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#26 2013-08-14 08:53:06

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Ludicrosity wrote:

Blip, I must confess that I don't understand your first example house at all: http://castledraft.com/editor/U5SZLK

Is this possible as it is? And what is the purpose of the second power source (the one on the inside)? It's connected to an off switch, but nothing else (unless windows conduct electricity now)?

My bad! I fixed it: http://castledraft.com/editor/2wxoEx
This was meant to show that a combo lock design could be managed in a very limited tiles, with no voltage triggered switches or wired walls, and with dogs following only on sight. The purpose of the dogs is to make "needed off" buttons possible - if the button is pressed, the door shuts and the dog can't get to the button. I just made that to prove a point that combo locks can exist in nearly every circumstance.

joshwithguitar wrote:

One idea that would completely change things up would be an expensive tool that allows you to place your own power source. This would make rows of pits less useful and allow for more interesting solutions than simply placing lots of ladders.

Blip: I'm a bit confused by your design idea - http://castledraft.com/editor/BznObk. If this works it seems that the current electronic setup is broken - power shouldn't be able to go through a voltage inverted switch if the same power will also trigger it (turn it off).

I like your tool idea, though it might be a bit overpowered. Maybe a tool that lets you place wiring, like Ludi said, would be a better fix. If you can access power, and have the wiring, you can power anything else.

As for my house design, it uses looping electronics, and I assure you that it works. There are a bunch of old, v6 era threads about it. How it works is that the bit is triggered, permanently, if you walk across one of those buttons.

Finally, on how to encourage mazes: The problem is that mazes exist purely in the physical house space, where the robber can take, say, one path out of 30. A combo lock or magic dance, with 10 or more buttons, results in the robber trying one solution out of thousands. Mazes are therefore at a distinct disadvantage, and making walls cheaper won't change the inherent lack of security of a maze.


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#27 2013-08-14 09:17:59

ukuko
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Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

bey bey wrote:

The best house in recent times was the one by a Mr Cortez - a house that was an endless mixture of corridors, doggie-switched-trapdoors etc. etc., all quite small, and every turn could be your last one. Something to be explored, cut through, thrown bricks at etc.

This sounds maze-like to me!

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#28 2013-08-14 10:07:48

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

ukuko wrote:
bey bey wrote:

The best house in recent times was the one by a Mr Cortez - a house that was an endless mixture of corridors, doggie-switched-trapdoors etc. etc., all quite small, and every turn could be your last one. Something to be explored, cut through, thrown bricks at etc.

This sounds maze-like to me!

tl;dr: Well, yes and no. It had elements of animals that continue moving beyond line of sight, for example. The big difference was that it was in smaller spaces. So one could either cut through or cleverly use tools to survive (brick window, drug dog, etc.). The problem with bit-locks isn't that different from the magic dance across the map that has been dealt with somewhat. It's not that bad if you can get to it quickly, and this cutting aesthetic is quite sweet: Saw through a few walls, figure it out, return and solve it. This forces builders to go for more complex and interesting designs that rely on some kind of "pathfinding" combined with locks and animals, that aren't classical mazes but something more interesting.

IDK, there also used to be a house with three corridors of dogs that would be released if a very simple dance wasn't performed properly, and where you had to get a chihuahua to walk to the safe. That kind of thinking outside the box is what the limitations should push: since there is not one overly strong strategy, the best system is to do something unexpected.

I honestly assume that somehow cutting down on the range of electronics and or power could then mean that the resulting high security houses would at least have to be interesting since the classic trapdoor tunnel would hardly be secure anymore.

/ tl;dr: I think the sister problem of the animals across the map is electricity across the map. One could try solving it via fixed "outlets" in the walls or the floor that only work in a small area, or one could try limiting electric conductivity. The thing is that the basic principle isn't broken, it's only overpowered, like the animals used to be in respect to movement.


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#29 2013-08-14 10:41:21

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

I think that's the wrong notion though. A maze isn't very interesting, it's just tense.

The best house in recent times was the one by a Mr Cortez - a house that was an endless mixture of corridors, doggie-switched-trapdoors etc. etc., all quite small, and every turn could be your last one. Something to be explored, cut through, thrown bricks at etc. A maze is just a magic dance with an added dimension - it's (limited!) electronics, animals, and small traps that make for really fun-to-play houses.

I'm going to have disagree here. And maybe I need to clarify first. When I say "maze," I don't mean only twisting hallways; of course it will have electronics and dogs. All I mean is that it's expansive, there are a lot of hallways, easy to get lost, and no clear indication of where the safe is. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the zero-exploration magic dance where you either know the solution or you're completely stuck by the entrance.

It's not quite fair to call a maze a "magic dance." Technically, every solution is a sort of dance, a sequence of key presses. The magic part is that all of it is opaque; your movements have significant effects on the house that you can't see at all.

The key issue here is that there needs to a gap between how expensive it is to brute force to a safe and how expensive it is to use tools to discover a solution. The houses in which it is as expensive to find the hidden logic behind the magic dance/combo lock as it is to find the safe are inherently the least interesting. The previous animal changes did not close the gap because cats can still run all the way across the map. There's no incentive to be clever or take risks when it's just as easy to brute force.

Mazes have a huge gap between discovery and solution. By their nature, they're easier to cut through and walk around freely in. But that's necessarily suboptimal. From a homeowner perspective, you won't want to use a maze. You want the gap to be as small as possible; you want the only real attack vector to be a massively expensive brute force. I wish we could make mazes better somehow, but I can't think of how to do it. Cheaper walls would make mazes easier to build, but not any better.

Maybe an option to increase the size of your house, but cap the total number of house tiles to the current limit (~900)?? If you had a house twice as big, you could still only fill it halfway. Horrible for building a giant concrete vault, but great for building a maze.

I think the sister problem of the animals across the map is electricity across the map. One could try solving it via fixed "outlets" in the walls or the floor that only work in a small area, or one could try limiting electric conductivity.

That's pretty neat! You could place power tiles on the outer wall and perhaps they could only power half the map width. It is kind of realistic. Kind of. If nothing else, you can say powering more is against code. I think ultimately keeping placeable power sources but limiting conductivity is the best option though, mainly because NOT gates are hard to build otherwise.

Last edited by jere (2013-08-14 10:50:27)


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#30 2013-08-14 10:42:23

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

bey bey wrote:

The best house in recent times was the one by a Mr Cortez - a house that was an endless mixture of corridors, doggie-switched-trapdoors etc. etc., all quite small, and every turn could be your last one. Something to be explored, cut through, thrown bricks at etc. A maze is just a magic dance with an added dimension - it's (limited!) electronics, animals, and small traps that make for really fun-to-play houses.

Did you miss my earlier post and just happen to think the same thing as me? Or are you just agreeing with me here? It was a pretty fun house, it's hard to think of how you can encourage that kind of design though.

For those interest, here again is my incomplete map of Mr Cortez's house: http://castlefortify.com/c/50368d3

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#31 2013-08-14 10:56:01

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

@jere: I think we then think the same outcome is optimal. At the current state of things, a simple dance combined with a bit-lock (like what Callahan had) is probably the strongest defence, since magic dances have been weakened considerably. One can even just put the solution effort on a timer by making you walk on trapdoors and having a cat shut them off after a while. Funnily enough, I have yet to see a magic-dance-bit-lock combo, where the buttons have to be pressed while doing the right kind of dance.

I like the limitations of house size even though it often feels "too tight", but then again, the Cortez house felt HUGE because of different intersecting corridors etc., so I think the size is about right if employed well.

@Josh: Oh, I must have overlooked this! smile The safe was down to the left I think and the dogs were in a room with sticky switches and electric floors that had to be disconnected from above. But that's all from memory. I think that limited range of things will achieve this, like it has partially done with animals. If there is no one overpowered strategy, diversity will be the best defence I think. Might be wrong, but it seems good either way to put some limit onto what power can do.


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

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#32 2013-08-14 10:57:20

joshwithguitar
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Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

bey bey wrote:

I think something similar to the line of sight of dogs is probably needed for electronics (I threw that in some time back when we had this discussion), say any power source can only power anything within a square of 9x9 squares with it sitting in the middle - too much power is lost when longer wires are used, it's a physical limit on conductivity of your 5$-wirings. This would allow for the awesome "cutting" feeling, but limit bit-locks etc. AND it would make magic dances even less attractive since the restriction would also hit anything powered by a doggie. I think this might lead to some interesting developments since any bit-lock's insides could be cut through to with starting cash. That pushes creativity!

Here is a quick example of problems faced with 'limited' power sources: http://castledraft.com/editor/tu8DsA
(In this example power sources have a fairly large radius but the principle applies to smaller ones).
A chain like this allows power to be cut across the house. Chains using voltage switches could still allow for highly complicated combo locks etc.

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#33 2013-08-14 10:57:51

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Suggestions for limiting power propagation are good.  I'm worried about how that will be easy for players to understand... even if I try to make it visible somehow, it will complicate the display.

Blip, you show how access to the electronics can be blocked by a "breaker" button along the wired path to those electronics.  I get that.

But still, the electronics can be inspected after that for next time.


People seem worried by my suggestion, because it will ruin their current, fool-proof security.  But this game isn't supposed to have fool-proof security.  Security where simply poking around gives you NOTHING is not what this game is about.  This game is ABOUT poking around.  Nervously sneaking through someone's house, hoping you're prepared for what is around the next corner.

What I'm hoping for is to make "combo locks" of various kinds so much less effective that psychological houses become just as, if not more, effective.

The "solution" to the current magic dance house is crystal clear:  bring 8 ladders so that you can get to where the animal is walking.  The solution to a combo lock house is also clear:  bring enough ladders to bypass the lock.  Everyone knows the solution, but very few can afford the solution.  There's nothing to figure out, except for how to get enough money to break it.

The psychological houses have something to figure out.  Maybe it's just the right place to throw one brick.  But at least there's something to think about!

Yes, with such changes, tool prices might have to go up.

Of course, if unscoutable combo locks are still possible with the "new world" that I outlined above, there's no point in going to the new world.

So, I'm still looking for people to "build their worst" to try to break this new world by constructing a combo lock.

Also, maybe the animal movement doesn't have to change.

What if animals can still follow you from behind walls after seeing you, but power can't propagate through walls or through traps?  Then you could still have:

http://castledraft.com/editor/HaPPzl

Which can obviously be bypassed by 2 ladders.  Still a magic dance, if you want to try it without tools.  But you could scout it for half the price of simply breaking it.

Largestherb, if the requirement is wire separators between traps, that simply reduces the "longest trapdoor run" from 30 down to 15.  And, by going around corners, you could make it longer.

A major weakness in the current setup is that house builders can "force" you to cross X trapdoors (or doors, or electric floors) to bypass, or else solve some unsolvable thing.

Way back in v5, as soon as I saw that line of trapdoors appear, I was like, "Oh no!  That's not what I was hoping for.  Now everyone will be doing that."

10 releases later, we still have that pesky line of trapdoors.

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#34 2013-08-14 11:34:46

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

What if animals can still follow you from behind walls after seeing you, but power can't propagate through walls or through traps?  Then you could still have:

http://castledraft.com/editor/HaPPzl

Which can obviously be bypassed by 2 ladders.  Still a magic dance, if you want to try it without tools.  But you could scout it for half the price of simply breaking it.

Without a doubt this cripples magic dances but it also seems to totally nerf everything besides pitbulls. Are you not concerned that, ignoring pitbulls, any circuit can be completely scouted for $600 and bypassed for $1200? We're talking anything being scoutable for a fraction of starting money.


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#35 2013-08-14 14:02:49

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

jasonrohrer wrote:

Also, maybe the animal movement doesn't have to change.

What if animals can still follow you from behind walls after seeing you, but power can't propagate through walls or through traps?  Then you could still have:

http://castledraft.com/editor/HaPPzl

Which can obviously be bypassed by 2 ladders.  Still a magic dance, if you want to try it without tools.  But you could scout it for half the price of simply breaking it.

This type of trap can be strengthened through multiple circuits, like this: http://castledraft.com/editor/8XZpcy
Using pit bulls as well makes the trap difficult to scout; it requires either $4800 to brute force, which is more than the starting $2000 or $4000, or four scouting runs, each with a ladder and meat, and with the dance performed correctly each time.


Current life: Not dead, but I have no clue who I am
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 149 Paintings!

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#36 2013-08-14 14:19:17

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

That house cost well over $20k and can be easily brute forced for $2600.... currently under starting cash. sad

I guess I'll have to wait and see, but it sounds like traps are going to be nearly useless after these changes.

Last edited by jere (2013-08-14 14:26:33)


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#37 2013-08-14 14:42:46

colorfusion
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Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Maybe I'm just being uncreative, but I don't really see any traps at all that would really be effective with the proposed changes other than just pitbulls.

Last edited by colorfusion (2013-08-14 14:43:06)

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#38 2013-08-14 15:42:04

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

What does "effective" mean to you, though?

I think it means, "So that no one can get through no matter what, unless they spend a ton of money."  Obviously, that makes for a pretty uninteresting game.  Like I said before, the solution to these effective houses is obvious (N ladders), but you just can't afford it.

What if building an "effective" house really was impossible?  What would you do then?  You'd have to build the best, most misleading, most foreboding, most confusing house that you could.

A house that screams "THIS WAY TO THE VAULT" would no longer be viable.

The very best experiences that I've had with The Castle Doctrine have come from sneaking through houses that look nothing like the top 8 houses do right now.  I was pushing my luck, and my heart was in my throat the whole time.


The current tool prices are balanced around the current build possibilities.  If those build possibilities change, the tool prices might have to change too.


Anyway, I'm still not sure that it's possible to force this change.  As we have seen, players are smart, and they will find a way, if there is a way.

Blip:  I figured out a way to make your "line of six trapdoors" more compact:

http://castledraft.com/editor/boT38a

So, this line of new-world house design worries me!  Let's keep pushing it to see where it can go.

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#39 2013-08-14 15:55:46

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Please please please don't make it this... This looks so bad I couldn't bring myself to play it...


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

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#40 2013-08-14 15:57:20

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

One more thing about Blip's map...  how would a new player experience it?  Is there something interesting to sneak around in?  No, it's the same "hidden logic", with a line of trapdoors to cross at the end.

So, maybe animal movement does really need to change so that they don't move behind walls when they can't see you.

Still, that leaves wiring guarded by pit bulls.  Hmm...

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#41 2013-08-14 16:12:01

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

What if animals can't push buttons? Only the robber can operate switches, and of course the right switches will be accessible for him in the right order as proven by the test run.

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#42 2013-08-14 16:16:54

Cent
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 41

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

http://www.castledraft.com/editor/SldSln

is the best i can come up with. Unfortunately, the weakness lies in the concrete, as it's difficult to thicken the walls further without preventing your own access to the safe. Minimum bruteforce cost would also be 2.6k, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

In any case, steel walls will be rather obsolete, just a stepping stone before concrete if these changes go through. That'd be a shame.

Last edited by Cent (2013-08-14 16:24:34)

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#43 2013-08-14 16:48:58

ukuko
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Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

I got a little carried away...

http://www.castledraft.com/editor/JinsP0

Last edited by ukuko (2013-08-14 16:55:50)

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#44 2013-08-14 18:18:09

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

As this change is meant to help newbies, and I completetely suck at this game, I've decided to say what I think. Personally, whenever I see a magic dance house I just leave. It's not worth my time. The best way around magic dances is the button change suggested by gyuri, however that makes the chihuahuas useless. To fix this, I'd reduce the price to say, $50 and make it so if you stepped on the same tile as one you'd waste half of your turns (Maybe explaining that by saying, "Ow!  The little bugger bit your foot!" or something every other turn. However, this would still leave combo locks. For this, I think the changes would still make sense, as it would be nearly impossible to make one that costs less than a few hundred bucks to get to the electronics room, but is still survivable. And this game is about vulnerability, right?


"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
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#45 2013-08-14 18:26:06

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Ukuko - I think you need a way to kill of the pitbull once you've completed the dance. As it is, during self test it will be impossible to stop the doors opening whilst walking through. I get the idea though. I guess its effectiveness will depend on whether guns, bars and meat are scaled as well, which doesn't seem as necessary as increasing ladder and explosive prices under the proposed system.

Update:
Oh, I get it now. After the voltage triggered switch is activated it is then permanently set to on by the power that it lets through. This is a little counter intuitive though and seems to violate Rohrer's 'no history' idea.

Last edited by joshwithguitar (2013-08-14 19:20:00)

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#46 2013-08-14 18:36:23

Blip
Member
Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

I think that the big problem with these designs is pricing. For these new concepts to work, either tiles need to get cheaper, or tools need get more expensive (with higher spawn cash as well). For example, I tried a $2000 house: http://castledraft.com/editor/w2WgHP and a $4000 house: http://castledraft.com/editor/YMFU9o. Neither of these can stand up very well to many tools... the $2000 house can be safely broken with $200, while the $4000 house would only cost $500. If these could be more balanced, things might work better, so the player has an incentive to optimize their tool use to get a good profit. For example, if the $4000 house has $1500 in vault, and ladders cost more (say, $1000 each), using two ladders on the two trapdoors becomes ineffective. Therefore, there would be incentive to minimize tool use.


Current life: Not dead, but I have no clue who I am
The Life and Times of Christopher Alvin Harris
Record: 149 Paintings!

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#47 2013-08-14 21:29:02

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

jere wrote:

That house cost well over $20k and can be easily brute forced for $2600.... currently under starting cash. sad

I guess I'll have to wait and see, but it sounds like traps are going to be nearly useless after these changes.

You can even brute force this house for less than that using a couple bricks to lure the dogs into the pits first: http://castledraft.com/editor/mzh5uc

This way it only costs $2104 to make it to the vault. Of course, it costs only $1500 if you break through the concrete wall at the top, but that could always be filled in with more layers (albeit at a considerable extra expense).

Last edited by Ludicrosity (2013-08-14 21:30:09)

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#48 2013-08-14 21:36:17

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

Ah nice!


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#49 2013-08-15 01:22:51

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

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

I think raising tool prices even more makes the game somewhat unrealistic. A ladder for 1000 bucks? I don't know.

I'd like to bring up the idea again that tool use takes more than one turn. In fact it might take at least two (take it out, use it), but it could take even more with explosives and ladders. And of course animals should keep moving while you use tools. I know, the problem with that was pitbulls coming from safe distance to the tile next to you while doing so, but that can be solved easily the same way it has been solved with dead dogs: they just don't step on the tile next to you while you're holding a tool (I think it would be even enough if this is true to crowbars).

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#50 2013-08-15 01:34:49

Cent
Member
Registered: 2013-07-25
Posts: 41

Re: A proposal that needs feedback

How would pitbulls ever be in clubbable range then? They either are already next to you and kill you as you pull it out, or they stand too far away to be clubbed. Unless you're saying that u cant club them ever, and we'll have to just shoot them.... At which point, pitbull walls will be the best thing ever.

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