Author Topic: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones  (Read 1440 times)

Constantine

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
  • Karma: +19/-10
    • View Profile
Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« on: November 10, 2017, 10:19:55 PM »
Instead of "est. complete XX:XX server time" please put "est. complete in XX:XX hrs"

Andrew

  • Game Master / Lead Developer
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1826
  • Karma: +75/-7
  • Mildly Amused
    • View Profile
    • Lemuria Community Fan Site
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2017, 03:32:08 AM »
Could you be a little more specific about what pages you're referring to, please?
Standing for the creation of interesting things since Year 1, Week 5, Day 4.
Favorite cold beverage: Strawberry Shake
My hobbies: Fixing computers, video games, anime, manga, some other stuff, sleep (in no particular order)

Cipheron

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Karma: +9/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2017, 04:27:43 AM »
Probably ones such as this:

http://mightandfealty.com/en/queue/

Which shows the ETA for action tasks you have ongoing. However if that was changed to local time then the display which shows server time at the bottom of most pages should also be shown in local time.

That's most easily done completely on the client side, if you don't need the server to know what the client's timezone actually is.

Constantine

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
  • Karma: +19/-10
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2017, 02:57:34 PM »
Bump. Logging in, I'm seeing this: Est. complete: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:35:51 -0600.
Every day I need to make these needless calculations in my head. Can't we at least add (will happen in X hours). This does not seem to be hard to add but it will be very important quality of life feature for many people.

Demivar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Purveyor of cunning plans.
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2017, 03:10:53 PM »
Bump. Logging in, I'm seeing this: Est. complete: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:35:51 -0600.
Every day I need to make these needless calculations in my head. Can't we at least add (will happen in X hours). This does not seem to be hard to add but it will be very important quality of life feature for many people.
All you need to do is memorise the time gap. Memorise lots of time gaps and it's not a problem. All I'll say is that it is annoying that the server time zone has changed. I'm not sure what inconsistencies it may have added (it will probably never matter), but when searching through old logs it is a tad confusing.


The server was in Germany, now it's in the Central US timezone (I think), so that's a 7 hour gap. Right now the current server time is recorded on messages, but are we assuming that a message posted at 9am server time a year ago will still be marked as that same time in conversations? At what point did the timezone switch (I can't remember the date of the server transfer), and how did server time carry forward as the server changed? When someone has the time, it'd be nice to confirm.
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: Radovid's like you
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: but then insane
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: Dijkstra is like you

Cipheron

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Karma: +9/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 06:16:20 PM »
I think it's a little more of an issue than that.

Currently, I have a completion time on one event of "Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:05:00 -0600"

Where I am now, the local time is 4:27 AM on Sunday.

How to convert one to the other isn't intuitive, and even if I get a formula for doing so, I'd have to take into account that both my location and the server location have entirely incompatible daylight savings rules, so there could be up to 4 different time offsets depending on the time of the year, and even with a formula, it's possible to make a mistake now and then, and having to recalibrate it manually every time is just a waste of effort, when you only want to quickly know when something is finishing. Also, there's the fact that this is going to trip up just about every new player with an unnecessary obstacle to getting information they should have easily available. With a game with new player recruiting issues there's no excuse for leaving annoying things in the UI that can easily be fixed.

Another related issue is that the game mixes up ETAs in server time and game-specific time. e.g. when I first started playing, I set travel, it said "X days" to get to the next town, and I thought "geez that's slow!" And I'm not the only one. I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the knights who sign up then never log in again have been fooled by the ETA system into thinking it's going to take e.g. 2 actually real-time days to get to the nearest town, rather than 12 hours. Or if they start training and see "15 days" to train some basic troops, they're likely to think that's 15 actual days, not < 4 days. Such a sense of "slowness" might be turning a number of new players off right at the start. It would perhaps be better if the game signaled how long ETAs were in both game-time and real-time so that new players can know when to log in to continue. All the little things that turn new players off add up to a game that is counter-intuitive about things that should be immediately clear.

There are effectively two* different ETA systems, and they are ingeniously designed such that neither of them tells you how long something is actually going to take without applying a bunch of arcane math formulas that you need to memorize. Both of them display a mastery of user-interface design thinking: if the term "days" is ambiguous to new players then how do we expect that new players are going to stick around long enough to realize "oh, when it says 'days' it means '6 hours' ". That's not "good design" or "flavor" - it's just shitty design.

* in fact, the weapon production system showing as per-week rather than per-day effectively makes that a third ETA system, which is also incompatible with the other two types. Rather than per-week it would be much better to display produced weapons per-day, but have two decimal places. It will both be more accurate and easier to use: you could multiply amount produced by days remaining, to work out how many items will be finished by the time training ends without needing to add a conversion factor for weeks to days every time. Weeks being 36 hours are entirely irrelevant to anything else, they should be removed from relevance from the few remaining places they pop up, because it's not a good design decision to even have them.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 07:11:32 PM by Cipheron »

Demivar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 137
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Purveyor of cunning plans.
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 07:29:17 PM »
I think it's a little more of an issue than that.

Currently, I have a completion time on one event of "Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:05:00 -0600"

Where I am now, the local time is 4:27 AM on Sunday.

How to convert one to the other isn't intuitive, and even if I get a formula for doing so, I'd have to take into account that both my location and the server location have entirely incompatible daylight savings rules, so there could be up to 4 different time offsets depending on the time of the year, and even with a formula, it's possible to make a mistake now and then, and having to recalibrate it manually every time is just a waste of effort, when you only want to quickly know when something is finishing. Also, there's the fact that this is going to trip up just about every new player with an unnecessary obstacle to getting information they should have easily available. With a game with new player recruiting issues there's no excuse for leaving annoying things in the UI that can easily be fixed.

Another related issue is that the game mixes up ETAs in server time and game-specific time. e.g. when I first started playing, I set travel, it said "X days" to get to the next town, and I thought "geez that's slow!" And I'm not the only one. I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the knights who sign up then never log in again have been fooled by the ETA system into thinking it's going to take e.g. 2 actually real-time days to get to the nearest town, rather than 12 hours. Or if they start training and see "15 days" to train some basic troops, they're likely to think that's 15 actual days, not < 4 days. Such a sense of "slowness" might be turning a number of new players off right at the start. It would perhaps be better if the game signaled how long ETAs were in both game-time and real-time so that new players can know when to log in to continue. All the little things that turn new players off add up to a game that is counter-intuitive about things that should be immediately clear.

There are effectively two* different ETA systems, and they are ingeniously designed such that neither of them tells you how long something is actually going to take without applying a bunch of arcane math formulas that you need to memorize. Both of them display a mastery of user-interface design thinking: if the term "days" is ambiguous to new players then how do we expect that new players are going to stick around long enough to realize "oh, when it says 'days' it means '6 hours' ". That's not "good design" or "flavor" - it's just shitty design.

* in fact, the weapon production system showing as per-week rather than per-day effectively makes that a third ETA system, which is also incompatible with the other two types. Rather than per-week it would be much better to display produced weapons per-day, but have two decimal places. It will both be more accurate and easier to use: you could multiply amount produced by days remaining, to work out how many items will be finished by the time training ends without needing to add a conversion factor for weeks to days every time. Weeks being 36 hours are entirely irrelevant to anything else, they should be removed from relevance from the few remaining places they pop up, because it's not a good design decision to even have them.
DST is indeed an issue, and even I barely check when messages were sent now that the server time is it inconvenient. The bottom line is that for a big game, these features are to be expected. For M&F, weíve got one guy with a full time job trying to improve the game whilst dealing with a playerbase which is disgruntled and significantly diminished through years of the game being undeveloped and with underlying problems.

Your troop script was and is incredibly useful, but hasnít been updated in a while so still formats data differently and caps out at 198 soldiers due to the old limits before the server change. If someone could update the clock system to have live time counters which are relevant to the player then thatíd be great. Itíd be great if buttons like leave conversation actually had an are you sure? Button so that people stop leaving old conversations by accident, and itís be great if the train troops and recruit entourage pages didnít have the same text for settlement owners and people with permissions.

If people could make contributions like this then itíd be really good, but M&F just needs help for the game to benefit from improvements which are going to be made in the future. Iíve made mini contributions to text things but I donít have the necessary knowledge to actually add to the gameís code. We all saw how well the troop script was received, and the more little helping bits like it that are added to the game, the more people would enjoy it and the better player retention would be.
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: Radovid's like you
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: but then insane
22:34 - Roran Hawkins: Dijkstra is like you

Cipheron

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Karma: +9/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 10:54:45 PM »
Well I got that working, plus I added in a dynamic countdown as suggested, and then animated the progress bar too, because wth. Here's a standalone script that should do it. Features:

- currently works on http://mightandfealty.com/en/queue/ page only. Can add support for other pages if needed later.
- replaces server ETA with local timezone ETA, should use your browsers settings
- adds a countdown
- updates the percentage progress bar every second, plus shows percentages to two decimal places (it's an estimate only, just to make it clear that the value is being updated)

Code: [Select]
// ==UserScript==
// @name     Might And Fealty - Local Timezone
// @version  1
// @grant    none
// @include  *mightandfealty.com*
// ==/UserScript==

var counters = [];
if(window.location.href.indexOf("/queue/") >= 0)
{
  var q1 = document.querySelectorAll("td.progress_column + td");
  var q2 = document.querySelectorAll("div.progressbar .progress_value");
  for(i = 0; i < q1.length; ++i)
  {
    var k = q2[i].innerHTML.replace(/ \%/,'');
    var ct = new Date();
    counters.push({ 'time' : q1[i].innerHTML, 'percent' : k, 'loadtime' : ct });
  }

  updateCounters();
}

function updateCounters()
{
  var q1 = document.querySelectorAll("td.progress_column + td"); 
  var q2 = document.querySelectorAll("div.progressbar");
  for(i = 0; i < q1.length; ++i)
  {
    var date = new Date(counters[i].time);   
    var options = { weekday: 'short', day: 'numeric', month: 'short', year: 'numeric', hour12: false};
    var diff = (date - new Date())/1000; // seconds
    var sec = parseInt(diff % 60);
    var min =parseInt(diff/60)%60;
    var hr = parseInt(diff/3600);
   
    var time_fraction = (new Date() - counters[i].loadtime)/(date - counters[i].loadtime);   
    var percent_update = parseInt(counters[i].percent) + (100 - counters[i].percent) * time_fraction;
   
    q2[i].childNodes[0].innerHTML = percent_update.toFixed(2) + " %";
    q2[i].childNodes[1].style.width = percent_update.toFixed(2) + "%";
   
    q1[i].innerHTML = date.toLocaleTimeString("en-US",options) + ": <span style='color:purple'>" + ((hr<10)?"0":"") +  hr + ":" + ((min<10)?"0":"") + min + ":" + ((sec<10)?"0":"") + sec + "</span>";
  }
 
  setTimeout(updateCounters, 1000);
}

As for the other script, I will get around to updating it sometime, however as a quick fix for the old script, search for the value 200 where it appears, and replace with something arbitrarily high for now.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:12:44 PM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

  • M&F Dev Team
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3133
  • Karma: +105/-55
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 11:25:58 PM »
I think it's a little more of an issue than that.

Currently, I have a completion time on one event of "Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:05:00 -0600"

Where I am now, the local time is 4:27 AM on Sunday.

How to convert one to the other isn't intuitive, and even if I get a formula for doing so, I'd have to take into account that both my location and the server location have entirely incompatible daylight savings rules, so there could be up to 4 different time offsets depending on the time of the year, and even with a formula, it's possible to make a mistake now and then, and having to recalibrate it manually every time is just a waste of effort, when you only want to quickly know when something is finishing. Also, there's the fact that this is going to trip up just about every new player with an unnecessary obstacle to getting information they should have easily available. With a game with new player recruiting issues there's no excuse for leaving annoying things in the UI that can easily be fixed.

Another related issue is that the game mixes up ETAs in server time and game-specific time. e.g. when I first started playing, I set travel, it said "X days" to get to the next town, and I thought "geez that's slow!" And I'm not the only one. I'm pretty sure that quite a few of the knights who sign up then never log in again have been fooled by the ETA system into thinking it's going to take e.g. 2 actually real-time days to get to the nearest town, rather than 12 hours. Or if they start training and see "15 days" to train some basic troops, they're likely to think that's 15 actual days, not < 4 days. Such a sense of "slowness" might be turning a number of new players off right at the start. It would perhaps be better if the game signaled how long ETAs were in both game-time and real-time so that new players can know when to log in to continue. All the little things that turn new players off add up to a game that is counter-intuitive about things that should be immediately clear.

There are effectively two* different ETA systems, and they are ingeniously designed such that neither of them tells you how long something is actually going to take without applying a bunch of arcane math formulas that you need to memorize. Both of them display a mastery of user-interface design thinking: if the term "days" is ambiguous to new players then how do we expect that new players are going to stick around long enough to realize "oh, when it says 'days' it means '6 hours' ". That's not "good design" or "flavor" - it's just shitty design.

* in fact, the weapon production system showing as per-week rather than per-day effectively makes that a third ETA system, which is also incompatible with the other two types. Rather than per-week it would be much better to display produced weapons per-day, but have two decimal places. It will both be more accurate and easier to use: you could multiply amount produced by days remaining, to work out how many items will be finished by the time training ends without needing to add a conversion factor for weeks to days every time. Weeks being 36 hours are entirely irrelevant to anything else, they should be removed from relevance from the few remaining places they pop up, because it's not a good design decision to even have them.


Why would you do all that?Note estimation time, look at bottom of page for server time. From that you have how many hours till completion, apply that to whatever the local time is. The bigger issue for me is definitely the mixing of RL Time and IG Time. The main problem is in game time has no real resolution greater then a day. So while you can easily say something will take x.x IG days to complete, you can't easily say "Will Complete at Day XX.X Year YY, it just seems a bit clunky.


I am open for suggestions on breaking it down though so we have something we can use throughout the game. The issue then would be people will complain about how hard it is to convert IG time to RL time. So we need a good way to display the RL equivalent without ruining the immersion that trying to be consistently expressed in IG time gives.


As for the IG Weeks/Days, I would suggest that perhaps that long things like troops training and building should be expressed in weeks not just days.


Well I got that working, plus I added in a dynamic countdown as suggested, and then animated the progress bar too, because wth. Here's a standalone script that should do it. Features:

- currently works on http://mightandfealty.com/en/queue/ page only. Can add support for other pages if needed later.
- replaces server ETA with local timezone ETA, should use your browsers settings
- adds a countdown
- updates the percentage progress bar every second, plus shows percentages to two decimal places (it's an estimate only, just to make it clear that the value is being updated)

Code: [Select]
// ==UserScript==
// @name     Might And Fealty - Local Timezone
// @version  1
// @grant    none
// @include  *mightandfealty.com*
// ==/UserScript==

var counters = [];
if(window.location.href.indexOf("/queue/") >= 0)
{
  var q1 = document.querySelectorAll("td.progress_column + td");
  var q2 = document.querySelectorAll("div.progressbar .progress_value");
  for(i = 0; i < q1.length; ++i)
  {
    var k = q2[i].innerHTML.replace(/ \%/,'');
    var ct = new Date();
    counters.push({ 'time' : q1[i].innerHTML, 'percent' : k, 'loadtime' : ct });
  }

  updateCounters();
}

function updateCounters()
{
  var q1 = document.querySelectorAll("td.progress_column + td"); 
  var q2 = document.querySelectorAll("div.progressbar");
  for(i = 0; i < q1.length; ++i)
  {
    var date = new Date(counters[i].time);   
    var options = { weekday: 'short', day: 'numeric', month: 'short', year: 'numeric', hour12: false};
    var diff = (date - new Date())/1000; // seconds
    var sec = parseInt(diff % 60);
    var min =parseInt(diff/60)%60;
    var hr = parseInt(diff/3600);
   
    var time_fraction = (new Date() - counters[i].loadtime)/(date - counters[i].loadtime);   
    var percent_update = parseInt(counters[i].percent) + (100 - counters[i].percent) * time_fraction;
   
    q2[i].childNodes[0].innerHTML = percent_update.toFixed(2) + " %";
    q2[i].childNodes[1].style.width = percent_update.toFixed(2) + "%";
   
    q1[i].innerHTML = date.toLocaleTimeString("en-US",options) + ": <span style='color:purple'>" + ((hr<10)?"0":"") +  hr + ":" + ((min<10)?"0":"") + min + ":" + ((sec<10)?"0":"") + sec + "</span>";
  }
 
  setTimeout(updateCounters, 1000);
}

As for the other script, I will get around to updating it sometime, however as a quick fix for the old script, search for the value 200 where it appears, and replace with something arbitrarily high for now.


Demivar and I spoke about this earlier. It is completely possible to have the server deliver the correct time to the browser so long as people are willing to set their time zones. It is mostly a personal preference but I prefer to have this stuff done before the page is rendered rather then use javascript.
He who was once known as Blackfyre

Constantine

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
  • Karma: +19/-10
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 11:33:08 PM »
Note estimation time, look at bottom of page for server time. From that you have how many hours till completion, apply that to whatever the local time is.
Alternatively the game could instantly tell you how many hours till completion remains.

De-Legro

  • M&F Dev Team
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3133
  • Karma: +105/-55
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 11:35:52 PM »
Alternatively the game could instantly tell you how many hours till completion remains.


Yes it could, I have no issue with that. We could always divide a day into six intervals and provide info in that if people want something IG rather than hours. I am not arguing against that, just pointing out that time zones etc are irrelevant to determining the ETA's based on the information currently given.
He who was once known as Blackfyre

Cipheron

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Karma: +9/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 11:46:31 PM »
sure, the information is there, but it's not convenient to have to do a subtraction, for the server time hours, to work out how long it's going to take, then to add that to your local time, just to work out when something is going to happen. If you want it accurate, then you have to handle things like carrying over minutes and hours too, for both legs of the equation, so it's more than just a subtraction and an addition: that can get complex:

- subtract the server minutes from the target minutes, and handle the wrap-around / carry in case it goes below 0 minutes (e.g. add 60, and carry the 1).
- next, subtract the server hour from the target hour, add in the carry bit. Now, you have the ETA in hours and minutes. Yay.
- now, to get the local time to completion, add the ETA minutes to local minutes, and if it overflows 60 minutes, subtract 60 from it, then add 1 to hours
- now, add ETA hours to local hours, and it if overflows 24 hours, subtract 24, and add one to the day

Worst-case scenario there is that you needed to do 11 additions/subtractions, just to get the ETA in local time! It's just being silly not to provide the information in an accessible manner.

In fact, it would be nice if on the main character page it shows an actual ETA next to each character with a queued action, e.g. see a countdown next to each mention of travel, annex, battle etc. Basically it's a waste of time to force people to open up each and every character they have and navigate through multiple pages just to see "ah, <thing> isn't finished yet". Common sense would suggest it would be better to give an estimate of completion for each character's current action on the main character screen.

Some people do in fact have slow as fuck connections, which are charged per the megabyte. If I can play a game that doesn't force me to open up multiple pages just to find out that nothing has actually happened yet, I save both time and money. Make the available information on all ETAs more conveniently located on the main character page then all of the problems mentioned basically go away, such as new players not knowing how the day cycle works: you can see how long until each character arrives where they are going, without needing to open up each one, then only access the characters for whom you can actually set up interesting things.

Right now, if I'm not in the game, i just know several characters are "travel"ing and have no real information about when they're going to arrive and I should come back to the game to get stuff done. Unless I wrote the "days travel" amount down for every character when I set travel, no other information about when they're going to arrive appears unless i open up each and every character to check. That's just a gap in the design, it serves no benefit to the game by being obtuse.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 11:58:37 PM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

  • M&F Dev Team
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3133
  • Karma: +105/-55
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2017, 12:04:27 AM »
sure, the information is there, but it's not convenient to have to do a subtraction, for the server time hours, to work out how long it's going to take, then to add that to your local time, just to work out when something is going to happen. If you want it accurate, then you have to handle things like carrying over minutes and hours too, for both legs of the equation, so it's more than just a subtraction and an addition: that can get complex:

- subtract the server minutes from the target minutes, and handle the wrap-around / carry in case it goes below 0 minutes (e.g. add 60, and carry the 1).
- next, subtract the server hour from the target hour, add in the carry bit. Now, you have the ETA in hours and minutes. Yay.
- now, to get the local time to completion, add the ETA minutes to local minutes, and if it overflows 60 minutes, subtract 60 from it, then add 1 to hours
- now, add ETA hours to local hours, and it if overflows 24 hours, subtract 24, and add one to the day

Worst-case scenario there is that you needed to do 11 additions/subtractions, just to get the ETA in local time! It's just being silly not to provide the information in an accessible manner.

In fact, it would be nice if on the main character page it shows an actual ETA next to each character with a queued action, e.g. see a countdown next to each mention of travel, annex, battle etc. Basically it's a waste of time to force people to open up each and every character they have and navigate through multiple pages just to see "ah, <thing> isn't finished yet". Common sense would suggest it would be better to give an estimate of completion for each character's current action on the main character screen.

Some people do in fact have slow as fuck connections, which are charged per the megabyte. If I can play a game that doesn't force me to open up multiple pages just to find out that nothing has actually happened yet, I save both time and money. Make the available information on all ETAs more conveniently located on the main character page then all of the problems mentioned basically go away, such as new players not knowing how the day cycle works: you can see how long until each character arrives where they are going, without needing to open up each one, then only access the characters for whom you can actually set up interesting things.

Right now, if I'm not in the game, i just know several characters are "travel"ing and have no real information about when they're going to arrive and I should come back to the game to get stuff done. Unless I wrote the "days travel" amount down for every character when I set travel, no other information about when they're going to arrive appears unless i open up each and every character to check. That's just a gap in the design, it serves no benefit to the game by being obtuse.


Well it did, in Tom logic. Toms logic was always to make things harder the more characters you had. A prime part of that was forcing you to log into characters to get updates on them. Having a lot of information posted on the character page makes playing 50 or more characters much much simpler. That is why he only ever displayed what he considered the most important statuses, battle, travel etc.


As to if that is still a design consideration, I don't know I haven't talked to Andrew about it. My preference has simply been to reduce the total number of characters that you can play at a maximum so that issues of scale become less relevant.
He who was once known as Blackfyre

Cipheron

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
  • Karma: +9/-4
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2017, 12:27:21 AM »
Yeah, it's a good intention, however using "shitty interface" as the way to gate content leaves a lot to be desired, since making it hard to know when things are happening also hurts new players with only a few characters from getting precise information about when they can do stuff. If they did get just the ETA on actions on the main page, then it cuts through all the specialized knowledge you need to gain to work that out.

It also begs the question, if they're offering a 50-character mega account for more money, but the game actively conspires to make playing that suck as much as possible, from a user-interface point of view, why that option even exists.

Personally, I also think that smaller character limits would be a good thing. With less characters, people will be more invested in each character, and things like cross-account marriages will be more appealing.

thinking about it, one system that could work is to switch completely to town slots instead of character slots. e.g. 12 town slots for a free account. However, you need to allocate at least three town slots to each character you create (to avoid the potential problem of not being able to take a town with a new knight). This would mean a free account could make between 1-4 characters, with up to 12 towns between them. Sure, most people could continue to play as before, but you wouldn't be forced to create all 4 of your theoretical characters just to get your 12 towns. A possible extension of that would be to make it so each additional character costs one extra town slot than they can control. e.g. make it so a single-character free account gets 15 slots, but each additional character you make gets three town slots, but costs 4 slots. So you get some material benefit for making a few less characters. Then, the paid tiers can be based on this concept scaled up.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 12:45:46 AM by Cipheron »

De-Legro

  • M&F Dev Team
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3133
  • Karma: +105/-55
    • View Profile
Re: Convenience tweak for players from different timezones
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2017, 12:46:57 AM »
Yeah, it's a good intention, however using "shitty interface" as the way to gate content leaves a lot to be desired, since making it hard to know when things are happening also hurts new players with only a few characters from getting precise information about when they can do stuff. If they did get just the ETA on actions on the main page, then it cuts through all the specialized knowledge you need to gain to work that out.

It also begs the question, if they're offering a 50-character mega account for more money, but the game actively conspires to make playing that suck as much as possible, from a user-interface point of view, why that option even exists.

Personally, I also think that smaller character limits would be a good thing. With less characters, people will be more invested in each character, and things like cross-account marriages will be more appealing. e.g. thinking about it, one system that could work for free accounts is - 12 town limit, no character limit, but you must have 3 free town slots to create a new character. Then, you can choose to either spawn one character, who can take up to 12 towns, or 4 characters with 3 towns each, or somewhere in the middle. This would avoid character-spam just to get your allocation of towns, but you'd still be free to do so if you really wanted.


Tom was quite clear on his logic regarding accounts. Originally I should note that the top tier had no character limit at all. Tom didn't want to restrict people if lots and lots of characters is what they wanted to do. Yet he recognized the potential power imbalance that creates and so run the concept of increasing the "burden" on a player if they decide to have large numbers of characters. The cost factor plays into that too, but mostly that was along the lines of user pays logic, you are consuming more of the game resources, so you pay more.


It may indeed be a shitty way, but it is effective and relatively cheap in terms of implementation time, ideal for a ambitious project that never had full time attention from its creator. To remove it would require the addition of other systems to achieve the same goal, and as we all know Tom rarely had much time to make such new systems, there was plenty that did and still does need fixing with existing systems.


So yes while it would be relatively simple to provide ETA's along with the event info on the character page, it needs to be done within the context of competing needs, assuming we still wish to follow Tom's idea of making more characters a larger burden on the player.
He who was once known as Blackfyre