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wrs1864b

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A tale of two games Reply to this Post
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OOO has several games, but the only two that have been even moderately popular are Puzzle Pirates and Spiral Knights.

Spiral Knights went public on 2011-04-04. Since then, there have been the following major upgrades:
  • Many weapons added, others rebalanced
  • In under a month from when it became clear that the game really needed it, an auction house was added. The fees for listing/buying represent a *very* important crown sink (PoE sink), greatly reducing inflation.
  • Achievements added (basically the same as trophies)
  • New boss level: Snarby (basically like adding CI, HS, vikings, etc.) A bunch of new weapons/armor added along with the boss
  • Steam integration. Not just Steam accounts, but you can also voice chat with other steam players through SK by pushing a key. You can also trade items across steam games, so if you are bored with, say, Team Fortress 2, you can trade assets with someone who plays SK.
  • Many new levels added, old ones improved, new danger rooms, etc. (similar different bnav boards, or variations on puzzles like boxing).
  • new boss level: Roarmulus Twins (again, similar to adding SMH/vikings, etc.) And, again, a bunh of new weapons/armor
  • PvP added to the game. This is similar to the parlor puzzles, the regular game has no PvP ability, something that apparently isn't missed at all. The first PvP game is similar to bomberman. Lots of new gear added as a bonus for playing PvP
  • There have been several Steam tie-ins, where people are encouraged to at least try out SK in order to get rewards on other Steam games. For example, playing a PvP game got you a hat (I think) in TF2.
  • Accessories added. Think of these as clothing. They aren't functional, but they change your appearance.
  • Another new PvP game added: lockdown. This is similar to blockading, where each team has to capture and control flags. Unlike blockading (even event blockades), these are easy for everyone to do the equivalent of bnav.
  • Lock boxes, which are similar to blackboxes in YPP
  • Shadow Lairs. Upgraded versions of all boss levels, think of SMH/HS where the shallow end is as hard as the normal deep end, but the shadow lair versions of the boss are more different than SMH is from HS.
  • Arsenal stations, elevator passes, reviving blasts. (hard to compare with YPP stuff, but important to SK's game play)
  • featured auctions at the SK auction house. It is kind of like the monthly OM familiar auctions, only automated and lots of new, limited edition stuff added. It is a great pure crown sink (PoE sink), much like OM familiar auctions.
  • event hub, European servers, drones
  • Missions. Somewhat like YPP's navy missions, but far more extensive/fun.

In total, there have been about 60 releases for SK

In contrast, since 2011-04-04, there have been the following YPP releases
  • BK expos, Madam Yu Jian, Fanchun
  • Rogue marks
  • Ship salvaging
  • Payments can be made in-game, to match what SK had at its release
  • Limited Steam integration (no voice chat, no trading)
  • Citadel tweaks
  • Werewolves
  • Ocean mergers

In total, there have been about 10 releases of YPP

I confess, I really stretched the items listed on the YPP releases. Most of the things on the YPP list would not have been major enough to note on the SK list. Ship salvaging, citadel tweaks and werewolves combined aren't as major as SK's binding/unbinding changes, and I haven't mentioned other major things like SK's UV changes, or SK's major revamping of the bosses that have happened in the last year.

The tie-ins with Steam are really important. Right now, if someone gets bored with SK and wants to try another game, it is *FAR* easier for them to move to another company's game than it is to move to YPP. Spiral Knights has also gotten a very large number of players from the steam tie-ins, while YPP got a small blip. If YPP had gotten as many players from Steam as SK did, each ocean would have had another 300-750+ players, making ocean merging unnecessary.

On SK, people complain bitterly if some of the other players in their party want to do the equivalent of passing up a bnav with an over-sized WB instead of waiting a few minutes for a dhow. The idea of having to wait 5-25 minutes to have fun is recognized as being unacceptably long.

In contrast, it took the release of werewolves for the YPP team reduce the "bored monster" time to 5 minutes, the level that was originally proposed by a player in GD two years ago. The YPP team started out with one monster leaving every 25 minutes! And *still*, with 5 minute time, you can easily wait 30 minutes or more to start to have fun. A SK player can start a solo party within a minute of loading the game and pick up additional party members over time, you *still* can't effectively do a sloop pillage solo and it won't really be fun/profitable until you have 5 in your pillage. SK's parties are fun/profitable with any number of players. (OK, SK has a limit of 4 in the PvE and 16 in the PvP parts, but that isn't really important.) The SK forums would explode if OOO decided you needed to wait a hour or more to load a ship for a boss level.

Seriously, in less than one year, SK has more enhancements than YPP has had in the last 3+ years, and the SK team has paid far more attention to the little bugs. Half the "minor game annoyances" thread on GD would be gone if the YPP team had done as much as the SK team has done in the last year.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by wrs1864b at Feb 23, 2012 7:15:41 AM]
[Feb 23, 2012 6:39:48 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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Re: A tale of two games Reply to this Post
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Do you expect a game as old as Puzzle Pirates to get the same amount of updates as Spiral Knights?

Aye, it would have been nice if we'd had an auction house or more PvP stuff here but it's a bit late for all that now.
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Peglegpaul
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by bronzebeard at Feb 23, 2012 8:27:46 AM]
[Feb 23, 2012 8:27:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Do you expect a game as old as Puzzle Pirates to get the same amount of updates as Spiral Knights?

Uh, yes. Yes I do. WoW has been around as long as YPP and it gets lots of updates.

 
Aye, it would have been nice if we'd had an auction house or more PvP stuff here but it's a bit late for all that now.

No, I don't think it is too late. Not even close. If OOO can afford to do that much development on SK, they should be able to do at least half as much on YPP. It is *because* OOO has done so little development on YPP for so many years that last year, OOO had to do almost nothing but the merging of the oceans.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 23, 2012 8:51:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Dylan

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Re: A tale of two games Reply to this Post
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Uh, yes. Yes I do. WoW has been around as long as YPP and it gets lots of updates.


I'm pretty sure that all WoW players are subscribers, and that they actually need to pay for some of those updates with cold hard cash (or a soft momma's credit card).

And you, of all people, should know how much harder it is to add features - without breaking existing ones - to an older product. Mythical Man Month and all that.

I'd like to see YPP "finished" rather than new features added, because it is a perfectly good game which doesn't need too many features. But oh well.
[Feb 23, 2012 9:09:23 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Uh, yes. Yes I do. WoW has been around as long as YPP and it gets lots of updates.

I'm pretty sure that all WoW players are subscribers,{...}

You completely missed the point. I used WoW as a counter-example of the claim that you can't expect old games to get many updates. Sure, WoW has more players, so what? Both SK and YPP are developed by OOO. OOO gets to determine where resources are placed, and it clearly isn't on YPP.

 
And you, of all people, should know how much harder it is to add features - without breaking existing ones - to an older product. Mythical Man Month and all that.

Yes and no. The problem with larger systems that make them harder to develop and improve is with the quadratic/exponential growth in interconnections with different parts of the game. Some new features hit this problem, others don't.

For example, it doesn't surprise me at all that merging oceans appears to have been a classic Small Matter of Programming, where the changes apparent to end users is small but the amount of actual work can be huge. It is of no surprise to me that it appears that it took OOO the better part of the year to do and I'm very thankful that such a small number of bugs made it into production.

The change into the "monster bored" timer, on the other hand, is an example of OOO just not caring about how long it takes for people to have fun. From right after the "bored" timer was introduced, a ringer said that it was easily adjustable and would be adjusted as needed. Not only that, over the years, it was adjusted for certain events. The fact that it took two years for OOO to adjust it to what an experienced player first suggested the timer should be is not due to some huge amount of programming on an old code base.

An auction house, for example, could be made to be quite independent of the reset of the game, and be no harder to create than the island attraction halls OOO has added. Another example is that OOO had no problem raising the crew cut-off on cutters up by one, there is little evidence that raising it for sloops would be a lot of programming.

Sure, finding a new PvP system that increases the amount of fun by a majority of players might be very hard to do because it interacts with all the other ocean-bound stuff. I'm not surprised at all that OOO has said that it would be hard to make a "bnav table" as a parlor game.

So, yeah, OOO would have to pick and choose which features to add to YPP, but it I strongly suspect that a lot of the "minor GD annoyance" could be cleared up quickly, if OOO chose to.

Gah, sorry for the rants, I'm just tired of seeing SK get all the cool updates.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 23, 2012 9:57:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hillsmen

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WoW and YPP is a awful comparison.

YPP is not going to get as many updates. Any company trying to promote a new item as big as SK was will pay a lot more attention to it. More than likely it had more members, and last I checked the amount of players here is falling.
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[Feb 23, 2012 12:59:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: A tale of two games Reply to this Post
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WoW and YPP is a awful comparison. YPP is not going to get as many updates.

Again, I didn't compare WoW to YPP. I used WoW as a counter-example to the claim that old games don't get updated.

 
Any company trying to promote a new item as big as SK was will pay a lot more attention to it. More than likely it had more members, and last I checked the amount of players here is falling.

It has been several months since I checked the numbers, so my data is a little bit dated. The player levels went something like this

Apr and May 2011 - SK player levels slightly below YPP
Jun 2011 - SK was put on steam and had maybe 3 times as many players as YPP
Jul, Aug, Sept 2011 - SK player levels steadily drop
Oct 2011 - SK has slightly fewer players than YPP
Nov, Dec 2011 - SK players level out had stay around YPP levels

It wouldn't surprise me of YPP levels have gone up after the merger and YPP is now now even higher than YPP.

So, same company, roughly the same amount of players for quite a while, one development team delivers *SIGNIFICANTLY* more than the other.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 23, 2012 1:34:59 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Pauling

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In all fairness, SK also has a lot more low hanging fruit. You cite the ability to do things like sell to other players, but that's been a mainstay of YPP for many years, while things like steam integration are easier to design in at the start rather than shoehorn in later.

Also, remember that SK was silently in development for quite a long time before being released, and at least some of the dungeon and item releases had been quietly waiting in the wings (or buried in game files) for many months before going live.

Do I wish that there were more genuinely new features in YPP? Absolutely. But comparing a feature rich and mature game's dev cycle to three years of pent-up dev activity isn't a fair comparison. For now, the pressure was really on OOO to demonstrate a second big hit after the fizzling of Bang Howdy ("that game with the forums about tooth whitening") and Whirled.

Hopefully, the recent ocean merge will generate enough activity to convince OOO to invest more time and dev energy in genuinely new features and gameplay aspects.
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[Feb 23, 2012 5:07:39 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Stephensam

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Remember, now that Sega has purchased OOO they are far more likely to put their efforts towards projects that are part-Sega games (i.e. Spiral Knights). When OOO became part of Sega, they vowed to continue business as usual on Puzzle Pirates. Business as usual on Puzzle Pirates has been minor updates and Limited Edition items (the ships, colors and all that). I'd like more attention on Puzzle Pirates, but I can't say that I would expect it.
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kjdk

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Remember, now that Sega has purchased OOO they are far more likely to put their efforts towards projects that are part-Sega games (i.e. Spiral Knights). When OOO became part of Sega, they vowed to continue business as usual on Puzzle Pirates. Business as usual on Puzzle Pirates has been minor updates and Limited Edition items (the ships, colors and all that). I'd like more attention on Puzzle Pirates, but I can't say that I would expect it.


Correct me if i am wrong but didn't Sega purchase OOO over 3 months ago ? Yea we would all like updates to our game but most of us have just come to terms that is is not going to happen. Ypp is old SK is new and they just went on to the next bigger/better thing, It is a Company that's what they do. $
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[Feb 23, 2012 8:42:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Karnisov

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Algol wrote: 
stuff about OOO neglecting PP


yeah. the only way you can get OOO attention is by shutting your wallet until they start giving the game real dev time.

they've neglected the game for this long because paying customers don't hold them accountable.

their other neglected games haven't been shut down, so if we stop buying dubs there is little risk of PP going under. they will just let it limp along like they always have.
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Karnisov
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Karnisov at Feb 24, 2012 7:44:30 PM]
[Feb 24, 2012 7:43:45 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roleni

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The mere fact that some of us are still insane enough to play YPP after as much as the majority of a decade suggests that more money *could* have been made, if more effort was made. Better late than never, after all.
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[Feb 24, 2012 7:44:20 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jezzebel

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It seems like it would be more comparable if you measured the amount of updates YPP had from its public launch to ... however long SK has been out. You're comparing updates released at the beginning of a game's life to releases after many years. I don't think that's an entirely valid comparison.
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[Feb 24, 2012 7:47:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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The mere fact that some of us are still insane enough to play YPP after as much as the majority of a decade suggests that more money *could* have been made, if more effort was made. Better late than never, after all.

In my experience, YPP was a *FAR* deeper game in beta than SK is now. I've spent more time on SK playing new missions in the last week, but I returned to YPP because even after 5 years, I have things I want to do on YPP.

 
It seems like it would be more comparable if you measured the amount of updates YPP had from its public launch to ... however long SK has been out.

I'm not really sure that is valid since OOO of 6+ years ago isn't the OOO of today. And, again, there are still many things on YPP that would take very little time to change, even though the code base is old. Taking 2 years to lower the "monster bored" time, and not even testing raising swabbie crew cut-off limits are two examples of very low coding requirements that OOO could have done. It appears that the YPP team really doesn't get it that waiting a long time to have fun is a real turn-off.

It is clear that OOO of today is either not putting as many resources into YPP as SK, or (much less likely) the resources they have are far better on the SK team.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 25, 2012 5:03:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
HiimEric2001

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You are complaining (at least in part) that there are many low-resource things OOO can do to improve Y!PP. If that is the case, then SK having a ton of resource investment isn't a problem.

If it wasn't lack of resources, then why didn't OOO change the bored monster time sooner? Why didn't they adjust the cutter staffing earlier? You said those weren't a manner of resources. So what was it? Find that out and you'll find out the real problem.

Or maybe there isn't a problem. Maybe OOO invested eons of coding time to merge the oceans because they believe they can see the game reach a second peak.

Or maybe, no matter what they do, YPP's best days are behind it, and they aren't going to get as many people excited about the game as they had half a decade ago, and this is just what happens to games in this part of their life cycle.

*shrug*
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redfly

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considering how few people play puzzle pirates, and how little money that must subsequently bring in (compared to say, eve, a similarly deep game), it's amazing we get anything at all.

Also it seems as though you have two separate complaints - the lack of meaty updates like atlantis and the lack of 'easy fixes' like the monster timer being done. To the first one yes a lack of resources seems most likely (but as I say, what they're doing with what must be tiny resources is impressive). To the second one if they truly are easy fixes (like increasing swabby numbers) then they must just be against the philosophy the ringers want for the game... that's not something you can "fix" that's just a philosophy. However, I too would like to see some changes that live within that philosophy yet attack the problem of the amount of waiting in the game.

Edit: remembering how proud they were about SK being whipped together by five people, I doubt that your list of SK updates vs YPP updates proves preferential resource allocation. As to why spiral knights gets something like better steam integration than puzzle pirates... yes, lame.

hopefully the extensive effort to merge the oceans is a sign of increasing investment, not of consolidating losses.


also does anyone else miss bang howdy?! i liked that game... at least the good parts = /
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Redfly
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by redfly at Feb 25, 2012 1:26:20 PM]
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Ebon_Sol

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If there's one update that I'd like to see YPP get, it's more puzzles. The game's been around for years, and yet we still don't have a puzzle for every labor activity. You'd think that with a game called PUZZLE Pirates, that they'd want to add new puzzles as often as they could, to help keep the game fresh. Yet, the additions have been few and far between.

I do agree about the need for some tweaks to the waiting aspect of the game, although I would be hard pressed to come up with some suggestions in that respect.
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Ebonsol of the Midnight / Cerulean ocean
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Ebon_Sol at Feb 25, 2012 4:10:18 PM]
[Feb 25, 2012 4:08:01 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Pauling

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If there's one update that I'd like to see YPP get, it's more puzzles. The game's been around for years, and yet we still don't have a puzzle for every labor activity. You'd think that with a game called PUZZLE Pirates, that they'd want to add new puzzles as often as they could, to help keep the game fresh. Yet, the additions have been few and far between.

I do agree about the need for some tweaks to the waiting aspect of the game, although I would be hard pressed to come up with some suggestions in that respect.


There was talk about adding still more labor puzzles after IM, weaving, and foraging... but the devs eventually stated that the labor puzzles were played far, far less than others. Thus in place of more labor puzzles, they spent the time on Atlantis, and CIs, and Haunted isles, and Chocolate class sloops with built-in chocolate bunnies, and... other stuff that was more likely to be enjoyed by the masses, basically.
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[Feb 25, 2012 8:40:13 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hillsmen

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The last new puzzle added was a disaster.
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Captainrich
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The last new puzzle added was a disaster.

Rigs?
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Belthazar451

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April 13th, 2009.
February 25th, 2010.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Belthazar451 at Feb 27, 2012 4:30:25 AM]
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xelto

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The last new puzzle added was a disaster.

/me likes the monkey he won from a weaving competition.
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[Feb 27, 2012 4:43:31 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Both Cire and Redfly wrote: 
Also it seems as though you have two separate complaints - the lack of meaty updates like atlantis and the lack of 'easy fixes' like the monster timer being done. To the first one yes a lack of resources seems most likely (but as I say, what they're doing with what must be tiny resources is impressive). To the second one if they truly are easy fixes (like increasing swabby numbers) then they must just be against the philosophy the ringers want for the game... that's not something you can "fix" that's just a philosophy. However, I too would like to see some changes that live within that philosophy yet attack the problem of the amount of waiting in the game.

I initially interpreted the lack of fixes to low-resource bus/features as a lack of resources. There is a limit on how many programmers can work on a single feature, a "too many cooks spoil the broth" situation.

If your team has enough resources, you can easily saturate the number of programmers on the big, "meaty" features and have at least one or two who have to go off and do the simple, quick to fix projects. I figured that SK was in this situation. If YPP has many fewer resources, the big features may never get saturated and thus they don't have time to fix simple stuff.

It could be, however, a philosophical difference in management. The SK team may realize that fixing the simple things that get complained about on the forums leads to happier forum posters, and happy vocal players give free positive advertising, while unhappy vocal players throw a wet towel on the whole game. So, the SK team may aways try to pick at least a few of the low-hanging fruit off, even if that means the big changes don't get done as quickly.

Of course you can't make everyone happy, but the tone of the average player on YPP for years now has been "the game is dying", "OOO doesn't care" and "yeah, that part of the game is broken, but it will never be fixed", which is quite different than either SK or YPP when I first started. If you talk to SK players, or YPP players when I first started, the attitude was "oh, yeah, that's broken, but OOO will get to it, it isn't that bad", or "yeah, but I'm too busying playing new content to care about that problem".

Or, it may be that the YPP team really doesn't give much weight to how the game goes from long periods of waiting to have fun, to long, non-stop puzzling for everyone but the bnavver (and sometimes gunners/defenders).

 
 
The last new puzzle added was a disaster.

/me likes the monkey he won from a weaving competition.

I think weaving is a funner puzzle than blacksmithing, but it is broken. I recently tried weaving again, and still found that it is still the case that you can often get expert labor and incredible performance in weaving by playing purely randomly. Any puzzle where 60-70% of the players do *worse* than if they played randomly, is seriously broken.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Feb 27, 2012 5:45:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Pauling

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Speaking of resources, the whole premise of this is misleading. Three Rings has to divide their resources between far more than "two" games:

-Y!PP
-Whirled (still receives occasional updates)
-Spiral Knights (new, and will require much development to come anywhere near feature parity with YPP)
-Doctor Who: Worlds in Time- actively under development for release. (cephalopod seems to working on it!)
-Assorted Facebook games whose status I do not know
-Additional smaller initiatives, such as Corpse Craft for the iPad

If they want any of these games to last half as long as YPP has, then it's not surprising that the devs are busy, and on far more than just *one* other game. With so much new investment not yet generating returns yet, they wouldn't have the revenue to support full-speed development of every side project at the same time, no matter how much they want to.
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Pauling of the Lost Lot, Sagemerald
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Puppetar (and drawing of secret Blackthorpe plans) by the talented Tilinka
[Feb 27, 2012 8:18:43 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Hillsmen

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Weaving.
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Captainrich
[Feb 27, 2012 8:57:08 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Karnisov

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The last new puzzle added was a disaster.


/agree. weaving is such a bad puzzle that OOO should be ashamed for adding it.
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Karnisov
flinging poo on the forums because its more fun than playing your broken game
[Feb 27, 2012 9:48:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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The original weaving puzzle which was designed by players for OOO (because they didn't want to waste resources on something they didn't think were that important) had lots of patterns that you had to try and match up and was much less random, but for some reason when they implemented it, OOO got rid of all that depth. Maybe that's why the other crafting puzzles, which have already been designed for them too, are taking so long; they're trying to find a way to redesign them so everyone can feel like they're doing well at them rather than having to face any sort of challenge which might make them log off forever!

It wouldn't be the first instance of this dumbing down either. They took bilge, and came up with the random-clicking treasure haul. They've also changed swordfight (in my opinion, still the best puzzle this game has) in Doctor Who into a game with awful controls, lag, confusing colours and enemies that die with what would be the equivalent here of a 2x2 bingo. Plus they have a simpler version of a rumble type game over there.

The philosophy seems to be instant gratification to try and keep some greenies I suppose, which seems to be borne out in many other changes to the game in recent times.
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Peglegpaul
Now on Obsidian!
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[Edit 3 times, last edit by bronzebeard at Feb 27, 2012 12:19:25 PM]
[Feb 27, 2012 11:56:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Roleni

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Honestly, I rarely play Weaving because I find the graphics rather boring. >_> Seems silly, I know, but it's very very basic...and no real exciting animations, either.
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Thalatta & others

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Hera tells ye, "Purple is the most awesome colour ever!"
[Feb 27, 2012 9:24:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Stephensam

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Honestly, I rarely play Weaving because I find the graphics rather boring. >_> Seems silly, I know, but it's very very basic...and no real exciting animations, either.

When it comes to exciting animations, nothing beats the monkey piece in foraging :P
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Stevensam -Cobalt Native, founder and host of The PoE is Right. Creator of Lime Day.
[Feb 28, 2012 12:26:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://yppedia.puzzlepirates.com/Stevensam [Link]  Go to top 
Ameranth

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When it comes to exciting animations, nothing beats the monkey piece in foraging :P

Unless it happens during CI forage, and then you just want to hit the monkey til it stops animating.
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Ameranth of Viridian Meridian
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[Feb 28, 2012 11:28:24 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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