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Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/23/2021 20:13:16

Level 63
There were a bunch of people complaining in the Fixing Artifacts thread, but some of them had valid points.

That thread was made to address the problem of frequently swapping Artifacts. I think that is a symptom rather than the actual problem.

I think the source of the problem is an imbalance of Artifact power. Some artifacts, no matter how they are boosted, will always remain weak. Active artifacts will always be inferior due to their long recast. Some effects will always be less useful than others (looking at Territory Money Boost vs Bonus Money Boost). I have cobbled together an alternative that would:
• Find a use for less popular effects
• Make Active Effects viable to use
• Eliminate frequent switching

It has been suggested a few times before, but I am consolidating things here. My solution is to combine Artifact Effects.
Basically, group similar Artifacts into a single Artifact. This allows lackluster effects to have a place, and it would make Artifacts significantly more potent. Each Artifact will have an Active and a Passive effect. The Passive Effects would be potent, and the Active Effect recast would prevent switching. Let the players decide if they want to use the Actives or not so they can toggle. It will encourage variety. It will also make it so that Actives are not dead weight while the recast is ongoing.

This makes it so that each Artifact is truly unique and powerful. There is one for every in-level Power, and a few extras, for a total of 10. They might be too powerful and need to have effects reduced or limit number of equipped Artifacts to two for balance, but here is the list:

Time is Money
-Fused Artifacts: Bonus Money Boost, Territory Money Boost, Idle Time, Time Warp
-Passive Effects:
• Increase the money received from bonuses by XX%
• Increase the money received from territories by XX%
• Increase your maximum idle time by XX minutes
-Active Effect:
• Advance time by XX minutes

Super Soldier Serum
-Fused Artifacts: Army Camp Boost, Army Camp Discount, Discount Army Camp, Supercharge Army Camp
-Passive Effects:
• Armies received from army camps increased by XX%
• Reduces the cost of upgrading army camps by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Supercharge army camp for XX minutes

Strip Mining
-Fused Artifacts: Mine Boost, Mine Discount, Discount Mine, Supercharge Mine
-Passive Effects:
• Ore received from mines increased by XX%
• Reduces the cost of upgrading mines by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Supercharge a mine for XX minutes

Supply Cache
-Fused Artifacts: Army Cache Boost, Money Cache Boost, Resource Cache Boost, Cache Boost, Army Cache, Money Cache, Resource Cache
-Passive Effects:
• Increases armies received from all caches by XX%
• Increases money received from all caches by XX%
• Increases resources received from all caches by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Instantly get a Free Cache of size XX%

Black Market
-Fused Artifacts: Ore Values, Alloy Values, Item Values, Market Raid
-Passive Effects:
• Ore sell values increased by XX%
• Alloy sell values increased by XX%
• Item sell values increased by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Instantly conduct a market raid of size XX%

Advanced Science
-Fused Artifacts: Tech Discount, Craft Double, Smelt Double, Fog Buster
-Passive Effects:
• Reduces requirements of techs by XX%
• XX% chance of crafters producing two items instead of one
• XX% chance of smelters producing two alloys instead of one
-Active Effect:
• Reveals XX fogged territories on the map

-Fused Artifacts: Draft Boost, Mercenary Discount, Inspire Mercenaries
-Passive Effects:
• Draft values increased by XX%
• Decreases cost of mercenary camps by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Get XX% of mercenaries from a mercenary camp for free

Advanced Medicine
-Fused Artifacts: Hospital Boost, Hospital Discount, Discount Hospital, Field Hospital
-Passive Effects:
• Armies saved by hospitals increased by XX%
• Reduces the cost of upgrading hospitals by XX%
-Active Effect:
• Deploy a field hospital that saves XX% from conquering neighboring territories

-Fused Artifacts: Efficient Smelters, Efficient Crafters, Speedy Smelters, Speedy Crafters
-Passive Effects:
• Smelter/Crafter ingredients reduced by XX%
• Smelters/Crafters work XX% faster
-Active Effect:
• Finish work in target Crafter/Smelter

Concentrated Strike
-Fused Artifacts: Triple Strike, Quadruple Strike, Damage Territory
-Passive Effects:
• Increase Joint Strike by XX% per connected territory three or more
-Active Effect:
• Reduce armies needed to conquer a territory by XX%

What are your guys thoughts?
Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/23/2021 20:18:47

Level 58
it's a solo game. Switching artifacts isn't a problem; its a trade off of time vs effort.

If people want to do that to save a few hours (in a 2-3 week!!! map), let them play how they want.

My gut and experience with mobile games tells me changing artifacts is just a smoke screen to introduce more P2W elements.
Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/23/2021 20:37:48

Level 63
Very cool idea Z!!!

While this would solve the issues of all the active artifacts being useless, but it would also introduce a lot of new issues:
  • its not compatible with the current artifact system

  • due to the combined effect of the super artifacts, their effects across all fields will be quite weak (so having more powerful artifacts focused on 1 thing would give a greater effect overall)

  • the need to choose would largely be eliminated, while the limit of only 3 slots was put in place to make sure players had to deliberately choose which artifacts they should use

  • based on the way you described them, swapping artifacts to maximize the passive bonuses is still OP compared to activating any of them

    The last point brings us back to the beginning of the problem: the active artifacts are just shit...

    They only way the active artifacts will ever come in use is if their effects are buffed to match the passive ones.
    (Note to @Fizzer: do NOT nerve the passive ones instead!)
    The cooldown needs to go down to a few hours and their effects need to double.

    @Mr Perfect: I agree that swapping is just a free bonus for those who are willing to put in the work.
  • Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/23/2021 20:44:53

    Level 64
    This is a nice summary of what the problem actually likely is. I love the idea of combining like artifact effects into single artifacts with an active and passive effects. I think this will help mitigate swapping by a lot. I'm not sure about the 3 slots needing to reduce to 2, but having the active effects, if used, essentially also locking in the like passive artifacts would definitely reduce swapping significantly. Though, if any excessive swapping were to still occur, that's on the player's playstyle.

    I think if the passive effects have to be reduced to balance this, that's a fair compromise to me. With the active effects, if they also need to be changed, I think just bumping the cooldown back up to 24h would be fine, but not reducing their actual strengths. If this were to be the case, I think to justify this, there should be an advancement, maybe in phase 2 or 3, that allows us to reduce the cooldown in either 1 hour or 1/2 hour increments down to 1 hour cooldowns for the active effects.
    Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/23/2021 22:36:56

    Level 25
    When I saw the initial discussion thread being closed out of a sudden, this to me was the indicator, that Fizzer doesn't want or need any more ideas and the fact that he rarely answered any of our open questions to him let me guess that he wants to keep most of his design choices to be kept behind closed doors. Which is fine - it's his creation - but my interpretation then was, that he will either keep everything as is and think about future improvements himself or that he already decided on changes to be made and we will see the results shortly.

    That being said, there are definitely some nice aspects of your idea.

    I like that you fused not only artifacts that did exactly the same (like Mine Discount and Discount Mine) but also threw in some related but different effects. The downside is that you dramatically reduced the number of artifacts. Currently you can equip less than 10% of all artifacts. Applying the same ratio to your design would mean we were given only one artifact slot. That would increase swapping rather then decrease it, I'd assume. If we were given even a second slot, you wouldn't have to choose anymore, as you would in passive operation mode always have four to six effects in place at the same time.

    You weren't very specific on the active parts but I assume once activated one would have a similar cool-down and the passive effect would still be in place? That is one aspect where your design is definitely superior to the status quo (for the players). The "problem" with the current active artifacts is that although I would like to see the cool-down being reduced to, say, one hour for them to be usable, this wouldn't really work (for the game designer). You SHOULD BE FORCED to choose between one - the active one - or the other - the passive one - and both should have drawbacks. The passive one should give significantly less power while the active then must block a slot in order to justify its stronger power but if the blocking effect is barely there, no-one would use the passive ones anymore. What your design achieves that the current doesn't, is that all artifacts are equal, they all have their passive and active parts. That might be a solution to the general problem but would mean way more change than Fizzer originally considered. I don't say it's bad, I just say, it's VERY different.

    I don't really see how this should solve the swapping problem (if I assume correctly that using the passive part wouldn't cause some cool-down). But you would have less artifacts that you would only use once in each level. What is the usefulness for a Mercenary Discount over the course of a level? I mean, do you hire them more often than you have camps? So, if a level offers three camps, you will hire some, three times in this level. If the level takes three days, you would swap in the artifact once per day for a few seconds on average. Your combined artifacts have the benefit that you can benefit from some passive part over larger courses of a level and almost all artifacts are viable to be kept in place for longer. They are definitely not equally useful, but I can see the concept being applied in a way that there is an artifact available for everyone's style of playing such that you COULD if you wanted only use a single artifact for a level. Like some sort of skill-tree where one path blocks you from advancing in other branches but everyone would be able to mix and match something useful. But then again, I'm back to the current design where I can combine effect freely, your design forces me to use some effect together with specific other effect.

    Like I said in the initial thread, if we - the community and the players - were given the material that Fizzer works with (the design decisions, the goal, perhaps even the business model of how (much) the artifacts should create income) we had some basis to discuss ideas. Coming up with ideas now that he closed the discussion seems the worst we can do. There was a motivation behind his action of closing the thread, sadly he never stated his motivation. But if he doesn't want us to offer new ideas or otherwise taking part in the discussion of this topic, coming up with even more ideas and post now isn't the wisest. And we won't be able to evaluate your idea if we don't know the list of criteria he applies to an artifact design.
    Crazy Artifact Idea: 2/24/2021 01:27:26

    Level 24
    That would make too few Artifacts and take out any excitement from claiming a dig site. Even with half of them being useless it's still better than having only a handful. Might as well have it be AP from dig sites instead of artifacts.

    As far as making Actives useful, just don't have them take up a slot and they would become worth keeping and using. And just like you can't have more than one Bonus Money Boost in use at a time, you can't have multiple Triple Strike in use at once. This seems like such a simple way to make Actives attractive.

    As far as time spent micromanaging, which I do about as much as possible, I still spend more time searching for that damn draft icon than micromanaging. That's not fun and takes a ton of time, shouldn't that be fixed first.
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