Posts by Steve Mencik

    If shorter end games is the goal, then end games should somehow always be scheduled for a weekend when people can devote 24+ straight hours to the EG. During the week, people work and have to sleep, and it becomes an endurance contest among the teams that can manage to keep enough people online. In those cases, longer is better.

    We are just finishing the EG on COM-202 Loch Ness. I can tell you that the effect of the number of connected players is tremendous, probaly a lot more than it should be.

    I think that, especially for EG, the definition of connected player needs to change. Instead of anyone with more than 20 presitige points, connected to city, and online within last 3 days, it needs to change to anyone whose home city is that city, and has been online within the last 24 hours. If you want to have a presitige point threshold, it should be in thousands, not 10's. For example, Manchester had about 125 people connected to it. Of that, less than 75 actually had Manchester as their home city and maybe 50 of those were actively hauling to it within the last day.

    I have watched a ton of videos on this same server, and have not yet failed to receive a 2nd video. My issue is with the odds distribution of the prizes. There seems to be way more discounted lottery tickets that give worse prizes than before, and less other prizes given.

    I don't know what the new table of odds for video prizes is, but there seem to be a whole lot more discounted lottery tickets than before, and from my small sample size, so far the prizes from those seem worse. It appears to me that we are spending more and getting less.

    We just lost a worker auction by exactly the 10K minimum. The last bid also showed up a couple of seconds after the timer went to expired. Considering we raised our bid by 270K in the last 2 seconds, and were not the high bidder prior to that, this is very suspicious.

    Is there something allowing late bids? In 9 previous (non-HTML5 rounds), I've never seen anything like that.


    The city with the most people connected to the city has an advantage in the E/G as they should.

    Not necessarily. Many people connected to a city may have a home city elsewhere. That means they will be hauling in their home city and the connection simply screws up the stats. Required goods in EG should be based on active players with that home city set, not just connected (in additon to level).

    I'd suggest that perhaps there should be different EG rules for the different scenarios. Steam over Europe really is much more of a team game, and free hauling all over the place really hurts the team aspect, especially during the EG when folks start messing up wait times simply to be trolls.

    Concrete sleepers are used mostly on the high speed Acela AmTrak routes in the northeast USA. The main routes are continuous welded rail on concrete.

    Do you want fair play?

    Of course I do.

    What are you willing to sacrifice to play a fair endgame?

    I don't think anything needs to be "sacrificed", but I do think there should be at least one restriction. My comment reflects Steam Over Europe, as that is the only scenario I play. No player should be allowed to run a train in End Game in any region other than the one containing their home city. This will prevent sabotage from outside the region. If a region is so un-organized that they have multiple mega-cities fighting each other, well that's too bad for them. I'm tired of players from other regions running a train or two to haul a few loads, especially of the tougher ones, simply for a little prestige, but more importantly, to mess up the waiting times for the players of that region. Make them stay in their own region.

    I'd also like to see a way for other team members to take over your trains for a few hours during End Game so people can get some sleep or while they are in work and can't play. It is so important to have all trains involved all the time during End Game, it takes away from the enjoyment when you can't be online and you know your trains are basically useless, simply hauling the "offline" good.

    Amounts for what needs to be hauled should be based not only on where in the standings the city is at the start of end game, but also on the number of players from that region that are connected. Do not count those connected from outside the region, because they shouldn't be hauling there anyway (see my suggestion for that above). Having large numbers of players in a city that artifically holds their level down to make top 10, but not too high, has an extreme advantage in the end game, despite the time handicap.

    How do you imagine the perfect finish for you?

    Several good teams fighting it out down to the wire, with perhaps the winning team no more than 1 or 2 goods ahead of 2nd place. In 9 rounds, I have never seen that happen. We had a pretty good battle on COM202 this round. Even so, we finished 2nd, 5 goods behind. We started ahead of the winners, but had at least 30 less people hauling, and had to haul 10K more of every good. Those extra 30 people made up for the time handicap quite easily. If our associations in the regions didn't work together as well as we did, it would not have even been close. 3rd place was 7 goods behind us, and 4th places was another 14 goods behind 3rd. Those gaps should not be so large if the handicapping system worked better.

    Having just completed my 9th round of Steam over Europe, I offer the following suggestions for various aspects of the game:

    1) Prestige for investments in industries. Either end them or scale them back.Too many Prestige hunters swoop in right before an industry levels up and dump a ton of money in, just to claim the prestige points, while at the same time breaking the majority ownership. Often those people are from an adjoining region and are just screwing up the gameplay. Perhaps no prestige for any investments in last hour before leveling.

    2) End Game. Prohibit trains from running in a region other than where their registered home city is located. This will prevent the sabotage that happens every single end game. It is supposed to be which region/city can work together as a team to fill all the goods first. Having to put up with folks from other regions that are connected coming in just to screw things up is extremely frustrating, and something has just about caused me to stop playing. This should be an easy fix. Return all trains to their start city at the beginning of the end game. Blow up all the special routes at the start of the End Game. Don't allow reactivations from the museum to cities outside the region they are registered in.

    3) Provide prestige for daily deliveries to LM instead of on a per level-up basis. It detracts from helping the LM level when prestige hunters are running for the city delivering goods that will simply be consumed without leveling, yet get large (relatively) amounts of prestige for that, while delivering to the LM gets nothing until the LM levels.

    4) Put a cap on the time it takes to build a track, similar to the cap on track costs. There should be a maximum time, say 20 to 30 minutes for a track. When you get a large network, taking 45 minutes or more to build a track is nuts.

    5) Fix the bugs with the clocks. The clocks for city consumption and goods recalculation start at the same time. There should be four 15 minute consumption periods per recalculation cycle. However, every round somewhere along the line, they get out of sync so that there is overlap. This really screws things up in End Game in particular. When the consumption hour ends, the recalculation should occur at the same time. There is no reason why the software can't do a check and reset if necessary once per day, if they get out sync.

    6) Fix the communications for the mobile platforms. Having the message screen disappear randomly all the time, especially while in the middle of writing a message, is frustrating to say the least, and makes it very difficult for people playing on mobile to communicate. This makes it especially tough for them to be in any position of power (Association Chair or Deputy, Mayor or Council Member, President or Cabinet Member) that has to send message often. Our Association Chair is giving up that position simply because he cannot tolerate the lousy comms within the game while on the mobile platforms. The PC messaging seems to be okay. I have no clue why there would be a difference.

    That's enough for now. If I think of more, I'll add to the thread.