More ideas for lot diversity and game economy

Discussion in 'Gameplay Designs' started by Melika, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Melika

    Melika New Member

    When I just started playing freeSO I was expected to see many different kinds of lots like in other Sims games, coffee shop, restaurants, night clubs, theaters, libraries, police station, hospitals, different kinds of shops, but many places including the most popular lots aren't like that. Most popular lots in this game don't need a theme, they just need all money/skill objects, fastest green up objects, and keep the lot open 24/7. I understand people have different play style, and the original TSO had monthly subscription so they need this kind of reward system to make people stick around more. But this system is not encouraging people to make more creative lots, because most people will stick to the most popular ones.

    I've seen some skill/money lot owners closed their lot because they got tired of making HC and serenade for so many people, and some lot owners close their lot because they get no visitors. This is not a problem for service/entertainment/shop lots right now because all sims need to take care of their needs and buy stuff. But skilling and making money is still part of the game. So I think the solution for this problem is to have a system that encourage people to visit more places and have more ways to earn/spend their simoleons other than just tipping. When players are exploring different places and meeting different people, they are actively playing the game. So here is how I think of lot diversity:

    Welcome lots are perfect now. All skill/money objects are allowed in welcome lots so new players can try out different money object and decide which skill to specialize. It can be a university, apartment, training camp, etc. All facilities on welcome lots are offered free of charge for new players.

    Money lots should have a sub category to choose only one or two single money objects, but group money objects such as pizza, code, and band can be used on all money lots. So people will be visiting different lot everyday, and be encouraged to use group money objects more often. It also helps to makes the lot theme fits more into roleplay, such as the telemarketing/writing sub category can be a business office, potion sub category can be a science lab, etc. Lot owners can change their sub category every 7 days as the main category. Beds should be disabled for visitors on money lots, like in the Sims 2. It also make sense because people need to go home to eat dinner and sleep. Buffet is at least $10 a plate. And the coffee machines should fill up more energy, $5 to $10 for a cup of coffee (maybe it can be like a fridge to restock coffee machines). There are also NPC food vendors and vending machines but need adjustment to be useful.

    Skills lots should have a sub category to choose only one or two skills, but group skilling objects like maze and war games are allowed on all skill lots. Cooking/mechanical sub category can be an library, body sub category can be a gym or dance studio etc. Having a sub category for each skill lot also means less grinding because we only need 6 sims to have the maximum skilling speed. All beds should also be disabled for visitors but buffet and coffee are served here.

    Services lots should charge for their services as Raeven said. Hotel rooms should have pay doors set to at least $50. Even for new players, spending around $80 each time to overfill their needs is really not that much. We can have a place where greening up is free for visitors which is Residence lots (and welcome lots for new players). I really hope that restaurant system like Mixar97sr said on service lots can be implemented in the game so that HC can be charged, and I'm hoping to see more food varieties in the future.

    Entertainment lots should charge for their drinks. Bar drinks, dance floors, dance cages and DJ booth should fill up more fun and social than the crafted PCs on entertainment lots. Maybe even add an interaction to watch dancers, or buy another sim a drink to fill up fun and social. It shouldn't be a place to spam hustle dance and serenades. Bar objects and bartender NPCs will be nice to have, too.

    Romance lots can be combined with entertainment, it's the place to socialize and have fun. Using the love beds & love tubs should fill up fun and social 200%.

    Shopping lots should have a sub category divided by buy mode categories. They can either be selling clothes, appliances, furnitures, plants, or paintings etc. For shop lot owners, trying to sell everything and searching and taking out all 3 objects from their inventory just to restock 1 item is too much work. And for new shop owners, there are too much grinding to do in order to have enough items for sale, plus most of the shops now are selling pretty much everything, therefore we need sub categories in order to let new shops to survive. If other players need to buy things cheap when there are no shop that’s open, maybe we can have a community shopping lot that is run by bots, but the discount is only 30% off. (Players made shops can have more discounts.) Also add a "Buy" interaction with the item name and price when we click the objects (posted by Alessandro Needs A Server a long time ago) will help to make shops a bit more realistic looking.

    Games: Slot machines and casino objects should fill up fun if they win, lose some fun if they lose. Most of game lots are already being creative with their game designs. It’s one of my favorite lot category.

    Off-beat: Chairs and hot tubs on off-beat lots should have comfort overfill. It's a place just to relax. Maybe we can see more parks and spas in this category.

    Residence: It seems that service lots are the better version of residence lots with the overfill update, but it shouldn't be. Residence lots are for people who just want a home, therefore if they have a visitor they can serve HC, and let friends stay in their house for free, just no overfill like in a service house which shouldn’t be free.

    I really enjoy the game as it is right now but since we don't slay any monsters in this game, we can have more rewarding obstacles. I'm sure there are more plans in the future but hopefully I have given some ideas to make the game more fun. It's been fun for me just by thinking about this. :)
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    Wink TartanBelle likes this.
  2. allegedlyacat

    allegedlyacat New Member

    I love these ideas!
  3. RHY3756547

    RHY3756547 FreeSO Developer Staff Member Moderator

    I like all of these ideas, though the main problem when introducing them will be backlash. "Why make things harder?" I can already hear, but we know that everything here would make things more interesting. Serenade spam and hustle spam are definitely the largest obstacles when it comes to this backlash. I think if we do something to them, we need to make a lot of changes to everything else (eg. make more objects actually give an acceptable amount of fun, eg all the entertainment ones) to "make up for it". The problem isn't that these changes aren't worth making - they definitely are - the problem is that we'd have to make them all at once.

    Your least fleshed out idea technically is service lot - the charge per room would be impossible to enforce with the current system. Sure, people can technically apply it themselves, but they would basically be driven out of the community for doing so. What we need is some way to automatically lock away rooms with "service type" objects in such a way that we can force a configurable cost with a minimum, so people don't just set it to 0. This would be like, a room with a bed in it, a room with a shower - all doors into rooms like these would trigger the paywall. HC can also be locked behind this fee. Paying it once would let you use everything until the next time you join the lot (after let's say, a 5 minute grace period to account for DCs)

    I have different ideas around offbeat - I see it as more of an opportunity for sandbox style gameplay.

    If these things were to be added, a good place to manage them would be a tab in house mode for "category configuration" where you'd set room prices, food prices, shop category etc.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2019
    mrpenguinb and Wink TartanBelle like this.
  4. Wink TartanBelle

    Wink TartanBelle New Member

    I do like where this is headed. I know several lots are now charging for buffet, and a very small number are charging via pay doors for bed/service object use. What I've heard expressed in game by most players is not encouraging. I had to sit down my husband and son and explain how things work here for them to be ok with it! It appears that things like this will only be accepted if they become "game rules" with minimums set up. You can bet the minimum prices enforced by the game will become the "standard". Even charging only $5/plate on buffet (half of cost to the owner) has been met with push back by many. This, combined with the large number of players who seem to think they need never tip, is one of the reasons many lot owners get burned out or just go broke. Lot/visitor bonus money and the $1/sell from single money objects does not cover food, repairs, capital investment, maid/gardener charges in most cases. Players that have never run a busy lot don't understand this. Add in the AFK nature of many lots and the hosts just get very little out of holding a lot open. AFK isn't fun, being broke all the time isn't fun, having people criticize you for trying to find a way to make enough on your services to stay open isn't fun. If we had a player base of millions, there'd be more room for lots that charge varying prices for their services. As things stand now, I feel it will take a rather major overhaul and more player education to remedy the situation we now find ourselves in. If economics were an easy subject, there'd be no PhD program for it. I'm very impressed that Rhys is open to such changes. This makes me very optimistic.
    mrpenguinb and allegedlyacat like this.
  5. Mythic

    Mythic New Member

    The one thing that can make some changes to the game that may help is to have the crafting table make different items based on what the lot is and can only be used on that lot.

    Welcome lot: Able to craft and use something that can benefit new comers as well as other more experienced people in these lots that are helping new comers or different unique things for their lot.

    Games lot: Able to craft new gambling tables or machines that are not in the buy mode.


    Add a new mechanic to the crafting table to allow people add different abilities to their stuff from buy mode like:

    Entertainment lots: Bought a computer and used the crafting table to add fun +3

    Money lots: Bought a canning station and is able to add house hold member get money for x amount of time used.

    Services Lots: bought a fridge and is able to add food costs is 50% cheaper.

    These obviously are just suggestions off the top of my head and would need to be thought about more. I know this is a heck of a lot more programming work to be done then just a few lines of code. You could also make the stats a random stat. You could also add some bad stats if you are doing a random thing.
  6. geekgirl101

    geekgirl101 New Member

    I originally started out with a library with the intention of keeping it small and limited to books and chess so people don't struggle at finding people spread on other skills and not able to get full speed on the stuff they wanna learn. However this didn't work out. People flocked to other more larger and more popular places that had everything in them. After about a month I expanded to include all skills and it did get more visitors but people still went to their favourites because that's how it is.

    The rundown of it is this - there are at least 3 popular skill lots and 3 popular money lots. Even if 125 players are online and only 2 of each of those lots are open 50 players will go to the popular skill lots, 50 players will go to the popular money lots, half of the remaining 25 will be in their own lots, whilst the other half will either be spread about the lesser popular places or floating whilst watching like hawks in map view for one of the popular places to drop below 24 players so they can jump in it.

    The FreeSO community cannot support multiple lots with maximum number of players in them because it is not big enough and is spread around the world in different timezones. Everyone is desperate for active roomies to keep their places open, but from what I've seen new players are more likely to make their own places instead of joining as a roomie because they like the idea of creating something new and fun by themselves without realising the difficulties involved and then become discouraged to continue playing when nobody visits.

    Hosting an active lot is very exhausting too. So much time is spent serenading visitors 3 or 4 times each, making sure there's food for everyone that rots very quickly and is a huge expense to continuously refill the fridges, and fixing ever-breaking items that any profits that could've been made at the end of the day would be spent and more on repairs and food, leaving very little time to sit down and do what everyone else is doing and fighting to keep up with fast decaying skills that build ever so slowly before having to fill your own needs. If there's multiple hosts then at least you can rotate shifts so it gives you time to play and socialize and topping up on skills, but it is still more work than play. As Wink said not everyone feels they need to tip or doesn't have money to tip, and if you put prices on food and beds people get very bitter and salty about it and will just find somewhere where it's free. If everyone charged then that would be great, but it only needs one person to advertise free food/beds that people will flock there instead because they don't want to pay if they can avoid it.

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