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ctown28
ctown28
Tireless Tiger

Apr-16-2009 10:18

I wanted to start this thread to get some opinions from others in the community about the advantages that some players/agencies have over one another. I am not saying my thoughts on them are right or wrong nor am I saying that anybody else’s is. In fact, you may see me flip flop on the topics from time to time as I sometimes like to look at both sides.

What I do not want to see here is for this to turn into a flame war and/or any name calling. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have been here for 10 days or 1000 days. Every opinion of someone that pays to play the game carries just as much weight as the next person.

A good debate can be healthy for the community and I ask you to all stay respectful here even if you disagree with something that is said here. I will start with some topics and would like to see them discussed and if anyone thinks I missed something or would like to add a topic, by all means go for it.



Replies

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Apr-16-2009 12:10

Well, I personally have never used a sleuth helper. I prefer to do cases on my own, as it teaches me how to do them using techniques I've spent time developing, and I enjoy the mental stimulation. As for those who do use it, it is their choice to do so. I'm guessing that the original intent was not for programs to be developed to help people solve their cases; case solving was something that required more effort. But as we can all see, there have been a lot of things about sleuth that have been compromised, like from the appearance of all the hint/cheat sites. Also, not every new player aims to get on the high score board. Most just come to play because they like the game.

As for the topic of password sharing, a lot of agencies do it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but usually directors ask for it, and agents give them up voluntarily, they are not forced to give them out. I think password sharing is ok as long as both parties agree and permission is granted. I know that having other people's passwords allows you access to use their contacts, and I don't think this is wrong. Some people just don't have the time to do all their cases the old fashioned way every day, and may need to rush through them, so they just match PE with all the contacts. Therefore, putting a limit on the number of detectives that can log in from a certain location is a bad idea, and I think it would overcomplicate monitoring processes. As for the two detective limit on agencies, I think this should apply only to agencies that TH. Agencies that do not TH should be exempt from this rule because there is nothing to be gained from it. For example, there are agencies that just exist to VH or just exist to give newbies a home.

Riza Hawkeye
Riza Hawkeye
First Nomad

Apr-16-2009 12:16

The people who solve 150+ cases a week clearly do so because they want to be on the high score list, but for others, it is just not important. I'm nowhere near the top, and I don't really mind at all. It's a matter of ambition, I think. So for me, I vote for no caps on experience. After all, these people paid for their subs, they can use them how they like. One thing, though. I think that although there's a rule that you can't have more than two detectives in one agency, and some people do anyway, they are not really excluding that many people. Recently there's been a drop in the number of players, though I know we're trying to fix that-I'm doing my part. So for now, at least, as long as no one's getting hurt, let's leave things the way they are. How about it?

(Happy Anais?) ;)

Lolita Marinez
Lolita Marinez
Sleuth About Town

Apr-16-2009 16:05

Well I'm lost. How can it be a problem if some detectives choose to give away their cases to other agency members? The only advantage to that is a number on a list and I'm not gonna cry because someone else had more time to sit in front of the computer and do cases than I did. My first thought is "Poor bugger must have Repetitive Stress Injury from all that clicking but good luck to them" The fact that you only get half experience from doing others cases is an inbuilt failsafe from admin and I think that is enough.

And as for Automated Helpers. I use one and all it does is save me time. I don't have to sit here with pen and paper and scribble down each name and trait etc etc. I started out with Dr Watson and have moved on to another one but it doesn't solve the case for me. I still have to use my logic and skill to get the right questions answered. I haven't changed the way I do cases, only the way I record my information. I have a program that automatically writes it down for me instead of me having to type/write it out. And please don't tell me I'm using my Helper wrong and all this time I could have been solving my cases in an instant!

Lolita Marinez
Lolita Marinez
Sleuth About Town

Apr-16-2009 16:06

As for the unspoken rule about 2 paid detectives per person in an agency.......this is the first I have ever heard about this one. But for me it still goes back to the first point. I'm not gonna cry if some other guy/gal has more time to sit in front of the puter than me. Frankly I say good luck to them. Maybe we need to set up a Sleuth Anonymous for them (I'd be one of the first to join...."My name is Linda and I'm a Sleuth Addict!)

I have days where I can spend loads of time on the puter and other times where I'm away and doing Real Life stuff. I know there was a time there when I did a lot more than my own cases when I was new to the agency and my directors were trying to help me build my own status (exp + $). I thought that was the point of taking newbies into your agency. To help them along. If I have missed the point there I'm sorry.

Password sharing is another point altogether. As a newbie I saw quite a few agencies who stated that to join them you needed to share your password. I was under the impression it was to stop item and money theft. I read stories of detectives joining agencies and then dressing in their best clothes and then running off never to be seen again. I can see how that would cause problems and frustration for the directors and I can see why they would ask for passwords. Since joining an agency I can see the advantage where Treasure Hunts are concerned but all agencies have that advantage so........no foul there if you ask me.

Ddog
Ddog
Old Shoe

Apr-16-2009 19:10

I would like to applaud Lolita for her comments - I couldn't agree more.

I would also like to thank Ctown for bringing up the subject for discussion in a civilised and logical manner. Rarely does anyone raise the issue with me personally though it has come to my attention recently that this is an important topic for many people.

The first couple of years I played without any helper programmes, just with good old pen and paper, and yes Lolita, judging by the amount of cases I did I must be one of those sad Sleuth addicts. By the time I met Irene I was already high up in the ranks, largely due to 'free' cases left in case files by not so sad players who didn't always have time to complete theirs. For those I was very grateful and have never seen anything wrong with that principle and something I have continued in Hunters, especially for new and keen agents.

I agree with Ctown that part of the fun and challenge of the game is to figure things out for yourself and I agree that no newcomer should be given a helper programme too soon into the game. They also shouldn't have all the 'secrets' of the game pointed out to them but possibly nudged into the right direction from time to time with subtle hints.
But there are 2 reasons from personal experience why I don't think such a programme really detracts from the game: for one I'm still playing it! Secondly there is a period within the game (about 100,000 exp if I remember) where progress is extremely difficult. It takes so many cases for each skill point, it feels like one will never get there. This seems a good point for extra cases and something to speed up their solving. I remember faltering at that stage, though admittedly I persevered. I've noticed quite a few agents dropping out in this period.


Ddog
Ddog
Old Shoe

Apr-16-2009 19:29

As Ctown rightly points out, an advantage is something that is not accessible to everyone. Now I have never heard of Irene turning down her programme to anyone who has asked for it. But Ctown rightly points out that it is not always easy to get the programme to run! In fact it took me ages, and trying all sorts of different things before it would work for me. It took Kas many goes as well. But with Irene's help we somehow managed it in the end. Perhaps this is something we can work on - to make it more user friendly.

I am very lucky right now to have a group of new and incredibly nice agents in Hunters. It is not a prerequisite for them to give me their password though some of them have (and some haven't). Password sharing is never abused in Hunters, but it enables me to put out peoples' cases (at their request) when they're away or use the favour they're holding if they're away. It's never done from a luck of trust... Hence I have no problems with password sharing as long as it's optional.

I also don't have a problem with anyone doing 150 cases in one week. Lolita would probably say get a life! But there are sometimes good reasons for this. For example we have only one agent with the Tailor contact in Shanghai. So one of the new agents decided he would be happy to target her for his contact. Now anyone who has ever set out to get a particular contact knows that this can be an arduous and long-winded task and primarily for the benefit of the agency. Hence many free cases have been given to him in order to accomplish this more quickly. It's been 2 weeks and still no luck...


Ddog
Ddog
Old Shoe

Apr-16-2009 19:35

Finally multiple agents. I have only ever had two agents until Kas died and inadvertently inherited her 2 agents. Obviously this was not planned and it took me some time to decide what to do. In fact when their subs ran out I still hadn't really decided though I knew I needed them around me a little longer. These days I don't have as much time as I used to so I was delighted for Irene to help me. None of her agents are currently in Hunters so there didn't seem to be any conflict in interests.

Having an agency filled with one's own agents does of course give an advantage with THs - though it would be incredibly time consuming! But I can see that an honour code is required there. To be honest it's so much more fun to co-ordinate with new agents, get contacts covered before a TH and hope that it'll be one of the new agents who gets that last favour!
Other than THs I don't feel it to be a problem though. As Lolita said - if you have that much time to solve cases, why not!


Anikka
Anikka
Babelfish

Apr-16-2009 20:19

The Use of Automated Helpers
I think it depends on how much "help" the helper gives. I like Dr. Watson, which is more an automated way to keep track of your information, and less a way to have your case solved for you. I especially like it because my semi-arthritic fingers have less trouble using a mouse than using a pencil. The thing I didn't like about Dr. Watson was my own inability to remember (in the short time it takes to switch from one webpage to another) what I was marking off! What I would really like is a Dr. Watson that has Sleuth on the same page. I want to do the work myself and use my own logic.

Since Dr. Watson hasn't been ideal for me, I have been using Pidgeot's Helper. It requires less of my own brain work, which I don't like, but it's got everything on the same page, which I need. Also, at least I am required to use my logic to choose what questions to ask first or what suspects to ask about.

I've never used the Case Solver, but I have seen it in action and even just the name kind of puts me off. I want to solve my own cases. That's why I pay for twelve cases a day, so I can solve them - or choose not to play them if I'm not in a solving mood. My question to people is: "If you don't want to be bothered solving cases, then why do you play?"

I think that anyone who knows me knows that I care snap for high score lists. Seriously, I'm just not competitive enough. But I know people who are, and they work hard to get their cases done, and I don't think it's right that they should be passed up by people who are not even solving their own cases but letting the computer do it for them. I also think that the example Ctown posted would be discouraging to newbies who are competitive yet suddenly realising they couldn't possibly reach the top by doing their own cases.

Anikka
Anikka
Babelfish

Apr-16-2009 20:19

Password Sharing

I do understand where Ctown is coming from on this topic. Yes, if an agency shares passwords, then it's having access to several detectives at once to TH, and there really isn't a difference between that and having more than two of your own detectives in an agency. Honestly, I don't know what the solution is. I don't know if limiting IP address logins is the way to go.


Case Sharing

Yes, I'm putting this separate. You know, sometimes a person doesn't have time to finish their cases, so they want to share with agency-mates. But that's a far cry from feeding cases to agency-mates! In my agency, we often share cases and even though someone else may solve four of my cases, I may also have solved four of theirs. It all kinda evens out, eventually. But in that lies so much room for exploitation.

So this is my own personal feeling. I think there should be some kind of limit on how many cases each detective can solve per week. Slightly more than the 84 of their own cases, but certainly not as much as 150! Also, maybe to only be able to use your contacts to help a limited number of cases from the agency files per day - hey, we can only use the crime lab once a day, so why shouldn't there be a limit on contact assistence per day?

A couple of people have spoken up against what they consider the "dumbing down" of the game. I certainly don't disagree with them. Just because certain things about the game have been "compromised" doesn't mean they should remain compromised.

I'm certainly not for leaving things the way they are. I'm unable to flippantly say that no one's getting hurt. There are people struggling to achieve a goal they will never make because other people are exploiting the system. Of course, that's my own opinion, and I'm sure some players will share it, and some won't.

nicnic
nicnic
Battered Shoe

Apr-17-2009 00:37

It's too late and I am too tired to really comment on this. I may give my thoughts tomorrow on the greater scheme of things.

But one thing I do want to say is - having more than two subbed detectives in an agency controlled by one player is not an unspoken rule, it is a real rule. I will try to bump a thread where Ben clearly states this, but it has been well know for at least 3 years in the sleuth community. It's just a rule that Ben cannot enforce due to the technical constraints of the current game and the implications of trying to do something about it (i.e. a whole family that plays sleuth together). Therefore, the honor system must be in play. In addition, I believe this should apply to giving gift subs to other agents who have left the game and using their detectives. I don't see the difference. Let's not play naive and pretend there aren't agencies out there with 10-12 subbed detectives that only have 1-2 real players playing the whole agency. I don't think this is up for interpretation, it is against the rules.

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