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Everything posted by quadibloc

  1. I have the same problem with Zyumorph dragons. I wonder if that has something to do with why the inbred checker isn't working.
  2. In my personal opinion, the way to respond to viewbombing is simple. Abolish dragon sickness. It was a nice idea, but the existence of viewbombing means it isn't working out. There must be zero chance for malicious people to hurt anyone but themselves - anything less is not justice.
  3. The April Fool's release suggests an alternative. Instead of possibly getting rares, if that's too radical, just get frozen Easter eggs to go on your scroll! That would keep people busy collecting them all.
  4. I've realized, though, that I may have missed one important factor. If some kind of dragon, however difficult it is to breed, can generate rares, then once it has been obtained, it can do so over and over. Of course, I have assumed that the odds would be low, so that having such a dragon would be no "worse" than having a rare dragon that can breed. Another possibility would be to give the BSA to the Moss dragon - and let each Moss dragon only use the ability once. Oh, and to make it even more fair, don't allow Moss dragons to breed. (Actually, perhaps let them breed - but their descendants either have the breed of their mate, or are Lichen dragons!) So it would work like this: A mossy egg might hatch to be its original type, or, with a small chance, a Moss dragon. Some second-generation obtained from breeding dragon, which can be bred with other dragons, can be subject to a Moss dragon BSA that lets it hatch a CB egg of the breed of one of its ancestors or that of its mate. Both dragons would need to be of this breed. One could even involve Lichen dragons in the required breeding program... But wait! What happens when a Mossy Egg hatches, and it's only some boring unwanted breed, like a Mint? At least it's already a hatchling, so even if it gets abandoned, it won't clutter the AP too much. But maybe we do need to have "mossy dragons" of any breed, which will themselves have some attractive special property.
  5. My understanding of the issue would be that if we could just freeze an egg the way we could freeze a hatchling, it would be too simple to unblock your scroll. So people could take eggs from the AP, freeze them right away, and empty the AP without having their scrolls stay filled for any length of time. So that means a really simple fix could be allowed. Freeze an egg, but it doesn't actually change into a frozen egg until the time when it would otherwise have hatched.
  6. I would think that it would be simpler if a mossy egg had some percentage chance of hatching into a Moss Dragon instead of becoming a moss-covered variant of the original dragon type. I have felt that even if it "drastically alters gameplay", there needs to be an alternative way to obtain CB rares that avoids people refreshing the cave like mad and overloading the servers and so on. So I would suggest something like this: There are some dragons, such as the Two-finned Bluna, the Shallow Water, the Ultraviolet, that can only be obtained through breeding other dragons. Breeding two dissimilar dragons of that kind together - perhaps two specific breeds - could have a chance of producing another new dragon; let's call it a Nova Dragon. (With a name like that, perhaps it should be the offspring of an Ultraviolet and a new obtained-by-breeding from a Nebula and a Sunsong Amphiptere.) Then mating a Nova Dragon with a Moss Dragon could produce an Intron Dragon. Breeding two Intron Dragons together has a small chance of producing a CB dragon of the breed of any of its ancestors (excluding discontinued dragons, dragons only obtained through breeding, and prize dragons), or a normal descendant having the breed of any of its ancestors (excluding discontinued dragons). The chance could be as low as that of summoning a Guardian of Nature - but since it applies every time a pair of Introns breed, it would still happen more often. Since breeding an Intron, Moss, or Nova dragon with any other dragon can produce an Intron, Moss, or Nova dragon, the idea is that this also makes dragons with long, messy lineages in the AP that happen to include rares attractive as well. This would meet the demand to provide some alternative to being a quick catcher, but I don't think it would make the game too easy. And that would make Moss-Covered Eggs very attractive, as an essential component to participating in this. Of course, one could just suggest short-circuiting this, and have moss-covered eggs turn out to be other breeds at random instead of Moss Dragons - that, too, would make them very attractive. Hmm. There might be another way to do this that would also be interesting. Let's instead have the Moss Dragon from a small fraction of moss-covered eggs, and the Nova Dragon as a second-generation obtained-by-breeding dragon. But now the Nova Dragon has a BSA. It works like fertility, except it can only be applied to a Moss Dragon. That BSA causes the Moss dragon, the next time it breeds, to have a small probability of breeding as though it were any one of its ancestors at random - and possibly also for the egg to appear CB instead of showing its lineage. Combining these elements, there should be a way of not making the game too easy.
  7. Sadly, I see that the Validate function doesn't work on five-character codes yet.
  8. quadibloc

    2011-06-10 - UPDATES

    I'm sure that any Dragon Cave fan sites will be adjusting themselves to be compatible with the new codes fairly quickly. Incidentally, I did have the problem with the navigation links looking garbled, but it went away the first time I hit the back button. (I use Mozilla Firefox, current version.)
  9. Yes, it was. In real life, some reptiles lay eggs which can be shifted to one sex or the other by environmental conditions. Such as temperature. Of course, that makes incubation illogical, because that has no effect on sex...
  10. I have noticed, though, that several days ago, the variety of common eggs in the cave seems to be more normal again. So it does appear that the big bump in the ratios due to the new release has finally settled down for the most part.
  11. Yes, I grabbed two eggs last night, and when I got up this morning, I found that too many people looking for eggs at once seem to have crashed the cave.
  12. Well, the latest new release was different from others in two ways - two of the new kinds of dragons, the Nebula Alt and the Black Striped, were obtainable from breeding... and a technique people were using to clear the AP, which would have put black dragons back into the ratio pool, was halted. And there's more people playing DC who have been there longer, and who are looking for filling out their scrolls with rares now that they've got their commons. It doesn't surprise me that funny things are happening. The whole mechanism of "ratios" was trouble waiting to happen, and so that one day it would cause a mess without TJ having to change a thing surprises me not at all. What I would prefer would be if TJ just decided that ratios might have been a nice idea, but they don't work - and just have constant ratios (for the production of new eggs instead of for the whole pool of dragons) instead. Perhaps leaner than the initial ones - so that, say, one has commons, and dragons like red, black, electric, and nebula are 1/3 as likely as commons; trios 1/9 as likely; and metallics 1/27 as likely - but those probabilities aren't affected by the number of dragons. So if people only breed their rares and not their commons, rares could still end up outnumbering commons - but so what? I think that would let the game be a challenge without it getting ridiculous; newcomers would have about the same chance at getting a metallic as the people who were here when the cave started. Making metallics 1/27 as likely as commons instead of 1/9 would be one way, though, to avoid having getting rid of ratios making things too easy. Or one could go from 1, 1/3, 1/9 to 1, 1/5, 1/25. This way, how hard it is to breed a metallic or grab one from the cave would just stay the same, and wouldn't depend on what people choose to breed. No more headaches.
  13. I have no reason to doubt TJ's word in any way. That, however, doesn't contradict the fact that a lot of people are finding the breeding doesn't work nearly as well as it did before. Presumably, then, what's happened is a natural result of how ratios work. Whether it's the EQ penalty, the fact that black stripes and nebulas were major new items in this release obtained from breeding, or just the increased popularity of Dragon Cave, this release hasn't worked out quite the way other new releases have. This may mean it's time for TJ to change, in the future, something about how the ratios work, to make the impact of a new release gentler.
  14. It could be that the black Stripes and Nebula alts made this new release different from others - but it's also possible that this was an effect of the Earthquake penalty, since killed eggs are thrown back in to the ratios - and so what some people had been doing to clear the AP balanced things out. (Or, alternately, this use of Earthquake had become more widely known, and its large-scale use before it was stopped suddenly caused the wider-than-normal swings this time.)
  15. Oh, by the way, what does it do when an egg hatches, becoming a hatchling with 7 days left? Does it stop displaying the hatchling then, until it has 6 days left, to avoid causing sickness, or is sickness sufficiently rare that the hatchling is just moved into the pool of non-ER hatchlings right away? Also, when I set the refresher to 1 minute, it did refresh for me.
  16. Remember how, when the two new types of dragon were first released, they were almost the only eggs in the cave? It was noted at the time that this did not have to be set directly by TJ, but came about automatically as a result of the ratios - since the new types should have been present, according to the ratios, in the same proportions as each other common breed, but, of course, they weren't at the start since no one had them yet. In that case, it makes sense that when a new type of dragon comes out, nothing else would breed very much. My guess would be that there is a time delay built into the mechanism, so that breeding isn't affected by a new release until the new release dragons have had a chance to grow to be adults which actually can breed.
  17. To the extent that some people think this is what "ascended" should mean, that would seem to imply that an RNG saying some dragons can't ascend is unavoidable. (I called that "Venerable" in my complicated proposal.) Others see it differently, as something that happens to every dragon when it reaches its prime. (I called that "Ancient".) At the time, I was advancing this proposal - obviously too much work for TJ and the spriters - just as an illustration to get people thinking. But now I'm wondering. If a lot of people do think that the Venerable model is the right one, but more people see it as Ancient - so Ancient gets implemented first... then those poor spriters would, after making the most amazingly wonderful sprite they possibly could for all the dragons, end up going back to the drawing board, and they would have to top that! Leaving out the molting phase and the need for views - that part was added in simply to illustrate how ascension could be taken to its ultimate limit, and to raise other questions - maybe my elaborate idea has a point after all. Every dragon can become Ancient, even if it takes a few tries. That sprite, though, isn't the "ascended" sprite currently in development, it's only one of the other awesome sprites that was tried as a possibility and then put aside for a better one. Not much extra work for the spriters, only poor TJ who would have to program it. Not every dragon gets to be Venerable. That's the special status of being a dragon among dragons. So both visions of ascension are addressed. But you really want a certain dragon to have the Venerable sprite? Or there's another meaning of "ascended" we haven't addressed? That's where my "Ascended" comes in. When dragons go to Heaven, they will clearly become perfect in every way, so just because a dragon, while on Earth, couldn't be "like Mozart, MLK, Gandhi", that doesn't mean it won't get what it takes Up There. Great news for the spriters, this is just a semi-transparent recolor of the normal ascended sprite. Bad news for the players: in this case, the dragon has gone to "a fine and quiet place", so it will not be able to breed. Sure, in some ways this is an awful idea, but if the rival visions of ascension can't be reconciled, it avoids them being at risk of being asked to do even better than what is going to be their amazing best. Because I think the level of objection to being told what to do by an RNG is strong enough that doing Venerable first, and then doing Ancient later, which would be the path that goes easy on the spriters, is very unlikely. Thus, while I like the Venerable model for flavor reasons, if instead Ascended goes with Ancient, as I expect it to, future expansion should be forsworn. Out of kindness to the spriters. EDIT: Here's an alternative idea that just involves one kind of ascended dragon, and thus one new sprite, but lets ascended dragons be really special without arbitrarily excluding dragons at random from ascending. First, there's a limit on ascension. Not only does a dragon have to be older to ascend, but you need to have a certain number - not really high, say somewhere from three to five - dragons of the same breed on your scroll that haven't ascended for each ascended dragon you have (after the first one, perhaps even). Second, ascension isn't an action on the part of the dragon itself. Instead, you need to have, say, a Magi, a White, and some other dragon - perhaps a Nebula, or a Sunsong or a Skywing - and when these three dragons are ready and past their cooldown, they can join in the Ascend action, and target the dragon on your scroll that you want to have ascend. So it's a cross between Summon and Incubate/Influence as it were. Incidentally, Ascended dragons of those breeds can ascend other dragons too, and their success rate is higher.
  18. Yes, but one of the benefits of ascension would be that people would now have a reason to get four, not just two, of every common dragon on their scroll. Or maybe six or seven, if they collect frozen hatchies too.
  19. And that's why I first raised the possibility of ascending failing permanently (not by killing the dragon, but just causing it to lose the chance to ascend), and then tried to illustrate the rationale for that by giving the example of the distinction between "Ancient" and "Venerable". A dragon in its prime of life is one thing; a dragon that is an elder among dragons is another.
  20. If you mean the viewing sites checking things... well, I know of one small, friendly viewing site that only lets you put dragons on the site, but not take them off, because the operator is worried people might maliciously remove dragons. That site happens to use the Dragon Cave API, so I suggested using the "verify login" feature, that it uses for its scroll banner, for removal - and placement, because maliciously putting a dragon up, which can lead to sickness, was, to my mind, a more serious problem. The idea is that if I could set a flag that says "no viewing site should accept this dragon", then, unlike a flag that says "please don't put my dragons on viewing sites for me", that flag would be unambiguous, and viewing sites could automatically test the flag and act on it. Naturally, it would take time before the viewing sites could write new code to respect the flag, so this wouldn't give perfect safety, but I thought it would be potentially useful.
  21. I think the existing message is fine as far as what it conveys to people about posting other people's eggs to viewing sites. However, what I initially found unclear was that if I posted my own eggs to viewing sites, would the owners of those viewing sites be found in violation of the Dragon Cave site rules if I did that while I had the "not accepting aid" flag turned on. After all, I figured that "not accepting aid" meant not just putting someone else's egg on a viewing site, but also putting the URL on my personal web site - which is in effect what a viewing site does. And, how is TJ supposed to tell that an egg placed on a viewing site was placed there by its owner? So, in addition to a "not accepting aid" flag, a higher-level flag that says "and I haven't put this egg on any viewing sites myself, and am only getting views for it from putting it on my web page or forum signatures" would make it easier for TJ to check things - and it would make it easier for the viewing sites to check things. That flag, though, should really be settable on a per-dragon basis.
  22. That I agree with wholeheartedly. Of course, it may be that over those two years, they tried out concepts for the dragons that they put aside, replacing with better ones. (Also, if ascended dragons can breed, presumably there are already two ascended sprites for most breeds.) This is partly why I thought that the "Ascended" sprite in my scheme should just be a recolor of the Venerable sprite - the Venerable sprite being the Ascended sprite in development. Since the Ascended sprites are the ultimate "better" sprite for the dragon types, no way am I going to turn around and ask the spriters to top that right away! Because I suspected that other concepts were tried before whatever form the artists are now working on was reached, I figured there would be some other cool sprites, just not quite as good, just sitting there, waiting to be put to use, which the Ancient dragon could make available. But this wasn't a "serious" suggestion in the sense of "we need this"; Ascended is itself a really wonderful surprise, and so we don't need more. Instead, it was intended to illustrate two things. One was the full potential of an idea like Ascended. The other was to show three different aspects of what it might mean to be an Ascended dragon - one that, as has been noted, has reached its "full potential". At the very beginning, it was thought that an Ascended dragon couldn't breed. So does that mean they've gone on to some non-physical stage, being now in the afterlife? That's what my "Ascended" corresponded to. The other debate was what the failure rate on ascension should be. If an ascended dragon is not just one that has achieved its personal full potential, but is one that is a very exceptional dragon, then it makes sense that not all dragons would be able to ascend ever. That concept was illustrated by my Venerable dragon. But if neither of those things are the case - if an Ascended dragon simply achieves its own full potential, without becoming almost an avatar among dragons, and is still a regular physical dragon that can breed - then the Ancient dragon more closely indicates what it should be. So this was not so much intended as a "hey, this is neat, TJ, why not do this next" as an invitation to the people here to make up their minds about what ascension should mean. This is because I made my first post on this following a discussion about what failure rate ascension should have. I felt that it didn't make sense to ask how often the Ascend BSA should fail - without a very clear idea of what you are trying to do when you use the Ascend BSA. So I was trying to make that context explicit. I think the idea was simply to note that since those aren't the current final forms of the sprites, there's no point in giving criticism or suggestions for improvement. Noting that they look wonderful is OK, I think.
  23. I agree that this is unlikely to happen, if for no other reason than the number of sprites required. But I put this vision of where ascending could eventually lead up to be looked at precisely because of the disagreement over how the one additional stage should work. The Ancient, Venerable, and Ascended statuses all embody different visions of what Ascended "means". So if we leave out the idea of a "molted" stage requiring views, perhaps agreement could be reached that Ascended is intended to be like "Ancient" in my elaborate scenario - and that having it that way doesn't preclude adding additional stages of ascension sometime in the far future.
  24. After my post, I did some further thinking on the subject. The term "Ascended" has various meanings. It could be entirely reasonable for an Ascended dragon to be unable to breed, because because an Ascended dragon could be a spirit dragon. Of course, this isn't what is meant. But that did give me a thought as to what something like this could grow into, in time. Instead of Ascend, perhaps the BSA should be called "Molt". After perhaps six months from hatching, one can use Molt (with a cool-down of, say, four weeks). If the action succeeds, the dragon takes on a "molted dragon" sprite. (Temporarily, the last-stage hatchling sprite could be used.) Then, you have seven days to get views for the molted dragon. If it doesn't get enough views, perhaps it just reverts to normal adult status without dying, and with the option to molt again after cooldown. If it does get enough views, it may become an Ancient dragon, with a different sprite, or just a normal adult again. Twelve months from hatching, "Molt" has an additional possible result - instead of becoming an Ancient dragon, it might become a Venerable dragon, again with a different sprite. Ancient dragons generated before 12 months after hatching will gain the Molt BSA at twelve months; those generated after that, however, have Ancient as their final form. And an Ancient dragon can only molt once; if it remains ancient, that's that - if it received a sufficient number of views while molted. (If it didn't, then whether or not it had what it took to become Venerable wasn't revealed, so it gets to try again after cooldown.) The idea is that an Ancient dragon is one that is old and strong and shrewd - but a Venerable dragon, being old and wise, can only come from a dragon that was clever enough to begin with. Not every dragon can have what it takes to become Venerable. And, two years from hatching, dragons gain the Ascend BSA. The Ascended sprite looks like the Venerable sprite, but is a recolor that looks partly transparent. Any adult, Ancient, or Venerable dragon can Ascend. Ascended dragons cannot breed. In the great beyond, of course, as spirits, dragons are no longer limited by their intellectual attainments upon Earth, so every Ascended dragon has all the wisdom of a Venerable dragon and more, which is why the Venerable sprite is used as the basis. So, there you go. This is where an idea like this could be taken.
  25. I notice that the original post mentioned that ascended dragons were originally unbreedable, and this was abandoned as not making sense. However, if an ascended dragon is elderly, this is not entirely out of sync with biology. If dragons were just like people, a dragon would become infertile, although not unbreedable, after ascending... if it was female. (If the same sprite were used for male and female ascended dragons for all breeds, this wouldn't be too bad.) However, "making sense" aside, making an ascended dragon unbreedable is a severe penalty, which would basically discourage people from ascending their rare dragons. So I have to agree that it is probably a bad idea. And, there is one argument for it not making sense... remember, dragons are immortal!