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Starting Dupes

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Beware: What follows are the ramblings of someone who's had ONI for an hour.

The only interaction we have with our starting dupes is to reroll them. Since we probably have some starting traits in mind, most people are going to tediously hammer on the button until they get something approximating what they were looking for. I think you should either give us no control or total control. Then either we're stuck with whatever we draw, or we can specify exactly what we want. Another option would be to let us indicate the professions we want. That way we can at least influence the system to give us characters that match how we'd like to begin.

Unless you guys are actively counting (for laughs) how many times we click on 'shuffle' prior to starting a new game. If that's what you're up to, then by all means! ;)

As an aside, is the Learning skill the burden it feels like? Of course I want my starting crew to learn rapidly. Unless there's a disaster, these will be the oldest characters I have, so they will gain the most benefit from an XP boost.

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I start all my dupes off with a high learning skill. It makes research quicker, makes them grow into the jobs I assign them with the added learning boosts, and sometimes, they have high learning and another high trait so it can be a 'two birds, one stone' situation. And then you have traits like early bird, which helps even more. And sometimes, if they have that other higher skill as well as a high learning trait, the negative trait where they don't do research becomes nothing.

There is an issue with the black and white take of all or nothing. Forcing the player to have random characters, with no input, would be extremely unfair. That wouldn't even be considered 'hardcore', just cruel for cruel's sake. You couldn't even give credit to someone that DOES succeed with that setup as it could be brushed aside as a 'lucky roll of the dice'.

On the opposite spectrum, we have the full control. The issue with this is that newer players would not know what to do, what to choose, how to balance, and (similar to the 'lucky roll'), it would be a case of 'Playing with God's dice'. It can be brushed aside as 'unsportsmanly setting the playing field too far into your advantage'.

With the random roll algorithm type we have now, we get both worlds; a random character that is trusted to be a 'fair' playing piece (An algorithm that can always be tweaked to best suit the developer's perspective in experience), and the freedom to keep rolling to try and 'test your luck' in the boundaries of the 'fair algorithm'.

HOWEVER, with this said... The way they DO do the middle ground here could use some work. Like maybe have the ability to save a character you like. Or maybe 'lock' attributes and do a reroll where the algorithm applies negatives/positives to the locked stats. Similar to exchanging cards in 'Five Card Stud'. (Where you hold onto three cards of your choice, shuffle two into the deck, then redraw). Though in this case, you could keep doing it since the algorithm (theoretically) would always add and minus the random traits while still sticking to the boundaries of the algorithm.


PS: I am talking just a little broader than this one game, as this is a subject that has been brought up with many games in regards to balancing and RNG.

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So, 20+ hours and 10 colonies later... ;)

Hrm. Is 'everyone has Learning' the usual setup? I just started a game that way, and it really is a little more effective as long as you're willing to split duties up among your dupes. If a skill is so good that you'd be silly not to take it, I wonder if we're better off without it.

For the sake of debate, what if you could select an archetype? Say, I want a Miner, a Runner, and an Architect. This gets you at least a 6 in your desired skill, and the promise of no traits which render that dupe incapable of doing its job, but you don't get any rerolls. This seems a little more reasonable. If you've got a system where some characters randomly have more stats than others and offer infinite rerolls, then the player will inevitably just sit there and reroll until they get what they want.

I think I'm suggesting: Replace Learning with Science (so it doesn't affect XP gain), remove rerolls, and provide archetypes to choose from so you always get at least what you wanted.

EDIT: 'Random Archetype' is also an archetype, of course. ;)

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The 'all having high learning' is just a thing I do, and not sure if it is the usual thing for others. I just like it because it knocks out the research really quick with 2 each of the science machines, and then they level up quicker in their other high trait,

What do you mean by 'no rerolls'? Do you mean:

  • You can choose an archetype, but you get no rerolls OR you can keep rerolling.


  • No rerolls ever, and you just choose an archetype and have one roll.

Only asking because a few things come to mind, one of which I'll get to below, the other being what I mentioned above.

Your '6 only' seems less of a plus when you take into account that you can actually roll dupes with 7s or even 11s at times. They come with a higher decor need due to their level, but that is easily fixed by going after the decor research early on. But assuming you meant an arbitrary number (Whatever makes it 'fair/balanced'), I think it would still be a little needless as you can already roll characters like this, and they tend to be labeled as an 'archetype' by their highest leveled skill. Basically, you're just limiting the customization 'in a sense'. Maybe someone wants to play with all their characters doing many different jobs, so they want a well-rounded character. Or maybe they want a character with a higher skill in a few traits.


Also! As an addendum to my previous post:

I wasn't sure what you meant by 'full control', so I assumed you meant something similar to the 'Prepare Carefully' mod in Rim World. In that mod, you have full control, down to the amount of points you can add. There IS a thing that keeps track of your traits and points in case you wanted to 'stay fair', but it tends to fluctuate too much as that 'fairness' is based on the initial amount of points when you are first given the characters, rather than an 'overall fairness' to the game itself. The problem with this is that the player can set all their characters' traits to max (20) with no penalty. As a mod, that is fine, but it would be horrible to be part of the core game.

I have no issue with a 'given initial amount of points for each character to disperse among their traits', but this does run into the issue of newer players not knowing what to initially choose. And it does lengthen the start of every playthrough which may be a repellent to some newer players due to how many options would be available. Then again, if you combine this with a rerolling mechanic, that might fix this issue.

Of course, the other issue with this is the balancing and ratio of how good the skills are to one another. Otherwise you will end up with one (or more) skill being 'the must have'.

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