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New Research Plan


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#1 Syd

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

Bumping this with my own opinion, since I've had a lot of time to think it over. I'm now really fond of the idea of research resetting upon perma-death. I think it would help early game balance if all players, new and old, are on the same page when they start a new game. Of course, the older players have the advantage of experience, but they won't be able to craft highly effective items from the get-go like they can now. I'm okay with persistent progression being limited to stuff like character unlocks.I do think, however, that the new research system needs to be integrated into gameplay in an interesting way. To make the system more interesting in general, I think the research should actually feel somewhat like actual research, and should require exploration and experimentation, though I haven't put a lot of thought into how something like that could be implemented.I also think it would be good if the system could gently guide a new player into researching important items first and help them to not be confused and distracted by some of the items that are (at least to a beginner) more superfluous to survival. I'm not entirely sure how this could be done in a subtle, non-hand hold-y manner, though. Perhaps reorganizing the research bar could help.

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#2 kopanda

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:35 PM

Hi.

Since this is my 1st post on this forum i just want to say a huge thanks to devs for this great game! Way to go guys!

I haven't read the whole thread so probably i'll partially or fully duplicate some of the ideas, but still i want to share my thoughts.
btw Magnolia thanks for your sum-up post, it's very handy!

And now ill share some thoughts on research system.

Current system:

Pros:
- You can dump items that you dont need anymore and get some profit, making use of useless items makes me feel good=3
- Learning which items give more points and which less makes you feel more pro in this game. This "i'm becoming more pro" feeling means alot for many players.
Cons:
- As said before - it makes grinding the most efficient way to unlock things.
- You cant feed the whole stack to the research machine, so you have to spam clicks. That becomes really annoying with time.
- Unlocking everything makes you OP when you start a new game.
- You can only research in your base camp, which makes you less mobile (unless you've GRINDED enough gold)

Prototype system:

Pros:
- Will remove opportunity to unlock things by grinding resources that are easy to get and will force player to explore the world.
- Will let players to both UNLOCK and CRAFT items they want with same types of ingredients.
Cons:
- Unlocking and crafting will become way too similar and decrease variety of game mechanics to learn / types of actions to do.

My thoughts:

I totally agree that nerfing permanent unlocks is good, but totally removing them feels wrong. I suggest to add permanent unlock slots. To achieve perm unlock you must feed N items of that kind (N is individual for each kind of item) to the research machine, then you'll get a chance to select that item as one of X starting recipes at the beginning of new game, list of perm unlocked items wont be wiped, but player will only be able to select X from it.
Random thought - on world generation 4 bosses are spawned in different locations. Each boss drops 'treasure map' item. When you first use it - X mark appears in the world. Item itself contains a screenshot of a place that the mark is at (remember grail puzzle from HOMM 3?). When you reach it and use shovel on it - you get treasure chest with 'perm unlock recipe' (gold prototype recipe?) for random item that isnt perma-unlocked yet. After that you need to put it into research machine, research will require normal amount of resources for that item + N amount of gold nuggets. After research is done- item is added to your perma-unlocked list.


I'm relatively new here, but I thought I might share an idea I had for a refinement to the Research System:

Make the Science Machine like a Crockpot...but backwards

Whereas for crockpots, you decide what ingredients to add in order to get a particular meal, The Science Machine, once told what you want researched, will then tell you what ingredients it wants.
For example if you choose to research the "Backpack", then the Machine will then begin to demand a series of ingredients, like Grass and Twigs (since they are the material requirements) but then maybe also some odd and random items like a pinecone, flowers, a log, and maybe a gold nugget. Once you have given the machine what it demands, it will churn for a while, and then *Ding* you now know how to make a Backpack.

I think doing research by catering to the whims of a capricious machine would be much more interesting (especially when it starts demanding exotic materials) than simply feeding it cost-efficient items or paying extra for prototypes. Care would have to be taken to make sure the machine never demands anything that you are incapable of giving it, but still have the requirements be varied and unpredictable.

Thats a very good one, only want to refine it a bit:
Once you've put ingredients for item you want to unlock into machine and start the research - it will research slowly, lets say 3 game hours for straw roll and 2 full days for meat effigy. But you can speed it up by feeding more resources to the machine, each type of resource will still have "weight", like in current RP system.

Example:
Lets say you wish to unlock straw roll that requires 6 grass and 1 rope. You put those into machine and start the 3hr research cycle. Total weight of research will be 1 weight point per grass and 4 WP per rope, that's 10 WP total. If research lasts for 3 hours then it's 18 mins per WP, so by feeding 1 grass you speed up the research by 18 mins and by feeding 1 rope you speed it up by 18*4=72 mins.


All those numbers may look too complicated, but i believe that this system can still be understood intuitively.

Also it may be a good idea to still let player throw in different kinds of stuff into machine that are not included in the recipe for 50% (or less) efficiency. This may be done just for the sake of making use of useless items" thing, while still leaving grinding of same item types for researching extremely inefficient.

That's all i can think of for now.
Also here is one more random thought:

Event "Eureka!"
If you sleep during the night you have a very small chance to unlock random recipe for free on wake up. List of recipes that can be unlocked this way is fixed, you cant get valuable items like miner hat or meat effigy this way, but you can get straw roll or tier 2 farm plot, not tier 3 though.

P.S. i've just read the GlyphGlyph's long post and i find his ideas very creative and interesting, but i've spent too much time writing my post so i won't try to implement some parts of his ideas into mine (even though it's very tempting) and will leave this option to devs.
P.P.S. Sorry if my english is too terrible:D

#3 Nanako

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

I just wanted to chime in quickly, and mention that i really like the longterm progression aspect of the current system. Being able to gradually make some permanant improvement to things gives a sense of progression that keeps you coming back to a game. i'd definitely hate to see it removed, and i'd even like to see more of iti agree that removing grind, where possible, is a good thing too. With that in mind, it's worth considering basing unlocks on things that aren't so grindable. For example, achievements - specific things that can only be done once, and force you to constantly re-evaluate and vary whatever it is that you're doing to unlock the next shiny thing.

#4 MycoLogical

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:50 AM

My idea of research was very Doodle God-esque; adding a different combination of things yields different results...like the crock pot
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#5 ScienceMachine

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 01:08 AM

I have an idea too. And it still uses the Science Machine/Alchemy Engine.You feed the machine as normal, but you'll be able to access a tech tree when you right click on it. From there, you can 'invest' your points to multiple available branches. The more you invest in a branch/item, the more effective it'll become and once you fully research the item (maxing out the branch) you'll unlock another set of items you can invest from there, but only basic items will be available in the Science Machine. Once you max out just one branch, you'll be able to invest in the AE. But the AE branch is super expensive but it will help with gaining points faster.What do you guys think?

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#6 CheeseThief

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 02:44 AM

I felt the game was more fun when I was still unlocking things because I had to balance gathering food and resources to survive, and gathering things for research to progress. I'm not entirely sure how a prototype system will cut down on grind either, at the worst case 3x cost to prototype something, it would cost the player 36 logs (10~ trees) to build their first chest, or require them to shave 16 beefalo to get a hat. Not exactly cutting down on grind.Personally I'd have the research divided up into tiers;Tier 0 is where new players start, with pretty much zip like they do now.Tier 1 would have flint tools and spear, straw mat, science machine, rabbit trap, straw hat, camp fire, torch and the basic farm plot.Tier 2 is everything else you can unlock via the science machine.Tier 3 is what you can unlock via the alchemy engine.The first time you start the game the player starts with absolutely nothing, at tier 0, just as they do now only with monster progression put on hold until the player builds their first science machine, spiders won't upgrade, hounds won't turn up and what not. Once the player has built a science machine, hounds won't turn up for 10 days unless the player researches the spear, at which point they turn up at their normal frequency.When the player dies and starts a new game, then they'll start with what ever tier 1 items they unlocked, but not tiers 2 and 3.To counter out the fact that you have to research the more advanced things every game, I'd make it so the more you use the basics, the cheaper they get. Every time you break a flint axe, the golden axe gets 10% cheaper, every time you grow a veggie on a basic plot, the speedy plot gets 5% cheaper, to a minimum of 40% total cost. As the game progresses and more things are added, then the player could chose in free play mode which tech tier they would like to start in, and everything that they have researched in prior games, up to and including that tier would be available at start.I don't feel that the game is more fun when you have everything unlocked, because currently you can skip the basics and have a set of turbo farms and a crock pot up and running within about 3 in game days, which sucks about 80% if the fun and difficulty out of the game since you then have the best food and healing items available pretty much from the get go.

#7 Brenden8r

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:38 AM

I think this new method would be a great way to nerf wolfgang while also giving other players a boost. Since wolfgang seems to be less than smart, he would need more materials while the others needed less, which would make other characters more desirable over the tank with no downside. especially since the research doesnt carry over through games. I like the idea, but i think that wickerbottom should have the lowest cost to research, then wilson, then wendy and willow, and last wolfgang, needing the most materials to research.

#8 Chantal

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

Why would this game even require science?Okay you start out with a scientist, but thats about all (maybe he is more of a magician than a scientist anyways with his magic beard). The different characters get dropped in a mysterious land to survive. Them find a piece of flint, them find a twig and so they get the idea what they can do with it. Tools are unlocked. They cut down a big tree with the tool, get 3 logs and get the idea they could craft a board with that. Boards are unlocked. No grinding, no science, no science machine just progress thru experience. Simple, logical and practical.

Edited by Chantal, 02 January 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#9 Toaster Fu

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

It's there so as to not overwhelm new players with all the things that they can craft. Like not being able to use all the features of a game in it's tutorial.
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#10 TylerTheDragon

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:14 PM

Here's an idea I just thought of for a research system , it would be similar to be "pick up an item and use it on a science machine" but with a twist. You would find an item and use it , the character your playing would work around it , and makes sounds to their instruments. After a while (about 5-20 in-game mins depending on the item) you would get more knowledge with that item. Some items wouldn't work , but others would , you'd have to remember and figure out each one. I agree with the "stat tree" idea where you right click and theres a table menu that gives yousome starting items to research , which progress. So heres an idea :You have 5 grass in your inventory and a science machine. you spend the whole midday and midnight working researching it for 5 in-game mins each. you right click on it. you need 1 grass tuft to learn how to build a "rope" Its similar , but it would work generally better than double the resources for expensive things like tents.Heres another exampleYou have researched about 15 logs , 2 planks , 4 rope , 10 twigs , 20 grass , 7 rocks and 1 gold nugget.You can make : with the 5 logs and 2 rope , you learn how to make a logsuit , giving you a "prototype" item that would have less durability/collapse after a while (5-15 in-game days) With the 7 rocks , 5 grass and 5 logs , you can make a stone fire , with its prototype version. With your 5 grass and 1 rope , you get a straw roll. and so on.Basically , with the suggestion of "difficulties" easy would let you keep your researched items. Medium would let you keep the research of 3 items , and hard would mean you have to start with no items , for people who don't want to restart all over again each time , it'd also let new players get used to items and learn what they're good for without having to research 1 item at a time , learning what it is and dying from their first hound attack.
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#11 Chantal

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

It's there so as to not overwhelm new players with all the things that they can craft. Like not being able to use all the features of a game in it's tutorial.

Well that is the reason to not have a overwhelming large list of options and possibilities right from the start, but the science seems just a bit random. The lands of dont starve have quite a lot magical and mysterious aspects, but not science. Only the part that you start out with a scientist who swiftly appears more of a magician. The list of craftables could be empty right from start, then as you proceed and gather items the characters give a note about it. As mentioned above, gathered a twig and a flint and he states he got the idea to craft tools with it and they are unlocked, shown in the list, description readable and craftable. It could also even expanded a bit more, and give a quick hint on any item you find for the first time during that game. Find a carrot and the character states that he would prefer it roasted. In my opinion the science is completely unneeded unless there is/was mutch more planned around science to be added to the game. - Chantal

#12 Coyotus

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Posted 03 January 2013 - 09:35 AM

I think this new method would be a great way to nerf wolfgang while also giving other players a boost. Since wolfgang seems to be less than smart, he would need more materials while the others needed less, which would make other characters more desirable over the tank with no downside. especially since the research doesnt carry over through games. I like the idea, but i think that wickerbottom should have the lowest cost to research, then wilson, then wendy and willow, and last wolfgang, needing the most materials to research.

You need to feed wolfgang twice as much thats a downside.
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#13 Xuhybrid

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:53 AM

You need to feed wolfgang twice as much thats a downside.

Technically not true. His hunger doesn't drop twice as fast. The character is more of a convenience thing for players who are already good.

#14 Lordfiscus

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:32 AM

I would leave the tiers as they are now. So you would need the alchemy machine to build tier 2 prototypes. The next unlockable character will probably have a bonus while researching... or maybe even not need to research. She's really smart.

you mean wickerbottom!
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#15 miketh2005

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:33 AM

There needs to be a bit of a progression in there so as to not overwhelm new players, or I would probably just give you everything at the start.

Why do you think progression is in this game only "to not overwhelm new players"? Progression is the main reason I play any game. When Minecraft was in beta I got bored of it very quick as I hate sandbox games. I like narrative and a sense of progression. I like completing my games. The only games I ever play over and over are multiplayer games. So please keep in mind players like me (it seems like you wrote about it before). Eg. I probably will only stick to 1 character I like the most and suits my playstyle the most and play the game that way. Once I see everything there is to see I'm done. I don't play games over and over again with nothing to reward me for playing. I am getting a bit bored with the beta because I've unlocked almost everything. Once I've unlocked everything, and MAYBE cooked everything there is to cook, then I'm done until the final game is released probably. Unlocking stuff (eg. Checklist) is the primary drive for me atm. I suppose once Story mode is out, the narrative will then become the primary drive for me, though. Achievements would really help. Do you plan on adding them?

#16 CrispyJelly

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:02 AM

Why do you think progression is in this game only "to not overwhelm new players"? Progression is the main reason I play any game. When Minecraft was in beta I got bored of it very quick as I hate sandbox games. I like narrative and a sense of progression. I like completing my games. The only games I ever play over and over are multiplayer games. So please keep in mind players like me (it seems like you wrote about it before).

It's so interesting to read about how other players play! Because I'm the complete opposite. (Isn't it interesting that Don't Starve is attracting different kinds of players?) I love sandbox games. I like setting my own goals. If a game is well made, looks good and feels interesting, and gives the player a sense of freedom and creativity in the ways it can be played, I'd play it. I've never played multiplayer games and I have no interest to do so. Don't Starve attracts me because it's such an interesting and intriguing idea. That great sense of isolation, of not even giving the characters actual voices that we can listen to even though they are clearly human characters, I love that! The sounds in the game are great to listen to. They do such an effective job of establishing the mood. Most of all, I think Don't Starve's greatest strength is one of allowing the player to experiment and discover for himself. I like that much of the decision-making lies mainly with the player. There are no levels to clear, no boss fight to overcome. It's wholly a matter of survival, the way you want to do it. I'm looking forward to the new research plan. Reduced grinding and quicker unlocking sounds good to me.

#17 kaltorak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:41 AM

Cons:


    [*]Less sense of progression between plays.
    [/list]

This kills the game for me.... big time

In every game, I try to build science machine as fast as possible to at least learn 1 recipe. So, when I die and lose everything, at least I know I achieved something and am happy about that game.

For me sandbox/freedom is not the opposite of progression. I like sandbox games and freedom, and I love progression. They are both different things. I love to be free, to have no goals. But I also like to feel a difference if I have played for 30 hours, that's progression.

I don't understand why you separate sandbox games from progression games. Both are not exclusive.

Edited by kaltorak, 11 January 2013 - 02:47 AM.


#18 kaltorak

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:08 AM

After reading all the pages of this post, I see devs already said they are thinking about leaving the progression in, that's nice :)Still, they say they prefer prototypes over current system. i think I also disagree on that part. I think feeding items to the machines is fun. It makes finding rare materials more interesting. If I get a rare material I have no idea what it is for, it's like, well, I'll stash it here...But with the science points I'm like: lets see how much I get for this! And since you start new games all the time, you don't mind wasting a good item in the machines.In my opinion, it makes gathering/hunting/exploring more interesting, since it adds a layer of item value.

#19 w00tyd00d

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:26 AM

After reading all the pages of this post, I see devs already said they are thinking about leaving the progression in, that's nice :) Still, they say they prefer prototypes over current system. i think I also disagree on that part. I think feeding items to the machines is fun. It makes finding rare materials more interesting. If I get a rare material I have no idea what it is for, it's like, well, I'll stash it here... But with the science points I'm like: lets see how much I get for this! And since you start new games all the time, you don't mind wasting a good item in the machines. In my opinion, it makes gathering/hunting/exploring more interesting, since it adds a layer of item value.

I kind've like the fact that not all of researching is going to be so arbitrary now. The only reason is because I find if you research rope (27 RP) you can pretty much unlock all of your recipes within an in-game week as long as you stick to a grassy/savannah biome with lots of grass tufts to harvest. And how does researching rope unlock something like the Magical amulet, that has absolutely nothing to do with rope? The way that they're taking it is that you have to research specific things in order to unlock their corresponding recipe, which I think makes a lot more sense and add a bit more of a difficulty when trying to research later-game items, not just with a "high research cost". Although I do absolutely agree with you they should still give you the option to keep whatever research you've already aquired, but maybe give you an extra option when making a new world if you want to start back over from the beginning or not, without having to delete your save file and corrupt your steam cloud file. xD

Edited by w00tyd00d, 11 January 2013 - 06:21 AM.

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#20 Penassa

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:54 AM

i agree , i have 80% of the stuff unlocked out of which i used mainly rope and boards since its a cost effective way of getting RPs. defenatly needs a change from this. i think prototypes is a good idea.
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