|Gregg Reece Goblin Squad Member|
If this were in another industry, it would be called a "soft launch". It's something that's kinda-sorta open, but still has some gate to prevent things from getting out of hand. A dress-rehearsal of sorts.
I really like the idea of it being labeled as "Kickstarter Launch" or something similar to let people know that it's launched, but only for the people that helped it get off the ground in the first place.
Sorry, the following also popped into my head based on other comments.
Generally, the best place for skirmishers is in your opponent's back field. This is sometimes called a Rabbit group. The general idea is that while the main forces are formed up against each other, the skirmishers sneak in the back and start to foul up the lines of communication as well as stabbing people in the back. If you hear the order to charge or fall back coming from behind, your instinct is to believe that it's your own officers giving that order. It could be the skirmishers instead.
The reason this is successful is that the formations aren't able to face two opponents at once and if they have to break off a couple fighters to deal with that group of skirmishers, then the line itself has been weakened.
In essence, skirmishers mess up the ability of the enemy formations to function properly.
The other good place for a skirmisher group is in your own back field to kill any skirmishers your opponents send against you.
The other advantage of these groups is that if the line is starting to fall, the skirmisher group can be cannibalized to reinforce the line.
That and it's very hard to flourish with an illegal system that has little to no advantage over a completely legitimate system.
The people providing the illegal service will generally give up in that scenario as it won't be profitable enough to pursue as most people will generally prefer to take a legitimate route if one is available.
Having rituals for certain spells to be cast isn't "ground breaking" in MMOs, they've actually been done before. Warlocks in World of Warcraft used to need to do a very long quest chain in order to gain the ritual to summon a certain powerful demon as a slave.
When they did this ritual, everyone in their party had to help summon the demon and it would randomly sacrifice one of the party members upon summoning at which point the Warlock could enslave the demon. The problem with this is that there was a 20% chance that the Warlock would be the person sacrificed and then you'd have an unrestrained demon running around killing your party.
This wasn't a one time thing. This was the ritual that happened any time you wanted to summon this demon to fight for you (and he was pretty powerful, so you really did want him).
Now, would it be cool to have some "teamwork feats" for casting show up in the game? Sure. Probably something similar to the group tactics talked about in today's blog, but altered to match casting instead of soldiering.
Your guess is as good as mine.
It sounds like there will probably be a series of commands for the officer to be able to give in order to move the unit around, put it into a defensive posture, engage enemy, charge, hold, flank, turn, and a variety of other small unit tactics. Those commands will have a corresponding button on a special group tactics toolbar that the grunts in the unit have to hit within a window of time with being either early or late being bad.
For example: The officer yelling "Advance!" means that on a certain beat (generic term designating a period of time and in now way related to DDR) you need to press the button labeled 'advance'. "Wheel left" means you need to hit the one that turns the unit left and so on.
I'd also guess that generals will be given a slightly modified version of that command list that would allow them to command the officers under them to go various places or to perform various tasks which get repeated down the line.
It's a lark playing on Magic the Gathering.
However, I think they'll end up with a system that is very similar to other systems currently used in video games, but with a more Pathfinder spin on it. Also, while I think it will be influenced by the vancian system, it won't necessarily hold directly to it in a lot of cases and may diverge completely from it.
For example, how do you show the difference in a Sorcerer and a Wizard in an online video game? They have the same spells after all. I think it comes down to resource systems and adaptability.
Sorcerers would have a finite spell list available to them that could be changed under very special circumstances, but within that finite spell list, they'd have a distinct amount of power. They'll likely have a casting resource of some sort (think mana as a reference) and higher level spells consume larger portions of that resource and lower level spells consume less of that resource. But, the resource would regenerate slowly over time in combat and possibly faster out of combat (or at least have some way of being made to do so).
Wizards, on the other hand, have a seemingly infinite amount of ways that they can prepare spells based on the spells available in their spell book, but once they are chosen, that list is fairly fixed until they re-prep their spells. So, we'll say that our Wizard prepared fireball 3 times today and as such can easily cast the spell 3 times in succession. The problem is that he must then wait for that spell slot to recharge (any amount of time based on gameplay and balance) before it can be used again. This would allow for the customizations and feeling of a prepared caster without being limited to _ONLY_ having that spell 3 times for a 6 hour period (remember, they've sped up time 4x in PFO so that you get 4 'days' per 24 hour period). There will be some mechanism to add spells to your spell book either by merit badges or by just purchasing scrolls and scribing them in (with a chance to botch it).
Other than the customization of spells available, we're talking about resource systems which are fairly standard across the video game markets and each have their own issues balancing. You can have more in depth resource systems or simple ones such as the ones I described. There is something to be said about a more complex resource system to manage in that it forces players to use more skill to play. A lot of games have started using hybrid resource systems involving multiple types of resources that you must manage in order to use your abilities.
It still comes down to how Goblinworks wants to do their combat system. If they really wanted to, it could be turn-based and have an interface like old school Final Fantasy games. Until they figure out their combat model, any guesses at the magic system are rather moot, because they won't have a proper context in which to be framed.
All in all, I'll still bet it's going to be similar to most modern video game magic systems in some fashion with a little flare thrown on to make it their own.
TLDR: No idea and neither do you.
It will likely be fairly similar to other magic systems in MMO or single-player RPG video games. It could be anything from the Diablo III style to SW:TOR to Skyrim. We don't know until they announce it and they will likely announce something that aligns with their overall concept of how their combat system will work in the game. Until they figure out their combat system, they can't really figure out their magic system and for the most part, vice-versa.
Until then, I'm predicting that it will be a system based on cards and you have to 'tap' certain cards in order to play others. These eldrich spells will be aligned with certain colors and you'll want to build decks of them in order to be a powerful magic user.
Manual of Gainful Employment +1 ?
Those are three of the big ones.
Of course, Ryan said that they're using an engine that supports a full MMO back-end and not just the graphical front-end. As such, Unity falls into the same box as Unreal Engine and is unlikely to be the client, because it lacks the billing and support infrastructure on the server side.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Reference Document on Paizo.com wrote:
Emphasis mine. Source Paizo's [link].
And I'm done with this thread.
BigWorld engine has been fairly successful. There's a couple fantasy MMOs using it as well as some really popular off-the-wall concepts (World of Tanks!).
HeroEngine is what I thought BioWare was using for SWTOR, but I can't remember.
Icarus Studios makes an MMO engine, but I don't know anything about any games made on it.
Multiverse died and went open source. Being as Ryan said that they'd negotiated a contract, I highly, highly doubt that this is their engine.
Monumental Dev Suite disappeared off the face of the planet never to be seen again.
BigWorld is the most likely candidate, but if that fell through then I'd guess HeroEngine.
I don't know enough about Icarus to even start to predict them as using it.
This sounds a little too much like Puzzle Pirates for my liking.
I was thinking more of having collected all of the materials from harvesting, monster killing, and dungeon delving, you give the stuff to the foreman and he clicks 'Build Inn'. X amount of time passes and the building appears.
Well, you'd want to pick someplace you know... and you know should be 'safe'.
There is, after all, a chance of mishap and all that. If you're trying to go someplace that is owned by another group and the little forest glade you've chosen to arrive in has been cut down or there's a watch tower sitting there now, then you're much more likely to screw it up in some way.
Ah, I see. That would make sense if you weren't in my head, which you weren't. :) As I demonstrated, I was talking about expecting a single product to "steal the market." There is no magic bullet so don't even look. If you look at wildly popular consumer products such as the iPhone you'll see that the product itself doesn't really do much besides enabling other functionality so it gets to be an extension of consumer expression instead of being the end-result of that expression. Outside of these types of products, you get into niche markets where product diversification is the way to go.
Wildly popular products also have the concept of "Network Externalities" working for them. Essentially, their functionality gets them some users and then at a certain point they reach critical mass and the fact they have sufficiently large community of users is what starts attracting other users.
I'm likely flubbing the explanation, but I originally came across that concept in an interview I read on some gaming site quite a long time ago. You might take a look at it and see if you can find if that guy has done anything since.
So, I've been tracking down and downloading all of the nice, long deity articles from the APs.
I've got ones for:
Have I missed any?
Well, why shouldn't they be allowed to pick their alignments? You do in the normal RPG.
You're also allowed to start out at a settlement that best matches your alignment. There is the chaotic settlement (Thornkeep) in the woods, the good settlement (Fort Riverwatch) in the north, and the lawful settlement (Fort Inevitable) in the south. So, any evil characters would likely be split between Fort Inevitable and Thornkeep depending on your variety of evil.
A Fort is just a Fort. It is not a Settlement.
I have a feeling that the upgrade from Fort to Settlement will be more than the materials needed to build the Fort in the first place. Probably enough more that any Chartered Company interested in doing it would either have to dig deep or expand their sphere of influence.
What this would do is if someone was saying, "Hey! I want to build a new settlement from the ground up. Give me your materials so I can build a Fort." You tell them to bugger off, because you have no guarantees that you won't be screwed over.
Someone else says, "Hey, I have a Fort. I'd like to upgrade it to a Settlement. Here is the proposed Settlement Charter. Who else would like to sign up?" Then you have a settlement charter and the initial settlement community. You have the community to start upgrading that Fort into a full settlement and you have some vague guarantees that you won't be screwed over by con artists. Everything would be built on the contract and community systems of the game instead of on the good will of others to keep up their ends of the deal.
I have no idea if that's how things will be, but it would give more guarantees to those wanting to be involved in the building of a settlement. At that point, you just find someone with a Fort who wants to build a Settlement out of it. There might be Chartered Companies that make a living out of clearing hexes and building Forts to sell to those wanting to build a settlement.
Actually, you're wrong. In order to upgrade that fort into a settlement you need a settlement charter be signed. You can sign said charter and participate in that and will at that point be a FOUNDING member of the settlement.
Unless you're just absolutely hung up on the Fort building part... which could have been built months and months previous before anyone decided to upgrade everything from a Fort to a Settlement. Because the ability to create a settlement isn't going to be put in until 7-8 months after launch at which point a bunch of Chartered companies could have had Forts sitting around for a month or two just waiting.
Only if your friends are dicks.
The other viewpoint is that 5-6 Chartered Companies realize that none of them have the needed skills nor workers to sufficiently sustain nor build a Settlement on their own and instead decide to join forces. Then you've got nearly 150 spots that can help out. Tada.
Or, 100 people on the boards decide to just build a settlement without anyone creating a Chartered Company first. Tada.
Or, your Chartered Company isn't interested in ever building their own settlement, but you've got some other friends who are interested in it. You help those other people build the settlement and you become a member of it. Tada.
Or, you become independently wealthy and have purchased all of the materials and laborers to build a settlement just for you. You get enough people to qualify for the charter and each are being paid to sign, because they're going to be kicked out directly afterward. The settlement is built and you are the only person that is a part of it. Tada.
Bots are relatively stupid. They can perform superhuman feats, but they're dumb. There was a game where gold farmers would set bots near easy monsters that dropped good loot. Players figured this out and would "tag" the monster first and thereby reserving the loot and then let the bots proceed to kill the monster. The player loots the corpse and waits for a respawn to repeat this nice little action. The bots were smart enough to kill these particular monsters, but not smart enough to realize that they weren't getting the loot.
Bots are only as smart as their programming makes them. Doing 1/100th of a second precision with tactical moves simply isn't something they'd do well because of latency of the connections, lag spikes, etc. They're generally not smart enough to see when something goes "wrong" with what they're being told to do unless they've been specifically setup with a mechanism to double-check.
Sure, you can make some complicated bots, but as soon as there is a new patch on the game, any loopholes you were using could suddenly be closed and you would need to start over looking for a new loophole to exploit.
It's much easier to steal player accounts, sell all of their stuff, and then pay the people who are buying gold off of you through the stolen accounts. Sometimes you use your gathering bots on these accounts to make some money off of the auction house before the account gets closed.
Stealing player accounts is the new gold farming. This is why buying gold via an outside resource is almost always a bad idea.
The EVE model of allowing you to buy/sell subscription time legitimately and within the game goes a long way to getting rid of that problem. Ryan would have to speak on how well it seems to work.
Yeah, Ryan has said that you could change sponsorships and that if you got your sponsorship revoked, you'd have a grace period to change sponsors before the group gets dissolved.
The bots I've seen are far from "superhuman." They are obvious to the observant player. Bots have to account for getting stuck on objects, mobs not being in range, and other things. In operation, they actually behave like idiots. Tag a mob you know they are going for (ie: the closest one) and they will assist you even though a human would know there was no benefit. That sort of thing.
Actually, bots can be pretty superhuman. They usually accomplish this by using a broken version of the client or a piece of software that pretends to be the game client which can call functions not normally available to players and pull all sorts of nasty exploits.
There was one in WoW that used a teleport exploit in order to move characters vast distances in an instant. Connect this with a map of spawn points for resources and a bot and you've got the ability to gather massive amounts of resources and control the market on a particular type of commodity.
Bots are a bigger problem than you might think in certain games.
@Onishi, as I understand it, a Player Nation would consist of both Green circles. I'm specifically asking about the Blue circle.
I'm going to reattempt the frat analogy that Mr Dancey started.
You've got a frat house at the university. You have non-frat people in your frat house all of the time visiting and such, but that doesn't mean they are in the frat. So, someone can live in your settlement without being a [u]member[/u] of it.
As far as the second settlement goes, player nations. And until they go in, private chat channels and a good website to keep your settlements in sync.
Ryan Dancey wrote:
2 quick questions:
1. Will Chartered Companies be able to, for instance, build an Inn and later build a fort around it to form a settlement at that location?
2. Have more than one of these structures at a given time?