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[Suggestion]Random Thoughts on the Cards

Bug reports, general help, ideas for improvements, and questions about how things are meant to work.
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Galiantus III
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[Suggestion]Random Thoughts on the Cards

Postby Galiantus III » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:16 pm

Auctions
Auctions are, by far, the least likable part of the cards game. I do appreciate that the current system tends to prevent the extreme cases of abuse that were rampant back for the original event, but the current system still has some significant issues. For one, I strongly dislike the current time-extension mechanic, coupled with the ability of players to bid in increments of 0.01 bank. This only serves to slow down the market and stir up animosity between players as they push auctions long past their original end times. At least one of several things should be done about this:

  1. Bidding matches should only be made if the new bid exceeds the previous bid by 5%.
  2. Stop with averaging the sale between the buyer and the seller. This is serving to reward bids that far exceed what players are actually willing to pay, and is creating a buyer's market that is screwing over sellers. I do understand that the current system creates the possibility for a seller to enter a bidding war last-minute and screw over the last bidder, but again, this is a pretty rare occurrence that only serves to hurt both sellers and buyers. If you bid it, that is the price you should be committed to paying.
  3. Biding matches should have an ultimate limit to how long they can be extended, so that a bidding war can only last so long after the initial finish time. I think 5 minutes is a perfect amount of time for buyers to work with. This overtime clock should display red text so that players can easily discern that further actions are final.

Selling mechanics also mess with the market, but not to the same extent. Above I suggested that bids made should translate directly to a cost to the buyer, rather than an average being made between buyer and seller. The same is true of any additional sellers that enter the mix: if there is an auction going on that I have a card I could sell in, I should be able to make a lower offer than the current agreed price. If there is someone that my offer can match to, who has a current bid higher than my ask price, their match price should drop to match my new offer. Essentially, if either a buyer makes a bid or a seller makes an ask, that should re-define the match prices for everyone.

Deck Capacity
The current mechanics of deck capacity are encouraging the rampant use of puppets. Since you can gift cards to players that are still beyond their deck capacity, you stand to benefit by having puppets tearing through card packs constantly. If you find a card that is relatively valuable, you can just gift it. Yes, the fact that you must pay a fee does slow this down slightly, but since it is risky to transfer funds between nations (due to the auction system) it is worth it. This is further encouraged by the fact that your deck capacity only limits whether you can open card packs. In other words, if I want more bank or more cards, the only way to do it is with puppets, and again my ability to do so is only limited linearly by the number of puppets I can manage.

The mechanics of deck capacity need to be reversed: if I am above deck capacity, I should not be able to receive gifted cards or bid on cards, but I should be able to open new decks. This will encourage players that possess lots of cards to seek funds to increase their deck capacity by either selling or junking their cards. While this will not entirely discourage puppet farming, it will place a limit on its usefulness.

I would also like to debate the possibility that commons and uncommons valued less than 10 bank not contribute to one's overall deck capacity. My reasoning for this is that these cards do not add much to the value of a deck, and typically end up getting junked pretty quick. However, they are often used to try and transfer funds from puppets to mains, and if players incurred no cost by holding onto them then it would be much more likely that someone watching the market can upset these attempts at money transfers. For any given transfer, it will be more likely that someone with the card chosen for the transfer is online and able to steal or significantly hamper the transfer of money in this way. An added benefit is that your average player should be able to collect the cards of their friends and region-mates much more easily, while anyone who is just interested in playing the market and increasing the value of their deck will still have an interest in paying to expand their deck capacity.

Puppets
As someone who uses puppets to try an get ahead in this game, I still find it annoying. I want a game that moves at a fair rate for everyone, and does not make me feel like I have to stay on for several hours every day just to stay competitive. I want to be able to treat this like issue-answering, and only need to get on for a half-hour at most. So we need a system that fights against egregious use of puppets.

I personally believe the best solution here is to require verification similar to WA membership for 24 hours before someone will start receiving card packs. This would utilize the same multi-finding system the WA does to find and punish anyone working outside the system. We are currently looking at an economic version of the WA if multiing was legal! This is just as bad as multiing, and the ideal solution is to do what was done for the WA. I am aware of the technical difficulties with such a proposition, so a good temporary likely-to-turn-permanent solution would be to just limit the cards to WA members. The issue with that, of course, is we don't want to force players to participate in the WA.

Given the technical difficulties with the above solution, I have been brainstorming other solutions:

  1. Issues answered within X seconds after the previous answered issue will not generate a card pack. If I am signed into a nation I consider a main or I actually care about beyond being a puppet, I will spend some time considering the options of a given list of issues. Card farmers don't, and this will make it extremely annoying to go log in and have to wait between answering issues. And while a few seconds will make no difference to most players, this kind of limitation will severely limit the size of possible puppet farms.
  2. Good karma = better cards. Real players try to get bank and/or cards. Thus they will buy and spend reasonable amounts of money on cards if possible, try and hold on to at least some cards, and place bids on cards they want. At some point they will also want to expand their deck capacity. Implement a hidden karma system where certain actions earn nations positive points, while other actions earn them negative points, with a maximum and minimum, such that "smart" decisions tend to increase karma, while stupid decisions decrease karma. Karma would influence the chances of certain levels of cards appearing in your packs, hopefully resulting in nations of real players getting the higher end cards, and puppets tending towards getting more common cards.
  3. Transfer interception. Let us exchange card packs for one card currently at auction for a fee. The fee would be a function of the card tier, market value, and current number of owners, such that cards of lower tier, market value, and few owners are extremely easy to create at a moment's notice. This would make it extremely easy to challenge bank transfers, which are typically done with low tier cards of low market value with few owners.
  4. Answer 25 issues to start earning cards. New players are exactly that - new. The rest of us survived just fine without the cards, they are just getting used to the game, and there is no need to rush them into the cards game. In fact, we already restrict their ability to have a leader, capitol city, religion, etc. by population, so why not do the same for cards? Since new nations get a bunch of issues very quickly at the outset, we need to discourage puppet farmers from constantly creating new nations just for the bank. Seriously, anyone could do batches of 100 puppets every day, just to transfer bank and gift cards, then never log in to those nations again, since it is arguably more efficient.
Last edited by Galiantus III on Sat Jan 19, 2019 11:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
Last objected by The World Assembly on Sun, January 21, 2018, at 9:05 pm, objected 16,999 times in total.



The NPO is basically North Korea, if North Korea colonized Mars and the Kims were inbred with Martians.

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For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
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Likar
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Postby Likar » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:19 pm

Myself hate it, as when I am about to grab a card, BAM, its out of reach. And not to mention most nations dont have cards, which makes newer nations well, without a card, and excludes them to a level.
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Leutria
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Postby Leutria » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:20 am

Likar wrote:Myself hate it, as when I am about to grab a card, BAM, its out of reach. And not to mention most nations dont have cards, which makes newer nations well, without a card, and excludes them to a level.

Well the second part will be solved as soon as season 2 is released

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:45 pm

Galiantus III wrote:The mechanics of deck capacity need to be reversed: if I am above deck capacity, I should not be able to receive gifted cards or bid on cards, but I should be able to open new decks.

It's now no longer possible to receive gifted cards when you're over deck capacity.

Extending this to auctions is problematic, since it creates a trap door for people to exit auctions if they decide they no longer want to buy -- just open a pack and put yourself over capacity. It's also messy if opening a pack and hitting capacity means you might have your bids randomly canceled.

It's not practical to allow people to open new packs despite being over capacity, since the point of this feature is to discourage people from creating decks so large that they create server load issues.

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Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar
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Postby Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:52 pm

I am not sure how to phrase this as a problem but:

I was in an auction, and the card was at an ask of 0.55, but I was poor at that time, so I had 0.56, and I had bid all of it on it in the last stretch of the auction, betting I could sell it for more.
Then, someone else at the very last second bid 0.57. They won, but the funny thing was, that their bid paid 0.56 to the seller, as an average, but mine WOULD HAVE TOO!
This essentially gives players with more bank the ability to bid slightly more than someone, and pay the same amount! Tell me thats not wrong (it might be).

Anyway, just a complaint.
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Frisbeeteria
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Postby Frisbeeteria » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:07 pm

Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar wrote:Tell me thats not wrong

It's not wrong. It's working exactly as intended. Players with more money have more opportunities. Just like everywhere else in the world.

You got screwed by mathematics. The nature of rounding is such that two bids a penny apart will round to the same number 50% of the time. Next time, free up more bank.

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Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar
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Postby Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar » Sat Dec 29, 2018 8:09 pm

Frisbeeteria wrote:
Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar wrote:Tell me thats not wrong

It's not wrong. It's working exactly as intended. Players with more money have more opportunities. Just like everywhere else in the world.

You got screwed by mathematics. The nature of rounding is such that two bids a penny apart will round to the same number 50% of the time. Next time, free up more bank.

Darn you silly mathematics. Why does the universe have to be so efficiently logical? :?:
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Luna Amore
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Postby Luna Amore » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:01 pm

[violet] wrote:Extending this to auctions is problematic, since it creates a trap door for people to exit auctions if they decide they no longer want to buy -- just open a pack and put yourself over capacity. It's also messy if opening a pack and hitting capacity means you might have your bids randomly canceled.

Couldn't the check for capacity only be made when you bid so it wouldn't matter if you were over at the end of auction? Or have every bid count as a 'ghost card'; if you win the card is already accounted for but if you lose, the deck count would just drop one.

I think Fris may strangle me for that last suggestion though. :p
Last edited by Luna Amore on Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Galiantus III
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Postby Galiantus III » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:16 pm

So basically, a system where you are free to place new bids while you are below capacity, but as soon as you are at or above capacity you can no longer place bids. My only gripe about that kind of system is that someone could easily screw you over by gifting you a card while you are in auction. So Maybe along with that change it would be nice to have an option that limits gifted cards. Maybe something like, they have to spend 10 minutes in "limbo", and the receiver can choose to reject the card during that time.
Last objected by The World Assembly on Sun, January 21, 2018, at 9:05 pm, objected 16,999 times in total.



The NPO is basically North Korea, if North Korea colonized Mars and the Kims were inbred with Martians.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
Ballotonia wrote:
Testing is for sissies. The actual test is to see how many people complain when any change is made ;)

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Merconitonitopia
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Postby Merconitonitopia » Sun Dec 30, 2018 3:06 am

Nagatar Karumuttu Chettiar wrote:I am not sure how to phrase this as a problem but:

I was in an auction, and the card was at an ask of 0.55, but I was poor at that time, so I had 0.56, and I had bid all of it on it in the last stretch of the auction, betting I could sell it for more.
Then, someone else at the very last second bid 0.57. They won, but the funny thing was, that their bid paid 0.56 to the seller, as an average, but mine WOULD HAVE TOO!
This essentially gives players with more bank the ability to bid slightly more than someone, and pay the same amount! Tell me thats not wrong (it might be).

Anyway, just a complaint.

Everything is working as it should.
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Galiantus III
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Ex-Nation

Postby Galiantus III » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:55 pm

[violet] wrote:
Galiantus III wrote:The mechanics of deck capacity need to be reversed: if I am above deck capacity, I should not be able to receive gifted cards or bid on cards, but I should be able to open new decks.

It's now no longer possible to receive gifted cards when you're over deck capacity.

Extending this to auctions is problematic, since it creates a trap door for people to exit auctions if they decide they no longer want to buy -- just open a pack and put yourself over capacity. It's also messy if opening a pack and hitting capacity means you might have your bids randomly canceled.

Since people can still make use of puppets to generate massive amounts of cash, they can safely continue to buy cards beyond their natural capacity, without having to pay for more space. Yes, there is a risk of someone intercepting money transfers, but if someone knows what they are doing they can avoid the majority of that risk. That is why I think you should look into ways to make deck size a limiting factor on whether we can submit new bids, like Luna Amore suggested.

Now of course, a hard limit could be problematic for some players who already have enormous collections, so here's another idea I have, just to throw out there:

If someone is over their deck capacity, they can still submit bids, but they have to pay a bank fee for every auction they enter, regardless of whether they win the auction. This fee would be a function of the number of cards owned in excess of the limit, so that minor infractions are not too costly, but major infractions have the potential to be debilitating. Alternatively, charge for additional cards bought. A similar fee system could be implemented for gifting, if the recipient is over capacity.

It's not practical to allow people to open new packs despite being over capacity, since the point of this feature is to discourage people from creating decks so large that they create server load issues.

Maybe you could let us sell them? Or junk them for cash?

--

More random thoughts:
  • It would be nice if gifting wasn't instant, but had to be accepted by the gift recipient within 24 hours. Also, please add a notification for when cards are gifted.
  • On the "Auctions" page, I would like it if I could see how many asks are on the card, as that would quickly inform me to the nature of the auction.
  • The Collections system is very clunky. I would like to be able to go to a specific card and quickly edit which collections it is in rather than have to go to each collection and scroll through the cards (which aren't even in a discernible order) just to add one new card to it.
  • [I was going to say something about puppets, but I think I'll just edit that into the OP]
Last objected by The World Assembly on Sun, January 21, 2018, at 9:05 pm, objected 16,999 times in total.



The NPO is basically North Korea, if North Korea colonized Mars and the Kims were inbred with Martians.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
Ballotonia wrote:
Testing is for sissies. The actual test is to see how many people complain when any change is made ;)

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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:54 pm

Interesting ideas.

I have added notifications for gifting.

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All are Equal
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Postby All are Equal » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:29 pm

Is it possible to sell a Collection en masse? How do you create an auction in the 1st place?

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The Great Archive of Nations
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Postby The Great Archive of Nations » Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:41 pm

While the archivists of the Great Archive of Nations thank those leading NationStates for seeking to balance the newly instituted card game, we must unfortunately announce that the recent changes to card gifting have left us near-unable to operate. A lack of capacity has rendered the Archive unable to accept donations, its primary source of cards, and our promise to not junk or selling unique cards in the Archive as a vital part of NationStates' historical record prevents us from gaining the funds to upgrade it. Even were the Archive to make this sacrifice, maintaining its previous level of growth would necessitate such a loss as to be profoundly damaging to our integrity as an institution dedicated to card preservation.

While the Great Archive of Nations' activities obviously represent a tiny proportion of the total card economy, we would nonetheless be extremely grateful were its unique mission considered when making future alterations to game mechanics. Regardless of whether you do, you have our thanks for making any such mission possible in the first place.
Last edited by The Great Archive of Nations on Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:22 pm

All are Equal wrote:Is it possible to sell a Collection en masse?

Currently no, it's not possible, sorry.

The Great Archive of Nations wrote:While the Great Archive of Nations' activities obviously represent a tiny proportion of the total card economy, we would nonetheless be extremely grateful were its unique mission considered when making future alterations to game mechanics. Regardless of whether you do, you have our thanks for making any such mission possible in the first place.

Your purpose is admirable, but collecting very large numbers of cards does cause a load issue on this end. The thing is, you aren't creating a static archive like a wiki site, which is undemanding of server resources, but rather building a large hand of live cards in the active market, which all need to be accounted for every time someone looks up how many owners a card has, or its trade history, etc. So to ensure the smooth operation of the site, I need to impose practical limits.

Perhaps you could seek donations -- not cards meant for storage, but ones for you to junk to pay for increased deck capacity?

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Postby Former Citizens of the Nimbus System » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:40 pm

[violet] wrote:
The Great Archive of Nations wrote:While the Great Archive of Nations' activities obviously represent a tiny proportion of the total card economy, we would nonetheless be extremely grateful were its unique mission considered when making future alterations to game mechanics. Regardless of whether you do, you have our thanks for making any such mission possible in the first place.

Your purpose is admirable, but collecting very large numbers of cards does cause a load issue on this end. The thing is, you aren't creating a static archive like a wiki site, which is undemanding of server resources, but rather building a large hand of live cards in the active market, which all need to be accounted for every time someone looks up how many owners a card has, or its trade history, etc. So to ensure the smooth operation of the site, I need to impose practical limits.

Perhaps you could seek donations -- not cards meant for storage, but ones for you to junk to pay for increased deck capacity?

Hi! Just to note that I'm the user behind the above; the roleplaying aspect is fun but here does get in the way of productive discussion a little. Though I'm grateful for the suggestion, that unfortunately wouldn't work - there isn't the space to receive any new cards at all. Without getting rid of a good chunk of the Archive's current collection, I literally don't think that there's any way to fix that (unless the mechanics have changed since fifteen days ago; haven't been keeping track).

That said, the main reason I'm posting is to ask about a potential solution to all of this: a searchable database of every card. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about anything beyond the user interface of computers but based on what you've said, I suspect that this would be a static archive and wouldn't be as demanding on server resources. Throw in some features like the ability to narrow searches through card properties - region membership, active/ex-nation status, population, gold/silver/bronze census badges and so on - and it would be a useful resource for NationStates users, card players or even otherwise.

I don't know how much work it would take to set up, of course, so it might not be seen as worth it. Still, I'm currently studying with the ultimate goal of becoming a historian; a database or archive like that would, especially with regard to ex-nations and especially when new cards are released, be a wonderful way to view snapshots of NationStates' past. I, at least, would value it very much.

(Hope that this doesn't count as necroing a thread; apologies if it does.)
Last edited by Former Citizens of the Nimbus System on Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Galiantus III
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Ex-Nation

Postby Galiantus III » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:12 am

As much as I believe there needs to be an anti-multi system put in place to combat card farming, I recognize the technical overhead for this, so I have been brainstorming other ideas. Here they are:

  1. Issues answered within X seconds after the previous answered issue will not generate a card pack. If I am signed into a nation I consider a main or I actually care about beyond being a puppet, I will spend some time considering the options of a given list of issues. Card farmers don't, and this will make it extremely annoying to go log in and have to wait between answering issues. And while a few seconds will make no difference to most players, this kind of limitation will severely limit the size of possible puppet farms.
  2. Good karma = better cards. Real players try to get bank and/or cards. Thus they will buy and spend reasonable amounts of money on cards if possible, try and hold on to at least some cards, and place bids on cards they want. At some point they will also want to expand their deck capacity. Implement a hidden karma system where certain actions earn nations positive points, while other actions earn them negative points, with a maximum and minimum, such that "smart" decisions tend to increase karma, while stupid decisions decrease karma. Karma would influence the chances of certain levels of cards appearing in your packs, hopefully resulting in nations of real players getting the higher end cards, and puppets tending towards getting more common cards.
  3. Transfer interception. Let us exchange card packs for one card currently at auction for a fee. The fee would be a function of the card tier, market value, and current number of owners, such that cards of lower tier, market value, and few owners are extremely easy to create at a moment's notice. This would make it extremely easy to challenge bank transfers, which are typically done with low tier cards of low market value with few owners.
  4. Answer 25 issues to start earning cards. New players are exactly that - new. The rest of us survived just fine without the cards, they are just getting used to the game, and there is no need to rush them into the cards game. In fact, we already restrict their ability to have a leader, capitol city, religion, etc. by population, so why not do the same for cards? Since new nations get a bunch of issues very quickly at the outset, we need to discourage puppet farmers from constantly creating new nations just for the bank. Seriously, anyone could do batches of 100 puppets every day, just to transfer bank and gift cards, then never log in to those nations again, since it is arguably more efficient.
Last objected by The World Assembly on Sun, January 21, 2018, at 9:05 pm, objected 16,999 times in total.



The NPO is basically North Korea, if North Korea colonized Mars and the Kims were inbred with Martians.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
Ballotonia wrote:
Testing is for sissies. The actual test is to see how many people complain when any change is made ;)

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The Blaatschapen
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Anarchy

Postby The Blaatschapen » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:25 am

Galiantus III wrote:The mechanics of deck capacity need to be reversed: if I am above deck capacity, I should not be able to receive gifted cards or bid on cards, but I should be able to open new decks.


What stops someone from gift spamming someone else to stop them from bidding? 50 commons is worth 0.50. And extended deck capacity is more expensive.
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Leutria
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Postby Leutria » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:48 am

The blAAtschApen wrote:
Galiantus III wrote:The mechanics of deck capacity need to be reversed: if I am above deck capacity, I should not be able to receive gifted cards or bid on cards, but I should be able to open new decks.


What stops someone from gift spamming someone else to stop them from bidding? 50 commons is worth 0.50. And extended deck capacity is more expensive.

If gifts have to be accepted first, that would prevent that.

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Galiantus III
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Ex-Nation

Postby Galiantus III » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:15 am

Leutria wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:
What stops someone from gift spamming someone else to stop them from bidding? 50 commons is worth 0.50. And extended deck capacity is more expensive.

If gifts have to be accepted first, that would prevent that.


We could also have settings that place throttles on gifting, or outright stop it when you are 5 or fewer cards from your capacity.
Last objected by The World Assembly on Sun, January 21, 2018, at 9:05 pm, objected 16,999 times in total.



The NPO is basically North Korea, if North Korea colonized Mars and the Kims were inbred with Martians.

Frisbeeteria wrote:
For some reason I have a mental image of a dolphin, trying to organize a new pod of his fellow dolphins to change the course of a nuclear sub. It's entertaining, I'll give ya that.
Ballotonia wrote:
Testing is for sissies. The actual test is to see how many people complain when any change is made ;)

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The Blaatschapen
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Anarchy

Postby The Blaatschapen » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:27 am

Leutria wrote:
The blAAtschApen wrote:
What stops someone from gift spamming someone else to stop them from bidding? 50 commons is worth 0.50. And extended deck capacity is more expensive.

If gifts have to be accepted first, that would prevent that.


Sounds great :)
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