Nice run, @Skaven_in_box.
Sorry for the long post, but I’ve been looking at penalties versus how the game already scores for time. It appears that it’s going to be difficult to find a fair and consistent penalty system regardless of how many points we deduct. Let me explain…
The game deducts points the longer you take to complete the contract. We already know this, but more precisely it works in the following way.
If you take zero time you will be awarded the maximum score of 210K.
As your time moves towards 5 minutes it reduces in a linear fashion to 170K. So, for example, if you took 2:30 (half way between 0 and 5), then you would earn 190K (half way between 210K and 170K).
However, as your time goes over 5 minutes it then reduces linearly from 170K (5 minutes) to 165K (10 minutes). In other words, for runs lasting more than 5 minutes, time begins to matter less and less.
So let us suppose that we decide that on average, grabbing and using an item saves 30 seconds.
If you complete in 4:30 you will earn 174K; if you complete in 5:00 you will earn 170K.
That is, 30 seconds equates to 4K points for all runs less than 5 minutes.
If we decided then to deduct 2K for grabbing an item and 2K for using it, then a run in 4:30 that used, say, the boat keys to escape would receive a 4K reduction and would score exactly the same as a 5:00 run that did not use any items.
This appears to work well.
But suppose someone else did a run in 5 minutes and used the boat keys. Their score would reduce from 170K to 166K.
Here’s the problem: Someone completing a run in 9:00 and using no items will also be awarded 166K. And someone a taking a pedestrian 8:59 would beat that 5:00 run.
In other words, for runs lasting more than 4:30, having a 4K reduction means you will be beaten by significantly slower runs.
I suppose the solution is to simply accept that and just be aware that if you’re going to use any items, then make sure you overall run lasts less than 4:30. Otherwise you’re likely to score more by just taking your time. So after that rambling post…
I’m going to propose the following, which we can tweak before the contract for the next round is published:
- Adding an item to your inventory costs 2 penalty points
- Use an item (throwing, dropping, and melees) costs 1 penalty point
- Subduing an NPC costs 1 penalty point
- Changing disguise it will cost you 4 penalty points
The penalty points are multiplied by 1000 and this is deducted from the score on your official scorecard. This means that each penalty point equates to a 7.5 second time penalty.
What do we think?