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jtoddcoleman

Let's Talk About: Campaign Permanence

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I don't think campaign permanence is the issue at the heart of the debate. The issue is permanence of the winnings.

 

People want to be able to win, but winning may seem shallow if the only outlet for winning in the harshest scenarios has no bearing on future scenarios.

 

Basically, winning or losing in the dregs has the same outcome in terms of permanence, because whether you win or lose you are on the same footing for the next match.

 

I think the idea of "sudden death" is an interesting one, but ultimately wouldn't it work better to fold this in to a tiered system or tournament bracket with a unique but not imbalanced reward at its peak?

 

For instance:

 

8 campaigns start. The winners of all 8 have a choice at the end: Keep your winnings and take them back to the EK, or push those winnings forward to a new campaign on the next tier.

 

2 winners bow out, and the remaining 6 decide to gamble and push on. 2 winners start a locked campaign comprising only those forces and their total aggregate resources. This allows them to take ALL of their scavenged resources, gear, etc. basically, it's a "money map" to use the strategy game correlary. They come out of the gate armed to the teeth and engage in the seasons of the new campaign with drastically increased intensity and danger. Initial mines are not fought over with swords and arrows, but trebuchets and ballistae. Strongholds are not established over the sace of weeks, but hours. It is a protracted game of conquest, but conquest over a new area, and to keep that machine running it requires new scouting, new trade routes, and new resource collection.

 

 

So now we're down to bracket 2, 3 campaigns. The losers keep nothing. The winners have the same choice: Keep your winnings, or press on and risk losing it all?

 

Final Tier: all 3 winners decide to press on to the ultimate battle. The reward? Keep the aggregate gains of all three campaigns and the opportunity to press against the hunger itself, learning terrible secrets and gaining powerful allies.

 

The ultimate winner takes a MASSIVE purse back to their EK, but more importantly they gain something unique: For the duration of all future campaigns, they gain a touch of the hunger itself, and a corresponding trophy for their EK. They have the option, on all subsequent campaigns, to enter as "Hunger touched" versions of their original characters.

 

Touch of Hunger is a unique and balanced campaign-duration effect that fundamentally changes that character, altering their player models to appear hunger touched, and their abilities to warped and terrible versions of their previous incarnations. This is not an upgrade, but rather a sidegrade. Think of it in starcraft terms, all players are, by default, playing terran, but if they play terran well enough, and are willing to take the risk, they earn the right to play zerg. perhaps you trade a charge attack for a withdrawl, or a powerful PBAOE for a single target strike. These variations on a theme are done as a package to aid in balance, and to prevent players from cherry-picking bits to effectively turn this sidegrade in to a hard upgrade over players without this option. As design space opens up, perhaps more variants can be earned in this manner, and this is a fundamental advancement system that speaks directly to the concept of "eternal heroes" It enables players access to greater options from a fundamental level that has utility to even the hardest "terminator rules" campaigns and helps build legendary warriors and tradesmen that are sought out in future campaigns and the eternal kingdoms for their unique skills, terrifying aspect, or legendary reputation.

 

Other potential rewards for that "final tier" could be cosmetically unique or minor sidegrade options. Earn unique models if you are a crafter, the ability to customize some spell effects, unique heraldry options for a guild, lose the ability to tame a mundane creature for mounting in exchange for the ability to tame a more exotic one, etc.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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These ideas leave openings for uncle bob to exploit. I'd rather prefer it so that campaigns last long(more then 2 weeks) but not too long(max 3 months). And their times will be completely controlled by whether everyone is having fun or if one is dominating others.

 

Campaign permanency leaves uncle bob possibility of building a world so powerful that none can go aganist him.

 

Now i will go more specific

 

 

SUDDEN DEATH

 

This idea TECHNICALLY could allow a Campaign World to last forever, though it's left up to the players to make it happen.  I'm going to create a VERY simple ruleset, as an example.  If we like the model, we'll come up with actual rules to replace these.

 

For illustrative purposes, let's say:

 

Campaign World A ends with Team 1 winning.  

Campaign World B ends with Team 2 winning.

 

The two campaigns are not related, but had similar rulesets and players populations.

 

Everyone on Each of these Worlds is given a chance to leave, and take their winnings with them (i.e. give them an optional exit point).

 

If enough players on World A and World B want to stick around, a new Campaign starts: SUDDEN DEATH between these worlds.

 

Portals can now be opened between the two Worlds.  Meaning: players can A can travel to B, and vice versa.

 

Some object (for fun, let's call it a Tree of Life) spawns on ONE of the two World.

 

The win condition is: someone has to plant the Tree of Life on their World and protect it for 1 week's time.

 

Whichever World does that, is given a 2 week stay of execution, before it is paired with another World © for another round of Sudden Death.

 

The implications of this system are: a Campaign World COULD last forever, but only if the team is good enough to defend it, forever.

 

Lets think uncle bob wins the first round of sudden death, then he will have more time to build. And 2nd win? He will literally shape the campaign world in his favor. Every one of his soldiers will be armed with best of the best gear. In will reach to a stage where no one is anywhere near uncle bob.

 

You can make it so you give extra rewards to the team that plants tree of life. But allowing them to extend the duration of their campaign gives so much power to uncle bob.

 

 

 

OVERTIME

 

Here is another one, and it's even more simple.  This is basically the, "we don't believe you, Todd" ruleset, for players that don't believe my that server stagnation is an issue.  Fair enough, I could be wrong.  Let's test it.

 

We could allow Campaigns to go into overtime. The rule could be as simple as: 

 

The Campaigns stays in WINTER, and isn't destroyed, as long as the concurrent player population (average per week) stays above some threshold.

 

Basically, as long as people are still hanging out in this World -- presumably because they are having fun -- we don't close it down.

 

I'd be fine to try it, so long as:

 

- we allow the losing team members to leave (because it would suck to be locked to a Campaign forever when you know you are doomed, that's a rage quit moment) and

- we limit the exports when the Campaign eventually ends (otherwise, guilds would use this as a way to farm materials from a World without risk.)

 

If I'm wrong, and the populations stay high, that's fantastic.  I'd LOVE to be wrong on this one.

if I'm right, the Campaigns will come naturally to a close, and maybe we can stop debating it. ( yeah, I know, that's never going to happen. ;p )

 

I'm sure there are other ideas, as well, and happy to discuss them.  

 

This allows uncle bob to say, "Choose to overtime this campaign and i will give you safe resource gathering ways so you can export to eternal kingdoms". Where after a point everyone will just mine for exporting, making it pointless to fight. Since even the loser team will get a percant of export. After uncle bob secures his victory, everyone will just start a game of resource gathering.

 

Instead if campaign timer is designed well enough, so that it will last longer as long as there is competition between guilds, and end after someone achieves victory, i think it will be well designed anyways. However if the winters are challanging enough. The aim of guilds should be winning the game as fast as possible and leaving the campaign world on winter stage. If they can still progress in the winter that causes other problems. As they wont want to leave the campaign world and abuse these permancy options. 

 

Im asking you not to kick guilds out of campaign after a stage, but design it so well guilds themselves will want to leave after that stage.

Edited by Navhkrin

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@Maltvid yeah for sure, that's a great benefit with dying worlds - new mountains/rivers/forest/underground to 'explore' is simply just amazing in my opinion in a 'new' campaign world.  ^_^

Yes, as long as campaigns dont end fast and last quite long. It will always be exciting to discover and rebuild in the worlds. If its balanced properly in a way that it lasts as long as there is competition and not early so it wont get repetitive

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"Uncle BOB doesn't want to win" scenario:

 

1. Alliances with holdings could call a "vote for loyalty" to the major one as well. If every alliance with holdings respond to the call and swears loyalty, the major alliance actually wins wheter they wanted it or not. Again, if this is in someway exploitable we can start discussions on how to fix it (and eventually GMs could intervene). Risk analogy: Players at the table vote and choose to let Uncle BOB win.. he can't avoid it. Also: if Uncle BOB has complete world control, game automatically ends.

 

As an exploit I could see the major alliance creating a fake guild outside of the alliance and use it to control an holding.. practically keeping the game from ending. This will be easy for GMs to detect (they will see the alliance cooperate in sieges against said holding), and probably there could be many ways to avoid it in the first place.

 

2. Along with export privileges, give alliances/guilds a strong emotional reason to win: an hall of fame visible on every Eternal Kingdom and on Crowfall website. Everyone has to know that X alliance won Y shard. Perhaps give them also something unique for their chosen Kingdom (more visibility? Like making it on top of the kingdoms list.. where people choose which one to join: potentially increasing their market).

This somewhat feels like a surrender mechanic.

 

 

Players on the internet given the choice have shown in other games that if the odds are not in their favor, and im not talking overwhelming odds you cant win from, they will surrender given the option in hopes of getting a new map and getting off to a better start than the "other guys".

 

There needs to be a reason to not just surrender because you don't like the position you started the map off with otherwise players will exploit the easy way out.

 

I don't know what that reason is or how you would make it work, but without something this seems like it can and will be exploited.

 

This theory is all based off of dealings with players in previous games on the internet, so since it was on the internet it has to be true! ;)


 

Rage Quit

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Lets think uncle bob wins the first round of sudden death, then he will have more time to build. And 2nd win? He will literally shape the campaign world in his favor. Every one of his soldiers will be armed with best of the best gear. In will reach to a stage where no one is anywhere near uncle bob.

 

You can make it so you give extra rewards to the team that plants tree of life. But allowing them to extend the duration of their campaign gives so much power to uncle bob.

 

There are always ways to balance it. For one, the worlds invading the world with the Tree of Life are coming off a win with a ton of resources at their own disposal. You can balance it further by either reducing the amount of resources someone with the Tree of Life can generate or remove them altogether and force them to get resources from the invading worlds if need be. It is also going to be damn hard to defend an entire MMORPG continent, no matter how armed or how many forces you have. War is also going to be costly, castles are going to be destroyed, resources are going to be used up and they will need to rebuild every time to maintain their world.

Edited by frozenshadow

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There are always ways to balance it. For one, the worlds invading the world with the Tree of Life are coming off a win with a ton of resources at their own disposal. You can balance it further by either reducing the amount of resources someone with the Tree of Life can generate or remove them altogether and force them to get resources from the invading worlds if need be. It is also going to be damn hard to defend an entire MMORPG continent, no matter how armed or how many forces you have. War is also going to be costly, castles are going to be destroyed, resources are going to be used up and they will need to rebuild every time to maintain their world.

There are resources in the world that await to be harvested by that guild and that guild alone. If winter is not challanging, a guild can easly become over-powerful and keep winning in an infinite loop. If winter is challanging, then no guild would want to extend the campaign duration after they can secure the win condition.,

 

They dont need to defend entire continent they only need to defend their castle.

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I think the real reason many people consider the "uncle bob" thing as flawed logic, is because shadowbane is basically one of the only games that HAD that sort of gameplay to begin with, and making an all encompassing judgment solely based on a specific failure it had is a bit of an iffy stretch.  There was just so much wrong with it in general.  Servers weren't in as much of a constant state of stagnation as much as the game was simply bleeding out players in its first few years.  No matter what you did the servers ended up bleeding out, wipe or no wipe.  The game also had an extremely limited set of tools.  Players couldn't even craft (NPC only).  Gear progression took less than a month to accomplish for good players.  Territorial control meant little.  There was no point in raiding cities.  There was just so much wrong.  Character progression was expansive, but also limited (you hit 75 in a week and that was it after you got runes).

 

I think the main thing that a lot of ex-SBers, like me, feel is that if those things were fixed, AND interserver travel was made a big part of the game, the entire "game" would feel more connected, alive, and run a set of much more natural and healthy cycles.  Some servers would dip down in population, as others swell, and a natural (non-developer injected) flow of things would set in.  There would be backwater servers with less competition and players, and so on.  

 

However, that's not happening at this point, and you guys have committed to the campaign model.  I think, in the end, it was the wrong decision.  That said, a good way to get the permanence back into this game would be a restructuring of the EK system.  My suggestion would be to not butcher what you've done, and simply modify it by splitting it into two.  Eternal Kingdom, and Heaven's Rest.  Heaven's rest would be what the current eternal kingdom is, except with smaller plots and limited building capabilities.  They are the true "fall back homes that can never be taken".  The Eternal Kingdom would be THE persistent server, with no rules, and would play much like shadowbane was (except with a ton more content that this game promises).  

 

This sort of setup would be the best way to achieve what you guys want in the long run, I think.  It gives A LOT of purpose and motivation behind the campaigns, as the EK is mostly resource barren, and creates a DIRECT consequence of doing well/poorly in campaign.  The real struggle should be dominating the eternal kingdom - that just sounds cool in general.  You could still avoid the EK and sit in campaigns, or permanently reside in the EK and simply buy up stuff from campaign players.  It gives choice to everyone.  The only thing is there would need to be something to gain by dominating the EK (special types of resources, ways to enhance characters beyond the normal limits, or whatever).

 

I don't know, just some food for thought.  I'll repeat myself again because it can't be said enough - there can't be real (read: interesting) consequence without permanence.

Edited by frobobo

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OVERTIME

 

Here is another one, and it's even more simple.  This is basically the, "we don't believe you, Todd" ruleset, for players that don't believe my that server stagnation is an issue.  Fair enough, I could be wrong.  Let's test it.

 

We could allow Campaigns to go into overtime. The rule could be as simple as: 

 

The Campaigns stays in WINTER, and isn't destroyed, as long as the concurrent player population (average per week) stays above some threshold.

 

Basically, as long as people are still hanging out in this World -- presumably because they are having fun -- we don't close it down.

 

I'd be fine to try it, so long as:

 

- we allow the losing team members to leave (because it would suck to be locked to a Campaign forever when you know you are doomed, that's a rage quit moment) and

- we limit the exports when the Campaign eventually ends (otherwise, guilds would use this as a way to farm materials from a World without risk.)

 

If I'm wrong, and the populations stay high, that's fantastic.  I'd LOVE to be wrong on this one.

 

 

What do you think?  Good stretch goals?  Bad stretch goals?

 

Let us know your thoughts!

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

EDIT: if I didn't make it clear -- this is a discussion about FUTURE stretch goals!  We won't consider doing any of this stuff until AFTER we have fulfilled the base vision of the game, as explained in the KS video and page.

 

 

I think Overtime sounds like a fantastic Idea. The world, or "campaign" will not die until it is "dead". That will be decided by the players on the board, which is the way I think it should be!


.

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However, that's not happening at this point, and you guys have committed to the campaign model.  I think, in the end, it was the wrong decision.  That said, I think the only way to get the permanence back into this game would be a restructuring of the EK system.  My suggestion would be to not butcher what you've done, and simply modify it by splitting it into two.  Eternal Kingdom, and Heaven's Rest.  Heaven's rest would be what the current eternal kingdom is, except with smaller plots and limited building capabilities.  They are the true "fall back homes that can never be taken".  The Eternal Kingdom would be THE persistent server, with no rules, and would play much like shadowbane was (except with a ton more content that this game promises).  

 

I don't know, just some food for thought.  I'll repeat myself again for the basic idea behind why I keep posting - there can't be real consequence without permanence.

This. This this this this this this this this this. For the love of god, this. If the resources in our campaign are ultimately nothing more than inconsequential points to be won, a measure of score, then there's no overarching goal; Just go play Dota or something.

 

If, on the other hand, Campaigns feed resources into Kingdoms, which use them to fight inter-kingdom wars, well now we've got something great. The campaigns act as resourcing operations for the greater metagame.

Edited by Psyentific

Hardcore gamer & tabletop enthusiast. Enjoys roleplaying, pretending to be stupid, and one-sided fun.

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There is a simple easy old fashioned solution to this problem: use human umpires.  The problem MMOs have is that developers try to put their servers on "auto-pilot" and end up with game falling apart in one way or another.   Sports have used umpires for a long time, and they even have them in chess.  Trying to build a robot-umpire that won't fall into a pathological game state or be gamed by the players is AI complete.

Just like in boxing or figure skating, the matches can be decided as the umpire deems it.  The umpire could also monitor player behavior for 'fouls' and deal out penalties as needed.

 

Another important concept in gaming invented over the millenia is handicap.  One reason why PvP games lose players over time is because the winner's power snowballs over time in a reverse-handicap, and weaker players lose interest as their chances decrease over time.  Instead, it is a proven technique used in golf,chess,bridge and many other games is to actually weaken the winners, not strengthen them.   In this context, something like a 10% overall power reduction for each campaign win, aligned with a very public handicap moniker can keep the game interesting for everyone as time progresses.

 

TLDR: human umpires and proper handicaps are time tested solutions to what ails the PvP/MMO/RTS genres.

Edited by kroked

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I like these stretch goals along with getting the other campaigns ironed out.

 

Along the lines of a persistent campaign world:

How a bout a ring of worlds between the Eternal Kingdoms and the God's Reach?

12 worlds, 1 for each god. Similar to (large) EK worlds.Open to all, with pvp and sieges allowed.

 

When a guild is created they choose a god and can only build on that god's world.

This could also be way for guilds to play together in the God's Reach and the Infected worlds?

Guilds can fight it out here, winning the throne, for their god.

 

Instead of bringing resources back to their individual EKs, guilds can opt to build on one of these worlds.

ToL protection(Bloodstone Tree)

Banestone with a timer set by the defending guild would be needed since guilds will be on campaign.

Would have to allow travel between these worlds and campaigns, similar to EKs?

 

Guilds can bane rival guilds living next door or travel to another world and knock down the "King" of another god.

 

As long as this "core module" works decently we should be able find some ruleset that's fun. Keep up the good work and just say no to mounts. :ph34r:

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Campaign Concept: Hunger's Edge

 

You could leverage both your hunger and voxel technology features within a campaign world to make the world more dynamic for players and stave off stagnancy. Instead of the hunger affecting the entire campaign world simultaneously, certain geographical areas contain seeds or landfalls for the hunger. If not dealt with then these seeds spread geographically and intensify (i.e. the closer you get to the epicenter of this hunger spread the later in the seasonal cycle the area is). This would create a microcosm of the hunger heirarchy universe within a single campaign world.

 

Hunger Conflict

The players within this world have to fortify against or conduct a voxel-based scorched earth campaign against the hunger to keep it from expanding. If you restrict settlement and fortification to outside of the spread of hunger and make the hunger-infected areas produce more rare resources then this would create player conflict over the areas that are closest to the spread of hunger. These fortifications allow a convenient base from which to venture into the hunger to gather resources.

 

Player Conflict

This would create a dynamic and much softer type of reset. Allow the spread of hunger to be slowed but never completely stopped. If it reaches a strong fortification then maybe it continues its expansion on the opposite end where there is less resistance. The most important bases eventually need to be abandoned due to hunger taking over and more distant bases suddenly become more important.

 

Players have to protect their valuable fortifications on hunger's edge from other players that want to wrest control of the base as well as deal with the spreading hunger. It is also beneficial in some ways to let some hunger spread so that you can get the valuable winter rare resources from the center of the hunger. Making inroads from your existing base and partially defeating hunger turns the existing base into a rearguard while resurrecting a new, deeper base that had previously been overtaken by hunger and is now on the edge.

 

Function of Hunger Prevention

I am not really sure of technical ways to prevent the spread of hunger. I have some ideas though.

-Tunneling or blasting holes into the ground and replacing the removed earth with some kind of substances or resources that are resistant to spreading hunger (this is like the idea in Terraria of preventing the spread of Corruption with certain blocks that Corruption does not infect).

-Some kind of sacrifice on the edge of hunger areas to prevent the spread.

-I don't know, I am hungover.

 

Resource Nodes

Mines and quarries and what-not should be placed sporadically throughout the campaign world. Outside of the hunger they produce common materials. They also possibly produce the resource that is necessary to build fortification against hunger spread.

 

Once the hunger spreads to a resource node and captures it, that node produces increasingly valuable resources based on the season it is in. Since players can not fortify within the hunger zone, the fortifications on the edge of the hunger are valuable due to their access to resources. The fortifications near non-hunger resource nodes become valuable for a different reason. When you have the items that prevent hunger spread, you can direct the spread of hunger away from yourself and possibly toward a valuable fortification that an enemy holds. This results in your enemy needing to abandon their fortification eventually.

 

It is an idea in its infancy but I feel like there is something there. At the very least it provides a changing world with softer resets sporadically happening within the campaign rather than relying on a catastrophic, sudden and total reset when the campaign world ends. I formatted this so people would be more likely to read.

Edited by ciliano

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I still feel like ArtCraft is sending mixed messages about the eternal kingdoms. Based on Todd's recent comment about campaigns being the main focus, though, I'm going to have to assume eternal kingdoms are mostly just a lobby (as was stated in the initial EK reveal).

 

If this is true, then from the perspective of any "hardcore" players eternal kingdoms are nothing but a loading and unloading zone to transfer items and materials to the next campaign(s) they're vying for. The devs are going to need to account for that, and create sufficient intrinsic rewards and satisfaction from winning campaigns. The keyword there is intrinsic; not just a trophy or some items. There absolutely need to be some campaign worlds that feel like old Shadowbane servers (city-building, sieging, etc.); if that much is done, then the only tough part is which win conditions and rewards would be the most organic-feeling.

 

 

There is a simple easy old fashioned solution to this problem: use human umpires.  The problem MMOs have is that developers try to put their servers on "auto-pilot" and end up with game falling apart in one way or another.   Sports have used umpires for a long time, and they even have them in chess.  Trying to build a robot-umpire that won't fall into a pathological game state or be gamed by the players is AI complete.

Just like in boxing or figure skating, the matches can be ended when the umpire deems it.  The umpire could also monitor player behavior for 'fouls' and deal out penalties as needed.

 

Another important concept in gaming invented over the millenia is handicap.  One reason why PvP games lose players over time is because the winner's power snowballs over time in a reverse-handicap, and weaker players lose interest as their chances decrease over time.  Instead, it is a proven technique used in golf,chess,bridge and many other games is to actually weaken the winners, not strengthen them.   In this context, something like a 10% overall power reduction for each campaign win, aligned with a very public handicap moniker can keep the game interesting for everyone as time progresses.

 

TLDR: human umpires and proper handicaps are time tested solutions to what ails the PvP MMO genre.

 

And who would the umpires be? ArtCraft? There needs to be some objective criteria for winning; if the devs can decide who the winner is there may be lots of people who will disagree with that decision.

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I honestly think time-limited campaigns were one of the biggest selling points for the game, and I'd hate to see any resources diverted to test different campaigns styles.

 

In fact, I think all the worlds should have finite and limited resources and food supplies so people eventually will die out and the world destroyed, no matter what. Campaigns can be won long before that point, but eventually the world becomes so hostile that no one can survive (it is The Hunger, after all). At that point, whoever is the closest to the winning conditions is granted victory.


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CF.GG


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What about a mix of those two concepts, Overtime and people being able to travel to that world.

 

When a team/guild meets the victory conditions the campaign does not automatically end. A sort of countdown starts before the world is destroyed. During this period players from other worlds can travel to this world if they desire so. This way maybe allies can be called in to help and change the situation, there is rivalry with the team that is going to win from other campaigns, or whatever the reason it is to join.

 

If the team that was winning is still winning at the end of this period, the world is destroyed. If not, it means that there is action again in that world so the campaign continues.

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You guys have to understand that campaigns last for months not 1-2 days. And will end when conflic has ended and one guild dominates the world. This is problem with any game that has building in it. Any strategy game needs a way to reset. Shadowbane might have failed for many issues. Thats not what uncle bob is about.

 

Uncle Bob is a logical condition caused by someone having access to permanancy and dominating everything through it. I can just aswell respond you guys to go play Minecraft. After all when you think about it minecraft does not reset. And that exactly is the problem why no one plays in survival servers for extended amounts of time.

 

The common thing i see is people are searching for a reason to go play campaign. Thats like searching for a reason to play any game. Thats like searching a reason to make a match of strategy game. Its about having fun.

 

And in the end you will still have Eternal Kingdoms to build and show your trophies. However you have to see that this game is built around campaigns.

 

We can play a game of starcraft, after one secures victory lets let the other guy rebuilt with 1 worker. How fun it would be for both sides?

 

I understand suggestions that would want much bigger number of players for campaigns and suggestions that want campaigns to last for like 3 months. But some suggestions are literally asking for them to chance whole idea and make another game. You guys are asking for them to chance the core mechanics of the game.

Edited by Navhkrin

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So, I've read a fair number of posts about the temporal nature of Campaigns -- meaning, the fact that Campaigns don't last forever.

 

It seems like some people are confused on the how/what/why, so I figured it is worth discussing.

 

AND, after I lay the groundwork, I'll tell you a few ideas that I have to tackle this problem. If they seem interesting to you -- or if someone is inspired by one of these ideas and comes up with something even better -- these could potentially make great stretch goals.

 

First off, let me address a quick point:

 

It's not that I hate the idea of permanent Campaigns. To the contrary, actually, I love the idea. I really, REALLY wanted to make it work for SB. But I couldn't, because I think it is flawed.

 

Yes, this an opinion. It's an opinion based over a decade as a creative director, and on watching one server after another go stagnant, due to lack of a restart mechanism... after which the concurrent player numbers would take a nose-dive until eventually it turns into a ghost town.

 

(and yes, a few of the servers then lit back up again after some time -- but having everyone quit your game, to allow a few remaining survivors can rebuilt a new game out of the wreckage of the old one, is not a particular good restart mechanic. it doesn't make for a sustainable game service.)

 

To be clear: this isn't a religious argument for me. If I can find a way to make it work -- to make it sustainable -- of COURSE we will do it. In a heartbeat.

 

So, here are a few ideas that I have for solving the "Uncle Bob" problem.

 

A few notes for those who want to pitch ideas:

 

- Keep your tone reasonable and we're more likely to read it.

- Try and be succinct; no one wants to wade through a 30 page idea that could be summarized in a few sentences, and

- Work within the architecture of the design as it currently exists. This means: don't pitch things that would require us to dump the idea of Campaigns, or the EK, or import/export rules, or passive training. We're not going to rip this game apart, but we ARE open to extending it, if we think the result will be more fun for everyone.

 

What do you think? Good stretch goals? Bad stretch goals?

 

Let us know your thoughts!

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

EDIT: if I didn't make it clear -- this is a discussion about FUTURE stretch goals! We won't consider doing any of this stuff until AFTER we have fulfilled the base vision of the game, as explained in the KS video and page.

I actually disagree with the premise of this post. I have seen very few comments about the temporal nature of campaigns and a ton of comments and threads about ways to add more meaning to the permanent EKs. I think testing your hypothesis is fine, but frankly SB and every game that goes stale is enough evidence for me to believe there is stagnation. I think time restrictive campaigns is a perfect reaction to the problem and is long overdue (kudos on implementing it).

 

Much more concerning to me is why I should want to win a campaign. This is where the Risk analogy falls short. I do think people will play campaigns to win them, just for the sake of winning, as in Risk. Crowfall, as an MMO, has the opportunity to have permanence in a way that Risk does not - through a meta-game. Think of it as a set of 1000 risk games being played simultaneously that all affect the Risk universe (EKs). You all have this in mind with exporting, my argument is there needs to be a bit more space for people to play the meta-game. I want to win my game of Risk because I am competing, but also because winning gives me something tangible and serious. Don't get me wrong, I am all for import restrictions and I think they are key, but with them exporting's purpose is contained in EKs. I think some further discussion and consideration regarding improving the EK system, not removing the EK system (I haven't perceived a lot of calls for this, either) is extremely valuable to the longevity of Crowfall.

 

I would start with Ren's post here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3140-a-vision-for-competitive-gameplay-in-the-eternal-kingdoms/, which seeks to leverage the great things about the EK and use lore to craft an improved meta-game. Not only is it well thought out, but it uses the types of EK checkboxes the devs have already discussed and with some alterations to the city building and sieging mechanics (see my post in the thread about trophies a la bane scrolls).

 

I really appreciate the openings for discussion you all are providing in my first kickstarter experience, thanks.

Edit: P.S. I saw you reading Ren's post yesterday, I am just giving it a nod towards being very productive, in my view, with regards to what you outlined as productive discourse.

Edit two: I also tried to take on this idea in a much less thought out way here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3063-competitive-ek-worlds-and-campaigns-that-grant-parcels/#entry75564

 

The main idea is EKs that we fight over, not necessarily on. Winning a campaign earns parcels in EKs.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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First of all, thank you for you and AC's hard work that has gone into the development of this game so far and moving forward. 

 

I'm just looking for a larger sense of context and meaning.  Play2Crush, right?!  That's how you got us early adapters here in the first place.  The campaigns are great.  I can get behind any number of variations on rulesets, shorter or longer durations, single character lockouts, perma death... whatever.  Try it and if it is fun, people will come back.  Be bold.

 

But what does it all mean?  Other than having fun in these matches, which is certainly of value in itself.  Right now the persistent name of the game just feels lacking in the "crowfall" nature of picking the campaign worlds clean.  Why are we doing that?  What is the larger struggle?

 

So while this question is poised at permanent campaigns, I get the sense it is more about the current vision of EKs falling short.  Should there be persistent campaigns that are open to accepting all manner of resource input to function as the ultimate battleground? Or do the EKs need to be reimagined

 

In any case, thanks for starting the conversation.

 

The issue isn't so much the campaigns. They are a perfect solution for the Uncle Bob problem.  But ren hits the nail on the head here when he asks "But what does it all mean?"  We may have solved for Uncle Bob... but now Uncle Rémy, our existentialist uncle just showed up, and asked us what's the point of Risk.  What is of permanence that we can hold on to and build toward? Right now the answer is the EKs... but they aren't fully satisfying answer because they have to serve a number of other purposes.

 

Ren had a great post, which he links to, about how to reimagine the EKs.  I've tried to take the idea on also, here and here.

 

My idea has a similar dynamic to the Overtime rule set in that it allows for a world to keep going so long as one side is good enough. The idea is basically that a guild or alliance can initiate a winning condition that "captures" a world (only certain worlds... maybe a new ring of worlds just inside or outside the EK, they would act just like God's Reach except for the additional "capture" winning condition).  The guild or alliance is then allowed to hold it for as long as it is able. The captured world acts like an extension to their "maxed out" EK, where the guild or alliance has to amount a certain number of trophies or relics through campaigns before it can get one to use to capture a "capturable" world.

 

The guild or alliance would then be able to take spoils from their campaigns into their captured world to build up fortifications and assets, and try to keep it forever.  They could change the rules, although this would have to be more limited than in the EKs.  Also, they still have to fight to keep their captured world, as the world becomes open to others to try and bring the hunger back. And the longer and larger they build it up, the more the reward for those who are able to take it down. Obviously, the condition for triggering the hunger to take over the world again would be asymmetric in that it is relatively easier to trigger, than to keep from being triggered.

 

Note that to hold one of these things, you also need to be big enough to fight a 2-front war (the captured world, and out on campaign). The guild or alliance would get to move back and forth more readily than between campaigns, but not completely freely. Trying to hold two captured worlds would be like fighting a 4 front war, as so on... It quickly becomes untenable, even with a large number of people, because you have to draw a massive amount of resources from the campaigns (where you get no significant advantage), and you have a target on your back.

 

I agree (obviously) or it wouldn't have become the foundation of the game.

 

It seems like a number of people are concerned about the Campaigns ending too quickly, or shying away from the temporal nature completely.  I'm trying to address that as much as possible, given that the solution they are asking for ("just make them last forever!") won't actually work.  I like the sudden death idea for that reason, though (in truth) I think once we build the core rulesets, I'm not sure if people would still want to try it.  I'm not convinced it will be necessary.

 

To be clear: the Campaigns are, and will remain, the heart of this game.  

 

Todd

ACE

 

Good!  I don't feel that the campaign portion of the game needs changing. It is a great solution to Uncle Bob. The permanence question should be addressed separately.

Edited by virt

The Shipwrecked Pirates

yarrr....

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