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#1 2014-01-31 09:41:02

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

I know the rich should never be invincible. I'm totally cool with that. But I feel that brute forcing is currently way too powerful. The practical limit of tools you need to brute force even the best house is easily below $200k. And if your house approaches those kinds of values, it's a no risk, no brainer to take you out.

jwg thinks it's too easy to get to the very top. I think part of that is how easy it is to take out the mid/top players with brute forcing. The entire first page of houses has been wiped out by a single player almost every day recently. That's evidence enough for me.

Here's a thought on how to handle that: what if you pay a surcharge (i.e. fuel) for stacking multiple tools. It could be something really minor like 5% per extra tool. This would not hamper new players, but it would protect all players somewhat from ridiculous brute forcing.

So here would be the total cost to buy and carry:

Current:
1 saw - $400
2 saws - $800
10 saws - $4,000
20 saws - $8,000
30 saws - $12,000
40 saws - $16,000

Proposed:
1 saw - $400
2 saws - $840
10 saws - $6,205
20 saws - $20,215
30 saws - $49,393
40 saws - $107,276

It changes the equation. $16k is a drop in the bucket for a rich player aiming to get a payout. But $100k+ will make you think twice.

Last edited by jere (2014-01-31 09:43:00)


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#2 2014-01-31 10:22:00

Turnout8
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From: USA
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 18

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

That's brilliant! I've been thinking that there should be some sort of upper limit on the number of tools you can carry, but I know Jason has said he doesn't want to do that.

This, however, still allows unlimited tools but makes it cost prohibitive. A very elegant solution.

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#3 2014-01-31 10:27:16

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

This is interesting!

So... what about a rich player who gathers free tools from robbers dying in the house?

The point is... it seems like the surcharge needs to be placed on how much you CARRY, not on how much you BUY.  Like... a transportation cost, really.

Essentially, it seems like this could be a flat rate for each "extra" item you carry in each of your eight slots.  So, you could carry 1 saw for free, but as the slot gets more full, the transport cost could rise.  That could be on whatever formula... probably something that grows non-linearly.


Also, I'm trying to figure out where to plug this into the game.  It seems like... hmm...  that it really needs to be on the Load Backpack screen, where you shuffle stuff around and see the transport cost factored in to what you're doing, and then hit DONE to be charged that cost.  It still seems like it would be confusing.... like, you'd have enough money to buy a saw, but you wouldn't be able to buy it, because you're already carrying 10 saws, and the transport cost of putting one more in your pack would be too much.

SO... maybe transport cost needs to be billed separately on that screen, and let it exceed what you actually have to spend (with a number that is green and turns red when it goes over).  And if the current transport cost is more than you have, the DONE button is blocked on the Load screen.  And then... if you come back to that screen and move stuff OUT of your backpack (before heading out to rob), you could get that transport cost BACK.


I do wonder, though... this makes the rich even more invulnerable!  Both to each other, and to lower players.

I mean, for a certain house design, brute forcing is the ONLY option---for houses that would take an exponential number of guesses to pass without tools.

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#4 2014-01-31 10:30:53

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

how much you CARRY, not on how much you BUY.  Like... a transportation cost, really.

Yup. That's what I was thinking and why I suggested calling it fuel. The UI might be a little complex... it'd have to take away money when you fill your backpack but give it back when you remove items from your backpack. But that's not that hard .


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#5 2014-01-31 10:31:34

Blip
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Registered: 2013-05-07
Posts: 505

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

This is a great solution. It would still allow tools to be used for robberies in a reasonable fashion, but make pure brute force cost-prohibitive. However, I'm worried that this would make the rich invincible. With traps that are as ridiculous as some of the ones we have, how could you break them without either a full map or a crazy amount of tools?

Also, just clarifying: These increased prices would only apply per tool, right? e.g If I already bought 5 saws, would buying one ladder cost any more than normal? And how would all of this affect the resale price?


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#6 2014-01-31 10:35:37

jere
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Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

If I already bought 5 saws, would buying one ladder cost any more than normal? And how would all of this affect the resale price?

Yea, to be clear: this is per tool stack. You could bring in 8 separate tools and pay no surcharge.

It still seems like it would be confusing.... like, you'd have enough money to buy a saw, but you wouldn't be able to buy it, because you're already carrying 10 saws, and the transport cost of putting one more in your pack would be too much.

What if everything you buy goes into your vault? The surcharge is applied when moving in and out of the backpack.

I do wonder, though... this makes the rich even more invulnerable!  Both to each other, and to lower players.

Eh, I wouldn't say that. A whole page of top houses getting wiped everyday is far from invulnerability. What I'm suggesting would encourage more poking around and longer robberies, which I think is what we all want.

That could be on whatever formula... probably something that grows non-linearly.

I didn't word it well, but the formula I have above was exponential:

n*C*1.05^(n-1)

Where n is number of tools in a stack and C is the cost per tool. Again, first tool is completely free.

Last edited by jere (2014-01-31 10:36:31)


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#7 2014-01-31 10:41:00

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Well, I was thinking it wouldn't affect the price of buying, just that you'd be billed extra for having too many of one thing in your backpack. So, it wouldn't affect resale value.


But yeah... I'm still on the fence about this, because this will make breaking the top houses even harder.


I mean, if I REALLY wanted to drive people crazy with paranoia, I could make it so that damage accumulates, even for failed robberies.  So, they'd collectively chip away at every house over time, like termites.  You'd have to watch your house day and night to keep it patched up....

Anyway, if it worked like that, then carrying multiple tools could become expensive (or even impossible---back to 8 slots).   But, I don't want to do THAT to people....

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#8 2014-01-31 10:41:00

Turnout8
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From: USA
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 18

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

jasonrohrer wrote:

I do wonder, though... this makes the rich even more invulnerable!  Both to each other, and to lower players.

I mean, for a certain house design, brute forcing is the ONLY option---for houses that would take an exponential number of guesses to pass without tools.

True, but right now a rich Robber is already essentially invulnerable, and rich House-owners (and low to mid level owners) are essentially at the mercy of the uber-rich Robbers. This tweak would nerf uber-rich Robbers' ability to brute force entire houses. They can still easily carry enough tools to brute force a combo lock at the back of the house, they would just have to be strategic in where they brute force and where they avoid traps the sneaky way.

P.S. I just got the game during the contest (Iceman was raving about how awesome the game was on the SpyParty forums, so I thought I would check it out) and I think it is awesome. There is way more depth of strategy and even meta-gaming than I thought there would be. Fantastic game!

Last edited by Turnout8 (2014-01-31 10:41:23)

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#9 2014-01-31 10:50:10

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Turnout8 wrote:
jasonrohrer wrote:

I do wonder, though... this makes the rich even more invulnerable!  Both to each other, and to lower players.

I mean, for a certain house design, brute forcing is the ONLY option---for houses that would take an exponential number of guesses to pass without tools.

True, but right now a rich Robber is already essentially invulnerable, and rich House-owners (and low to mid level owners) are essentially at the mercy of the uber-rich Robbers. This tweak would nerf uber-rich Robbers' ability to brute force entire houses. They can still easily carry enough tools to brute force a combo lock at the back of the house, they would just have to be strategic in where they brute force and where they avoid traps the sneaky way.

P.S. I just got the game during the contest (Iceman was raving about how awesome the game was on the SpyParty forums, so I thought I would check it out) and I think it is awesome. There is way more depth of strategy and even meta-gaming than I thought there would be. Fantastic game!

I feel that this change would probably be more to the effect of making the rich stronger, as their combo locks and magic dances would take a fortune to brute force through, and low level houses generally need less tools to get through.

Last edited by colorfusion (2014-01-31 10:50:49)

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#10 2014-01-31 10:54:01

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Yeah...

Man, this has been SUCH a hard game to balance!

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#11 2014-01-31 10:58:36

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Yeah I think this would nerf the poor hardest.

Lowering tool slots and always maintaining damage when a robber gets out alive could be interesting but I guess you'd probably want to test that on a separate server first.

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#12 2014-01-31 11:01:03

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

I think I pretty much know how it would go...

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#13 2014-01-31 11:02:04

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Yeah I think this would nerf the poor hardest.

I don't get that. The poor are already using a small number of tools, right? They aren't going in with 10+ of a single tool. The change to their prices would be negligible.

I feel like you're currently much safer by being a mid player or a poor player than a rich player. No one is coming at you with 40+ of each tool....

Last edited by jere (2014-01-31 11:03:22)


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#14 2014-01-31 11:10:20

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

jere wrote:

Yeah I think this would nerf the poor hardest.

I don't get that. The poor are already using a small number of tools, right? They aren't going in with 10+ of a single tool. The change to their prices would be negligible.

I feel like you're currently much safer by being a mid player or a poor player than a rich player. No one is coming at you with 40+ of each tool....

The rich houses would cost a lot more to brute force through, meaning rich players could stay up there with less risk and have money to spend on the tools. Poor people would also find it hard to rob medium people, as it would cost a lot on top of the tool cost. Robbing upwards to richer people would be nerfed a lot, whereas robbing people below you would barely be affected.

I'm usually fairly rich, and I think the rich being the most vulnerable is a great way for it to work. I can always spend down if I want to hide from robbers, but it's harder for poor people get rich. Being up in the top 8 comes with its risks.

There's also a whole lot of people on the steam forums arguing pretty much the exact opposite to what you're saying; they're saying that rich are invincible and being poor and climbing the ladder is too difficult.

Last edited by colorfusion (2014-01-31 11:15:56)

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#15 2014-01-31 11:15:06

Turnout8
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From: USA
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 18

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

jere wrote:

I don't get that. The poor are already using a small number of tools, right? They aren't going in with 10+ of a single tool. The change to their prices would be negligible.

Yes, this. It can't possibly hurt the poor more than the rich, because the cost increases non-linearly the more you spend.

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#16 2014-01-31 11:16:43

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

There's also a whole lot of people on the steam forums arguing pretty much the exact opposite to what you're saying; they're saying that rich are invincible and being poor and climbing the ladder is too difficult.

Well, yea I see that. I don't want to hurt the poor. But it's simply a misconception that the rich are invulnerable when they're going down as soon as they get on the front page. Maybe that's how risky it should be.... I dunno.


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#17 2014-01-31 11:39:06

Kel
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Registered: 2014-01-31
Posts: 4

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Actually, you might also consider that tool use lets everything run one time step, such that even though you have enough tools, clever traps can kill you smile

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#18 2014-01-31 11:40:58

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Kel wrote:

Actually, you might also consider that tool use lets everything run one time step, such that even though you have enough tools, clever traps can kill you smile

This was how it was in the past, it was changed to make pitbull placement more skillful.

Electronics recalculate each turn, so very clever traps can already do this. Although with enough tools you can make sure you are completely safe.

Last edited by colorfusion (2014-01-31 11:41:14)

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#19 2014-01-31 11:50:55

Fatalis
Member
Registered: 2014-01-30
Posts: 7

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Right now there's a big disconnect between people who have been playing the game for a while, and the people who are just starting.

People who have been playing for a while, already know a bunch of typical trap layout,etc, and know the ideal way of dealing with all the traps.

New players have no idea what they're doing at times, and won't look up new information. I've gotten so many people with the doggie-door double commit into rooms with a bunch of commit gates, simply because they don't know how to deal with that trap.

So the game seems like it's impossible to the new player, but at the same time, seems easy to the veteran.

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#20 2014-01-31 11:51:19

Kel
Member
Registered: 2014-01-31
Posts: 4

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

It just disturbs me, that enough money can make robbery effortless. There should always be the possibility for the robber to fuck it up hmm

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#21 2014-01-31 13:37:27

RockyBst
Member
Registered: 2014-01-26
Posts: 51

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

If the churn time was two or three days for a top house, I wouldn't have a problem with the current tool system. It worked perfectly well in Alpha.

Problem is, you're not in Alpha any more. The sheer number of players changes the economics, so that a 'top' house essentially won't survive more than a few hours. I've literally rebuilt my current mid-range house three times in the last 24 hours, each time after being brute forced with $30-40,000 worth of tools.

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#22 2014-01-31 13:41:33

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Kel wrote:

It just disturbs me, that enough money can make robbery effortless. There should always be the possibility for the robber to fuck it up hmm

many robberies featuring a large arsenal of tools end up with an 'oops' moment, either running out of one tool just before the vault, or accidentally forgetting that sleeping dogs don't like having your boot on their head.

it is great to see those tapes, someone walks in your house tooled to the hilt and then instantly steps on a grid. you wonder what they shouted upon doing that!
and certainly, i like to make these mistakes sometimes.

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#23 2014-01-31 19:03:43

ventuswings
Member
Registered: 2014-01-23
Posts: 55

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

Transportation cost idea is interesting, and it could start being applied after reaching certain number threshold for each type of tools, but I do not think applying this change to saws is good idea. It'll be the return of conductive steel walls all over again - and many people do not use woods wall to defend important stuff anyway.


I mean, if I REALLY wanted to drive people crazy with paranoia, I could make it so that damage accumulates, even for failed robberies.  So, they'd collectively chip away at every house over time, like termites.  You'd have to watch your house day and night to keep it patched up....

I hope this change isn't implemented, for many obvious reasons - one of which are stated at very end of the paragraph. I know of a community that's pooling their info together to bring down Earl Arthur Willson, and that kind of organized behaviour is already powerful even with regenerating house.

Last edited by ventuswings (2014-01-31 19:11:47)

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#24 2014-01-31 19:14:40

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

The thing is electronics are all but necessary in a top house. Wired walls are the support structure. They have to be near the traps now that traps don't conduct.

So someone with 50 saws can easily go any place worth going inside your house. And 50 saws is cheap as dirt for the rich ($20k).

What I'm talking about wouldn't affect someone coming in with a small number. Even 10 saws is only about 50% more. But if you bring 50 saws, that'd be 11x more expensive than it currently is: $20k -> $220k.

The problem is no matter how rich you get, you're cramming your stuff into the same space. Your tiles get better, but with diminishing returns. You'll never have a house wider than 30 tiles, even if you have millions of dollars. So I think an exponential markup on tools is an appropriate response to a fixed house size.

Last edited by jere (2014-01-31 19:16:58)


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#25 2014-01-31 20:08:52

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

Re: Bruteforcing too easy, a proposal

I had an idea, what if every time you used a tool, it affected how long before sirens? They could have a loudness rating or something. Some tools might not have a loudness rating, whereas others would. Meat < brick < club < gun. I think someone firing 10+ gunshots would alert the neighbors irl. You kill the wife with a handgun, you get your timer shortened significantly. (gunshots, screams) This system would reward the quick robbers, deft robbers, and punish the people that just try to plow through everything like a tank.

This could also prevent people from just trashing the rest of your house once they find your safe.

Or what if an owner got to KEEP any ladders used to successful rob him. Something to stop people from just laddering all your pits for the heck of it.

Last edited by ChartaBona (2014-01-31 20:21:00)

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