Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Looking for a New Sci-Fi Show

Rewatched the first season of Heroes, which was great fun, and I've finished watching Earth: Final Conflict. (Can't recommend it, but I will be mining it for Transformers/Resistance plots.) Also finished watching Fang of the Sun: Dougram (from which we get many BattleMechs and possibly some vehicles. It's pretty alright, as "real robot" war stories go). Finally read H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds.

Looking for another new-to-me sci-fi to watch now.

Was actually wishing I had another Whedon show to watch, completely forgetting that Agents of Shield existed and is coming back in September. (Incidentally, I'm very happy how the Marvel Movie-verse has no mutants. It makes these people rarer, and lends the setting a more distinct flavor.)(On the topic of upcoming shows: I'm expecting the How I Met Your Father woman to end up marrying Barney; mostly though I'm hoping for more Twin Peaks tie-ins.)

I'm currently keeping up with Extant, and I like the Pretender-like layered conspiracy it has, but I'm looking for something I can marathon. Tried Alphas but the pilot was disappointing. Not sure what to try next.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Persistent Computerized Mech Worlds

For the rest of this to work, I need to distinguish the winningest human players from spoilers propped up by sockpuppets and robots...

Suppose that before each match, every player's current rating is degraded by some fraction according to their total number of matches to date (i.e., multiply by (n-1)/n), and degraded by some other fraction according to how many days (weeks) have elapsed since the last match; then after each match, their ratings increase according to their level of success, the opponent's rating, their total number of matches to date, and how frequently they encounter this particular opponent (ie, add success*opponent's rating/n/frequency).

Self-Organizing Factions:

Players rate each House (macro faction) on a scale from +100% to -100%. As they go about normal play, these ratings indicate how much the player's activity helps stabilize or destabilize each House. Each House has a baseline territory, and the players' aggregate activity will cause Houses to expand or contract (with diminishing returns) as a ratio of that baseline territory. This affects the availability of equipment, personnel, and other game assets within that House.

Global Events could be generated in a few ways, and should occur with some regularity. Some of these will allow for permanent changes to each House's baseline territory.

Normally, the player's material gains or losses are completely dependent on the player's own victories or defeats. However, players can choose to base a portion of their gains or losses on the success (in varying proportions) of up to eleven other players. This relationship is one-way, and does not diminish the assets of these other players.

The server will periodically map these connections. Each player's rating will be multiplied by whatever % they assigned to the eleven other players, and then added to those player's ratings, which is multiplied by those % and passed on, and so on. Each player's final value is then divided according to the player's factional loyalties to generate a rank (sergeant, colonel, marshall, etc) for each friendly faction. (The value might similarly be used to periodically put a bounty on the player's head for enemy players to collect.)(These values should possibly be divided by faction to start with, to prevent enemy officers manipulating another House's internal balance.) Rank determines how much influence each player's actions have on global equipment and events throughout the faction; highly ranked players may also have a great deal more specific regional control.

Large scale (or highly ranked) movement of players from one faction to another may be treated as defection, secession, or civil war.

Self-Balancing Battle Value:

The winningness of every 'Mech, the average lifespan between purchase and destruction, and the average cost of repairs per usage will be tracked continuously across all matches and players. 'Mech winningness will be weighted according to player winningness, with highly rated matches counting highly and low rated matches counting little. It will be used to periodically update 'Mech BattleValues, similar to how player ratings are updated. The updated BattleValues will be compared to a baseline (universal across all 'Mechs) ratio of lifetime value : lifetime cost, and used to rescale each 'Mech's purchase price and upkeep costs.

Purchase price and upkeep will have small random deviations on a 'Mech by 'Mech basis, will vary according to House loyalties, and will step incrementally toward their new calculated values over time. Availability of 'Mechs and parts will vary according to House loyalties, recent missions, and possibly other factors; there should be an overall tendency for a player's force to regress to House norms, thereby giving new players a chance against entrenched players.