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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Code puzzle absurdity - Almost game breaking rss

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jordan winslow
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Just bought the game today for 100$, overall I thoroughly enjoy it but one thing almost ruined my entire experience of it, and that is sad.

I'm not going to give exhaustive context about the buildup to this point but I was playing this game for the first time and barely made it by the skin of my teeth to the final puzzle of the game that determined if I win or not and it ended up being the code puzzle with 5 different spaces and 5 different symbols.

I am relatively intelligent and so is the person I was playing with, and after literally 20 minutes we could not solve this puzzle and decided to attempt to solve it with infinite attempts. It was absurdly hard even with infinite attempts and **here is why I think the puzzle is a bit broken and needs to be fixed:

The feedback the game gives you is basically an elder sign = 1 correct symbol in the correct position, and a clue icon means one correct symbol but not in the right position.

Here is where it is broken: the game will allow multiple symbols to be the same, but the feedback becomes too vague to determine what it is referring to when you have 5 choices and process of elimination does not work unless you use an absurd amount of attempts to do things like place all 5 symbols down as the same symbol to determine how many are in the solution, then alter it by one.

For instance we had the following

+++++ - 2 elder signs
*++++ - 1 elder sign 1 clue icon

Any rational person would assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution, but our solution had not even one * but in this case the game meant "well you've got one + in the right place and there is another + in the solution, but there is no way you could deduce that without MANY more attempts. Half of the puzzle is figuring out what the feedback even means.

In fact of the 5 different symbols we were given to choose from, only 2 were used in our solution and basically we got the feeling that the game was giving too obscure and vague of feedback to make a meaningful attempt at success.

Why should it be so hard? We are not professional code breakers and there is no way to set the difficulty of puzzles in the app. We felt like it was detracting from the game and we ended up just quitting entirely because we felt like winning by cheating to solve the puzzle was an empty victory.

There either needs to be a puzzle difficulty setting added to the game or you need to make the feedback more meaningful or you need to reduce the amount of symbols or amount of spaces to scale the difficulty down. If it is required to solve a puzzle to best the game then you shouldn't have to be a WWII Pentagon codebreaker to win the game.

There's my 2 cents.
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Imo I think it's a nice logic puzzle but I agree it does take more turns than the game allows to figure out the larger ones.

Still I enjoy doing them and code breaking feels appropriate for the investigation aspect of the theme.

That's just my opinion though.
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Calvin Le Huray
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Interesting point, I can see the need for a hardness setting at the beginning of the game, as some people find puzzles harder than others.

Personally, I would not want the puzzles any easier as my group found them too easy; an option to make them harder would be nice.

The trouble with this solution is that it throws the game's balance because each character has a limited amount of moves per action, this might lead to the player not having enough if the puzzle is too hard.
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Peter Johnsson
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eatshootsandleafs wrote:
Personally, I would not want the puzzles any easier as my group found them too easy; an option to make them harder would be nice.

Agreed!
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Evan Stegman
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My first two guesses are always AAABB then CCCDD. Usually doesn't take more than 4 or 5 guesses after that.
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Girts Perkons
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riboAWEsome wrote:
eatshootsandleafs wrote:
Personally, I would not want the puzzles any easier as my group found them too easy; an option to make them harder would be nice.

Agreed!

I second this!
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Bård Holst
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I found this puzzle to be too vague and it felt more like work than a fun puzzle to solve.
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Roberto de Gooijer
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I think that the trick to the solutions to these puzzles lies in deduction. I found them very hard in the first few plays but i got better at solving them quite quick bt starting with just 2 of the same symbols and after that again 2 of the same so i could deduct the sybols that were definatly not in the solution.

I rarely got any of these puzzles with more than 3 different symbols in the solution. Just practice!
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Russ Williams
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pandoratranquil wrote:
For instance we had the following

+++++ - 2 elder signs
*++++ - 1 elder sign 1 clue icon

Any rational person would assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution, but our solution had not even one * but in this case the game meant "well you've got one + in the right place and there is another + in the solution, but there is no way you could deduce that without MANY more attempts. Half of the puzzle is figuring out what the feedback even means.


Unless I'm missing something, you're simply describing Mastermind-type puzzles, right?

The first clue tells you that there are exactly 2 + symbols.

The second clue tells you that there is a + sign in the 2nd to 5th position (which we already know), and that either there is a * somewhere other than the 1st position, or there is a + in the first position.

I.e. a rational person would not "assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution".
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Jason Nopa
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russ wrote:
pandoratranquil wrote:
For instance we had the following

+++++ - 2 elder signs
*++++ - 1 elder sign 1 clue icon

Any rational person would assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution, but our solution had not even one * but in this case the game meant "well you've got one + in the right place and there is another + in the solution, but there is no way you could deduce that without MANY more attempts. Half of the puzzle is figuring out what the feedback even means.


Unless I'm missing something, you're simply describing Mastermind-type puzzles, right?

The first clue tells you that there are exactly 2 + symbols.

The second clue tells you that there is a + sign in the 2nd to 5th position (which we already know), and that either there is a * somewhere other than the 1st position, or there is a + in the first position.

I.e. a rational person would not "assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution".


Agreed. I think the real problem with this puzzle is that poor language is used to describe the rules in how it works...(much like my language used to describe the problem). My first few attempts, i was confused as to what the feedback really meant, until i narrowed it down to simple variables to see what kinds of results i got.

In most cases, it should generally only take 2-3 full action attempts if your character has maxed stat for the testing stat.

This particular puzzle doesnt always come up, either... My least favorite is the block sliding puzzle, because i find them way too easy. Mostly because i used to play that type of puzzle on my phone to the point where i solved thousands of them as second nature. I would definitely like to scale difficulty up for those, if possible...
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Peter Johnsson
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EvanMinn wrote:
My first two guesses are always AAABB then CCCDD. Usually doesn't take more than 4 or 5 guesses after that.


A real "brute force" way would be to guess, for example:

In this example: ?=part of the code, !=Correct placement.

AAAAA, answer !!
This code will have two A.

AABBB, answer !?
This means there is no B in the code and one A is not in the correct position.

AACCC, answer !??
One C is part of the code, but must be in an incorrect position since we know the one ! is from one of the A (from the last try), this means the C will be in one of the first two positions (together with an A).

ACADD, answer !!!??
This means the code won't have any E either.

Then we would continue doing different permutations (remembering that the first two positions in this case will be either AC or CA).

This was an easier example, but I hope I made it somewhat understandable.

Please tell me if I did anything wrong.

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Dean Love
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If you Google for Mastermind you'll find plenty of discussion of how it works and good strategies.

It's hard if you've never done them before but fairly straightforward if you have.
 
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Roberta Yang
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rokkon wrote:
Agreed. I think the real problem with this puzzle is that poor language is used to describe the rules in how it works

The OP understood the rules of how it worked just fine. They defined the rules of the game correctly, and I can't think of any possible ruleset in which their logic is coherent -- their proposal of a + in position one and a * somewhere else would obviously mean they had two correct symbols in the wrong locations, when the app said there was only one.

pandoratranquil wrote:
We are not professional code breakers

Mastermind is a game for ages 8 and up.
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L W
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Mastermind was one of my favorite games as a kid so I know practice helps a lot. I found a site online to re-up my childhood cleverness with this puzzle game: http://www.web-games-online.com/mastermind/
 
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Michael Logan
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pandoratranquil wrote:

For instance we had the following

+++++ - 2 elder signs
*++++ - 1 elder sign 1 clue icon

Any rational person would assume this meant the first symbol must be + and * must be somewhere in the solution, but our solution had not even one * but in this case the game meant "well you've got one + in the right place and there is another + in the solution, but there is no way you could deduce that without MANY more attempts. Half of the puzzle is figuring out what the feedback even means.


after what you saw, you can logically know that a + is in the first position and that the * isn't in the puzzle. (you also know that one of the other position will have a +.
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Justin Colm
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We don't have any problem with them but then I'm familiar with the puzzle type and know the methodology for solving them. It just takes a little experience.

Of course, you can't expect to always solve them with one action, that's the whole point. You have to allocate your resources, even when that means evading to get the actions you need to do the puzzles. Generally I find that even with the toughest code puzzles one character can usually get it done in a couple of actions if you make sure to have a character with a high statistic for the relevant skill.
 
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Clinton Rice
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You might want to reconsider your approach. The chance of duplicated symbols should not be a problem. Five possible symbols? Try filling all the spots with a single symbol. After you have done this four times (or less if you are lucky), you will know exactly how many of each symbol are in the code and only need to work out the order.
 
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Michael Logan
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KoalaXav wrote:
You might want to reconsider your approach. The chance of duplicated symbols should not be a problem. Five possible symbols? Try filling all the spots with a single symbol. After you have done this four times (or less if you are lucky), you will know exactly how many of each symbol are in the code and only need to work out the order.


This likely not be the most efficient way, but I agree it can be a step in learning how to approach these.
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Nick Storm
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Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.
 
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Michael Logan
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ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


couldn't you just make an assumption for how many attempts it takes on average for given puzzle types and then apply some sort of random factor to adjust how long it takes on a given attempt. Then you just make sure you solve the possible in the correct number of attempts and move on? I agree you would still need to go to the trouble of solving them to move on, but they are fairly easy if not trying to optimize your moves.
 
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John Smith
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mfl134 wrote:
ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


couldn't you just make an assumption for how many attempts it takes on average for given puzzle types and then apply some sort of random factor to adjust how long it takes on a given attempt. Then you just make sure you solve the possible in the correct number of attempts and move on? I agree you would still need to go to the trouble of solving them to move on, but they are fairly easy if not trying to optimize your moves.


Or just give yourself unlimited attempts. It's not like the app will call you out for cheating.
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Clinton Rice
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ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


Neither do dice. Guess we should get rid of those too and replace them with dusty research tomes, which very much have a place in the Lovecraft stories.
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Dean Love
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ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


Some of them work. Re-assembling a torn up note or map or whatever is cool. It fits with the story. The other two puzzles I find a bit disappointing. There was a great opportunity with the app to actually have puzzles that fit the story and they've not really done so. (The mastermind puzzles for numeric codes *sort* of work too).
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Nick Storm
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KoalaXav wrote:
ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


Neither do dice. Guess we should get rid of those too and replace them with dusty research tomes, which very much have a place in the Lovecraft stories.


Dice are needed for randomization. Almost *every* single game uses them. Need them to provide the randomization mechanic. Puzzles? Do they try to take the place of combat, augment combat? Provide a time-suck and waste investigators time? Your analogy falls here. Dice and randomization are needed, puzzles, not so much IMO.
 
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Amos Dillman
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ppayes wrote:
KoalaXav wrote:
ppayes wrote:
Puzzles have nothing to do with Lovecraft or 'The Mythos'. Their overuse in the Mansions franchise is a deal breaker for me. It just sux to have them inserted into scenarios and not be able to opt to remove or play without them.


Neither do dice. Guess we should get rid of those too and replace them with dusty research tomes, which very much have a place in the Lovecraft stories.


Dice are needed for randomization. Almost *every* single game uses them. Need them to provide the randomization mechanic. Puzzles? Do they try to take the place of combat, augment combat? Provide a time-suck and waste investigators time? Your analogy falls here. Dice and randomization are needed, puzzles, not so much IMO.


Not every game uses them. This game itself uses flavorful card effects for randomization.

Puzzles are just another mechanic that gives investigators something to DO within the game that grants them a sense of "unlocking" a mystery. It's a perfectly thematic mechanic IMO. The reward is discovering even more questions than answers about the unknown, and drawing players deeper into the madness of the game.

Puzzles are a heck of a lot more thematically easy to justify than combat, which you seem to have no problems with. So maybe your problems don't have anything to do with the appropriateness of theme at all.
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