EVERGLADES: bugs and suggestions

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Dameon
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EVERGLADES: bugs and suggestions

Post by Dameon » Sun Mar 28, 2004 8:56 pm

OK, I wanted to start this new thread because the others were getting pretty huge, and we did move to a new beta after all.

My suggestion is that the feeding level needs to be reduced when you go up in body size. My feedling level for body size 2 DOUBLED. That means on average, every time I hunt, I catch enough plants to feed my species for one step. So, I have to use the "hunt" order 25% of the time just to keep my species from starving. This also makes me start running out of plants pretty quickly in a square, and when you consider that it's good to keep instinct relatively high and fertility at least at reasonable levels, it leaves almost no time to buy skill points.

That's just way too much, when you realize that skills and mutations all cost a minimum of 50 points. It's going to take me at least 2 full days, if not more, to even think about another mutation or buying a skill, when you factor in the fact that it takes me two hours to move when I hunt all the plants out of my current square.

The fact that your fertility drops 5% and you are unable to eat certain colors of plants are enough of a disadvantage when your body size goes up, really. Right now the only advantage of going up in body size is that your attack and defense get raised a bit, and that you can buy omnivore (assuming you can ever afford it). Considering nourishment rates for killing species is less than that of plants (or at least it was in Amazonas) then that's not even that nice of a skill improvement, not when you have to save up 2-3 days to even think about getting it.

I think mutations should bring advantages to your species not disadvantages- when my brain power went up I saw the advantages, and that's true of growing extra arms and legs as well. I am, however, regretting that my body size went up now as I am worse off than I was when it was still at 1. My suggestion would be to raise the feeding level for higher body size SLIGHTLY. At BS 1, it's 50%, for BS2 I would suggest about 65%, and then 15% more for every BS you gain after that. Otherwise, it's simply not worth it.
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Post by Donut » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:04 pm

You can't say I didn't warn yea...

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Post by Dameon » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:31 pm

I know you mentioned something about "fat friends gorging themselves" when your BS went up but I didn't think it was this bad since you didn't post any numbers. Really, all mutations should be considered advantages, not disadvantages.
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Post by Mullog » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:53 pm

The body size mutation has some very nice effects. Your attack/defense points should have increased noticeably, and you are now able to hunt bigger species than you did earlier.
The increased saturation loss is an attempt to balance this, but I agree that it is too high.



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Post by Dameon » Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:32 pm

Well, my attack and defense went up by about 25%, so yeah, that was nice, but really as you cannot hunt species before BS 2 anyway the whole "hunting bigger species" bonus is moot, at least for the initial BS increase. Anyway, when I got more brain power, the mutation that costs the same, I got extra banked turns and a bigger OQ, with no downside. Similarily, growing arms and legs has no downside that I have noticed either. (Granted, their bonus isn't that great either, but they DO cost less so it's all good.)

I don't mind increased BS having some downsides considering what it can lead to, but there are simply too many. OK, drop fertility, and ban species from eating certain types of plants, but don't double their nutrition requirements at the same time. Some increase would be logical, but if you double it, then it simply makes more sense to stay at BS 1 so you can gain more mutations and skills without having to hunt constantly.
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Post by Dameon » Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:37 pm

Also, while I am at it, I wanted to ask what was up with the instinct loss when you spy another square but there are no other species there. Sometimes, I simply want to gain knowledge of what is in a square (ie, as I cannot eat white plants now, I don't want to waste two and a half hours moving to a square that has white plants!). I don't understand why instinct should be lost because of this- if there is no instinct gain, OK, but I don't believe you should lose it either, not when it takes so long to move.
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Post by korexus » Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:15 pm

Dameon, look out for Body Size 2 plants. They are the answer to all your worries.

Also, you may have noticed when you got Brain Power 2 that the number of attacks you got in a turn went up. That might have helped with this too.

Also, if you get Leg and Arm mutations before Body Size your movement and hunting abilities get better so the extra saturation loss is easier to deal with.

Also, Donut mentioned that he only lost 1 specimen/cycle through hunger when he ran out of saturation, so maybe you don't need to make the feeding every step, allowing more time for buying skill points.

Finally, my BS 1 species has to hunt 1/4 or 5 turns in order to make the saturation cost right now, so you're not that far behind really.


Over all, I think players will choose between the high risk strategy of collecting 70 skill points in the hope of getting a Brain mutation or the low risk strategy of getting some arms and legs first so they can cope if they then get a Body mutation. Both these options seem viable to me and neither seems to have a clear advantage on average so I don't think it's so much of a problem. It just depends how much you want to trust to Luck.

However, on the point of spying a square with no players in, I an 100% with you!


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Post by Dameon » Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:34 pm

Extra attacks with the Brain Power 2 (which I have now, in addition to BS2) are what allow me to be able to "catch" enough plants to get that 1/4 ratio, so that is factored in. Otherwise the ratio would be even worse. Also, when I was BS1, I only had to hunt about once every eight rounds or so to maintain saturation, give or take, so I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy there.

In any case, the problem isn't entirely that I cannot hunt enough plant, it is also that I also rapidly deplete the amount of plant/square. I entered a square with 1800 BS1 plant, at BS2, that will last me approximately 1 full cycle before I have to move again. Even if I was hunting a bit more plant per hunt with arms and legs, I'd still run out in about the same amount of time- the only advantage is I'd by 2, maybe 3 rounds of extra orders; not much in the grand scheme of things. I have never seen body size 2 plants, although admittedly I have only been on 5-6 squares total. Finding them would likely be difficult though I imagine, since it takes over two hours to move a single space.

Perhaps the underlying problem here is it takes way too long to move. If you cut move times by half it would be more feasible to support your species having to migrate to keep itself fed. Or, cut spying time (to say, 2-3 rounds) and get rid of the instinct loss for spying so when you DO move, you can move more intelligently.

I will say though that if you only lose 1 specimen per cycle due to saturation though, I don't see the point in hunting at all. If there are 96 turns in a cycle, I can earn about 24 extra skill points per cycle if I don't have to hunt. I assumed your species starving would have more dire consequences than 1 single specimen per cycle, it seems like it should anyway.

So possible solutions to the problem:

1) Reduce the amount of plant needed at BS 2 from 100% to 65% or so.
2) Reduce the amount of move time, and/or eliminate instinct loss for spying while making it easier to spy. Also, increase the spy range of your species with extra brain power (or possibly make increased spy range a skill?)

If BS2 plants do help solve this problem, I don't mind spying/moving to find them- IF I can do so without trashing my instinct and spending half a cycle moving from square to square in hopes of discovering them. I do think the huge consumption increase is at the core of the problem here; however if the devs are reluctant to reduce it as low as I had suggested, then lowering it a smaller amount but also decreasing move time/increasing spying power would be a good solution as well.
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Post by Nemesis » Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:42 pm

I found Body Size 4 plants, although this was in a water square. I have also only seen Body Size 1 plants on land.

So far I have got 1 leg but it still costs me the same to move. Hopefully if I get another leg it will hardly cost anything to move around, considering at the start of the game we don't have any legs at all.

I also add my support towards not losing instinct when spying an empty square. I have moved to a square in one of the previous betas and not been able to hunt because it had the same colour plant that I was

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Post by gm_al » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:05 am

A few answers here from my side.

* fully agree on not losing instinct when you spy an empty square. It already costs 4 Turns and you might as well fail, but thats enough pain.
* we probably cannot reduce BASIC movement costs as it is right now. This has to do with the maximum number of mutations we have in ARM/LEG/BS/BP. We could reduce the extra costs to move into harder terrain further, but think that you will soon have enough legs to move around very quickly.... I know moving is a pain early on, but things are meant to change as the game progresses. Ill keep thinking on this one, as moving is certainly a good thing.
* BS mutations: that has been a big issue. Im a bit split on the whole thing, as a BS mutation has some really good and useful effects, mainly making you really stronger. It also means more pressure to feed, especially if your brain power is still low. Im monitoring the whole thing right now, but for a start Id suggest you ask other players on locations of BS2 plants. Dont forget that plants with BS2+ will have grown over all full cycles without possibly anyone trying to eat them up - when you find them you could get loads of saturation. Another alternative might be to go omnivore-carnivore anytime soon....
* increased spy range: I doubt that a bit, probably a nightmare to code.
* "lose 1 specimen per cycle" ??? Strange Dameon, thats not what it is, really.
* the plan is to have some new skills and options, and the more we have the more we will have to tone down the costs of current mutations to keep the balance and attractiveness.

Maybe the players can post their strategies so far and what they expect for the next few cycles ?

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Post by Dameon » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:19 am

I wasn't the one who said "lose 1 specimen per cycle" it was Korexus via Donut, I thought it was kind of odd. Some kind of miscommunication, I see.

Anyway I didn't think movement reduced with arms/legs, as I have had 1 of each before and didn't notice a change. That may have been because of the terrain I was on though, I am not sure. Still, even if I could move quicker, I don't know where any BS2 plants are, and the chances of a player in my general area knowing where some are is not that high. Although, if anybody knows where some BS2 plants are in the northeastish area, I'd love to know. :-)

So, you asked for strategies. My basic strategy was to get BS 2 and BP 2 first, and then grow a couple of arms and legs. After that I was going to put a hold on all mutations and start buying skills, beginning with omnivore and swim. I wanted to see if eating other species was any good for saturation, as well as try out what the other skills do.

With the giant consumption increase I hit with BS2 lately, my only plan right now is to find BS2 plants. How, that I am still working on. Until I find them, my basic plan for the next few cycles is to move around, hunt, and keep my instinct up. I can get a few skill points in the midst of all this but I don't anticipate I'll have enough for even an arm or leg mutation for 2-3 cycles, and buying any skills is still a minimum of 7-8 cycles off unless I can find some BS2 plants.

If I had to do it over again I'd make sure I knew where some BS2 plants were before going for that particular mutation, but I had no idea how hungry my wolves would get when they got a bit bigger. 8)
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Post by gm_al » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:58 am

I have given the whole thematic some more thoughts, and here are some conclusions I came to:
* we really want to increase the ability to move around a lot, after all its good for the game. So we might probably decrease the movement costs drastically, at the price that an additional leg will not always help you with movement. We can make legs more useful for certain skills, so that could work out.
* BS2+ feeding: Im still pondering this one. If we reduce the increase in saturation needs that comes with bigger BS (and I mean REALLY reduce it) to save you guys more turns to go for skills/mutations it would come at a price: fail to meet saturation and pay for it with more starving specimens, and we would also need to reduce the initial number of plants per square further to keep the balance. Right now plants are still a booming business, its just that more and more squares get cleared by the players (thats the plan) - but then we have only 26/50 players right now.

Expect some changes.... without restarts :D

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Post by Undertaker » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:09 am

I agree with Dameon on consumption. I find it pretty annoying that I have to login to the game every 6 - 8 hours to avoid starving. I don't dare move, because I don't know if I'll find food where I'm going. It would be nice if spying told me whether or not there are edible plants in the adjacent square.

I like this game, but I probably won't be putting much effort into it if I have to login 2 to 3 times a day just to avoid starving. :(
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Post by korexus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:37 am

The 1 specimen/cycle thing is my mistake. It should have read 1 specimen/step. My own fault for trying to quote someone else without looking it up first. My point about meeting the requirement every time still holds though.

Dameon, if you have a BP advance as well as BS then you should be hunting about as often as someone with neither, the only problem then is that you're depleting faster. Looking for new food or trying not to waste the food you start with early on is a part of the game so I still think that's fair. I wouldn't object to lower movement costs though, it'd get players moving around sooner and the disadvantage that late leg mutations might have a lower effect is tiny really.

At players who said that legs didn't change movement. I hope you are wrong. Could you post some examples, just to set my mind at ease?

One thing to the Dev team. Maybe we should have a slightly different distribution of starting plants, so size 2 are a bit easier to find? I'd prefer that to changing the hunt/saturation formulae...


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Post by Underdog » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:39 am

OK Dameon it is approximately 2% loss for starving per step.
Going back to the Outback game I looked at turn 96 and watched my species die from starvation. I lost 2 every step until I got under 100 specimens then I lost 1.

I have seen BS3 plants but no BS2 and nothing but BS1 so far in this game.

I tend to agree with the spying thing it would be nice if when you spied a space it told you the BS of the plants in that space. that would prevent alot of wasted moves trying to find the right size plants.

As for movement I haven't noticed much change after just 1 leg but I am not positive it might have changed by 1. I would hope that with a second leg it would get easier to move.
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Post by Dameon » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:17 am

I am wondering if out of the 26 players there have been ANY BS2 plants found in Everglades. I don't know what the starting percentages are in re to BS1/BS2/etc, but it seems like there could be a higher percentage of BS2 spaces as Korexus notes. I am glad movement costs are going down, that will help, but if there's only like 10 BS2 spaces on the entire map that still doesn't really address the problem.

As UT said, you basically have to log in three times a day, at an absolute minimum, to make sure you are not starving. I don't think that should be necessary- I also think that in the future there should be a "vacation" mode, which would allow you to put your species in stasis for 2-3 days if you knew you were going to be away. Otherwise, you would face sure starvation. Also, if spying does not give BS size as UD says OR the edibility of plants as UT says (I am avoiding spying until the instinct loss is removed in the next patch) then it definetely needs to, I think.
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Post by Dameon » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:26 am

OK, I just tried to input some orders and got the following:

Could not execute query.
Query: INSERT INTO sp_orders(GameID, SpeciesID, TurnCount, UseBankedTurns, OrderText, Extra) VALUES(5, 83, '1', 0, 'HUNT', 'PLANT')
Error: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 1

I have no idea what that means, but it (or a close variation of it) appeared when I tried to input any order at all. If this doesn't get fixed in the next 2-3 hours, then my species is going to starve to death (again!) when I go to bed. :roll:
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Post by Allister Fiend » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:40 am

Could not execute query.
Query: UPDATE sp_orders SET OrderID=OrderID+504671687 WHERE SpeciesID=77 AND OrderID>=1642811961
Error: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 1


I am getting the same thing here, although I won't starve yet since I have plenty of saturation.

How in the sam hell do you guys get your BS,BP, legs-arms so fast?
I have only been able to get a leg so far since I can't seem to keep working on skill points. If I do then my saturation goes down way too quick. My specimens is now at 204 but other than that my instict get's too low too.

Any hints for me anyone...anyone at all?

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Post by Allister Fiend » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:45 am

Could not execute query.
Query: INSERT INTO sp_orders(GameID, SpeciesID, TurnCount, UseBankedTurns, OrderText, Extra) VALUES(5, 77, '1', 0, 'BANK TURN', '')
Error: Duplicate entry '2147483647' for key 1

This is actually what it says but for some reason when HTML is disabled it changes it to the previous post.

I am not a computer genious so it is puzzling to me.

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Last edited by Allister Fiend on Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Goat Herder » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:22 am

Is WOK SP working at the moment?

I cannot get into the Login screen, and haven't been able to for many hours. I tried to login this morning for the first time since Friday and I couldn't bring up the login screen. I've tried many times over the past 6-7 hours, & failed each time.

Is anyone aware of any problems?

I can get into the Kaobase signup p[age (ie. to create a new login name) and it confirms I already have a login under my name, but there's no way to get into the game from that page either.

Hope somebody can help.

Thanks,

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