Emergent does not equal 'Free for all' (In praise of Homesteaders, Settlers and Lone-wolf play mechanics)

Hey guys just thought I would respond to the news post about Sleepers and the impact on the game-play. I’m interested on these thoughts as my day job includes lecturing on narrative structure, game-theory and play mechanics! (That’s right, games dev lecturer for my sins :stuck_out_tongue: )

1) It makes looting more fun - because the house you’re breaking into probably has something in it.

Can’t argue with that, the whole purpose of breaking and entering is to acquire the goodies! However, as in real life, what usually deters a thief is that it is impractical and worth less effort than the gain. Not so in a situation where the mechanism to overcome the obstacle with little or no retribution is so widely available. This is not currently accurately modeled in play. It’s not that it shouldn’t be there, it should be just much harder to break in/raid. (The post-apocalyptic argument about society falling could come in here yes, but with so many people trying to play in the same space either a balance has to be imposed to reward diverse gameplay or it falls toward a single experience of having to play as part of a bandit group. This is enforced play style through imbalanced mechanic and not emergent).

2). It makes creating a strong house more relevant and important.

See my previous point. Reward for building and successfully developing a geometry that repels ‘raiders’ needs to be in place in order to balance that against the short term rewards of raiding. Raiding alone just evolves into team deathmatch! Certainly the post-apocalyptic ‘survival’ aspect of the game-play has to be removed if players expect to have to re-spawn and rebuild after every log. There is no survival other than an enforced gameplay mechanic. Yes, breaking and entering, ‘raiding’ etc needs to be part of the world of Rust. But how do you accommodate for other play styles taking part in your ‘emergent’ vision?

3) It means before logging off you need to find somewhere you think is safe to sleep.

See point 1 and 2. This is much the same issue. What arises here also are the graphical bugs which allow me to see a sleeping foe from very far away and head over to that few pink pixels in order to get my booty! (Out in the open of course, and apologies to all that I’ve done this with). Perhaps it’s a mechanic to test the metal of my character? Epic Fail.

4) It means that we can disable the dumb ‘combat logging’ code that kills you if you log off during combat

Always a difficult one as I’ve had plenty of those in DayZ. But without the recourse to protect themselves and their property from overwhelming numbers of raiders in kevlar with M4s and C4, I again ask where is the balanced gameplay mechanic. A siege (if the homesteader was in) would be a better resolution where the raiders (if they were determined and less opportunistic) would eventually drive him out (through hunger) and more likely entice him to stay to try and fight for his property! (Possibilities arise here for homesteaders and lone wolves to band together to face a common threat and build towns/communities).

5) It does all this in an easy to understand, logical way.

Sleep is easy to understand yes but I’m not sure making hard fought for items and equipment so easily lootable/loosable (in the current mechanic) is logical. There has to be reward. Games can be defined (most of the time too simplistically I find), as risk balanced against reward. If you don’t balance this part of the gameplay there is a real chance people will begin to stay away from your product as the effort they put in to the ‘survival’ mechanic is not rewarded when they have to be afk.

6) It adds more emergant gameplay (maybe you could start a hotel where you guard people’s sleeping bodies)

Now I’m not sure it does and it of course depends on how you define emergent! There are several definitions.

  • The game responds to the way that you play it, molding the challenge to the game play.
  • The game evolves in the direction that the playing community takes it.
  • The game is played in an unintentional manner to bring about unexpected results/game-play
  • The game-play models real life biological/organic systems and grows as more play.

In all of the above scenarios what is of paramount importance is that the play is balanced and the rule-set robust. The solid play mechanic of a system has a direct influence on the scope of it’s ‘emergent’ possibilities. What doesn’t work is a free for all. Why? Because biological/organic systems have physical boundaries that ensure that the imbalance of a system always returns to a steady state of equilibrium, (when it doesn’t, catastrophic events occur). This is not true of an opportunistic virtual environment.

Well those are my thoughts, not particularly well articulated, but I have had a few bottles of Magners!! Keep working on the title, I’ve had a whole lot of fun playing it, and look forward to much more.

It’s not finished, it’s just in alpha. :slight_smile: I’ll keep looking forward to updates and change logs.

Cheers guys.

Pert Puppies!!

Nice post. ^

I wouldn’t trust a guy to watch my uncooked chicken – who is going to trust someone to watch their sleeping body.

I would agree. from how the game has gone for me so far, I have had to group up with a group of people just to be able to get any minerals or food from the drop zones. one group of 15 or so people will build in a drop/radiation area and farm it non-stop killing anyone who tries to get in there.

at first it wasn’t a problem, I could just go to another area 10 min run away, but then you start to see the same thing happen there and after a while you have to leave with a group of like 6 guys in Kevlar just to go farming, and this as you said, ends up a team vs team death match. it also results in the 15+ dudes deciding to teach your group a lesson for mining in ‘their’ area by them deciding to gang f%%k your home with the inexhaustible amount of items they are able to have made. thus leaving you homeless and itemless on a map where all the ore and food is unattainable because of the large groups of people that just dominate the area.

I mean, if you need to go in a large group just to go food/mineral hunting because of this one directional ‘emergent’ gameplay. why not design the game setup to incorporate that… which just leads to the same problem I mention below, the only way to beat unstoppable large groups…is to bore them out of gameplay from being too starved?

getting the resources to attack their fortress is… well painstakingly long given the lack of available resources under those conditions. this is assuming they don’t happen along your home in the meantime and destroy the place.

if it were the beta test with the whole map covered in spawn areas/radiation areas etc. then it may be a little easier. but at the moment the way things are, the game seems to only take two directions:

  1. join up with a large group/clan and dominate an area destroying anyone near you. building up your house with the resources you can get and basically make it impossible for another large group from another area to get in without expending way too much effort. as you can imagine, this removes allot of enjoyment from the game.

  2. do your own thing and get shafted, shot, greifed by the larger groups. having to scavenge a stack of wood here or an animal there. then there’s the radiation zone runs. try getting back from one of those through Kevlar country. get your home destroyed and have to try and scavenge it back together again.

is it me, or is the concept of ‘survival’ being diluted by mind numbing monotony mixed with just shooting any poor naked bastard you see from lack of much else to do?

This wall of text for nothing, you are pretty dumb and so is everyone else who complain about the sleeper patch.

I could qoute you and just keep going on why you are all just writing things in vain but let me summarize it.

They are DEVELOPING the game, BALANCE is done AFTERWARDS - this is merely an experiment and the game will be shaped in the future after this thing like garry said:

"We’re creating problems that we need to add solutions to.

Base keeps getting raided? Make it more secure with turrets, or booby traps or something. This is the kind of thing we want."

"All the points you make are things that you need to solve yourself. The game is meant to be harsh. You are going to get rushed and have all your stuff stolen. The people attacking you are in exactly the same position - there’s nothing stopping you from rushing them and stealing their stuff.

Complaining because people play the game better than you is not a reason to stop evolving the game. It’s our job to create these problems and then help you find solutions. Too easy to invade your base? So maybe we need to look at better defences, maybe you need to make friends and build a stronghold."

“I don’t like theoretical reasons as to why it won’t work. We’re trying it. That’s the only way to tell.”

  • After playing with it, it works and when the map opens up and more foliage and some kind of structure to hide in the environment is introduced it will be even better!

I can go on… ehh.

Probably the most intelligent post this forum will ever witness, Pert, while at the same time, perhaps, the most insulting post this forum full of tweens will ever witness; because your correspondence is incomprehensible and intimidating to an adolescent mind. . .case-in-point. . .

The point of the Forums are to complain, if nobody says anything how will Garry or the other developers know there is a problem? Are we just to assume he is “all knowing” and any comments made by us are just pointless and void? And half of Garry’s “brilliant” responses to our complaints are impractical and sometimes impossible given the current state of the game. Lets start with this “Base keeps getting raided? Make it more secure with turrets, or booby traps or something. This is the kind of thing we want.” WOW that would be a great idea, IF we actually had the ability to gather resources without getting attacked by full Kevlar groups who KoS. And if we had booby traps we would use them. Next, “All the points you make are things that you need to solve yourself. The game is meant to be harsh. You are going to get rushed and have all your stuff stolen. The people attacking you are in exactly the same position - there’s nothing stopping you from rushing them and stealing their stuff.” Actually there is something stopping me, I have no reason to just kill someone who I don’t know is a bad person. I have no interest in killing people to survive, I want to group up with people and fend off people that try to hurt me. And in the event that it is one of the infamous Kevlar groups that EVERYONE has to deal with on the servers, you don’t have a chance to “Rush them and take their stuff.” But to be fair i don’t have a problem with a challenging game, I have a problem with a near impossible game to start as a fresh spawn, which is the case ATM. “Complaining because people play the game better than you is not a reason to stop evolving the game. It’s our job to create these problems and then help you find solutions. Too easy to invade your base? So maybe we need to look at better defences, maybe you need to make friends and build a stronghold.” Just to start off, good job Garry at just ignoring hundreds of complaints and writing them off as people who are “bad at your game.” Second yes the game should evolve, as of now, like i previously mentioned it is so easy to be raided that they should be focused on that issue first. I don’t care about balancing but all logic dictates that you start with the first problem and fix it, not create a second problem and worry about all that later. I have no problems with them testing things, i would just like it to be in a logical order that actually suggests progress is being made. Yes they do need to look at better defenses, they need to add some actual useful defenses in the game, and i’m looking forward to it. Lastly, if Garry even thinks it’s possible to meet a good group of people who are playing the game often enough that you’d see them every day, he’s crazy and doesn’t even know how his own game works. I can’t even find guys that won’t try to kill me AFTER they say they’re friendly. When i do find people who are friendly, they’re not on all the time to help. And don’t even try to run up to a group of Kevlar dudes to ask if you can join them to become “better at the game” because you’ll never even get close enough to them to ask. They KoS, it’s a closed society and you can’t just ask your way in.
As far as I’m concerned the OP has valid points, more so than what you’ve just posted. The game has flaws, we come here to discuss them, don’t sit there and tell us we’re wrong because we are not.

It’s an Alpha, you don’t need to keep complaining about something that is implemented in a way that you don’t like.

Hey smart guy, Garry himself asked for feedback. Also, when he asked for feedback, he didn’t say ‘but only if it is positive.’

Balancing ‘afterwards’ is not some kind of standard ‘rule of how to develop games when letting folks play an alpha.’ I would suggest that balancing is something that should always be worked on. For one thing, if not balanced, you will end up losing various types of players.

For example, the ‘group together in large groups and harass players with m4’s while shouting “Noob!”’ demographic seems to be well represented. The game currently is downright masochistic for ‘lone wolf’ types. It’s hard to trust anyone, so your large groups are folks who have already grouped together (established clans) in most cases.

It doesn’t have to be zero sum. You can encourage large grouping without discouraging and making it impossible to play in small groups.

The sleeper mechanism creates a problem that currently has no in game mechanisms to solve easily, the Holiday Inn idea notwithstanding.

This has slowly been getting on my nerves as time goes by. I feel like venting here.
It seems like every time somebody mentions how poorly balanced the game is, what ideas can be added, god forbid they mention ANYTHING that might possibly involve changing a line of code in Rust, somebody starts a mob of angry forum-goers all chanting “ALPHA! ALPHA! ALPHA!” with pitchforks and fire.

You guys clearly don’t have a single clue what alpha means. RIGHT NOW is the best time to change Rust. That’s the WHOLE POINT of having an Alpha! Facepunch gets feedback on their game which they can use to tweak and change the game PRIOR to Beta or full release (not after!).
Quit getting on our case for suggesting things to be changed! We’re SUPPOSED to be doing this, it’s our job as alpha testers!

Like ^

I said much the same thing in another thread, KillaMaaki.

The worse thing that could happen is if all the people trying to promote new ideas started feeling so browbeaten that they stopped altogether.

To start with you can’t really disrespect someones thoughts on game patches, you could challenge them by counter arguing as everyone has different views, feel free to express your own but don’t openly call people idiots just because they are expressing their own views.

I think people won’t be in the same positions with the sleepers patch, I believe there will be teams of people whom kill everyone else, this is the same as before, but the significant difference is I will still die to bandits if they really want to break into my defenses and kill me.
For example before the patch I could build a house and get a weapon and loot someones house, great, then I can go back to my house and store the items well guarded, then log off having my fun for the day, in that time someone could loot me which is fine, when I next get back on I can go out try to loot someone and re-fortify my house, etc.
But what if bandits keep killing me when I log off, yeah I won’t have the Kevlar armor I logged out with or the guns or the explosives I use to get into peoples forts to get the booty, and if I keep getting sent back to square one I won’t be able to progress and achieve anything, it would become another team deathmatch as I would expect to have to rebuild after every log because I am constantly killed, and there is no way new-spawns would be able to survive.

Thanks for reading.
Dizzy_Dod

Hello, I would like to say that the sleepers experiment should stay an “experiment” on it’s own server for the people who want it and leave other servers for the people who don’t want sleepers, what is the point in having it unless your going to be able to build a secure house. Also it would be better to keep this patch on it’s own server because it can make players loose interest and as I said it is there for people who want it, and if you have not noticed before this patch there was not many players on sleepers at mid day.
I hope you take my views into account.

I likes the sleeper experiment. Every server should have this. This is more challenging!