I used to play Castle Doctrine when it was first released, and the game itself is a great concept, but I really think even with the reboot of Terminal Heist, players are going to run into the same problems as the original.
One of the reasons I'm only playing maybe once or twice a day, is because that's all I can do. I can't just go house-sniffing without tools, as one wrong move and you're dead. There's no room for error, and yet theres no way to counter that, with or without tools. The early-game in MP is nonexistent, and you've stuck building really cheesy starter houses every single time you die.
To solve this problem, at least having templates that you can save for certain amounts would make the game a lot less tedious. Having to rebuild houses over and over just because you messed up raiding a guy is annoying. This doesn't help people come back to the game, but it pushes them away because 1 little mistake and ALL their progress is gone. Even the best players are likely limited just from the fact that 1 wrong step will lead to their demise, and all their hard work gone.
This isn't to mention that once you get near late game and are able to just stock up on tools and accessories, you can raid low-level houses without an issue as you can just torch through the walls and locate the safe without even bothering with any puzzles or traps. With high money you're essentially untouchable as no one will be able to solve your puzzles. One wrong move and they're not even allowed to re-enter the house due to stopping people from just spam attacking houses. There shouldn't be a perms-death system.
People should be allowed to attack houses over and over, until they're finally able to solve the puzzle. Of course you can spend money on tools and stuff, but every time you die you lose all your tools and are forced to buy more again, so only take what you need and if you're scouting you shouldn't take anything at all. People should have a constant revenue stream, and be able to take money from those who try to steal from them, based on how much they have. So maybe only if someone has a high enough amount of money, should entering their house be permadeath. What happens is that you spend so much time on the puzzle of a lowly noob, that I don't even think it's worth it, because I'm either:
A) Going to die.
B) Someone is going to steal my money because I didn't have enough money to defend it, and buy tools.
Essentially the cycle constantly continues, and unless you're loaded with a lot of money, you won't be able to beat anything besides noobs with safes sitting in the middle of their house un-protected. I can't even attack any basic houses because with low money the only traps you can make are "If you walk the wrong direction or go through a bad door you're fucked." Same as "If you want to walk into my house, you must, no turning back now."
There needs to be a way for players to make houses and share them for fun as well. Currently if a player just wants to do single player, if they're stuck on the basic maps, and there are no solutions to be found, nor is there anywhere to read about item mechanics.
I think overall the game just needs a revamp more suited to be beginner friendly, the game is trying to be something that it shouldn't be.
While I agree with a lot of this, I don't think much, if anything should be changed with the gampeeplay itself. The people who love the game will continue to play as long as there is a good userbase. What is needed is a beginner and user friendly guide for new players. Without that a lot of people will be turned off before giving the game a chance. I have thought about stepping up to the mantle and making one myself, but my free time is very limited these days - I generally play on commutes and haven't sat at a computer for a while besides work related.
I agree your points and keep them coming. However, I do think we have already addressed some of the things you have mentioned. Have you checked out the editor? https://server.teminalheist.com/editor ? It does exactly what you describe. You can save house and push it back into the game with the click of one button. Also, it can be used to share houses with other people.
Also I think the single player mode gives new players a safe way to learn the game.
One thing I have been thinking about is the dual account problem. Here is how I see it.
- people are scared to rob cause one false move and they are permadead.
- or they build such as big house and they have so much invested they are afraid to rob
- so they dual account and eventually start cheating.
I've always thought one way to solve this is to allow some sanctioned dual account behavior. One idea I've had and I'm liking it better the more I think about it is this :
- what were formally called the son and daughter in TCD are now called alert bots.
- we rename them to be called scout bots
- they still behave the same inside the house
- however, you can optionally use them instead of yourself to rob/scout a house.
- at a minimum this would sort of give you 3 lives
- I think it would add an interesting dimension to the game that you would want to protect your scout more
- I would think we would put some limitations on the scouts to balance it. For instance, an easy one is scouts can only scout the terminal. They can't rob the vault. When the get to the vault they just leave.
- another option would be to limit the amount or number of tools the scout can carry based on whatever
Last edited by cullman (2017-04-21 19:04:12)
Scout bots is a great idea! I'd suggest NO tools on a scout bot and as you said, no robbing the vault. An alternative would be allowing dual accounts as default, but not allowing those two accounts to interact. By that I mean, each player has two spaceship with two seperate pilots, but those pilots can't rob each other (either permanent chills or even just not visible on the list).
The guide for new players is important though. While I agree the solo game is excellent for showing and developing the mechanics of the game, it is intuitive enough without words. Especially pet movement and electronics. Words are needed.
Cullman, I wasn't aware of that editor -- thanks for that!
Maybe even something sort of like where you can pay in-game cash that you've earned from people robbing your house, in order to purchase these "Scout droids." Maybe you couldn't actually earn any cash while using them, but rather maybe there needs to be two separate ways to more or less "play" the game, with scout droids needing separate traps in order to take them out? This would allow people to navigate through traps without triggering them, or in hopes to find the fault. I feel like this would at least spur more intricate traps than we have now, especially if you make it so that these scout bots either can't trigger stuff without additional upgrades, but in exchange be able to die. A simple counter to these scout bots would be to make it so the only tools they can use do "trigger" traps such as buttons, and each press would cost, lets say, 1 "rock" for them to drop on it as it flies it. These could be bought of course, and since having these bots be unkillable to most obstacles, would require additional items to be added to maybe keep these out. Maybe every house can have 1 like "EMP zone" or something of the sort that prevents scout bots from passing through, maybe even attached to within 10 blocks of the safe or something like that.
I think regardless of how it's done, there has to be a way for people to play through multiplayer houses without losing their progress, even if it means that players will be able to rob everyone with enough time on their hands, because no matter what players should constantly be changing their houses, rather than sitting on a stack of 100k with a house that has literally 1 way to beat it, which no player will be able to do due to numerous pitfalls and trick paths which can't be beaten unless you know every single mechanic in the game (Which I doubt at this point there are many players who can feasibly do this). Overall they currently have no incentive to risk their fortune, because already do they have unlimited risk to rob compared to players who both use alts, and those who just die if they run out of money and spend cash on tools until they hit it big.
Well I hope the scouts will maybe lure the pirates out from their super strong lairs. A scout goes and sees a vault that looks easy, doesn't realize the house is designed/broken in a way that someone came in between him and the scout and move things around. So he thinks he knows where the vault is but he can't be absolutely sure.
Another option would be is not let scouts see the current visits death counts on terminals, that would make it harder to make absolutely sure you were coming in right after your scout.
I hate to mention in game purchases as we are free to play for the foreseeable future. My last project Plex was premium model and that has worked very well, we never took anything away from the free guys and only added to the payers. Anyway, if your scout dies we could make that a real money purchase to replace. Maybe not as bad as dying but almost and the game just came out smacked you in your real world wallet for all of $2 or whatever
Instead of making micro transactions, maybe a way to pay to have multiple houses/lives instead, such as having an alternate account for a discount, and having certain limitations (Can't rob your own houses, can't attack same house over with different accounts), like AMWhy said above.
This could at least take advantage of having the multiple houses and lives, and wouldn't hound the users with micro transactions. In reality it's nice, but the scout bot is supposed to help you not die and lose your progress, and at that point the users who will pay to use the scout bot again would be P2W.
I think a perfect way to counter this would be you have lets say, 5 charges for your scout bot every 24 hours, but you can pay money to be used for charges/batteries, which would allow you to use more scout bots.
A simple example of a pricing structure that would make sense would be something like:
$0.99 for 5 (1 Day refresh)
$2.99 for 70 (7 Days worth)
$4.99 for 200
Or maybe even have a cap on how many you could have, so lets say you can only start with 5 and it doesn't recharge again until you use one of the 5, and then the 24 hour countdown starts again.
When you're purchased lives, the refresh halts until you use up all of your charges.
You could be able to maybe purchase a higher cap to the amount of charges you could hold, so instead of having users pay more and more, they could pay, let's say a 1 time fee to raise their scout bot charge cap to 25. This would allow you to have 5 days worth of lives at a time, and it is constantly refreshing every 24 hours -- I personally go on my house every day to see how it's doing, but typically at least at this rate, it doesn't get much traffic due to the lack of a population.