Thursday, August 21, 2008

Golemizer - New web site

I did some work to get a cleaner web site with less but more accurate informations. Sometimes, less is better and that's the case for this. See the new web site: When I'll get the funds, I'll probably hire an artist to replace the top image to improve the "branding" of the game.

I also added a donation system that works quite like KOL's system. For every $5, players will be receiving a gift. The type of gift will change from time to time to meet various interests of players.

Gifts received this way will never make a player more powerful than another one. For example, the current gift expand a character's inventory by 30 slots. It does make your character more interesting (for mining, cutting wood and such) but not more powerful than another. Players that can't afford donations or don't have access to a credit card can still hope to get their hands on a gift since gifts can be traded from players to players.


Jedaz said...

"Gifts received this way will never make a player more powerful than another one"

It's important to realize that while things like increased inventory size many not directly effect stats (like HP) they do make a player slightly more powerful then those without the increased inventory size.

Consider this:
Theres two players X and Y. Player X is fortunate enough to have an increased inventory size (we'll assume that the increase is double). They both mine for the same amount of time together.

Assuming that it takes 15 minutes to fill up your standard size inventory at a normal level and a 3 minute run to town and back.

Player X and Y mine away, Y fills up at 15 minutes and walks away. X keeps mining. 3 minutes later (18 min) Y is back and mining again. Player X is filled up at 30 minutes and walks away. 3 minutes later and he's back, Y leaves when X gets back, ect.

Over time player X is roughly 9% more effective in mining then player Y since he doesn't have to make the travel to sell his wares as often. The level of efficency increases as the travel time increase, the time required to mine things decreases, and the ratio of standard size to extended size becomes uneven.

With the higher efficency obviously players will be able to get more money then others, thus making them more powerful due to their buying power. Anyway, I just thought I'ld throw that out there for you to consider.

Alehkhs said...

Great to see this project going strong! Can't wait to see where it goes...

@jedaz: I love the math :P

Over00 said...

hehe, great insights as always Jedaz :)

It's true that technically, players with a bigger inventory would be more efficient to mine.

However, I consider inventory space will not make the difference in the end between a player doing good and a player doing bad. There's other stuff on which I have little control. Let's consider these examples:

A player that is online 2 hours would also be more efficient than a player that can only afford to play 1 hour. It is unfair since some just can't spend as much time as others. Players that are able to be online longer will probably always do better than others (unless they group with others or find smart ways to stay ahead).

A player can create 2 accounts and play them side by side. When 1 character is mining, he moves the other one to the next rock. Accounts are free to create and I already stated that monitoring multiple accounts ends up being more of a pain than useful. So a player using 2 characters at the same time would be more powerful than someone playing only once character.

Of course, 2 characters with increased inventory are more efficient than 2 characters with normal inventory size. That's just yet another scenario.

Now we're just talking about being more powerful related to money (which could allow them to buy better stuff and so on).

What if "more powerful" means having a better looking house. Some players just enjoy setting up their house and some MMOs even have contests related to this stuff.

If the gift I give is really good looking carpet, players that can afford to get it by donating will have more beautiful houses than others, making them "more powerful" at decoration contests. It's true that most players won't really care but some will.

So what I really meant when saying "will never make a player more powerful than another one" was in raw data.

Having X gift won't boost the damages of your golem, gift Y won't boost the HP, gift Z won't improve the speed, won't make you craft better items, won't make you learn skills faster and so on.

Inventory space is about the only data I consider won't really have a noticeable impact to break balance to the point other players will get frustrated about it.

But hey, now with your math, it gives a more accurate idea of how more efficient a player really is with this gift.

Maple said...

Something I thought of a couple of days a go where inventory space COULD interfere with game mechanics, possibly, and that is being able to hold an additional 30 unplaced golems on hand. Let's say that two guys are at different ends of the same zone and they are just unleashing all of their golems as soon as possible. The inventory-expanded guy will be able to last twice as long. (Possibly better or worse, depending on how the golem-per-zone rules apply.)

Over00 said...

Possible. One thing that's been on my mind for some time is to add a delay for dropping golems.

There's currently a delay for recalling but not for dropping golems from the inventory.

That way, the player with less inventory could just go for the player instead of fighting the golems.

Jedaz said...

"I consider inventory space will not make the difference in the end between a player doing good and a player doing bad. There's other stuff on which I have little control. Let's consider these examples:"

Inventory space will make a difference between two equivalent players. Saying "X doesn't affect players because all players are different" is like saying that a class is balanced when you compare a high level War Mage to a low level Warrior even though the Warrior wins every time.

Obviously there will be things you can not control such as luck, time invested, skill, ect, but the consideration should always be between two equal players.

If you still feel that such a thing has no impact then I'ld like to show you the difference. If you would provide me with numbers such as time traveled from the merchent to the mines, time to fill 1 inventory space with something useful, the default max inventory spaces, and anything else that may effect the problem (such as respawn rates/quantities). Then I would be more then happy to do the math for you to show exactly the maximum impact that it would have between two equivalent players (people who spend the same time and effort at the same style/skill level)

"What if "more powerful" means having a better looking house."

This is probably a fairer idea IMO. Other things could include different looks for a character such as unique coloured hats, shirts, ect. Only really things that chage aesthetics.

Over00 said...

"Inventory space will make a difference between two equivalent players."

Yes, I totally agree. I need to keep those difference to a minimum and let personal involvement of players do the difference (time played, friends, multi-account, ...). The trick is to find different ways of interesting different type of players.

I may have taken a risk with the inventory expansion but it allowed me to test the interest of players toward donations.

Since the donation system was added on August 20, about 3.5% of players that logged into the game since that date (we're talking about over 60) used it to receive a gift and those players are not near the top of rankings and are not the richest players in gold coins. That was the kind of data I was looking for.

So top players weren't interested with a gift that has an impact to some degree on fairness toward other players (or didn't have the money or didn't feel like donating, can be any reason).

So in fact, the inventory expansion might have been a bad idea not because it has an impact on how well players do but because this impact wasn't great enough.

Now that doesn't mean I'll go for more unbalancing gifts (I want it to remain free-to-play not buy-items-to-play) but instead I should probably go with only aesthetics items. Because in the end, people really donate first because they feel like donating. Bonus for getting a gift out of it.