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(Posted as Aus Digger)
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(19-Feb-2001 at 04:48)


Postings By Mehul (#2)


Posted in the Utopia Bugs & Suggestions Board.

Anubis DB
Feb 18th 1:02 PM
Ok, I don't play this round but I hear an aweful lot of complaints about the TB.

Mehul, is this specifically designed to try to stop feeders? Because alot say that it isn't stopping them.

The TB is one reason why I don't play this round of Utopia, because I wouldn't want to send aid to someone in my kingdom to help them out and then know that it will hurt them in the end.

Let me know if I have any of this wrong or misunderstood.

Swirve
Feb 18th 1:09 PM
It's a partially solution for stopping feeders. It does two primary things:

(1) It charges a tax on those who receive excess aid. The more you get, the more you're charged. The rate may change in the future and it's the rate that determines how effective it is in stopping feeders.

(2) It makes the information public. At least people will know where feeders are and can then use other options to stop them.

Beyond that, there are now several tools to stop feeders. Knowing who's feeding lets you focus things like Explosions ops on those players. Including NW in the attack equation, larger players can now attack a fed player and get large gains.

If feeding continues to be a problem, the tax rate can be changed, but the just as important (in my opinion) was to make the information public knowledge.

As for not sending aid because it will hurt them, that's not true. A player who recieves 100K gold coins and is charged a 2% tax is still better off than one who gets nothing. If the player then uses that gold effectively to grow, the tax rate will drop because his NW will increase.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 04:54)


Re: Postings By Mehul (#2)


Sun Angel
Feb 18th 1:07 PM
No, its not a bug, its not a complaint about how the game works.. It is just a realistic comment

An Orc sends soldiers to an Undead
An Avian sends soldiers to a Human
Sounds all nice and good no? But it doesn't make sense!!
How can Avian soldiers be trained into knights?!
How can Orcish troops be trained into Ghouls?!
It makes no sense in the term of reality, it should either be made that you can recieve soldeirs only from a province the same race as you or just come up with an explanation to this!

Mehul, any answer on this one? Or is it far less immportant to have the game make sense than work properly? :]

Humor99
Feb 18th ##:## PM
If you can't prove to me that they are race-specific, then how do you know if anything is possible/impossible?

For all we know those soldiers could look like donkeys...but they're all the same. Each race would draft donkeys, not Orcish donkeys or Undead donkeys.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
This is also a problem with kidnapping peasants, Missionary Attacks, etc. There's also a technical issue with capturing Sciene -- you would likely capture knowledge you already have, especially when capturing science from someone with less knowledge than you. Similarly, when capturing land, we presume you don't physically move the land but instead just own the land elsewhere. However, then there's the question of how you manage bits and pieces of land across 40 islands.

These are all great mysteries of the Utopian world, and may or may not ever be answered.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:04)


Uncharted Acres


Chaotic
Feb 18th 1:04 PM
Our kingdom has 6023 uncharted acres to explore.

Is this limiting any at all?

We are on the topchart in nw and land, and almost everyone explore. No wars at all so far.
As I recall it it was implemented to keep entire kingdoms to explore....
Perhaps time to remove it or get it stronger?

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
This is actually a restriction we want to tighten. The idea is to make land a limited resource. Right now, there is essentially an unlimited supply in the world. Instead, we want to make it so that Exploration is a viable growth option, but only if an entire kingdom does not do it.

As it is right now, it only creates enough land for everyone to explore about 50 acres per day. However, that will be lowered at some point soon.

Mehul

----

The Logician
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Mehul,

If you plan to make land a limited resource via the uncharted acres cap, then why do exploration costs increase substantially as one gets larger? Having *both* features would merely serve to doubly penalize explorers and thus make exploration virtually infeasable; I would recommend implementing one or the other, but not both.

Respectfully Submitted.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
I don't think it makes it infeasible, just more difficult. All it serves to do is reward attacking a bit more and exploring a bit less -- it just shifts the balance further. I think that fits based on the level of risk the explorer takes vs. the attacker.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:12)


Risk Taking


Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Original Question: What is the purpose of making everyone take risks?

We don't *make* you take risks. However, we will reward players for doing so. The game would get very boring if the best strategy was also the one that required the least skill.

For example, suppose Exploration was -always- a better alternative than Attacking. Is there ever any reason to attack?

Similarly, if attacking small players is -always- a better alternative than attacking good players, the game is pointless. It becomes about "who can find more of the worst players" rather than involving any skill. The more we reward risk-taking, the more we reward skill, because they are very much connected. Anybody can find small players to bash -- not everyone can find bigger enemies to hit. Those who are the "best" players should know how to maximize rewards while minimizing risk.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:26)


Suiciders


painintheneck
Feb 18th ##:## PM
i never had a problem with suiciders till this age i just made a grab for 112 acres and some little jerk-off suicides me for 108 acres.

how can we stop them?any ideas?

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
As you grow larger, illegitimate (multi/cheater) suiciders will decrease because those guys are generally will be too small to break you.

Legitimate suiciders remain an issue, but those players take serious risks in terms of hurting themselves when doing this. There are also limits on how much they can gain depending on how large they are, which should reduce the problem over time. However, this is a legitimate strategy for non-cheater players.

Mehul

----

painintheneck
Feb 18th ##:## PM
i'm sitting on 533 acres and about 75k nw. he was about 435acres 49k nw so for him it was a good attack

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
painintheneck: given the numbers you posted above, once his land comes in, he'll be your size and you'll be able to take all of that land back with fewer forces than he used to get them in the first place.

Our goal is to get rid of the idea that the best players never get attacked and it's just a matter of who can grab the most land easily. Instead, everyone is going to get attacked -- the best players are the ones who'll be attacked the least (by having a good defense) and simultaneously attack the most and take the risks (by having a good offense). Nobody can achieve both of those, so its up to you to figure out the best balance.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:27)


Server


Random Chaos
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Mehul/Swirve: Were you doing something to the server (WoU) at about 1:00-##:## your time (14th day Utopian time)? The server acted as if it was rebooted since I lost access to my account for a short while then came back with "invalid password" when it did come back up and I had to re-login.

Also, at about ##:## your time (14th day Utopian time) the server (WoU) responded:
"The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process." while theiving a province. This seems a highly unusal message...never gotten that in the 5 round's I've played since back in 5th age - nor has anyone I've asked.

Thanks for any responce.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Yeah, we were updating code and correcting bugs. That was probably when we fixed the 0-thieves bug. If the file is being used by another process, we are generally updating that piece of code.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:30)


Non-linear building effects


Bliss
Feb 17th 9:53 AM
Mehul, when you originally raised the building caps some rounds ago, you said you were considering removing the caps completely. IMO this would be a good idea; artificial limits should be done away with as much as possible. However, obviously you can't do that with the current flat building bonuses, because it would create loopholes and make some buildings totally unbalanced.

How about lifting the caps, and implementing a 1% decay factor to the building bonuses? The effect of a building at a given build-% would be simply

E = P * 0.99^B

where
E = net effect of the buildings
P = base percentage (ie. 2.5% for Sh etc.)
B = percentage of land used for the building

This way, you could opt to build most of your land full of a building if you feel like it, but the decaying bonuses would make it unprofitable, and everyone would have to determine how big % of a given building is worth having; "maxing out" would no longer be the aim.

As an example, these would be the stronghold bonuses at 10% (of land used) intervals, starting from 10% SH:

23% 41% 55% 67% 76% 82% 87% 90% 91% 92%

Clearly 10-20% SH would give good enough bonuses, but after that the increase starts diminishing rapidly and other buildings will become more and more attractive.

For cost-reduction buildings such as Universities you would have to use an inverted formula (similar to the one in Tools science), to avoid 100%+ cost reduction.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
We actually considered this for the latest changes but decided against it. In terms of gameplay, I think it's a very good thing. However, there are certain things that need to be very simple for new players to understand and get involved. We already caused some problems with that by adding Utilization, and I want to stay away from adding more of it.

With Utilization, there wasn't an easy alternative to creating the economic effects we wanted and we could summarize it in one very simple number. With this, you'd have to have a chart similar to Sciences for people to understand the effects of their buildings. We're already a little on the "complex" side for where the game should be, so I want to stay away from adding more of this for now. Good concept, though.

Thanks,
Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:33)


Honor ranks for Monarchs


Anubis DB
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Mehul,

I'm not sure if you have addressed this issue before, but when I played Utopia last round it would have been extremely nice if my title could have changed from honor gains. Have you considered this at all?

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Yeah, this is one of the areas that the new Honor system really changed. While titles have never changed, you could at least see a Monarch's honor, which is no longer possible. It serves as a bonus to the Monarch right now. We have had some people suggest a separate title structure for Monarchs, but I'm not sure there are enough good titles to make it work. King and Queen seem to be the ultimate titles when looking at the current list.

Mehul

-----

Novus
Feb 18th ##:## PM
It might be possable to find some good titles for Monarchs. Tyrant, Leader, despot, Magnate, Czar, Mogul, Regent, Sultan, ect.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Novus: Those were the types of titles we were considering. Ultimately, we just didn't feel they fit with the theme of all the other titles in the game. It seemed strange to use British/European titles for most players but then miscellaneous titles for Monarchs. I do like those titles though.

Thanks,
Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:34)


Arson bug


Kicking
Feb 17th ##:## PM
finally a real bug (dunno if it has been posted before)

ARSON
you can send 0 thieves to burn 1 acre of housing

impossible right ?
the chances are you a./ gain honor b./ loose nothing

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
This bug should be fixed now -- thanks!

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:36)


Logging In


DanaRheaofHouston
Feb 18th ##:## AM
Yeah, like trying to for 6 hours straight on the world server. What gives? I am ready to delete my province and start over on battlefields.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
For now, the only suggestion I can give is to use Netscape if you have it available. It generally waits longer to get a page, so while it will be slow, the pages will load most of the time. We're working on various solutions, but as of yet, nothing has improved it.
Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:38)


Watchtowers


fargoo
Feb 18th 10:57 AM?
I got 10,6% WT:s at 104% utilization. Shouldn't atleast one of them been repelled?

April 4th 2826 of our runes were stolen!
April 4th 6gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 7th 9762gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 7th 500 of our people were kidnapped!
April 9th 500 of our people were kidnapped!
April 9th 500 of our people were kidnapped!
April 10th 500 of our people were kidnapped!
April 11th 500 of our people were kidnapped!
April 11th 2474 of our runes were stolen!
April 11th 17,435gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 11th 14,000gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 11th 14,000gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 11th 14,000gc were stolen from our coffers!
April 11th 13,012gc were stolen from our coffers!

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
There was a bug here that affected a small number of ours users -- you were likely one of them. It should be fixed now and your WatchTowers should function normally.

Sorry about that,
Mehul

----

The Logician
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Speaking of WatchTowers, Mehul, I have a quick question: Do WTs increase the chance of failing a thief attempt or do they merely increase the chance of losing thieves? The Guide's not terribly clear on this topic, and I would appreciate a reply from you on this matter.

Respectfully Submitted.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Logician,

They create an absolute chance of causing an operation to fail. In the example above, ~30% of operations against fargoo would fail. The loss of thieves would then be treated like any other failed operation.

Mehul

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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(19-Feb-2001 at 05:39)


Pop-up Ads, and ad frame


Caratacos
Feb 18th ##:## PM
I thought that the new ad frame would serve to eliminate all these god damn pop-up ads.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
The Ad-frame cuts down the number of ads you see per visit by about 70% for the average player. However, the drawback is that they stay on the screen the whole time you're playing. It's your option to use either display.

The pop-up ads are a separate issue and they should only display one per login (or logout, depending on the ad). A few of the popups appear to then have their own additional popups, but we're trying to get those stopped.

Mehul


"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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Old terra
Imported Post
(19-Feb-2001 at 16:55)
???


Logician = Mehul??

!_Swirve_!
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Speaking of WatchTowers, Mehul, I have a quick question: Do WTs increase the chance of failing a thief attempt or do they merely increase the chance of losing thieves? The Guide's not terribly clear on this topic, and I would appreciate a reply from you on this matter.

Respectfully Submitted.

Swirve
Feb 18th ##:## PM
Logician,

They create an absolute chance of causing an operation to fail. In the example above, ~30% of operations against fargoo would fail. The loss of thieves would then be treated like any other failed operation.

Mehul
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(19-Feb-2001 at 17:11)
Re: ???


Terra, that repost obviously contains a typo; check the original thread and you'll see that the member names are as they should be.

boards.swirve.com/board.c...ec=4068610

Hope this clears things up.
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(19-Feb-2001 at 17:46)


Re: ???


Sorry, that was my mistake. I have edited the post and it is now fixed.

Sorry for the confusion.

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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Old attacker
Imported Post
(21-Feb-2001 at 01:50)
Orc War Time


Dear Mehul, Isn't Orc has -25% attack time?? So it should be 16 hours for my army to come back from a war (Traditional attack) without barracks..... and U know wut... It took 18 hours to come back when I do my attacking today... It was fine in my previous attack.... Wut's the reason??
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(21-Feb-2001 at 02:23)


RE: Orc War time


Was the person you happened to attack an Orc, Faery, or Elf?

If so, they might have had fog on

When a man lies, he murders a part of the world.
These are the pale myths that men miscall their lives.
All this I cannot bear to witness anylonger.
Cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?
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(21-Feb-2001 at 08:12)


Re: Orc War time


This isn't really the forum to be putting questions in that you have. This thread is mainly here so that I can get copies of all of Mehul's posts in one central area and people comment on the posts.

"I look around this room and I see ghosts. When I'm done with the game or the game is done with me, I don't wanna be no ghost up on a wall. I wanna be more than that."
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Old Attacker
Imported Post
(21-Feb-2001 at 08:38)
Orc War Time


IC.. thanz.. anyway sorry for bothering.. U may delete the msg now..
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Old darkcell
Imported Post
(22-Feb-2001 at 00:24)
Fog


Well technically it would make sense that anyone can run fog now since the elf has it =)
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