I'm in favour of whatever billing method they need to use to accomplish a well designed and developed game with solid financial backing and a healthy player population.
Monthly, FTP with purchasable perks, one time...whatever. In ANY of those models a MMO that becomes my primary game is still going to be the cheapest entertainment hour per dollar spent of all.
A couple thoughts on this topic..
1> There is really no way to mimic a pen/paper game if you intend upon involving more than 5-8 players. The whole game design of pen/paper games is based on a party of players not a city, or multiple cities, of players. The game design just doesn't map from pen/paper to MMO.
So, I would suggest people who have an expectation of playing a pen/paper game online will be disappointed. Whereas fans of Pathfinder and the genre who are looking forward to a sandbox MMO will love it.
For that matter, I expect lots of players who expect a more themepark MMO style game will be disappointed as well.
2> Back to the original question. If you take a minute to think about the math the answer to your question is "It doesn't matter".
Why? Because If they came back and said 50 points that would be functionally NO different than if they said 500 points, as long as the gameworld was scaled and balanced accordingly.
Numbers are meaningless without the context of how those numbers fit into the mathematics of the game.
My guess? We'll see a relatively "flat" raw attribute base. From that skills will be the largest impact to power with gear being a close second (only really because gear grinds of some sort are pretty well established gaming norms...not beacuse I think it'd be the best way to go)
So in the end it won't matter what point values you start with. What you do with the character after it's created and what gear you accumulate will likely affect your characters power curve FAR more.
•Players able to play their alignment, but at the same time not grief players of opposite alignment. If one player is chaotic evil and another lawful good, each should not be able to abuse the other without limit or recourse.
I think this is a CRITICALLY important statement that I hope endures to the final game design.
I can imagine quite a few PvP centric types will despise this, but speaking as an avid PvPer myself I believe this is possibly one of the most important aspects of an alignment based game.
There NEEDS to be the freedom to play an alignment without using it as an excuse to grief.
This was a really great post. Thanks!
The counter argument is that if Good is sufficiently overpowered and evil sufficiently underpowered Good will also be inhabited by evil as a host is inhabited by her parasite, and 'Evil' will be empty and meaningless.
I respectfully disagree that this is a case that could occur under the current described design direction of Pathfinder. Because to a lot of players out there being able to gank others IS power.
This is my point. There are nearly zero societal bonuses powerful enough to dissuade players from wanting to play an evil toon if by being evil they can kill other players with less restrictions than a good player.
As long as evil has more freedom in that one simple way I'm not concerned about any issues of power balance. There will be plenty wanting to play that way.
It is my informed opinion (based on over 20 years of experience in large scale multi player computer games---back to MUDs) that there will ALWAYS be more than enough people willing and desiring to be "bad".
In fact, the entire industry is filled with stories of when the de-incentives to being bad are not strong enough that gameplay is essentially ruined for a large % of the playerbase.
If things were "even" for evil and good then there'd be a huge incentive to being evil. That incentive? Being able to grief others.
I would suggest that no matter HOW unfair you think it is looking to be evil that you're not crediting that freedom with enough weight.
A game where evil and good are balanced would be a miserable game for anyone choosing to be good. Note: I very clearly state evil and good, not red and blue. If the game had equal freedoms for both sides it wouldn't be evil and good it'd just be team 1 and team 2. But that isn't the suggestion with this game. This game is suggesting that evil has choices that good does not, and with those choices comes consequences.
Frankly, I don't think the consequences seem big enough...and I predict a rash of really nasty behaviour in the game UNTIL the societal structures are strong and evolved enough to counter them. Hopefully they'll develop fast enough to prevent the demise of the game.
I'm leaning towards "guy with sword".
He may try his hand at supporting the army, or even leading troops, or maybe exploring for resources, and even using those resources to make things.
So yeah...jack of all trades until I can settle on one area to focus.
Put me down as cautiously optimistic about this approach to Crits. It definitely has the potential of making this game even more removed from the MMO Clones we see out there. (which IMHO is always a good thing)
One has to wonder if it'll lead to a lot of emergent gameplay that could be problematic when balancing. But VERY interesting either way.
I'm honestly trying to think of what this would be in a Project Management sense...it's far beyond a typical UAT (User Acceptance Test) phase. It's really a post go-live activity which typically exists outside of most Waterfall style project timelines.
If we look at it from an Agile perspective it's the beginning of the second cycle (called Sprints). But I'm just not sure that there's a meaningful "name" that would really be descriptive.
You could definitely call it Sprint 2. With each successive iteration being labeled a new Sprint. But again that's really specific to Agile methodology, Scrum in particular. And may not have the same relevance to the gaming community at large.
I agree however that whatever is decided upon could potentially be an adopted term for this style of game development in the future. So it is worth careful consideration.
I cannot wait!!!
I totally agree with Delta Launch.
In fact I was actually thinking this before I hit the link to the thread (again because of the delta=change idea). So well done Nihimon!
Also, regarding the part of the post this week regarding the hard copy materials for the kickstarter. I just recently bought a house so my address is changing. Will there be another round of address confirmations once shipping of these items gets underway?
Can't wait for this to get off the ground! ....ohh...Hover Launch ;)
Great blog this week. I agree with and support the approaches to these issues 100%. Good to see common sense is actually being applied to this game before it's even made. As a huge supporter of freedom of speech and all the rights that come along with it, I have to say it is even more important to set the right guidelines and tone for a community game like this early early early. So excited to see that being done.
All too often "online games" don't match the real world behaviours that one would be expected to have in polite company...with strangers no less. I personally believe that establishing community standards early RAISES the level of online gaming to the same credibility that real life gaming and social interactions have. It can only help our community and our hobby to have this higher level of legitimacy.
Well done! Can't wait to see this baby get off the ground.
Just another VERY ambitious idea that I would love to see this game deliver. The training and practice for dedicated soldier characters alone could provide a lot of good gameplay for people with that interest.
As for the in-game voice option. I'm of two minds. Clearly Ventrillo and the others are superior. However, having played a lot of LotRO I can say, having in-game voice to fall back on when casually grouping (especially in PvP) is a HUGE asset.
Lictor Fedryn Mannorac wrote:
I'll go one step further...I'd like to see the civilized alliances staying aggressive and vigilent against ANY groups who exist to break Wheaton's law. As I see it, roleplaying isn't always the defining measuring stick between players who exist to have fun and players who exist to be a jerk.
The REALLY interesting part about this statement to me is that these things are a kind of RL alignment system that exists as a seperate layer above and beyond in game alignments.
I expect this game to be pretty fun. Really looking forward to watching it progress and being part of something special.
I may be missing something Ryan said but here's my take on the whole "size" issue between CCs and Settlements, and ultimately Nations.
I expect the vast majority of Settlements will BEGIN as a group from a CC or even multiple CCs but once established the bulk of a Settlement's population will be composed of members NOT in that original CC or perhaps even in any CC.
I think there's two dynamics that need to be considered.
1> Settlement/Nation building
I think the latter is where much of the longterm gameplay will exist. And in that vein that's where the bulk of the players will engage in some sort of group joining.
I'd love to think I could become the head of a Settlement or Nation based on the CC I can imagine composed of my friends. But the reality is even with the 20 or so of us that currently regularly play MMOs together, I doubt we'd have the cohesion and time necessary to really expand in that way ourselves. So my guess is it's FAR more likely we'll have a CC and JOIN an existing Settlement/Nation and support that greater cause together.
I expect that to be the norm. Not everyone will be a king.
Editing to add: In my experience with MMOs...going all the way back to MUDDing back in 1991..those huge guilds aka larger than 20 or so are the rare exception to the rule. And even when I've been part of, directly or tangentally, them it's been my experience that there are smaller groups of friends that make subsets within the guild that typically run together. More than a homogeneous pool of 200+ players who all interact with each other equally. It's really more likely 20 groups of 10+ that tend to run together with the added bonus of being in a bigger group to fill in a spot or two occasionally.
Does anyone else find it extremely sad that there's this portion of the gaming community that has such a misinformed and slanted view of PvP?
This comment isn't really as much about Pathfinder as much as it is about the gaming community at large. Some of the comments in this thread make me extremely sad. It's horribly unfortunate that there's this perception of PvP that is just all ganking/griefing and making people miserable. The implication that we're all just out to make others suffer and ruin gameplay is just false.
The vast majority of PvP games and PvP players I know are FAR more interested in fun gameplay, competative gameplay, and the challenge of getting better rather than fighting lopsided fights.
PvP is (or at least should be) a dynamic and integral part of any online game. HOW it manifests is the trick. And I think Ryan and his team are on the right path to allow for a wide range of risk aversion in their player base. Time will tell.
In the meantime I would challenge those who are so vehemantly opposed to PvP that they try to expand their thinking a bit.
I think there's two possible scenerios that could occur given diverse racial options.
1> There are several options but they're just cosmetic in nature..because in MMO terms there's very little hard coded variables that could be tweaked.
2> There are a several options and they all have large impacts across many facets of the players experience.
I believe 1 is what most MMOs end up like, even with FEW racial options. As for 2 I think one has to consider the cost/benefit of devoting resources to that level of variance based on a racial choice.
I personally think the cost is too high to really flesh out races in a significant and meaningful way in a MMO. Despite being a key component in RPGs there's just better places to offer complexity in a MMO, IMHO.
BTW, for a RPG that really does a nice job of making race important and not just a few bonus stats pick up a copy of Legacy of Heroes, http://thelegacyofheroes.com/
Anyhow, in an MMO I'd rather have my choices during play be more impactful than my choices at character creation...so I'm ok with minimal to no real impact based on race.
Editing to add: To answer the OPs question. Can PFO do this? Sure. But at what cost? I personally would rather see efforts towards customization not be racial/or cultural in nature and more based on choices my character makes in game.
I'm not sure I understand the value of "understanding how to play."
MMOs like RPGs have reasonably gentle learning curves...in fact in a lot of ways there's nothing really to "learn". You just do.
That's been my experience with MMOs all the way back to MUDs and with RPGs all the way back to the red-box D&D.
The setting is the Pathfinder world. I think there's value in that, but not in a way that would isolate people who don't RPG in that world, OR give advantage to those who do.
I guess I'd have one question, then one suggestion.
Question: What game purpose does this serve? In general I'm against mechanics that don't serve a very specific need OR offer more options to the player. This clearly doesn't fit the latter category so what's the need?
Suggeston: IF such a mechanic were to be implemented I would suggest a certain suite of skills should never cost fatigue. Furthermore I'd expand on that idea and suggest as characters get more powerful in certain areas that their "set" of unfatiguable-skills get larger.
Example. A new mage should have some basic spellcasting ability that causes zero fatigue...but an advanced high level mage may be able to cast much more powerful spells with no fatigue in addition.
But even with that suggestion I think my mind mostly keeps going back to why? Why would we need fatigue?
In general I don't think people want to be or need to be limited in their actions. What is the gameplay upside for this cost of convenience to the player?
I think for the sake of the game mechanics the base resources have to be more or less undepletable. It'd be a trainwreck if for any extended amount of time whole crafting industries were halted...
However, having said that. I think there are two interesting mechanics that could arise from resource scarcity.
1> Uniqueness of resource nodes. We saw a form of this in SWG...each time a minable area was newly spawned (and yes the spawns kept coming endlessly) the "stats" of that ore were randomly determined. I personally think the stats should be a little less random and a little more influenced by their relative location in the world to areas of danger/safety. But those things can all be tweaked...the core idea is that you CAN run out of a specific resource but NOT a resource type. This can create some really interesting specific markets without disrupting the overall market.
2> The idea mentioned above of some sort of "counter harvesting" mechanic. Wherein players have some sort of ability to regenerate a worlds resource. The most obvious of which would be druidic magic and plant life resources. But I'm sure with a little work more could be thought of. The idea of "discovering" a resource node is one thing..the idea of "creating" a resource node where none existed is quite another. Perhaps a high level miner would be able to "unearth" new veins of ore in a previously emptied location.
The question is, what ratios of removal/world respawn/player forced respawn exist. Could a particularly awesome metal be rare enough to spike a market? I hope so. Could a world drop in a base resource force the player base to actively attempt to reestablish the finding/gathering market for that resource? Again, I think it'd be cool.
All very interesting things to consider. <fingers crossed> that the system, whatever it is, that is put in place is robust enough to handle these types of ideas.
But you're not understanding the term "risk" as it's being applied here.
The risk you are thinking about is the risk that you'll not be their customer.
The risk he's talking about is that they won't have as many customers as they want/need.
Those two things are not equivalent.
In a model where they don't expect even a fraction of the AAA title's initial subscribers after a YEAR of being live the loss of interest by some people is not the risk it is when a million+ subscription model is at work.
PFO is clearly not trying to beat WoW at their own game. They're trying to make a NEW mode of game that fills a gap in current gaming. If they're successful there will be a whole new world in which these kinds of games can and will be made and NOT have the expectations that have KILLED some really good games in the post WoW world. Because mMOs will be dominant over MMOs...
I may have it wrong but that's my take.
The best thing PFO can do (IMHO) is be an AMAZING game for a MUCH smaller player base than the current AAA MMO market. It will change the way game design happens from that point on. If the other people not in that smaller player base lose interest then so be it. The idea is to be successful financially and create a new form of gaming. If that happens then more and more of these mMOs will arise and people will have plenty of options.
I personally see PFO as more like a mMO model that makes them successful with 50,000 players instead of a MMO with 300,000 players that is financially sinking because they NEED 500,000.
So why can't markets and shops co-exist with a global auction house system in PFO? It seems to work ok in other games.
The simple answer is this.
A global auction house would destroy the idea of value = rarity + distance.
This is something a lot of MMOs completely ignore but is CRITICAL to a sandbox style economy.
Now, I'm ALL for being able to create/buy/craft/commission an automated vendor/storefront/commission system that will be open 24/7 whether I'm on or not. That's absolutely fine because I still need to stock that vendor by getting the goods to that location, and people need to get to the vendor to purchase the goods.
But the idea of global auction houses RUIN that aspect of the game. You just go to the auction "terminal" and get whatever you want from wherever you want. It destroys a whole component of the item's value.
Think about what drives value in the real world economy. Beyond the intrinsic value of the components of a finished good, the ability to AQUIRE that good drives the price.
Global auction houses diminish that effect. Bad for the economy. Bad for the game. Always has been always will be.
It's just not as important in non-sandbox games because economys just aren't very important or vital to the success of the game.
Count me in as a fan of the early SWG crafting/resource system. LOVE.
If resources could be as compex and varied as that system I'd have to think there'd be a lot of room for some pretty cool markets to arise.
I think this is possiby the most legitimate concern about the entire business model of PFO.
I have friends that are unwilling to get excited about it because they don't want to even "want" to play a game that they may not be able to get into right away.
That's a legitimate position to take.
I think there's a key point that needs to be remembered. This is NOT the AAA MMO business model at work. IMHO what Ryan Dancey et al are trying to do is BREAK that mold and forge through to a new model of less expensive/faster design and development potentially opening the world to MANY games like this rather than 1 MMO trying to rule them all.
Stop thinking SWTOR and think big Pathfinder (or D&D or Legacy of Heroes...whichever you prefer) Home game.
Obviously PFO will be in the middle somewhere, far far greater than 8 people around a table in my basement, but far far smaller than the millions of subscriptions SWTOR got on their opening day.
Now, one COULD say my tabletop game is so exclusive that no one who wants to play can...sure...but not a lot of people are insisting to play MY game, because they can start their own easily enough.
Again, I think we'll find a middle ground here...PFO may be the first of MANY PFOs. And other mMOs that adopt this new business model.
I can imagine a second PFO server would be an ENTIRELY different gaming experience after a year or so of player involvement.
The potential is huge. IF they can solve for the "initial landrush", the "initial surge in players wanting to play" and the "wanting to play with people we know".
If they can get over that hurdle...this could change the way online games are made and played.
mMORPG not MMORPG.
I for one can't wait. But if I have to...then so be it.
Kradlum hit it on the head.
There is absolutely no way they won't produce at least 10Xs the number of these maps as they need to fullfill the kickstarter numbers.
Probably more than that...
I imagine we'll see these come onto the market not long after everyone from the kickstarter has theirs at a reasonably competative price. (competative to what was paid for the kickstarter-so they'll likely be bundled with the book)
I would suggest companies with sufficient funds would best use their economic prowess by hiring twitch, circle-strafing, warriors who know how to kill things in an MMO.
The rich don't need to get their hands dirty.
ORRR...in 2.5 years, 2 hours and one minute, the game is invigorated bu the 99% of the players seeking justice from the few thieves who stole so much from them. I personally can envision a game dynamic enough to support a very robust set of tools for satisfaction.
Re: the "really interesting online communities" portion.
I think PFO has two things going in it's favor.
1> Small player population, relatively gradual ramp up in numbers. This will allow people to know each other and interact on a more personal level from the beginning. Rather than as we currently see in HUGE AAA title releases where people need to find each other often prior to release to establish groups etc...
2> Tools to build a community. Many MMOs currently have some sort of "housing" mechanic, or a guid chat feature, or a guild bank location. But the tools beyond that to really make an impact in the game and form groups just doesn't really exist. Groups are basically for killing raid mobs. If PFO delivers how I hope it will this won't be the case. There will be TONS of solid ways of interacting with each other and forming groups for activities bigger than themselves or some raid boss. Anyone who played MUDs back in the day knows how powerful being able to really interact with one's environment can be. I played a MUD back in the early 90s that STILL to this day has my character's guild hall, my personal room, our custom keys (an actual in game object ours was a wolves fang)to the hall, descriptions of the art and objects in the rooms, descriptions of a portrait of our founding members...
By being a sandbox game I believe there is a very real opportunity to establish a strong community early in the game's release.
The biggest question in my mind is can they deliver that initial game with a sustainable financial model? IF they can do that...<fingers crossed> I have little worries about how the community and the gaming world will embrace this game.
Robert Cameron wrote:
IMHO it's not a matter of being "held hostage". It's simple cost/benefit analysis. Is the gaming industry best served by conducting itself in a mature and professional manner? Or is the industry best served by assuming an "anything goes" approach and giving the finger to those people who don't agree?
I am VEHEMANTLY against any form of censorship. This is not censorship in my opinion. This is good business.
I've played some campaigns where just about every horror imaginable occurs, language would have been the absolute smallest offense to even the most adult of ears. But I would NEVER suggest a game COMPANY present their material in that manner.
Want to swear in an MMO? Get a vent channel, open it up to your friends. Say whatever you want.
But it's my opinion a MMO design/development company shouldn't go down that path. It ONLY serves to hurt their interests.
And at the end of the day, their interests are our interests.
You know who makes good MMOs? Successful MMO companies.
Deane Beman wrote:
I'll take that bet. You can feel free to contribute or raise your contribution to the kickstarter accordingly. (I'm personally in for $100)
Never played, owned, or even read a Pathfinder product.
I'm an old school D&D player. My last gaming groups DM wrote and produced his own RPG which I'm very happy with.
And although I think anyone in my gaming group could throw together some very tight dungeon design materials on their own, I look forward to the source material being developed by such an all star cast of writers.
I'm hopeful the 200k mark is hit, for RPGers. But I'm MOST excited and supportive of the MMO that Ryan and Lisa are working to make happen. I've been to several talks/panels where Ryan speaks at GenCon over the years and I'm convinced he's the right guy to deliver what I've been wanting in an MMO for as long as I've been playing them...in fact since the EARLY 90s when I was playing MUDs.
And yes, I know full well Ryan Dancey's experience and credentials. I apparently have a very different viewpoint regarding them than some people do.
I'm not sure I definte "mature" in the same terms as the OP.
I've been gaming since 1978 with both the red-box and then with much pleading the AD&D books as fast as they were printed and I could get my hands on them.
I was born in 1972.
I'll give the "mature" audience a moment to do the math.
Yeah, I was 6. And I LOVED it. And I was passionate about it. And I took it seriously. And it became a lifelong hobby. And yes, demons were featured, so were boobs on the illustrations, but the material was professional and mature without excessive inappropriate language or the types of graphic stuff seen in some MMO chat these days.
Here's how I come down on this issue.
It's not about YOU. It's just not. You can want to be selfish and frankly immature and stomp your feet and cry "I should be able to say and do anything I want!!!...WHAAA!!!"
But games, MMO, tabletop, and all of them when produced by reputable AAA companies and leadership are bigger than you.
They're about the community. They're about introducing the next generation to gaming. They're about being a responsible member of society and a positive influence on our youth.
I remember the years of church funded book burnings. I remember my mom getting a call from my best friend's mom telling her that I could no longer play with him any more. I remember the hate.
This industry needs to be responsible. This industry needs to hold itself to a higher standard than most. Why? So we don't repeat the past.
So before you INSIST that you get to swear in a game. Or own slaves. Or whatever else you want to do...consider is it worth cutting off the next generation from the gaming we were priviledged enough to grow up with?
If there's one thing at 40 that I've learned about my hobby it's that those of us who enjoy gaming have a responsibility to pass that enjoyment and passion to the next generation. So if a company has to have a policy that curtails my specific vision of the game a bit to accomplish that...so be it.
Editing to add: #2 is bunk btw.
I guess i see 120% and just assume that will be considered the "actual" 100%. Peak being max... max being 100%.
There is no such thing as 120% effectiveness. Let's all just agree to drop that terminology. It's not just what people would "think" it's reality.
Maximum effectiveness is 100%. If you go beyond that, that new number becomes 100%. Period. No other way to look at the math.
It's my suggestion that by using 120% and then talking about decay only affecting that last 20% there's a somewhat deceptive implication that decay is not "real". But in fact it is.
I hear what Nihimon is saying. I just disagree. Below maximum is below 100%. It's functionally decay.
I'm not in favour of the idea that anyone can do anything independant of any of their previous choices. Once you go down a path so far I think the character really shouldn't be able to "un-do" those learnings in exchange for other learnings. But that's my opinion.../shrug
I agree with most of your points, but there's one time where they break down. And that's in the PvP part of the game. When people are face to face in direct competition VERY little matters beyond those "Attack Power" things. The intangible advantages that come with experience melt away and the pure stats really start to come into play.
I'm not saying make the pure stats the end all be all...but I am saying it's something to consider when the issue of ability decay comes into play.
There are common practices in some MMOs that exacerbate this issue because they reward the "current" play heavier than the net play. I'd just warn against things that reward new players at the expense of people who have been around and played for a long time.
I think a combination is possible. But I'd offer this thought for consideration.
Faction or Alignments that are driven through grindable actions/activities lose their impact and meaning.
Regardless of which (or both) are chosen if they're just another stat to grind in one direction or another to suit your needs then they're really just a time sink and not really a game mechanic.
I'd prefer a game mechanic, where one's actions have impactful results and that recovering from those impacts would be very very difficult.
Example. I murder someone. It's going to literally take years (if ever) for me to recover from that action. Now granted in games like these where all players are essentially murderous sociopaths (go kill 40 Xs and come back to me for 1silver---sure thing!) murder is likely to be "less" impactful..but you get my point.
There needs to be REAL weight behind alignment OR faction. Not the EQ model grind whichever faction you want type of system.
I disagree. Strongly.
Ability decay IS arbitrary. The rate of the decay is just picked out of the air. Why should I lose 1% effectiveness after one day, or 10 days, or 100 days? Or 10% effectiveness, or 20%.
Why should a player with 5 years played who takes 2 months off for RL issues come back to a game effectively gimped relative to players who are 2 weeks old but been playing like maniacs for those 2 weeks?
I think accomplishments in character advancement NEED to be tangible, and sustained. To not have that in place diminishes the accomplishments in the first place. And with diminished goals, why bother achieving?
Editing to add: As far as other game mechanics you label as "arbitrary" I'd suggest they're just sound game design.
There NEEDS to be cost/benefit applied to all game structures. Player abilities are one of those structures. And without upper bounds as to what you can and cannot learn and use there would be no feasable means of applying a fair and balanced cost.
Re Armor & Casting for instance. There are LOTS of RP reasons for this that have arisen over the years but the fact is in the begining it was just a cost/benefit equation. Armor gave higher defenses necessary to be engaged in melee combat. Casting allowed for higher upper end power and required a physical weakness to offset that power advantage. Hence, high ACs for casters (high being bad back in the day).
I'm all for out of the box thinking when it comes to character design and class choices, but "hybrid" classes and the things that arise with NO limitations building are often VERY VERY problematic in game design. And one must tread very carefully when opening those doors.
But the alternative is equally as risky (and frustrating). Let's say you spend 5 years in an MMO playing the game and advancing your character. Should some new player day 1 be a threat to you? With no investment of time. No effort. Just some twitch skills and being in the right place at the right time? What about day 30? Or even day 300? Where is that line drawn?
Now I'm not saying, he with the most grind time uber alles. But I do think there's a balance between rewarding those who have invested in the game and making entry to play engaging and fun. Without that there is little incentive to invest that time.
The Vancian magic system would never work in a real time combat engine.
As compelling as it is from a storytelling perspective in PnP games, I believe this is the important take home point when looking at spellcasting in an MMO.
I am in favour of some sort of spell component dependancy though. I think this intertwines casting with the resources in the game and more connections there onyl serves to strengthen the player interaction.
I think what's most exciting about this contract rather than quest game mechanic is that the potential flags used to create different contracts are virtually unlimited.
Perform action X in location Y. Or to player Z. Or to item P. Or to NPC Q.
SO many options....
Imagine these contracts in real use though.
There are likely to be players who need, lets say for materials harvesting purposes, to be somewhere where they are unable to fully protect themselves. They will need to get people to help them in those areas. I think it's fully reasonable for the game to have a mechanic that enables that person to a> insure their protection and b> insure they are properly rewarded.
I agree RL is important, but there ARE people in game who will be willing to say "yes, for 5 units of stuff, I'll watch your back for an hour". And if that player can't fulfill his end of the bargain he really shouldn't be rewarded. That's what the system is for.
Sounds perfectly solid to me. One would assume a culture of "tipping" etc would arise for partial contract fullfillment, and things like that that may arise in the normal course of play. But the contract system at the very least will insure the core delivery will happen and if not then the consumer of that delivery will have no loss.
But to add to comments made on the loan contracts. I think it is CRITICAL that the "penalty" portion of a contract not being fullfilled should rest upon the shoulders of the contract giver.
This would enable situations where RL interferes to be "excused" by the contract giver if he so chose. And in the case of friendly contracts, something I see as very likely to happen often, amongst people who know each other this would solve that issue you're concerned about.
I think the key issue is that you're contracted to kill a "legally" innocent. They may have harmed the person posting the contract, but in the eyes of the law they're innocent and therefore killing them is a crime.
If they weren't innocent, then it'd just be a case of killing a criminal, not an assassination.
OP: I understand your thoughts. I personally hate the zoning and running through orbital stations just to get to a planet when I have a starship of my own.
But one thing to keep in mind. Distance can ONLY be percieved in an MMO via time spent to travel from a to b. Without distance there's no world.
Furthermore, several economic drivers require distance between locations. This distance can create material markets due to the transport times. (Frankly I'd love to see freight economys like a very successful MUD named Medievia has)
Anyhow, my point is time to travel when it's pointless is annoying. Time to travel when it has a purpose MAY be annoying for some, but it can be rewarding and create a much more rich and engaging world for others.
Chris Lambertz wrote:
The newest Goblinworks blog entry is up! Discuss this entry, Adventure in the River Kingdoms, here.
I am particularly excited about the goal of what appears to be dynamic spawning PvE. I can definitely see a lot of appeal around the actions of a deep wilderness harvesting crew. The harvesting itself and the resultant trade economy benefits, the support staff for security and stability in the region, those counter players who are determined to take advantage of other players who are cut off from their usual full support system, and then the unaffialited who are just there for the npc action.
A lot of this game harkens back to the days of some of the better MUDs. And for many many years I've been waiting/hoping for a MMO to capture the feel of MUD'ing back in the early 90's; Medievia comes to mind in particular.
Which brings me to a quesion about scope. Has there been any discussion about distances and how the perception of distance is achieved through travel times?
One of the cooler game mechanics I've ever seen was in a MUD where resources could be traded from location to location on varying sizes of trade transports. But the key that drove the markets was that the resources had to be moved from A to B on ground with no fast travel, one step at a time. This drove a real'ish economy between locations based upon their distances from one another.
I can see something like that fitting in REALLY well to a system like what has been described so far.
Very interesting stuff. Can't wait.