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 Post subject: OMG RETCON! (discussion)
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:26 pm 
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With the skill points going in, you can almost smell retcon in the air (that, or Ryme needs a shower). He once mentioned that getting this skill point thing done was one of the big pre-retcon hurdles. So, I started wondering what sort of things I'd like to see when retcon rolled around...

1) Some kind of skill perming. Either perming a skill at a certain point level, or the ability to have it as an option to dump points into.

2) Some kind of untradable reward. Or maybe some swanky consumable.

3) Retcon-only zones?

The other big this is... how the hell is it gonna work? Use all your sweet equipment? Some kind of run where you get no equipment (ie: regular/hardcore in KoL)? Some kind of hybrid, like donation gear but not normal?

Honestly, I keep going around and around on this, and I'm really not sure what I'd like to see from retcon, and I'm guessing that Ryme's doing the same. So... what would you guys like to see? This is the great thing about being here for beta: you might get to shape the development of something major.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Yep, this has been on my mind a lot lately.

Kind of working top-down, the big things are:

1) Perming skills. 100% guaranteed to happen. Question is, if there should be multiple levels/ways/types, or just one. Which leads directly into ....

2) What types of ascensions should there be. I could see an argument for an easy/medium/hard scale. Or for a "have all your stuff" and a "don't have any stuff." I could also see arguments for a "level playing field" scenario where the age and/or wealth of your account doesn't matter at all, to combat other scenarios where those with a lot of stuff can really excel. What's the right balance between having your old stuff or going it alone to make it fun to replay the quests?

There's plenty of other details beyond that (Cris mentions a few good points), but some of those things may get sorted out based on


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:01 pm 
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I've already made the argument, but I'd like to be able to not only perm skills, but perm them with skill points added as well, even if only when the skill is at max points. As for retcon, I think KoL's current model is more or less perfect (as in, casual, normal, hardcore).


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Easy/casual - You get to perm a skill, but when you're in an off-class you cannot put points into the skill. So if you do a bunch of these, you'll have a lot of options but they won't be as effective. All previous items and chips available immediately.

Medium/softcore - You get to perm a skill and can put points into it during the next run. You'll amass options less quickly, but will be able to make them more effective. Some kind of item/chip pull system.

Hard/hardcore - You get to perm a skill and get an extra point to distribute per hardcore run completed. More options and power, but at a slower pace. No previous items or chips available.


It seems like there's a bigger difference between easy and medium than medium and hard, though. Maybe consumable or non-tradeable rewards would make this kind of hard option more desirable?

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Just need better names, but that's an interesting way to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:49 pm 
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To add to Jesus' rankings: what about an Expert option, where you forget all of your permed skills, as well as items, and it's like you're starting from scratch for a "pure" run of a particular class? Would that interest anyone?


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:57 pm 
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Doc Igor wrote:
As for the 'expert' run Ryme suggested... I probably wouldn't bother, unless there was a hell of a reward. (And we're not talking about actually permanantly losing stuff, right? You'd get it all back on the next run, correct?)


Correct. You'd never lose stuff. It'd just be put aside temporarily until you're past the restrictions of whatever path you choose.


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:03 am 
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Doc Igor wrote:
And I assume hardcore would allow the use of donation gear... all of the modes should.


One of the *possible* reasons for Expert would be for it to serve as a "level playing field" of competition between newer and older players, either because of the differential in number of permed skills or in wealth. A way to test the players, rather than the accumulated benefits on the characters. Or for someone who can't afford to donate, it gives the opportunity to make it on the same leaderboard as a player who has been donating for years.


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:22 am 
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Would this affect out MD's?

My MD is full of IotM's, rares, etc...

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:36 am 
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to expand on some of the ideas already posted:
Cristiona wrote:
Just need better names, but that's an interesting way to do it.

How about Citizen for Ryme's "expert" mode and then Champion/Hero/Super Hero for the other three modes?

for the easy mode I'd like to see you able to spend points on cross class skills, but maybe have it cost more to level them up, like a 2 for 1 point cost?

As for Hardcore, I'd like to see you get a permanent skill point instead of extra points to spend, though it's only a minor difference, it will at least prevent you from having to reassign skill points at the begining of every run.

I'd also like to see rewards for completing the runs with self-imposed limits. Perhaps you earn a special piece of equipment for completing a Super Hero run without using any consumables, or without having a sidekick for the entire run. Not necessarilly like the KoL runs where once you start you are locked into it, but if you choose to make it all the way through you can get the reward for it.

Personally, I like the idea of an Expert run. And, I disagree with Heather that you should start with any skill Maxed until you've earned it by going through multiple runs.

those are just my first thoughts/impressions on it though.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:01 pm 
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I agree with pretty much everything Muh said. Especially the self-imposed but not necessarily enforced limits for rewards.


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:40 pm 
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I liked the one idea that was tossed around awhile ago where you could choose the specifics of the run.

e.g. Must level to 50, can only eat sugar, no caffeine, all items available

e.g. No level limit, no consumables, no items

And based on what you choose a difficulty is assigned to the run and there would be rewards based on difficulty, so a run with 50-70 difficulty might give a powerful item, while 20-30 would be a lesser item.

Also, there could be pre-set options, so if you wanted to do a "Heroic" run, you just click the button and it automatically determines the specifics of the run.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:59 pm 
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zillow wrote:
I liked the one idea that was tossed around awhile ago where you could choose the specifics of the run.
That's an interesting idea. You'd get a checklist...

Quote:
Items (choose one
No items: +10 difficulty []
Limited items: +5 difficulty []
All items: +0 difficulty []

Consumables (choose one or two)
No caffeine: +5 difficulty []
No sugar: +5 difficulty []
No restriction: +0 difficulty []

Level (choose one)
Level to 50: +20 difficulty []
Level to 20: +10 difficulty []
Level to 11: +0 difficulty []

Skills (choose one)
No previous skills: +10 difficulty []
No skills above 5 points: +5 difficulty []
All previous skills: +0 difficulty []

Sidekick (choose one)
No sidekicks at all: +15 difficulty []
No permanent sidekick: +10 difficulty []
Only sidekicks found during run: +5 difficulty []
Any sidekick: +0 difficulty []


That could be a pretty neat way of doing things and allow for a lot of player flexibility with minimal work by Ryme. Also, if a run was to give you a special currency that you used in the Retcon Store, the number of coins you got could tie into difficulty. A 0 difficulty run might give 1 coin, so you could eventually get the Awesome Item of Awesomeness, but it would take a large number of runs as opposed to a 65 difficulty run, which might give 10 coins.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:24 pm 
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I realised the above has the issue of skill points, but I think I have an idea.

When you finish the run (beat the Mick, hit your level, whatever), you're given "perm points" based on difficulty. These could be non-items stored on the character sheet (as opposed to Retcon Store Coins which would be items), kinda like your PvP rank. Again, a 0 difficulty run might give 1 perm point while the 65 difficulty could give 10 or whatever. When you do whatever it is you do to initiate the retcon (KoL's Valhalla), you're able to spend these points or bank them. While you're in the Retcon Zone, you're only able to build up skills you had access to during the run (no perming Meditation when your run was Gadgeteer). It would cost, say, 5 points to perm a skill, but only 1 point to improve the skill. Since the number of points you have is tied in to the difficulty of your run, the "hardcore" run will let you perm multiple skills or pump up the level of existing skills. Likewise, if you did a bunch of "casual" runs, you could eventually perm a skill by banking. Or, you could do a month-long super hardcore to perm Meditation and Keen Observation, and then a series of 20 one-day casual runs to pump those skills up to max.

This would completely eliminate the casual/softcore/hardcore/badmoon distinction that KoL has. Players could have their even playing field from super hardcore type runs, or they could take it easy with super-casual. But the player who loves the massive difficulty runs won't be de facto "penalized" by doing a casual run every now and then (as opposed to KoL where a hardcore player is punished by getting a worthless skill from a softcore run).

Leaderboards could even be made for this. You could have your Twilight Bay Revengers board for 0-10 difficulty, your Righteousness League for 11-20, on and on to your Cosmic Power for max difficulty. That would be like comparing hardcore runs, but having it all boiled down to difficulty. It's a sliding scale and gives players a lot of choice, but seems like it'd be easier to code.

Also, it would allow for divergent strategies. Maybe the favored difficulty turns out to be 35. Well, there's multiple ways to get up to 35 (especially with more options than I listed), so you could have competition on if it's better to give up sugar for 35 or better to give up sidekick, or whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:43 am 
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It occurred to me that there's something we've been overlooking, and may have a place in some kind of run:

We're all working under the assumption that permed skills will be immediately available, right? Well... why? What if you learned whatever off-class skills you'd permed at the level you originally gain them at? I realize that most people will probably hate that idea, but I might as well throw it out there.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:10 am 
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That makes it almost useless to perm higher level skills... And completely useless if you're doing level 11 runs for the skills above it, obviously. I think it'd be better to just have them be immediately available.


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:36 am 
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Eh. Like any other restriction, it could be a difficulty modifier.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:00 am 
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Some very nice ideas floating around, so I thought I'll throw in my fifth of deci-chip.

What I don't like about the difficulty levels is that there is no sense of completion, and I think this is because there is no forced variety. If all you are after is more Retcon shop prizes and you want to "have it all" you will end up doing one "optimal" run over and over.

With 3 types of ascensions and 6 classes I knew I need to do 18 different types of ascensions. That's a nice target and it means one needs to experience most of the game before getting a full "set". On top of that you get mid-way satisfaction from finishing all BM runs or all AT runs. You can set yourself small goals and large goals. You might not like all the runs but at least it has variety. I'm afraid with a difficulty bar you don't get that.

Maybe a way around it might be to have both difficulty coins and a trophy which will be different for every ascension type. The trophy doesn't need to be extremely useful, or even at all. What it does provide is a target which has variety, mostly for completionists (sp?). It can be put in your MD for e-peen. It might give you a badge if you got them all. That way if you are just after perming skills - do your optimal thing. If you are looking for the complete experience - you will need to try everything at least once.

I'm probably overdoing it, but just an example. The prize can be class related, so maybe a figurine of a Screwdriver for Gadgeteer, a brain for Psion etc. The types of retcons are postfix or prefix. For example the metal it is made of is the level to ascended to. So you have Bronze/Silver/Gold. If you didn't use skills it becomes Autodidact. No sidekicks will be Selfreliant. No sugar/caffeine will add a postfix "of Hunger/Thirst". So you might get a Silver Selfreliant Screwdriver of Hunger. Bad thing is you get 4*3*4*3*3*4=1728 types which is way too many, so maybe this can relate to just class/skills/level or any other combination for something like 24 or 48 trophies, and the rest of the choices will just be for extra coins.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:09 am 
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That's a valid point, Muh. One possibility is to break down the gradual difficulty scale into a set of tiers (as Cris mentioned for the leaderboard), and grant certain rewards only if you're in the right tier. Two or three tiers x four classes might make for an okay spread.

Alternately, as you mention, maybe some choices factor into difficulty rating, but not into the reward options. Which consumables you use might be completely irrelevant, for instance, while whether or not you can "remember" permed skills may be a key deciding factor.

Regarding a "build your own" in general, while I'm intrigued by the way Zillow put it, that much up front (especially for the first few replays) may be a lot. It might be possible to split the difference -- offer up a couple of key choices, and then have a few other (possibly documented, possibly secret-and-waiting-to-be-discovered) "bonus" points. The level limit, for instance. Maybe that doesn't need to be enforced as a predetermined guideline. However, if you wait until level 50 before wrapping up the story line, you get the points regardless of your intentions when you started.

I might also add to that list the option of having a ronin period or not. I think KoL might actually make more sense without their ronin, but I know it's a much-appreciated crutch for new/casual players who still want to keep collecting skills. If we're rolling our own retcons, I'd say it's worth a few bonus points for someone who wants to forgo that advantage (or perhaps it subtracts points if you keep it ?)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:18 am 
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Well, I had forgotten to add, but Zillow's preselection idea would take care of issues of information overload...

"All these checkboxes confusing to you? Fear not, true believer for your Uncle Lee has these handy-dandy pre-packaged options that do all the heavy lifting for you! Check it out we have..." and then cleverly named options that will approximate casual, normal, hardcore, and badmoon. I don't mind having the level restriction (for instance) being visible, it could just be that all the preselected options ignore it and slot you in at running until level 11.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:23 am 
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I, for one, cannot allow such a grievous mistake to go unmentioned. There's no way the Retcon guy can be named Uncle Lee. Maybe Uncle Lee Wei (get it?). Could be related to the Wok store owner >.>


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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:35 am 
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Corrupt Shadow wrote:
Would this affect out MD's?

My MD is full of IotM's, rares, etc...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:12 am 
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Ryme wrote:
I might also add to that list the option of having a ronin period or not. I think KoL might actually make more sense without their ronin, but I know it's a much-appreciated crutch for new/casual players who still want to keep collecting skills. If we're rolling our own retcons, I'd say it's worth a few bonus points for someone who wants to forgo that advantage (or perhaps it subtracts points if you keep it ?)


Personally I don't get the idea of Ronin, especially in the setting of gradual difficulties. You want full access - we have full access. It's difficulty 1 with all it entails. You want limited access and more rewards - start at difficulty 3, 6 or even 10. But Ronin is like starting at difficulty 5, doing REALLY bad, and then at some point changing to difficulty 1, and yet getting the difficulty 5 rewards. That simply promotes mediocracy and undermines the idea of difficultie levels.
I think if someone is stuck, they can lower the difficulty mid-way. But then they get the reward of the lower difficulty (an option which, by the way, exists in KoL too).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:13 pm 
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I agree with Muhandes. I never liked Ronin... I ascended twice, then gave up on it and leveled up from then on... until I quit, that is.

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 Post subject: Re: OMG RETCON!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:29 pm 
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Satan wrote:
I agree with pretty much everything Muh said. Especially the self-imposed but not necessarily enforced limits for rewards.
Wow. I got a name change. or maybe I'm actually just another of Muhandes' alts...

as for the sliding difficulty scale, I quite like it. Though I'd want to add in combat and non combat usables in with the consumables as well. I also think the idea may work better if you start with a base package and add optional difficulty choices. The base package could control things like items and skills, then the rest of it could be optional check boxes.

Quote:
"Congratulations! You have saved the city of Twilight! How would you like to do it again?"

[]Citizen- Level playing field (no checkboxes for this one)
[]Champion- Use all the gear at your disposal and all the skills you have Mastered
[]Heroic- Limited access to your gear and Mastered skills require 2 skill points to gain one level in
[]Super Heroic- No access to previous gear and you can only use Mastered skills at the level you have them learned at.

"For those who like even more of a challenge, try some of these options..."

Usable
[]Caffiene off
[]Sugar off
[]Combat use items off
[]Non-combat use items off

Sidekick
[]Permanent Sidekick off
[]Previous collected sidekicks off
[]New collected sidekicks off

Equipment
[]Accessory Slot 1 off
[]Accessory Slot 2 off

Skills
[]Mastered skills level required
[]Mastered skills off

Level Minimum
[]Level to 20
[]Level to 35
[]Level to 50


Points can then be assessed based on the selected difficulty modifiers and earned once the run is completed. I would also like to see the trophies that Muh wants as equipment. A Psion run would give you a helmet (made of tinfoil to attract the aliens better), a Naturalist perhaps a shirt (save the whales), Gadgeteer would give you rocket pants (ROCKET PANTS!!!), and Elemental run would get you an off-hand item (a frozen flame perhaps?). Each item would have a slightly different version based on which base run you chose to go through allowing for Muhandes to have his collection items too.
Points can then be used to buy your Mastered skill (yes, I am calling "permed" skills "Mastered" instead) and whatever "retcon gear" the store may allow you to purchase.
Also, this allows Ryme to have his base package at the begining with optional difficulties that can be discovered or perhaps purchased in the retcon store.

I can't speak on the Ronin as I have never made it that far into KoL. I quit before I got to the level 12 or 13 quest (got too bogged down with checking the wiki so the game wasn't any fun for me).

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:43 pm 
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Satan wrote:
I, for one, cannot allow such a grievous mistake to go unmentioned. There's no way the Retcon guy can be named Uncle Lee. Maybe Uncle Lee Wei (get it?). Could be related to the Wok store owner >.>
Uncle Lee would be a reference to Stan "The Man" Lee.

CS: I would assume that the items in the display case would be off limits. Otherwise, you could just shove all your gear in the case and yank it out as wanted, which would defeat the purpose of limiting item access. I guess access to the case would be controlled by difficulty. If you have unlimited access, of course you could get the display. If you don't, well, you don't.

Seventh: I can see the appeal of set levels and then further customization, but I really like the idea of it being completely customizable. KoL's managed well with their levels, but it's limiting. The pre-sets work good for people unfamiliar, but I'd prefer people eventually being able to pick and choose for everything. Perhaps:

Quote:
"Congratulations! You have saved the city of Twilight! How would you like to do it again?"

[]Citizen- etc
[]Champion- etc
[]Heroic- etc
[]Super Heroic- etc

"For those who find that too restricting, feel free to full customize your next life with our special Plot-O-Matic 3000!"

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:00 pm 
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I like SC's idea... maybe emphasize the customization.

A simple (but probably disliked) solution to the Memento Displays would be to move them to only be accessed from the retcon shop post mick. Yes it would be restrictive on being able to access it, and could lead to people selling off items they meant to place in the memento, but that's why there is storage in the hideout. Yet, it would mean that people couldnt store their stuff in the MD and pull them out on the difficult runs.

Concerning the names for the difficulties, im a little confused. IS citizen supposed to be like a complete restart, no Mastered skills, no items, nothing from previous runs, or is it supposed to be the easiest setting where you have everything? Both ideas have been passed around, I like the idea of the first one the most, with an inverted naming scheme. I.E. Easy=Super-Hero, Medium=Hero, Hard=Vigilante, Extreme= Couch Potato. You could phrase it like a question: "In a previous life you were a:" You might also be able to do the same with these other ideas (i.e. hate caffiene or sugar, loner, etc.). This would get rid of the massive amount of check boxes. I think the

This would also set it up so a first time player could (if they are familiar with KoL or other such games) walk in on a medium or hard setting if they so desire. Yes, I know extensive warnings would be necessary for this so a newbie doesnt pick couch Potato difficulty and hate the game for being too hard. Something like "Being a super hero in a previous life makes crime fighting easy." and "Caffiene and Sugar let you do more daily." etc.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Yeah, I've struggled a bit with the names, and whether they should imply the difficulty rating, or whether they should imply your relative ability.

Honestly, though, if we go with something highly customizable, I may drop the name entirely. For example, if there are enough options that the difficulty score runs from 1 to 20, the number may be enough. Or I may break it into tiers, in which case "Champion" seems best as the tier that's most challenging.

I've got some notes I've been meaning to post, but I've been trying to get through skill points first and give some others a chance to post before I start steering the conversation too much.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:16 pm 
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the names could instead of being difficulties be how far you have to level up to retcon... i.e. an analog of difficulty if we wanted to stick with my questions idea.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Cristiona wrote:
"For those who find that too restricting, feel free to full customize your next life with our special Plot-O-Matic 3000!"

Or Plot-Boy 3000, for a Fallout 3 reference.
I can't be the only one who thought that.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:39 pm 
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Cris: I prefer to have a base to work off of, though I specifically limited it to tying only two choices together, and chose the two that seemed most likely to be used for the difficulties. Though one option if enough people (or just Ryme) want to see it, might be to have the difficulties be able to be bought out off with retcon points. That way you start off with having to use difficulties but can earn the right to make it completely customizable.

blackmatter: Thanks for the vote of confidence! ^_^
My notes on your suggestions... MD's: I think they should be tied to the difficulty you choose for items. No items or limited items could imply lock the remove items feature. that way you could still put stuff in, but not take anything back out. Which should work fine as long as you can access it during the retconcension period before you actually restart.
Citizen is the first one. My name for Ryme's idea of a level playing field. Everyone gets the "neutral start" with no powers, no items, nothing from past runs essentially. As for the other names, I wasn't so concerned with which level each represented so much as how they sounded for a super powers game setting. I named them from least powered to most powered in my mind. Champion and Hero were fairly interchangeable, but hero was closer to SuperHero, so it trumped champion. (now I need to come up with a good name for "retconcension"...)
As for having questions as opposed to checkboxes, I'm not sure you'd save a whole lot, since many of the checkboxes are each independent. For example: sugar, caffiene, usable items (combat or non) could all be combined, which would mean four questions as opposed to one with four checkboxes. Plus checkboxes are fairly self explanitory when they are listed as turning something off. You my need one disclaimer at the start, just to say "turning something off means you won't be able to use it during the next playthrough", but if someone has made it to retcon, they ought to know how sugar/caffiene, sidekicks, etc... affect the game play.

I'd be fine with numbered difficulty as well, if you choose not to have a base difficulty. But personally, I like the base difficulty as it gives everyone a place to start with. Especially for newer players.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:12 am 
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I think there absolutely must be a "level playing field" mode. That allows EVERYBODY to have the opportunity to get up in the rankings.

Which reminds me, I don't know if this has been mentioned, but how would the leader-boards look? The way I imagine it there would be, say, a max-level "Champion" board, maybe a few other custom ones, and then a main board that used a formula like turns_played * (difficulty_level * arbitrary_balancing_constant) to rank players on their speed and difficulty.

Hell you could even have a sweet graph.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 11:37 am 
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Getting started on the topic of retcon again. Just a rough sketch of what "roll your own" retcon might look like. None of this guaranteed, just talking out loud, with some numbers attached.



Points matrix for different options:
----------------

Basic options wrote:
[] Complete a run through the level 11 quest: 5 points


Items options -- (like pulls in KoL) wrote:
[] No pulls: +5
[] Some pulls: +2
[] Max pulls: 0
[] "Give me a break" after X hours of in-game time or point X (basically ronin): -2 points
[] All items available to you immediately: -4 points
** The terms "some" and "max" are vague. They might be fixed numbers, like 5, 10, or 20/day. They might be X/quest finished. They might be something else.


Skills options wrote:
The default plan is with each run through you are allowed to keep one skill that you'll start the next run with.
[] No skills remembered from past runs: +5
[] Skills remembered, but can only assign skill points to your own class skills: +2
[] All skills remembered and open to points: +0


Consumption options wrote:
[] Can use both caffeine and sugar: +0
[] Decaf (no caffeine): +3
[] Diet (no sugar): +2
[] Naturally hyper: No caffeine AND no sugar, but + 1 hour/day: +3 (maybe?)
[] Oxygenarian (abstainer): No caffeine AND no sugar +5


Sidekick options wrote:
Not sure this one is workable. I'd like to make it so that a sidekick actually becomes necessary for some of the later quests. Still, the intention is this: with your first run, you earn the sidekick at level 9. With all future runs, you have the sidekick from the beginning. That leaves possibly one option:

[] Sidekick with you form the beginning: +0
[] Sidekick is gone until you re-earn one at level 9: +2



Relative comparison of different types of runs and the point values wrote:
I'm comparing these to KoL because they're the one I know best, and I think most TH players are familiar with it. Sorry for those of you who aren't, I'll try to make it sensible enough for you, too.

Kol's casual: 1 point
(This is full access to all items immediately, full access to all previously earned skills, no restrictions on consumption or sidekicks.)

KoL's softcore: 3 points
(Basically, a casual run, except you don't initially have access to your items. You can "pull" a certain number per day, and after a "ronin" period has passed (a certain number of turns or amount of time) you get full access to all of your items.)

Softtcore without ronin: 5 points
(Items are limited by pulls, but there's no "give me a break" option. Full access to skills and sidekicks, and no dietary restrictions.)

Subronin softcore-diet (SCT equivalent): 7 points
Subronin softcore-decaf (SCB equivalent): 8 points
Subronin softcore-oxy (SCO equivalent): 10 points

Skillcore (KoL hardcore: skills kept, but no items): 10 points
(For the moment I'm assuming TH will not have two levels of skill perming, just one, so this is roughly parallel.)

Skillcore-diet (HCT equivalent): 12 points
Skillcore-decaf (HCB equivalent): 13 points
Skillcore-oxy (HCO equivalent): 15 points

Pullcore (pulls, but no skills): 10 points
(KoL has no comparison here. You could pull items, but you're going without any past knowledge of skills.)

Pullcore-diet (HCT equivalent): 12 points
Pullcore-decaf (HCB equivalent): 13 points
Pullcore-oxy (HCO equivalent): 15 points

Bad moon: 17
(Almost everything is thrown at you: you get no items, you remember no skills, and you have to earn a sidekick all over again. No dietary restrictions, though. (And of course KoL's bad moon comes with a lot of other flavor that isn't necessarily implied here.))

Highest possible rating (Bad moon oxy): 22
(This is bad moon with dietary restrictions, too. The most restrictive possible run.




Leaderboard brackets wrote:
With this style of play, leaderboards would have to be put into brackets. I think 4 is the most we can handle and not get too complicated. They might look something like this:

Tier 1: 15-22 points (Skillcore-oxy, Pullcore-oxy, bad moon, bad moon pathed)
Tier 2: 10-14 points (Softcore-oxy, hardcore, pullcore, pathed hardcore/pullcore)
Tier 3: 5-9 points (softcore, softcore pathed)
Tier 4: 1-4 points (basically, either using ronin or casual)

I'm open to some finagling of points and leaderboards, but I think with a bracket system we have to realize it's inevitable that there will be ways to game the brackets to have an optimal path to the leaderboards. For instance, casual will always be faster than softcore with ronin, and that's just going to be tough for anyone who wants to have a competitive ronin run. More contentiously, it's likely that pullcore and skillcore will not be equivalently difficult, and we may be faced with a situation where the pullcore players always beat out the skillcore players, or vice versa. It is also likely that changes to the game will shift this balance from time to time--adding a set of new skills pushes skillcore into the forefront over pullcore, for instance.

Because of this, these leaderboard brackets are my greatest concern about a roll-your-own style of play. I expect there to be near-constant criticism (both rational calculations and irrational griping) of some imbalance in this system, with renewed criticisms any time the balance shifts in a way players perceive as unfair.

I think some of this can be addressed by having a records-keeping system that goes deeper than the leaderboards do, like KoLDB.com provides massively more details than KoL does. If you want to see who the fastest "skillcore diet with the sidekick restriction and less than 10 permed skills" run is, you can do that. It just won't necessarily be a viable choice for a leaderboard.



Bonus points wrote:
Outside of the retcon scale, there may be ways to achieve bonus points, to be cashed in for prizes. These points would NOT contribute to the difficulty rating of the run -- neither for leaderboard purposes nor for unlocking some of the prizes. They simply get added to your personal tally (along with the difficulty points from the run) that you can cash in for prizes. Some sources of bonus points:

+1 - Finishing in < X hours of in-game time?
+1 - Achieving a leaderboard spot? (possibly this or the above, but not both?)
+1 - Finishing level 12 quest, when it exists
+1 - Finishing level 13 quest, when it exists
+1 - Finishing level 14 quest, when it exists
+1 - Finishing level 15 quest, when it exists
+2 - Finishing builder quest
+3 - Finishing space robots
+1 - TBA mystery achievement?
+1 - TBA mystery achievement?
+1 - TBA mystery achievement?


Highest possible points with bonuses: 32-36-ish



Prizes wrote:
All these points can be redeemed in some kind of store. The store doesn't have much to start. To prevent too much need to hoard these points for competitive runs, there may be some cap on points/day or total points that can be redeemed while you're still working on a run.

Also, prizes only become available to you as you unlock them by trying different things:

- A no sugar run unlocks purchaseable caffeine
- A no caffeine run unlocks purchaseable sugar
- A run worth 10 points (Tier 2) or more (without bonuses) unlocks a class-specific item (good). (So 4 runs for all 4 items).
- A run worth 15 points (Tier 1) or more (without bonuses) unlocks a class-specific item (better). (Again, 4 runs for 4 items).
- possibly additional separate flavors of items for pullcore and skillcore, or additional flavored items that fit those
- possibly a (best) item set?
- Possibly a few other collectibles? One-time items (like you can buy a badge after doing X, but after you've got it you don't need to buy it again? Or special items that become available after a certain # of completed runs?)


Costs for the prizes
---------
Cash in points for chips: 1 point for X chips (500? 1000?) (maybe not restricted by a maximum the way the other stuff will be)
Item (good): 5 points
Item (better): 10 points
Caffeine: 2 points (softcore diet run earns 3 for the next run; pullcore and skillcore diet also earn you 3 assuming you purchase the "good" class-specific item)
Sugar: 2 points (softcore decaf run earns 4 for the next run; pullcore and skillcore diet also earn you 4 assuming you purchase the "good" class-specific item)

Maybes:
1-point resting upgrade?
1-point pack of PP restoratives (open pack for many consumable items)
1-point pack of HP restoratives
expensive avatar item (or a few -- one for each tier, at varying prices?)


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Lots of good ideas.

Maybe for the leader board there could be a link on the normal boards that are currently there and the link sends you to the retcon boards where on the top is a way to search certain boards and below is the 4 boards you outlined above.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Ryme wrote:
Consumption options wrote:
[] Can use both caffeine and sugar: +0
[] Decaf (no caffeine): +3
[] Diet (no sugar): +2
[] Naturally hyper: No caffeine AND no sugar, but + 1 hour/day: +3 (maybe?)
[] Oxygenarian (abstainer): No caffeine AND no sugar +5
I like the sound of "Naturally Hyper". Also, Oxy will need a rename, obviously. Perhaps "Straight Edge"?

Bonus points wrote:
+1 - Finishing in < X hours of in-game time?
+1 - Achieving a leaderboard spot? (possibly this or the above, but not both?)
Figuring the X for hours would be difficult, but I would prefer that to requiring a leaderboard slot, especially since leaderboard slots will just get harder and harder to manage, but X time won't.

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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:33 pm 
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Cristiona wrote:
Ryme wrote:
Consumption options wrote:
[] Can use both caffeine and sugar: +0
[] Decaf (no caffeine): +3
[] Diet (no sugar): +2
[] Naturally hyper: No caffeine AND no sugar, but + 1 hour/day: +3 (maybe?)
[] Oxygenarian (abstainer): No caffeine AND no sugar +5
I like the sound of "Naturally Hyper". Also, Oxy will need a rename, obviously. Perhaps "Straight Edge"?

Bonus points wrote:
+1 - Finishing in < X hours of in-game time?
+1 - Achieving a leaderboard spot? (possibly this or the above, but not both?)
Figuring the X for hours would be difficult, but I would prefer that to requiring a leaderboard slot, especially since leaderboard slots will just get harder and harder to manage, but X time won't.


I assume the rename is abstainer for Oxygenarian.


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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Satan wrote:
I assume the rename is abstainer for Oxygenarian.

I would place abstainer in the same category as no caffiene and no sugar, i.e. not the actual name that will be used, but makes it easily identifiable.

I think the no caffiene option should be like sugar freak, or diabetic coma while the no sugar option is along the lines of caffiene freak or tweeker. The no sugar and no caffiene would be like Straight Edge or Purist or something...

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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:09 am 
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Nothing is final, including the names of things. However, it'd take a miracle for someone to convince me to use terms other than "diet" and "decaf" for the sugar-free and caffeine-free options. (A very close second are the terms "diabetic" and "Mormon" but they're not entirely accurate and probably wouldn't go over as well.)


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