With more complexity, more tools (in General)
I think as the game has grown in complexity we should have more tools in which to make our characters. One tool I would like to see is the ability to input a specific amount of experience to train on each minion. A list box below the minion on the train screen, that would allow me to train a precise amount into that minion upon clicking the train link. I think this would allow for a finer ability for us to train things like AMF/DM in combination, or dual AS's, etc. I do not know the difficulty of coding this input in, but I do think the benefits are great and numerous. If you have other tool ideas, please feel free to post them here, as well as to help refine my idea with suggestions.
Everybody complains or cheers when I have annually suggested this, so its my turn to point out the futility of asking for this. Jon has almost unilaterally denied this idea will ever be implemented.
July 6 2005 6:34 PM EDT
That should be added to the question on the FAQ
My hope Verifex, is as this is a new game, from the last time it was suggested, it will be newly considered.
July 6 2005 6:45 PM EDT
Doesn't more minions = more total rewards? And more NW allowance? Ranged round blockers? I always thought that slower growth was the price you pay for being able to make it to melee against the big FB/archer types.
July 6 2005 6:48 PM EDT
I had asked about the ability of having combo boxes in HTML (dropdown list that also allows typing a direct amount in a controlled, validated fashion) and I can't remember the answer...
Also, even with the ability to gun for a specific amount, you are going to have a hard time doing things like AMF/DM combos because of Corn boosts. I guess it stays proportional, so maybe I am high.
July 6 2005 6:52 PM EDT
It will not happen, I belive I have come up with a new wiki page.
Jon has stated many times that it will not happen, I belive the last time he said it was last week.
July 6 2005 6:52 PM EDT
Pulled this out from the faq's. Pretty much gives most of what Jon will already say about the subject. I'm not saying it's a bad idea, I'm just confirming Verifex's belief that Jon's mind is pretty much made up. So if you want to win this one, you'll need to be very convincing.
Q: How can I train more than one point but less than 1/3 of my total?
A: One of the first times this was asked, Carl Garland replied,
For those mathematically inclined that want to add bulk to one and 1/6 to others, you could put 1/2 [on another stat] and hit train, then go back to train for a second time and put 1/3 on [the one] wanting 1/6. Of course this requires training twice in a row and takes about 15 seconds... I can see where this could be problematic for some ;)
protest boy added,
If you [allow a text input box and you type] "100", first off what if you didn't even have 100 exp to train? And also it's a bit confusing because that "100" would either apply to the exp, or how much the ST, HP, or DEX would rise. So for me it takes 11 exp to gain one point in HP. So that would remove 1100 exp from my total. I think having fractions is a little more intuitive. But that's just me :)
That pretty much sums it up. The only other question might be, "Why not allow the user to type in his own %," and the answer to that is, "the GUI would be CRAZY UGLY." Not going to happen.
Not sure what you mean there moser, but it did make me think of one thing I did not mention, this tool is in addition to the current system. I would love instead to be able to input one value that get distributed to that minion either Max, or 1/2 Max, like it is now, but that value is the amount that is trained. So basically I could say, I want 10K exp trained 1/2 DM Max HP on this guy even though I have 50K untrained exp on the minion. I do not want to replace the current system, simply add the ability to limit or specify the amount of experience that minion is training when you use the selections above.
July 6 2005 6:58 PM EDT
Partial UNtraining is a feature I have always longed for. That and the 1/20 train xp option.
July 6 2005 6:59 PM EDT
I see your point Sefton, but saying "train 10,000 EXP" is not all that useful, is it? Especially when you consider those places on the training curve where the costs switch (I am pretty sure Jon has that working iteratively where the cost-per-level will change in the middle of training an experience "chunk"...does anyone know that for sure?) So, the whole carefully laid out AMF/DM coexistence, for example, would get hosed as soon as one starts costing more than the other, no?
Do you see what I mean? Would it really be worth the trouble to implement? Yes, I know that question is rhetorical because Jon isn't going to do this, but I'm still asking. *smile*
Well Chet, as I said above, now that the game is more complex I do think a tool like this is useful. Yes the training curve is just another complexity that this tool could help in. I could train 7 points MAX HP until it switched to 8 this way, if I choose to. Find out where that point is. Could I use this kind of fine tuning tool to my advantage, could others, I think so. Now that there are ratios to think about, or overcoming DM's with ED's I think a refinement in the training process is helpful and worthy of consideration.
July 6 2005 7:08 PM EDT
Worthy, indeed. *smile*
and to GPV's point the same tool could be used to untrain a specific amount of exp from a minion is a selected ratio simply by inputting a value and clicking an untrain link. Both tools, could use the same input box, and just a matter of which link you clicked. Now the coding behind removing specific amounts exp vs adding specific amounts of exp, well I have no idea about either frankly. :)
July 6 2005 7:20 PM EDT
I figured that. Making a train and untrain link instead of a untrain option in the drop down is the easiest way to add this control right now as I see it. You just have to make sure that clicking untrain gives you some kind of warning like the drop down box does. It would be sad to see too many "OMG I just untrained!!!!!1" in chat. :)
July 6 2005 7:22 PM EDT
And the "Best use of '!!!!!!!1'" award goes to GunProofVestax. The man is positively on fire.
"I am pretty sure Jon has that working iteratively where the cost-per-level will change in the middle of training an experience "chunk"...does anyone know that for sure?"
yes, it does
July 6 2005 9:08 PM EDT
""Why not allow the user to type in his own %," and the answer to that is, "the GUI would be CRAZY UGLY." Not going to happen."
No offense, but I've seen login forms that have ugly GUIs, but I think your point was the coding would be ugly. I highly doubt a textbox would constitute as "crazy ugly."
I've tried my hand at this myself and there are several considerations that make it a fairly hard problem wrt usability.
Put together a mockup for a four-minion team and post it someplace. Perhaps you have a useful insight.
Well I will take Jon's response as a no on my tool. I will say however, that unless I am mistaken, the tongue in cheek post by Chet, and the response by Jon relate to posts made on a separate (or so I am supposed to believe they are separate) gaming system. As a matter of fact I read those posts when they were brand new, and those posts, and posts like it are part of the reason that Chet is so well respected.
However, many of the people here on CB2 do not have access to those posts on that other gaming system, so I think some people, especially those who cannot go back and see all the discussion that took place on a completely separate gaming system, would like to know why this kind of tool is a bad thing here on CB2.
I will also add that just because the idea was submitted and rejected on a completely different gaming system, why is that relevant here? You wouldn't want someone to say thats a dumb idea, it was posted on a WOW forum board, and rejected, so its a dumb idea here too. Well I think that is akin to saying, we already hashed it out on another gaming system that you cannot access anymore, but trust me, it has been, so move on.
You want CB1 separate from CB2 to the point of implementing an honor system for NOT exchanging gear, chars, and money, so I want references in CB2 and discussions on CB2 to include explanations that do not cryptically reference ancient CB1 posts :)
July 7 2005 12:47 PM EDT
I agree the games are separate and different... I just don't think training has changed that much. *smile*
Well all I can say Chet is, whether it has changed a lot or a little, the actual discussion took place elsewhere, and that is in a place that only a few CB2 people have access to. That said you do not have to go over it again if you do not want to put in that effort, however; I can also use the same apathy in regards to your honor system. As I have said many times many ways in our often frequent discussions on threads, I would like to know the reasons why. You are not obligated to put in the effort for the reason why by any means, but then do not expect me to put efforts into causes you wish to forward by virtue of your own reasoning.
July 7 2005 2:13 PM EDT
Sefton, CB1 and CB2 archives are open without logging in, and are searchable as far as I know. I just went to CB1, clicked the "discussion boards" link on main page, typed in "training page" in the Full text search and it looks like a thread from December is right there in full view. Anyone can do that if they want.
In lieu iof that, reasons:
- Training is easy. Having Jonathan utilize time on something that is not broken is always low priority. Also a constant, if you can come up with an elegant design (fully mocked up) that does not interfere with any other game play elements, and you are willing to pay for it, then you should say so.
- Training is fun. I know you like camping. That's awesome. Well, I like training. It's fun. It is the "Ahhh!" part of the game for me. Click, click, click, now train! I don't use ratios or fret over exact fractions or integers. If I need a little of this, I add it. If I need some of that, I add that. Nothing is broken, nothing is very easy to screw up, and a character is never "finished"...always more experience coming down the pipe for more training fun!
- Working through training issues is educational for new players and old alike. Seeing how items enhance stats, for example, is fun and illuminating. While adding something new to the screen may just seem like a "small addition", a new player has another thing to look at and go, what the heck does that do?"
- Ideas of this kind are problematic. If people enter a number, is it EXP to spend, or a level to gun for? Is that level before or after enhancement items kick in? What if the person lacks experience for that level...do you just train max anyway? If you are entering experience to spend, is it really that hard to use the fractions to get "close enough"? Can't you just train some more after the next hundred battles? Are these enough questions?
- Ideas of this kind, once succumbed to, are NEVER finished. The beauty of elegant solutions (in my opinion, the current training screen counts as "elegant") is that you can draw the line and say, "it's done". Once the elegant solution is detoured from, then everyone (and their dogs) will be asking for a little of this and a little of that... "Does it come in blue?" "Can I get fries with that?"
No, you can't get fries with that because Jonathan has better things to work on (read: better "return on investment" in terms of gameplay, balance and downright coolness) than this. The current training works. It is elegant. It is easy. It meets 95% of all needs and that last 5% is a bear to design and implement without compromising what is already there.
Have I written enough yet? I figure at some point I will give you enough detail that you will scream MERCY and never ask for Sutekh's evil elaboration again. *smile*
No actually it is exactly what I wanted :)
Training is easy, the game is not, and its getting less and less easy everyday, I think adding a tool like this would make it easier :)
I think more tools equals more fun! So I think training would be even more fun if you could refine it.
You speak of the trouble of educating a new player as to how to understand a single addition to his train screen, but yet use this "Sefton, CB1 and CB2 archives are open without logging in, and are searchable as far as I know. I just went to CB1, clicked the "discussion boards" link on main page, typed in "training page" in the Full text search and it looks like a thread from December is right there in full view. Anyone can do that if they want." as a recommended method for viewing the data I asked for....huh? If that is not more complex than one more list box I do not know what is. I already read the orginal posts, but do not say its easy for anyone to do so, and then say its hard to learn a single addition to a train screen.
"Ideas of this kind are problematic." LOL thats kind of funny, considering you are saying the game is complex enough, so why add complexity and I am saying the game is more complex than CB1 was, and needs more tools.
"Ideas of this kind, once succumbed to, are NEVER finished." LOL that is funny considering I have heard you say the same thing about a number of changes that have occurred on CB2 are not "finished". Am I to take it from this post, that unfinished is a bad thing, that cannot be lived with?
Thats why I want the explanations, because I do not agree with them, but I cannot post about not agreeing with them anywhere but here :)
You say Jon has better things to work on, and perhaps you are correct. But if by some wild chance of fate, some sort weird cosmic alignment, 90% of all of CB2 agreed with me this is a good and necessary change, is it still a waste of his time. How can I find out if people agree or not with the idea without posting. And how do people know that they should respond if they do agree if they do not know why its bad? So I made the post, asked the question why it was bad, and in my opinion refuted most of your reasons :)
Not nearly enough.....
I can understand why jon would say that the GUI would be terrible. It would be useful, but not to the point that it'd be worth interfering with those who don't want to use it... so maybe he could have an 'advanced' training page for those who don't mind the 'ugly' nature of these tools? More complexity indeed....
July 7 2005 3:26 PM EDT
I'm just going to refer you to my second reply on this post and tell you that that has nothing to do with a crazy ugly GUI. It would also get me 4% more of what I want out of the training page bringing it up to 99%. :)
July 7 2005 3:37 PM EDT
I elaborated on a way to find out the previous information, I gave you all the details I could on why Jonathan has said "no" before, and I did it all according to your wishes.
In return, I get told I am being inconsistent, told I have been soundly refuted, and that you think 90% of CB2 folks agree with you (if you think that is the case, then ask for a poll).
Sefton, you win, and I don't care. Good grief, if I wanted to pick nits all day, I'd get married again. Life's too short. Good day.
Jon simply didn't want to do it, too much error checking, and not worth the while. Please, just give it up. Responding to every single criticism and even resorting to point-by-point refutations of respondents to keep this post on top is inappropriate. If Jon were actually interested in this idea he would have responded positively to this thread a long time ago.
July 7 2005 3:46 PM EDT
Wow. Sefton was able to get Chet semi-flustered.
Sefton does have issues, though. And, no, I won't spend 30 mins of my day articulating my evidence to support that flippant statement. :)
a) if those are Jon's words then I am saying they are inconsistent not you Chet.
b) "and in my opinion refuted most of your reasons :)" if that equates to being "told I have been soundly refuted" in your mind OK, sorry there.
c) "But if by some wild chance of fate, some sort weird cosmic alignment, 90% of all of CB2 agreed with me this is a good and necessary change, is it still a waste of his time." And how that statement turned into "and that you think 90% of CB2 folks agree with you (if you think that is the case, then ask for a poll). " I have no idea.
d) I responded to but one "criticism", one I asked for more elaboration on, because he is the only one to have responded.
e) I will spend less than 30 seconds worrying about your flippant remark Todd :)
the one I remember was ugly, Verifex
but feel free to drag it up, maybe I'm remembering someone else's
Geez, stuff like this is why i refuse to go into chat anymore. Seft brings up a nice idea (one I not only agree with but had thought this game needed from the beginning) and you all flat out refuse to even talk about. When Seft finally gets you to you give very few solid reasons except that "Jon just doesn't want to." He trys to point this out, and you just simply whine that he doesn't agree with you.
Is it just me, or is this discussion turning more then a little childish?
July 7 2005 5:28 PM EDT
Um, Black Heart, I posted several reasons why that have been discussed before, and even mentioned how to go research yourself the ideas that have been bandied around previously.
Jonathan's last post makes rather clear that if you mock-up a non-ugly, elegant solution with all the "business rules" laid out, he would take a look.
Who is being childish?
Well Im sorry Chet, but none of that is the point of what I was saying, the point is Seft tried to put a little input into a game thats still being developed, you all attacked him, basicly telling him he was wrong for even bringing it up. I didnt even touch weather or not Jon would do it, only that you and others insist that he wouldnt. And that just because Seft pokes a few holes in your reasonning you get all snotty with him.
So if your going to correct me, I ask you at least correct me on what Im talking about, not subjects I haven't said more then two words about.
July 7 2005 6:49 PM EDT
Black Heart, I am sorry you see my posts _agreeing_ with Sefton and posts trying to answer his questions as me "attacking" him.
I am more than willing to talk about the points you bring up. Why else would I ask for you to elaborate on who you thought was being childish? I wanted to understand where you were coming from before going further. Can you help me out here?
OK I will try. I am bad at graphics. I did my best. Someone with skill could probably translate it better.
First off, to answer any potential objections up front, a couple of points:
So what if they put more than they have the ability to train. What does the system do when you click an external transfer to non-existent or un-inputted user?
I for one, would not mind seeing "You WISH you had that much experience, try again"
Seriously, from another of Chet's post, is this adding a new field into a database table, then having to retable the whole thing? If so, I understand reluctance.
I think most people would hardly notice it, at least that was my goal. If you do not touch it, your training will not change.
This tool would allow you to totally specify how much exp you would like divided amongst your possible skills, stats, and spells.
I feel there are many uses.
Hey I warned you I'm no graphic artist But I did try :)
July 7 2005 7:04 PM EDT
I can see this being useful.
One point about the way I think Jonathan _currently_ runs the training page:
Once the training page displays, there is no way for the user to ask for more experience than he/she has. The screen has already decided what can be trained. If you do not have enough experience for even one level of a slot, only the "Unlearn" option shows. Jonathan has done his range-checking before the screen even is fully created.
With a user-editable text box, all of that logic has to wait until the user enters a number. If a user enters a very low number, some of the options in the dropdowns would have to be removed on-the-fly, because I doubt Jonathan re-does all the range-checking at train time -- he already knows there cannot be invalid requests because the dropdown lists have been controlled from the outset.
Now, web page coding is not nearly as static as it used to be, and I am sure Jonathan could move the error-checking, etc. In other words, rebuild the dropdowns for each minion every time the user inputs a different experience amount to train (while also verifying the amount does not exceed the available experience).
But can you see why it might be a little bit harder than you initially may imagine? Graphic artist or not, I find your mock-up very effective, and I like the idea. I have achieved similar training scenarios using the very poor method of simply only fighting a few battles so my available experience is low, but this would allow a completely controllable pool.
Yes I definitely see how it could be harder than I first thought. I had not considered the effect of say inputting 1000 exp and then trying to train decay which appeared because you have 100,000 available to train. I do not know enough about coding to say what kind of job that rebuilding is. I will say, I have no problems with an error message, but one tool, 2 unrelated error messages, might be pushing it. Something like "Invalid training scenario, you most likely tried to train something that cost more experience than you allocated, click here to refresh your train screen" But again, that plus the you have selected no exp to train, or too much exp to train, that is probably more than users want to mess with.
I do appreciate you talking to me about why this is not so easy to do, because it looked simple in my head. Thank you for that :)
July 7 2005 7:28 PM EDT
I still think it is relatively simple. Basically a move of the validation/creation code.
One more thought, though... Having the "trainable amount" be a user input field...would that make it easier to hack on a web page request? Right now it is locked down, a pull from the database that shows how much experience is available. I don't know enough about web requests or security to know if opening it up as a field makes it more easy to ruse the server.
If the training code assumes a request is already valid because the inputs were controlled, maybe it is harder than I think too. *smile*
July 7 2005 8:58 PM EDT
FYI, the train page stores the amount of xp the minion has upon load. If you open a train page, and then fight without losing that page, then the extra xp you get DOES NOT get calculated in when you then train your xp with the outdated train page. Therefore when you train max you'll still have spendable xp equal to all or just over the amount earned in the intermediate battles.
I assume this was a 'feature' to cut down checks to the database to see how much xp the minion currently had. If you think really really hard, then I'm sure you'll eventually figure out how to use this feature to your advantage in making this system work. Hint hint nudge nudge.
July 7 2005 9:52 PM EDT
You lost me a bit, but OK.
What you are saying just means that Jonathan loads the page with experience figures from the database and then...AHHHH! OK, I see now. If the security is good enough to keep that intermediate number intact no matter how long one lingers about on the Train page, then whatever gets entered on that page could be kept just as secure?
I love for your approval, GPV. Tell me I am stupid, but then tell me I am right. *smile*
Let's kick this pig! Neil Diamond's on board!
July 7 2005 10:08 PM EDT
Well, I'll explain what I'm thinking in detail. Though it it did occur to be that if proper error checking already existed then a check with the DB would have to be made anyhow. The thing is that the train page submission does not check the database so that the amount of xp the minion has is corrected and so that max of 1/2 or whatever fraction of the xp is not recalculated upon submission either. But in order for the proper error checking the server must check the minions current xp amount to ensure that people are not allowed to train more xp then they already have.
All we need to do to get this idea to work is make it so that customization of the train page allows for you to rebuild the page with lower amounts of total xp. The quick and dirty way involves possibly bouncing the page off the server, but this operation would be far less costly then reloading the train page. Then, the user can either lower the amounts again, or train, or start over by clicking the 'train' link on the left side. Though it might be worth it in the long run to have the page rebuild itself client side.
Put shortly, the error checking is in place and this is totally doable.
July 7 2005 10:26 PM EDT
I completely agree. I will admit that I would probably rarely use this, but it would be an interesting customization.
Well, I found the old mock up laying around on my site... I decided to update the look and feel, and here is a new one.
to see new train page.
July 8 2005 12:39 AM EDT
Very nice work, Verifex. "Pwn Master Flash"....I love it!
BTW, click the train boxes, and click "other" to see the magical new thing I made. I hope Jon approves! :)
It requires a couple touch-ups, like there isn't any checking done to see if bottom option is there or not, so it quite possibly overwrites the "unlearn" option, I'm working on it though, I just hate string parsing.
July 8 2005 2:37 AM EDT
Yes, I do hope that Jonathan's version would add a little more error checking...
July 8 2005 4:05 AM EDT
sorry, Verifex - but i like Frod's better.
the fuzzy version downright takes the cake.
on a more on-topic vein, what with the error checking when you go to the trian page, and the not being able to train a point over what the page says you have - could you not send a request to the server for a "fake" page in that you enter into it with only a certain amount of XP? this would still go through the validation to make sure you are not doing bad stuff, but you would be able to use the existing page in its entirety, no changes. the only thing required would be a way to send that train page request.
unless of course the way those kinds of requests are validated intrinsically includes the amount of your XP (all of it...) ; but anyways what say you of that idea?
July 8 2005 9:44 AM EDT
Yes, some sort of intermediate page request, "fake" or not, could set up the page with the trainable experience, whether that be the maximum experience (no user change) or a number between 1 and the max (inclusive). It's just a matter of moving validation logic around and keeping the page secure, but I am pretty sure Jonathan has the security issues all worked out. *smile*
maulaxe you did know that Frod took that screenshot from using that train page I made, without any photoshopping or html editing done on his part, didn't you? Unless maybe you didn't actually pay attention to the train page I made at all. Frod's point is that I didn't put any error checking in there, and he is right, I didn't.. at all.. It is merely a concept, if Jon likes it, he would probably have to add in the error checking on the server side.
July 8 2005 1:31 PM EDT
He would just have to move the existing error checking from pre-page-load to click-on-training-link. The issue is whether or not he will think the whole idea is worth it or not. *smile*
July 8 2005 1:35 PM EDT
sorry, i didn't play around as much with your page as i should have, I thought he edited the text... another symptom of my foot-in-mouth disease : )
now that i went back and looked again I realized what he did - silly me
It is completely possible for me to write the error checking 'on-page' for that training thing. But, here is the dilemma, most 'good' programmers writing for production ready environments have rock solid error checking so as not to break anything.
July 8 2005 2:41 PM EDT
Verifex is right; that's the point I was trying to make.
Some kinds of error checking can be easily done up-front (don't let the user specify a sheep's bladder, and don't let the user specify more XP for one item than they have). Some are harder (don't let the user specify a total amount of XP that's greater than they have), and some are unlikely to be implemented (take the XP-per-point curve into account when specifying how much XP to add).
However, the earlier you give users feedback that "this isn't allowed" the happier they will be
e.g. user makes a typo like "1--" instead of 100
Verifex's idea is harder to get confused about than Sefton's, IMO
July 8 2005 3:54 PM EDT
Agreed. I would even call Sefton's idea "elegant". *smile*
I added error checking to only allow numbers (not as bad as I thought it would be), but you can still put crazy numbers in there. The only way to put error checking based on the actual XP the person has, would be if Jon put the XP for each minion inside a parsable (by JS) field, such as a div tag (i.e. <div name="xp">1234</div>) or a hidden form element. Preferrably the first one, as it would require displaying XP only once on screen.
here is link again for those that missed it the first time.
July 8 2005 5:02 PM EDT
This thread is closed to new posts.
However, you are welcome to reference it
from a new thread; link this with the html
<a href="/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=001PfY">With more complexity, more tools</a>