|Arbalester Goblin Squad Member|
Me? Getting my world-building side honed with Minecraft, dabbling in League of Legends, and going back through some older games on my DS.
The only big-budget game to come out in the last year or so that I've actually played is Borderlands 2. I can't think of another AAA game that actually interested me enough to go out and buy. Yet another reason I'm waiting on several Kickstarter games to bear fruit in the next year or two. I've waited this long, I can wait a bit longer...
Adaptability is already important. If the opponent keeps using his Hammer-Drop-Of-Doom attack, dealing large amounts of damage every 6 seconds, I'd imagine there are several abilities that can deal with that. Defensive bonuses, giving yourself some actual Dodge chance (short-term buff that gives all incoming attacks a chance to out-and-out miss, sort of like Concealment in the tabletop version), extra damage reduction, all sorts of tricks.
If your opponent gets predictable, then shift to a set of abilities that gives you what you need to counter him.
Overall, I'm imagining combat flowing almost like a MOBA (DOTA, League of Legends, etc.), but slower-paced... and the idea that you can switch "Champions" (aka Weapon Sets) rather quickly. Opponent using a big, hulking, hammer build? Switch to something with high damage, or just move out of range and grab a bow. Is he using super-heavy armor? Switch to a weapon with a high Damage Factor, like a dagger, to get into gaps in his armor.
With three Weapon Sets per player, and six Abilities per Set, I can see a lot of flexibility even in a single character build. So if your opponent gets predictable, switch to something that can predictably beat him.
The flexibility doesn't come from the whims of the Random Number God, it comes from players switching their strategies on the fly.
Thanks for the help, Waffleyone. I'll spend some time over the next few days refining that data; I got it all out of a Java program I wrote over the course of a few hours, so it's not perfect.
However, one benefit these have over Decius' data is that they're not inductive; they're deductive. This isn't data collected over X number of rolls, it's the actual probability chance for each number.
You got it right, randomwalker. Though you do bring up an interesting point: How would those final damage multipliers act together, if there were more than one?
Oh, and not to brag, but just so that the last several hours weren't a total waste, I just finished calculating the odds of a 3d200 roll having a given number as its lowest, middle, or highest number. The results are now posted on the budding Library of the Caeruxi:
For the record, I have read all three pages of comments so far; I'm just skipping right over the discussion that started to go back to the original topic.
Great work with the blog! To be frank, I wasn't even expecting this much work into the graphics at launch, so this is a pleasant surprise. The mechanics and aesthetics are finally starting to come together, so I'm looking forward to the next blog!
Decius: Bah, and I'm forgetting basic math again. Thanks for reminding me!
Unfortunately, it seems I also worded my post rather poorly. Let me clarify myself:
-I wasn't talking about a To-Hit bonus/penalty directly on a weapon, merely the fact that a poor overall hit chance = much more likely that a partial Miss multiplier will be put on the final damage. Since this applies at the same time as the Damage Factor, they essentially cancel each other out, even more so if they add together rather than multiply together. So, a character with an unfortunately high miss chance could make up for it by wielding a Greatsword or some other weapon with a high Damage Factor.
-Right equipment on the right creature was at the very tail end of the blog this thread is about: Murder by Numbers. To requote:
Murder By Numbers wrote:
Some creatures may have an additional, final damage multiplier that applies unless the attacking weapon has a specific keyword (Silver for lycanthropes, Adamantine for golems, Bludgeoning for skeletons, etc.), reducing the final damage. This is the one time a better weapon is useful to players without sufficient attacks to use all the keywords: a Silver sword is still useful to a new player fighting werewolves. Players very rarely benefit from such vulnerability-based defenses.
(Mentioned as Step 9 of the Attack Resolution Sequence.)
My question still stands: Do these three multipliers multiply together, or add together, before being applied to the Post-Resistance Damage?
It's been 7 pages, and I have yet to see the discussion or answer concerning one part of the blog.
I know this is getting more in-depth, but still: The percentage increase from the Damage Factor, the percentage decrease from a partial Miss, and the percentage decrease from not using the right weapon against certain creatures. Those are three separate percentages affecting damage.
In what order do these three multipliers apply, and do one or more of them add with each other before multiplying?
If they apply in some order, say, 1 -> 2 -> 3, then the order matters greatly. Any percentage increase magnifies later percentages, while a percentage decrease will make later multipliers less significant.
If two or more of them add together, then they may cancel each other out. So, a high Damage Factor could make up for a poor hit chance.
I have no doubt these have already been discussed in GW, but I'm surprised these haven't been brought up in this thread yet.
Ooh, vehicle-based combat! Man, nobody's tried that! WoW's design fell apart into gimmickry; LOTRO's going to submit their version of mounted combat in a month or so. Still, that would be great! Transport troops and supplies to and from the field of battle, act as ammo resupplier/medical ambulance, or just put spikes on the sides, lances on the front, and go full-speed towards the enemy lines!
Again, that's probably going to take a LOT of coding and balancing, but if that could ever happen in PFO, that would be awesome.
Plus... Twelve Dwarf Beer Wagon Charge. That is going to happen at some point, no matter what I have to do to get it done.
A lot of gold? That's the beauty of the bounty system as currently designed: It doesn't matter if it's 1000gp or just 1gp, at least the target is marked as "having a bounty" and can be killed once, anywhere, completely legally. Sure, most bounty hunter wouldn't take a 1gp bounty, but some might; plus, if someone ganks him once, he can't bounty them; in fact, they'd collect your bounty!
Vexous, have you ever played/watched videos of EvE Online? Yes, it can turn into a gankfest, but the gankers pay a stiff price; murder isn't cheap. Well, it is out in the boonies far from town, but you're taking your life into your hands out there anyway. Bring some friends and keep your eyes sharp.
In PFO, if you're unlawfully ganked, you can put a bounty on the attacker. That means that the next person to kill the murderer gets the bounty. More importantly, the next person to kill the murderer CAN DO SO WITH NO PENALTY. So yes, you may have just lost some valuable stuff, but if you put so much as a 10gp bounty on the murderer's head, he'll never be able to sleep safe again.
So, yes, it will be more PvP focused, but that doesn't mean you have to be a PvP nut to play. Just don't carry what you can't afford to lose, and don't head out into the wilderness alone unless you really know what you're doing.
Well, especially with the Archetype/Merit Badge system instead of rigid Classes, there will be a lot of variance even between Archetype pures.
However, I would guess that the spellcasting-heavy Archetypes (Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Druid, and later Witch and Oracle) would use a lot of spells no matter what their role, and the good-BAB-based Archetypes (Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger, Paladin, and later, if ever, Gunslinger) would use fighting whenever appropriate. Sorry I can't get more specific, but what else do you expect from characters who have the potential to be jack-of-all-trades, regardless of Archetype?
Yeah. Can't say I've ever seen chariots in Pathfinder. Wait... were there a few in Ultimate Combat as a vehicle? Let me see... Hey, they're in here! Ultimate Combat page 181 or so, or here.
So yeah, they might make it into the game eventually. We'll see. Right now, I'll just be happy if they get vehicles into the game at all; they might not even be there on launch day.
Acrobatics? Words of warning about that: DCUO and Assassin's Creed.
Both games have the same problems with acrobatics/climbing: It's difficult to get your character to go where you want him to go, especially in a stressful situation, i.e. combat. There's little more immersion and flow-breaking when your character interprets "turn right at this intersection" as "immediately cling to the right-hand wall and start climbing, then get stuck near the ceiling". Context is very, very, VERY important. At least both games came up with the same quick-fix solution: Have a safety-catch on climbing; the player has to press a button to toggle between "regular movement" and "Spider Climb + Haste". Not a great fix, as movement in the "super-movement" setting still has those context problems, but at least you can turn it off to just walk around without clinging to every wall you bump into.
Summary: The Z-Axis makes things a lot more fun, but can create several headaches (Flight has already been discussed elsewhere, and, to my knowledge, there is no game with 3-D movement that has handled free-Climbing spectacularly.)
Bard. If only to have an excuse to hit Shuffle on my music folder every time a fight starts. Plus, I like their Buff/Debuff/Melee/Skill Monkey/Jack-of-all-Trades feel. (Not sure how much of that is translating into PFO, but still...) They're like rogues, but less stab-stab and more friendliness/utility. But still not to be underestimated.
If I had to pick a second... Sorcerer. Or maybe Cleric. Less bookishness and more Raw Power of The Planes/The Gods.
There are some cool ideas here... but I'm having a hard time picking them out.
Maybe it's just me, but would you mind spacing things out and organizing your thoughts a bit? (Of course, I'm one to talk...)
Then, that finished blueprint can be copied and/or given to the company leader who can then place the building construction site, which can then be built into that building with some resources/time.
Towns can be used as forts, but towns can also be conquered and/or destroyed by opposing factions.
Is that basically what you said? Please correct me if I'm wrong.
But let me work at it anyway:
As for who can make the blueprints/place the building sites, we're not sure yet, though I think it can be more than just the company leader. However, some kind of Architecture skill will probably be involved, requiring character training. (You don't want your unschooled brute-force characters trying to site and design the building, right?)
Towns can be used as forts? Other way around: Forts will be upgraded into towns. So yes, so far, it seems like some kind of keep/bailey/fort will be part of a town automatically: Some kind of extra-strong building.
As for conquering/destroying towns, we're not sure, though it will be in the game. Conquering? Oh yes; though nobody's sure how it's going to work. Destroying? Again, building destruction might not be the first thing in the game, but will definitely be coded/patched in at some point.
Not to add another element to this storm of ideas, but here's another angle to consider:
What about the non-blasting spells? Some of the most fun I've had as a Bard or Wizard is how much I can do without grabbing for a single d6 (or d20, for that matter). Illusions to confuse, protect, and hinder, Transmutations for buffs and shapeshifting to fill other roles, Enchantments for short-term knockouts against weak-minded grunts, and Conjuration for...well...everything: Calling in allies, summoning walls, building an entire square fort out of walls in 24 seconds, shaping part of it in another 6 seconds, then having my summoned minions man the ramparts, with a few illusions at the ready... good times.
Now here's my rant about theme-park MMO's especially WoW. Most of them turn the Mage/Spellcaster into just, "Fireball! Fireball! Fireball! Time to mix it up... MAGIC MISSILE!", resulting in a whole bunch of gamers to write off the class that can shape space and time with a word as just "more ranged dips". (At least the LOTRO Loremaster gets a bunch of knockdowns/debuffs... Though the Runekeeper is definitely more like the standard MMO mage.)
Now, why they just go with damage spells is pretty obvious: They're the easiest to code. Adding in area debuffs and shapeshifting, and especially summoning creatures and/or walls, is really hard to code and balance for gameplay; too little, and it's just gimmicky, too much, and every other class will whine (well, so what? The wizards spent years learning how to make reality their mistress, why not show it off?)
And that's not even approching the other issues addressed: Spells/day, known spells vs. spellbook vs. words of power vs. whatever else...
Yikes. This magic stuff is complicated. No wonder you need Int 10 just to begin to grasp the basics...
Agreed with the above: It's going to be open PvP, on one world: There is no pure PvE option. However, don't let that stop you from making it a PvE game if you want to.
I'll admit, I'm not super-happy with this design either; I played EvE Online for a bit, and the all-PvP part really bugged me. However, with some hindsight and perspective, I've realized that what bugged me wasn't the ABILITY to gank anyone, it was that so many players did that. It wasn't the design of the game, it was what that design said about people in general. Go watch The Dark Knight or read some Nietzsche; that's what EvE Online seemed to be saying.
However, PFO also will have a few things EvE doesn't: Bounties if you're murdered (ganked in relatively "safe" zones) and a built-in Alignment system, to name two.
This is a sandbox game: You can do almost anything you want to do. If you don't want to fight other players, you don't have to; there will be plenty of monsters and dungeons. However, you do have to keep in mind that other players can and will fight you. To paraphrase Firefly: "A horse helps you get a job, a sword helps you keep it."
And to quote the most important lesson newbies learn in EvE Online:
Only Carry Stuff You Can Afford To Lose.
Oh, one last note: If you're worried about losing almost all of your stuff when you die, don't worry so much. If you haven't played EvE, PFO will have a similar equipment economy, namely that decent gear is pretty cheap. Getting a full set of useful combat gear isn't very expensive; it's the super-good combat gear that costs a pretty penny, and that's only used in serious battles/duels/dungeons. Again, if you don't want to lose a lot when you die, don't carry a lot of stuff around.
I hope that helps.
Okay, there are a few kinds of fights here: Short-term and long-term.
So far, everyone's been discussing short-term fights: How easy or hard it is to beat the enemy in front of you. Right now, it seems like skill and gear will only matter so much, and 3-4 level 5's stand a good chance of beating a level 15 if they can get the jump on him and know what they're doing. That's fine, I like that. Yes, the short-term fights are less about resources and more about tactics and skill, both in planning the fight beforehand and during. Please read my next paragraph before responding.
Then there's long-term fights. The bandit groups, border skirmishes, and outright warfare. That's where resources will matter. That's where that extra 5% effectiveness in combat really adds up. It matters little in a 1v1 fight, but in a 20-man skirmish, it can make or break. In a 200-man war, if those hopefully happen at some point, 5% extra damage is going to really add up. Plus, the richer group may not win the fight, but they're more than likely to win the war, as long as they're not idiots. If the poorer team takes even one major loss, they may not have the capital to repair and re-arm before the enemy is in their keep.
So skill and tactics will matter more in short-term, resources will matter more long-term, but both are important to a good player.
Ooh. This is one of those things that sounds simple, is probably devilishly hard to code, but would be a nice touch. I'll add this to my personal list of "things that would be great to have in the game, but I'm not going to cry if it's not in game on release day, or even the first six months". There are quite a few things on that list, actually...
I think I understand what Valkenr was trying to get at. Let me phrase it the way I was thinking it:
If you're going to have a quest to run around a city talking to everyone for 20 minutes, don't give a pittance reward.
The keyword here is "have a quest...". And PFO doesn't sound like it will be big on quests. At least, NPC exclamation-point kind of quests. So if you run around the city for 20 minutes talking to people with a pittance reward, it won't be because some man with his feet nailed to the ground told you to. It will be because you really just wanted to.
My one problem with "Resist cold, but weak to acid" or "+10 vs dwarves, -10 vs gnomes" is it leads to bloated item stats and overcomplicated strategies. "Oh, the encampment is full of kobolds now? But I just finished crafting an ogreslaying spear!" And the elemental rock-paper-scissors idea is nice, but it runs the risk of turning into rock-paper-scissors-airplane-lizard-Spock-Jesus-banana.
Just keep it simple and effective.
It sounds like most of this unskilled stuff won't be done by novice players, or even any player, it will be done by NPC's.
I'm talking from the future, where the new blog is out, and it sounds like there won't be a plant-harvesting skill. There will be a skill to direct and manage the plant-harvesters. So, for example, your Herbalism merit badge won't be about just picking plants, it will be about finding as many plants in an area as you can, and managing the plant harvesting camp you constructed while NPC's do all the plant-picking.
And this whole 80/20 thing is one of the cores of EvE Online. Skills have 5 different levels of training, with each level becoming exponentially longer. Put it this way: Training from level 0 to level 3 in a given mid-rank skill takes about 3 days. Training the last two levels can take 30. So you do get pretty good at the skill pretty fast, but it takes a long time to master it.
My one issue with that in EvE is how many ships and skills require level 5 in other skills as a prereq. So you have to spend all 30 days training the other skill just to even BEGIN to train the skill you were actually looking at.
This, for me, is one of my secondary priorities: I'd love to see it ingame, but I won't be disappointed if it's not there on release day, or even a few months after then. Still, it would be really nice to have ingame information on monsters; both their game stats and some flavor-text details about them.
Of all games, Age of Mythology (Basically, Age of Empires 2.5) had a great ingame mythopedia, giving both historical and mythological details about the ingame units, both their game stats and details. Maybe something sorta like that.
Very interesting. I have to admit that just doing entire buildings is a lot easier to program though :-)
Yes, but then every building looks the same. Every single one. That's fine for the early days of this game, but most of us are hoping to put on our Interior Designer hats after a few months in the game. Heck, even SWG used templated housing plans; but everything inside that floor plan could be moved/rotated. So the housing footprint is the same for every house, but the stuff inside it is not. That's a decent compromise between playing Interior Designer and not having the servers melt.
Here's how I understand it, so far:
In the entire world map, there will be 3 NPC settlements. They have their own histories of why they're there, what political and social factions are in each one, who hates who, who likes who, etc. That doesn't matter very much; those settlements are really only there to give starting players a base while they go out to make their own buildings.
Every. Single. Other. Building. In. The. Game. Will be built and managed by players. So the players start writing their own stories about them.
So, if you hopped into the game 2 years after it launches, you should learn some of the history of where you're staying and what factions are there. Because those factions and places weren't slapped down by a developer three months before the game started. They were built by players, and it's player conflicts and goals that shape each one. So you're learning about some of the history of your fellow player characters, and of the game itself.
Hey, those backstories and histories will be at least as interesting as anything that WoW cobbled together.
I have been waiting for details on crafting ever since I started reading the blogs. I wasn't able to finish reading this in one sitting. I had to pause every so often to run celebration laps around my desk!
The harvesting, refining, and crafting systems sound even more amazing than I had ever imagined. Thank you so much!
EDIT: I also realized: This may be the first MMO made where the NPC's have a prominent role, and not just as shopkeepers/repairers. Wait, so you actually have to keep your workers happy while they're harvesting/processing/running your buildings? I can't think of a game that's done that before... well, besides the city-building sims, and certainly not an MMO. Well done!
My single favorite part is one feature of the Create Demiplane spell. (The standard one, not Lesser or Greater.)
Structure: Your demiplane has a specific, linked physical structure, such as a giant tree, floating castle, labyrinth, mountain, and so on. (This option exists so you can pick a theme for your plane without having to worry about the small details of determining what spells you need for every hill, hole, wall, floor, and corner).
You ever read the 3.5 book, Stronghold Builder's Guidebook? (One of my favorite books in 3.5, and one I'm sad that Pathfinder doesn't have yet.) You could take any building you can design or imagine and put it in your demiplane... with ONE SPELL. Permanently; it lasts as long as the demiplane does. One 8th level spell, and bam! Instant doom fortress! Or giant cave behind a waterfall! Or anything! As soon as you have one casting of Create Greater Demiplane, you can Permanency that for about the cost of a permanent Mage's Magnificent Mansion... except now, you can reshape and change your demiplane with just one or two high-level spells and a few hours.
Plus, your demiplane is really hard to get into or out of.. it's about as secure as, say, Mage's Magnificent Mansion, but it's way bigger, and that Structure feature lets you make a pretty nice pad for your whole party, and all their friends.
I would heartily suggest against the Mysterious Stranger archetype. While it sounds fun, you can play The Man With No Name without it, and then regain the class feature that the Mysterious Stranger loses:
Seriously. Reread gun training. There is no class feature that's worth losing +Dex on the damage roll and less misfire problems. Do not take Mysterious Stranger. Take Pistolero, or even just stay a standard Gunslinger. Just don't do Mysterious Stranger unless you can find some fun reason that I can't.
You're trivializing the "unlock the next merit badge to get the next skillbook" part, but I don't think Goblinworks is. Sure, you just spent 3 weeks logged out, but now you have to spend at least a day or two getting that merit badge, if not a solid week of gaming (a solid month of gaming if you don't have as much free time). I'm throwing numbers out, but that's the idea. So someone who just sits in town training skills can only get so far, and people who play the game constantly are still going to have a huge edge over people who log in every week or so... if one thing, they're going to be a lot richer. This has already been discussed in another thread, though.
It sounds like their economy-tinkering will just be controlling the Faucets and Drains... that is, how actual coin is entering and leaving. So they wouldn't (and really shouldn't) manipulate prices on this or that good in the player market, but they can and will be tinkering with prices that NPC's charge for services, or prices NPC's pay for goods/vendor trash. They just want to prevent rampant inflation (which most, nay, all theme parks are plagued with) without letting the player economy wither.
Also, another question: When I read about NPC's paying for stuff, an idea popped into my head: I could just be making a dragon's den out of a rat's nest here, but does that mean NPC's will actually buy goods? Like, raw materials? Or even crafted materials? For prices that are actually comparable with player markets, at least stable player markets? Maybe these buy orders change from month to month, or as they are satisfied, meaning player harvesters/crafters could sell different goods at different times to NPC's, not just PC's?
My brother reminded me that this could just mean selling vendor trash to NPC's. Still, it's nice to dream... and maybe Goblinworks got the same idea too. I have no idea.
It's called Open PvP. It's covered a lot in one of Goblinwork's blogs, let me see which one... ah, it's To Live and Die in the River Kingdoms, on January 18th, 2012. One of the earlier blogs. Basically, there will be circles of security around settlements... out of those circles, all bets are off; PvP is completely allowed, and only stuff in your inventory is at risk. In those circles, it gets a bit fuzzier, but you can still kill people near town... just you'll get killed yourself by marshal NPC's. A similar system is in EvE Online, and it still doesn't stop "suicide-ganking", where you kill someone even though they're in a "safe" zone. A lot of newbs in EvE Online confuse high-security with safe... those are two very different things... in EvE, as soon as you fly out into outer space, you're at risk. Always.
Or the more skills in Architect. I'm seeing building styles as more closely tied to the Architect's skills, not the Druid's. Still, maybe only a Druid Architect could make giant trees, and only a Fighter Architect could make a coliseum, but that sounds a bit too restrictive. Archetypes are going to take a long, long time to train, after all...
Still, it's nice to think about.
It sounds like this hasn't been brought up, so I'll remind everyone...
In PFO, as planned, skill training through time is ONE HALF of the character-advancement system. Merit badges are the other half, and those are more action-oriented, and maybe a little grindy. (But not very grindy, hopefully...)
The current idea is that your character will be training a skill while completing merit badges that were unlocked by the skills you trained last week. So, for people who want to get lots and lots of skills, they can spend a lot of time chasing merit badges. Not queueing up a skill and logging off, actually having to run out and get the badges. We're not sure how merit badges will be unlocked yet, but I wouldn't be surprised to find the classic theme-park achievements becoming merit badges: Exploring a zone, killing some number of enemies, use this skill on enemies a certain number of times, etc. Once again, I have no idea if merit badges will actually work this way, but they will most definitely not be unlocked just by sitting in town doing nothing.
So, to stealthbr and others, who dislike EvE Online's skill-training system: Yes, it will be in PFO. However, unlike EvE, it will not be the only part of the game; even lone-wolf players will be out unlocking merit badges.
And to Nihimon, myself, and others with not as much free time, and who like EvE Online's system: To keep pace with your friends/company-mates, etc, you will need to keep doing merit badges. However, keep in mind, even an archetype-5 character is going to be pretty effective in a group, just not as effective as an archetype-20. So although we may not be able to keep pace merit-badge wise, we'll still be able to keep pace skill-wise, and still contribute a lot in a group. And three cheers for that!
Also, as a forum/community, we have GOT to get some terminology. So characters don't have levels, so we shouldn't call them level 5 and level 20... what do we call them? Archetype levels? Tiers? I'm not sure. Also, should it be company-mates? Corpmates, like EvE? Companions? Hmm...
Keep in mind, Pathfinder Online will only pay homage to the PnP rules, if they use any at all. We still have no idea how combat mechanics are going to work, but I'm not sure if, for example, wizards are going to still have specialist schools. Or even use prepared spells. There are already two or three threads about various parts of game mechanics and combat; take a look around those. Still, nice character idea! I know you'll at least be able to make your wizard look like a necromancer, if not fully act like one. Player-summoned armies of the undead? Not sure if they'll be in game. Black robes/skull decorations? I sure as hell hope so.
As for me, I still can't decide between bard, rogue, or sorcerer. I definitely want a character who loves telling and listening to stories among friends, and likes supporting and encouraging people, but has no qualms about violence. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do, and better you than me. He'll stay Good-aligned, though... mostly.
Going back to harvesting and its mechanics...
Reading over the ideas (minigames, terrain modification), I still think that SWG had it right. You can push a button and watch your character do some harvesting, but it's a pretty piddly amount. It's much more effective to build a harvesting structure on top of a node, and set it up to work. Neither one of these mechanics needs player interaction after they start running, though the first one also forces the character to stay there and keep harvesting.
Why do I like that so much? It's already autopiloted. It beats the bots at their own game, by making an already working low-maintainence harvesting option. The only issues I have are:
Isn't there a similar thread about this? Something about UI and Mechanics? Ah well, more noise in the forum.
Controller compatibility! I hadn't even thought about that, though it could work. My main concern is the other way around; I have a USB controller, though I don't use it often; I prefer keyboard and mouse, but maybe that's because I was raised on WoW. (Never enough action bars in that game...)
I can talk about another superhero MMO I played: DC Universe Online. That game is coming at a control scheme from the opposite direction: It was designed for the PS3, so it's based on a controller-layout, with keyboard presses simulating controller buttons. My main problem with that assumption is that it doesn't take advantage of the keyboard's many buttons; opening up chat is a menu option. A menu option! I don't have time during a fight to just press Escape and click a button, all so I can tell my groupmates what's going on. Mind you, I played the game right at launch, so maybe they've patched some of this... still, it got annoying after a while.
My only real issue with macros is the way that, in many theme-parks, a sufficiently-advanced macro can play an entire character for you. I know a friend who, while back in college and vanilla WoW, had 5 WoW accounts, made a different class on each one, found and modified macros for each, and used them to auto-run 5-man dungeons. He could just push one button on his keyboard, and the macros would take care of the rest; moving, attacking, casting, looting, the works. He'd go off to class or do homework, and check back about an hour later to see what loot they'd collected. Bank loot, repair gear, push the button again, repeat.
That's my issue with macros; not when it's a substitute for having each button on your keyboard mapped to a skill, it's when they're used as a substitute for actually playing the game.
Now, that could be fixed, or at least helped, by having a combat system complex enough so that it's not just "If this one character's health is less than 50%, cast this spell; if not, target his target and cast this other spell". Removing aggro, especially, would at the very least force those autopilot macros to become much more complex and unwieldy, if not impossible to code, while simpler macros, like the space-saving ones or 1-2-3 combos described above, would still work great. (The fact that, to my knowledge, LOTRO doesn't have macros is greatly annoying. I've now pushed the same 3 buttons on my Captain so many times, and the skills have to be used in the same specific order every time... why can't I just link them together and be done with it?)
But that involves discussing combat mechanics, and there's already another thread or two for that. So I'll stick with UI discussions here.
Probitas, you don't seem to have seen much (or, in my case, read much about) EvE Online's PvP conflicts. Even when attacks are on a timed basis, lots of sneak attacks and confusion abounds. War becomes not about winning one fight gloriously, but about gradually wearing the enemy down, forcing them to log on at wierd times to defend against your time zone, or just demoralize them on forums/in game through repeated attacks and taunts.
Then again, EvE doesn't do "scheduled" attacks; Station-sieging can be done at any time. However, the station goes into lockdown for some period (I think around 16 real hours or so, a true EvE vet can correct me), after which you can actually capture the station, assuming the defenders haven't mobilized a defense by then. So it does schedule a conflict, but more like a next-day conflict than a next-week fight. Also, that's only to take and hold territory; attacking groups of player ships can be done anytime, anywhere. That's the greater challenge and danger in EvE war; not so much worrying about station lockdown timers, but worrying that, at any time you're not in one of your corp's systems, a Black Ops Battleship could drop a whole fleet of bad guys right on top of your head. Even in your own system, sneak-attacks can and do happen, especially in systems fringing your enemies'.
A man named Alexander Gianturco, better known as The Mittani, has some records of EvE Online hilarity in his blog/news thread on Ten Ton Hammer; here's a link if you want to read more about EvE:
Maybe include some of SWG's other features of the Merchant class, like being able to advertise, either through a special Trade chat channel (that was NOT open for just anyone to post in, though everyone could see it), or through placing NPC advertisers in the world; say, in a major city. I could see several opportunities for abuse or annoyances, but to me, that was a good way for SWG to cover its biggest drawback: Lack of global merchant visibility.
Maybe, instead, make a list of merchants available? Say, in each hex, you can get a list of who has a store in that hex, and where they are, with maybe a one-sentence description of their shop. That way, players only have to check that list to get some idea of who they'd want to visit first, or at all.
Ooh, what video game music has stirred my blood recently? Not much, I must confess; I usually play my games muted. (And yes, I know I'm missing out; I'm in a choir, I like music, I just don't like hearing it all the time, for some reason. Call me crazy.)
Of the stuff I've heard that PFO could consider, uh... how about Warhammer Online? The login music absolutely kicks ass and takes names; it's still what I hear in my head when playing other fantasy games.
As for the rest of its music, I'm not too sure. LOTRO's music is kinda meh, but the player-made music is pretty good... but that's a totally separate topic.
WoW's music is classic Blizzard: Good music, but pretty over-the-top, and it proves that there is such a thing as sounding TOO epic. Having a four-part choir and a full orchestra playing their hearts out is great, having it just on the character select screen isn't. At least Warhammer Online's theme shows some restraint.
Like the rest of PFO, I'd like crafting to be fully functional by yourself, but become more useful/powerful in a group, and even moreso in a community.
This is mainly done by allowing specialized harvesters/crafters to trade materials/crafted items, but as for actual cooperative crafting... Wow. That would be awesome. Plus, it would solve the problem of "Hey, I'll totally make that sword for you. Just hand me all of that shiny, shiny, valuable metal there..." that many other MMO's without Auction Houses run into.
Very nice analysis. Thank you! I have been thinking about it, and it would be a pain to have a character used to handling heavy armor that wouldn't be able to swim in it.
However, if Weakley the Weak Wizard decided to try on his brother's suit of full plate and go for a dip, I'd expect him to sink like a rock... a rock encased in metal.
EDIT: As I was thinking about it, even outside of PnP rules, you could make some kind of Armor Mastery skillset, maybe part of the Fighter and Paladin archetypes. Training in that skillset and gaining its merit badges would reduce, and eventually remove, the problems with swimming/running/resting in heavy armor.
I totally agree with this idea. There's already a forum thread about if players can do stuff while logged out... here it is:Keep players online, even when logged off
In short, how are gamers with differing amounts of time on their hands going to interact and have fun in PFO?
My major problem is how this plays out in EvE Online. (And here's that comparison again... seriously, one of the reasons I'm looking forward to PFO is so we can have a sandbox MMO to discuss other than EvE Online. But I digress.) In EvE Online, although skill training happens whether you're logged in or not, money gathering requires you to be active. Fairly simple, sounds good, right? Problem is, the system really favors people with a lot of free time, or very flexible schedules. The people with more free time (That is, time not spent working/maintaining yourself and your home/socializing outside of an MMO) have more time to collect money: Running missions, mining, going pirate-hunting in the asteroids, joining up with corp-mates for any and all of these, etc. Also, anyone with a flexible schedule is going to be much more successful in a nullsec corp, as they can be "called to battlestations" at almost any time of the day (or night), and thus help fend off attacks from anyone, no matter what time it is, and thus are more valuable (and more likely to stay) in a good corp. (Anyone with more EvE Online experience than my small amount, please prove me wrong, if you can.)
This is one of the key reasons I stopped playing EvE Online: I work a job and go to school part-time; although I have a lot of time for gaming, it wasn't enough to really help out in nullsec or make a lot of profit in empire.
The thread is named after, in my observation, the main three groups of gamers, based on time:
The Nonstop Nolifers are the ones that do not have a time-intensive job/responsibilities, and can spend almost all of their waking time gaming. These are the people who dominate very grindy games, like most Korean MMO's, and EvE Online.
Weekend Warriors are gamers with 5-day-workweeks; they don't have much time during the week, maybe only an hour or half an hour a day, but have free weekends. WoW has definitely rolled out the red carpet for these gamers: the game has basically shifted from a daily-based game to a weekly-based game: Weekly raid lockouts, daily dungeon bonuses stacking up to 7 times if not used, etc.
Hour-A-Day Crunchers are busy both weekday and weekend, but have more steady chunks of time. They can put in more time in the weekdays, but are also busy on weekends. Many students and part-time workers are in this category. (A note to any full-time college students reading this: If you're not at least a little busy on the weekends, then you're not taking college seriously.) Daily quests are this group's specialty; the daily-quest rewards really add up if you can put in the time consistently, day by day.
If you're up for even more reading, TV Tropes handles this idea rather bluntly here:
My question is, will PFO be different in this regard? And if so, how? Most theme-park games have "rested experience", and a huge chunk of rewards in once-a-day or once-a-week quests/dungeons/raids, so even only playing for an hour a day gets you a significant chunk of reward. EvE Online has no limits on playtimes, or compressions of benefits for the first bit of playtime each day, so as far as I can tell, the nolifers rule. What about in PFO?
In my heart, I'd like fast travel to be safe, as I can't think of any other time when a character is doing something useful and I can take a break, besides skill training... but maybe that's the point; you get out of the game what you put into it. I just don't like how, in EvE Online, the only way to be successful is to either play the game more than you work a job, or join a very good corp. At least theme parks have natural break times when you're traveling/waiting for all of your raid group to show up.
In my mind, fast travel shouldn't be safe, certainly if you're out in the wilds far from civilization. That gives both bandits and counter-bandits something to do, and makes being out of town more "interesting" no matter what you're doing. (I use "interesting" in the context of the Discworld curse, "May you live in interesting times!")
Hmm. Sounds like this thread needs splitting, as there's one section about the UI and macros and one part about customizable skills, like Ryzom.
By the way, I'd never heard of Ryzom before reading this, and that website link almost made me cry with joy. That's the kind of combat system that's easy to learn, but can take months and many forum discussions to master.
I'll re-ignite the Skills discussion: That sounds like one way to both support an open-ended character who isn't bound by a single "class", and also allow for some strategy in combat; assuming that the skill mechanic options are complex enough that there is no one skill or group of skills that everyone gravitates to. EvE Online only recently got rid of the swarms of Drakes and supercapital ships, as I understand it...