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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:24 am 
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Still a newbie, and I'm over in Australia which I guess is making things difficult for me to learn anything, since rarely anyone's online when I'm on. Has its advantages and disadvantages in BBGs and this is one of them.

Just from my perspective, I think Mentoring is a bit hit and miss. Having someone right there with the right answer is great in theory, but in practice will always be unwieldy and difficult to maintain. Putting effort into FAQs and strategy guides is the standard practice for games, and its what users expect/look for.

Reading the Quick Start in the existing FAQ is a little confusing. It's like a rough draft of early game strategy. Find a nice goods/ore trade route and spam it, then upgrade so you can make more profit from each run of the route, etc. etc. I can follow the instructions, but that stifles my creativity as a player. I don't learn the underlying mechanics of the game or anything about them. I just know if I hit these buttons I can make money.

As a new player I expect to run into pitfalls and make a mess of my opening character. I've played several 4x strategy games and other browser based games, and you're never going to reach a decent rank in your first game. You're never buying the right items/upgrades at the right times, you're trading inefficiently, you don't know what ships/weapons/armor are good. But once you know the basic mechanics, you can move on to testing what works and what doesn't.

Overall I'd say if you believe you have a problem with newbies being smashed by experienced players, that's an issue separate from this. Imho players should naturally be attracted to bigger fish rather than smaller ones. If you have a problem with players having no clue what to do when they start the game, you need to include a better tutorial or manual to the game.

I'll keep plugging away and seeing if I can work this game out, and if I do I'll be happy to start writing up some documentation. But it sounds like there are several experts already, and if you've ever seen something like the Stars! FAQ, they explain some of the most in depth issues such as the formulas for weapon damage and how battles are resolved in order to explain tactics in ship design in layman's terms.

I would recommend adding a sub-board to this one specifically regarding in game tactics. If you guys have made discussions about tactics prior to this they'll be lost in the 900+ topics ranging from newbie questions, functional aspects, infrastructure/rule discussions and technical questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 5:00 pm 
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First I'll say that, if you didn't notice, we have a wiki going, and that's pretty all-inclusive, and it does explain a lot.

It's excusable since you're new, but mentoring is really how we get new and powerful players. Almost any good player you can find learnt what they know from an older and more experienced player still. The system, as of now, has mostly been experienced players noticing small players who they think have potential, and then taking them under their wing. This thread discusses setting up an official system for this, which I think would be a good idea.

I do agree that the quick start thing is really bad. That's way out of date. I wouldn't recommend it to a new player. Instead, they should read the wiki. The wiki is good.

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you're never going to reach a decent rank in your first game.


I guess I'm the best guy to address that. I'm certainly not among the greats of AAT, but I made it to the number 9 spot on the server (38 million score) my very first round. In fact, that's by far my best score in the three rounds I've played thus far, though I've come close to the same production, just not sustained it for as long.

That's possible because AAT is a unique game. Rounds last a long time (6 months maybe), and you can come a long way in that time. Also, as I previously explained, an experienced player can teach you a lot. Max G was a big help, along with Kyuubi, L'ombre, and, maybe most importantly, my worst enemy (and a game designer *shudder*) Tarnus.

Basically, the wiki should come first. I don't know how many people are actually using it, but it's good, and has a lot of good information. Then, once you've learnt about the game, you start playing, and that's kinda where you prove yourself to the bigger players, and they may help you learn a thing or two.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:56 pm 
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I've been digesting the wiki. There are a lot of empty links and it's not the best to navigate. I don't mean to bash it, it's definitely something valuable and I can see it going far. The main point I was getting at was that there appears to me to be a void I have difficulty crossing while trying to learn this game. I've trawled the forums a bit, read the FAQ and searched the wiki, and I'm still having a lot of trouble seeing how everything is supposed to fit together. In this game I can trade commodities to get a better ship, and at some point get planets which will make more money while I attack other players. Eventually I'll have a gated sector to defend all the planets I have, while I'll be trying to find opponents whose planets I can pillage.

But in terms of starting out, trying to get going, all I'm faced with is "Don't worry, you'll get it, just experiment."
Perhaps it's just my own style of learning that's causing me difficulty, but I'll try to illustrate an example.

Hull: In a Pioneer, the Hull Size is listed as 0-300. I'm told Hull size is vastly important early in the game as trading is my prime source of income. More trade volume per run = higher profit per run. I get that.
If I search the wiki, I can read up about how most players don't really use the super cargo, since other ships tend to have high enough hull sizes for trading while offering better protection, and its too expensive to keep upgrading the hull of a super cargo.
This is reaching a bit far for me since I haven't even purchased another ship, but in my own head I'm assuming hull costs must increase exponentially per level. Perhaps all ship statistics increase exponentially per level, but this is never mentioned.
Nor is the effect of a single level on the statistic of a ship.
Engines are important for Real Space travel. Obviously taking fewer turns to RS to sectors means more turns free for other activities. More efficient play. Again, I can read: "If RS takes 100 turns with a level 1 engine it may only take 10 turns with a level 150 and 1 turn with a level 300."
Is this just a guess? A rough estimation? What's the formula?

It's hard for me to articulate exactly what I'm having difficulty with, but in every game I've ever played, I write my own 'strategy guide' in my head as I go, dissecting the gameplay and rules and working out tactics to try, testing how things work, then rewriting it all in my head if I've missed something.
When playing AAT, I feel like I'm taking random guesses all the time, I can't write myself anything of value, and when I look to see what the more experienced players have written, its either very basic or very top level, with no middle to connect it all.

I'm going to continue plugging away. I might suicide and start a new account to clear my mind, but I'm really writing all this in an effort to give you all an insight into my own experience learning this game. If I manage to learn it, I'll contribute to the wiki any way I can.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:38 am 
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Quote:
Again, I can read: "If RS takes 100 turns with a level 1 engine it may only take 10 turns with a level 150 and 1 turn with a level 300."
Is this just a guess? A rough estimation? What's the formula?


Thing is, Sage, even knowing the formula won't help you any. See the amount of turns RS travel takes is determined not only by your engine levels but obviously the distance your traveling. From any given sector it's hard to tell how far away the sector you're traveling to is, it's never really static. If it helps you out though, from about level 250 on, almost everywhere is 1 turn to RS travel to. From that point on the only benefit from upping your Engines is more efficient Attack and Runs and better odds of evading Ship V Ship combat.

The simple fact is that almost everyone playing this game will tell you they figured it out by experimenting and finding out what works... much like you're doing right now. Then eventually some guy will brutally destroy you and probably give you money to buy a new ship by way of an apology. You'll like the guy for it, ask him a few questions and he'll start sharing the info he's gathered from his experience. That's just the way it works. This game is for those with analytical minds because the idea is that you be told EXACTLY what to do. As you said, what buttons to press to make money. Then it's up to YOU to analyze it and figure out WHY that works and how to make it work BETTER.

I'm LordTonto in game, I'm up nearly any given hour of the day so eventually you'll see me in game no matter what time zone your in. If you wanna learn a little more feel free to ask.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:54 pm 
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Sage, you're almost contradicting yourself here. You said you didn't want just to be told what to do, but then you complain about not finding exactly what to do. There are many play styles. AAT is not like a lot of other games because there aren't "classes" or anything. You just do what you want, and whatever you want. There is no universal goal. Some people play for kills, some for score, and some are just happy to play a role in the dynamics and diplomacy of the game. The "basic stuff" is as far as it can go, because once you get past the basics, you have to develop your own form of play.

Yeah, the links and stuff don't all work in the wiki. That's because different parts were written by different people, etc. But the info on there is good.

And if you didn't notice, the max tech of a pio is not 300, it's 150.

Anyway, the best thing for you to do is to learn from the game. It's really easy!!! You wonder if techs increase exponentially. I can guarantee to you that if you upgraded a tech a few times, you'd see for yourself. It's not hard. The game is your best source of knowlege pertaining to the game. When a historian wants to learn about history, he doesn't read a text book written by another historian. He goes out and reads letters, diaries, looks at coins and dates papers. If you want to be good at anything ending in ology or onomy or whatever, don't focus on the suffix, focus on the prefix. If you want to learn about zoology, don't read about zoology, look at animals in the wild.

And, once you've got an idea of what you want to do, learn more from a mentor. That's what this thread was about. You came here and said that mentoring doesn't work that well, even though you are new to this game and so couldn't possibly say if mentoring works well in this game. I'll tell you that it does, and that if you want to learn about the game, you should get one.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:09 pm 
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I'm aware I'm being rather impertinent, and I'm somewhat out of place in this discussion.
However, this topic began out of the apparently common occurrence of newcomers suiciding after a short span of play; essentially what I read is you may be losing potential players due to the difficulty in learning this game.

I saw my own position as a newcomer could be of use to you all. Please, don't be frustrated by my contradictions and ignorance. If I showed all due deference I'd eventually learn the game anyway, as I'm a patient observer at heart and I love a good challenge. But, and I'm not sure how you want to take this, while learning this game I can totally understand why many people would just decide to quit and move on shortly after starting.

There's an underlying question here. Perhaps it takes a certain measure of patience and an explorer's nature to learn this game. Perhaps this excludes certain types of people who just don't have the right disposition. Perhaps the people who quit just aren't right for AAT. If so, then the game has a way of separating the wheat from the chaff.

But perhaps the game isn't so intuitive, and it could do with a means to make it more accessible to newer players. If so, then I propose that the more insight you have into what goes through the minds of newcomers, the better you can adapt the learning process for them. I don't have all the answers, just all the questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:26 am 
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What you've pointed out is true, and though I've never thought of it before, your views as a newbie to AAT are rather valuable to us in figuring out what we should do to keep players.

And what you pointed out about people not being right for the game is probably correct as well. AAT takes a lot of patience, with things taking place over a long period of time. And you really shouldn't expect much action, since it's browser based. However, it's always possible that people are suiciding not because of this, but because they have too much difficulty learning the game. I can tell you, with more experience than many, that AAT requires sticking it out when it's tough, so the kind of person that gets frustrated quickly with the game because they aren't learning fast enough may not be right, but if there are people out there who do have the potential to be good AAT players but really have too much trouble with it and end up suiciding (and who can say if there are?) then we need to fix this.

And yes, that's what this thread, along with the wiki was about.

The question really is, what do you think we should do? As a new player, you do know better than anyone what sort of help would be most beneficial to you. Would you like a more indepth wiki? We could spend some more time on it, but I think it's good as is. Should we make the wiki information more widely available? Should we go through with the mentor program?

Your insight likely is going to be helpful. Excuse my impatience.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:49 am 
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I think mentoring for tactics is a natural thing and it'll happen on its own when users get their head around the game system. It is a very open ended game and players will naturally see the path they want to take be it attacker, builder, or a sideliner who influences the game in their own way. I think the wiki definitely needs some work, though, as it doesn't allow players to get to that stage properly. Let me give you an example:

HULL
"For now, this is important to trading and building, though it may become important for attacking as well in version 1.00.

As far as trading, the bigger your hulls are, the more stuff you can buy and sell per trade, and the higher your profit. For max efficiency, always know how much your next upgrade costs, and as soon as you make that much, go buy it.

For building, the higher your hulls, the faster you can populate a planet, so you get more colonists per turn. It's pretty much up to you how much you want to upgrade. You've just got to use your sense."

The first line is needless. Assuming you'll come back to edit it when it comes to version 1.00, no-one need know this, and if someone hasn't taken note of the version number yet, they might assume its outdated. But that's a minor issue. The big issue is what it does and doesn't say about Hulls.

What it says about Hulls:
The bigger the hull, the higher your cargo capacity for all commodities and colonists.

What it doesn't say about Hulls:
The relationship between Hull Levels and cargo capacity.
The relationship between Hull Levels and cost per upgrade (even though you suggest it's good to know this for max efficiency)
Any mention of the risk of mines to Hulls.

I know you can calculate how much it will cost to upgrade to pretty much any given level of Hull. I'm pretty sure you can tell me how much tonnage I can load at each level, too. But the formula isn't listed and I don't know it. I could find it out by going into the game, jumping to the upgrade center and flicking about from one level to another, backtracking the results to come to the formula myself, but if that's the prevailing attitude when writing the wiki, you might as well not write it at all, because I could technically find out everything you know by going in and playing the game long enough.

Plus, excluding any mention of mines from the Hull page is dangerous. Assuming there was a page on mines in the wiki (there isn't) it wouldn't be enough to just leave it at that, because a new player interested in becoming a trader probably wouldn't be interested in learning about SD elements like mines. When they become interested in the combat and builder aspects of the game they'll come back and read the pages then, but if they get podded running into a minefield before then, they'll be annoyed they weren't properly informed.

In short, the wiki should focus on the rules of the game. The hard facts. Including strategy is fine, too, because players will need a hand to put it all together, but what I've been trying to get across is that without the hard facts, players are left trusting whatever strategies you put forward without knowing how they really work. They might learn how they work by trying and observing them, but that's no reason not to show your working out.

Example:

HULL
"
This determines the maximum cargo capacity of your ship. A vessel for trading between docks or planets will benefit from a larger hull, as it will be able to carry more cargo per trip. The hull size also determines the amount of mines your ship can be struck by, so it is not wise for combat vessels to have large hull sizes.

Hull upgrade cost per level:
Hull upgrade effect per level:
Mines hit/Hull size formula:
"


It covers the rules regarding hull size and why those rules exist, in short. It also links to relevant areas (docks and planets will contain information on commodities and moving between them in more detail, mines will contain information about their rules in more detail). Some examples of the formula in action might help, too, but there's no need to go overboard.

While I've digested the wiki in its entirety, I've also found out things that aren't in the wiki by backtracking through the forums and blogs that are linked in them. I see you guys discussing balancing issues and throwing around game mechanic formulas that you all know off by heart, but when I asked about them I was never told. They're the rules the game is based on. you need to know the rules before you can play the game. It's like teaching someone football without telling them how many downs you get before turnover. You can know what a punt is, but how are you gonna know when to use it?

Other than that it's just user friendly navigation issues for the wiki. The index page is great, but when you click on "Ships" you kinda expect a link to "Types and Uses" or each kind of ship. Instead, 'ships' is completely empty, you have a separate page called "ship info" which contains what should be in ships, "Types and uses" is a copy of what's in the planets "Types and uses page", and thus refers to planets and not ships (That had be confused for a minute, haha) and so you have to click each ship type individually, then click back in your browser to get to the index page and click on the next one. It's the same for every page, very few have links to their subtopics so when you're trying to read on a particular subject or look at the wiki as a whole, there's a whole lot of page views being racked up for that index page because everything links off it and nothing else.

I'd love to rewrite the basic parts of the wiki myself since that's what I'm doing in my head, but I could never guarantee I'm getting anything right about it until I have the proper information.

Some other things that aren't in the wiki:

Score: I don't know how its calculated. This is important as it affects bounties. Plus, what if I want to be number 1? :-P
Rank: I'm unsure if this affects anything. I believe its tied to experience and I read last year's discussion on experience potentially affecting combat effectiveness as a tweak. But there's no in game mention of anything, so I'm ignoring it at present.
Kill Efficiency: No idea what this affects, how it's calculated or what it means.
Good/Evil: I believe Good characters can attack Evil characters bounty free, and vice versa, while Neutrals are protected. I don't know what affects your alignment in either direction, which seems an important factor to consider.
Experience: I'm unsure what experience is given for, or what it does.
Efficiency Rating: I believe it's a measure of how fast one is progressing, like score vs. turns used. But I don't know the formula.
Autotrades: I set one going and its done nothing. I asked LordTonto and he doesn't quite know how it works either. As far as I know its an ignored part of the game.
Map: The standard map sectors I've visited, but I don't know in what order. The numbers don't correspond to galaxy arm or any discernable part of the sector name. (Note, not the Local map or 3d Galaxy Map)
Mini Nav/RS Map: I'm still unsure how to properly read this from one sector to the next. I understand its split into quadrants, but considering the actual space is calculated as 3d I don't know how height is a consideration, or why I can move in one direction and then
be unable to find the sector I came from in the map.
Planetary Tech levels: As in the planet graphic representation of technology base. There are 10 levels, but I'm not clear on what affects the technology base. It could be average tech level, but then you're substituting avg. tech level for an arbitrary 1-10 tech level rating.
Commodity uses: Ore and Goods are eaten to create armor on planets. This isn't mentioned. All commodities are describes as purely arbitrary trade items for making money in the early game. This isn't true.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:03 am 
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Better be careful, you may get yourself volunteered to help with the WIki ;) Note: As most people know documentation is not our forte. We have been taking on volunteers to help write that for the wiki. Also note that aatraders is like the fourth generation of the game that started in the BBS days as tradewars. Many of us have played this type of game for 20 plus year so we don't know what a new user needs.

As far as formulas go, there is a reason its not set into documentation anywhere... that is, many of the game settings can be changed by the admin and hence making it very difficult to put formulas in the game. Also some formulas such as combat have many random numbers and things that happen so 1+1 doesn't necessarily mean it equals 2. As an experienced player I rarely sit down with a calculator to figure out how much cargo space I will get on the next upgrade. I trade enough for the next level. Trade some more and continue... at a point you will notice your making more from planets that making credits trading so then you either switch to build or conquer mode.

Like I said though, if you want to help with the wiki we are always looking for extra volunteers. Its a work in progress and everyone that has helped so far have done a great job. But as experienced players we do not necessarily know where the new players get stuck.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:25 pm 
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I'll tell you right now, Sage, I wrote what seemed to be about 60 to 70% of that wiki myself, and I'm in no way affiliated with this game beyond just being a player, and not a top class one at that.

Do you really expect me (or someone like me) to go through and write absolutely everything there is about the game? I agree that it can be improved, and your opinion is valued, but it would be nice if you could be a little more wary of your phrasing. At times, you make yourself sound accusative; something like, "The wiki isn't good enough and it's your fault! Go fix it!" I'm very frequently guilty of the game thing, so I've little right to complain. Instead, I just ask that you realize that people like me are not obligated to even help new players, much less write a nearly all encompassing wiki for them. I and the other people who have helped with the wiki or helped new players in any other way have done so out of the "goodness of their/our hearts," so try to be a little more grateful.

Quote:
The first line is needless. Assuming you'll come back to edit it when it comes to version 1.00, no-one need know this.


There is not a reason for the player not to know that. It's a good thing for the player to have in mind, in fact. I would like to know what may happen to the game in the future. So it's a good thing to have, though no, it's not absolutely necessary. Do you propose removing it because we're trying to conserve letters or something? This opening complaint sounds a lot like petty b****ing. You said it is a minor issue; I say it is not an issue.

Quote:
The relationship between Hull Levels and cargo capacity.
The relationship between Hull Levels and cost per upgrade (even though you suggest it's good to know this for max efficiency)
Any mention of the risk of mines to Hulls.


As Tarnus pointed out, I'm pretty sure admins can change all that. And I really don't have the first two memorized. They're both exponetial equations that Nomic computed once. I was too lazy to do it myself :P It's posted in his blog, but no where else. If you think it necessary, I could go copy it from there, but, again, it varies from game to game. And also, bear this in mind: that information was not available when that wiki was made. None of the people writing the wiki knew it; none can be held responsible for not putting it in.

The hull thing you are right about. I forgot to include that. It was an innocent mistake. Therefore, try to sound less accusative. I'll go put that in as soon as I submit this post. But, like the other stuff, that is subject to change from game to game.

Quote:
The hull size also determines the amount of mines your ship can be struck by, so it is not wise for combat vessels to have large hull sizes.


Well that right there is not true, which is why, if you do get permission to edit the wiki, I would counsel caution. Don't change stuff that we've put on there or add something in if you aren't sure about it. Make sure you have a verifiable source for that kind of thing before including it, because we really don't want bad info in there. We don't have any yet. Here's how it does work. Over 140 hulls hits mines. Below 140 doesn't. The number of mines hit is absolutely random.

Quote:
I see you guys discussing balancing issues and throwing around game mechanic formulas that you all know off by heart


I really don't know what you're talking about. What formulas? I don't know many by heart. I know the max loan is 25% of my net worth and that bounties used to be 15% of net worth but aren't anymore. I know the max planet population formula is something like 40k*average tech+1B. I know that planets at 100% credits produce credits 3 times faster than at 0%. Not much else...

Quote:
Other than that it's just user friendly navigation issues for the wiki.


Well, I remind you who wrote that wiki. Just players volunteering. It's thanks to our and the developer's generosity that there's a wiki at all. When I was working on it, my main goal was getting the info out there for new players, not saving them a few seconds getting around. All the info is accessible from the index page. That was good enough for me. Some others tried linking them, and I respect that generosity. Mine did not extend so far. And the people who did try linking the stuff had trouble linking it not infrequently. I never worked on a wiki like that before, and I had no idea what the different codes did, nor how to use them.

Quote:
I'd love to rewrite the basic parts of the wiki myself since that's what I'm doing in my head


I mean no insult, but you are new. I would not suggest rewriting anything until you really know more about the game, because we don't want to mess up the wiki with bad info or you to accidentally delete good info. However, if you'd like to add links that would be fine, and it would also be fine for you to add information without actually changing anything already there as long as you had a verifiable source for what you were adding.

Quote:
Score: I don't know how its calculated. This is important as it affects bounties.


First, I did not know myself until just recently, when I noticed that sqrt(4*loan)=score. Your score is the square root of your total net worth. The easiest way to compute your total net worth is to look at your max IGB loan and multiply it by 4.

Second, score does not affect bounties. Total (gross I think) worth affects bounties. It used to be 15% of your total worth, but it's recently changed, and is likely to change again soon. Score and bounty are both functions of the same variable (worth), but they are not directly related, and I actually think they may be different forms of the variable (score is net, bounty is gross).

Oh, but there is one thing, now that I think... I think you get a bounty if you attack the ship of someone under 70% of your score, but there are many complications, and that's just ship. You can still attack planets. I'm not sure what the number is for planets. And what I just wrote could be wrong. I don't know this stuff by heart like you suggested.

Rank

That's just score. All people between score x and y will be rank a. It affects nothing. It is meaningless as far as gameplay is concerned.

Quote:
Kill Efficiency: No idea what this affects, how it's calculated or what it means.


Neither do I. Well, I have an idea. It affects nothing. The smaller your ship and the bigger the ship of your enemy, the more "points" you get per kill. You can't see this points. I don't know the formula, but I think that if the two ships have the same total worth, it comes out to exactly 1000 points, but again, I'm not sure. Then, to get efficiency, you divide this number of points by kills. However, it sorts by points, not efficiency.

Quote:
Experience: I'm unsure what experience is given for, or what it does.


So am I, but I know it does nothing at the moment, though this may change.

Oh, I skipped good/evil. Yeah, your understanding and my understanding are about the same. I know they can attack each other, and I know some actions are inherently "good", but not which actions. I also know that it is relative. The more people go toward good, the easier it will be to become evil.

Quote:
Autotrades: I set one going and its done nothing. I asked LordTonto and he doesn't quite know how it works either. As far as I know its an ignored part of the game.


Yep, they're just about worthless. Don't use them.

Quote:
Map: The standard map sectors I've visited, but I don't know in what order. The numbers don't correspond to galaxy arm or any discernable part of the sector name. (Note, not the Local map or 3d Galaxy Map)


You've got that right. I think it may have to do with when they're created, and the game has some means of organizing them, and creates them in certain places, but I don't know how it works. Quite frankly, it's unimportant. All that's really important is how far one is from the other in turns.

Quote:
Mini Nav/RS Map: I'm still unsure how to properly read this from one sector to the next. I understand its split into quadrants, but considering the actual space is calculated as 3d I don't know how height is a consideration, or why I can move in one direction and then
be unable to find the sector I came from in the map.


But really, it's not vital to game play. It's probably complicated (I myself don't know how the computer decides where to put a given sector on the map), and not worth explaining or learning. All you need to know is that those sectors are close to your current sector, and it lets you move around with ease. Exact location, you'll find, is quite irrelevant to this game.

Quote:
Planetary Tech levels: As in the planet graphic representation of technology base.


Absolutely irrelevant. It doesn't matter what the planet looks like. That's just in there to give you a very vague idea of how strong it is, and to add a little color to the game. I think it's something like average tech, but I'm not exactly sure. But it doesn't make any difference how the game figures out what a planet looks like. It has absolutely no bearing on game play. If you want to know how strong a planet is, don't look at the graphic, scan it, or better yet, send a spy.

Quote:
Commodity uses: Ore and Goods are eaten to create armor on planets. This isn't mentioned. All commodities are describes as purely arbitrary trade items for making money in the early game. This isn't true.


I don't think it describes them as "purely arbitrary trade items" with no other use. I'm almost certain that it says somewhere in there that organics is necessary to sustain a population.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:42 pm 
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@ Tarnus

As I said, I wouldn't mind writing the wiki, but I can't really put my hand up for it when I'm still at the stage of double checking every assumption I've made with you guys. Valience continually points out the misconceptions I have, which is helping a lot, but as he's said himself, I'd have to be careful if I tried to rewrite anything because I could just be leading players astray.
I think it really shows that this game has evolved a lot over the years. That's part of what makes it a little esoteric. I can imagine many functions have probably changed and been tweaked here or there and may have evolved beyond their original purpose. That inadvertently makes some aspects a little less intuitive.

Hmm. Perhaps my own analytical style is getting carried away. I'm used to calculating that sort of thing to work out the limits. I guess I'll nut those ones out for myself, then. I've seen the game settings page and I can get a few figures from there, and I know they can be changed, but isn't that more for balancing? I'd expect if the economic model is working pretty stable, then it's not going to be tweaked any time soon.

@ Valience

Sorry if I offended. I am aware this is all volunteer work, I'm a harsh critic at times but I don't mean anything personal by it. I know the wiki has your name all over it and it's been a great reference for me when learning the game. But that's what you intended when you wrote it. It might sound weird, but I do expect someone to go through and write everything there is about the game. I'm willing to do it but I don't have the required knowledge. If you guys want to give me editing rights I can promise I won't delete any of your comments or pages.

I realise you're not obligated to help. I'm just saying that without somebody's help a lot of new players are likely to just suicide and go to a game they can understand how to play in a few hours or days. The best games are "Minutes to learn, lifetime to master". I see AAT definitely has that potential, considering the vast amount of upper level tactics I've heard speak of. It just takes a while to learn.

The thing is, PJ wrote the code for this game, as I understand it. He'd have to know how everything is calculated. There are posts all over this place asking about specific things (Formulas for AR runs, spy detection rules on bases/ships, just on this page) and I just find it odd to think that this sort of stuff isn't known by players who've been around for years. If there's randoms involved, then its complicated, but it has to be balanced, and if it has to be balanced, there has to be limits. Everything is run on numbers.

I'm not a mathematician; I'm a programmer. I can understand you don't need to know the formulas to play the game. It's just how I think. I apologise for making the assumption you guys knew all this stuff... It's just I don't think I've run into a game where there hasn't been someone like me who's anal retentive enough to have all this stuff written down. :-P


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:31 am 
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1) Valience, I'm not sure about that thing you said about Nomic's blog being the only place to find those formulas. If I remember correctly they are also in the Information port in sector 1 (Sol). The relation between Hull and Cargo is the same as the relation between Fighter Bay and Fighters, Torpedo Launchers and Torpedoes, and Armor and Armor Points. Bare that in mind when going over those formulas, sage. Val was right, however, about the mine to hull relativity, it's completely random. If you had thought that the bigger the hull the more mines you hit was the way things worked than you probably read a forum topic about how that is the plan for the future. But as of now you can rest easy knowing your maxed pioneer could hit 5 or 5 billion from the same sector.

2) Sage, I can't help but take into consideration that you are thinking about this way too hard. I've been around off and on for about 5 years now and this game really doesn't take that level of thought. Just jump in, experiment, and find your niche, it's there somewhere, I promise.

3) Stay away from my wiki spy pages. They (along with the stealth ship page) are the only part of the wiki that I wrote and they are as close to perfect as they're gonna get until TH and PJ gimme some of those Spy enhancements i've been dying for for ages. haha.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:49 am 
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Thinking about things way too hard is pretty much what I do.
I am experimenting in the mean time though, so I'll work things out naturally. It's just my way of thinking isn't conducive to plain old experimentation as much as it is number crunching and statistics, so I'll naturally look there for answers first and foremost. I've already started making spreadsheets. :-P

I wouldn't touch the strategy pages. I'm more interested in getting all the variables and terms pinned down and cataloged.
Also, the formulas aren't listed in the Fed info port on Sol. At least not in the main game's one.


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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:02 am 
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You are, in fact, right, sage. Last round that info had been posted in the information board but it seems to be gone this round. a shame, Well if you contact Roin he can give it to you. We have an excel spreadsheet that has not only the level/capacity ratio built into it but has the same thing for power. He uses it to determine EXACTLY how much power he can carry around to fuel his beams AND shields while still taking 0 damage from Sector Missiles.



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 Post subject: Re: Mentors
PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:50 am 
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InstinctSage wrote:
@ Tarnus

As I said, I wouldn't mind writing the wiki, but I can't really put my hand up for it when I'm still at the stage of double checking every assumption I've made with you guys. Valience continually points out the misconceptions I have, which is helping a lot, but as he's said himself, I'd have to be careful if I tried to rewrite anything because I could just be leading players astray.
I think it really shows that this game has evolved a lot over the years. That's part of what makes it a little esoteric. I can imagine many functions have probably changed and been tweaked here or there and may have evolved beyond their original purpose. That inadvertently makes some aspects a little less intuitive.



If you really want to help PM me and I can get you the registration code so you can jump in.

Sorry I have not jumped into the discussions as much. My real life has me a bit swamped. (which is good) And PJ is still knee deep in his house to be a whole lot of help right now.



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