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#1 2013-10-16 05:41:23

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

Early thoughts on new wife dynamic

It feels like the wife no longer has a lot of utility with this update. Whereas before she gave a good stream of income the only effective use she now has is to store away half of the cash you leave in the house after rebuilding.

I don't think the shotgun makes her very useful at all for vault defence. Sure clever wife placement might get you a few kills but she is so easily countered by a gun that as soon as she has collected some bounty money someone will come in with a gun and shoot her. Using your wife in this way makes her into a short lived and not very effective way of scoring some kills/defending your vault. All the shotgun really seems to be useful for is making the club useless against the wife and so forcing a robber to buy a gun if he wants to take her out. This could be slightly useful (compared with just buying another pitbull), but is not very interesting.

So from a usefulness point of view the only real reason to protect your wife is so that she keeps some money for you if your vault gets robbed. As probably all of your bounty money will be going to the vault this amount is fixed when you leave the house. I guess without a salary it can be hard to make money with $0 in the bank to spend on tools, especially if your house has been broken, so this could potentially be quite useful as long as you left enough money in the vault to start with. Whether this bonus is worth putting a lot of money into wife defence is another question, especially given the large costs this entails early on. Seeing as at the start you need to spend money on an interesting trap if you want to have an income wife defence might be too much of a luxury. I guess we will see.

Of course ideally some people will want to defend their wives simply because they feel a compulsion to. But I think from the past this has been shown not to happen. In his thread "On the Wife and Kids Mechanic (Dynamical Meaning)" Jason defends making the wife useful saying "our only option, if we want to avoid dissonance, is to build systems that encourage thematically consonant player behavior." So the question is for now, will this be enough utility to encourage wife defence?

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#2 2013-10-16 06:40:22

Dantheman
Member
Registered: 2013-10-13
Posts: 31

Re: Early thoughts on new wife dynamic

"So the question is for now, will this be enough utility to encourage wife defence?"

I think it is not just a question of the utility of the wife but of how easy it is (or not) to protect her. One of the reasons I don't want to be bothered with even attempting to protect my wife is because she needs a clear path to the way out. No doors in the way. I like how she doesn't start running now until she sees the robber, but I still think you should be able to put her behind doors.


Get out of my house!

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#3 2013-10-16 07:38:52

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

Re: Early thoughts on new wife dynamic

This is an interesting point...

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#4 2013-10-17 02:23:02

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

Re: Early thoughts on new wife dynamic

If the wife and children could open doors, then they can effectively be used as a part of a trap element by revealing pets behind doors and making areas unsafe or triggering switches.  Definitely would be an interesting idea to explore.


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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#5 2013-10-17 07:54:21

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

Re: Early thoughts on new wife dynamic

There are technical reasons why the family can't co-occupy the same space as an object (they are actually regular objects themselves, so they can co-occupy the same space as a mobile animal, and each spot in the house can only have one regular object).

This issue is rather deeply, vertically integrated with every part of the game, all the way through the server and everything (with the way that maps are parsed).

For the most part, it's simple and it works fine.  Most of the time, you don't WANT more than one object in a given spot (because that would be visually confusing anyway).

The only way around this is to make whatever object you want the family to interact with a *mobile* of some kind (I used this trick for the wife's shotgun).  And we did talk about this for a family-only door that animals couldn't walk through.

A "family switch" (like a panic button) would be nice, but the other problem is that mobiles aren't considered in the power propagation code (only base tiles are).  So, even if a mobile has the "conductive" property, it won't conduct.

One option would be to have a "mobile" object as a panic button, and have the family member become conductive when touching that button.  Of course, this would only work as a momentary conductor in that spot (until the family member took another step).  There would also be the issue of the family member remaining conductive after stepping off (potentially wreaking havoc on other circuits further down the hallway).

Anyway, you can see how messy this kind of hack becomes.  I'll keep thinking about it, though... maybe there's a clean way to make it work.

I don't think it's worthwhile to overhaul the map structure at this point, because I don't think that the family interacting with stuff would add that much to the game (there are already plenty of those kinds of tricks available), and full-on family interaction (like, with all switches and doors, etc.) would cause the "valid exit path" detection issue to rear its head. 

Also, it is nice to have these two very different parts of the house, and to have to think about different types of house design (one part you have to get through yourself, another part which you do not, but needs to have an empty path).


But still.... my wife actually had panic buttons throughout her house when she was growing up.  Ah, the 90s!

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