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SilveRansom

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Re: Blacksmithing puzzle Reply to this Post
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All it means is that you need a better scoring system. It's still not perfectly solvable, as Distilling seems to be, since there's a cap of CC12 (which has been changed somewhat anyways). Given the randomness of the struck pieces, there's no optimal path through the maze, and no "perfect solution". Given a sufficiently grained/differentiated scoring system, the "ease" of scoring can be turned into a way to distinguish between scores. Make the path through the maze count, like piece usage efficiency and order of operation, and that's another way of differentiating scores. It could be done, it just means more work.

As for clumping scores, it's really little different, as now we likely simply have greater clumping at lower chain values with luck too heavily involved in making larger chains. Spreading the scoring throughout the session may well give better ways to distinguish scores and even out the curve. Giving more control to the player means skill in using what you have would be more relevant, instead of relying on luck and probabilities to gamble on the future. That's a key in my mind; puzzles are more interesting (to me, a strategic mind) when you have the tools in front of you, and you don't have to read the designer's mind or fight with a silly RNG.

The "ease" would be in moving through the maze, and in understanding the puzzle mechanics. That's desirable, as it gets people up and running and less frustrated with the mechanics of the puzzle. Scoring combos would be a bit easier, but I doubt it would be enough to make things substantially different than we have now. The scoring curve might be shifted slightly higher overall, but the distribution, the key to the ratings, would likely be similar.
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Silveransom
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[Edit 2 times, last edit by SilveRansom at Jul 19, 2007 3:29:00 PM]
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Flamez911

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Here's my (probably some sort of meager) best blacksmithing puzzle, I got a few extra sets, but the screenies are just the highlights. I think it ended on a "Keen Edge" (nearly finished).

The first big combo...


And the followup...


And the duty report at the end, a resounding "Incredible".

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-Flamer, reloaded.

Currently in the process of arising from the grave. Hope to see people around more :)
[Jul 19, 2007 3:43:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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All it means is that you need a better scoring system. It's still not perfectly solvable, as Distilling seems to be, since there's a cap of CC12 (which has been changed somewhat anyways). Given the randomness of the struck pieces, there's no optimal path through the maze, and no "perfect solution". Given a sufficiently grained/differentiated scoring system, the "ease" of scoring can be turned into a way to distinguish between scores. Make the path through the maze count, like piece usage efficiency and order of operation, and that's another way of differentiating scores. It could be done, it just means more work.

As for clumping scores, it's really little different, as now we likely simply have greater clumping at lower chain values with luck too heavily involved in making larger chains. Spreading the scoring throughout the session may well give better ways to distinguish scores and even out the curve. Giving more control to the player means skill in using what you have would be more relevant, instead of relying on luck and probabilities to gamble on the future. That's a key in my mind; puzzles are more interesting (to me, a strategic mind) when you have the tools in front of you, and you don't have to read the designer's mind or fight with a silly RNG.

The "ease" would be in moving through the maze, and in understanding the puzzle mechanics. That's desirable, as it gets people up and running and less frustrated with the mechanics of the puzzle. Scoring combos would be a bit easier, but I doubt it would be enough to make things substantially different than we have now. The scoring curve might be shifted slightly higher overall, but the distribution, the key to the ratings, would likely be similar.


I hope everyone realizes that if they are too busy complaining that the game involves too much luck, then they aren't trying hard enough to overcome the luck with skill.

I am seeing a lot of strategies that are lacking abstract thought, and aren't focusing on maximizing score. "Hoping for the best" is not focusing on maximizing score. Giving generalizations like "get rid of '4's ASAP", or "try to clear the middle first", are completely ignoring any attempts of getting 4-piece sets to appear on the board.

Doing things like removing the chess piece restrictions would just allow people to be lazy, since they wouldn't need to think as hard to make the 4 piece sets. I'm really not sure why so many people lack the math ability to realize that trying to get 4-piece sets to appear on the board is in fact skill. Just because it's not a 100% probability, doesn't mean that it's completely devoid of skill.

What the current system does is clump the people together that aren't trying to make 4-piece sets appear on the board, which is fine by me since they aren't really playing the full game.
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[Jul 19, 2007 7:17:27 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Patetch

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What does this do to the theories about scoring?
I just played a game where I did not have a 4 until strike 48, at which time I successfully linked two sets for a ferrous. Then I never got another four the entire game, so obviously I did not get to alternate any other sets. I ended up with 5 silver pieces and a keen edge, making an incredible.
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Pletoo of Sage
[Jul 19, 2007 8:36:51 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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What does this do to the theories about scoring?
I just played a game where I did not have a 4 until strike 48, at which time I successfully linked two sets for a ferrous. Then I never got another four the entire game, so obviously I did not get to alternate any other sets. I ended up with 5 silver pieces and a keen edge, making an incredible.


How many fancy combos did you make?
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[Jul 19, 2007 8:50:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Patetch

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I might have managed 3 sets of chess pieces, only the one ferrous, the rest were sets of three whenever possible. I think I also had a vegas with ones - nothing particularly exciting, certainly not my normal play. I honestly can't really remember but I do know I only had the one four the entire game. I'll try to keep track if I ever encounter something like this again.
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Pletoo of Sage
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Patetch at Jul 19, 2007 9:02:57 PM]
[Jul 19, 2007 8:57:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Westdakota



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I consistently get incredibles while only (accidentally, usually) getting 2-3 combos over the course of the puzle, and leaving maybe 4 or 5 squares at the end.

I definitely have the intuition that you can do one or the other, but both is not at all necessary. Perhaps there are just very few people so far doing both, or perhaps the two strategies undermine one another (I think they do - having a bunch of awkward pieces sitting around and uneven holes due to going for combos makes it generally much harder to clear more of the screen)
[Jul 19, 2007 9:17:22 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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I might have managed 3 sets of chess pieces, only the one ferrous, the rest were sets of three whenever possible. I think I also had a vegas with ones - nothing particularly exciting, certainly not my normal play. I honestly can't really remember but I do know I only had the one four the entire game. I'll try to keep track if I ever encounter something like this again.


Due to your post, I played a game where the only combos I tried to make were 3-piece sets. I didn't make any 4-piece sets, and the only same-piece combos I made were a couple of doubles and triples. At the end of the game, I had 5 light-gray pieces and 1 dark gray piece. The game awarded me with an Incredible. There weren't any piece droughts that I could remember, and I most certainly could have made at least a couple of 4-piece sets.

Surely, just clearing that much of the board shouldn't award an incredible by itself, and we all know that a couple of double and triple combos do jack squat for the scoring. Does this mean that not only does the 3-piece sets award points, but the board clearing multipler boosts these points much higher than they should be?

I was getting many more 3-piece sets than I ever could make 4-piece sets, for the following two reasons:
1) There are a lot of 3-piece sets available in the game, because you basically need a drought of 2 types of chess pieces AND 2 types of number pieces, to stop people from making many 3-piece sets.
2) Stuff like K,Q,R,K will give you K,Q,R and Q,R,K -- which might be scored as two 3-piece sets.


Does anyone else want to try this and see if they get an Incred out of it too? It might turn out that the uber strategy is to spend the first half of the game trying to make non-stop 3-piece sets, and to spend the second half of the game trying to clear as much of the board as possible. If so, then I think the scoring is broken.
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[Jul 19, 2007 9:42:23 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
IantheKorean

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It might simply mean the scoring curve still isn't rounded out correctly.
[Jul 19, 2007 9:48:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Westdakota



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Surely, just clearing that much of the board shouldn't award an incredible by itself

How do you justify this conclusion?

And what do you all mean by 3 piece sets...? I get 3 of things constantly, and it never says a word about it. The pictures just appear on the anvil, and it only compliments me when I get 4s. Am I missing something here?
[Jul 19, 2007 9:48:36 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
ppplushies

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Like I posted earlier in this thread, I got an incredible by only doing 3 piece sets.

I believe that clearing the board is all that really matters. In carpentry, you can still get incredibles without getting grain bonus' and nice sets, as long as you fill in the holes, like the main goal is.

If you get a 4-piece set, then got a vegas, would that boost your score? Or vice-versa? If it doesn't, I believe it should as it's almost like getting a ferrous.

Another thing, when you get vegas' you get no points it seems. Would it be better to re-design the scoring system and make vegas' and other combos like that worth more points? Would it be better to get 4-piece combos in order to get incredibles?

But then that brings us back to carpentry, should you only be able to get incredibles on that without getting any grain bonus'?

Last but not least, if you finish the puzzle with a vegas, 4-piece set or even a molten, should you be awarded extra points?

-------------------

About tips though, I agree with Sasha's strategy. But, I find it hard to decide at the start of the puzzle whether I should click a piece near the middle or at the edges, or simply got for combos.
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Kadazzle
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[Edit 3 times, last edit by ppplushies at Jul 20, 2007 12:03:14 AM]
[Jul 19, 2007 11:38:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
qwpzxjor1

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I got an incredible last night after what I thought was a terrible round. Several times I got to the point where I'd misjudged diagnol etc, and couldn't "Finish" the set.. so I was getting mostly sets of 3's with no words coming up. I also finished the board with only 2 blocks left. I got incredible.

Now compare that to previous rounds I've played where I've got 4 sets of 4 in a row... lots of By The NUmbers and Fancy Hammerings.. but I've finished too early and had alot of squares left. Resulting in Excellent at the most.


It seems they've altered the scoring considerably from how it was on Ice. On ice I was getting incredibles while having half the board still remaining - so long as I was getting the combo's and chains of combo's.

Liz did say they were going to make the blocks left on the board at the end more of a factor - it looks like it's now the paramount factor.
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Whitewyvern wrote: 
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imhappyfairy

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Surely, just clearing that much of the board shouldn't award an incredible by itself, and we all know that a couple of double and triple combos do jack squat for the scoring. Does this mean that not only does the 3-piece sets award points, but the board clearing multipler boosts these points much higher than they should be?


I noticed, that the score you get is almost stupidly weighted on how many pieces you have left. When I was learning, the few times I was stuck and had to stop the game with bout half the board left, I only got maximum of good. However, when I tried using minimal combos, but clearing a large part of the board I found that my scores were in the excellents/incredibles.

Basically in the early part of the game aim for the alternating number/chess combos as much as possible, avoiding making any holes. Second half, just munch out the rest of the tiles. That works well enough to get you to ulti.
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Flyingbanana of Viridian and Malachite.
[Jul 20, 2007 2:49:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
deathprog23

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Boothook wrote: 
Due to your post, I played a game where the only combos I tried to make were 3-piece sets.


I pointed this out in the ice thread several times. 3 piece sets certainly aren't worth nothing. I could get incred just getting them even when clearing the board wasn't giving a score bonus. Now it's hard to separate out exactly what's scoring highest... but possible given a bit of testing I suppose.

If you can score best by 'looping' them as you point out (ie two three piece sets is worth more than a four piece), then I think it's quite interesting, but not necessarily booched. The in-game help would be misleading though.
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"I wanna be like the ocean, no talkin' an' all action." Jane's Addiction, Ocean Size
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blyndpew

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I find that hard to believe. Yes, you could easily write a program. But you couldn't easily RUN it. It'd basically be just like chess, which the best supercomputers in the world don't even seem to able to do terribly well.


The difference is that chess computers are playing people (or each other) so there is a random element.

The BS puzzle is a 6x6 grid. You need to hit each square 3 times, so that is 108 game-turns.

From the 36 starting positions there are, at most, 9 subsequent possible moves.

Calculate all possible move-strings for the next 6 turns to give 36 x 9^6 = 19million possibilities. Consider that allowing 1 byte to encode each move of a move string suggests 108 bytes per possibilty (107 moves and a score-field) and we have a memory footprint of 2GB. Large, but manageable. Alternatively only work out the first 5 possible moves to reduce this by a factor of 9. Also, only 4 moves (or fewer) follow a castle or bishop move, and some of the time numbers will come out <9 as they are near the edge so the real number of possible outcomes is reduced.

Now throw away all but the best-scoring 36 move-strings and repeat.

There is a chance that your 19 million final move set might not have a Masterpiece in it, but I guess there is a fair chance of it.

et Voila, a stringed instrument, or at least a script to follow to a decent score, worked out while you were making a cup of tea.

This is a total brute-force approach. Any intelligence applied would reduce the computational load.

The important point is that this whole idea fails immediately any non-deterministic nature is introduced into the puzzle. You simply can't run through a collection of trial-games in this way.
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[Jul 20, 2007 5:57:04 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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I find that hard to believe. Yes, you could easily write a program. But you couldn't easily RUN it. It'd basically be just like chess, which the best supercomputers in the world don't even seem to able to do terribly well.


Chess programs on normal computers can beat the majority of chess players, which is good enough for our scenario.

Remember that a Blacksmithing bot doesn't have to make the perfect move everytime. It only has to play better than the majority of players, which is enough to mess up the rankings.

 
I noticed, that the score you get is almost stupidly weighted on how many pieces you have left. When I was learning, the few times I was stuck and had to stop the game with bout half the board left, I only got maximum of good. However, when I tried using minimal combos, but clearing a large part of the board I found that my scores were in the excellents/incredibles.


If the only requirement for Ult is "clear lots of the board", then I think most of the game strategy goes down the toilet. Why bother spending time trying to make alternating sets, or any 4-piece sets for that matter, when we can quickly bash on the mouse button for half the game, then use the other half of the game to clear as much of the board as possible.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by BootHook at Jul 20, 2007 7:44:34 AM]
[Jul 20, 2007 6:56:28 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
imhappyfairy

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If the only requirement for Ult is "clear lots of the board", then I think most of the game strategy goes down the toilet. Why bother spending time trying to make alternating sets, or any 4-piece sets for that matter, when we can quickly bash on the mouse button for half the game, then use the other half of the game to clear as much of the board as possible.


Well if you're trying to make combos in the second half of the game, its surpirisingly hard sometimes, which results in nearly the same score as everyone who just slams through the second half.
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Flyingbanana of Viridian and Malachite.
[Jul 20, 2007 7:56:37 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rixation

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Again people, stop thinking of the chains, sets, and board clearing bonuses as static scoring. Start thinking of the sets and alternating set combos as a baseline score, chains as a very minor bonus, and the amount of the board cleared as the multiplier. The scoring then becomes transparent.

edit: rephrasing to use the same terminology as the yppedia.
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Epimetheus
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by rixation at Jul 20, 2007 10:02:34 AM]
[Jul 20, 2007 8:10:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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If the only requirement for Ult is "clear lots of the board", then I think most of the game strategy goes down the toilet. Why bother spending time trying to make alternating sets, or any 4-piece sets for that matter, when we can quickly bash on the mouse button for half the game, then use the other half of the game to clear as much of the board as possible.


Well if you're trying to make combos in the second half of the game, its surpirisingly hard sometimes, which results in nearly the same score as everyone who just slams through the second half.


Person A spends the first half of the game making 4-piece sets, and the second half of the game clearing the board. Person B spends the first half of the game randomly bashing on the mouse button, and the second half of the game clearing the board.

Person A and Person B can both score Increds. Why bother following the strategy of person A, when the strategy of person B can also score Increds and is much easier to do? The bakeoffs would be completed lopsided, as the people that bother to make 4-piece sets will so not be able to compete with the speed of the people that spend the first half of the game bashing on the mouse button.


 
Again people, stop thinking of the chains, sets, and board clearing bonuses as static scoring. Start thinking of the sets and alternating set combos as a baseline score, chains as a very minor bonus, and the amount of the board cleared as the multiplier. The scoring then becomes transparent.


Sure, here we go...

sets combos: USELESS!
alternating set combos: MEANINGLESS!
chains: POINTLESS!
Amount of the board cleared: UBER!

Here is the formula:
Your Score = ((USELESS! + MEANINGLESS! + POINTLESS!) * UBER!)
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[Jul 20, 2007 11:12:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
rixation

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Hey Boot...hate to call you out like this, but what pirate have you been Blacksmithing on? Just checked your "main" names on every ocean, and the only one w/ any experience over Novice/Able is on Ice, which is Narrow/Distinguished. Just curious as to how high you've gotten on any Ult lists.
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[Jul 20, 2007 11:17:22 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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Hey Boot...hate to call you out like this, but what pirate have you been Blacksmithing on? Just checked your "main" names on every ocean, and the only one w/ any experience over Novice/Able is on Ice, which is Narrow/Distinguished. Just curious as to how high you've gotten on any Ult lists.


I have been Blacksmithing on secret alts, which may or may not appear on the Ult lists depending if I purposely stop using them before they reach Broad.

I complained about the blackjack when was in the #1 Ult slot simultaneously on all 7 oceans, and that didn't help convince the devs that the blackjack needs to be fix, so I really don't think the devs care that none of my main characters have played the game much.
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[Jul 20, 2007 12:11:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Patetch

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Pardon me while I grumble a moment...
I was #18 ult Yesterday, had 4 mid-game disconnects and one rare good and got knocked down to legendary - I keep getting increds now and cannot get back up to ultimate. Hopefully I will get there by the time trophies are handed out - it would be nice to have one ult trophy.

There. I feel better now, and shall return you to your regular post :p
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Pletoo of Sage
[Jul 20, 2007 12:51:37 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aenor

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Person A spends the first half of the game making 4-piece sets, and the second half of the game clearing the board. Person B spends the first half of the game randomly bashing on the mouse button, and the second half of the game clearing the board.

Person A and Person B can both score Increds. Why bother following the strategy of person A, when the strategy of person B can also score Increds and is much easier to do? The bakeoffs would be completed lopsided, as the people that bother to make 4-piece sets will so not be able to compete with the speed of the people that spend the first half of the game bashing on the mouse button.

You very well know that all increds are not created equal. Person A and person B might both be Ultimate, but A will be higher on the list than B, so if you care about such things, the scoring will still show that A is better than B.

Also, most of the people who post on these forums played Knightfish for many months and played Blacksmithing on Ice. They represent a small minority of all the people who are playing Blacksmithing now. They can neither make lots of sets nor clear most of the board, so someone who can do either is way better than average. When those players have a chance to practice with the puzzle as much as you and I have, it will become harder to get Incredible and Ultimate without being good at making lots of 4 piece sets and clearing most of the board at the same time.

This is why the trophies are still turned off.
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Mat on the Meridian Ocean

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[Jul 20, 2007 1:49:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Westdakota



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Again people, stop thinking of the chains, sets, and board clearing bonuses as static scoring. Start thinking of the sets and alternating set combos as a baseline score, chains as a very minor bonus, and the amount of the board cleared as the multiplier. The scoring then becomes transparent.


You cant definitively ever call one the multiplier and one the baseline. They're equivalent. 3x4 = 4x3. alt combos * clearing = clearing * alt combos.

It only matters what is associated with what if and when a third variable comes in. Chains are so obviously utterly useless that they do not count for this. So it really doesn't matter how you write it or think about it. Clearing is important, combos are not.
[Jul 20, 2007 2:26:46 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
BootHook

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Person A spends the first half of the game making 4-piece sets, and the second half of the game clearing the board. Person B spends the first half of the game randomly bashing on the mouse button, and the second half of the game clearing the board.

Person A and Person B can both score Increds. Why bother following the strategy of person A, when the strategy of person B can also score Increds and is much easier to do? The bakeoffs would be completed lopsided, as the people that bother to make 4-piece sets will so not be able to compete with the speed of the people that spend the first half of the game bashing on the mouse button.

You very well know that all increds are not created equal. Person A and person B might both be Ultimate, but A will be higher on the list than B, so if you care about such things, the scoring will still show that A is better than B.

Also, most of the people who post on these forums played Knightfish for many months and played Blacksmithing on Ice. They represent a small minority of all the people who are playing Blacksmithing now. They can neither make lots of sets nor clear most of the board, so someone who can do either is way better than average. When those players have a chance to practice with the puzzle as much as you and I have, it will become harder to get Incredible and Ultimate without being good at making lots of 4 piece sets and clearing most of the board at the same time.

This is why the trophies are still turned off.


So I guess we should all hibernate until the rest of the oceans catch up, and then figure out what is still messed up?
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[Jul 20, 2007 2:29:52 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Aenor

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So I guess we should all hibernate until the rest of the oceans catch up, and then figure out what is still messed up?

It means that if you're basing your opinion of whether or not the scoring for Blacksmithing is screwed up on how easy it presently is to get an incred, you should absolutely wait a while to see if that's still true in a few weeks when everyone has had a chance to play it for a while.

Right now you can get an incred by clearing most of the board even if you don't try for combos at all. I doubt that will continue to be true.
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Mat on the Meridian Ocean

Thank you to everyone who loves Blacksmithing!
[Jul 20, 2007 4:08:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shuranthae

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Putting aside the fact that the game is based on luck and the scoring is weird, has anyone seen this bug?

For those that aren't catching it, the Rook and Bishop (4 on the first link) on the edges of Column 2 don't change when I hit them. Well technically not true, they do change, I just don't get to see it. I believe the bottom Rook turned into a 1 and the top Bishop turned into a Queen or Rook (can't recall now) but they certainly weren't what they appeared to be.

I'm guessing the cause is due to lag as my computer seems to interpret a hammer strike as if I were actually striking my computer with a hammer. I'll tolerate the lag and not being able to see the combo messages but could someone please fix the tiles not showing up properly bug?
[Jul 22, 2007 2:43:57 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shanoyu

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Board fishing is for starving landlubbers.

A computer mechanism to "solve" BlackSmithing would be far easier to deal with than Chess because there is no player 2 response element. The change in pieces is enough to prevent the puzzle being "solved", but using a bot to find the optimal scoring path currently on the board would be pretty trivial (at least in terms of processing resources etc.) for the same reason finding forced mates in chess is trivial when they exist.
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His Holiness, The Dope
[Jul 22, 2007 9:06:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
TarnumTheRed

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Putting aside the fact that the game is based on luck and the scoring is weird, has anyone seen this bug?

For those that aren't catching it, the Rook and Bishop (4 on the first link) on the edges of Column 2 don't change when I hit them. Well technically not true, they do change, I just don't get to see it. I believe the bottom Rook turned into a 1 and the top Bishop turned into a Queen or Rook (can't recall now) but they certainly weren't what they appeared to be.

I'm guessing the cause is due to lag as my computer seems to interpret a hammer strike as if I were actually striking my computer with a hammer. I'll tolerate the lag and not being able to see the combo messages but could someone please fix the tiles not showing up properly bug?


I have hit lots of bugs. I have had mugs act as a 2. I have pieces act as other pieces. I have even had pieces I hit for the 3rd time not disappear, then I forget they are no longer playable and get screwed later. Definitely some programming bugs that need to get worked out.
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Tarnum

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[Jul 22, 2007 8:38:50 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
IantheKorean

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Yeah I think the pieces failing to change/drop is the most frustrating bug I've found; I've just ended up keeping a notepad open on my desktop so I can write down the row/column of the piece in case my attention gets drawn elsewhere during a game of BS.
[Jul 25, 2007 2:57:27 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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