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sneaky_squirrel

Ecosystem (Mobs And Resources)

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ArtCraft has been revealing a bunch of features I thought were "impossible".  And after the last pre-countdown update, the forums have slowed down considerably.  So I am going to make another thread about another ridiculous feature which will likely not be in the game (That's what I keep telling myself), in order to get some conversation going.  Everyone light your speculation candles! *Lights speculation candle*

 

I am going to discuss about a feature that rivals physics in MMO feature impracticality, mob behavior and interaction.  And one of his close friends, mob population.

 

Mobs in MMOs are usually dogs on leashes, if you get  close to any aggressive dog, he gets all mad at you and begins attacking you until you get too far from the stake his leash is tied to.  If I were to make it a bigger hyperbole, I'd call mobs Chain Chomps.

 

Now I am going to make a suggestion.  Can mobs behave like living things?  Can mobs move from one area to another?  Can mobs eat grass?  Can predatory mobs eat other mobs?  Can mobs make nests and have little mobs babies?  Can mobs flee from player character if it is obvious they are at a disadvantage?  Expanding on the previous question, can mobs care about their existence and not just the erasure of the nearest player character's existence?  Now when I am talking about mobs, I am referring more specifically to monster/animalistic mobs.

 

And if mobs could behave in this way.  Could their population be affected by player character actions?  If players kill too many boars in an area, will the boar population eventually reduce in number, making boars rarer?  Would boars eventually leave the area in order to find a safer environment?

 

 

Why would these features be added?

 

To improve the play experience of the PvE player and the Player Economy.  Think.  What limits a crafting economy in an MMO?  Monster respawn timers, and crafting component drop rate.  The rest of it is how much time a player is willing to dedicate to grinding crafting components by cycling between mobs spawn points.  With this type of environment, the players have complete control over the economy, if they ever need a component, they just go grind it where they always have and they will have the components they needed.  This is fine, but what if components were not as easy to get?

 

  • What if the player finds that the mobs he usually hunted for leather have now disappeared from the region, and are now somewhere else around the world map thanks to their migratory ability.
  • What if the flora he used to gather from has been completely devoured by herbivorous mobs that migrated from another area in their grazing rampage?
  • What if the player encounters a monster nest that has rare eggs used in high end crafting that are baby mobs waiting to be born.
  • What if the monster he is looking for is now extinct in this area?  Gotta find another population elsewhere, or maybe find an alternative mob which does not have as high quality leather.  Could the player repopulate the first area somehow in order to make it productive again?

 

 

A reactive PvE ecosystem is something I think could be a really fun feature in an MMO.  I encountered a limited ecosystem feature in Wakfu.  The ecosystem there was simple, you fights monsters and kill them.  Once you killed a mob, you could harvest resources from them.  Among the crafting components and items they dropped, they dropped "monster seed" (If you know what I mean).

 

You planted "monster seed" in the ground, and the monsters would undergo the same reproductive process as PLANTS USUALLY DO (God, don't ask me), and new adult mobs would be born after a short while (say 2 minutes).  If players did not go through the process of planting monster seeds, the monster population would eventually be killed off.  If I remember correctly, there was probably a mechanic to get a few new monster seeds to "revive" the monster species if they all died and no players had any seeds for them.

 

The reason I really liked this simple mechanic was that the monster felt a little more "real", as limited as that may have been.  The monster families had male / female, and adult / baby counterparts which helped in the aesthetic of a tiny monster ecosystem.

 

Conclusion

 

I think it would be pretty interesting to have a mob fauna / flora population dynamic for a richer economic experience (So players can actively explore new regions to find new mobs to kill and extract crafting components from).

 

As for mob behavior, I think it would make PvE a little more interesting.  Killing non predatory mobs could turn into a game of Crowd Controling and trapping these mobs as if the player were hunting them instead of slaying them.  Studying the behavior of these mobs would facilitate their capture, maybe they become ridiculously vulnerable when lured with bait, or perhaps they travel in certain patterns, always grazing in an area every often so the player can ambush the herd.

 

I also want to kind of see the Pre-Hellcats hunting some non-player prey, in addition to player prey.


How Can Mounts Add to the Crowfall Experience?  Caravans, Hunting Boars, and more.

 

How Complex can Mining be in Crowfall?  Mining difficulty, fatigue, infrastructure.

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If we're getting resources from Mobs, then the Mobs themselves should be perishable like the rest of the world. When the Campaign opens, there are so many mobs on the map. When they're all dead, they're all dead.

Likewise, when all the trees are cut, and all the metal is mined, it doesn't come back. This world is dying. Respawning doesn't make sense.

This encourages exploration and PvP as players need to range farther and farther afield to gain resources and materials. And it sticks to the lore of a dying world.


I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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Yes, all of the things you mention can be done. I read that last sentence as Pre-Hellokitty hunting some none-player prey. and thought, hmm, that would be interesting.


Perception is reality.


No, I don't want to join your guild.

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This is a tough one. We know there is the activity of pve but we really need to find out just how much pve they're willing to flesh out of a pvp focused game.

Edited by oberon

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genocide in week 1...

 

I doubt that a non-respawn system is feasible

Depends on the size of the world, the size of the player population, the size of the mob populations and how hard they are to kill.

Edited by bairloch

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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I'd love to see mobs run away when their health got too low, 

 

 

also if more realistic mobs were implemented, it would appeal to the wider mmo market more


Edgy

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Also if you have have studied an animal long enough, you should gain some bonus, like they dont attack you on site, or you get one as a vanity pet


Edgy

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The one big thing I hope they avoid is increasing mob health as a way to increase mob difficulty. It would be great if the tougher mobs were more accurate with their attacks, attempted to dodge and worked together. All of that said I don't expect mob AI to be revolutionary in this game, that's sort of beside the point and shouldn't be a priority.

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Could be ingame. Absolutely.

NPC behaviors, Like Daybreak did show off on the SoE Live. They leaked the mechanics how mobs will act.

Less like Mob A go Waypoint A, Mob B go... whatever

More like Mob A likes fish -> fish is where? sea, sea is on the edge of the map, so Mob A can found at lakes and around the edges of an island.

Same mechanics also work with object/other npc and so on.

 

Primary example:

You want to get the hide of a hyena, so youl search for a biome that you know this creatures leaves in, for example a hot dry biome, you go in the desert and looking for birds circling midair around a corpse, you think its a good starting point to find one there because they feed themselves from the corps and the birds dont land because the hyena is still eating.

So the hyenas behavior would look like:

 

hot, dry enviroment, food searching

 

Plus the birds behavior:

looking for corpse to get food, (in this example just used as good sight indicator)

 

TL;DR

Absolutely implementable, depends if the devs want to see a more dynamic and living word, and can deal with the issues itll bring withit. (Bugs, glitches or overpopulating, ...)

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I think they might be planning on doing this anyway. They mentioned in some post (forget where) that they are trying to make all concept pieces actually plausable in game. In early concept of the seasons we do see predators and prey animals running from each other, so honestly I think this will be a thing. With the new voxel engine I feel they might take inspiration from everquest next of just "dropping" mobs into the world to freeroam with intelligent AI. So predators will attack prey, prey will hide, and equally the extinction process has already been done, so hypothetically, it is possible.

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extermiantion in week 1...

 

I doubt that a non-respawn system is feasible

 

Could also wait till fall or winter to turn it off, that would make some sense...


I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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Wakfu was a cool first try for introducing a real ecosystem in a MMO, the first beta version (2010 i think) was awesome. You had to manage every resources, guilds started to create laws for the gestion, blocus and monopolies were created. It was awesome but now this game has left all his ambicious features T_T.

 

My dream would be to see something like this:

 

2 categories:

 

Plants:

 

1) Life time-line based on the species (seed, growing, mature --> reproduction with seeds / spores, natural death)

Because you need to create a dynamic if you want a simulated ecosystem to be interesting.

 

2) Ground and climate specificities (Temperature, altitude, wind, rain ?...)

-Create specific temperatures, rainfalls, winds... generated by the position and the nature of the voxels (biomes as minecraft)

-Create conditions for every plants,

 

exemple:

 

Optimal, possible and not possible (very basics categories) could be linked to seeds/resource production, time-line, % chances of successful planting or % chances of spawn at the creation.

Every parameter could be linked to each other (if it's cold AND dry it would be worse than cold AND humid for exemple).

 

Strawberry (we need sweetness too)

Temperature:         Optimal:   [20;30] C°

                              Possible:  [10;20] or [30;40] C°

                              Not possible: <10C° or >40C°

 

Altitude:                 Optimal:   < 1000m

                              Possible:   1000m<h<1500m

                              Not possible: >1500m

 

.....

 

 

If you create simple datas like that for every plants and if you link it with your voxel world, ecosystem diversity will be created by itself.

The more you have details and diversity of plants the better will be the complexity and the diversity of all the worlds/campains created.

With this system you can also change these conditions during the campaign (to make the world harder in winter for exemple).

 

 

3) Create predation/competition

- Trophic interaction with animals (the bunny eats the strawberries or the strawberries eat the bunny we never know in a heroic-fantasy world ^^)

- Limited "resources in the ground", every plant should use some limited "resource points" around them. If there are not enought "points" for a new plant, it will not grow / the most vulnerable organism will disapear (vulnerability linked to the previous parameters of the place).

 

 

 

 

Animals:

 

It's almost the same data base but the population is limited by its need to eat others organisms (plants/animals/players).

 

1) Life time-line (egg/larva/immature, mature --> reproduction sexual / asexual, natural death)

 

2) Climate specificities + maybe essential plants.

Again a simple data base which is linked with vegetals and voxel system.

 

3) predation/competition

- Trophic interaction

- If the animal/monster doesn't eat he dies... So if there are too many individuals for the food present in the biome population will decrease / the most vulnerable organism will disapear.

 

4) (bonus)

Evolution ? Not a real darwin natural selection system but something like:

"a population of tigers have been nearly decimated by 2 archers the last two days, the third day the two players will have to fight mutated tigers with... shells ? Or a new group defense strategy ? Or a specific Boss who dodges every arrow ?

 

Could happen between species too. Bonus because it must be harder than the rest to create but it would be amazing.

 

 

 

 

I think it would not be very complicated, i'm not a programmer (biologist in fact, you had perhaps realized that ^^) but it's only linked data base. After i don't have a clue about the performances needed to runs every interaction. This system works only if you have enought species of plants/animals created. But if you manage to have diversity with parameters and organisms this cocnept could create basic ecosystems (faaaaaar away from the complexity of our world^^) by itself with the world generation.

 

 

I'll maybe develop this suggestion in a post later, it's something that could make a game unique and endless but most of the devs think this kind of feature doesn't bring players and money. Just think about all the interactions wiht the hearth of the game: PvP, it could approache and maybe surpass the complexity of EvE. Blocus, monopolies, rare resources, creating natural bareers of monsters/trees to stop the enemy charge, create agriculture and animal breeding for resources (mounts, familiars ?).

Even why not an ecological war ^^:

Guild A wants to destroy medecinal plants production of Guild B.

Guild A captures some monsters who eat these plants and makes them reproduce.

Guild A launchs a commando to release many monsters in Guild B garden.

Guild A wins the siege because Guild B doesn't have potions anymore !

 

 

I dream i know but maybe a little something in this could be introduce one day in a game and i would be so happy^^

 

 

 

Sorry for the long post and the bad english (i'm french) ! Thanks for reading !

Edited by sigitang

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Horizons (now Istaria) had this sort of biome-based resource tracking migration thing back about 2004 or 5, so yes - it is eminently doable.

 

The complication was (is?) the emergent behaviors of both the systems and the players, and it wound up taking a ton of effort to keep everything in balance. There was also an issue where players can put stuff in the world, which caused complications in the migration code - if my hazy memory recalls correctly. So the system was nerfed and things could only migrate within predefined areas afterward.

 

Horizons took the idea one step further even, and the "Withered Aegis" (their Hunger) used the system as well and would seek out player towns to overrun and expand its territory, or try to envelop resources to keep the players from them.

 

It was entirely too good at this though, and was roflstomping the player base and razing their towns all the time which caused many, many tears... So the WA was made static just like the critters.

 

Some of the WA 'mobs' though did get to keep some of this code, and would (will?) evaluate combat based on threats and successes... Meaning if you pop off a heal on someone they are fighting, the WA group will focus you down then go back to beating the tar out of the first guy. Or they will "con" everyone in the group and go after the weak one fist. They used to also level off of killing players - so you would get your butt handed to you by an Aegis Lieutenant, and come back to find he'd gained a level. :D


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Well, if they introduce something along these lines, I'm afraid I will have no choice but to start throwing money at the screen until my bank account reads $0.00. 

 

Ecosystem in a game just sounds so amazing. I truly can't even imagine what it would be like if a guild had to not only monitor, gather, and protect material goods but the ecosystem around their fort as well. The player interactions this game has the possibility to create is rather breath taking.

 

Side note: really good posts and discussion on this subject!

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It has been done in few games like you said Raeshlavik, but why it never worked ? Maybe because these worlds did last longer than they should, an ecogolical (because yes it is) system, like that, has defaults it's obvious, and the more your system lasts the more it will be dizorganised and unbalanced. Crowfall can maybe limit this drift by these time-limited worlds.

 

The interaction with the player is the hardest thing but you can maybe cheat a little:

1) Overpopulation of one mob in one zone --> the server detects it and start to kill random individuals like a natural plague

2) Subpopulation of one mob in one zone --> the server detects it and begins to "drop" this species in an another zone adapted

  --> or the world is time-limited and it's begin to be a survival: the server does nothing because you just had to be a better strategic player, such a hooligan this server.

--> There are plenty of different mobs that provides the same resources (with maybe different properties after being crafted) so you can handle one extinction.

Edited by sigitang

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I'll come back when I have time to contribute. I need to put together one last major suggestion soon.


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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Sneaky you are truly brilliant person, ive seen both of your suggestions (this and mining) and your ideas are amazing. I really would like to see something like this in game

 

This turns gathering items something unique and exciting, compared to grinding its just way better. Now you wont have to stand on area and kill everything you see to loot them, you will actually check the area, hunt the mobs. You will try to understand their behavior so you will know when or where they might move.

 

More then that this allows counter-moves aganist enemy factions crafters, deep thinking. You could control the mob movements and fill enemy terretory with agressive mobs while keeping unagreesive ones on your zones.

 

But more then this, this will greatly increase the quality of the game. Seeing all those events happen around you, this will turn world into more-living-thing then it already is.

Edited by Navhkrin

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