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#1 2013-08-19 18:31:51

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Some other problems and potential solutions.

Currently, there are only four significant houses online, two of these are wife centric with nearly impassable defences that rake in the most cash when their safes are broken... another has been smashed for almost two days, and the owner hasnt bothered to repair the damage because it's actually made his defences stronger... His house is currently impassable and will remain so as long as he doesn't fix it, and he wont fix it until hes benefited three fold from having been robbed... Only the last house is solvable, and it relies almost entirely on magic dances, but at least you can poke around and figure it out. The rest of the houses are either cheap attempts at the wife strategy, which are easily bursted through with starter cash, or admirable attempts at design( that are as well just as easily bursted down with starter cash. )

Alot has been made of magic dances and electro/trap door defences, but these things while certainly frustrating arent hurting the game nearly as much the following.

1) Broken houses working better than active ones.

2) The easy safe/ impossible wife strat.

3) The power of starter smash!

Alot of people have said that perhaps some of these problems will resolve themselves with more players, I disagree entirely, players like to win, almost as much as they like to see other players lose, even if it's in an unfair regard, if one strategy is clearly better and easier we will see the same bad habits take shape on a much larger scale, and then the game will simply die because of the resulting stagnation. As for broken houses, It makes no sense to reward a player for not playing the game, this can only hurt the players overall enjoyment in the long run.

Enough whining though! Onto solutions!

For the whole safe/wife strat and broken house advantage is see a couple solutions that could be used separately or combined.

1: If a safe is broken, the entire household should stop generating cash. This would immediately kill the boring easy safe strat, and would encourage players with broken houses to immediately resolve the damage done to their homes, seeing as every moment there house remaines broken they would be losing money, not gaining it.

2: Make the wife vulnerable to pitbulls and add a second safety test wherein she would have to escape from the inside of the house. Currently the wife is far and away the most boring part of the game, there is only one way to defend her at all, pit bulls pit bulls and more pit bulls, you have this enormous kit of interesting traps yet they cant interact with her in any way. As a result the player with the most money has the safest wife, not the player who creates the best defence. I really dont see two ways around this, either make her interesting or remove her entirely, right now she is detracting from the interesting part of the game (safe defence), she also hits new players the hardest because they end up spending all their money designing a pit bull tunnel for her instead of learning how to design an intricate web of malice( since she makes more than the safe and doesn't respawn). So yeah, fix her. Moving on.

Before I discuss the whole 2000 starter smash problem, heres a simple concern. Children. Cmon, why are these things in this game right now, their only purpose currently is that robbers can kill them one by one, so that they can smash as much of your house as possible.... What? This game isn't very big right now, so it hasn't seen a lot of multi account abuse or cooperation between friends yet, but if it does lauch with children as they currently are I could totally imagine someone, ie myself, (dont hate the player) leaving thier kids at the front door and asking a friend to kill them so that they couldn't be used against me...I mean them...

Two solutions, a) get rid of them. b).. why not use them as scouts or guinepigs? ie you could house test with them, or you could use them to scout out an enemy house, the catch being that kids would be unable to use tools. You only get two, and of course if they die they're gone and so long as they live they can still be used against you. This might give new players a bit of more rope, and there could of course be an option for better players to play without them. In this sense choosing to have kids at the start of the game would become a big choice( like it is in real life! XD), with risks going either way, which sounds fine to me, sure beats them just being forced liabilities that your better off without.

Now the big problem, 2000 starter smash. I'm sorry  Sir Rohrer, I know you want the the money system to remain clean, but you yourself have said it might be necessary to divide aggressive and defensive income. I'd like to suggest though that it wouldn't necessarily have to be more confusing than it already is, because you already have two forms of income coming in, wife money and safe money. You could assign defensive cash to safe income(Which would start at 4000-6000), and agressive to wife income(which would start at 2000, but would gather faster than defence income), and if the wife dies you could task the safe on making one type or the other.

Separate income would encourage players to both robb and build, not just one or the other, as things stand we either have fortress kings, or starter smashers, who scuicide over and over because building a house is a waste of time, seeing as it can oh so easily be smashed, (after all the only way for poor players to really kickstart thier house is a big heist, and starter smashing is the best way to do that). This would also encourage rich players to go out more as well, (because if you own a gun you are far more likely to use it right?).

While it is a concern that rich players will robb poor players with this agressive income, they currently do that and will continue to do that either way, because it costs them virtually nothing to do so, they currently wont rob other rich players though because the gross amount of money they spend risking thier lives could just as easily be spent securing their fortresses/income. A pool of solely agressive income will more so encourage rich players to attack other rich players, because they'll have no other profitable way to spend it other than on a big heist.

Thats all, anything worthwhile in dem blocks of text? Or any other thoughts on the highlighted issues?

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#2 2013-08-20 03:49:22

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Idk, I've started new houses a few times in the last weeks. It's good to start with a heist, but not necessary. If you start off with something compact and smart, like a chase etc. and expand that, the current game climate favours this. It has to be expanded rather quickly, but it's doable.

Also, by the way, my house doesn't entirely rely on magic dances. As I had a few houses that did, I'm fairly confident at saying that. At least a magic dance would mean more than one or two steps. What my house has is I think one hidden switch, but even the effects of that one are visible from the doorstep. It's neither magic nor a dance if its only one step instead of a combination of moves AND if it and it's effects are visible.

Then again, the way people attack my house is odd. I don't see many clever attacks (many things are blatantly obvious), and no "recon". I designed that thing to be many tidbits where a lot can happen and all the walls are thin (sadly, I couldn't do it as well as I wanted because there are so many attacks currently so some shortcuts towards security where necessary. But either way, my house is by far the easiest at the moment I'd say.)


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

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#3 2013-08-20 03:52:35

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Edit: Right now, there are at least 10k just up for grabs. Free starting cash for all!!


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

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#4 2013-08-20 05:35:22

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Ok, no problem, your house is awesome, what about ray carl jhonsons bieng harder to break now thats it's broken? (I loved that house man T_T) Or the two exploit houses? Are contributing/not actively hurting the game enough not be adressed? As for the 10 k.... it was never there... dont come looking for it.

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#5 2013-08-20 05:40:07

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

oh the money actually glitched out on me 0_0, guess it really never was there after all.

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#6 2013-08-20 06:17:01

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

gumshoe wrote:

Ok, no problem, your house is awesome, what about ray carl jhonsons bieng harder to break now thats it's broken? (I loved that house man T_T) Or the two exploit houses? Are contributing/not actively hurting the game enough not be adressed? As for the 10 k.... it was never there... dont come looking for it.

Thanks mate. wink

Yeah, there was one house with an openly accessible wife carrying 5k or so and another similar one which I didn't want to take since I just logged in to blow some of the accumulated cash. But those get snatched up quickly I guess. I'm all with you on the exploit house and Johnson front. Both are problems. Johnson still has a wife which could have been killed using about 10k or so. I might have done that instead of building. Well, next time. It's a shame he doesn't repair it because it looks interesting and I almost got to the safe once I think between houses.

Either way, it's sad that the creativity seems to have gone from the game somehow. Little tidbits strung together are a perfectly viable house now. E.g. do something like this by blip http://castlefortify.com/c/1c4b775 in a 2k fashion as a first step into a house, followed by something else etc. The climate for this is more or less perfect, but it doesn't happen...


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

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#7 2013-08-20 06:55:03

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

bey bey wrote:
gumshoe wrote:

Ok, no problem, your house is awesome, what about ray carl jhonsons bieng harder to break now thats it's broken? (I loved that house man T_T) Or the two exploit houses? Are contributing/not actively hurting the game enough not be adressed? As for the 10 k.... it was never there... dont come looking for it.

Thanks mate. wink

Yeah, there was one house with an openly accessible wife carrying 5k or so and another similar one which I didn't want to take since I just logged in to blow some of the accumulated cash. But those get snatched up quickly I guess. I'm all with you on the exploit house and Johnson front. Both are problems. Johnson still has a wife which could have been killed using about 10k or so. I might have done that instead of building. Well, next time. It's a shame he doesn't repair it because it looks interesting and I almost got to the safe once I think between houses.

Either way, it's sad that the creativity seems to have gone from the game somehow. Little tidbits strung together are a perfectly viable house now. E.g. do something like this by blip http://castlefortify.com/c/1c4b775 in a 2k fashion as a first step into a house, followed by something else etc. The climate for this is more or less perfect, but it doesn't happen...

It doesn't happen because new players have no idea wtf that is, and the enviroment in game doesn't encourage the growth neccecairy to grasp and reproduce that. Meanwhile better players generally don't die, and therefore dont experiment, even if thier house does get robbed they're better off sticking with it because at that point it's worth tens of thousands, and they're wife is still likely secure..

I loved watching your house evolve (as I said, it's the only viable one out there), it started out with some good ideas that could be brute forced through, but stuck around and is now quite formidable. Would you agree that currently wife defence does nothing for the game? Even if it wasn't so abusive, which it is, it;s just wholly uninteresting. Do you think a wife check would be cool? Would it be the wife escaping from inside of the house upon spotting an intruder or should it just be the husband reaching her like the safe? Is a family needed at all gameplay wise? It really seems like it's just taking away from the core right now.

Alot of people have been defending the game in it's current state, saying it would be fine if it acrued a small dedicated intelligent player base and that the game is much more viable then it used to be. I have a huge problem with this mentality in that it radiates contentment at a time when the game should not be nearly complete and in fact isn't. I also wanna say that I do not have a master degree, and I am not an electric engineer, but I have learned things just by playing the game, the game itself is not as impenetrable as it it's been made out to be, it's the top players cheap designs that are stifling newbie growth . So long as you have the means to poke around someones house with starter cash you can learn from them, and get better. But these three or so unviable houses at the top two teach you nothing but "lol walls, pitbulls and wives are good son" and the Jhonson house doesn't even teach you that T_T.

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#8 2013-08-20 07:32:58

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Yeah, it's somewhat sad, also how pulsating it can be. A week or so ago we had three pages of houses (which I hadn't seen in a long time) and now we're back to a few boring ones. Might be that it's just holiday time, might be that those are kind of natural mechanisms of prey vs. predators etc.

The "newbie problem" is a huge one. Maybe somebody with a server should just set up a newbie server, with unlimited starting cash or something like that and permanent houses to try one's skills on where damage isn't saved, and maybe where the shroud can be deactivated. I'd definitely contribute a few houses to that (and there are already lots of castlefortify & castledraft links in the forums that could just be inserted). I'm not anything with IT and don't have the resources but there must be others...

It would be contrary to Jason's concept for the game and I do support the notion of being thrown into the deep end (which is even modeled on the real life experiences of moving into a tough town) but if it makes it easier for newbies, an unofficial server is a good solution and I don't think anybody would mind that.


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

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#9 2013-08-20 08:12:51

AGO
Member
Registered: 2013-08-06
Posts: 10

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

bey bey wrote:

It would be contrary to Jason's concept for the game and I do support the notion of being thrown into the deep end (which is even modeled on the real life experiences of moving into a tough town) but if it makes it easier for newbies, an unofficial server is a good solution and I don't think anybody would mind that.




This concept is a catch22. New players don't want to newb stomped within one hour of playing a game. I gave up playing because of this. It seems that is the consensus with only 3 house currently active. Its either cater to the newer players or have a dead game. Sad part is the latter seems to be the chosen path by the game designer. It's to easy for a veteran player to loose sight of how brutal the game can be and how that makes new players just walk away.

There needs to be a Hardcore mode and a Softcore mode. Problem Solved.

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#10 2013-08-20 08:45:21

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

I think you'll find that veteran players get often get 'newb stomped' too. At the moment the early game (sub ~$8000 house) is totally dominated by the robber.

Thus the over reliance on dependable schemas.

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#11 2013-08-20 08:50:54

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

I dont think we need different modes or different servers at all 0_0. The game isnt too hard it's just broken right now, fix the easy safe strat, change the way the wife works to make her interesting (ie a check wherein you also have to reach her or she has to escape, would allow her to actually interact with something other than pitbulls) design the game so that starter money will always yield knowledge but never results( this is already being adressed in another thread through nerfs of magic dance and what not). Also, allow for two forms of currency because right now 2000 in tools means nothing to a player and can be spammed endlessly. It is considerably harder to make a house out of two thousand, and it takes considerably more time. Allow for two currencies, one gathered by the wife, another by the safe. Wife money would be agressive, would start at 2000, and would gather twice as fast as safe money. Safe money would start at 4000-6000, doing this would allow players a stronger start, and would also encourage building a defence as well because while the aggresive money starts lower it gathers faster, a day long successful defence will allow for a considerable heist on the following day. Also having a pool of solely aggressive income will encourage rich players to sack other rich players. Which is essentially the pinnacle of the game. Players who save up a lot of aggressive income will also be targeted in advance (it should show up how much red and green money someone has.) and in terms of house robbery, an element of choice will appear (going after the aggressive or defensive cash).

Last edited by gumshoe (2013-08-20 08:55:28)

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#12 2013-08-20 08:54:38

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

I mean the problem I see above all is that players are either just playing robber or just playing defensive. Worst part is even after a big hiest robbers lose it all right away because they havent had the oportunity to build a defence. two forms of income and two set of starter cash would solve that / :.

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#13 2013-08-20 09:03:47

AGO
Member
Registered: 2013-08-06
Posts: 10

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

You can't balance a game with only 3 players. With a maximum of 10 at the most.

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#14 2013-08-20 09:12:30

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

AGO wrote:

You can't balance a game with only 3 players. With a maximum of 10 at the most.

Of course you can 0_0, you balance the problems that are eliminating new players(safe abuse and starter smash), then when new players come in, you balance the problems that arise from them. Aside from that there are some forseeable abuses (ie purposely killing children) or uninteresting elements ( wife defence) that can be adressed in advance.

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#15 2013-08-21 00:03:52

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Gumshoe, how long have you been playing? I think a number of your assumptions are a bit wrong.

gumshoe wrote:

While it is a concern that rich players will robb poor players with this agressive income, they currently do that and will continue to do that either way, because it costs them virtually nothing to do so, they currently wont rob other rich players though because the gross amount of money they spend risking thier lives could just as easily be spent securing their fortresses/income.

From my experience this is just not the case. There is an upper bound on how much people tend on their home defence after which point money tends to go towards robbery and paintings. "Brute force" robbery by the rich is not much of a risk to their lives as they generally bring enough tools to secure an exit and blast through any traps. This happens fairly regularly amongst rich houses, I've done it a bit myself while I've had a good house and had others brute force me. It is in fact more likely that the rich will be robbed by the rich then by $2000 suicide runs.

Concerning the "starter smash" I don't really see this as a problem at all. With enough money, houses can be built basically invulnerable to countless $2000 runs, meaning that they are only a problem to newer houses and richer houses that allow for cheap ways to see how they work/by-pass security. $2000 runs have existed since I started playing and yet I've been able to consistently build houses from scratch that rarely if ever get robbed by $2000 starters. Once you have 4 pits and a 5 thick concrete wall you are set and it takes a lot less to scare people off/kill them off so that can't get at you again for another hour.

I agree with you that protecting your wife is too powerful at the moment and there isn't enough incentive to put money towards defending your vault. I don't think wife mechanisms need to be changed though, I think it is fine if getting to the wife is very different from getting to the vault, partly because I don't think wife killing should be an integral part of the game, just something that you can choose to do or not do.

I wouldn't be surprised if the current lull in houses is only temporary, some of the consistent players are having a break. It seems to go up and down quite a bit. What happened to Montoya, Cantrell and Mccartney?

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#16 2013-08-21 01:18:57

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

Josh, you accuse me of inexperience, but id argue your issue is your approaching the game from the perspective of someone whose already been around quite a while and is fairly well off, I'm glad it's fun for you, but it's just not working out for a considerable amount of other players for precisely that reason XD. which house is yours by the way out of curiosity?

You say Starter smash isn't a problem with "enough money". And your right, but how do you get that money? By robbing rich players, oh wait, you cant do that with starter cash(as you said), you also cant build a house off 2000 that can defend against starter smash.... So i guess your only option is to get lucky? Starter smash is a massive problem precisely because it only affects new players... I'm sorry if I wasn't clear on that. Also I agree that getting to the wife should be different( perhaps a wife escape run), but it needs to be interesting 0_0 or it needs to not matter at all, otherwise it detracts from what makes that game good(SAFE DEFENCE).

Also I agree that as things are the rich are probably robbing the rich, I suppose the game is just so stagnant lately that it's been impossible to tell / :. and why is that? Perhaps montoya cantrell and maccartney are taking an extended break, more likely the game in it's current state is  impenetrable/ :. And it's impentrable because wife mechanics are dull and abusive, starter smash discourages new houses (to the point where rich players would stick with a smashed house and a dead wife because thats still better that starting over) and the rich houses are currently impossible to crack without a ludicrous bank. The amount of time I've been playing the game in no way changes the issues that are clearly plaguing it.

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#17 2013-08-21 02:18:41

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

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

I haven't been around for that long, maybe 4 weeks? I guess I have never felt the same issues that you bring up. As I said, starter cash robbery isn't new, but I have started from scratch many times over the past 4 weeks, but can fairly consistently survive the early game without using the "protect your wife" strat. I can see how this can be tricky for new players, and there is definitely a sharp learning curve. But the game isn't broken, just hard (maybe too hard, I don't know).

Players scouting early cuts both ways in that it means there is a decent amount of free $1000 vaults ($2000 if you are happy to get the wife as well) and you can create a pretty good façade for $4000. I guess it does require a bit of consistent playing and checking in to get started, and this makes it harder for people who just want to build a house and leave it to see how it goes. I guess the other thing that can make or break an early house is when it is build. Activity throughout the day isn't consistent, and if you build your house when it is quiet your less likely to be struck.

Anyway, despite dying many times I've had a lot of fun over the past 4 weeks despite the games problems. I have been able to rob top houses a couple of days after starting a new house, very recently there wasn't a house on the list that I hadn't robbed, despite my current house being around for less than a week.

I'm not sure as I can't see my name but from other discussions I think I must be Mr Johnson. I've fixed my house up and someone very quickly got figured out my dance (didn't get to my safe though big_smile). I agree that the game should have stopped me from buying paintings till I fixed up my house, but I was interested to see what would happen.

It looks like you have been exploring my place, were you the one that got to my vault and died soon after? Not all rich houses are "impenetrable" to starter cash smile(though mine is more so since I rebuilt it).

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#18 2013-08-21 07:06:54

gumshoe
Member
Registered: 2013-08-18
Posts: 54

Re: Some other problems and potential solutions.

joshwithguitar wrote:

I haven't been around for that long, maybe 4 weeks? I guess I have never felt the same issues that you bring up. As I said, starter cash robbery isn't new, but I have started from scratch many times over the past 4 weeks, but can fairly consistently survive the early game without using the "protect your wife" strat. I can see how this can be tricky for new players, and there is definitely a sharp learning curve. But the game isn't broken, just hard (maybe too hard, I don't know).

Players scouting early cuts both ways in that it means there is a decent amount of free $1000 vaults ($2000 if you are happy to get the wife as well) and you can create a pretty good façade for $4000. I guess it does require a bit of consistent playing and checking in to get started, and this makes it harder for people who just want to build a house and leave it to see how it goes. I guess the other thing that can make or break an early house is when it is build. Activity throughout the day isn't consistent, and if you build your house when it is quiet your less likely to be struck.

Anyway, despite dying many times I've had a lot of fun over the past 4 weeks despite the games problems. I have been able to rob top houses a couple of days after starting a new house, very recently there wasn't a house on the list that I hadn't robbed, despite my current house being around for less than a week.

I'm not sure as I can't see my name but from other discussions I think I must be Mr Johnson. I've fixed my house up and someone very quickly got figured out my dance (didn't get to my safe though big_smile). I agree that the game should have stopped me from buying paintings till I fixed up my house, but I was interested to see what would happen.

It looks like you have been exploring my place, were you the one that got to my vault and died soon after? Not all rich houses are "impenetrable" to starter cash smile(though mine is more so since I rebuilt it).

Yep, knew it was you : P, the guy who figured out your dance was me XD, hit up the last door on the last corridor T_T. Were you seriously up at 2 am just making sure nobody robbed you XD. I was so frustrated, I waited till late when you'd be asleep and only managed two runs before you fixed the dance behind a wall of pits T_T. Point is, you are the richest of the rich, currently sitting at rank 1 in money basically, and your house is probally worth the most. More people have died in your house than every other currently on combined XD. Your house has also been there as long as I've been playing the game (over a week now, a huge amount of time for this kind of game thats still in a constantly evolving alpha) Forgive me, but I think your the last person who should be apart of the discussion concerning the viability of starter houses XD.

At best your biased, at worst your a lobbiest for your own cause XD. If you do wanna become apart of this discussion, by all means, start a new house, I assure you I could crack a 2000 in just two runs no matter what with starter smash. Thats not bragging, I'm sure you and every other vet could do so in one run, and thats the problem / :. Again, I'm glad the game has treated you kindly, Your right about it bieng hard and at times extremely fun, like how you had to wake up at 2 am or not sleep at all to stop me with a new reworking of your design. Thats skilful, thats difficult, thats fine, defending a starter house isn't difficult or fun though, it's just unviable. The only way to do so is to get extremely lucky, and it's pretty darn silly that a game that takes so much skill relies so heavily on blind luck to get the player off the ground.

Last edited by gumshoe (2013-08-21 07:11:22)

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