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Gilgamer

Procedural Campaign Worlds, Fog Of War, And Cartography

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I like the idea of procedurally  generated campaign worlds and it's one of the tent poles of the game design; this idea that the nobody knows the lay of the land at the start of each campaign.  I think you could take this thought a step further with an in-game cartography discipline.  Don't provide players with a world map (even one covered in fog), let players map the world and buy, sell, trade that valuable info or just horde to themselves to further the gains of themselves and their allies.  Characters with the appropriate skills could set off at the beginning of each campaign to explore as much land mass as fast as possible, and maps could then be crafted in part or in whole based on how much of the map the cartography has uncovered at the time of crafting.  

 

Cartography in a persistent world MMO would be pointless because everyone would just go online and look up the maps that would inevitably crop up, but in this game it might just work.  

 

Other things to consider:

No global chat.  

No ability to check player X,Y coordinates. Both are immersion breaking IMO.

Proper place names for procedurally generated content - Give the towns, rivers, and other landmarks memorable names, these can even be re-used in future campaigns.  Example: "I wonder what the Snake River looks like in this campaign?" or, "I wonder where Victor Falls is?"

 

 


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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I agree with all of your points, and it is something we have debated on the forum aswell.

Global chat is for spammers and should not be in Crowfall in my opinion.

coordinates could be both positive and negative, but by removing it you create the situation where players have to learn the lay of the land to find eachother, which I quite like.

Names I dont really cared about, but i agree they should be memorable.

 

Welcome to the forum btw, if you have any questions, hit me up ;)

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I love the idea that each map gets to be explored and that the info is traded as a commodity. That really adds to the immersion of the game and to the experience of starting a new map for every campaign. I think it should only be an option though and not the standard, like it should be an option for campaign creators/admins. 

I think that Crowfall players could make some really interesting maps with choke points or dead drop cliffs or thick forests ready for ambushes so taking that ability to create away from the player is taking away some major creative tool. 

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I think it would work well.

 

The only caveat I have is that everyone should be able to build a personal map of sorts, just give people with dedicated map skills the ability to add more details. In short, it would look something like comparing the difference between a simple mud map and a fully cartographic map.

 

I remember it being a feature in one of the previous CIV games where you could trade your map.

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Here's some of other people's posts about in game maps, and the cartography skill for the OP and other new players; if you're interested in them go ahead and like them or comment on them. 

 

http://community.cro...r-in-game-maps/

 

http://community.cro...-map-item-slot/

 

http://community.cro...ap-system-idea/

 

http://community.cro...tography-skill/

 

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5014-map-making/

 

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5410-maps-as-items/

Edited by Holyvigil

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Holyvigil,

 

Thanks for the complete list of links, I had read through some of these other threads already.

 

Seems to be a lot of talking about the map/cartography mechanic, I can only assume that the guys and girls at ACE are having a similar discussion/post it note exercise.

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I found and read some of those after starting this thread, and I apologize for not looking around more thoroughly before starting a new thread. 

 

Anyways, I found another interesting hypothetical mechanic mentioned in the thread -

 

http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/5264-of-advantages-disadvantages-gurps-and-conspicuous-consumption/

 

- about what could be an advantage taken at character creation called "Sense of Direction – Passively have a directional compass on your mini-map, or if that is a standard feature maybe the ability to place waypoints or co-ordinates on your map for use later." posted by Mimedestroyer. 

 

This got me thinking how we take knowing our heading (North,South, East, West) for granted because we always have the mini map, world map, or in EOS a compass that shows us which way we face.  But in worlds that won't always follow the pattern of our Earth with the Sun rising the East and setting in the West, it's plausible that our character's in a foreign world might not even know which way is up.  Barring the use of a map and even a compass, you would only be able to navigate by landmarks (mountain peaks, rivers, lakes, towns etc.); if you have somewhere specific to get to it might be problematic but if you're setting off to explore the unknown it might be exhilarating.

 

Just like making a map an in game tradable item, compasses could be as well, because each one would need to be calibrated the campaign world using astrological alignment (maybe that would be it's own discipline or tied to a navigation meta discipline that includes that and cartography).

Edited by Gilgamer

Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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Any mechanic which limits individual access to game information which other players have creates a power imbalance towards large, organized guilds who use 3rd party tools to collect and correlate info gathered by their members. Cartography mechanics and other info limiting techniques have little to no effect on uber guild players but disadvantage solos, casuals, and role players even more than they already are.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

Tully

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Making the map require player interaction would be interesting but would make it impossible for non social players to know what is going on.

 

Any mechanic which limits individual access to game information which other players have creates a power imbalance towards large, organized guilds who use 3rd party tools to collect and correlate info gathered by their members. Cartography mechanics and other info limiting techniques have little to no effect on uber guild players but disadvantage solos, casuals, and role players even more than they already are.

 

I agree with this, but I would like to have the fog of war be more persistent than one person running in a direction until they are killed and their team (guild or otherwise) knowing everything they see.  A scout that is killed should have no intel to report.

 

Some type of scout check-in: at a point of interest or guild run town to allow others of that group (guild, faction) to update map info would be an interesting mechanic.  So if a player travels to an unknown area and returns the info can be shared.

Edited by things4fun

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Making the map require player interaction would be interesting but would make it impossible for non social players to know what is going on.

 

 

I agree with this, but I would like to have the fog of war be more persistent than one person running in a direction until they are killed and their team (guild or otherwise) knowing everything they see.  A scout that is killed should have no intel to report.

 

Some type of scout check-in: at a point of interest or guild run town to allow others of that group (guild, faction) to update map info would be an interesting mechanic.  So if a player travels to an unknown area and returns the info can be shared.

 

I brought up this idea in one of the earlier threads. There would be 2 types of enchanted maps: senders & receivers. They would have to be 'attuned' to each other to work but then anything added to a sender would show up on a receiver. 

CopperStall

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Any mechanic which limits individual access to game information which other players have creates a power imbalance towards large, organized guilds who use 3rd party tools to collect and correlate info gathered by their members. Cartography mechanics and other info limiting techniques have little to no effect on uber guild players but disadvantage solos, casuals, and role players even more than they already are.

I am a little unclear what 3rd party tools you are referring to, unless you're talking about a guild sharing screenshots of maps on their forums or some other form of file-sharing, but I am not sure why they would do that if one of their scouts had mapped the campaign they could simply craft/copy the actual map item and give it freely to their guild mates where it would then be accessible in game, making it more useful than having to alt-tab or utilize a second screen to consult a map.  An ingame map would also let you know your position on the map and which way you are facing another clear advantage to using the legitimate process.  Unless your implying their are tools that would allow them to data mine the maps w/o actually having someone do the mapping, that would be exploitive and in clear violation of the EULA and would still be a problem even if everyone had a map and it started off covered by a fog of war.  

 

I agree that solos and casuals could be disadvantaged, but they could also take on the role of cartographer themselves and be brokers for that information.  Also keep in mind all the various proposed campaign rule sets; they all have win conditions that are tied to some sort of faction whether it's alignment (order, chaos, balance), guild, or deity, there is no winning for solo players except in the only FFA rule set the Dregs.  Even if you are playing solo you either win or lose as a faction, which incentivizes people sharing information across their faction, only withholding from opposing factions.  Getting solo and casual players to realize that their take away from each campaign is tied to their faction's success or failure even if they didn't participate in any organized or coordinated play is going to be a challenge for ACE.  If your faction has a bunch of loners running around in the current campaign, someone will need to organize and coordinate them or your faction will be doomed.


Luke I am your Uncle... Bob.  What, my sister Padmè never mentioned me?

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I think it would work well.

 

The only caveat I have is that everyone should be able to build a personal map of sorts, just give people with dedicated map skills the ability to add more details. In short, it would look something like comparing the difference between a simple mud map and a fully cartographic map.

 

I remember it being a feature in one of the previous CIV games where you could trade your map.

 

This would be the best way to do it in my opinion, with cartographers able to mark intricate details like ravines/caves/resources on the map, to a normal person's mountain/hill/river/forest style. We could also draw inspiration from minecraft, and require characters to craft maps to see all but their immediate surroundings. As long as it's a relatively cheap process to copy maps (maybe requiring a cartographer to copy, but low cost), I feel like this would be a great feature.

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