Warhound Breeding is Hell: we need to fix it

TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
I'm going to try to keep this as concise as possible because there's a ton of complicated factors that go into warhound breed in the Carnifex class, but with MirrorCarnifex on the horizon, I think it's time that we take a look at how absolutely bloody broken breeding mechanics are. We're about to have an entirely new group of people hitting the breeding mechanics with literally nothing to start with, and it's going to dramatically show off the warts of this process. Also I would've made this a classlead but someone decided that we should get only one classlead submission after waiting six months.

For PVP, breeding isn't a huge issue because, worst case scenario, you can Soul Pact your hound. This makes them unbreedable, but you can freely retrain their abilities to tweak them if you get a hound that's near-perfect (although this does cost gold). Being transcendent in Warhounds is a requisite of this ability, however, and so it's not open to everyone directly out of the gate.

The problem comes to establishing a breeding pool with the right traits initially, especially when it comes to hounds that are meant for PVE.

An important part of Carnifex guild culture is to give away a perfect hunting hound to novices. The correct combination of traits in a hound is a dealmaker for bashing as a Fex, and can greatly increase your survivablilty. Hounds that are bestowed are naturally disobedient, but this is not a problem for PVE hounds because all the abilities are passive, not active, so obedience isn't a problem.

Getting even one breeding pair, however, is presently a task that is so phenominally stressful that it's frankly amazing that it's been untouched for so long. I've been trying to establish a new strain of hunting hounds with a unique coat for...well, off and on a year, but I think I've sunk about one IRL month into this endeavor and accomplished almost no headway for weeks. I've not produced one viable hunting hound in the entire experiment.

As I understand it, here's how the mechanic is supposed to work:
  • If the dame and sire have matching traits, those traits have a high chance of being passed on to the next generation of pups.
  • If the dame and sire have a mismatched trait, it has a 50% chance of being passed on.
  • If traits are possible, but unlearned due to not being levelled up, that's a malus on the chance of that trait getting passed onto the next generation.
This is what we think the mechanics are, but this is not the experience I'm having. This is my latest batch of puppies, wherin two breeding pairs were perfect hunting hounds (meaning I should have at least gotten one viable hunting pup with no negative traits), and the rest were unideal combinations, but still should've had a chance of losing a negative trait:

None of these things happened--negative traits down the board. And keep in mind this is basically what I'm met with every howling, for the past several weeks. Either something's broken, we're mistaken on the mechanics, or I'm extremely unlucky to a level that's bordering on absurd.

The thing is, I've been hammering at this for weeks, dealing with the disappointment, while I already have a decent pool of hounds to draw traits from. Meanwhile, Spirit is about to get MirrorFex out of the gate without this benefit, which means we're about to have a dozen(dozens?) of people trying to get viable hunting pets and getting extremely and, frankly, justifiably frustrated at how it works.

This really should be addressed. As it is right now it's basically a reverse gacha game, where instead of being an addictive and rewarding kind of randomness, it's completely frustrating and maddening, with each day becoming less and less fun as your results are slow and unrewarding, and as far as I know there's no other class that has to lock itself behind this hellish grind in order to enjoy the very basics of their class.

Proposed fixes:
  • Let one trait be swapped per puppy generation without having to pact.
  • Sell an artifact(s) that speeds up the time between generations.
  • Increase the chance of a negative trait being overwritten by a positive one after breeding.
Seriously, guys, this is bad. Please fix it.


  • BulrokBulrok Member Posts: 181 ✭✭✭
    Remove negative traits entirely. Any trait you get on a dog that is not the trait you wanted or causes you to have to breed again is already a negative trait anyways. 
    ShAmAn'S aRe UsEleSs In GrOuPs
  • KerocKeroc A small cupboardMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 483 admin
    edited February 11
    Can you post the sire and dame traits as well for that litter?

  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11
    Sure. Here's the perfect hounds that were bred that generation that netted zero hounds without negatives:


    Sex: Male,Female

    - Herding - Gifted
    - Intercept - Intercept
    - Gifted - Firebreath

    - Cunning - Cunning
    - Festering - Festering
    - Staticfur - Radiant
    - Frostcoated - Frostcoated
    - Flamecoated - Flamecoated
    - Radiant - Staticfur


    Sex: Female, Male

    - Intercept - Intercept
    - Gifted - Gifted
    - Guarding - Firebreath

    - Cunning - Cunning
    - Frostcoated - Frostcoated
    - Festering - Staticfur
    - Flamecoated - Flamecoated
    - Staticfur - Radiant
    - Radiant - Festering

    The rest are kind of a pain to list in detail because I'm breeding 20 hounds at once, but here's the list of all the hounds I tried breeding together, if that's something you're able to see from your end:
    • 58054 with 266590
    • 211431 with 255945
    • 255945 with 244788
    • 311397 with 211431
    • 324556 with 297791
    • 298176 with 321817
    • 315455 with 331301
    • 316369 with 266590
    • 335605 with 249867
    • 311389 with 315787
    • 314132 with 333519
    • 288205 with 310211
    I'm aware some of these pairings are suboptimal because some of the penned/pedigreed hounds aren't fully leveled up, which is why I was breeding 58054, 266590, 211431, and 255945, to try and get some pure hunting hounds that I could level and breed with, but when I saw that litter I had to say something lol

    Edit: spoiler tag ate my formatting T_T
  • KerocKeroc A small cupboardMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 483 admin
    So the bug was actually with the HOUND PUPPY LIST display.

    All those puppies after the first changed negative trait likely had no negative trait at all, but it should be fixed now for future use.

    (Small reminder for all us coders out there to make sure you clear your variables per loop :neutral: )

  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11

    (thank you for fixing that K)
  • MjollMjoll Member Posts: 267 ✭✭✭✭
    Oh. My. God. I'm dying lmao
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 11

    Post edited by Tetchta on
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    So @Keroc I'm already starting my spreadsheet and am prepared to throw myself at this every day for the next 22 days until I have gone through 1000 dogs (I'm pretty sure I've already gone through 1000 but I wasn't documenting anything, so this would be 1000 documented pups), but I'm already suspecting that things are broken--I've already gone through ~100 puppies, and of those, I got 4 viable hunters. Sounds like good news, right? Well, unfortunately those are hunting hounds that I bred from already-perfect dogs in order to increase my available pool of hunters (so I could breed them with my silver/gold coated dogs). My success rate for getting rid of negative traits from strains by breeding them with otherwise perfect dogs has a success rate of zero so far.

    To summarize:
    • I wanted to get at least one new breeding pair of dogs with hunting traits with a coat different from our current stock (which is only white coats)
    • I bred away all negative traits from those hounds over time by breeding them with hounds that are otherwise flawless
    • I'm on an eternal quest to breed out the final negative trait from these hounds, and have essentially constructed a puppy mill where I'm breeding these hounds with other hounds which are flawless
    • I have made no progress in eliminating the last stubborn trait
    Not only am I not getting silver/gold hounds with perfect hunting traits, I'm flat-out not getting any that have no negative traits.

    I'm going to keep doing this until I've gone through and documented 1000 puppies, but I have to ask: is this how the mechanic is intended to be? Is something bugged? Is breeding a perfect hound impossible (even though we already have perfect ones floating around out there?) Am I doing something super duper wrong that's making me fail over and over again?

    General Stats
    Attempts at Breeding A New Strain of Flawless Hounds (Documented):18
    Puppies Born: 90
    Viable Puppies: 0
    Failure Rate: 100%
    Total Puppies Killed: 110 (includes white hounds that didn't have desired traits)
  • KerocKeroc A small cupboardMember, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 483 admin
    You will always get a negative trait if one exists in either the sire or dame. They need to be retrained to have the negative traits removed.

  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    ...so how does anybody have perfect, breedable hounds with no negative traits then? You literally can't retrain skills without soulpacting, which makes hounds unbreedable. Dude this blows. I wasted literally weeks on this broken garbage mechanic that has zero in game documentation and seems to be designed to be intentionally painful.
    Post edited by Tetchta on
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 17
    Seriously @Keroc, if negative traits can literally never be alleviated through breeding, how the unicorns is this possible:

    Beastmaster literally requires that hounds be unbreedable. I don't know what's more frustrating, that this entire skillset was intentionally designed to be as frustrating as possible, or that there's the poison carrot being dangled over our heads luring people into it in the form of grandfathered hounds from the era of when the breeding system was even more frustrating than it is now. Why is it like this?
  • AyastiaAyastia Member Posts: 94 ✭✭
    edited February 24
    I mean I've beast mastered out things like sterile before and I believe toothless. But yeah, it does make it (practically) impossible to get a 'perfect' hunting hound without making them unbreedable. Perhaps if we can do something like 'breed x and y for hunting' it will slightly increase the odds of getting favorable hunting traits from the parents?

    This really should be addressed. As it is right now it's basically a reverse gacha game, where instead of being an addictive and rewarding kind of randomness, it's completely frustrating and maddening, with each day becoming less and less fun as your results are slow and unrewarding, and as far as I know there's no other class that has to lock itself behind this hellish grind in order to enjoy the very basics of their class.

    Frankly, I had this exact conversation with someone just the other day. No other class makes you trans a skill and then depends on randomness to make that skillset even viable. And people say beastmaster your hounds but that doesn't work for people who can't sink the money in to get credits to get Beastmaster, since it is the trans skill. Eventually, they will get it if they work at it, yes, but they can spend a long time with no way to get a decent hound without it being gifted to them. I would suggest maybe moving Beastmastery earlier in the skill list, especially since it comes with the limitations of no breeding and no removing negative traits. Warhounds is a great concept but it does have it's issues.
  • TiurTiur Producer Member, Administrator, Immortal Posts: 1,081 admin
    edited February 25
    This begins with a false assumption, that a Warhound being perfect should be doable without Soulpact/Beastmastery. Literally the "worst case scenario" is to use your Trans skill to make a perfect hound. Through application of effort you breed a near-perfect one, then use beastmastery to finish it. Or you skip all that and spend a bunch of gold.

    So, you have no reason that this is 'bad' other than your desire to breed a perfect hound and not have to use your Trans skill. In the most generous scenario, this is to give newbies the ability to never need Beastmastery. It is not a poison carrot. It is that the skill does not conform to your expectation, wasting your time with a misunderstanding of its function. We can fix that, we'll add a helpfile with more mechanics in it. Generally there's a back and forth about how much information we should give, so we didn't see it as necessary before now.

    You are not 'locked behind a hellish grind' to use the class.

    This kind of dramatics doesn't help anyone. Now I'm frustrated because I spent hours working through the code, trying to understand why there was a problem, because Keroc and I fixed this years ago, and he remade it a year before that. There isn't a problem, it's just not as fun as it could be.

    I'm closing this thread. Likely we'll add a random chance to lose a negative trait when breeding, just so there can be more fun trying for weird mixes that are perfect, as it's essentially a cosmetic/prestige thing. Also considering adding a bunch of silly negative traits that would have zero effect, besides being amusing. Understandably the priority will be low.

    @Ayastia might have a point with moving Beastmastery lower, but I'm torn. It enables perfect PvP hounds and that might unbalance the effectiveness of the class vs similarly learned classes.
This discussion has been closed.