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txteclipse

How to make decisions matter

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Making in-game decisions matter to players is hard. Making decisions matter in an MMO is that, times the number of people playing. Creating a system in which every player sees their contribution directly affect the game world in a way that is important to them? I'll admit up-front: I'm a skeptic. That being said, I'm a hopeful skeptic.

 

Here's the deal. For decisions to matter, they need to change things. And I don't mean increase your character's Strength stat or give them a shiny new weapon: while those are important, they're not meaningful changes. Meaningful changes are ones that affect the player personally, those that the player will remember years later as the reason they loved the game. We're talking big changes both to the game world as a whole and to the player's direct sphere of influence.

 

Scenario. It's the first year of the game. Players pick a faction. PVP is great, but server-wide, months-long wars are better. There's assassinations. Political intrigue is made possible by abilities the devs provide, like the ability to masquerade as a member from a different faction. Grouping up with other players provides meaningful, tailored benefits, whether the group is a small party or an entire army. Players have fun, the war ends, one faction is the clear winner.

 

That faction takes over. They're given tools to rule the other factions in the manner they see fit. Maps are redrawn. Wealth is redistributed. Entire regions are redesigned according to the whims of the players in that faction. It's a good day to be a winner.

 

But it's also a good day to be a loser. The other factions are provided means to overthrow their rulers, or to support them if they rule well. A losing faction finds an ancient superweapon; another researches flying machines. More wars are fought, another year passes, and another faction takes over.

 

In short, let the players write the history of the game. It's great to have a well-developed backstory, but it would be even better to step into a game, hear that the players in Faction X won the War of the Bloody Storm last year, and decide to support Faction Y with their plans to escape subjugation with a flying city-fortress.

 

And when things change, actually change them. Radically redesign maps. Write new content. Create more, always. My biggest problem with MMOs currently is that they are constantly, constantly, the same. Saving the world doesn't mean anything if that orc you killed at level 1 still spawns in your village. Players see that, and they don't feel connected. Let them change things, for real. Let their decisions matter.

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I am extrememly supportive of this topic. WoW lets out expansions that add new areas effected by a previous event, but the ability to create and be a part of those events would be even greater.


Leading the hired hands to their personal gold-lust.

 

With a fedora on.

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So you are saying that once a mob camp is cleared, it should not be repopulated?

It could take a very long time to do anything in this game if we are waiting for the next camp to be created so we can level high enough to pvp.


k653rIm.png

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If I recall correctly, this game's focus is PvP. Player interaction. I have heard little to no talk about any official mobs, or any system of mobs for that matter. It makes me curious to what an MMO would be like without mobs, but it is a good curious.


"I came, I saw, I conquered."

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If I'm correct Black Desert has migration patterns and such for animals. and in terms of spawning, what's wrong if I kill every last Bison, we'll start raising cows. I don't think I have to go into why leveling is an outdated archaic system. now sure spawning wouldn't be game breaking, but why are you waiting on a spawn? is it a rare spawn, there is plenty of occasion to implement rare monsters (GW2 veteran mobs come to mind) one born of every 20, 50, 100? those are worth hunting and there is nothing wrong with named mobs being gone when you kill them, I mean if the nymean lion spawned after hercules killed it it wouldn't be so special that he did.

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I really like the idea that everything we do effects the world.

 

It would definitely set this game aside, that being said, I'd like to feel like an IMPORTANT part of a faction and not soldier 213,542 doing the same task. If they could do that this would be even better.

 

The idea of fan altered designs is really something that appeals to me. I've seen more than my share of sites that let users contribute their own material completely take off and do great. And with the following this game has, they might be able to pull it off.

 

Here's to hoping!

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Making in-game decisions matter to players is hard. Making decisions matter in an MMO is that, times the number of people playing. Creating a system in which every player sees their contribution directly affect the game world in a way that is important to them? I'll admit up-front: I'm a skeptic. That being said, I'm a hopeful skeptic.

 

Here's the deal. For decisions to matter, they need to change things. And I don't mean increase your character's Strength stat or give them a shiny new weapon: while those are important, they're not meaningful changes. Meaningful changes are ones that affect the player personally, those that the player will remember years later as the reason they loved the game. We're talking big changes both to the game world as a whole and to the player's direct sphere of influence.

 

Scenario. It's the first year of the game. Players pick a faction. PVP is great, but server-wide, months-long wars are better. There's assassinations. Political intrigue is made possible by abilities the devs provide, like the ability to masquerade as a member from a different faction. Grouping up with other players provides meaningful, tailored benefits, whether the group is a small party or an entire army. Players have fun, the war ends, one faction is the clear winner.

 

That faction takes over. They're given tools to rule the other factions in the manner they see fit. Maps are redrawn. Wealth is redistributed. Entire regions are redesigned according to the whims of the players in that faction. It's a good day to be a winner.

 

But it's also a good day to be a loser. The other factions are provided means to overthrow their rulers, or to support them if they rule well. A losing faction finds an ancient superweapon; another researches flying machines. More wars are fought, another year passes, and another faction takes over.

 

In short, let the players write the history of the game. It's great to have a well-developed backstory, but it would be even better to step into a game, hear that the players in Faction X won the War of the Bloody Storm last year, and decide to support Faction Y with their plans to escape subjugation with a flying city-fortress.

 

And when things change, actually change them. Radically redesign maps. Write new content. Create more, always. My biggest problem with MMOs currently is that they are constantly, constantly, the same. Saving the world doesn't mean anything if that orc you killed at level 1 still spawns in your village. Players see that, and they don't feel connected. Let them change things, for real. Let their decisions matter.

In keeping with what you are saying here, If you wipe out an entire camp of NPCs they are going, you hunt something to extinction...they are gone. If some are left or escape (NPCs should have a flee feature) then the group simply relocates. Also what about adding an event tab that would allow a guild to host an event/quest in area that is controlled by that guild.


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One thing I want to point out here is ... NO FACTIONS, let us create our own for cyring out loud. We don't need the game to tell us who in the game we side with, We personally should be allowed to do this in real time.

 

I loved the fact that in SB I could kill one of my very close friends "Flare" while he sat afk by our tree in town... it was freakin hiliirious. But on a more serious note I couldn't help myself reading much past when the OP started to talk about factions.

 

Let guilds, nations, players create them. We don't need horde vs alliance etc etc anymore, it limits players freedom of choice in the game. You essientaly cut out huge portions of the playerbase from interacting with one another in many different aspects of the game. There is no reason to do this. 

 

It also ends up creating huge population imbalance and displacement which leads to people leaving the game who are on the loosing faction or simply starting over on the winning faction.

 

If you allow the players to do this, in most instances servers will check and balance themselves if the tools and game is set up correctly learning from past mistakes on similar games I believe.

Edited by sarin

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One thing I want to point out here is ... NO FACTIONS, let us create our own for cyring out loud. We don't need the game to tell us who in the game we side with, We personally should be allowed to do this in real time.

 

I loved the fact that in SB I could kill one of my very close friends "Flare" while he sat afk by our tree in town... it was freakin hiliirious. But on a more serious note I couldn't help myself reading much past when the OP started to talk about factions.

 

Let guilds, nations, players create them. We don't need horde vs alliance etc etc anymore, it limits players freedom of choice in the game. You essientaly cut out huge portions of the playerbase from interacting with one another in many different aspects of the game. There is no reason to do this. 

 

It also ends up creating huge population imbalance and displacement which leads to people leaving the game who are on the loosing faction or simply starting over on the winning faction.

 

If you allow the players to do this, in most instances servers will check and balance themselves if the tools and game is set up correctly learning from past mistakes on similar games I believe.

 

Or, make the NPC factions 2nd string to what the players can achieve, and allow player factions to "take possession" of NPC factions. This would place PvP goals on the NPC factions, one which isn't necessarily disruptive or overtly destructive. It would also add an interesting layer of interconnectivity where players could be working for an NPC faction, in the "area" of that faction, but would also be providing economy to a player controlled faction. You may have players up and move wholesale from an NPC faction they had been working with for long periods of time because they don't agree with the new landlords without having to take up arms for an opposing player faction. Give people a way to "play in the grey" where they can work the NPC factions but not declare allegiance to a player faction. 

 

Don't look at ways to remove things from the game, look at ways to interconnect everything. Figure out ways to join as much of the PvP wants to more of the PvE systems, instead of wanting them separated out. 

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Or, make the NPC factions 2nd string to what the players can achieve, and allow player factions to "take possession" of NPC factions. This would place PvP goals on the NPC factions, one which isn't necessarily disruptive or overtly destructive. It would also add an interesting layer of interconnectivity where players could be working for an NPC faction, in the "area" of that faction, but would also be providing economy to a player controlled faction. You may have players up and move wholesale from an NPC faction they had been working with for long periods of time because they don't agree with the new landlords without having to take up arms for an opposing player faction. Give people a way to "play in the grey" where they can work the NPC factions but not declare allegiance to a player faction. 

 

Don't look at ways to remove things from the game, look at ways to interconnect everything. Figure out ways to join as much of the PvP wants to more of the PvE systems, instead of wanting them separated out. 

If I understand what you are saying correctly I agree. I think you are explaining what shadowbane actually did, but with the use of mines  instead of the use of actual NPC's.

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If I understand what you are saying correctly I agree. I think you are explaining what shadowbane actually did, but with the use of mines  instead of the use of actual NPC's.

 

NPF = Non-Player Faction

PF = Player Faction (a player founded and run organisation that individual players can swear allegiance to)

IA = Independent Agent (a player who by choice has not declared allegiance to a PF)

 

System:  The NPF would be populated by a limited number of NPCs with a set value. They would produce a certain benefit when claimed by a PF, for the sake of simplicity we'll just call it Economy. Those NPCs provide quests to all and sundry, regardless of PF or IA status (the NPF just does their work, they don't care whether the Players have declared an NPF or are working as IA). Obviously, for a player that has declared to a hostile/rival PF there would be other complications to working for a NPF under the control of another PF, for IA the risks of working for them would be different, depending on the PF that owns the territory. More players completing PvE quests for the NPF = more economy generated by the NPF > more economy gained by the PF controlling.

 

Obviously, the PF would have some measure of control over the NPF and what effects their governance has, essentially changing the way that players are rewarded for the work they do for NPF. This could even change depending on whether they are from an allied/same PF, an IA or from a hostile/rival PF. You may set the reward rate for NPF under your PF control to higher for IA to try and attract more workers to the area to generate more economy for PF projects. Of course, this would require you to actually control the area - no point paying players more to attract them to an area if unscrupulous PKers, or even rival PF players, are going to flock to the area to pick off the IAs and disrupt the process. Which leads into reasons to defend/patrol the area and increased instances for PvP encounters. It gives the PvE players personal goals and gains at the same time as giving the PvP players reasons to PvP beyond ePeen popping. 

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In keeping with what you are saying here, If you wipe out an entire camp of NPCs they are going, you hunt something to extinction...they are gone. If some are left or escape (NPCs should have a flee feature) then the group simply relocates. Also what about adding an event tab that would allow a guild to host an event/quest in area that is controlled by that guild.

I like the idea of clan hosted events. Include a system where the clan gets a benefit from hosting it as well.

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Ah, yes, I should have clarified. I wasn't referring to factions as a game-controlled system per-se, but more as a toolset for players to use. I suppose a clan would be a more accurate term, except it would have perks like land ownership and an economy and so forth. Basically a framework which would allow players to create and enforce rules specific to their clan, combined with owning an actual portion of the game map and all the markets and so forth it contains. In my mind it would also create a safe zone for members of that clan so you can go somewhere to craft or hang out and not worry about dying.

 

The problem with purely player-run clans, however, is that crystallization inevitably occurs. There will always be one to three clans that eventually hold most of the power and resources. While this can be fun, it limits options, and new players tend to gravitate to the well-established groups instead of making their own. The biggest reason this is a problem is real estate. If it's a 1-to-1 "we own this much of the overworld" type of deal, other clans won't come into existence simply because there will be no more land for them to own. A solution to this is to have clan land exist in its own map, i.e. you walk through a gate and load into the clan's town or city or what have you. The effects of war could be simulated by increasing or decreasing the "grade" of a clan's land: the loser might get bumped from town to village, whereas the winner might go up from town to small city. Resources would change accordingly, and players would flock in or out of the clan based on the available supply of resources.

 

Unfortunately this still doesn't solve the crystallization problem, because people will still flock to the "better" clans unless the incentives not to are strong enough. The game has to be balanced in such a way that no matter what clan size you belong to, or even if you're a solo player, you're receiving a reasonable benefit. One possible way to do this is to impose taxes or fees. Bigger clans would have to pay more overhead for upkeep, which means the opportunity for wealth gain is stunted compared to a solo player, who keeps everything. Say ~5% per clan tier, something like 20 to 30% skimmed off the top of your monetary gain for a megacity. The trade-off is protections, group skills, and (hopefully) aid from other players.

 

The devs will ultimately have to create content that balances the clans in the way they think is best. If they want a lot of clan turnover, maybe disasters could wreck big clans from time to time, allowing smaller clans a chance to take over. If they want clans to be more static, they could relax tax penalties or make other changes. It will depend on their goals for the game and player feedback, and is another reason why the game world shouldn't be static. It will need constant tending.

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