Balancing out the lot diversity and making game economy more fun

Discussion in 'Gameplay Designs' started by Mixa97sr, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    Right now nobody has the need to go to other lots except the skilling and money lots and that was one of the big problems with original TSO. The game quickly becomes boring and a big grind.

    What I suggest is a change of use for specific items on specific lots.

    What should make the motels, hotels, apartments and even normal residences more useful and purposeful is if visitors could not use beds and eat on skill and money lots, or if those needs filled up way slower despite the high quality item. The way things are set up now, nobody needs any other lot in order to fulfill the needs to be able to make money. I know that making money is hard even this way, but lot diversity is something this game lacks. There is no clear boundary between each lot category, except skilling, money and romance lots.

    Now the other thing I wanted to talk about is user made content. I do not speak of mods and CC though, but of the other things the game already offers the users. The tools. I don't know if it's possible to somehow bring creations from The Sims Creator in this game, but it would make much greater difference than just picking a few sets of clothes from the shop. The items people craft also have no diversity. The economy of the game would boom if there was a way for people to sell their original products except of the premades.
    Melika and mini_cooper4 like this.
  2. Raeven

    Raeven Well-Known Member

    I love the idea of the other lots being equal to the skills and money lots. But if they completely disabled greening on money and skill lots then you would run into the same problem from the other direction - people would skill and use solo money making objects on the lots that DO allow them to green and have no use for skill lots and only pop into money lots for a round or two of pizza.

    The problem is more a social one than a game mechanics one. It is actually socially unacceptable to use the lots as they are designed to be used.
    It does not even occur too people to pop out and use service lots for greening up. I have had to actually remind people that they can do that or go home to eat when a late night host is AFK/passed out and not serving food. Skill/money lot hosts end up feeling used if folks pop in, read, and then leave over and over again.
    And heaven forfend a service lot should charge for the services they provide.
    Melika, AllyXander and Ice Cool like this.
  3. mini_cooper4

    mini_cooper4 Member

    Great ideas! Would make the game a million times better.
    I do think making money is quite easy though.
  4. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    I realised that new users wont be able to green with such system, but i soon remembered that there is also welcome lot category. I also wonder if that custom object maker program still works.
  5. bml_brittybitty

    bml_brittybitty New Member

    Let's not forget though. When many of us were playing the original sims online, we were underage kids. We had more of an imagination to go to some of these lots to do the romance thing, or to "dine in" and get married etc. We are adults now, and our imagination isn't as into it. lol
  6. Raeven

    Raeven Well-Known Member

    Rhys mentioned that at some point in the future he will probably make it so the Welcome category is selected by default. That way anyone new to the game will see that on the map first (personally I'd rather be a service lot that also (actively) welcomes new people so think it is a pity I wont show up for them but that is how it goes). Anyone running a Welcome lot can recommend skill/money lots and explain how to green up on appropriate lots so I don't think that would be much of a hardship for them.

    But, honestly, being forced to leave the skill or money lot every half hour and find a place to green would be really disruptive. And the people who live on the lot would not be able to sleep at home. If you fix that by made them exempt from the no-greening rules than the 8 of them could simply stay home, pizza, and ignore the rest of the world. And as someone with plans to make that sort of money house I'm ok with that but it would be really anti-social if everyone did it. And give the pizza house live ins a huge advantage over others that are trying to make money (but have to hop from house to house to do it while they just run to their bedrooms)

    To be clear, I agree with you that it is a problem; I am just not able to see the solution as you do.
    Perhaps you could you explain your whole idea/design a bit more?
    Ice Cool likes this.
  7. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    Money houses make more money right? I mean does the money lot give you more money, just like skill lot gives you more skill speed? If that's the case, then why stay at home and do it. If not, than is there a way to implement that?

    And also, I said that bed and food interactions should be disallowed to visitors and visitors only, not to the owners and roommates. And also if the problem is forced lot leaving, then why not enable the interactions, but make them fill needs at much slower rate. That way, people that want fast greening will leave the lot, but people with much time on their hands will decide to stay.
    I know that motive filling on money/skill lots is already hard, but on the high quality objects the difference between hard and easy is not that big.

    Now that with owners and roommates taking advantage... Would there be a way to read a sim as a visitor on money/skill lot and give them bonus over the owners/roommates of the lot. Of course, the owner still gets a bonus for visitors making money, but the owner itself does not get as much money/skill as a visitor on such lot. That would need two instances of money production/skill speed per lot, but I can't think of a different way.
    mini_cooper4 likes this.
  8. Ice Cool

    Ice Cool Member

    Yeah I think lot diversity has always been a problem in the game, I just don't know that the proposed solution is the best. Skill and money lots will still exist in large number and be desirable so long as skills are directly associated with making money. I think disallowing greening items on skilling/money lots to visitors will stretch thinner your possible social interactions and may cause issues for lots that are consistently close to being full. Instead of fostering more unique plots and interactions I think we would simply see more focused service/greening lots along with the skill and money lots.

    Maybe the solution, instead of nerfing greening items on skill/money lots, is to add more of a benefit towards opening other types of plots? Maybe service/romance lots make more on property bonus than money/skill lots per traffic...or there are more lot-specific items for those plots.

    Anyways I totally agree with you, FreeSO has the opportunity to correct the negative aspects of the original TSO—we should address a problem like lot diversity to make the game a more enjoyable experience for newcomers. Thanks for bringing the topic to our consciousness, it's definitely important for the future success of the game.
  9. mini_cooper4

    mini_cooper4 Member

    Jumping between lots is not a problem. It takes no longer than 5 seconds to enter a new lot.
    I think Mixa's idea is brilliant.
    Melika likes this.
  10. Raeven

    Raeven Well-Known Member

    Easy enough to test then. Ask skill and money lots to stop providing beds, food, and showers to visitors.
  11. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    Good point Ice (Btw your ex roommate Michael here). Other lots have not much benefits and special items as much as money/skilling lot do. Yeah, I guess people will just spend more time on service lots just to green and nothing else. But we could test it and learn something from it. And if it does not work, but feels more fleshed-out we could continue suggesting new ideas and update upon the game. After all we are beta testers, and who knows the game better than its players.
    Wink TartanBelle likes this.
  12. Alonzo

    Alonzo Active Member

    There will always be lots that dominate the game.. Service lots are meant to be a short-stay (green your sim after whatever you are doing) type of place. If you want people at your house all day, better open a $ or a skill lot. I don't see the need to remove greening from those 2 categories to try to spread sims out. We can think of something else/better to do that with.
    Zuzu likes this.
  13. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    I can see the improvement of the game since the economy/skill decay update. Game has now motivated a lot of people to play differently instead of just old boring grind, and it has also attracted a lot of interesting and fun players. I must say that there are less players when there was no skill decay/economy changes, but I say that it's good. Better less interesting players than many bots and jam thiefs :D I must say, Rhys has really found the best solution to this.
    borriquito likes this.
  14. Alonzo

    Alonzo Active Member

    There has never been a bot problem yet?
  15. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    That last part was a refference to the future
  16. Alonzo

    Alonzo Active Member

    Oh yea.. I think they will be pretty easy to spot for the most part. If you can still use money objects on non money lots, (No Category lots) that is where the botters will go, because they will stay off the top 100 radar. But then that can give the dev's an area to spotlight and find them if they can toggle all online no category lots and view them all. The only major problem I see happening is if the game gets a really good computer programmer who joins, who can design his/her own software and use network tools to spoof/change each IP for each sim he/she bots on. So, instead of 18 sims jam botting on 1 lot, he/she will do 10 lots running at once with all diff sims; keeping 2-3 sims jamming on each. Keeping your lot locked, and having your message que full all/at the same time is another tell tale sign. The big money maker is auto/pizza code, and that is where people will try to attack from to gain max simoleans. Puting the Maze machine into play might not be the best idea. But it's risk/reward.
  17. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    So actually every money object in the game is a bomb waiting to ruin the fun and the economy for everyone... gash, This realy needs a lot of thinking trough. It's like real life politics...

    What if money objects pay less on other types of lots. Then only money lots will be viable for those objects, right? They do pay more on monay lots? I never got full knowledge on how money objects and money lots work.
  18. ron1

    ron1 Member

    what? publicity about the game doesn't mean suddenly become more fun. that's nonsense.

    id say its become much less energetic, not perfect, but many fewer people are doing jams than before. jams already being one of the lowest paying single job objects, i never understood the obsession with jams. but lets admit, doing jams is popular because it 'seems' interactive and is more relatable to real world tasks than bashing pinatas or telemarketing. its unfortunate the single job objects took such a hit when they were never that popular in TSO, and chalkboards were enhanced in TSO to make logic a more popular skill, which now it is, thanks to some publicity we gave it.

    that all has pretty much ended now. jams were the starting point of peoples money making experience, and shouldnt have been treated as if only people wanted to do is jams. jams were supporting a entire industry of single job objects and the community was not ready for these changes. people are still trying to do other money making lots, and they are not having much success.

    it was nice to see people doing things at scale, which is what people doing these objects seemed to enjoy.

    anyways, back to this topic. other category lots will only become popular by riding on the popularity of money and skill houses. now that money houses have been hit hard, why not just delete all the single job objects and rip out 50% of the game? except that's what happened, and nothing is there to fill the void other than bottom feeding store owners like myself, except we were here before the changes, and have noticed a sharp decline in sales across everything.

    popular group activities will lend themselves to the other property categories. right now i see 2 romance lots that are public, and about 50 skill and money houses, but sadly the most consistently online houses tend to be stores, and many more people have started stores than before the change to jams.

    this might sound dystopian, but letting money and skill houses have free reign would have grown the game faster than whatever else could be done short term. we can think that making one or two activities less popular will make the game more diverse, there are just too few reasons to do it.
    now there are problems for both of money and skill houses, as skill houses were never in that strong of a position before, and money houses now are scraping by in terms of popularity.

    anything worse than a criticizing of this miracle, of being able to play this game online again, is not offering solutions- so here is a couple

    *poll people, ask them what they want to see in large changes
    *make maximum skill points be 100 or even 1000
    *do away with skill decay and skill locks
    *increase maximum skill speed between 236%-354% with 6, 12, 18, people, etc with mini bursts upto 1000%. noobs will love that.
    *scale all payouts to be higher to reflect the higher skill points
    *create a way to off-set the huge economic boom and player participation this will create by raising some prices, mostly to do with food and objects. players in skill houses shouldn't be able to get free food unless the property bonus for visitors is raised.
    *allow more roomys, probably 3 into each house for a total of 10-11 roomys

    if your interested, here is the reason behind these suggestions

    • higher maximum skills will encourage people to open more skill lots, as everyone will want max skills, the demand for skill lots will increase substantially
    as will the demand for skill and greening objects and more people in the game means more people in different category lots
    • do away with skill decay and skill locks. they are designed to reward older sims and punish high skill sims. its a haphazard approach.
    • increasing maximum skill speed substantially will give the appearance that there is less space between 0 and 100 or 1000 skill points, while 0-20 takes about 10-20 hours, 100 or 1000 skill points should be very hard to attain, however, it would give those interested in that goal something to do, and would benefit lower skill players by allowing higher skill sims to participate in helping skill speed and still getting progress. no more skilling at 20.99 and getting no benefit, because you live there and want to help the players speed. that's a horrible sacrifice for skill house roomys to have to do. and this will benefit from players preference for doing things at large scale
      the problem with the game right now is not competition, its demand. addressing demand by allowing more roomys into a house will help the game grow and be more fun. how? everyone will have reasons to be a roomy at a skill house, right now its a bad deal.
      if these changes are thought about or implemented, all the other properties will benefit from this increase in demand. money houses will benefit from players with higher skill points, as the demand to use money houses will increase. stores will benefit from more customers. the increase player base will increase the role of service and romance lots. in the mean time, other things can be done for the lesser properties, such as combining them or coming up with other ideas. but lets stick to the core issue of demand, and increasing demand will greatly benefit the fun and activity of the community.

    Cheryl likes this.
  19. Mixa97sr

    Mixa97sr Active Member

    Lol, I never meant that publicity meant the game suddenly became fun. I meant that tweaks that made the game more fun are attracting fun players that actually care about playing the game.

    Also, I thought of increasing the span of skilling, but I think that would only be applicable once the game gains enough publicity. Yeah, I can't imagine a thousand of players and only a handfull of skills, all maxed out. No diversity in that. So, I wonder if the decay should be even faster once there is over 100 skill points total. BTW I think that 100 for skills is too much as skill speed really gets slow at the end already. 50 would be enough.

    Now onto other aspect of the game, I've been thinging about for some time already. Service lots.
    The game only uses half of its potential, which are money/skills/game lots. Service lots are basically a short stay, just like stores, as few of the people already stated. Lots of people abandon those types of lots (stores as exceptions).

    I have no solution for store problem, but for service lots I have few good suggestions.

    1. Combining Romance and Service category.
    Offering romance services still is categorised as services, and service lots like pubs, restaurants, hotels... all of them are a place where friendships and love are formed faster. Combining romance as a service, and faster relationship gain on service lots would function in favor of both lot types. This way we can also see restaurants or hotels that offer romantic services. This means more diversity and more benefits to the owners of service lots.

    2. Making "Ticket Machine" object and "Chef" NPC available only to service lots.
    This would also enable the diversity of food resturant job lots have. The way I have it in my mind is that you have 3 types of ticket machines, just like at the job. The diversity of food is growing with the quality of the ticket machine, but so is the price of the machine itself. First (diner) machine can spawn 2 chef NPCs, more expensive ones can spawn up to 3 chef NPCs. The way the ordering works is more interactive than the restaurant. Visitors actually say out loud their order, and it's up to the one that takes the order to choose the appropriate orders on the ticket machine. Chef than starts making the food and servers (roommates/owner/employees) serve it to visitor. Once the visitors are done with the meal, they do not clean their plates automatically, but stay sit in their positions. This way, service lots can really fulfill their real potential. I am just wondering if something like this is doable?

    3. Having interactive marriages.
    Once the game fully comes out, it would be nice to have an indicator that your sim is married, and even better, to have interacive wedding experiences. The way weddings work right now is only for roleplay. But to be fully considered married, there has to be an "event", or better said, special interaction that enables marriage to be percieved as a relationship status in the game. This shall be both in form of a special social interaction, or in for of a special object that caries that interaction.
    The social interaction shall be allowed everywhere, as ppl can marry anywhere they want. But special object should be service lot only, and should allow for more interesting animations (example: marriage rejection). Or to have special priest podium usable only for ppl with certain skill, which would allow for specialization in that service. I, myself don't think this idea is actually that great, and that it's actually just a bunch of ideas that are not quite developed as previous ones.

    Having said this, I think that this is enough suggestions on making service lots more fun and diverse. But few things still bugg me after this. One is the viablility of this idea in the current economy system, which means that romance categorized service lots would actually compete with non romance service lots, which is not that fair to be honest.

    The other is the problem with entertainment lots. I am still wondering if those should be classified as a thing of their own, as a game lot or as a service lot. On their own, they are just nightclubs and nothing else, though, they can have player made entertainment on them. But then again other lots can have those too, and it's only fair that both game lots and entertainment lots have games in their category. So I'm really torn on that one.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
    Melika likes this.
  20. X_Lukelisx

    X_Lukelisx Member

    Over "ticket machine", (or with it) we should get "bill" object. With it, roomates/waiter(es)s can type or set in the cost, while visitors/customers, provided by the waiter or waitress, must pay the requirement amount for each meal (independtly or one/few-for-all) because otherwise they hunger motive will drop back to how it was before arriving at the lot.

    And FUN, because what's the purpose of having entertainment lots then?
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
    Melika likes this.

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