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Allister Fiend
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Post by Allister Fiend » Wed May 19, 2004 10:51 pm

korexus wrote:fixing it would cause the game to carry on running with AF having a clear advantage.

And If AF can do as little as possible, that would make resetting him easier later on...

Thanks,


korexus.


Here we go again..............

Making it sound as if I have some sort of HUGE advantage BEING IN LAST PLACE Korexus!!

:wink:
Oh no!!! I'm out of those important papers.......

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Post by GoatHerder » Wed May 19, 2004 11:38 pm

What a sad game. No food in any of the 10 sqaures I'd checked out - and then I died. Hopefully my 2nd attempt will work better.

Perhaps the reason there is no food is, NOT because of players' strategy to eat it all, but because they didn't notice that the default order was initially set to "Hunt Plants". Admitedly, I was one of the suckers who didn't notice until it was too late. I suggest it should be preset to Bank turns or buy skill points.

At least that way the slackers who start a game and never put in a 2nd set of orders won't ruin the terrain for the other players (unless they make a conscious decision to change their order to Hunt Plants).

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Post by Dameon » Thu May 20, 2004 12:50 am

I agree with GH. At least a half dozen players, if not more, started the game without ever sending in any orders. The result of that being, that's at least six squares taken away from the total available to feed active players. Throw in the slash-and-burn strategy that many players used, and you have a plant shortage overall. Making the default order at the start of the game buy skill points would take care of at least part of that problem.
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Post by Donut » Thu May 20, 2004 12:58 am

I know this may sound complicated to do but....

Throw in some weather. For a few cycles plants grow extremely well (Spring and Summer) and for a few they grow almost non-existant (Fall and Winter). This will provide plenty of food, but still require that you manage it. I think it should be a random number (100-500 or so), not a percentage; that can take too long. Empty provinces will eventually grow again.

I thought that even with the first few games that plants didn't grow enough. The only way to be safe for a few cycles was to allow your starting saturation to go to nothing before hunting in your starting square. Then you could only hunt enough to survive to keep the plant supply constant.

While I don't condone sitting in a square and getting fat, I also don't like scavenging for food. There is more to this game than that, but it seems that at the moment the only concern is feeding yourself so you don't starve. I don't know that for a fact because I'm not in the current game, but from the comments here...

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Post by TBert » Thu May 20, 2004 4:32 am

Scavenging to barely stay alive is a good description. I have almost reached the point where I can subsist on the 5 or 6 plants I find in every other square or so. That's what happens when you have 8 specimens. I might as well die and start over, but they're going to be even worse off in a way.
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Post by Hamster » Thu May 20, 2004 6:20 am

Reaching a low number of species can put you in a situation where no comeback and dying is then a much better solution.

Last round I dropped to 10 species and tried to come out of this situation (had enought food so could concentrate on gaining fertility). Every cycle I lost at least 1 species before I learned the math for birth/death. At this point I already had 3 of them where I could keep the number with fertility of 33% and tried to reach 66% for growth of population (had enough "spare time" for that), but it stoped at 50% - which is the max. So I could never come out of this situation.

This round, with a need for moving and finding food and with enlarged death % the minimum point where no wayout is much higher...
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Post by Hannibal » Thu May 20, 2004 9:32 am

Underdog wrote:Ask Hanibal, He probably hunted them all down just so nobody would be able to eat them later.



and Dameon's:

I've been lucky so far in that I am not surrounded by idiots, apparentely. The only other player I have run into is Validon and he apparentely has enough brains to realize this simple strategy. I just don't get it- if you restrain yourself you will have a lot more plants in the future. I am doing just fine using, and my original square still has over 1000 plants, and growing.


I feel like I and others are being unjustly criticised here! I'm not out to spoil anyone's game, and I'm certainly not out to win. I'm helping playtest it. It will prob be halted before an ending anyway, fine in playtesting. (With respect, Dameon, I have probably developed, playtested and invented far more games than you have, if only because I've probably been doing it for 20-30 years longer than you have). There were two key principles in playtesting: Test extremes where rules might break down or balance get screwed; and test what most future players would probably do, normals not us experts.

If everyone conserved, it would be a very poor indicator of how it would play in the mass market, and hence a very poor playtest. You seem to be in it for your own satisfaction and glory, even in a playtest. You'd have been dropped from our playtesting group.

And we're not necessarily idiots, nor spoilers.

My messages to Underdog were;
"Hi. If we don't eat it, someone else will happen by and eat it. Agree?"

and 3 turns later: "As far as I know, there's nothing we could do to manage and conserve the crop and repel a visitor from just arriving and eating it? Agree?"

2 turns later: "I'd be happy to starve my herd smaller, eat less, and conserve, but that strategy just lets you and others eat what's there? So gotta eat before others eat it all?"

And 2 turns later: "UD, your food's getting cold. My herd's getting hungry. Must disappear for hours and leave orders. So gotta start without you. Sorry." THEN I started eating, leaving orders, not checking back.

If UD was offline, or asleep at the time, he probably never saw that throughout this, there were question-marks on three sides of us. I honestly considered just sitting and dying, so as not to offend, but that wouldn't be helping playtest. I couldn't try for more dialogue, I was off away for 10 hours. I expected UD to join in eating when he caught up with messages. I was trying to share.

A day later I was in a square with lots of plant, and Hamster. I wrote: "I'll hold off and build inst/skill/fert if you will......?" He replied "Sure". When a fourth player entered our square, two players started eating - not me. Quite right too if they were starving, what choice do they have?

The characterisation of us as idiots or greedy or slash'n'burn is stupid. You were just very lucky if you were alone in a square to be able to choose crop-management, or with just one other player, or with a player you could message with if they were online at the same time.

Hey, it's only a game. And playTESTING.
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Post by gm_al » Thu May 20, 2004 10:43 am

Thx Han, at least someone mentions that its a bit TEST from time to time.

First of all I wholeheartedly agree that "Hunt Plants" should not be the super-default order. Players might miss the start (or not play at all) so better set this to "Buy Skill Points".

Next lets see what currently happens: players are "scared" that their food sources dissapear and so the mass phenomenon of eating away all squares starts. While this is a learning experieince for most of us its also not too good for the game itself.

The whole things is a difficult balancing act:
- we dont want a player to sit tight in his square for hundreds of turns
- moving around should be encouraged, as well as interaction with other players
- eating should be important, but only in some situations - not all the time
- the simple fact that fewer squares contain plants isnt bad for itself, it thrives players to fight over the last reserves

As I analyse it we should maybe do something like cap the saturation a player can have. Id call it "stomach" and it could directly depend on BS. If stomach is full the "hunt plant" order would be neglected and another default order would be taken.

Just increasing plant number or growth isnt a solution. Reward the active players that dont just sit around and eat.

Sorry if this is a bit confusing. :P

Frankly Id call for a KAHUNA restart:
- 40% ACTIVE players on square
- new incompatible food rules (yellow cannot attack yellow)
- stomach (?), your suggestions

Fire off now.

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Post by Underdog » Thu May 20, 2004 11:29 am

Han,

I did see those messages but by the time I got on you had already said you were going to be away so I never replied to them. I understood your reasoning and don't blame you for the situation I was in. I was just pointing out that you were the only player I knew that was hunting plants. We were out of plants after I hunted some also and we were in trouble. I started looking for food and couldn't find any.

Al, I guess before I thought the 'Stomach" would work would depend on the numbers you planned to use. Too small and it makes it difficult to leave for a weekend and survive. Too large and it doesn't do what we hope. During "Amazon" I had a stauration of over 20,000 and still had kept my 2 squares at near 5000 plants every cycle. which allowed me to leave for a few days and survive but then I am pretty sure someone came and ate me. I am not sure, since I had died when I got back and never saw what happened.

What about when a square is emptied of plants a different color comes back into that square at a reasonable number say 100-200. not too high but enough to get some growth anyway. isn't that what happens in nature? if something grows that gets eaten something will usually move in and see what happens. maybe even put in a "weed" that would grow to 5000 then become a random color that would be at say 750 it would at least allow something to grow and not be eaten
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Post by Hamster » Thu May 20, 2004 11:31 am

I agree with a restart whenever I'm not @ TOP3 ranked players constantly in a game :jester:


Let's get serious - another thing needs a cosmetics treatment. I have this log entry:
"As a result of symbiosis your saturation loss is reduced by 10%."
It's fine to know why you use less food, but what if there is 4 players in the same square? Would be good to know who has the Symbiosis skill.

And what if 2, 3 or more have this skill? 10% for each? And from yourself?
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Post by gm_al » Thu May 20, 2004 12:31 pm

@Hamster:

Good point, it should read:
""As a result of symbiosis WITH SPECIES xxx your saturation loss is reduced by 10%.""

Symbiosis never applies to yourself and is not cumulative (you only get the bonus one time, even if there are lots of same species types on your square). Ive added that to player manual, will be in next release.

@UD:

The difference to other WOK games is that the jungle is an open space, where everybody can easily travel around and steal "your" resources. Some players will always enjoy doing this. Maybe the solution is to - once again - nerf down the need in food so that players dont see it as a prime occupation to feed.

Btw I think its time a Clan contacts Hamster to get him into WOK4/5 games.... :P

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Post by korexus » Thu May 20, 2004 1:54 pm

gm_al wrote:First of all I wholeheartedly agree that "Hunt Plants" should not be the super-default order. Players might miss the start (or not play at all) so better set this to "Buy Skill Points".


Buy skill points would be good. That gives players 180 turns to find squares like that. Nearly 4 cycles. Also, by the time the hunt plant order kicked in, the innactive player would have lost a whole bunch of instinct so he wouldn't go through the plants anywhere near as quickly...


As I analyse it we should maybe do something like cap the saturation a player can have. Id call it "stomach" and it could directly depend on BS. If stomach is full the "hunt plant" order would be neglected and another default order would be taken.


This has potential, however we would also have to link the "stomach" to number of specimen. And it would have to be quite high, to keep the people who go away for weekends happy. If we set it to;
(Number of Specimens) * (Saturation Requirement per specimen) * 72 (The current number of STEPs in two days)
how would that sound? That gives a starting species a "stomach size" of 3600 is this high enough? Too high? What do people think? Maybe stomach should go up faster than saturation requirement. Bigger animals can store more fat reserves after all...

Just increasing plant number or growth isnt a solution. Reward the active players that dont just sit around and eat.


Totally agree

Frankly Id call for a KAHUNA restart:
- 40% ACTIVE players on square
- new incompatible food rules (yellow cannot attack yellow)
- stomach (?), your suggestions


I'd say keep Kahuna going for now. It's starting to reach some form of balance and these changes are blatantly going to throw up bugs that we didn't expect. (Look what happened last night, and that was a really simple change...)



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Post by Mullog » Thu May 20, 2004 2:19 pm

I aslo think we should keep kahuna running. We still have lots of changes that should be tested, and the new changes need to be coded and tested :roll: before we start playing with them.

I have been thinking of something along the lines of the somach. Instead of setting a max to the amount of food a player can hunt, maybe we could set a max to how many turns during a cycle they can hunt? In the real world the animals eat and then rest to devour their food, while in our jungle the animals can eat all the time! If a species could only hunt for two turns every step, or 24 turns every cycle, they should be able to gather enough food but it would force them to do more than just eat.
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Post by Dameon » Thu May 20, 2004 2:21 pm

I like the maximum saturation cap idea, and it sounds reasonable too. I personally think that the way to prevent people from starving when they leave is to let them hibernate still, as the "fly" skill hasn't really solved that problem- I for one still couldn't buy it, and likely wouldn't be able to until at least turn 800 or so. I'd say the "hibernation" feature would be simple, allow players to consume half as much food as they normally would to keep saturated, but at the same time do not allow them to gather any SPs or get more specimens- basically just keep them in stasis, neither gaining or losing in score. Then, a stomach option would be good- I think Kor's suggestion would still cap the stomach size as too high, something about half that number might be a lot more reasonable and achieve the goals we want here. Otherwise, I do like Rune's suggestion too- it DOES take animals time to digest in real life, which I suppose is what happens once a step, but it seems like hunting all the time is pretty unrealistic still; animals don't keep HUGE stockpiles afterall.

I still think your strategy was poor Han, although I do understand why you did it. In the first 500 turns, with the judicious use of spying I have discovered the plant color in about 15 squares. Approximately 12 of those were BS 1 plants, and even though I discovered about 6 of those were farmed out by players like you, 3 so far have had a reasonable amount of plant. (3 I have not visited yet, so I don't know what's in there, I do like Al's idea of adding the number of plants in with spy data!). So no, I don't agree that somebody else would come along and eat all the plant necessarily. I do think that your strategy, or lack thereof, is highlighting a problem in the game, that much is certain.

Also, I am against restarting Kahuna, becuase I agree with Kor in that we are getting some balance here. This is the point of playtesting, after all. If we start another beta, we are still going to run into bugs and such which need to be fixed, and balance issues that need to be addressed. I think we should let this beta play through to the end in order to allow us to see how some later-game issues work (such as carnivore, which I plan on getting, and am almost positive will flop) and thus be able to re-balance as much as possible before the next beta.
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Post by Hamster » Thu May 20, 2004 3:07 pm

Seems the discussion is going into good direction and that it results in good ideas. Absolutely agree with all above of limiting stomach/saturation - which the lack off food and explosion off wrong tactics set as urgent reasonable game improovements.

Dameon wrote:In the first 500 turns, with the judicious use of spying I have discovered the plant color in about 15 squares.


I find spying not worth: turns are used anyway and only few less than move - but have a too big risk of failure and resulting in instinct loss (IMHO, 3% is huge). Move has another bonus - revealing bigger part of the map. And you can always made your opponent mad for spying him out and droping his instinct. Till now I discovered 18 sectores (and only 2 of them with spying, and with 3 or 4 unsuccesfull attempts) while trying to find food. :D
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Post by Dameon » Thu May 20, 2004 7:12 pm

Yes, I have played this game while starving (during Everglades, a number of times), and I never engaged in the same tactics that you have here. If I found a square with plants, I would hunt 2-3 times, enough to keep my fed for usually about 6 or 7 steps. Then, I'd use those steps to focus on moving to different squares and looking around for more food. Using that strategy, I would have a chance to enter 4-5 other squares, and if people aren't overfarming like you have, there'd be a good chance there was some food in at least one of them. I'd also come back to squares where there was some food, and by leaving some, more would be grown for me next time I came back. I would never overfarm, just take enough to last a while then move on to other squares. Eventually, if other players are doing the same thing, plants would grow and there would be enough for EVERYBODY. However, when players start to farm every square to the ground, as you did, then the entire house of cards collapses.

If most players acted like you, and basically farmed every single square they found into the ground, then we run into problems. So, basically, you are part of the problem here Hannibal, not part of the solution. As I said, though, it is a problem inherent in the game, and until something changes than it will continue to be so.
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Post by Hamster » Thu May 20, 2004 7:23 pm

Gee- we have a new map improovements. Different "sprites" and plant color boxes. Looks nice.
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