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Thoughts on Sickness

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It has come to my attention that eggs freshly caught or have been caught eggs have been getting sick really fast, even though the scrolls are hidden. The eggs somehow are mysteriously still getting sick despite this fact. I know we have a Ward feature for the white Dragon, I don't think even that's going help in the long run. We need to do something with sickness or else no egg and/or hatchi is going to be safe. What are some ways we can improve Sickness? Or should we just get rid of sickness altogether?

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I've never had many problems with sickness before this Valentine event (and even that was my fault for leaving my eggs unfogged). Sickness always compelled me to be careful about how I handle my eggs and in a way, gives me the feeling I'm actually raising something while keeping an eye on that little bunch of pixels. But yeah, sickness does seem to creep up everywhere recently and I also feel that we should probaly have some more effective way to protect our eggs and hatchlings in situations where fogging can't be applied (like in teleports). I just posted about this on another thread, but I still feel Ward could be the answer to all the sickness issues if only it'd get tweeked and improved. Perhaps change Ward so it can protect eggs and hatchies alike + make the protection time longer (and can be used more then once per egg/hatchie)? And it'd fit the breed with ' extremely strong healing magic ' perfectly + it'd still take some effort from the player to protect their eggs (like with fogging) so this aspect of gameplay would be preserved (sorry, I hope this makes sense, it's late and I'm rambling :P).

 

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Might be worth linking these, so:

 

This topic has a collection of good ideas and discussion about sickness: 

 

Also this one:

 

 

And this one:

 

(My personal favourite rework idea is to for sickness to delay hatching - that way, your eggs/hatchlings would only die if they're sick for four days or longer, and players would still have plenty of incentive not to have their dragons get sick.)

 

Edited by pinkgothic
Added another important collection of ideas!

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To be honest I'm in the minority in that I do not want sickness to be completely removed, and I don't really think the sickness mechanic is *that* horrible. The larger-then-normal amount of eggs getting sick in the last few months is mostly down to viewbombers, which the site can't really do anything about. The massive attack on EATW was horrid, but not something that TJ has any control over. I would very much support an increase in Ward's hours, because 6 hours really isn't enough and most sick eggs are still sick after that amount of time. I would also *very* much support a Ward-type feature for hatchlings, because I've had eggs that were not sick so of course I didn't Ward them, but then they got sick right after hatching. I also *very* much support the suggestion thread about some way to make dragons in Teleport safe, because honestly it's sort of ridiculous that having a dragon in Teleport means *no way* to protect them from viewbombings.

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I rather agree with HeatherMarie. IT is a mechanic that makes us actually pay attention - and I do think such a mechanic is needed. I would like the time on Ward to be raised, and I would like to see it available for hatchies - but I have mostly found that fogging judiciously seems to work. I DO wish we had a multifog option, though.

 

NOTHING can be done about bombers except removing sickness completely - and that is not something I'd want to see happen.

 

ETA I take that back. TJ says there is and he is implementing it shortly (see transparency thread..)

 

YAY !

 

Edited by Fuzzbucket

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I'll be honest and say I don't. See the point in sickness. 

 

We have all these things to fix it/prevent it - ward, fogging, etc... but like, why? The only way for an egg to get sick, really, is by other people. Most people who have dragons get sick haven't done anything different themselves... it comes down to either viewbombers or abnormally high traffic on another site, which is out of their control. 

 

I would much rather have a system based on something we can control ourselves, but. I guess I'm in the minority on that one.

 

Also, don't put too much stock in an anti-viewbomber anything. You don't have to be logged in to see an egg or any other critter on the site - we don't even know viewbombers are members of the site to begin with. The forum is also mostly visible without an account or logging in. What does trying to ban someone who 1. might have incognito on or be doing it from  different device, 2. obviously doesn't care about the site/its players to begin with really do.

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49 minutes ago, Alrexwolf said:

I'll be honest and say I don't. See the point in sickness. 

 

We have all these things to fix it/prevent it - ward, fogging, etc... but like, why? The only way for an egg to get sick, really, is by other people. Most people who have dragons get sick haven't done anything different themselves... it comes down to either viewbombers or abnormally high traffic on another site, which is out of their control.

 

Well, no, it isn't just viewbombing. I'm a mentor, and the number of people to whom I have had to say no, do NOT put it in every place you can find on the first day is legion, it really is.

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10 hours ago, Fuzzbucket said:

 

Well, no, it isn't just viewbombing. I'm a mentor, and the number of people to whom I have had to say no, do NOT put it in every place you can find on the first day is legion, it really is.

 

This, very much. Just recently I've told newbies that their eggs were sick because they put them into hatcheries when they were still at 7 days, and they need to wait awhile before putting new eggs anywhere. I couldn't tell you the *reason* that eggs get sick with too many views when they are brand-new, except that a brand-new egg may be more vulnerable to germs/meddling/etc, but that definitely is a way that many newbie's dragons get sick and/or die. 

 

And just to use my own experiences, I actually have certain eggs (Prizes and Zyus, mostly) get sick a lot when they are getting ready to hatch. It's annoying, but I wouldn't want that removed, partially because it does give me incentive to pay attention to when I add my eggs place, what their timer says, and how long I let them be in hatcheries before I need to check on them. 

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I'm not against sickness. I think that it actually does have positive effects on the site, like:

  • New players are taught that they have to watch over their eggs. Even if we do remove sickness, they would still die after running out of time. 
  • Raising dragons is more realistic. Childen and animals get sick IRL when exposed to too many people and diseases.
  • It lets players do more than catch, wait, and breed. Personally, I think DC would get very repetitive and boring if it were like that.

But yes, viewbombing. It's a pain. I think having all hatcheries require passwords would stop at least 95% of the viewbombing though. Right now, players can monitor how many view they get through hiding their scrolls and/or dragons and the number of hatcheried they use. That's usually enough.

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You are aware that there is actually a tumblr account specifically dedicated to viewbombing ? Password protecting  hatcheries can never stop that kind of stuff.

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As far as the knowledge goes, they made bots that use the usernames to put the eggs in hatcheries. The password protection would at least stop the bots since they don't have all the data to complete the task. God forbid they try and steal passwords somehow...

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Bots managed to finish EATW... And bots could run via high traffic sigs instead... and they could even set up their own hatcheries and add things to them that way. The determined bombers will manage to bomb.

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I am getting tired of hiding my scroll all the time. That's why I hardly ever get successful trades because they cant see what I have to offer. Whenever I try to unhide it my scroll is set upon by viewbombers. It's beem hidden for the past year because of that.

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You can always take a screenie of the lineage... (Yes I agree - it's a pain, but...)

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I really do not see any good reason to have sickness as a feature at this point. Most of the hatcheries have the hatching process down to a science, coupled with a bit of common sense on the owner's part eggs and hatchlings rarely ever get sick. When they do, it's strictly because of trolls and the envious who want to try and hurt another person.

 

Sickness isn't balancing anything. It's just a weapon at this point.

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I'm sorry, but I do think sickness serves a purpose. Without it everyone would just throw their eggs in a hatchery or 10 as soon as they got them and then wouldn't have to do anything else with them. There is no challenge in that, no strategy, no planning -- just toss and be done. Hatcheries could be overloaded and servers could be stressed. Or perhaps with no one going to and from the hatcheries to add and remove eggs at strategic moments, people would forget to give views and it would take longer or require putting eggs in more hatcheries to get the views needed to grow your dragons. Clearly, TJ sees a purpose in it besides "let's kill eggs."

 

Just because there are people out there intent on using it to cause devastating damage doesn't mean it is all bad. There has to be some way to deal with view-bombing other than getting rid of sickness.

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I suspect the purpose of sickness could be maintained by simply delaying hatching / maturation by the time a dragon was sick.

 

I reckon this means making some changes to the "Egg will die if it doesn't hatch in:" / "Hatchling will die if it doesn’t grow up in:" timer display (so it doesn't inspire a bunch of "but my egg/hatchling hit 4d and has plenty of views, what's wrong?" questions, but also possibly so the API doesn't inspire fansites to ER eggs / hatchlings that can't actually hatch yet), but it makes death by sickness (while still possible) much less likely.

 

(Caveat: This would mean 'careful' viewbombing can serve as a Stun-equivalent, prolonging a gendered hatchling's time for trade. I find this an acceptable downside, but others might not. Ideas for how to handle that are very welcome (e.g. perhaps the trade breaks at 4d if the hatchling would normally grow up then, and cannot be re-established).)

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30 minutes ago, pinkgothic said:

I suspect the purpose of sickness could be maintained by simply delaying hatching / maturation by the time a dragon was sick.

 

I reckon this means making some changes to the "Egg will die if it doesn't hatch in:" / "Hatchling will die if it doesn’t grow up in:" timer display (so it doesn't inspire a bunch of "but my egg/hatchling hit 4d and has plenty of views, what's wrong?" questions, but also possibly so the API doesn't inspire fansites to ER eggs / hatchlings that can't actually hatch yet), but it makes death by sickness (while still possible) much less likely.

 

(Caveat: This would mean 'careful' viewbombing can serve as a Stun-equivalent, prolonging a gendered hatchling's time for trade. I find this an acceptable downside, but others might not. Ideas for how to handle that are very welcome (e.g. perhaps the trade breaks at 4d if the hatchling would normally grow up then, and cannot be re-established).)

 

I'm not sure how that would help with @purplehaze's point of sickness's purpose (which I very much agree with). If sick eggs can't die, there is no motivation for users to keep checking into the site. Grab a batch of new eggs, shove them into a handful of hatcheries, and ignore the game for a week or so. Delaying the growth wouldn't really matter either way in that case, since the user wouldn't be around to actually care if they grow up at exactly 4 days. I guess it might be more feasible if sickness delayed growth at first, but if no action was taken to cure the sickness (ie fogging or Ward) then there would still be a change it would die. I maybe would be okay with that. (I do see that you say death by sickness would still be possible, just less likely, but that seems to be contradictory to your first sentence, so maybe I'm not completely understanding what you are picturing?)

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A pair of ideas:

  • Make it so eggs have to be sick more than once to die. It would prevent a viewbombing attack from being fatal, while keeping sickness. But could be exploited by just not dealing with it at all.
  • Only have sickness be fatal if they've been sick for an extended period. Again, time to catch it and fog the egg, and less exploitable.

Or both. But in any case, eggs being able to die in minutes due to viewbombing is very different from a newbie popping 7 day eggs everywhere, and the former shouldn't be possible since it's not player error.

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45 minutes ago, HeatherMarie said:

 

I'm not sure how that would help with @purplehaze's point of sickness's purpose (which I very much agree with). If sick eggs can't die, there is no motivation for users to keep checking into the site. Grab a batch of new eggs, shove them into a handful of hatcheries, and ignore the game for a week or so. Delaying the growth wouldn't really matter either way in that case, since the user wouldn't be around to actually care if they grow up at exactly 4 days. I guess it might be more feasible if sickness delayed growth at first, but if no action was taken to cure the sickness (ie fogging or Ward) then there would still be a change it would die. I maybe would be okay with that. (I do see that you say death by sickness would still be possible, just less likely, but that seems to be contradictory to your first sentence, so maybe I'm not completely understanding what you are picturing?)

 

They can die if you ignore them for long enough for them to accrue four days worth of sickness (which is less than four days, though only TJ knows how much less) - this means that the earliest time they can hatch is pushed forward by four days, which means they would hatch after 0d passes --> they die.

 

Judging by that there is interest in an incubate-equivalent for hatchlings, I assume people want their dragons sooner rather than later. If that assumption is wrong, then you're somewhat correct - you just need to check back once after two days of intentional viewbombing for a 3d hatching lag (maybe? Don't know how the numbers work out), fog everything, then unfog it at the 1d mark. That's three interactions over the course of the dragon's hatching, though - I find it difficult to model why someone would care enough to make those three actions (and where forgetting the exact day may well be fatal to the dragon, either by giving it more sickness than it can recover from, or by forgetting to unfog it in time), but not to pay a little more attention and get dragons earlier?

 

Edit: Finally found the original post for the idea I'm arguing for - credit where credit is due! skauble initially had the idea. :) Here it is:

Edited by pinkgothic
Expanded on a thought

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32 minutes ago, ArgentiAertheri said:

Or both. But in any case, eggs being able to die in minutes due to viewbombing is very different from a newbie popping 7 day eggs everywhere, and the former shouldn't be possible since it's not player error.

This right here. During the EAtW attack, even with the egg being Warded and immediately fogging the hatchi right afterwards, I lost a 3rd gen Shimmerscale hatchi. How long did it take to hatch? A minute thirty seconds. It was still too far gone to save even then. The entire reason I brought up this thread is because what if we have a massive attack like that again this year? What site would we lose? How many more major hatcheries would we lose in order to prevent this from happening again?

 

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My suggestion to change sickness would be to have something like an incubator we control. Have each species have its own unique needs; Frosbites need the lowest temperature until just before they hatch, for example, to prevent the developing embryo from overheating, but still give it enough heat to wiggle and hatch at the end (as dragons are cold-blooded...). That's just an example, of course.

 

It never made sense for me for such an anti-social game to need such a social aspect. We can't have friends. We can't talk to other users directly in-game, or sometimes even see who owns some dragons or see user's scrolls at all. Why do we need such a large group of people to hatch an egg anyway?

 

Something like an incubator would be so cool; it matches the lore/tone of the game so much better than what we have now. Gain a % every 1.4 hours the egg is in the right conditions (thus still taking 3 days for an egg to hatch with a 4 day grace period), and have a 20% chance of sickness or something every hour it's under the wrong conditions or maybe when under the wrong conditions it loses 2-5% hatch percentage an hour when under the wrong conditions and if it drops to 0% or <0% your egg becomes sick. 

 

You have a magical never-ending fire near your research hut, that makes the perfect incubator. You can place an egg in X number of positions in proximity to it. You can also choose to do extra things, like place the egg in a bucket of water for things like water horse eggs or surround it with species-special actions that would be required for hatching (sunset/sunrise: place a piece of glass hanging above the egg to amplify the sun's power, stuff like that).

 

Idk, I think sickness makes more sense in a scenario like that. Like, sickness might be a newbie's fault for adding their egg to a million hatcheries, but like the newbie didn't do anything specifically to GIVE it all those views. It's still because other people interacted with the egg, if that makes sense? At least this way you could control the egg to a T and manage it, and if it gets sick it's your fault and no one else's. And if it's sick, you can save it by giving it the right care. All we can do now is leave it up to RNG or the GoN or whatever. 

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I would not support anything like an 'incubator' that completely redefines what it takes to hatch/grow a dragon. This game has *always* been about views and stats, and I definitely do not want that to change to some system about temperature and 'right conditions', that's honestly just turning it into a completely different game.

 

I totally support *something* to keep dragons from dying so ridiculously fast with sickness though, the way we saw with the EATW attack... Maybe sickness can only kill a dragon if it stays sick for a certain number of hours. That way it still has a purpose, but gives you enough time to actually fog it and try to cure the sickness instead of them dying literally within minutes.

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13 hours ago, Orchi'dea said:

As far as the knowledge goes, they made bots that use the usernames to put the eggs in hatcheries. The password protection would at least stop the bots since they don't have all the data to complete the task. God forbid they try and steal passwords somehow...

Somehow missed this last time, that would explain why an egg I bred specifically to trade started gaining views randomly without me doing anything to it other than creating it and putting it in a trade.

 

 

There is clearly a problem. Before all this nonsense, I would just slap my eggs in a hatchery and ignore them (assuming they were at least a day old already). Nothing bad ever happened, even when I had high-value eggs like my 2G Thuweds.

 

Yet this week I've had 3 hatchies get sick for seemingly no reason shortly after they hatched. I fogged them and after a day they're fine now but it's still unusual. Two of them aren't at all special, I bred them myself for lineages, there's no reason they'd get targetted if the reason was jealousy. I assume either the hatcheries are being viewed more than normal or someone out there put them in a second one without my consent.

 

We need SOMETHING to change. The trolls aren't going to. If any more major hatcheries go down I and several others may not be able to play at all anymore.

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Okay, I think there are various ways to make killing by viewbombing harder. Let me offer a couple of suggestions. :)

  • Give us a way to keep eggs/hatchlings in teleports safe through any of the following mechanics:
    • Extend Ward to work for 12 hours. This is enough for someone to go to sleep, or go through a day at work and the likes. Also, allow the same egg to be warded more than once. Sure, it could prevent sickness altogether, but it still takes some effort while allowing us a full night's rest while leaving our teleports up.
    • Alllow eggs/hatchlings in teleports to be fogged while keeping their lineage view accessible.
    • Just keep them safe on the ground that they're in a portal and cannot be petted/fed/whatever-it-is-UVs-and-clicks-actually-do.
  • Hide all/Unhide all. Because fogging/unfogging 24 things day in, day out is a hassle.
  • Alternately to fog/unfog all, add a new account setting. Not only "hide adults on scroll", but also "hide growing things on scroll". This way, we can show off our adults while keeping our little ones safe. (View-bombing attacks could still work if the attacker knew some of the codes, so it's not full protection.)
  • Re-work sickness mechanic to put a definite stop to any attempts at viewbombing-to-kill. Maybe in one of the following fashions:
    • A sick egg cannot hatch, and a sick hatchling cannot grow up. With a guarantee that sickness stops at 6 days left so we still have a good chance to save them anyway. Adding up to 3 days of development time is a big enough penalty, especially around holiday events. 
    • If an egg/ hatchling is sick, every click, UV and view they gain gets subtracted from their total, as it only serves to make them more sick. Sickness cannot last longer than until there are 6 days left.

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