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 Post subject: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:27 am 
Snuggler

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Man, I do apologize that this last bit of the Hidden War is taking so long to tackle. There's a lot of numbers to crunch through and I've been out of town/crazy busy a lot recently.

So the Hidden War.

Let me first inform that I intend this to be the last major pause in activity. After this, it's going to be all war, all the time until the war's conclusion (with possibly a day or two of rest between rounds).

Right now I'm going to be out of town this weekend for father's day (so much traveling...), but I'm about done with all the changes. I foresee that I will be doing some final testing on Monday, and the next round will start bright and early on Tuesday.

Sorry again for the delays.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:30 am 

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Welcome to Radio Skyrates, where its all war all the time!

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:32 pm 
True Friend

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how long in total are you seeing the war last? And will there be a reset at the end of it?

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:14 pm 
Helpful

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It is my suspicion that any round following such a reset would be functionally identical to this one. I don't expect the devs have lots of time to develop a different round and a hidden war concurrently.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:04 pm 
Developer

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Eskay wrote:
It is my suspicion that any round following such a reset would be functionally identical to this one. I don't expect the devs have lots of time to develop a different round and a hidden war concurrently.
This is probably an accurate assessment.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:09 pm 
Cupid

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I agree it won't likely be functionally different, but I think the original agreement was that the current division of skylands would only be temporary. It would definitely be interesting to know if we'll be left with ten skylands apiece, our pre-War set, or none.

A time estimate would be even better.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 7:02 am 
True Friend

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All I know is that there are quite a few players who quit the game because of the war and will not come back until it is over. So there either better be a full reset when it's over, or everyone gets back everything they had before it and we continue on as normal. I know didn't work my but off the whole round for that inf to just go away at the end of this one.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:24 pm 
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War .. War never changes.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/201
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:17 pm 
Snuggler

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There will likely be a reset following the conclusion of the War.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:40 pm 

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Phedre Spitfire wrote:
I know didn't work my but off the whole round for that inf to just go away at the end of this one.

I know you know there are frequent resets. So this mentality makes no sense to me whatsoever.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:25 pm 
True Friend

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It makes no difference now with Taft's post.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:47 am 
Snuggler

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Phedre Spitfire wrote:
All I know is that there are quite a few players who quit the game because of the war and will not come back until it is over.


I have been sad to see this as well. I would love to see a predicted time for the reset posted, even if it were just a guess at the month. I am afraid that some of the people who have left will end up leaving permanently if they don't have a sense of when to return for the traditional version of the game. If they knew when to check back in, I am hopeful their departure might be just a vacation.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:48 am 
Snuggler

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Fine points all. As this is our last planned major change, we should be able to get more strict with the timing, even if it involves a bit less time for writing full fledged fictions.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 9:30 am 
Sapphire Luminary

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I don't get why people are quitting until the war is over, the normal game plays exactly the same, and at least IMO the influence game is much more fun. At worst it's finally different from being basically the exact same thing for the past...3 years or so.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:08 pm 
Cupid

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Kitteh wrote:
I don't get why people are quitting until the war is over


Having talked to people about this, and incorporating my own personal feelings, these are my guesses.

As the top inf-runner in the game, I run about 400k influence a day. As a Faction Leader, I can see that the Fleet is running about 2 M inf on a skyland in a day and add 10 Offenses to decrease the Fleet's running by 400k a day. By clicking a few links, I can double my impact on the game. It feels great! With a few more clicks, I can quadruple it. I am God!

Now let's look at the fine fellow 50 down on the influence list. He's still a good, involved player -- he checks in several times a day, probably does some trade and combat in there too -- but he only runs about 100k influence a day. Is he helping? Yes. But it would only take 2 or 3 fortifications to replace him, and that inf would go effortlessly to the exact place it's needed most.

As a Faction Leader, this is a lot of power. If I decide I want to save Volstoy at all costs, it will be safe even if no one runs there. If I decide it isn't worth it, the focused running of everyone else in my faction won't be enough to save it.

What's worse, the real impact of Effects is only really visible to Faction Leaders, making things like Supplies and Raids impenetrable to most people. It's easy to take it for granted now, but this event was really confusing at the start, and it's still really confusing for a lot of the people who aren't getting to click the links themselves.

But the divide between Faction Leader and Player is one that's been discussed many times before.

For people who like the Hidden War, the three weeks of unplanned downtime were deadly. It became a game of building up buffers and combating decay, which just isn't very exciting. (Disclaimer: I loved that downtime. It was so relaxing! Decay gave just enough losses each day to be exciting, but on the whole, we won and it was just lovely and calm and peaceful. I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority there, though.) Instead of having to check in three times a day to see what Effects were bouncing around and constantly tallying numbers, you only had to evaluate things about once a week to know what was going on. That was a little too sporadic, and it killed the momentum.

The third factor, after the Leader/Player divide and the downtime, is that this is a game where we can't substantially affect the outcome. If the player base doubled today, we'd still lose skylands. If all but five players quit tomorrow, we probably wouldn't lose many more than we would otherwise. We can choose which ones now, but it's a war in which we're guaranteed to sustain heavy losses while being effectively unable to hurt our enemy, and surrender isn't an option.

The simplest way to summarize that all, perhaps, is just that this isn't the game most people signed up to play. Even if it's an objectively better game, it's a different one.

That's why I think an end date would be helpful. It lets the people who prefer the normal game to this one, for whatever reason, decide whether they'd rather stick it out or come back later.

~

On a completely unrelated note, I would like to ask Taft not to make things too hectic over the Independence Day weekend. There's a ton of people who aren't going to be around then. That's probably already his plan, since this current event ends on Friday, but... still, just putting a friendly request out there, just in case.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:33 pm 
Snuggler

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Indeed. We very specifically put the end date on the Friday before hand. Events will likely ramp up around Tues/Wed of the next week to give people a chance to recover.


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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 3:42 pm 
Cupid

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You are awesome. Thank you, Taft!

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:32 am 
Snuggler

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I'd like to add a point to Kippei's excellent explanation of why some players are finding the war unsatisfying - ultimately we aren't playing against the Fleet, we are playing against Taft.

The winning strategy in the regular game is to try to anticipate how other players and other factions will respond to various situations, based in part on what you learn about them in the forums and faction chat and their past actions. But with hundreds of players, there is always a bit of chaos in there as well. The winning strategy now is to guess what Taft envisions the shape of the war and its story as being, and the degree of chaos is much less. And Taft has defined the Fleet as strong enough that if there is a goal that he wants to acheive strongly enough, there is nothing that all of Skytopia can do united to stop him. If he wanted, he could define a round of the war with the Fleet running 60-80 million influence a day just against Valvia for two weeks straight, and Valvia would fall.

Now, I don't think Taft will do that, because I think he wants us to enjoy the game, and he wants to set up a challenge for us but a realistic challenge. But for some players, in particular players who in the regular game play very actively and put up a lot of influence, playing a game that you can only win because your opponent is letting you isn't that much fun. They would rather wait and come back when the opponent is an actual collection of players, playing under the same rules and restrictions as they are.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:35 am 

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By its nature, influence building is terribly grindy. Doubly so when on defense, and the problem is multiplied when decay becomes such a large factor. On a good day, it's a treadmill. During the war, the grind is a treadmill which we're assured is neither too difficult nor too easy, but can be overcome with sufficient grind. Eventually these elements add up and pass an individual player's threshold for grind.

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 Post subject: Re: 6/18/2010
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:56 am 

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As one of the players who has stopped playing for the moment, I think Kippei nailed it. Prior to the War, I was having fun ganging up with teammates to take Skylands from other factions and defending our lands from their assaults, and by watching the different daily trackers, we could see the direct effects our efforts were having. Now, there's very little connection, and if we're accomplishing something, it doesn't feel like it.
Additionally, at the start of the round, with faction leaders having their own separate and secret strategy discussions, we had no idea where we were supposed to be attacking or defending or what the plan was. As a result, it lost the sense of teamwork and coordination.
So, meh. I'm nonplussed. Will return after the reset.


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