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[Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:05 pm
by Daddy32
Now included in SVN version

Alpha release of the Tasks mode.

- Six types of tasks are implemented.
- Only end-game tasks are supported (those validated after the game ends)
- Rewards should be reasonable, but are not considered final.


Enter shop, open menu (enter/start), select 'See available tasks'.
All tasks in the list are active, until they expire ('Days left'; day passes after each game).
You can finish any of them and get bonus. The bonus gets a bit smaller every day.

Testing options:
Square button at the 'Task Board' screen passes one day, generating one more task. This is to help alpha-testers, will be removed later.
After every won game, you are presented with 'Credits per second' information. This should help to consider whether task reward is worth the effort.


Source in SVN.

Feedback needed!
Reward was not awarded to you after finalizing a task?
Do you find some of the tasks too easy?
Are the rewards for particular task too small/too high?
Did you find an easy exploit to win any of the tasks?
Do you have an idea for a cool new type of task?
Do you have any other ideas?
Let me know!

Original post:
Few days ago, while falling asleep - they say that some of the greatest ideas come during this particular moment :) - after playing Wagic heavily, I had following idea:

Let's include tasks with rewards in Wagic!

Here's my reasoning and inspiration (with details following; if you don't care about the philosophy behind and just want to read my suggestion, skip following and start reading below the picture):

I like the current bonus system. I had much fun trying to build decks designed to specifically exploit some of the bonuses - some time ago, I've built a deck to get an extreme amounts of credits via 'Life delta' bonus (which is limited now). Now I'm playing with the deck that manages to get both 'Fast and furious' and 'Live dangerously and live right' bonuses in almost every game. And I'm starting to get bored. While it was fun building and optimizing these decks, now it's only repeated credit-hunting. To increase the challenge, fun and revenue, I've included two more bonuses in my personal copy of Wagic:

'Flawless victory' - small bonus (40cr) for winning while still having 20 lives and
'Slaughter' - greater bonus (up to 500cr) for bringing the opponent to less than -15 lives.

These, same as the original bonuses, force me to play the game in yet another way and to keep one more goal (other than winning) in mind while playing - which is fun. Yet, I don't think, this is the proper way - while I or anyone else can come up with several interesting new bonuses, we probably don't want to flood an player with list of tens of bonuses he just gut after every single game - we want to reward player for excelling in particular game style. So while I see a room for few more bonus types, I don't think they can add too much to the variety of players games, decks and experiences with the game. See below the image, what I propose instead (I got there!).


Let's include tasks with rewards in Wagic!

It would work like this: 'Task generator' would be created - it would create several tasks (their nature would be similar to current bonuses, but they would be much more specific; for example: "Kill <AI DECK> without losing a life", more examples below) and present them to the player. Player would choose one of the tasks (more about this below), pay the subscription fee and try to fulfill it in the next match (or next few matches). If he'll manage to do it, he would get a promised reward - the credits at the beginning, other forms of rewards could be added later (rare cards, boosters). If he won't - nothing happens, except for task subscription fee being wasted.

Task examples (combinations into complex tasks could be possible)

a.) Simple-to-program tasks (these are conditions on final state of the game)
- Win a game against <AI DECK>.
- Win a game while having from x to y lives (exactly x lives) at the end.
- Win a game while having from x to y cards (exactly x cards) in hand/graveyard/library at the end.
- 'Slaughter' <AI DECK> (bring it to less than -x lives).
- Keep the opponent occupied for x turns (Win at turn > x).
- etc.

b.) Less simple-to-program tasks (tasks to be accomplished during the game)
- Summon a creature with power (or toughness) >= x.
- Control >x creatures of given type at one time.
- Make sure your opponent controls no lands/creatures at the ends of your x subsequent turns.
- Win the game while never having less lives/cards in hand than your opponent.
- etc. etc.

The reward would be proportional to the difficulty of the task (there would be some smart computation behind this).

There are many different tasks that could be implemented, but the points are:
- Tasks would be limited-time-offers. Player would be forced to pick one of the tasks and focus on it.
- They would be designed in such way, that no single deck could fulfill HALF of them - they would require different strategies, decks, ways of playing - and luck. Some would be extremely hard to accomplish.
- As long as they will be scaled, there is no need for too many types of tasks to keep things interesting. Whether they would be hardcoded or defined through data files is for the discussion (I prefer the former - It would allow to add few completely different tasks compared to many similar tasks in the later case - and wouldn't require a parser).

Integration into the game

There would be a random list of the active tasks accessible in the game (this would have to be saved along with the game data) - in dedicated section or perhaps in subsection of the shop. Every item in this list would have description of the task, price for getting it, prize for finishing (credits, card, booster) and days until expiration (for this purpose, every game that player plays would be considered to last a day). Player would choose maximum of one task, pay its fee and try to fulfill it. After every game, one day would be subtracted from the expiration period of all tasks. If current task expires before finished, player cannot fulfill it anymore, loses the fee, but is welcome to try another. When any of the task on the list expires, new one would be generated in its place after few 'days'.

I know there are several suggestions regarding the quests/campaigns/story modes floating around, but this one has several advantages:
- Covers some of them (eg. play for booster).
- Can be combined with most of them - 'Tasks' would just add one more short-time goal for the player to reach on a way to whatever is he trying to accomplish right now in the current game mode.
- Would have great ratio of fun versus programming time.
- Has a coder excited about this idea enough to implement it at some point in the future (me).

PS: No, the plane image doesn't have any meaning in context of this thread, it just makes it more visually appealing and probably is rising the probability that people would read this.

Place for your feedback:

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:20 pm
by Psyringe
Good idea, sound analysis. Go for it. :)

I thought of something to add, but your suggestion is so complete already that I really couldn't think of anything. :)

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:23 pm
by Thanatos.02

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:17 am
by wololo
agreed. Sounds great and you already have all aspects covered, I don't see any reason not to do that, I fully support it :)

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:18 am
by leungclj
yes, the image has got me reading (thinking it may have something to do with the article...)
and yea, good idea

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:03 pm
by Raziel017
the advancement of this game is really something...not long this is going to be like in the market like UMD disc or something.hahahaha...this is great stuff!

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:54 am
by Daddy32
Good, I'll go for it. I'm getting close to have the statistics module the way I want it (I've added some mana-production statistics yesterday), so I'll soon be ready for the next thing. This may however mean, that I'll postpone planned deck editor improvements for later.
But don't get too excited, this is probably not going to be finished this year. When it does however, I'll need some beta-testers, as task and rewards scaling will require lots of balance.

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:54 pm
by Psyringe
Daddy32 wrote:But don't get too excited, this is probably not going to be finished this year.
I refuse not to be excited over good ideas like this one, but I have no problem with staying excited until sometime next year. :D
Daddy32 wrote:When it does however, I'll need some beta-testers, as task and rewards scaling will require lots of balance.
Regarding game balance: Some weeks ago I pitched the idea of introducing variables (or options) for global economy scaling. I've developed it a bit further in the meantime. The current concept is to introduce two variables, ecoSpeed and ecoRisk, which are defined as follows:

ecoSpeed: defined number of boosters that the player is expected to be able to buy from winning 100 games at normal difficulty. To reflect Wagic 0.9.1's economy, ecoSpeed would be set to 64.

ecoRisk: We may consider "entry fees", i.e. the player has to pay a bit of money to enter a duel, tournament, quest, etc. ecoRisk is 100 times the ratio between the entry fees of all participating players, and the event's total prize money. In current Wagic ecoRisk equals zero (as there are no fees), and we probably want to keep that as an option for the players who find a risk-free game more enjoyable. But having such a variable would allow us to also provide more challenging gameplay for players who enjoy risks. For example, setting ecoRisk to 100 means that we'd have a zero-sum economy: both duelists pay an ante, and the ante is then paid to the winner. Of course, intermediate settings are also possible.

Anyway, I don't want to hijack this thread - I just wanted to say that balancing the whole game economy might be easier than we expect once we have such a system in place - if the game components indeed do use these two variables to calculate fees and prize money. :)

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:22 pm
by Daddy32
Several weeks and few hundred lines of code later...

I have finished the basic core of the task engine:
Task representation, storing, loading, validation, reward awarding etc.

Currently, only tasks validated at the end-game and credit rewards are supported. As for more complex awards, I'm all for the idea of reward tokens suggested elsewhere, so I'll probably leave tasks rewards credit-only until the reward tokens are implemented (for this and other purposes, it would be nice, if we had way of generating tokens of chosen type worth given amount of credits).

Now, I'll create some very basic user interface and then I can finally move on to the fun part - creating various tasks. After that, I'll post sources/exe/eboot here for testing. Still, due to my lack of available time, this may take week or two.

Regarding the economy settings - this, if properly and globally implemented, could be a very good tool for fine-tuning game difficulty (or some of its aspects). It does not however remove the need for balancing each single part of the economy - and various parts mutually. When talking about tasks, I need to make sure, that their rewards are proportional to the effort needed to finish them - with the same proportion kept for all types of tasks.
While I know it's oversimplifying, I'm currently using 'seconds-to-win' as an measurement for mentioned effort and 'credits-earned-per-second' (CPS) as measurement for reward attractiveness - but more about this later.

Re: [Suggestion] Quests/Tasks

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 10:15 pm
by Daddy32
Few teaser screenshots from the alpha version, before its release: