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Breeding Limits Discussion

Posted by Admin-Mat on 2 Nov 2016, 6:08 pm


It's no mystery from looking at the Giving Tree and the User Shops that many common and uncommon animals have lost their value due to overbreeding. In animal husbandry, players should still be able to sell their common animals and make money from their breeding. It appears that exponential growth of animals, overbreeding, and unlimited breeding charges have devastated the value of animals, and will continue to do so as more players join animal husbandry and continue breeding.

So, the question is, how do we curb overbreeding to reduce the amount of animals entering the economy? There are a couple of good suggestions that have popped up over the last weeks and months which can be boiled down into the following:

1) Using the breeding charges. Some may have already noticed that the contest prize animals have breeding charges. This feature is built into all animals, and limited breeding charges ensure that animals cycle out of the economy and do not continue to produce more animals indefinitely. Common animals should have low breeding charges (say, 2-5) so they cycle out fast, while rarer animals should have more (upwards of 100 for Super Rare animals) so they can be used for a long time, as they took a while to be earned.

2) Stable Limits. It's been suggested that stable limits would help with the economy as players would no longer be able to farm animals of every type, and instead would be encouraged to focus on their favorite animals. This encourages trading as players focusing on one type of animal would trade with another player focusing on another, as both players cannot focus on all animals. Disrupting the massive breeding farms ensures that there isn't a large amount of commons being born and devaluing animals as well. One common suggestion has been limiting each villager to 50 Stables.

3) Account-wide breeding limits. Another suggestion has been simply to limit the amount of breedings a single account can perform per day. One common number has been 50-100 breedings per day. Similar to stable limits, this helps disrupt large breeding farms and limits the amount of animals entering the economy, while also encouraging players to focus on their favorite animals.

Our opinion is that some combination of #1 #2 and #3 would help the value of animals immensely. What would you change to ensure that common/uncommon animals retain their value?

Another idea: revamp the Breeding Potion to be required to breed a pair of animals. This would give Alchemy a good new kick in value. The Breeding Potion could use some adjustments like making the ingredient list simpler, but it would add a dimension of complexity to breeding and connect Animal Husbandry to Alchemy.

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    • Not sure if it was mentioned, as most posts I see are tldr, maybe make breeding more like catching the animals? As in it has a chance of failing?

    • Oh, one thing that I just realized. if they do go with breeding charges, they need to have significantly higher breeding charges on males.

    • You can sell back a lot of the animals, Oregoncoast , but not the Limited ones, and it's kind of unclear why that is.

    • It's probably already been suggested, but why not make it so we can sell our surplus animals back to the game, just like we can with the items we collect while exploring?

      The 'animals' used for the husbandry are considered 'items' in the game. It would be an easy way to get rid ofthe common ones that no one really wants, and probably bring it back into balance faster with a more stable outcome.

    • I like everything, including a breeding potion that actually breeds animals, except for idea #1. And if you do decide to implement it, remember there are super rare species as well as super rare colors.

      What if you remove the original use of the breeding potion? That would limit the ability to form harem/breeding farms quite so quickly Also: inbreeding. It's easy and there are no penalties. Why not add limited breeding charges to inbred pets? With more charges for females than for males, which would help increase their value some. And the more inbred an animal is, the less breeding charges it gets.

    • Well, it didn't come out perfect, but at least it's not an uninterrupted wall of text all blurring together. *shrug* Happy thoughts, right? :P

    • I apologize in advance for the super-long post, but after reading everything that everyone posted so far, I have a lot to say on the matter. I have given my full opinion and offered my own suggestions. I apologize for my wordiness, but I have chosen to be very clear in my post so that there is as little confusion as to what I mean as possible, and that requires a lot of words. <///>

      Areas of interest are titled in bold, and sub-topics marked with a bold asterisk, for ease of reading and navigating the post. I have credited as many folks as I could remember, who had great ideas that I like, or that I wanted to expand upon. I really hope that BBcode works here in the comments section, because I've read that editing a comment is impossible, and I really want this to be easy to read! :D

      Let me say first, that I am very happy that we are being asked to give our input about these potential changes. After all, hearing from the testers before making big decisions like this, gives more brains behind what should happen, and a far more complete picture to the site devs and admins, as to what might and might not work, and why. The more voices that are heard, the better a chance at the full picture of all possibilities and outcomes. A fully informed decision is the best kind of decision. :) Thank you!

      Secondly, AH is pretty much my only reason for being on the site currently, the same as many others. I've already changed careers for all of my warriors because the capcha actually broke my ability to fight new battles, and it was too much of a hassle and time sink to keep the times straight and do the capcha on top of the rest of the options and details for every battle. Already it is going to take me several more months (if not a couple of years) of consistent breeding to get my menagerie filled, and I'm actually okay with that, it's reasonable, if frustrating. And it feels really rewarding when you finally breed that new color, so the emotional reward is usually worth all of the hard work, at least, for now. If detrimental changes to the AH career are made, I will probably switch all of my AH villagers to being explorers, and save up to simply buy the pets for my menagerie instead of continuing the hard work that I've been doing for months, with added difficulties, inconveniences, and conditions added. I imagine that a lot of others would do the same, which would certainly decrease the number of pets on the site and increase their value, but would also increase the amount of FC flooding around, doing significant damage to the already barely-stabilized economy.

      As a mass breeder, all of my unwanted commons get a sell-back, not released into the economy in any way. Most mass-breeders are very aware of what flooding the market does to not only the site's economy, but also to our own chances of getting a good price for our 'colored' pets when we do finally breed the ones that we are looking for. <3

      TLDR: None of the above/given choices are what I would consider good or effective solutions. Rather, I think that there should be an item-sink for unwanted pets that engages the players, is fun, and rewards people for dumping pets into the server while sounding fun and friendly (and kind to the pets).

      Breeding Charges

      * On the subject of breeding charges, I really don't like the idea, because it would just flood the site's markets with completely useless animals after a while, and it only slows the flooding down a little, for a very short time. I far prefer an item sink for common pets such as the ones that many people have already suggested, that I cover below.

      * IF breeding charges are placed on pets, I suggest that charges should be only limited on pets that can not be caught wild in villages. If all pets are to have breeding charges, and even in the pets that already have charges, I propose that males have unlimited breeding charges (or at least 4 times the number of charges the females do), while females have a limit to the number of young she can bear, just like real animals. Males would have a counter on their breedings so that if someone used a breeding potion to turn a male female, and he had bred the number of times that a female of that species & color rarity had available, the resulting female would be unable to breed more, and would thus be good only for non-breeding uses. Animals should never 'run away' once their breeding charges are depleted, unless this is ONLY initiated for common colored, common pets!

      * If breeding charges are instituted, please add a filter to the AH villager's sort dialog, to sort by charges left, in addition to sort by species and stable durability.

      * If breeding charges are implemented, please make it so that animals with no charge either say so on their item description, or are unable to be gifted to the giving tree.

      * If breeding charges are implemented with the current RNG settings for uncommon and above colors, there would still be a glut of commons on the market, from people cycling them out all of the time, the useless pets would just be less desirable, and would stay in the tree/shoppes for longer.

      * Ezekely's idea of being able to recharge an animal's breeding charges is awesome if it is decided that that will be implemented. Perhaps one could turn in their unwanted pets to build up a bank to recharge the breedings on that type of pet, or have a certain number of pets submitted in general, be rewarded with a breeding charges potion to increase the breeding charges of one animal back to the max? That way, people who are breeding a ton of a certain type of pet, looking to get those elusive rares, can still work towards those rares with the animals they have already bred, while still preventing the current glut of commons in the marketplace and tree from being a long-term problem. this would still result in a glut of used-up commons flooding the site in short order though, which really wouldn't help to prevent the problem either.

      ***{/b]Really, it seems like implementing breeding charges in a realistic, balanced, and successful manner would be far too much work for the site coder to make it worth it in the long run. It's just more code to get bugs in, that messes with an already beautifully balanced system of rarity, when all that's really needed is an enticing and rewarding place to throw unwanted commons.

      [b]Limiting Stables

      * I think that limiting stables too much would make the AH career unnecessarily tedious for large-scale breeders, but I also think that it might give players a reason to have more AH villagers, even if just for the storage capacity for animals that they offer. This would help to give folks a reason to have more inactive villagers, to act as animal storage, but that's about it, really.

      Limiting to between 20-50 pages of stables per villager is reasonable, I think, as that allows for some good herds for people trying to breed for rares (especially with having to manage charges, too), and still stops it from being excessive on any one villager. Plus, unlocking extra stable spots over the limit with FC would help to have a secondary FC sink.

      Breeding Limits for Villagers or Accounts

      * I'm not a fan of the account-wide breeding limits at all, nor would I support villager breeding limits, even if the limits were renewed daily. If someone wants to sit at their computer doing the AH career for hours and hours out of their day, that is a legitimate game play strategy, and should be respected in my opinion. This is similar to the Warrior career, in which if you are on the site every 15 minutes to do your battles, you can get a lot more gear. I don't think it fair to restrict players from spending the time they want to on the site, especially with a task as tedious as breeding. Placing account limits would make it even more difficult for those site-users who have executive processing disorders, to breed for our rare colors. I didn't join the site to have a full-time job of keeping spreadsheets of every animal type, plus breeding charges. It's already so difficult for me to keep track of, it's almost not worth doing at all, and I still need help from my breeder friends, because I'd never be able to do it all on my own, even over several years of daily play. :/

      Breeding Potion

      * I abhor the idea of needing a potion to breed, No way, no how, thank you very much! The AH career is supposed to be a tier 1, beginner career, and as such, should not suddenly become a tier 4 career by needing so much from the other careers in order to be able to breed. Especially since the your active worker limit is set at such a low number. I much prefer Holone's idea of a breeding potion that increases the chances by maybe a portion of a percent, like the miracle growth potion does for plants sounds like a fabulous idea! Mayhaps have a special luck potion for breeding, available in every village, and you could only use a certain village's potion to give a small increase of breeding rarity luck to pets from that village. This would really encourage inter-village cooperation, and give a real boost to the alchemy career, without forcing AH to rely on an alchemist to perform the basic duties of the career, and thus become a tier 4 career, itself.

      Regardless of if this is accepted as an idea, I do think the breeding potion needs a rename, because that name does confuse a lot of new players.

      [color=brown] ** Other Related Discussions and Suggestions **[/color]

      Editing AH for the Better

      * Add a mass-breed dialog to the breeding page, so that you can breed ALL of a certain color and species to one male. This would make breeding much easier for folks with reading or sight problems, as they wouldn't have to go through a huge list string of every animal they have, all interspersed together at random. It really blurs together and gets hard to read and organize after a bit is all I'm saying. Go ahead and make the 'mass breeding' work like the explorer if you want, and have folks click for each breeding if you want, that's fine, but make it so there isn't so much of all the words blurring together in the breeding list would make the site far more accessible. Also: all of the incessant clicking really messes with my carpal tunnel, and I don't think it is a good idea to hurt your players, so a little less clicking would be a really good idea, especially since we're going to be doing all that breeding, even if it hurts, in order to meet our AH goals. Consider all of your players, not just the young and healthy ones, thanks! :)

      * I would like to see the rarity of both genders considered in the chance of getting a 'colored' pet. It wouldn't be double the chance in cases of breeding the same color rarity to itself of course, but mayhaps half or 1/4 of the chance of the lowest color rarity, added to the breeding RNG, which would only take effect if both animals of a set were not common colors. This would increase the value of colored females greatly, and keep them from flooding the markets and dropping further in value unnecessarily.

      * I really would like to see an option for release and sell right in the successful breeding and collecting dialogs, as that would save me a lot of time, and a lot of potential data charges from excessive page refreshes, too! :)

      * I've said several times that pets of the same type/color rarity, and breeding date should stack, just like Sheela suggested. I've even entered it in as a suggestion to the site email, but I guess not enough other people are interested in saving inventory and storage space in that way. Either that, or AH is one of the only reasons that folks expand their inventory (aside from hoarding things from the giving tree to complete quests with, that is), and the devs want to retain that reason, so they can more readily pay the site's upkeep expenses (very reasonable and acceptable reason, BTW).

      * Less successful breeding rates for common/common animals would help with the overpopulation as well, if the offspring bred is a common/common the offspring has a chance to 'run away' when born, or have it say that you tried to catch it but it escaped or some such. That would help make things better, as well as not have the disappointment of 'this animal refused to breed' as a message. Wording is important. :)

      The Giving Tree & Quests

      * I adore the idea of having giving tree donations expire after 12-24 hours, to keep it tidy and remove some of the glut of unwanted items from the site.

      * Limiting an individuals number of items donated, or number of donations per day, or even per hour, as Rurat suggested is wonderful! It would make it so that more people would have to donate regularly to the tree to keep the village numbers up, instead of a few generous folks donating a whole lot of stuff, and it would also increase the FC value of the individual donations being dropped into the tree.

      * As Varnis said, I too think we should have a blacklist for color rarities and certain species to not be able to be asked for by the quest master, instead of blocking sell back to the site.

      Motivating Players to Manage Pets Without Flooding the Site

      * Several players have suggested a fun way to get rid of unwanted pets without flooding the site, such as a shop, NPC, or added career, which rewards you with useful or desirable things, while having a friendly name for it that doesn't sound like Pokemon Go's 'grind them into candy' or other such terms that lead the player to think of it as abandonment or harming the pet. I know a lot of folks don't like the idea of butchery or harvesting of animals, simply because the terminology potentially sounds like animal cruelty to some players.

      I'd like to see all of the ideas from Okamiwhitewings, Aelys, binarydelusions, luvloveless bandycam, and others regarding a friendly and fun pet-dump, combined into a single cohesive and coherent working thing.

      * I love the pet shelter idea with periodic 'support the shelter' events that ask for medicine for sick pets, or FC donations for food and pet beds, as it would provide an added item/FC sink, as well as a reward for removing unwanted pets from the system. This could be a shoppe run by an NPC ecologist who shelters and rehabilitates the animals, then 'releases them back into the wild', by deleting them from the server. Points could be acrued by giving animals to the shop, which could be redeemed for shop items, and points would be counted by rarity and color-rarity of the pet given, with a minimum of one point for each common/common that is parted with. Mayhaps the rewards could be the plushies that the staff mentioned earlier, or even better, have reward levels that points could be redeemed for. You could have a chance level, with one point being redeemable for one random common item from any village, like a grab bag, a higher level with ten points being worth the choice of a slab or ten steel, and so on into increasing values. At the higher levels of points (1,000 points should probably be mid-range, with 10k points being at the top of the upper limit), there would be special house decoration items, pet forum vistas, unbreedable colorations of collectible pets (with no breeding charges), new villager costumes, or even pet costumes.

      I like this idea a lot, as it would decrease the available animals currently flooding the site, as well as allowing players to work for new things, adding not only a solution to the pet-flooding problem, but also adding an exciting new aspect to overall game play. :D

      Useful Pets

      * calaminteo's idea reminds me of the pet buffs that were being discussed earlier. I think that if those were implemented, more folks would have/want pets for their villagers, and would thus help keep the flood down to a more reasonable level by taking some of them out of the marketplace and giving them some sort of value to the player base. I'd really like to see that implemented. It wouldn't be much of a sink, but every little bit helps, right? :)

      * Pet jobs sound awesome, and would give folks a way to keep the pets, while not breeding them! Different rarities of village-born pets could have different particular skill sets or similar, and that would be a fun addition to the game. <3

      That was a [i]lot[/] to take in, but thank you for reading and listening to the tester's suggestions! I've also sent this to the suggestions email, to make sure that it isn't missed. :) <3

    • To add: It can already take hundreds of breedings of a species to get a single Rare/SR of that species (and then you've gotta do it all over again to get the mate). I've been exclusively focused on AH to complete my Menagerie since I registered on here, and I'm only a little over halfway there (and that was the easy half: the common and uncommon coloured animals).

      I have a joke on my profile saying that I hope to complete my Menagerie by December... 2025. If you guys go ahead and nerf AH, without giving a boost to the chance of getting are/SR pets, I fear that my joke may become completely accurate!

    • You guys say that you want people to rely more on trading and buying to get things they need. However, I'm trying to complete my Menagerie, and the way I do that is already a combination of breeding my own pets, and trading any extra pets for others that I don't own.

      I already have all the common and uncommon coloured pets (well, except for the uncommon coloured Super Rare species), and now I'm on to trying to get all the Rare and Super Rare colours. So my method is to try and breed ones for my own Menagerie, and to trade any duplicates for other ones I've been unable to breed.

      It's already so difficult to even get Rare/SR pets for my own Menagerie (I've been doing this for months and got about a dozen SR pets out of it), let alone get any extras for trading. If you nerf AH it's going to be practically impossible. This won't encourage me to trade more because I'll literally have nothing to trade!

      I'd only be on boards with nerfing AH if you at least increased the percentage chance of getting the Rare and Super Rare pets.

    • Thinking about it, I also don't think number 1 would work like you want it to. If an common color common pet has 5 breeding charges, then they can breed 5 more common color common pets before they are finished. This means that the number of pets will keep growing, though it might, as others have said, make rare and super rare pets almost non-existent.

      Each time you breed pets, you would be putting as many common colored pets back into the system as there are breeding charges with the occasional rarer color popping out.

      It would do nothing to decrease the number of pets, and simply increase pets being tossed off of accounts onto the giving tree, only this time those pets would be practically useless.

      Adding breeding charges to male and females would probably curb somewhat the rise in animal population, but that would simply be super frustrating when trying to breed for rarer animal colors, especially when (not if for a lot of people) you don't get a higher rarity color pet to replace it