The Prison has always been a hot topic at Gangster Nation. In recent years, prison busting has been what can make or break an account. In Version 2 we have improved The Prison, along with busting, even further. In fact, we think that it's much better than the current prison - although you will have to wait until the new round to decide on this for yourself.
We've decided to try and outline some of the main changes to the prison in this blog post, so that you can get a feel for what we've been working on. First, lets look at what the problems are with the existing prison, in the current version of the game.
- Players don't clearly know when they're in prison and when they're not in prison, especially when browsing non-blocked pages, such as the forums.
- Players are not actively told when they have left prison or have been busted out of prison by another player.
- It's quite difficult to judge which person to bust from prison, apart from the three basic levels of difficulty (which very a lot).
- At active times of the day, pretty much any player who goes into prison is busted straight out again.
- Prison busting is basically a clicking competition, who ever can click the fastest and as much as possible (whilst maintaining focus on which user is being clicked), is going to earn the most points.
- The above issue wouldn't be so bad except for it's completely unfair towards people using laptops, for example, where it's more difficult to move and click using the mouse pad than it is using an actual mouse.
- Due to the fast paced nature of prison, it's difficult to tell the difference between human behavior and computer (i.e. cheating) behaviour.
- Again, due to the fast paced nature of prison, players are often going in and out of prison. In the current prison, this results in the button which you must click to bust moving around a lot.
- Nobody cares who they bust, it's not a case of busting out those who are closer to you, it's just a case of busting out anyone.
- The current energy system is a tad confusing and doesn't give room for people who don't have lots of time on their hands to bust each time their energy refills (every 30 or 60 seconds).
So there are a lot of problems with the prison as it is in our eyes but we want to solve these issues and hopefully make everybody really happy with the new prison.
The New Prison
The screenshot to the left is what the entire page of "The Prison" looks like in Version 2 (you can click these screenshots to enlarge). No Confusing looking stuff, no options or settings below, just a page where you simply click and bust.
There are various things changed here and I'll go through some of them in the form of a list, which is easier on the eyes. If the list of updates isn't too clear, we hope that you will catch on and see how much better The Prison is next round - prison busting is for every body now, not just the most hardcore players.
Changes to "The Prison" page and busting
- We have one simple block of content on this page now, a list of people of who you can bust out. No more two-click process to bust somebody out, just point and click on the player.
- Turbo busting and prison bribes are back in Version 2 (including possibly being up at Lucky Dip prizes - thanks Rou) but you will find them for sale with a whole host of other stock controlled perks in the Black Market, instead of clogging up the prison page.
- Each player has an exact busting chance next to them. This is dependent on your prison busting history and the targets level. In other words, the more you bust, the more you get out of it - the success chances will increase and in turn you can make more successful busts, earning you more level points. Yes, these success chances can reach 100% if you work at it.
- Instead of giving out energy every minute, we do this every 15 minutes. This means that you can either use your energy in a laid back way (inbetween other crimes) or hammer it as soon as it's available. We want Gangster Nation to be more of a strategy game where possible rather than who can click the most or the fastest. At the end of the day, time will always equate to a higher ranked account, but where possible we want to even things out and make the game as fair as possible.
- The 15 minute energy refill is not at the same time for everybody (i.e. 00, 15, 30, 45), it actually differs per player. This stops there being a constant flood of people trying to bust at the same time.
- Overall, we've made prison busting a bit more laid back. This means that you can actually take a little bit of time (a few seconds) to choose who to bust now instead of spam clicking. This will be important when dealing with "Busting Rewards" (more information below) and means that we don't have to keep refreshing the list of prisoners - which solves the issue of prisoners jumping around in and out of the list.
- As a final little improvement, we now highlight friends and family in the prison. This will give you the chance to prioritize busting to those players who are important to you the most (of course the hardcore players will go for the statistically best person to bust!)
I should note that the changes to prison busting also help us determine when a computer (script, bot, cheat etc) is being used for prison busting more easily, in addition to other new anti-cheat mechanisms brought in place for the new version.
Ok so you will have noticed a column "Reward" in the above screenshot, as well as a place to set "Your Reward" at the bottom of the list.
I'm sure you can guess what this is but basically, we're allowing players to automatically pay a set amount of money to whoever busts them out successfully. The list of players is also sorted by this amount so that by offering a higher reward, you're more likely to get busted out quickly. This will kind of be like the cheap version of prison bribes, in that your prison time will be cut shorter much quicker and you're paying somebody to do this for you.
You do not have to offer a reward, you will just appear towards the bottom of the bust list with a reward of "None". In addition to this, if you set a reward which you can not afford, the amount which you can afford (or "None") will show in the reward column.
I should note two things here:
- Prison rewards are taxed at 10%, the same as bank transfers. The amount displayed on the prison page for busters though, is the amount that they will receive. This needs to be done otherwise people will abuse the prison as a way to transfer money with no tax.
- Some of you will argue that money is better spent on prison bribes. Well, with the Black Market being stock controlled and there being limits on how often you can purchase things (as well as a choice of other perks available), not everybody is going to be going crazy on the bribes all of the time.
Prison bribes are now in your control
If you read that last point just there, you will understand how prison bribes will become more of a valuable tool to players. As such, we thought that if you have managed to get hold of prison bribes then they should be in your control. A lot of players complain that they would like to pause the usage of prison bribes etc so that they aren't wasted (perhaps you only wish to use them in the off peak hours when nobody is available to bust you).
We have answered your prayers and brought to you an option which can be turned on or off as you please for automatic prison bribe usage, prison bribes are in your control in the next version. If you choose to disable automatic usage then you will be presented with your current bribe count and a link to use a bribe on the prison block page.
Ok so now this update is one that I'm more excited about really. It's actually a very small update to the game but it will do players a lot of good. As mentioned in our "problem" list near the top of the post, players don't really know when they are in or out of prison at the moment. I mean, if you want to browse the forums whilst you're locked up, who's going to tell you when you're free? Even when we did have this kind of feature, it wasn't live - it was actually quite slow to update.
The ticker bar has been kept in the new version but we've decided to utilize this for the prison too. In short: when you're in prison, the ticker bar will tell you that you are, with a live count down. This means that you know when you're in prison, whichever page you are currently looking at. When you leave prison, the ticker bar updates to a green message to inform you and then disappears.
This is brilliant, it means that you're always aware when you're in prison without intruding on other areas of the site (the screenshots actually show it on prison block pages, but this could be any page - such as your messages).
The best bit though? When you're busted out, your browser is informed immediately of this and the ticker bar tells you along with the user who has busted you out. This means you can be doing things whilst being aware of the players who are busting you out - then you can perhaps even thank them in chat!
It feels a bit strange being excited over such a small thing but you really have to see this one live to understand why it's going to change the game for those of you actively playing. You have to remember that this updates *live* - if the ticker bar says you're still in prison, you're still in prison, if it says you've been busted, then the person who busted you out has literally made that click right now. It's miles better than any system we have in place now, lets just leave it at that.
Oh, as a last note, when you're not in prison, the ticker bar does of course revert back to doing its usual job.