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Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 18:53:59

Fizzer 
Level 63

Warzone Creator
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It's OK to switch artifacts from time to time, but in my opinion it's not very fun to have to switch artifacts, do one thing, then switch again, do another thing, then switch back. It becomes tedious, and it also makes passive artifacts extremely overpowered compared to active ones.

My original intent with artifacts is that players would pick their best three and use those most of the time. When originally designing artifacts, I wrestled with finding a way to mitigate excessive switching for a while. In the end, I decided to go live with artifacts being switchable at will since I wasn't happy with the other solutions. But it's become clear that the current implementation rewards excessive switching and therefore rewards a strategy that isn't very fun to execute.

Options I'm considering:

1. Make all artifacts active. Current passive ones would be re-phrased as having their effects for 16 hours with an activate button. This fixes the excessive switching problem, but also makes it annoying to test an artifact since once you activate it you're locked into it for 16 hours.

2. Don't allow un-equipping passive artifacts if they were recently equipped. Also gets annoying for testing them since you can't swap around.

3. Limit the number of times you can swap artifacts in a certain timeframe. It works for allowing easy testing, but it's also a bad newbie experience since you don't realize there is a limit until you run into it and then you're stuck with artifacts for some time.

4. Passive artifacts's effects take a while to kick in after equipping them. This is good since it doesn't lock you into anything -- you can swap passives at any time. But it prevents swapping for a single action and quickly swapping back.

Any other ideas?
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 18:58:01


Samek ● 
Level 57
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how about every acquired artifact is just active but the effects start low? uncovering duplicate artifacts can lead to it having increased benefits with some sort of tiered system. (i.e. find two of same artifact to increase it to Level 2, find four to reach Level 3, etc.)
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:11:00

Thomsenian
Level 39
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If u wanna play around with the amount of times u can swap artifact, I would also consider changing the number of artifact slots with potential slots that only give half the effect.(I know 3 are a lot but money,armycamp production and mine production are the most useful in a lot of peoples opinion)
A slot for active Artifacts would also be nice, as I considered some, but never thought they were worth the time.
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:28:27


Leia - Princess of Coinwheels
Level 59
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- reduce the renewal time for active artifacts?

or

- make 3 slots for active artifacts + 1 or 2 slots for passive artifacts?

and

- put a timer on the passive artifacts before they start working after applying (like a 10min countdown)?

@samek: the poor/common/uncommon/rare already has the amount of effect included. you can upgrade your artifacts by offering 4 of the same strength. I think that is well balanced
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:28:44


Z 
Level 62
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1. Ew, no. Please don’t!
2/3/4. These are all very similar.
•2- A time of X hours starts when you swap an artifact. This slot is locked for the duration.
•3- Essentially the same.
•4- You can continuously swap artifacts, but it punishes you with waiting X hours before it becomes effective.

Personally, I like option 2. I’ve been feeding a lot of my swappable artifacts into upgrade fodder recently. I’ve only held onto a few that are very useful late game (Mercenary Discount, Hospital Boost, Tech Discount), and I full time Bonus Money Boost, Mine Boost, and Army Camp Boost.

Putting a lid on swapping will put a lid on that play style, and will encourage variety as well. Some people may find Item Values to be more profitable than Bonus Money Boost, and so forth.

The real elephant in the room is the Active Artifact. Very powerful for a second, then dead weight for most of a day. Uncommon/Common passive artifacts are better than most Legendary Active artifacts.

Back on topic, I would say the best way to limit swapping would be option 2. You must wait X hours after switching it in before you you can switch it out. Perhaps 16 hrs. This would treat swapping in a Passive like activating an Active.

On the same note, it might be worth considering adding a 4th Active only slot. This would encourage people to actually use them rather than have them collect dust and be upgrade fodder. Even if you made Active timers much shorter (ie 2 hrs), it would still be more practical to just have a Passive. And besides, if Actives are too active, then it isn’t really Idle anymore.

Anyway, that is my two cents.
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:33:28


hukutka94
Level 35
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Passives are great and awesome, but even if you fix them somehow there will be little to zero sense in active ones. Please, make something for actives, like, 1 extra slot exclusively for active artifacts.
About fixing passives. It is obvious that a player should be able to swap artifacts around as much as he wants, because, if you block swap after installing new artifact this will cause some unlucky players to leave game with working unwanted artifacts. For example, I had uncommon and poor discount artifacts for mercenaries, at first I put in slot poor quality one and bought a little number of mercs, after that I saw what I did and changed it to uncommon rarity and continued to buy with better price :D

For your suggestions:
1. Absolutely, please, don't do this. It will be pain in the ass to have activating "passives" every 16 hours, especially in night time, when you sleep. Probably "you will be able to swap them after 16 hours" sounds better than "active for 16 hours and then activate again". Really really bad experience!!!
2. Answered this above, please, don't.
3. Might be nice, but even 10 swaps can be enough for efficient artifact usage :D
4. This sounds good too for idle/long term play, but really not cool for active stuff, like going for discounts. Who wants to change artifacts for discount and wait for it for some time before buying stuff? Really may be frustrating.

In my opinion every player need no restrictions in swapping artifacts, just for fun or for test or for profit. Strategical swapping is also a part of this idle's gameplay. Of course, not every player does this, but those who does - get their profit from this. Personally I prefer players to get more option and variaties in use for their in-game stuff than restrictions and some measurements to "balance" (not quite) things.

It is really fun for me to change artifacts, see new better result, do things, change back/change for another stuff. What I'd like to see in WZI is sets of artifacts. Like, basically, I have 3 loadouts which I actively swap: 1 idle (+ money from bonuses, + armies from army camps, double craft/smelt or speed craft/smelt), 2 active (+ hospital saving power, boosts for chests rewards (still don't have an artifact for army cache =/)), 3 management (discounts for techs, mercs, hospitals or sell price boosts). It'd be super to have something, like sets of artifacts to equip them all in one click.

If you don't have fun with swapping - don't swap and play your own game in your own pace. This is not my problem for you feeling uncomfortable, I am absolutely okay with that! :DD

About suggestions for reducing swap potential, I'd better prefer to have reduced artifacts power for some time (like 25% of artifact effect for first 15 minutes, but full potential after that) than those restrictions and stuff you suggest.
Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:37:06


JK_3 
Level 62
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Continually switching passive artifacts for whatever situation you're in to give a as big as possible boost, is completely in line with what WZI is: An idle game where you cannot really idle.

Idle is much more fun then normal idle games cause its far more complex, but that also means that automating it is pretty much impossible. As a result of that, micromanaging every aspect of the game (aka: not idling), will give you a major advantage over players that do actually idle. While you could argue that this is unbalanced, I think its just part of a playstyle, and that those who are willing to invest the time in it, should receive their advantage.

Since WZI is a complex game, changing artifacts is pretty much a requirement. I used a different set of artifacts for:
  • Playing idle levels (and swapping army/money/resource cache boost as well)
  • Idling idle levels
  • Challenges
  • Battles

    Eliminating the option to swap out artifacts or even just limiting it will just make idle far more tedious. Swapping artifacts is a required part of WZI with the way the game works.

    Rather than removing passive artifacts (or limiting their use, giving the instant-sacrifice status the active ones currently have), I suggest you make the active artifacts more useful.

    1. Rather than making them useful once a day, lower their cooldown to 1-6 hours.

    2. Make them much more powerful, so that their effect cannot be achieved by a passive artifact in less than a minute. For example: make the triple strike one, return 200% (yes, free extra armies) of the armies needed to capture a territory.

    3. Make them cheaper to upgrade (for example: 3 artifacts to upgrade an active, and 5 to upgrade a passive artifact)

    4. Allow advancements to improve artifacts (like unlock 1 extra slot specifically for active artifacts)

    TL;DR: don't nerf the passive artifacts, but buff the active artifacts by reducing their cooldown and making them more powerful.
  • Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 19:38:22


    Splat 
    Level 63
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    I think all obtained artifacts should be readily usable, but still having an incentive to use the active slots. Here's what I think would be worth it but still balanced:

    Passive:
    All passive artifacts not in the active slots would be usable, but their powers are reduced to 5-10% of their normal affects. Ex: If you have Army Camp Boost 20% in your collection, it would only give you 1-2% if you leave it in your inventory.
    If you have any duplicates of artifacts, only the highest tiered one with have its affect in place. If you have multiple that are the highest tier, the one that's listed first will active. By listed first, I mean the one that is seen first when going left to right, row by row, top down.

    Active:
    All active artifacts not in the active slots would be usable at their normal strength, but their cooldowns would be increase by 10 or 20 times the normal time, 160 or 320 hours.
    If you use an active artifact from your inventory, you can't switch it into your active slots in an attempt to reduce the cooldown.
    If you have any duplicates of artifacts, you can use them, but their cooldown times are stacked. Meaning if you use an artifact of the same type as one you used prior, the cooldown for the one you just used will not start until the previous one's cooldown finishes.

    I think this should be combined with option 4:

    When you swap out an artifact; if it's an active one, you'll have to wait 30 minutes before you can use it with the extended cooldown, and if it's a passive one, it will instantly switch to the reduced affect.

    When you swap in an artifact: if it's an active one, you'll have to wait 30 minutes before you can use it as normal, and if it's a passive one, it will continue to be used at the reduced affect for 30 minutes before it can be used as normal.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:03:41

    Phoenix
    Level 25
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    I really appreciate that you put this question to public discussion. So, here is my opinion on this:
    But it's become clear that the current implementation rewards excessive switching and therefore rewards a strategy that isn't very fun to execute.

    Is this a problem per se? I mean, it's up to each single player to decide how much time and effort he/she is willing to spend on an idle game. And if min-/maxing the effects of artifacts is their favorite way of playing games, who are we to blame them (to some extent, I'm one of them). This is all fine as long as this is only true for single-player maps. If swapping artifacts in battles was a thing (which shouldn't be afaik), I would agree with you that this had to end.
    1. Make all artifacts active. Current passive ones would be re-phrased as having their effects for 16 hours with an activate button. This fixes the excessive switching problem, but also makes it annoying to test an artifact since once you activate it you're locked into it for 16 hours.

    In my opinion, active artifacts have close to no real meaning to my (and others) way of playing WZI because their effect is almost zero and they still block a slot for 16h. With this change (if I got you right), this would still not change. It would only mean that I had to activate my artifacts after 16h again. Sure, we are currently mainly discussing whether to limit artifact swapping of not, but to have an reasonable discussion, we should also keep an eye on the fact that passive artifacts ARE superior. And this proposal won't change the situation. If all artifacts would keep their current effects and passive artifacts had to be activated and ALL artifacts would have a time (either cool down time or activation time) of let's say one hour, we would still drastically limit the swapping and at the same time finally make active artifacts usable.
    2. Don't allow un-equipping passive artifacts if they were recently equipped. Also gets annoying for testing them since you can't swap around.

    To me, this is more or less the same as option 1 with the only difference that I don't have to re-activate artifacts that I want to keep after they expired, so this would favor the "keepers" over the "swappers". Other than that no further comments on this.
    3. Limit the number of times you can swap artifacts in a certain timeframe. It works for allowing easy testing, but it's also a bad newbie experience since you don't realize there is a limit until you run into it and then you're stuck with artifacts for some time.

    If it would be in the form of banked boot time, I would probably be able to adopt to this. Something like a max of 10 swaps and +1 each (real life) hour, or similar. This would still allow swapping for one time benefits but only from time to time.
    4. Passive artifacts's effects take a while to kick in after equipping them. This is good since it doesn't lock you into anything -- you can swap passives at any time. But it prevents swapping for a single action and quickly swapping back.

    From the UX side of things, this might be the worst option, and would have the least effect. I mean, it depends on the time you would require for an artifact to kick in, but if I plan on claiming a cache (just an example, army camp discount would be another), I will in most cases know this a fair bit of time ahead. So, I can swap in the cache boost ahead of time so that when I have the amount of armies to capture the territory, the artifact will be activated (or, when I finally have the money to upgrade my camps). On the downside, it would be even more disappointing to realize that you mis-clicked something and the artifact was only ready minutes later.

    I don't know whether I would like this but let me propose a fifth option:
    5. Passive artifacts have an activate button like in your first option, but being activated doesn't prevent you from swapping them out in favor of another artifact. The only problem with swapping out would be, that once swapped out, their activation timer changes into a cool down timer. This, together with the change that active artifacts can cool down in the artifact list (instead of in a slot) and preferably shorter overall cool down times, would make active and passives pretty much alike and you still had an incentive to keep an activated passive artifact equipped.

    I still prefer that you don't have to re-activate a passive artifact after x hours, so if you choose to establish an activate button for passive artifacts, I'd prefer that after their time ran out they stay "on".
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:15:15


    Banxi 
    Level 58
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    How about a %rebalance of passive artifacts that make the following scenario viable:

    - 3 equiped artifacts have 25% bonus efficiency (no artifact repeatable);
    - highest rarity of each passive artifact in inventory works at x0.4 efficiency;
    - swaping active artifacts reduce all artifacts efficiency for x time;
    - a 4th slot is created for active artifacts only (cooldowns and % rebalanced to allow more dinamic active arfifacts swaping).

    Just an idea, but it would need rebalances on current values.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:17:14


    Banxi 
    Level 58
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    correction: swaping the 3 'passive' artifacts reduces efficiency for x time
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:18:47

    Phoenix
    Level 25
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    An idle game where you cannot really idle.

    A bit off-topic here, but I have observed for my level of artifacts and advancements that regularly drafting armies can get me the same number of armies again that I earned over time from my camps. So, if you nerf passive artifacts in order to get passive and active players closer together, let me just say: active idle players get advantages other than excessive artifact swapping. And if you really wanted this to be an IDLE game, the drafting would be the first thing to become extinct. No-one will deny that active WZC players get more experience (and I don't mean points or such, but the thing that makes you become better) over time, so why should active WZI players be kept down artificially.

    Edited 2/9/2021 20:21:12
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:22:29


    JK_3 
    Level 62
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    gularly drafting armies can get me the same number of armies again that I earned over time from my camps.


    The drafting works by working towards a target number of armies drafted. That number is dependent on the armies you earned (camps, mercs, caches), so it will keep going up and up. Each time you draft, the drafted armies will be added to a total armies drafted value.

    If there is a big difference between your total armies drafted and your target armies to be drafter, you will get bigger drafts. This means that within a few drafts, you will have earned the same amount of armies as someone who was online all the time and collected his drafts.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:47:43


    Master Meldarion 
    Level 63
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    As someone who checks idle about twice a day, please do not make everything active :p Then you really do turn it into an idle game where you cannot idle. I don't ever really swap, so I don't have much of an opinion on 2/3/4, just please don't use option 1 :p That makes it unbearable haha
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:55:54


    Math Wolf 
    Level 64
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    Personally, I think there are way too many artefacts (I think I have almost all of them now and I count 38) for way too few slots (3) and I really don't like the switching idea. I know it's more efficient but it's such a timewaster for people who have more important things to do (I know I do) and who play Idle games for the Idle aspect.

    So I'd propose a complete different idea. Get rid of the artefacts slots altogether and just have a maximum number of artefacts you can hold (maybe something like 50, a little more than the total number of artefacts in the game so "collectors" like me who want 1 of each can have fun - or even better: start with 20 and allow players to buy unlimited extra slots with AP in steps of 2!).
    All artefacts you hold would then be able to work with the same properties as before (i.e. 16h cooldown for active).
    Of course, for balancing purposes, they probably should all be about 10 times less powerful than they are now.

    This gets rid of the whole switching in - switching out idea and instead allows players to optimize their artefacts in the long game: which one do I upgrade, do I want duplicates of the one I like (e.g. a double rare speedy smelter etc), do I want to keep active ones (now most people seem to throw them away) etc.
    This to me looks like more interesting long-term gameplay compared to having to micromanage every single aspect of a game that already requires quite a lot of micromanaging.

    Of course, you could still keep the 3 slots for Battles.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 20:57:16

    4tog
    Level 58
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    first, thanks for asking!
    As for changing passives to being activated, that major a change isn't fair to those who have upgraded their passives, so I recommend changing the activated ones, as they are mostly underused due to time. Maybe just simply adding 2 slots for activated only, and add a time penalty to any passive switch outs
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 21:32:16


    asdfgh
    Level 22
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    One of the main reasons I'm addicted to this game is collecting and upgrading the dozen or so artifacts that I use daily. Any of the 4 changes that you suggested would probably lead me to stop playing, so please don't. The only problem I have is with active artifacts being fairly useless. The answer to this shouldn't be to make the passive ones just as useless, but to make the active ones more useful.

    I find this thread terrible depressing as I see it ending a game I love playing.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 21:38:44

    Fizzer 
    Level 63

    Warzone Creator
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    how about every acquired artifact is just active

    All passive artifacts not in the active slots would be usable

    Over time, everyone would have a copy of every artifact. I don't like this as it makes it difficult to manage them all and also makes all players similar rather than being specialized. Extra artifacts should be for sacrificing.

    make 3 slots for active artifacts + 1 or 2 slots for passive artifacts?

    Rather than removing passive artifacts (or limiting their use, giving the instant-sacrifice status the active ones currently have), I suggest you make the active artifacts more useful.

    Doesn't solve the core problem -- swapping the passive ones.

    Passives are great and awesome

    I agree, but I view this as "Passives are overpowered". Put your mind into the frame of a game designer, not a player. The goal is not to make everything go faster, the goal is to design a fun game.

    Who wants to change artifacts for discount and wait for it for some time before buying stuff? Really may be frustrating.

    Exactly. That's the whole point of this change -- to stop people from changing to a discount, getting the discount, then switching back. If we make it frustrating enough, it will deter people from that behavior.

    Is this a problem per se? I mean, it's up to each single player to decide how much time and effort he/she is willing to spend on an idle game. And if min-/maxing the effects of artifacts is their favorite way of playing games, who are we to blame them

    It should be possible to min/max and still have the game be fun. If a game requires you to do a bunch of tedious work to min/max, that's the smell of a badly designed game. Some people may be OK with that but it's not ideal in my opinion.
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 21:49:40


    l6v.r2v
    Level 42
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    The goal is not to make everything go faster, the goal is to design a fun game.
    Oh. Uh, which update will that happen in?
    EDIT: to avoid just leaving a flippant comment that you will ignore and probably warn/suspend me for, here's something more elaborate.

    In this thread, you're getting user feedback. You're right that your users cannot tell you how to design the game. But users are at the same time unimpeachable witnesses of their own experience.

    Your users are telling you that the change you're proposing will not be fun. As usual, you respond by dismissing their experience, telling users that they do not understand the game, and doubling-down on something that will make the game more tedious, less enjoyable, and increasingly pay-to-progress (by nerfing features that allow for reasonable progression & idle/passive play in a nominally idle game)... all in the name of "design[ing] a fun game."

    Maybe you have access to some other feedback that diverges wildly from the vocal feedback on threads like this. But if not, I guess you and your users just have radically different ideas of what fun is.

    Edited 2/9/2021 22:25:42
    Fixing artifacts: 2/9/2021 22:16:10

    Mr_Perfect
    Level 57
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    there are hundreds? of levels. who cares. this game is slow as heck anyways. at least I can spend 5 minutes fiddling around with artifacts to feel like I'm doing something

    And id love to know what is actually gained from this. the game goes 20% slower? 10%? It's not a race against others but it's also painful to spend 15 days beating a level. if that went to say 18-20, nah I'm out. keep it as is. Any changes to artifacts should be making them better.
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