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Author Topic: Action Points - major update  (Read 21754 times)
siremi
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« on: July 20, 2008, 10:55:56 PM »

There have been a couple of balance issues that made it necessary to introduce Action Points.

The action points are time units, you get 1 AP each minute that you can use to complete tasks or kill processes. Everyone will start with 3000 AP.

Below is a list of the tasks that take AP. AP is only used when you complete a task or kill a process. You gain AP while offline and can use it when you come back online.

Maximum AP at one time:

Gold members: 5000
Other players: 3000

- install virus: 15 AP + (depending on size & version)
- disinfect: 20 AP
- hide / unhide: 10 AP
- capture virus: 120 AP
- encrypt / decrypt: 20 AP
- complete upload / download: 10 AP
- change IP: 300 AP
- change pass: 30 AP
- format HDD: 300 AP
- complete research: 30 AP
- crack password: 15 AP
- kill process: 5 AP (only when killing non-gateway process)


I realize some of you may not agree with the change, but it was necessary due to the following:

- Abuse of newbie players by higher players (capturing lower end viruses, disinfecting lower end virs, making fun of others by hacking them and camping and killing their processes)

- some have been online all the time doing the above or just stealing others missions... now they have a limited missions number they can do each day so they will have to choose the missions more carefully and leave the lower ones to the newer players.

- limiting exponential growth and taking over all available servers while not letting others have space due to the unlimited number of viruses that could have been installed.

- limiting power researching by starting several research processes on same file.

- the Virus Breaker got more balanced with the addition of AP and 120 AP for a virus capture completion.

- note that it does not matter what version the virus is that you want to activate / capture / disinfect so if you are a higher up player it may be better for you to hunt higher version files in order to keep the AP cost lower.


Other notes:

- an info board on the left will show the current connected IP, server time, available finances and AP at all times. Whenever you gain HPD or AP or use them, some -/+ will indicate that.

- you regenerate 1 AP every 1 minute. Action points are a resource that does not lose value as you progress in the game

Thank you.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 11:36:18 PM by siremi » Logged

Crlaozwyn
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 11:27:22 PM »

Tough break, but probably needed. It's definitely a bigger handicap on larger players as their computers would allow them to do MUCH more than the the new AP system will. Oh well.

Also, it'd seem more valuable for gold members to have AP regenerate slightly faster than to have a bigger limit. Since you get 1440 per day, it's unlikely that you'd wait three days before performing any actions, and so the higher cap really doesn't benefit active gold members at all. Regenerating AP at even 6 or 7 per 5 minutes would make a difference though.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 11:33:04 PM by Crlaozwyn » Logged
siremi
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 11:39:29 PM »

Regenerating AP at even 6 or 7 per 5 minutes would make a difference though.

The Golds already have enough bonuses from the 20% discounts, there's no need to boost them further, hence they get a cap increase on AP.
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Tiak
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 11:44:54 PM »

request:  Could you please make killing processes on your own gateway free?...  I can think of at least 3 ways it screws up the game if you don't.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 11:46:30 PM by Tiak » Logged
RavenXP
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 11:46:31 PM »

request:  Could you please make killing processes on your own gateway free?...  I can think of at least 3 ways the game is completely screwed if you don't...

Yes, I agree. Please remove the killing of owned processes free. How about those who have limited hardware and they need to kill processes once in a while so they will have enough CPU or Memory for missions.  2
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siremi
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2008, 12:06:01 AM »

request:  Could you please make killing processes on your own gateway free?...  I can think of at least 3 ways it screws up the game if you don't.

Ah yes my mistake sorry. It takes 5 AP to kill a non-gateway process. That will make it balanced.

Thank you.
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virus man
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2008, 12:13:24 AM »

You forgot to add on a AP cost for overloading.   Right now Overloading is what makes researching protects useless.
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siremi
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2008, 12:21:31 AM »

You forgot to add on a AP cost for overloading.   Right now Overloading is what makes researching protects useless.

Just replied to that, sorry overload was not designed for high players, they already have plenty of power and can protect against it...

http://www.hacker-project.com/forum/index.php?topic=440.msg4886#msg4886
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virus man
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« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2008, 01:01:37 AM »

Ok looking over this AP idea.  I want to try to address the good and the bad as I see it at this point.  Mind you the over all idea of a AP system is cool.  Heck it brings it closer inline with the route a lot of RPG's have gone which I am all down for.

But here is the big negative.  To use AP to try and balance broken features is the wrong way to go about it.

Right now as has already been stated we gain a total of 1440 AP per day.
With 1440 AP per day this allows the top players a WHOLE lot more latitude than the lower players in doing things.

Lower players do the majority of their cashing via Missions.  Right now the best paying missions are the disinfecting ones.
So lets use the common tactic for disinfecting missions.
The tools that the disinfector will use are.
Change IP
Change Pass
Disinfect
So with the top 2 taken out that leaves us with 1110 AP's.
55 disinfects.   Sadly most of the players except for the Top 10 maybe Top 20 can't do 55 disinfects in 1 day.  But lets say that 1000 people can do that.  That is 55,000 Virii gone each day.  Totally untraceable as this attempt at balancing does not remove the "God Mode Button" that IP Change is.

Now lets look at the Higher End players.
The lazy ones are just infecting servers.
Since the nerf to Hide was done (which was a worthless nerf due to the "I Win" that Virus Breaker is) we won't worry about Hiding.  Heck I don't and since to disinfect you only have to SEE the virus file and NOT Unhide it I did not include to cost of Unhiding up above.
So 1440 points = 19 Virii uploaded and installed per day per player.   Mind you Virii is what YOU intended to be the main money making / PvP feature of this game.

So 1 person can install 19 Virii and be touchable while 1 person can disinfect 55 Virii and be untouchable.

Where is the balance?

You see the idea behind Action Points in RPG's is generally to limit the abuse of stats in a RPG.  Take AD&D for instance.  It is totally built around stats.  You have a character with all 20's and they will most of the time beat someone of equal level with all 15's.  With AP's that is balanced out by limiting the variety and/or number of actions of the 20's vs the 15's.

The way this was done just doesn't cut it.

Now lets take it even further.

Currently there are around 180 Secret servers in the game right now.  Someone NEW coming into the game that is given a helping hand now has to pay 5,400 AP's to gain access to them all meanwhile because HPD transfers is not going to be implemented by your own words, said player can't do jack for 3.75 days.

But wait it gets even better.  You see unknown to all, but you Sir Emi, I have started a 2nd account to see how easy it is to advance in this game.  So lets just look at the beginner servers IE Public servers.  There are what a total of 20?  20 * 30 = 600 AP's gone right from the start not to mention the time cracking especially since the level of the Password Break means NOTHING for the time it takes to crack admin.  So now that new player for the first day is left with a whole 840 points to do missions.  But wait....  To do disinfects they have to download an AV right?  Well there goes another 15 points leaving them with 825 points.

You see Sir Emi the problem with the balance can not be solved with AP's.  The problem with the Balance of the game are the many MANY things that I along with many MANY others have brought up to you already.  But instead of taking our discussions seriously you spend time on an AP system that is already broken as far as Balance goes.

Because you see the High end players won't have to keep uploading Virii.  They will just have to keep going after the lower players.  And that is really not how I want this game to be.  It is not fair period.

I mean come on you put 20 AP for encrypt/decrypt...  We have shown you how useless those softwares are based on several factors.  Hide/Unhide is 10 times more powerful than encrypt/decrypt.  And costs half the AP??????

I don't mean to come down on you Sir Emi.   You have done an overall fantastic job.  You have made some bad decisions that you refuse to acknowledge.   But overall the game is a great game.

I am all for trying to get things balanced out.   But this AP system.   It is going to help SGP out a lot.  The only thing it hurts in the slightest is our research will be slowed down a bit.  But not much.  Most of us do nothing but research really anymore.  So we can spend 1,200+ points on research without blinking an eye.   This AP system hurts those who are up and coming.  Because now they are screwed on trying to catch up to us.
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Crlaozwyn
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« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2008, 01:26:10 AM »

Just to add my two cents - as virus man pointed out, the fact that someone can safely disinfect ~3 times more viruses than someone can place every day means that inevitably every server will eventually be virus-free, with only short bursts of infection until the masses can scramble to disinfect it. If virii are indeed the main money-maker of this game, then either the AP system needs readjustment or some other major change is in order. On a related note, the high cost of virus breaker now completely removes any threat it posed; the virus would only be disinfected the moment it's captured (or even before. You don't lose AP that way, only use of your system until someone beats you to the punch). In any case, I estimate that within a week, virii will be disinfected faster than AP allows them to be installed. Within 2-3 weeks, the vast majority of servers will be empty.
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siremi
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2008, 01:50:04 AM »

Great feedback in this topic, here is something I noticed:


But wait it gets even better.  You see unknown to all, but you Sir Emi, I have started a 2nd account to see how easy it is to advance in this game.  So lets just look at the beginner servers IE Public servers.  There are what a total of 20?  20 * 30 = 600 AP's gone right from the start not to mention the time cracking especially since the level of the Password Break means NOTHING for the time it takes to crack admin.  So now that new player for the first day is left with a whole 840 points to do missions.  But wait....  To do disinfects they have to download an AV right?  Well there goes another 15 points leaving them with 825 points.


I would like to point out a new player starts with 3000 AP, so the calcs quoted are plain wrong, sorry. A new player has 3000 + 1440 AP available in the first day, that's about 300 missions if he cracks all the servers, that's plenty of AP and more then most newbie players can use.

I've read the other stuff but will respond later because I'm too tired now, sorry.


Just to add my two cents - as virus man pointed out, the fact that someone can safely disinfect ~3 times more viruses than someone can place every day means that inevitably every server will eventually be virus-free, with only short bursts of infection until the masses can scramble to disinfect it. If virii are indeed the main money-maker of this game, then either the AP system needs readjustment or some other major change is in order. On a related note, the high cost of virus breaker now completely removes any threat it posed; the virus would only be disinfected the moment it's captured (or even before. You don't lose AP that way, only use of your system until someone beats you to the punch). In any case, I estimate that within a week, virii will be disinfected faster than AP allows them to be installed. Within 2-3 weeks, the vast majority of servers will be empty.

This estimation is not entirely accurate Crlaozwyn, of course you couldn't know that the change of spawning a disinfect mission is not 100%, it's actually set to 80%. So 1 in 5 viruses do not spawn a disinfect mission. That means 1 in 5 virs won't be disinfected because there is no gain for it so waste of resources. There may be capture involved, but eventually if there are enough players all servers will be very full of viruses because of the 20% escape chance... and there's one or two people disinfecting and about 10 spawning viruses at this time, too early to estimate anything...



« Last Edit: July 21, 2008, 01:56:31 AM by siremi » Logged

virus man
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« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2008, 02:22:59 AM »



I would like to point out a new player starts with 3000 AP, so the calcs quoted are plain wrong, sorry. A new player has 3000 + 1440 AP available in the first day, that's about 300 missions if he cracks all the servers, that's plenty of AP and more then most newbie players can use.

I've read the other stuff but will respond later because I'm too tired now, sorry.

You did not post that in the OP so based on the information initially give the calcs are right ;)  But that is good that the new player will get an extra 3000 however how do you figure 4440 total when they will only be able to hold 3000?   Will they have a temporary 1 week of 5000 max?

[
This estimation is not entirely accurate Crlaozwyn, of course you couldn't know that the change of spawning a disinfect mission is not 100%, it's actually set to 80%. So 1 in 5 viruses do not spawn a disinfect mission. That means 1 in 5 virs won't be disinfected because there is no gain for it so waste of resources. There may be capture involved, but eventually if there are enough players all servers will be very full of viruses because of the 20% escape chance... and there's one or two people disinfecting and about 10 spawning viruses at this time, too early to estimate anything...

There are far more than one or two people disinfecting.  True Light AV Group has multiple servers disinfecting however we are slowly wiping them out. Plus I am disinfecting all Virii not mine on my claimed servers and I know at least 3 others in my group are disinfecting as well.
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HJ
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2008, 02:28:17 AM »

There goes any point in doing smaller paying HPD Missions. I'll just take all the higher paying ones, and wait and let my AP regenerate while everyone else is forced to take the smaller ones.
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Kingdutch
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2008, 02:44:54 AM »

Quote from: virus man
You did not post that in the OP so based on the information initially give the calcs are right ;)  But that is good that the new player will get an extra 3000 however how do you figure 4440 total when they will only be able to hold 3000?   Will they have a temporary 1 week of 5000 max?

I think the system wasn't made to bring the points down to the max if they go over, I think it just won't add more if you're at 3000 (Or above in this case)

Anyway the reason I dislike this idea is that up to now, this was one of the few games that allowed playing for a whole day. Hence it has kept people busy for 48 hours (afaik) but it also allows playing for just 10-15 min. which means you have a very big player base.
By the feature just implemented (the so called AP system) you have just drasticly limited this play time.
The reason I play this game is because I can log in stay however long I want, then go offline.
I have forgotten about a whole lot of other games because I log in, do some stuff and am forced to logout because I have nothing more to do or have to wait 2 hours to do something. I just don't like to be on for that short a period. Now you are probably going to say, hey 3k AP is not a short period of time. But guess what, once I've used those 3k of AP I'll be sitting here waiting untill I can do something again, and if you get 1440 ap in 24 hours. that means that with 10 hours of sleep and 14 hours of playing I'll get about 600 ap. and that's alot less then I can use.

I'll see what you do with so many people complaining. I know you're trying to deliver us a great balanced game. But all I say is that although your doing a great job already try to listen to what people say about new functions and don't just debunk them because you know it's better. Sometimes the playerbase you have is just dumb but you'll have to statisfy us nonetheless. That's the point of this anyway isn't it?

Just tell me if I'm dead wrong and my apologies if I've been harsh I've tried to stay friendly

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HJ
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2008, 02:50:21 AM »

At least you're getting up there in the rankings, KingDutch. You can take some higher paying missions, and if you're lucky, you won't get hacked and have them removed. Something I haven't done up until now.

I mean, why not? It's much easier on my AP to take a higher paying mission and just fend off anyone trying to finish it before I do. Then when everyone else is blowing their AP on lower paying missions while there aren't any higher ones they can take, I'll let my AP regenerate. Then, when they've got none left and are forced to log out, I'll log back in and take my fresh batch of higher missions with AP to kill any missions anyone else has.

That's balance. Enjoy trying to make HPD now, new players. It's not time to play nice anymore.
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