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 Planet Probability 
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Gameop
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Depending on how this is done, I would be in favor of it. If different gtorps were being implemented I would not be that big of a fan, however if it was a setting that the sysop could use in TEDIT (Planet class H has a 15% chance of being created, Planet O has a 10%, etc), then that would be good, because it would take something that is now difficult to control and make it transparent and adjustable.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:21 am
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Micro wrote:
Master Blaster wrote:
That's a no brainer. It kills the game because right now, the only people really playing the game are the geeks and heavy scripters. I left the first time because of scripting that just went berzerk and so did many many other players. The first Internet Capable Trade wars came out, (you know, the one that no longer required a bbs to support it), I played once and shut it off.

Most of the options that JP is making are actualy to prevent heavy scripting and "advanced tacktics" that are destroying the game. All of these features are optional, so that people who like this type of game play can continue to play that way. One of the new delay options is a GenTorp Launch delay, which can be used to prevent players from popping hundreds of planets till they get what they want.



Funny how I keep hearing these advanced scripts and tactics are destroying the game. We have more options for players than ever before with the script collections that are out. Hmm, options for players - what a concept. Someone is bound to say that the new server options will give players even more options - yes, and it gives Ops more ways to mess games up. I am far more concerned with the mishmash of settings destroying the game than scripts. I've seen the mess that people cause in T-edit just creating a game because they don't know what they are doing, and that is minimal compared to what I hear the new settings are.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:42 am
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
I have good evidence to support the idea that good ops will establish good game types and distribute them so others can use them and players can seek them out. Add to that the presets feature that this is all working toward. The point is, there is a plan.

Micro, the planet distribution is not a bug. It's by design. Maybe not a good design, but design nonetheless ;) Basically, without Gold planets involved, you have a particular distribution of planet probabilities. Not only is the probability range, but also the order of the planets in the full range from 0-100% important. That's because the number of planets in a sector pushes the probabilities higher. The highest planet in the order is the least valuable, the Vaporous/Gaseous.

When Gold planets were introduced, I kept the same relative distribution for standard planets, but carved out a chunk below Vaporous/Gaseous that would result in an extended planet type. If you roll a number in this range, then you have a perfectly even probability of getting any of the extended planet types. So obviously, if you increase the number of planets in a sector, you're more likely to get one of the extended planet types. There's also a very high probability that you'll get the V/G.

If an option to control probability is added, there are two ways that could go. One would be to allow you to completely override the current probability model and set the probability of each planet. The other would be to only allow you to set the probability of each extended planet within the range of Gold planets while keeping the other standard planets the same. In either case it will be somewhat complicated by the need to keep all probabilities in the range of 0-100%. Changing the probability of one planet will change the probability of all other planets. Maybe just a number with higher numbers giving higher probabilities, so it's all relative probabilities rather than absolutes. I'm not sure yet. But I do agree that this is a setting that should have been provided as part of the original Gold feature set. I always intended to, but never got around to it.

Topper, when I created v3, the game engine became too complex to support this kind of "wild west" add-on dev. There was never an intentional effort to discourage it. I love that stuff (and I love how it's done today, with server-side scripts by V'Ger and others). I've even provided details of the data structure for people who do want to write add-ons. But yeah, stability is a very high priority. That's why the module feature was never released for Gold. It worked, but was too unstable, and because of limits in the ancient architecture of the game, I felt that it would always be too unstable. But at this point, I do have a plan for how to support 3rd party add-ons again, despite the risk that I'll further kill this 25 year old game, I plan to finish and release it and finally complete the original goal and promise of Gold. Because when I'm done developing this old game again, I want gameops to be able to continue to make it fresh. The ability to customize the game and make it your own unique experience has always been and will always be part of TW.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:11 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
I would say there are maybe 10 sysops that could make a well balanced TWA. Out of those 10 sysops only about half of them are currently active. A good TWA take time, effort, and testing to be positive that it is balanced. Then the sysop finally gets the edit right and passes that edit out to the rest of the sysops for download.

Now! Can someone tell me what happens to that TWA next? I can tell you exactly what happens, and I'm sure Prom, Res, and a few others can tell you what happens to them also.


Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:42 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Big D wrote:
Now! Can someone tell me what happens to that TWA next? I can tell you exactly what happens, and I'm sure Prom, Res, and a few others can tell you what happens to them also.


I'm guessing you've seen your work with other peoples name on it too 'eh?

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:21 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Big D wrote:
Now! Can someone tell me what happens to that TWA next? I can tell you exactly what happens, and I'm sure Prom, Res, and a few others can tell you what happens to them also.

Without a way to lock the edit a sysop butchers the living crap out of it but keeps the same name? :)

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:51 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
topper4125 wrote:
Big D wrote:
Now! Can someone tell me what happens to that TWA next? I can tell you exactly what happens, and I'm sure Prom, Res, and a few others can tell you what happens to them also.


I'm guessing you've seen your work with other peoples name on it too 'eh?


Worse than that. I have seen edits by several people, Vader, Res, Big D for example, that were very good edits, and then someone thinks a ship with 8:1 odds would be great or makes other changes that messes the edit up. Some edits have a little research behind them to approxmate the theme, and changes disrupts or unbalances the theme.

Any TWA can be approximated as scripts can be used to get some of the information while in the game.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:55 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
I think it is safe to say that TWA edits can be assigned more blame than scripting for the problems we've seen in TW.

I joined a friend in a game he had started and needed help catching up in, but when I saw the edits, I assumed they were the same, but it turns out someone had messed with them. One ship was the ubermench of the fleet, and if you had one of those, game over to anyone else.

That server is no longer with us, but I still have to check all the ship and planet edits before I play these days.

But again, let me emphasize that the onus of making TW enjoyable for the public is in the hands of the SysOps. This game has been around for 25 years! I used to play it at 2400 baud on a WWIV BBS. I still enjoy it today as I did then. Some things have changed, but the basics of the game have not. JP has given us a Gold Game, BBS settings, etc. We can customize the game to the needs of our users. Put together a good server with good edits, and you should be able to attract players who will want to frequent your server. I have an idea that I will be presenting shortly regarding ways to bring users to your servers, beyond the rebang announcements. SysOps, if you want in on this please PM me.
It is up to us to keep the game going. JP does what he can, but he can only present the product. It is up to us to customize it and market it to our users. This game isn't dying, if anything, it will grow if we work together to bring our friends and family (read: geeks and coworkers) to it.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
I agree that signing TWAs is a great idea. I just haven't implemented it yet.

I also think that incorporting some of the time-honored game styles into presets will help. I'll even credit the ops who pioneered them.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:13 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
V'Ger wrote:
Depending on how this is done, I would be in favor of it. If different gtorps were being implemented I would not be that big of a fan, however if it was a setting that the sysop could use in TEDIT (Planet class H has a 15% chance of being created, Planet O has a 10%, etc), then that would be good, because it would take something that is now difficult to control and make it transparent and adjustable.


My thinking with regards to the different GTorps was that you could make the cost of the GTorps for the uber planets very expensive. You pay a million for a GTorp and it might or might not give you the planet you want.
That could act as a check and a balance against people who want all the uber planets, and might force people to use the other classes until the middle or end game. I can imagine the frustration of earning one mil creds just to pop a planet that isn't the one you want. But that is what happens when you deal in percentages. It's a little on the Social Engineering side. Is the probable payout worth the cost?

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Controlling the % would also affect the net cost, too. If the odds were 10%, it would effectively cost 5x more than a 50% planet.

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Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:58 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Ok, I give....

If properly applied, an 'adjustable & configurable' planet management system could be helpful in designing a well balanced game. BUT, I also see major damage being done from a sysop that uses the ability to make a game edit virtually unplayable.

I don't back down often so take advantage of it while you can ... (lol)

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Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:32 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
I've never disagreed with your position that ops can totally mess up an edit. I just don't agree that it's a new thing. It's always been possible, and maybe it becomes more possible the more options there are, but that just places greater emphasis on the need to provide a system for the good edits to rise above and for everyone else to take advantage of them. I want the gameop community to be a proving ground for combinations of settings and new game styles. Not everyone does that, but those who do are very good at it.

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Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:01 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
Yeah, I know. Maybe I let the fact that I miss the good old days cloud my judgement from time to time.

Maybe a good way to help people learn how to edit a game and make good balance choices is to set up a separate forum where people can post their proposed edits and have more experienced members give their opinions of them.

In fact, I might just do that with my Bablylon 5 edit I've been working on....

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Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:18 pm
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Unread post Re: Planet Probability
It would be cool to have some kind of ranking system for edits. That's something I would like to offer, along with signing, a way to review edits so it's easy to find the ones people most like.

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Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:53 pm
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