Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Forum for suggesting changes to Salem.

Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby pistolshrimp » Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:20 am

tldr: Changes to help make madness slightly easier to manage for new players and overall flesh out current sleep mechanics.

Problem: Currently madness is an inhibitor to the growth of Salem as it is hard to understand, runs counter to how new players want to play the game, and hard to deal with for new players.*

Secondly, pajamas don’t really make sense to slot.

Changes:
Two major mechanics Good Dreams/ Nightmares and + Slumbering items.

Good Dreams/ Nightmares: Good Dreams are rare chance events that remove a madness level and give a large boost of inspiration regardless of whether they slept with a Teddybear or not. Chance of this happening will be based on a player’s + Slumbering slotted items and whether or not the player leveled up their Sugar and Spice stat in the last 8 hours. This means new players will still have a Good Dreams about the same or more than older players with access to higher + Slumbering slotted gear. A player with a teddybear having a Good Dream will loss two madness levels.

Nightmares are similar but don’t add a madness level but instead cancel any insanity benefits the player would have received that night. Ie insanity will not be reset to its lowest level/ will not go down a level from sleeping with a teddybear. Chance of this happening will be related to the players current level of Perinnual knowledge, whether a crime has been committed in the last 8 hours and and can be reduced by + Slumbering items.

Why? Mostly because it feels thematically right - a Lovecraftian concept that it is dangerous to have knowledge of some things. Also to gives non-new players a reason to opt into the + Slumbering mechanic.

+ Slumbering: Essentially works like any other slot-able item but increases you chance to have a Good Dream and reduces chance to have a Nightmare. Can be slotted into any clothes, but kinda makes more sense for players to slot them into pajamas.

I also think they should synergize with pajamas current sleep inspiration gain bonus, perhaps each point of + Slumbering multiplies total sleep bonus by x %.

Items
Ideally a good mix of items easy for new players to get ahold of, but with some high-end options for mid and late game players. I only have a couple of ideas at this point.

Foraged
Lost Tooth: Found randomly when picking up a squirrel. If left in a players inventory when they sleep in a bed for 8 hours it will turn into 1 silver coin, or very rarely a Fairy Wand.
Fairy Wand: Modified to give Slumbering.
Passionflower: A new flower that can be dried in a drying rack and slotted.

Craftable
Fluffy Stuffing: Modified to give Slumbering.
Black Backing: Cleaned Cotton + Ink
Accurate Sheep Count: With a quill equipped, ink and paper in inventory clicking on a sheep will give an option to “Count”, replacing the paper with an Accurate Sheep Count

Etcetera
This is a bunch of ideas which seem fitting enough to include them in the post but may not actually be a good fit for the game/ mechanics.

New Exploration Event: Rip Van Wrinkle. Right clicking on him gives the option to “Pull Whisker” and gives 1 Van Winkle’s Whisker. A + Slumbering slot-able item. Having scissors in equipped give several more.

New Sleep Clothing : With there being some gain to maximizing both Sleep and Slumbering more sleep gear may be needed, specifically for slots where it doesn’t exist yet. For instance bathrobes for the Coat slot, Slippers for the Feet slot, and a Sleep Mask for the Face slot.

Drinks: Perhaps Sleeping under the influence of Camomile Tea, Chocolate Milk, or Hot Chocolate all increase chance of having a Good Dream.

Other Factors: Perhaps eating turkey before bed would increase chance of having a Good Dream, and/or sleeping while under the influence or coming down from Satan Salts increases the chance of having a Nightmare.

Sickness: Maybe being sick increases the chance of having a Nightmare, but if the player does have a Good Dream that player is cured.

New Mystery Furniture: Sweet Dreams Bed. Slightly higher chance of having a Good Dream.

Okay that’s about all I’ve got.

Edit*: Formatting.
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Dallane » Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:27 pm

too much weird things make this a odd concept. The sugar and spice for example. Why is there no negative effect for having a nightmare? Just like in most lovecraft stories characters will have disturbing dreams that will effect them negatively in the stories.

The madness system is extremely easy to understand and even easier to maintain from just playing the game.
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby pistolshrimp » Sat Jun 29, 2019 4:11 pm

I appreciate the feedback.

Dallane wrote:too much weird things make this a odd concept.

You're not wrong...

Dallane wrote:The sugar and spice for example.

I think the rhyme goes, "Sugar and spice and everything nice." It seems like opposite of Perennial Knowledge and an easy to level stat for new players.

Dallane wrote:The madness system is extremely easy to understand and even easier to maintain from just playing the game.

I may just be an idiot, which often turns out to be the case, but it felt like while reducing insanity seems relatively straight forward, reducing madness levels are not given that getting enough influence to get into the Den or killing a bear are not simple tasks to players just learning the game. It is not explained in the tutorial and even the Teddybear's tooltip doesn't mention madness. The point of the system would not be to replace current methods of reducing madness but to give new players a taste of it going up and down so they last long enough (without getting discouraged) to look it up or ask about it.

Dallane wrote:Why is there no negative effect for having a nightmare? Just like in most lovecraft stories characters will have disturbing dreams that will effect them negatively in the stories.

Okay you're right on this one, I didn't want to punish people too hard here, but there is definitely room to expand.
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Taipion » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:53 pm

I think, by all means, both madness and hypothermia are poorly implemented as they are.
By that, I mean that there could and should be more depth to it, but not in that much detail as you suggest here.

Disregarding the missing depth, madness (and usually hypothermia in combination) do a pretty good job though,
that is, assuming that they are meant to give new players an actual thrill and put them at deaths door.
That way they need to learn fast and/or deal with permadeath, which is a core concept of Salem and...
...therefore serves well as mechanic to weed out players that are not meant to play it.
:lol:

ofc it's something that will scare away more people than would be good for this game, but in all honesty:
- there is also a 48h madness immunity (played time) for fresh chars, way enough time to be in a position to do something about it
- alts are made in 5 minutes, which can mitigate this problem for new players by a good bit
- if you die after roughly 100h of played time (48h immunity + 2-3 days), your loss is probably small, and you can inherit
- you'd need to ignore the wiki and forum and discord completely to go for 100h played without learning about madness, and in that case you might just deserve to die
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Paradoxyc » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:08 am

Also think freezing is a problem for new players
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Taipion » Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:22 am

Paradoxyc wrote:Also think freezing is a problem for new players


yea freezing is a bit unintuitive with turning you into a popsicle at still pretty high numbers of that debuff,
that definitely needs some rework
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Dallane » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:06 pm

pistolshrimp wrote:I appreciate the feedback.

Dallane wrote:too much weird things make this a odd concept.

You're not wrong...

Dallane wrote:The sugar and spice for example.

I think the rhyme goes, "Sugar and spice and everything nice." It seems like opposite of Perennial Knowledge and an easy to level stat for new players.

Dallane wrote:The madness system is extremely easy to understand and even easier to maintain from just playing the game.

I may just be an idiot, which often turns out to be the case, but it felt like while reducing insanity seems relatively straight forward, reducing madness levels are not given that getting enough influence to get into the Den or killing a bear are not simple tasks to players just learning the game. It is not explained in the tutorial and even the Teddybear's tooltip doesn't mention madness. The point of the system would not be to replace current methods of reducing madness but to give new players a taste of it going up and down so they last long enough (without getting discouraged) to look it up or ask about it.

Dallane wrote:Why is there no negative effect for having a nightmare? Just like in most lovecraft stories characters will have disturbing dreams that will effect them negatively in the stories.

Okay you're right on this one, I didn't want to punish people too hard here, but there is definitely room to expand.


I think it's a good idea to have a good dream or nightmare but shouldn't force people to invest in skills. Just have it set as a rare event like we have in the wilderness. It could open towns up to have their own system of random events.

Freezing blows and prolly needs relooked at. Devs will counter and say that making clothing will fix the players problem.
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Taipion » Sun Jun 30, 2019 3:14 pm

The really unintuitive thing about hypothermia is just that you get frozen solid after losing 30% or so and the remaining 70% are pointless,
the only purpose that serves is to make new players believe it's not urgent yet, and then freeze them by surprise, idk if that's good, I say it's not.
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby pistolshrimp » Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:49 pm

Taipion wrote:ofc it's something that will scare away more people than would be good for this game, but in all honesty:
- there is also a 48h madness immunity (played time) for fresh chars, way enough time to be in a position to do something about it
- alts are made in 5 minutes, which can mitigate this problem for new players by a good bit
- if you die after roughly 100h of played time (48h immunity + 2-3 days), your loss is probably small, and you can inherit
- you'd need to ignore the wiki and forum and discord completely to go for 100h played without learning about madness, and in that case you might just deserve to die


This all technically true, but I think you’ve all been hardened by years of playing Salem. :P New players don’t necessarily leave because they die, whether it’s from madness, or hypothermia, or whatever. They leave because they get frustrated. It may be that they don’t know what to do next, it may be they feel a mechanic is use unfair, or a feeling that they lack autonomy of actions in the game, etc. This is true in all games but especially apparent to me as I return to Salem and relearn some of the mechanics. All games have a learning curve for new players, a hump they have to get over in order to enjoy the game, Salem’s is just bigger than most. If a player dies in this game after 100 hours they are probably not going to quit, they’re already invested. What I am arguing here with this idea is not that we remove the hump, but make it a tad bit easier for them to climb it. This Dream mechanic may not be the best for that - I was hoping giving new players a sense that madness can go up and down would introduce them to the larger mechanic and the Slumbering items would help them feel they have some authority over the mechanic - however I can cede that it may not work out.

Taipion wrote:That way they need to learn fast and/or deal with permadeath, which is a core concept of Salem and...
...therefore serves well as mechanic to weed out players that are not meant to play it.

This is the crux of the issue. This is necessarily but Perhaps there lies some middle ground between attracting masochists and filling the servers with players who will whine on the forums when they get killed.

What do you all think? Besides hypothermia do you the learning curve is fairly balanced and inclusive of both new and veteran players or do you think the curve can be softened a bit without necessarily making the game easier? Also how would you change hypothermia?
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Re: Fleshing Out Sleep Mechanics

Postby Ronch » Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:40 pm

pistolshrimp wrote: New players don’t necessarily leave because they die, whether it’s from madness, or hypothermia, or whatever. They leave because they get frustrated.
+100


The only reason that I did not stop playing my first week, was because I was semi-adopted by a vet mentor for about a month.
Their valuable advice (not hand holding or sheltering) was probably the main thing that kept me playing until I could get even vaguely familiar with this game's many harsh unforgiving features.

I do enjoy the game's many existing harsh features and mechanics the way they are now, but they are problematic for most new players for them to get initially established.
...The game's tutorial and tips wasn't/isn't sufficient for an unfamiliar new player, there just isn't enough easily accessed knowledge offered about the game to encourage them to stay.
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