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#1 2014-01-30 09:07:37

protox13
Member
Registered: 2014-01-25
Posts: 111

Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

Jason, I love this game! Thank you for making me a tense, sleep-deprived, nervous wreck for the past few days (It's been much more enjoyable than I make it sound). I have been fueled mainly by the unrelenting desire to improve my home and make it an impregnable castle (the design of which I may share once I consider it fairly breached), but I am camping out in my home as I write this because I am worried this may become impossible given how the game is currently set up. My case:

1. Vacation mode: From just over $100 to $25k in less than six hours. SIX. HOURS. First of all- I wish this were possible for non-techies/bankers/despots/billionaires in real life. Second, part of my meta strategy is laying low and not making myself a target by having pretty much zero net worth. THE NEWBS NEVER GOT THE MEMO. I'll never understand why people with no gear commit to a house lined with concrete and a commit pit bull. Do the math, people! Problem is, once this happens a few times (and it has, and it will continue to given the amount of people which have joined after Steam launch- congrats, by the way!), it snowballs and I become a target. Anyway, this is a rather long way of requesting the an option to put our house in hibernation mode. To avoid abuse by high-net worth players, I'm willing to give up literally 99% of my net worth- money and tools- or maybe even all of it- just to preserve my house for those times when I can't play obsessively every day.

2. An arbitrary amount of more money will always win against less money: Wired steel walls and wired concrete walls, tool limits, decoy safes (to make them start all over again). Another element of my meta strategy is making my house so expensive to crack people will throw their hands up in despair and give up after a scouting run. Or, as in I think the second and only heist against across all my lives, three or four (mind I'm not bragging- I mostly die self testing =P). I just joined about a week ago, and without having read previous forum threads, I get why you don't have wired concrete or steel walls or tool limits- it's to give lower-net worth players a chance of making a big score and give higher net-worth players a reason to keep on their toes. On the flip side, there is ultimately little one can do against a player with enough money to brute force one's defenses. Because of the snowballing problem I mentioned before, in a few hours working folks with sufficiently strong house designs see lots of money after coming home and may decide on a lark to take all that money and bust a house- maybe because they think it's worth it, and/or because that jerk owner clubbed their wife to death in this or a previous life, and/or (most importantly) because they've scouted the house before, run the numbers, and know they can. Without vacation mode or tool limits or stronger defenses, I think it's a matter of time before this happens. I like stronger walls and limited tools (say 10 each and up to 8- that is still almost $100k in tools) because they increase the cost of breaking into a home.

Anyway, just my two cents! Gotta burn that money down to a safer level...

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#2 2014-01-30 12:52:17

ChartaBona
Member
Registered: 2014-01-29
Posts: 20

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

This is a Roguelike. Death/ being robbed is an inevitability. You will learn from your mistakes and develop more cunning traps as time goes on. When you do eventually get robbed , I'd study the tape carefully so that you're next house doesn't have said weaknesses. You may also learn some burglary techniques from the fella.

Last edited by ChartaBona (2014-01-30 12:55:14)

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#3 2014-01-30 13:34:32

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

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

Yeah... "vulnerability" is the main aesthetic goal of this game.

Everyone should be vulnerable, and the richer you are, the worse it should actually become.  Yes, you have more to spend on security, but more people coming at you, and robbers are motivated to spend more trying to get what you've got.

I don't ever want you to "feel safe" in this game.

In fact, "vacation" should be the most vulnerable time!

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#4 2014-01-30 14:26:41

protox13
Member
Registered: 2014-01-25
Posts: 111

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

Ah, gotcha. It's a design feature, not a flaw! big_smile At least it'll be interesting to see how many tries and how much money it costs to breach a house before it falls. That would be an interesting top 8 feature- not just who has the most net worth, but also whose house required the most break-ins by an individual/expenditures to beat.

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#5 2014-01-30 18:11:15

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

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

protox13 wrote:

Ah, gotcha. It's a design feature, not a flaw! big_smile At least it'll be interesting to see how many tries and how much money it costs to breach a house before it falls. That would be an interesting top 8 feature- not just who has the most net worth, but also whose house required the most break-ins by an individual/expenditures to beat.

I can imagine Jason working at Apple now. "It's a design feature, not a flaw! The Castle Doctrine is insanely great, after all!"


"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
"This is one of the most disturbed things I have seen in quite a while. I blame global warming." -bey bey
"that seems like more resources than I'm willing to put into having my kids killed." -cbenny

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#6 2014-01-30 18:44:56

protox13
Member
Registered: 2014-01-25
Posts: 111

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

nathan, that pic is awesome for this forum! big_smile
For those who don't know the reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtZfW2z9dw

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#7 2014-01-30 21:38:38

radynom
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 9

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

I agree with the vulnerability and tension is necessary, but I do think the game needs some balancing.  It's now too easy for a rich robber to rob someone and destroy everything in a house.  The risk is very low for the robber because no trap can kill you if you have enough tool.  When you get robbed and your wife killed, you are basically dead as well.  And with the influx of new players, getting enough money is a lot easier than before.

No house should be safe, but robbing should carry more risk even if you have a lot of money.

I suggest limiting the total number of tools you can bring to something like 45 or less.  This way, a determined robber will still be able to rob anyone, but he/she may require 2 or 3 trips.  The robber will need to at least learn a bit about the traps to determine how to solve it or what tools are required, instead of mindlessly plowing through everything like it is now.

Why 45?  The house is a 30x30 grid, and you start in the middle edge.  45 tools will allow you to brute force to any where in the house if you use 1 tool every step.  You will be able to rob anyone as long as you know where the safe is and bring the right tool.

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#8 2014-01-30 21:59:10

ChartaBona
Member
Registered: 2014-01-29
Posts: 20

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

Keep in mind that anything the robber brings to a house is lost, whether he finds the vault or leaves. If he brings one too few, *waah waah.* If he brings way too many tools, the robbery may have only made him a tiny bit of money. Also, you are never at risk of dying when you are being robbed. The robber is the on at risk of losing EVERYTHING. Even if you lose all your money, you can rebuild your broken house. You just have to start back at the bottom or pick off the $2k and under houses for potentially free money.

The upshot is no one important is going to try to rob you when you a huge fortress but pennies to your name. Provided your original setup was decent. A couple clever commit traps will keep the rabble out.

This is coming from someone who lost $100K worth of stuff today to a robber who brought in $50-60k worth of tools. Unfortunately I died during a self test by not taking into account a broken power door.

Last edited by ChartaBona (2014-01-30 22:09:13)

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#9 2014-01-30 22:03:10

SomeGuyNamedDavid
Member
From: near Atlantic City, New Jersey
Registered: 2014-01-25
Posts: 33

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

radynom wrote:

It's now too easy for a rich robber to rob someone and destroy everything in a house.  The risk is very low for the robber because no trap can kill you if you have enough tool.

Well, the more money you have, the more you have to lose upon dying, so the risk is higher everywhere the richer you are. And no one, however rich, will spend more than a house's value to rob it (unless they have an ulterior motive), since doing that means a drop in net worth even if you do reach the safe. This is why the rich rarely rob the poor.

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#10 2014-01-30 22:20:40

radynom
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 9

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

ChartaBona wrote:

Also, you are never at risk of dying when you are being robbed.

That's not true.  If you are robbed and your wife killed, you end up with nothing.  Without tools, you are unlikely to be able to rob anyone, and no one will rob you since you have no money.  Most of the time you might as well suicide to get a fresh $2000.

You do not have to take any risk if you have enough tools.  Throw bricks at door to open, cut electric grid..etc.  Once you know enough about the game, there's nothing that can kill you before you have the chance to use tool to save yourself.  It's probably more risky to do a self test.

Keep in mind that with limited tools, you can still rob anyone you want.  It just means you may require multiple trips and more planning.
And we are talking about the rich robbing the rich.  If you spend $200000 to rob a $200000 house, you will not lose any money, but you will get rid of someone who have a chance to rob you.

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#11 2014-01-31 07:59:08

ChartaBona
Member
Registered: 2014-01-29
Posts: 20

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

radynom wrote:
ChartaBona wrote:

Also, you are never at risk of dying when you are being robbed.

That's not true.  If you are robbed and your wife killed, you end up with nothing.  Without tools, you are unlikely to be able to rob anyone, and no one will rob you since you have no money.  Most of the time you might as well suicide to get a fresh $2000.

I sank a lot of money into my house. After I got robbed, I went and found some easy targets and got a grand or 2 in a matter of minutes. I died during a self-test because I didn't take into account that one of my powered doors had been crow-barred.

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#12 2014-01-31 14:20:40

protox13
Member
Registered: 2014-01-25
Posts: 111

Re: Game balance sugestions- please salvage my remaining nerves and sleep

radynom wrote:

I agree with the vulnerability and tension is necessary, but I do think the game needs some balancing.  It's now too easy for a rich robber to rob someone and destroy everything in a house.  The risk is very low for the robber because no trap can kill you if you have enough tool.  When you get robbed and your wife killed, you are basically dead as well.  And with the influx of new players, getting enough money is a lot easier than before.

No house should be safe, but robbing should carry more risk even if you have a lot of money.

I suggest limiting the total number of tools you can bring to something like 45 or less.  This way, a determined robber will still be able to rob anyone, but he/she may require 2 or 3 trips.  The robber will need to at least learn a bit about the traps to determine how to solve it or what tools are required, instead of mindlessly plowing through everything like it is now.

Why 45?  The house is a 30x30 grid, and you start in the middle edge.  45 tools will allow you to brute force to any where in the house if you use 1 tool every step.  You will be able to rob anyone as long as you know where the safe is and bring the right tool.

Exactly. I second this. Scaling up the "transportation" cost and forcing them to come back on multiple runs would have the same effect.

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