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jaywalker

Suggestion: Research Points

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jaywalker    12

I wanted to open a brainstorming thread on a better way to get research points. Right now it feels like they they come to fast, and you are rewarded more from farming graves than you are from genuine exploration.

All ideas are welcome here is mine:

You get research points in two different ways 1 putting things in the research machine:

The first time you put a UNIQUE item in the research machine you get a set amount of points depending on the item, after that all repeated items are worth one point. (or none is a possible choice as well but I like the 1 point just in case you are at 499 research and you need that 1 more)

So your first grass might give you 5 points and subsequent grass gives you one

your first gnome gives you 80 points and subsequent gnomes give you one

Research is also gained slowly through revealing more of the black space on the map, giving a direct incentive to explore.

----

It would have to be tweaked and played with to get the numbers right but I feel like this method of research incentivizes exploration and discovery over turtleing and farming.

Tell me what you think and add you own suggestions :)

Also I would love a research reset button so I could lose all my research but keep my xp (unlocked characters) when I generate a new world

Edited by jaywalker

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DonZ    10

I don't like your idea.

My suggestion about spending research points is that why we could repair items using points and a crafting table or something like that and repair concerns only luxury items.

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Shadoweangel    12

I'll play devils advocate here and say I do like your idea Jay! I find that I enjoy the idea of exploring my surroundings and examining them in a classic Natural Philosophy sort of fashion, and all that implies, much more than simply farming research off of a few items. Obviously items research points should reflect their intrinsic value, the rarity of the grave items should relate to their research points but they should provide less and less with each use, eventually dwindling down to one after you've learned everything there is to know about them. I would absolutely love to see Wilson make remarks about what he's actually learned about he objects, rather than just proclaiming that he feels much smarter each time I use them as well. "This robot is an inveterate liar!" *Ding*

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jaywalker    12

DonZ: I think repair might be a good idea :) But, I would think it would simply cost a lesser number of materials rather than research points yes?

Shadoweangel: I think your idea of dwindling down is just as good (or better) than immediately dropping to one, but I really like the idea of unique comments from Wilson (I love when he says "I am going to unlock the secrets. . .of grass) I think a natural progression on that idea is to have some kind of in game journal to catalog everything that has been researched. Perhaps it could be made with enough papyrus, and have Wilson's hand drawn interpretation of each item and a comment or two. It would give all the completionists out there a nice goal to completely fill the journal. And animals could be added when related items are put in. Silk = Spiders, Honey = Bees etc. I don't know what would get you pigmen.

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mobius187    29

Lots of good ideas here. I'll agree that research points are collecting way too fast. In fact, I build my science machines in the middle of graveyards just to cut down on the travel time between digging up the graves and dropping the items from them into the machine between play sessions. Obviously one solution would be that once you dig up a grave it should never refill. Next, the ghost should be deadlier, since it's never caused me any concern whenever it appears. Maybe it should follow you like the treant does?

My thoughts are that if graves never replenished then the current research points method works for those items, as for everything else, I like the idea of one initial gain followed by a subsequently reduced gain (i.e. researching grass gives 5 RP on the first try, and then 1 RP for every try afterwards maybe with a new comment like, "Yes, it's 100% grass alright").

I also agree with jaywalker that having a journal that tracks your research. Furthermore maybe it could even be a means to grant you insight into the island denizens in a way that would be useful in-game. Maybe the journal could even be like researching in BioShock. In BioShock after photographing enemies a certain number of times (based on the quality of the photograph) you unlocked their "secrets" and earned a useful skill or combat bonus against them. Just a thought.

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Spoonfairy    10

Maybe you can put some crafting in Q, like kick the machine, it will starts to work and after 2 days it will have finished something random, mostly just junk that will give som researchpoints

Research needs to be changed if you ask me, I got an isle with like 15 stone vains just next to me, if I want I can just build picks, mine everything, put all the gold in to the machine then reset :/

Instantly broken game, havent done it but cant say it isnt tempting even tho I know it would ruin the game for me

Edited by Spoonfairy

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jaywalker    12
Kevin said graves refilling is actually a bug.

That's great, but it doesn't actually stop the problem of graveyard farming if you spawn near one (unless they stay empty when you respawn to). My first spawn point was near three gravestones. As it was my first time playing I died pretty often, but I made the gravestones a pretty high priority every new life considering the research value. I felt like I got WAY to much research WAY to fast. I mean if that kind if spawn is VERY rare and lucky it's one thing, but I don't feel like it is considering on my new steam save I have once again spawned near a grave (just one this time is not so bad, now that I know it is a bug I won't reuse it)

That's why a method that has degenerative research could be used. Graves could still respawn when you die, but since you've already got the research points from them it will do you no good unless they give you a new item.

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Kevin    1,005

The more I think on it, the less I like the whole concept of research points. They are intended to do three things:

a) gradually introduce recipes to new players, so they don't get overwhelmed.

b) give you something to do

c) allow you to burn off surplus resources

Of these goals they're really only accomplishing A.

B is a fool's bargain - people see numbers and ways to increase them and they instantly switch into grind mode. I call this 'optimizing for boredom' - people will find the one thing that they think is the optimal strategy (ie - mining rocks for gold), and then do it until they hate the game. This is obviously not a good thing.

C doesn't work either - people don't put their surplus in there - they optimize. Worse - having some things be relatively worthless (like grass or poop or whatever), makes the process even MORE boring. Be assured that someone out there is shoving rocks into the machine and hating every minute of it. I find that if there is an action that you don't want people to do in a game it is best to not reward it, rather than give it a crappy reward. With a crappy reward, players will do it anyway and then complain about both the boringness of a task, and the crappiness of the reward.

So... yeah. I don't think the current mechanism is working at all, and I think it might be time to think outside of the box on it. One idea that we've been passing around in the office is keep the research tiers as they are now, but make it so that you need to be close to an appropriate machine to make / place an object of that tier. So any grinding is done in the form of building and placing structures in your camp - not on a per-profile basis. If would also make it harder to parachute high-level structures into new areas.

It's would be kind of like base-buliding in an RTS - you can only build magic items when you are close enough to a magic hub, etc. This would preserve the gradual introduction feature (which is really important for new players), but it would also not incentivize all of the current weird researching behaviours.

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jaywalker    12

I really like the base building idea :) . With the ability to move things around via the shovel I am trying to build a "base" of sorts in the current build anyway at least in my new life. And if research points were done away with completely and replaced with the need to have certain structures in place the mission would go from farming research resources to finding what you need to build a magic machine.

Some machines (like a refinary for turning wood to boards etc) could be easy enough to build with a bit of wood and stone, and some machines may require you to invest charcoal and gold and a magical creature of some kind.

The best thing here is when you die you lose it all so it really gives incentive to survive.

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Shadoweangel    12

If research points are removed I can't overstate the sheer awesomeness of that Journal idea. Gives another reason to plug stuff into your machine, and with perhaps four entries or so for each in game object it really provides an enjoyable resource gathering sciency pastime.

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mobius187    29
That's great, but it doesn't actually stop the problem of graveyard farming if you spawn near one (unless they stay empty when you respawn to).

If I'm not mistaken that's exactly what is being fixed. So after digging up a grave, saving, and reloading, the grave will still be "dug". As such, that grave becomes useless. Unless you happen to die there... and fall in. But what are the odds? :)

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mobius187    29

To further on the topic of graves becoming a "limited" resource, right now graves are marked on the map by tombstones, like boulders. Is the plan that once a grave has been dug-up it will become useless? If so, then would it disappear from the map, like a boulder which has been mined (completely broken down)?

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jaywalker    12

Mobius: I think it may be moot point. Kevin is expressing discontent with the entire research system so it may have some type of change at a fundamental level.

As far as graves I believe the only thing thing they were talking about fixing is the exploit where when you save and exit the game and then reload the graves are filled again. The reason this doesn't stop farming is because if you generate a world with 3 or 4 graves near to where you start then the quickest easiest way to gain RP would be to dig the graves die, dig the graves again.

It's boring, it's exploitative, and it is what many people would do all the while hating that that is the "best" way to research.

It is actually something I did, to a lesser extent, by accident my first few playthroughs because I kept dying. Fortunately the steam release gave me a reason to restart, and I am enjoying doing things like stealing tallbird eggs for Research now, and I am gaining it at a much more reasonable pace. I still think the current system as a whole isn't great though.

Shadoweangel: I think a journal would be great to.

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mobius187    29
Mobius: I think it may be moot point. Kevin is expressing discontent with the entire research system so it may have some type of change at a fundamental level.

True. I suppose we will need to wait and see how the RP system will evolve. The RP grinding is definitely a downside right now, although I never went crazy with rocks or anything.

As far as graves I believe the only thing thing they were talking about fixing is the exploit where when you save and exit the game and then reload the graves are filled again. The reason this doesn't stop farming is because if you generate a world with 3 or 4 graves near to where you start then the quickest easiest way to gain RP would be to dig the graves die, dig the graves again.

It's boring, it's exploitative, and it is what many people would do all the while hating that that is the "best" way to research.

Tell me about it. As I noted I built my research machines in the middle of graveyards once I realized the benefit. Of course ever since I read in this thread that it was a bug, and not a feature, I stopped.

It is actually something I did, to a lesser extent, by accident my first few playthroughs because I kept dying. Fortunately the steam release gave me a reason to restart, and I am enjoying doing things like stealing tallbird eggs for Research now, and I am gaining it at a much more reasonable pace. I still think the current system as a whole isn't great though.

I'm on my second character, Wendy, after Wilson met an unfortunate end at the hands of a Grue... due to me being too cocky and unprepared one night on a distant island. Damn grass! Or lack thereof.

I think one of the ideas I have trouble fathoming is the idea behind RP. I mean it works for Wilson, he's a scientist. But what about the others? None of them appear to be the scientist type. I'm not sure what would be better, but they could always opt out of points altogether and instead have the whole system resource-based, like Minecraft or Terraria. Or simply, you can't build what you don't have the resources to build. Still, I do like the idea of discovering inventions...

Having played XCOM recently I appreciated the idea of a technology tree that was based off of supporting research. In Don't Starve I can skip lesser technologies without any real impact, like going for the best garden. I would almost prefer it if we were forced to learn/discover certainly technologies in order to build upon them to greater advancements.

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burfl    13

Just to clarify: you do not have to die or even save/quit to reset the graves. They reset all by themselves after a few days. I don't know exactly how long it takes, but I literally make trips to several different graveyards in my world on the regular (without dying or quitting) and dig them up over and over again. Yes, it's grindy. Yes, I hate it. Just thought I'd clear that up.

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Marvin    10

Also I would love a research reset button so I could lose all my research but keep my xp (unlocked characters) when I generate a new world

Definitely. I've played the recent build yesterday, and discovered that research points carried over..? Ok, makes it for beta easier to discover all things, but i think, that a new world should kill your research points, too. Just feels a little bit.. meh? right now.

EDIT: Ah well, i've just read Kevins above post right now, so the research thing is under complete consideration.

Edited by Marvin

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mobius187    29
Just to clarify: you do not have to die or even save/quit to reset the graves. They reset all by themselves after a few days. I don't know exactly how long it takes, but I literally make trips to several different graveyards in my world on the regular (without dying or quitting) and dig them up over and over again. Yes, it's grindy. Yes, I hate it. Just thought I'd clear that up.

I'm abstaining from any further graverobbing until such time as this bug is fixed. That, or until Kevin revamps the RP system altogether in such a way that it makes this a moot point.

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501105    20

Honestly graves are not the easiest source of RP, the eggs are. It is so darn easy to steal eggs and get 80 points each, the birds hardly give any fight at all.

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mobius187    29
Honestly graves are not the easiest source of RP, the eggs are. It is so darn easy to steal eggs and get 80 points each, the birds hardly give any fight at all.

Eggs are another issue. I've commented before that as to how easy it is to steal the eggs. There's absolutely zero risk once you know what to expect. One possible fix would be to make the tall birds faster than you, like the werepigs (who I've also tried to run away from and failed). It would be interesting if you were forced to either kill the tall bird, and cut off your supply of eggs, or maybe add in a new stealth element to stealing eggs... maybe something like a mobile duck blind that would let you gtet close to the nest and then, when the tall bird wasn't looking, steal the egg.

For some reason I keep picturing Solid Snake and his cardboard box.

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Thebadvoodoo    10

So... yeah. I don't think the current mechanism is working at all, and I think it might be time to think outside of the box on it.

I actually agree completely. I think that the research mechanic is cumbersome, and does turn the focus to "grinding to that number". A more organic approach to each recipe, by allowing them to be discovered naturally over the course of the normal play of the game, returns the focus to exploration and discovery rather than hunkering down in a base and mining nearby rocks all day.

The system I'm thinking of specifically allows you to discover new recipes by performing actions related to that recipe, and then devoting resources to the discovery of that particular recipe. So, for example:

I've just started a new game and am running around with an axe. I attack a spider or two in an attempt to defend myself while running back to my camp at dusk, and after killing a spider a little thought bubble appears with a silhouette of an item with a question mark on it. When I get back to my camp and go to my research station, I see a mystery object with a vague sort of musing from the character that describes the intention of the item ("Hmm, I think I might be able to make a better weapon!"). That recipe then "costs" a certain amount of items related to it's creation. flint, sticks, etc. - (representing the trial and error process of figuring out how to make that item work) and once you spend enough resources, You discover the recipe for a spear and can create them whenever you'd like.

This serves a few purposes:

1) it rewards playing around with things. Chop lots of trees! Pick lots of flowers! harass lots of bunnies! who knows what you'll discover?

2) This really reinforces the "man of science" approach. From the internal dialogue you'd pick up from the descriptions of the item to the prototyping of that item, It'd feel a lot more like you're a scientist slowly mastering your environment and learning new things.

3) This would fulfill all 3 of the intended effects of research points that Kevin pointed out, while preventing the "grindy" mentality of finding the most efficient material to learn stuff. Sure, you might need lots of gold to research gold axes, but They wouldn't do you any good if you're trying to figure out how to make a tent.

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Excess    53
I actually agree completely. I think that the research mechanic is cumbersome, and does turn the focus to "grinding to that number". A more organic approach to each recipe, by allowing them to be discovered naturally over the course of the normal play of the game, returns the focus to exploration and discovery rather than hunkering down in a base and mining nearby rocks all day.

The system I'm thinking of specifically allows you to discover new recipes by performing actions related to that recipe, and then devoting resources to the discovery of that particular recipe. So, for example:

I've just started a new game and am running around with an axe. I attack a spider or two in an attempt to defend myself while running back to my camp at dusk, and after killing a spider a little thought bubble appears with a silhouette of an item with a question mark on it. When I get back to my camp and go to my research station, I see a mystery object with a vague sort of musing from the character that describes the intention of the item ("Hmm, I think I might be able to make a better weapon!"). That recipe then "costs" a certain amount of items related to it's creation. flint, sticks, etc. - (representing the trial and error process of figuring out how to make that item work) and once you spend enough resources, You discover the recipe for a spear and can create them whenever you'd like.

This serves a few purposes:

1) it rewards playing around with things. Chop lots of trees! Pick lots of flowers! harass lots of bunnies! who knows what you'll discover?

2) This really reinforces the "man of science" approach. From the internal dialogue you'd pick up from the descriptions of the item to the prototyping of that item, It'd feel a lot more like you're a scientist slowly mastering your environment and learning new things.

3) This would fulfill all 3 of the intended effects of research points that Kevin pointed out, while preventing the "grindy" mentality of finding the most efficient material to learn stuff. Sure, you might need lots of gold to research gold axes, but They wouldn't do you any good if you're trying to figure out how to make a tent.

First of all, I want to welcome you to the forums. You couldn't have arrived at a better time.

I'm completely in love with your concept. I was toying around with a similar idea, but couldn't round it up so brilliantly like you did.

This is a radical change in the research system, its fresh and it totally fits the game.

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