.  Then, using concrete blocks is the next deterrant to someone breaking down the walls.  Here is a simple starter house which should keep your family alive and deter early robbers.  It is also one-time rob-able and easily expandable.

http://castlefortify.com/c/3798a81


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

Offline

#17 2013-07-27 04:29:45

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

one-time robbable is the key to a starting house. well, one of the keys.

dalleck's is a good one, too. keep your family behind three VERY spaced out dogs in a tunnel and someone needs $3100 to get to your partner.

i think the main problem right now with the game is if you are logged out too long, your house becomes too valuable and is inevitably smashed. maybe with the influx of new players the wages can come down a bit?

Offline

#18 2013-07-27 17:58:17

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Yup - deterrents is the key!! I wouldn't step on any powered trapdoor like that, and the concrete says "there will be more concrete". I was once fooled by a house that looked like it would be MASSIVELY hard to solve, scouted a bit and left. Then I returned when it had been destroyed by somebody else and realised that it had ALL been charades. Not much more than what Dalleck showed, but it seemed massive. Something like that will deter and kill enough people for a start.

As another example, a pitbull visible on entering is a huge deterrent. (At least to me.)

edit: slightly improved version (imho) http://castlefortify.com/c/1f29969

Last edited by bey bey (2013-07-27 18:05:55)


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

Offline

#19 2013-07-27 20:34:31

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

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

dalleck wrote:

Then, using concrete blocks is the next deterrant to someone breaking down the walls.

Yeah, I agree with everything everyone here has said so far. The concrete walls thing is really important in my opinion as well. When I'm scouting for an easy steal, one of the first things that catches my attention is if the house is all made out of wooden walls. If so, it's almost reflex for me to think "this one should be an easy target."

Offline

#20 2013-07-28 04:13:42

Jennuman
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 7

Re: Thoughts of a New Player

Thanks guys, that's really helpful - I'm enjoying it much more now.  I raided some troll houses so managed to build up enough money to make something strong enough to deter all but the wealthiest and most determined thief.

Last edited by Jennuman (2013-07-28 04:15:20)

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB 1.5.8