Tower Unite - An identity crisis


#1

[details=Prefix (probably read me)]Let me prefix this wall of text by saying I respect the developers and what they do. I think they are on the good part of the spectrum of game devs in this modern age. Also, this is a post primarily about the casino. If you think the casino is fine, I still hope you’ll read this and challenge my points, because it’s not just about the casino.

For clarification:
TU = Tower Unite
GMT = Garry’s Mod Tower
Dev(s) = Developer(s), the people making Tower Unite right now
Suite = Condo, back in GMT
[/details]


I think Tower Unite has an identity crisis.

I want to avoid bringing up GMT in this argument because GMT was a mod, and Tower Unite is a game. However, it is very hard to not bring it up, when TU is clearly based on / influenced by GMT.

GMT was a collectathon. The reason people came back to play GMT was to get more currency to buy more things to have more fun in their suite or the lobby. It was a social-focused collectathon, and it worked. It worked because you had to invest time and effort to get what you wanted. A shrine was the end-game for most people. Once you had a shrine, you were rich. You were now the elite and your condo probably looked like a group of ravers threw up in it, but weren’t quite finished partying just yet. You could grind gamemode-specific rewards for weeks before you’d have the end-game items for that gamemode, and there were multiple gamemodes. There was expensive player models, and so on and so forth. The point I’m getting at is that GMT worked.

Tower Unite, although still in Early Access, seems to suffer seems to suffer an identity crisis. It wants to be a collectathon, it feels like you’re supposed to play Minigolf a few times a day if you want that one hat, or the expensive Condo item. Unfortunately, there’s an odd imbalance in the current economy, and a shift of focus towards condo building.

Tower Unite, to me right now, is a condo-building game. This is because I have 40 million Units and I don’t ever need to worry about being able to afford anything ever again. How did I get 40 million Units? Did I plow through harsh grinding and learn all the minigolf maps by heart? Did I start speedrunning Ballrace? Do I just have a lot of hours? No, I don’t. I have 650 hours and 200-300 of those are in the casino. That’s right, the casino! Boy oh boy, a touchy subject.


The Casino, and the Economy

The GMT casino was an odd balance between losing money and having enough time to get the jackpot. If you didn’t have enough money, you didn’t get the jackpot. If you didn’t have enough time, you didn’t get the jackpot. Though, it wasn’t unfair. If you sat down in front of a GMT casino machine for 5 hours, you had a jackpot. The jackpot wasn’t high, but it was a considerable boost to most players economy.
TU’s casino is a whole different story. It is impossible to lose money on most of the casino machines, which makes it not a casino by definition, but that’s besides the core point I’m going to explain in this next paragraph.

The current Tower Unite casino will allow a sub-20 hour player to win a 10 million unit jackpot by sheer dumb luck, meanwhile the guy who sat there for 2 weeks gets to leave with only 2 or 3 million. This completely ruins the game for that new player. They now have everything. There is no progression, it’s gone. They’ll buy a catsack and never touch the game again. I’m not complaining that the sub-20 hour person got an undeserved jackpot, the casino is a game of chance, after all, the problem is when you tie in the collectathon aspect and the economy. The collectathon is tied directly into the economy, as everything revolves around the currency. If you want something, you pay with that currency, with some exceptions.
This would be fine if there was multi-million Unit items and everyone had a decent shot at being a millionaire. Most people don’t have a shot at being millionaires, because for most people, being a millionaire is just a question of how long you’re willing to spend in the casino, doing essentially nothing. It’s unhealthy to the players who do spend countless hours in the casino, it encourages cheating and poor behavior, and it hurts the economy. The prices, as they are right now, are in a very good sweet-spot for people who don’t go into the casino, but the casino throws this balance off for those that do. It stops being a collectathon and becomes an AFK grind.

My own experience and observation with the casino is that the high jackpot machines are the worst offenders on this issue. The Wheel of Money slots are often fought over by the people that spend a lot of time on them, whereas most people seem to enjoy playing Grand Quest. Grand Quest is a low-risk low-reward, but it’s balanced into the economy and jackpots don’t take hours. It’s a quick little game you can burn an hour or two on if you want, but it’s not necessary. Grand Quest has an actual sense of progression that’ll tell you if you’re getting somewhere or if you’re wasting your time. Wheel of Money is a pure chance with 0 real input or ability to tell if you’re anywhere close to winning. Video Poker is a bit the same as Grand Quest. It’s low-risk and low-reward, but it’s not an AFK grind. You get to participate in the game.


The Proposal

My proposal is that the devs take a step back and carefully examine the economy they’ve created and are nurturing with the casino. I think something should be done. If that is a rework of the casino, or the economy, or something third or fourth, I don’t know. All I know is that I don’t think the game is nurturing a healthy community.

Thank you.


#4

The Casino issue you are concerned about will be addressed soon. I plan to make progressive jackpots for WOM which will lower the jackpot totals overall, while making it exciting still.


#5

Can you elaborate on progressive jackpots?
I would argue they are progressive right now, they progress when you use them.


#6

THIS IS MY OPINION AND MY TAKE ON THINGS, I DO NOT SPEAK FOR THE DEVELOPERS OR THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE THIS IS JUST MY RESPONSE TO THE POINTS MADE


You bring up some great talking points and some actual issues that I’ve seen brought up many times before so I wanted to go over my thoughts on the points you bring up.

It’s perfectly fine to bring up GMT in this discussion as Tower Unite is GMT 2.0 in every aspect.

While right you are only right on about half of it, GMT was a collectathon yes but you are ignoring the other half of the reason people played which is the community that basically made it’s own culture with it’s own in-jokes and references. Things like Rob (Praise be unto him), and the Bone Zone just to name a few, ignoring this aspect of GMT is disingenuous when talking about the legacy of GMT. People didn’t only play for the collectibles, some played for those, some played for the community, some played for both, everyone had their own reason for playing.[quote=“Derak, post:1, topic:25548”]
Tower Unite, although still in Early Access, seems to suffer seems to suffer an identity crisis. It wants to be a collectathon, it feels like you’re supposed to play Minigolf a few times a day if you want that one hat, or the expensive Condo item. Unfortunately, there’s an odd imbalance in the current economy, and a shift of focus towards condo building.

Tower Unite, to me right now, is a condo-building game. This is because I have 40 million Units and I don’t ever need to worry about being able to afford anything ever again. How did I get 40 million Units? Did I plow through harsh grinding and learn all the minigolf maps by heart? Did I start speedrunning Ballrace? Do I just have a lot of hours? No, I don’t. I have 650 hours and 200-300 of those are in the casino. That’s right, the casino! Boy oh boy, a touchy subject.
[/quote]

The game seems like a condo-building game right now because that is one of the major aspects that was focused on in early development, condos are the backbone of tower and was for GMT aswell. Because of it it seems like the developers wanted to work and flush out condos first which is why it may seem like it’s all TU is about right now but you have to take in to consideration that the game is still in development, and trying to tell a game’s identity off of an unfinished state where most of the gameworlds and features are still being worked on along with the balance of the economy still being worked out is unfair to the developers and the game itself. [quote=“Derak, post:1, topic:25548”]
The Casino, and the Economy

The GMT casino was an odd balance between losing money and having enough time to get the jackpot. If you didn’t have enough money, you didn’t get the jackpot. If you didn’t have enough time, you didn’t get the jackpot. Though, it wasn’t unfair. If you sat down in front of a GMT casino machine for 5 hours, you had a jackpot. The jackpot wasn’t high, but it was a considerable boost to most players economy. TU’s casino is a whole different story. It is impossible to lose money on most of the casino machines, which makes it not a casino by definition, but that’s besides the core point I’m going to explain in this next paragraph.

The current Tower Unite casino will allow a sub-20 hour player to win a 10 million unit jackpot by sheer dumb luck, meanwhile the guy who sat there for 2 weeks gets to leave with only 2 or 3 million. This completely ruins the game for that new player. They now have everything. There is no progression, it’s gone. They’ll buy a catsack and never touch the game again. I’m not complaining that the sub-20 hour person got an undeserved jackpot, the casino is a game of chance, after all, the problem is when you tie in the collectathon aspect and the economy. The collectathon is tied directly into the economy, as everything revolves around the currency. If you want something, you pay with that currency, with some exceptions.This would be fine if there was multi-million Unit items and everyone had a decent shot at being a millionaire. Most people don’t have a shot at being millionaires, because for most people, being a millionaire is just a question of how long you’re willing to spend in the casino, doing essentially nothing. It’s unhealthy to the players who do spend countless hours in the casino, it encourages cheating and poor behavior, and it hurts the economy. The prices, as they are right now, are in a very good sweet-spot for people who don’t go into the casino, but the casino throws this balance off for those that do. It stops being a collectathon and becomes an AFK grind.

My own experience and observation with the casino is that the high jackpot machines are the worst offenders on this issue. The Wheel of Money slots are often fought over by the people that spend a lot of time on them, whereas most people seem to enjoy playing Grand Quest. Grand Quest is a low-risk low-reward, but it’s balanced into the economy and jackpots don’t take hours. It’s a quick little game you can burn an hour or two on if you want, but it’s not necessary. Grand Quest has an actual sense of progression that’ll tell you if you’re getting somewhere or if you’re wasting your time. Wheel of Money is a pure chance with 0 real input or ability to tell if you’re anywhere close to winning. Video Poker is a bit the same as Grand Quest. It’s low-risk and low-reward, but it’s not an AFK grind. You get to participate in the game.
[/quote]

I won’t go into this too much as I’ve already had this conversation before with people. But in summary going to the casino and spending hours farming for that jackpot is your CHOICE. You choose to ruin the ‘progression’ with the casino. And it isn’t the only way to make money either, in the time you spend 20 hours searching for that jackpot, spending only a few hours with my friends having fun in gameworlds I can make much more per hour than you will looking for the jackpot, it’s inefficient and you’re betting that loss on getting a jackpot which is the entire idea of a casino. Have fun with friends in gameworlds and just relax, you choose to ruin that by spending entire days in the casino and the devs are not to blame for player choices, especially when there are alternatives.

Looking at the roadmap I have no doubt that as more of the planned content comes out the casino will slowly become less populated, and regarding your issue with nothing but the condos to collect things for.


#7

You guys still considering multiple shared jackpots? That was a suggestion I really liked, and in one post someone from the team mentioned it’s being discussed.


#8

Sorry, what I meant was progressive jackpots across all the servers. In other words, every player of WOM across ALL Plaza servers will increase and also can be won by everyone. This basically means the jackpot will happen more often and be less amount as a result. It will also remove the preconception that it’s “your machine”. It’s also pretty exciting as a spectator.


#9

Well here’s my response I guess.
Also yay


#10

lol, i can’t wait to see the 50 million credit jackpot machine that no one will seem to be able to win.


#11

Every culture will develop in-jokes, and they are part of why people stay. I neglected to mention this because it felt redundant, for that reason. I enjoyed GMT for many other reasons than collecting virtual goods, but it was the primary reason and it is the gameplay loop that GMT had.

This is a good point and I have thought about it already. You are right that the backbone of GMT and TU is condos and community creativity. The purpose of this paragraph was not to imply that TU focusing on condos is a bad thing, but rather that the core gameplay loop is gone because I got rich.

I am aware that the game is in early access, and that the gameplay loop may not be very well fleshed out right now. That’s why I’m bringing it up for discussion now, and not in a years time when it’s more fleshed out. The earlier a problem is identified, the easier it is to correct.

You’re right, again, it’s a choice. However, consider the average new player. They don’t know the ramifications of getting lucky on WoM. It devistates their gameplay loop because they are out of it if they win. The Grand Quest jackpots are much more balanced for this. They boost a players economy, but they don’t ruin it. You’re not out of the loop if you get a few thousand extra Units.

If you look at MMOs and the like, there are often old players hanging around low-level combat areas to give out starter kits or overpowered gear to new players. These new players, more often than not, don’t understand that the items they are given might be massively overpowered and ruin the gameplay loop until they level past that gear. Nobody wants to throw good gear away, even if you realise it might not be the most healthy thing to carry around. Same with money. You don’t know how bad it is until you have it, and then you don’t want to throw it away. Veteran players of GMT and arguably most TU regulars understand the casino’s impact because they’ve been around since the beginning of the casino.

I agree with this, I hope it turns out this way.


This is good to hear. I hope it stops the machine hogging, at least.


#12

Really i think the biggest problem with the casino is that you can’t choose how many credits to spend per spin. You gain so little from even the highest credit option that going for the jackpot is the only reasonable thing to do. It really just makes the casino a time sink and i think without the jackpots you would see barely anyone in the casino. Like, when was the last time you seen someone playing video blackjack? I really just wish that the casino can stop being a 10 hour afk grind for the jackpot and be more like “am going to bet 100 credits per spin and triple/lose all my money in 30 minutes” kind of thing.


#13

Basically all my trips on the WOM except im super lucky if i break even, same with the triple diamonds just on a much slower pace.


#14

Time to log in and grind in the Casino before it changes.