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RPG Superstar 2015

The Dark of Night


Pathfinder Online

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Can we please return darkness to the mmorpg genre? I mean real darkness not this constant twilight that present in today's mmo's? In EQ, I remember the exhilaration of going to places like Kithicor Forest, The Feerott and Innothule Swamp (as a human) and not being able to see much more than 5 feet in front of me. Was it terrifying at times? Sure, but I'd had friends with spells or night vision that would act as my guide so I could make it from place to place, and sometimes without dying!

There seems to be a big push on this board to suppress any idea's that would make PFO somewhat difficult. Some of my fondest memories from EQ where the challenges that were presented to me, corps runs, loss exp from dying, being blind as a bat at night, finding yourself suddenly at the bottom of Befallen, glorious 40 gnoll trains in Blackburrow. It's these challenges that build memories, form friendships and alliances and for me make a great game. I also played EQ2 for a short while and the EQ2 dev team did a wonderful job with developing a night vision and dark vision system but then went on to make it useless by making night time not dark but twilight… you know like their competitor WoW. We’re going to have races that have low-light vision in PFO, please can we have it make a difference vs. races that don’t?

There is a market for games were everything isn't just handed to you, it's sad, to me at least, that so many of today’s MMORPG gamers just want a free ride to the end game don't want to have to challenged until they’re there.

Now queue the "easy botton" crew to shout down my suggestion.


Coconuts.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
There is a market for games were everything isn't just handed to you, it's sad, to me at least, that so many of today’s MMORPG gamers just want a free ride to the end game don't want to have to challenged until they’re there.

Oh, I wanna argue with you....just kidding, just want to state something you said a different way that I imagine you will support.

"There is a market for games were everything isn't just handed to you, it's sad, to me at least, that so many of today’s MMORPG gamers just want a free ride to the end game and don't REALIZE that the challenges until they’re there ARE THE GAME."

Thanks!

Goblin Squad Member

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zesty Mordant wrote:
There seems to be a big push on this board to suppress any idea's that would make PFO somewhat difficult.

No, there is a big push to suppress ideas that introduce difficulty to the game by making it more frustrating. Difficulty is fine, if it operates on the game in a way that makes the experience compelling at the same time it makes it challenging. Difficulty that doesn't do anything except simulate an aspect of real life that is inherently frustrating (see: not being able to see anything at night) is a bad idea.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
Zesty Mordant wrote:
There seems to be a big push on this board to suppress any idea's that would make PFO somewhat difficult.
No, there is a big push to suppress ideas that introduce difficulty to the game by making it more frustrating. Difficulty is fine, if it operates on the game in a way that makes the experience compelling at the same time it makes it challenging. Difficulty that doesn't do anything except simulate an aspect of real life that is inherently frustrating (see: not being able to see anything at night) is a bad idea.

Well I'd say you're one of the people that's trying to suppress the idea's of others with blanket statements about why it's not possible or flatly shouldn't even be considered, so I'd expect this response from you. You make no effort to rationalize how it "could" work and just dismiss it as a bad idea. If not being able to see at night is bad, then why don't we just eliminate the night cycles entirely? If you take WoW as an example here, night is very nearly day time anyway.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Well I'd say you're one of the people that's trying to suppress the idea's of others with blanket statements about why it's not possible or flatly shouldn't even be considered, so I'd expect this response from you.

Really? So the in-depth explanations I give as to why a particular idea probably won't be good for the project are just blanket statements, to your mind?

There have been plenty of ideas I've supported.

All that said, you're going to have to do better than, "Exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from you, Scott Betts!"

Quote:
You make no effort to rationalize how it "could" work and just dismiss it as a bad idea.

That's simply false. I've mulled all of these ideas over to try and imagine how they could work without being harmful to the game, and when I can't come up with one I explain why it should be discarded.

If it helps, the project's CTO has popped into multiple threads and voiced acknowledgement that many of the ideas I've criticized probably won't work, often for exactly the reasons I've outlined.

Quote:
If not being able to see at night is bad, then why don't we just eliminate the night cycles entirely?

Because night-time effects are cool. People like seeing stars and exploring zones in a night-time color palette. It's a different ambiance.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber
Scott Betts wrote:

"Exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from you, Scott Betts!"

I'd say what's what I would exactly expect from Scott, but that post would likely get deleted promptly ;-)


Torch management is a pain, a gameplay mechanic that has thankfully gone the way of the dinosaur. Waste of bag space, waste of the character's money, and it's annoying to have limited visibility in a game. It would also be harder for the developers to code than the fake darkness you were complaining about is.

Should they do MORE work because a VOCAL MINORITY wanted a feature that the VAST MAJORITY of gamers hate?

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Gorbacz wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:

"Exactly the sort of thing I'd expect from you, Scott Betts!"

I'd say what's what I would exactly expect from Scott, but that post would likely get deleted promptly ;-)

It's true, the lovin' people expect from me is probably far too steamy to be aired on a public forum.


5 people marked this as a favorite.

I fully support the idea of making darkvision, torches, and magical light sources viable tools again. I sometimes wish the Faydark had been darker.

I also support avoiding fast travel. I very much enjoyed the feeling of distance and size created by the pre-PoK EQ continents. It was great exploring those huge spaces, not just running from point A to B to kill 10 of X monster. I remember how awesome being teleported for the first time was(it made me reroll druid!). There was little else to do in WoW, and the game itself was not compelling enough to encourage this sort of exploration outside of world PvP(which they promptly destroyed) or crafting.

The idea is to implement these challenges with an eye towards making them part of the experience, rather than an arbitrary time/money sink or difficulty increase.

Also Scott: I would like to see an increase in content-to-word ratio in your posts. We get that unfounded difficulty is a poor idea, but why does darkness fall into that category?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Unguided wrote:
Should they do MORE work because a VOCAL MINORITY wanted a feature that the VAST MAJORITY of gamers hate?

Vocal Minority? By my count, and this is with the assumption that KitNyx with me here, two of us are for dark being dark. Two are for Twilight being dark. Ettin is for Coconuts and I'm not sure where Goracz stands for... seems to be a pretty narrow run at this point.

I'm off for thanksgiving part 2, argue with you later.

Edit: Make that 3 for, 2 against.

Goblin Squad Member

caith wrote:
I also support avoiding fast travel. I very much enjoyed the feeling of distance and size created by the pre-PoK EQ continents. It was great exploring those huge spaces, not just running from point A to B to kill 10 of X monster. I remember how awesome being teleported for the first time was(it made me reroll druid!). There was little else to do in WoW, and the game itself was not compelling enough to encourage this sort of exploration outside of world PvP(which they promptly destroyed) or crafting.

The number of players with the Explorer title would argue otherwise.

Quote:
The idea is to implement these challenges with an eye towards making them part of the experience, rather than an arbitrary time/money sink or difficulty increase.

Do you have suggestions as to how that might be handled?

Quote:
Also Scott: I would like to see an increase in content-to-word ratio in your posts. We get that unfounded difficulty is a poor idea, but why does darkness fall into that category?

For a number of reasons:

1) Darkness is visually unexciting. If you invest heavily in art direction (as you ought to), much of that will be lost at night or in any other zone of darkness where you're only able to see out to a certain distance.

2) Darkness is frustrating. It undermines your ability to avoid aggro radii, it prevents you from locating your destination, makes it tough to harvest nodes along the way, discourages exploration, and can potentially leave you stranded (unless portable light sources are automatic).

3) Darkness is unnecessarily punitive to those who play at a set time each day. If you typically play during the daytime hours, your play experience will be less frustrating and more enjoyable than someone who plays primarily at night.

Nighttime should be soothing, mysterious, beautiful, and just as visually exciting as daytime. And, above all, it should be equally accessible.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Vocal Minority? By my count, and this is with the assumption that KitNyx with me here, two of us are for dark being dark. Two are for Twilight being dark. Ettin is for Coconuts and I'm not sure where Goracz stands for... seems to be a pretty narrow run at this point.

One of the defining characteristics of the vocal minority is that they are vocal.

Goblin Squad Member

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Here's the one thing that means that darkness isn't worth building into a game design:

Players can easily run software that will render the surrounding areas as if lit. If a game actually shipped with "meaningful darkness", a player-built patch to remove it would be available within hours. Then the only people who would "suffer" from darkness would be the ones who are unwilling to "cheat", and the "cheaters" would have a huge advantage.

Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero could be done to stop this from happening. (Look up what happened when people figured out you could make the walls transparent in iD games if you're interested in the cat & mouse between developers and those wiling to cheat).

Did you know that World of Warcraft runs a hidden process on your machine that is designed to detect this kind of cheating? It's called "Warden" (you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warden_%28software%29

And even with this, people still hack the heck out of the WoW client.

Ask yourself if you really want Goblinworks to be that creepy, all for the un-achievable goal of making people have to worry about torches, lanterns and light spells.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
3) Darkness is unnecessarily punitive to those who play at a set time each day. If you typically play during the daytime hours, your play experience will be less frustrating and more enjoyable than someone who plays primarily at night.

That's assuming in-game time is mapped directly to real world time, which is not the case in any RPG I've ever played. Usually there's many day/night cycles in-game for every 24 hours real time, so the time you choose to log on and play is completely a non-issue.

Also, count me in as someone who LOVES real darkness in games due to the increased immersion factor. For instance, I installed mods in Morrowind to remove almost all ambient light at night and in dungeons, then had a great time sneaking around in total darkness. Made for fun gameplay decisions about whether to see or not be seen.

Also, totally not an MMO or even an RPG, but Doom3 had some of the best darkness ever.

Goblin Squad Member

Count Buggula wrote:
That's assuming in-game time is mapped directly to real world time, which is not the case in any RPG I've ever played.

You've never played WoW?


Scott Betts wrote:
- The number of players with the Explorer title would argue otherwise. -

Do you have figures on this? Either way, I am certain the number of players with a fully explored map would be considerably less if WoW did not offer a title and XP for it.

Quote:
- Do you have suggestions as to how that might be handled? -

On a case by case basis, for every possible situation? Of course not. As for the task at hand...

Quote:
- 1) Darkness is visually unexciting. If you invest heavily in art direction (as you ought to), much of that will be lost at night or in any other zone of darkness where you're only able to see out to a certain distance. -

I am not certain of the percentage of folks who do not find darkness or the idea of a truly star/moon lit night and pitch black caverns inherently awesome(disregarding, for the moment, the obvious logistical difficulties), but I am sure it is very very low. Darkness is exciting, mysterious, and would encourage players to stay near towns or their abodes at night, or take light with them. I am willing to say "wasting art assets" for the relatively short period between twilights or inside caverns designed for darkness does not provide ample justification.

Quote:
- 2) Darkness is frustrating. It undermines your ability to avoid aggro radii, it prevents you from locating your destination, makes it tough to harvest nodes along the way, discourages exploration, and can potentially leave you stranded (unless portable light sources are automatic). -

During the night all these things would be true. For those with limited time, who are looking for a very specific experience(i.e. grinding out quests/dungeons/gathering), this would represent a reduction of their return on time invested. There are, however, simple solutions. Ideally, the Kingdom system would provide activities in town(crafting, social experiences/events, urban adventures or even dungeons, etc) so that players would be torn between towns and the wilderness/dungeons anyways. I could envision a gaming experience in which days were spent adventuring for some, and evenings were spent in taverns playing games, exploring the city, socializing/carousing, participating in local events, etc, as well as traditional urban adventures. I could envision a world where outlying villages have monsters encroach at night that must be fought off, made harder by the villages lack of access to reliable light sources.

Quote:

- 3) Darkness is unnecessarily punitive to those who play at a set time each day. If you typically play during the daytime hours, your play experience will be less frustrating and more enjoyable than someone who plays primarily at night.

Nighttime should be soothing, mysterious, beautiful, and just as visually exciting as daytime. And, above all, it should be equally accessible. -

Day/night cycles do not have to adhere to real time.

Let's be clear: even Everquest was not *pitch* black. You could see 'mobs' coming in most cases. I am certain a totally black field of vision is not appropriate for this type of game. I am certain that the WoW version of night, though beautiful to be sure, does not represent the pedigree of the game we're talking about here. When was the last time a DM let you walk into a dungeon without a light source? While I am sure the entire game will not be faithfully reproduced word for word, attempting to recreate the experiences of the source material should be their primary concern. Walking into a dungeon with nothing but a torch to light the way will be an experience you will not soon forget.

Goblin Squad Member

caith wrote:
I am not certain of the percentage of folks who do not find darkness or the idea of a truly star/moon lit night and pitch black caverns inherently awesome(disregarding, for the moment, the obvious logistical difficulties), but I am sure it is very very low.

I don't think so. I think that the inability to see where you're going in a game without doing something special (and even then having your visibility curtailed) is probably something that a lot of people would get really annoyed at.

Quote:
Darkness is exciting, mysterious, and would encourage players to stay near towns or their abodes at night,

Why do you want to encourage players to stay at home at night?

Quote:
or take light with them.

Unless that light gives you a lot of visibility, it's not much of a solution for exploring.

Quote:
I am willing to say "wasting art assets" for the relatively short period between twilights or inside caverns designed for darkness does not provide ample justification.

I don't think my side of this argument is in need of justification. It's been done before, and it works fine. Your argument is the one that needs to be justified.

Quote:
During the night all these things would be true. For those with limited time, who are looking for a very specific experience(i.e. grinding out quests/dungeons/gathering), this would represent a reduction of their return on time invested.

Which, therefore, makes this a pretty terrible idea if your goal is to make those experiences as accessible as possible.

Quote:
There are, however, simple solutions. Ideally, the Kingdom system would provide activities in town(crafting, social experiences/events, urban adventures or even dungeons, etc) so that players would be torn between towns and the wilderness/dungeons anyways.

This doesn't strike me as a good solution. This is pretty thin rationalization for a decision that essentially discourages adventuring for some significant chunk of the day.

Quote:
I could envision a gaming experience in which days were spent adventuring for some, and evenings were spent in taverns playing games, exploring the city, socializing/carousing, participating in local events, etc, as well as traditional urban adventures.

I can envision that, too. I can't envision it being terribly popular, though.

Quote:
I could envision a world where outlying villages have monsters encroach at night that must be fought off, made harder by the villages lack of access to reliable light sources.

This is a compelling idea, but it would need to be fleshed out. And, obviously, darkness won't play into it.

Quote:
Day/night cycles do not have to adhere to real time.

Either day/night cycles adhere to real time (in which case this problem rears its ugly head), or day/night cycles are offset (in which case it still rears its head, just for a different group of people), or day/night cycles are significantly shorter than in real life (which stretches credibility and will prove even more frustrating as adventurers are more likely to find themselves unexpectedly contending with darkness, etc., etc.).

Quote:
When was the last time a DM let you walk into a dungeon without a light source?

"When was the last time a DM..." really doesn't have any place in these discussions, and I really wish people would stop bringing it up. This is an MMO. This is not a video game translation of a tabletop RPG.

Quote:
While I am sure the entire game will not be faithfully reproduced word for word, attempting to recreate the experiences of the source material should be their primary concern.

Nope.

Attempting to create a compelling MMO play experience should be their primary concern. Everything needs to be measured against that priority.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ryan Dancey wrote:

Here's the one thing that means that darkness isn't worth building into a game design:

Players can easily run software that will render the surrounding areas as if lit. If a game actually shipped with "meaningful darkness", a player-built patch to remove it would be available within hours. Then the only people who would "suffer" from darkness would be the ones who are unwilling to "cheat", and the "cheaters" would have a huge advantage.

Wow Ryan, just wow! I don't know how much further I want to beat the horse you just killed but I'm not letting you get way with that statement. Cheaters are going to cheat, hackers are going to hack. A hacker that would spend the time hacking the darkness rather than adjusting the brightness/gamma/contrast of their monitor and/or video card isn't a very smart hacker. Who are you making games for? Hackers and cheaters or people that want to play your the way it was designed?

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero could be done to stop this from happening. (Look up what happened when people figured out you could make the walls transparent in iD games if you're interested in the cat & mouse between developers and those wiling to cheat).

Right, and by the logic you listed above iD should have just quite making games with walls, because the walls were the real problem. Or maybe they should have just took their ball and went home?

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Did you know that World of Warcraft runs a hidden process on your machine that is designed to detect this kind of cheating? It's called "Warden" (you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warden_%28software%29)

And even with this, people still hack the heck out of the WoW client.

I think a good portion of WoW players are aware of Warden it's as big of a secret as you seem to think. I'd expect PFO to have something simular.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Ask yourself if you really want Goblinworks to be that creepy, all for the un-achievable goal of making people have to worry about torches, lanterns and light spells.

I don't know, I don't because I'm not sure what kind of game you intend to make PFO. I don't know if PFO is going to be anything more than a gang warfare simulator full of goons and griefers or if it's going to be a Sandbox RPG that's worthy of the Pathfinder name. If it's the former I'd say go for all daylight all the time, if it's going to the later then I absolutely want Goblinworks to make the environment and gameplay immersive.


You know I'm generally on the side of the immersion/verisimilitude crowd (and I really would like to see Lowlight Vision and Darkvision retain their value) but I'm with Ryan on this.

It's apparently a big programming hassle for comparatively little benefit that's easily sidestepped.

Maybe 'real darkness' could be part of the design of specific dungeons or something, to retain some of that feel but keep it out of the primary world?

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Wow Ryan, just wow! I don't know how much further I want to beat the horse you just killed but I'm not letting you get way with that statement. Cheaters are going to cheat, hackers are going to hack. A hacker that would spend the time hacking the darkness rather than adjusting the brightness/gamma/contrast of their monitor and/or video card isn't a very smart hacker. Who are you making games for? Hackers and cheaters or people that want to play your the way it was designed?

Very few people are going to prefer playing it the way it was designed.

A much larger segment is going to make up those players disenfranchised by the inequality created by those with access to the no-darkness patch and those without it.

Goblin Squad Member

The practical application of a true darkness would be more people playing elves and dwarves than humans. By a wide, wide margin. I don't think that helps the game.


deinol wrote:
The practical application of a true darkness would be more people playing elves and dwarves than humans. By a wide, wide margin. I don't think that helps the game.

Which if you look at EQ1 you'd think that what you're saying would have been true, however it wasn't/isn't. Most races in EQ have some type of night vision, High and Wood elves have infra, Iskar infra, Dwarves infra, Halfing and Gnomes infra, Trolls and Ogres infra and Dark elves have ultra. Yet there were still an abundance of Humans, Barbarian (Halasians) and Erudites. I'd say that with the exception of the lack of Dwarves the player base was pretty evenly distributed.

caith wrote:
Let's be clear: even Everquest was not *pitch* black. You could see 'mobs' coming in most cases. I am certain a totally black field of vision is not appropriate for this type of game.

This is exactly right, most zones were far darker than the WoW standard we see today. However, you could still see mobs coming your way and even better with a light source but there were also a few zones that were much darker because of the additional miasma in the area like The Feerott, Innothule Swamp and Nekutlos Forest. Kithicor Forest wasn't a place you wanted to be in after nightfall regardless of your vision type.

I guess I should have made it clearer that I wasn't looking for the whole world in PFO to be as dark as the above listed zones but I would/would've like to have seen PFO go EQ's route when it comes to darkness rather than WoW's.


Scott Betts wrote:
Count Buggula wrote:
That's assuming in-game time is mapped directly to real world time, which is not the case in any RPG I've ever played.
You've never played WoW?

You know, the funny thing here is that I have played WoW and I had to ask my son who's a WoW-head if the night cycle was tied to the real world day/night cycle. As it turns out it is. =/


Scott Betts wrote:

Very few people are going to prefer playing it the way it was designed.

A much larger segment is going to make up those players disenfranchised by the inequality created by those with access to the no-darkness patch and those without it.

Or they'll play a race with low-light vision.... which I believe is far more likely.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Unguided wrote:
Should they do MORE work because a VOCAL MINORITY wanted a feature that the VAST MAJORITY of gamers hate?

Vocal Minority? By my count, and this is with the assumption that KitNyx with me here, two of us are for dark being dark. Two are for Twilight being dark. Ettin is for Coconuts and I'm not sure where Goracz stands for... seems to be a pretty narrow run at this point.

I'm off for thanksgiving part 2, argue with you later.

Edit: Make that 3 for, 2 against.

Yeah, you got my vote...thanks. But I don't want to be misunderstood. I am not for adding realism for the sole sake of realism. Quite the contrary I am for adding complexity and realism when the solution benefits another part of the game.

Why have darkness? Well the solution for most lower level parties is torches. Yes I did see the torch haters...but someone has to make those torches as they are consumed when used. Likewise, why count ammo? Because crafting arrows not only gives some players something to do (crafting arrows) but also contributes to a working economy.

Returning to darkness, I also saw the elf haters, but the fact that some races are innately better than others at seeing in the dark removes this benefit if darkness is removed and this unbalances the races as found in PF...I don't see that as a good idea.

Zesty, in the post I quoted and the one you just made, thank you for being a voice of reason.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

It's apparently a big programming hassle for comparatively little benefit that's easily sidestepped.

My friend, I've never built a video game before in my life, but I find it hard to believe that it's much more difficult than a adjusting slider in the world builder program.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Or they'll play a race with low-light vision.... which I believe is far more likely.

Doesn't that introduce the very problem deinol highlighted?

Goblin Squad Member

KitNyx wrote:
Why have darkness? Well the solution for most lower level parties is torches. Yes I did see the torch haters...but someone has to make those torches as they are consumed when used. Likewise, why count ammo? Because crafting arrows not only gives some players something to do (crafting arrows) but also contributes to a working economy.

You can contribute to a working in-game economy without introducing an entire subsystem that is technically-involved, frustrating to your average player, and harmful to the prolonged success of the project.


Scott Betts wrote:
Zesty Mordant wrote:
Or they'll play a race with low-light vision.... which I believe is far more likely.
Doesn't that introduce the very problem deinol highlighted?

It didn't in Everquest.... but that's the only example I have to go off of. I played a Human because I wanted to play a Monk, but I also had DE Necro. I enjoyed both character and my decision to player either wasn't base on vision type.


Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:

It's apparently a big programming hassle for comparatively little benefit that's easily sidestepped.

My friend, I've never built a video game before in my life, but I find it hard to believe that it's much more difficult than a adjusting slider in the world builder program.

If only.

Goblin Squad Member

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)

Let's not assume that any mechanics from the tabletop RPG translate over intact.


Scott Betts wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)
Let's not assume that any mechanics from the tabletop RPG translate over intact.

I was using the term ranks as an analogy, I didn't intend to mean that these were the exact terms that would be in PFO. My point was that torches aren't a very marketable item. Some people might buy them for the convenience but nobody really needs them.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scott Betts wrote:
KitNyx wrote:
Why have darkness? Well the solution for most lower level parties is torches. Yes I did see the torch haters...but someone has to make those torches as they are consumed when used. Likewise, why count ammo? Because crafting arrows not only gives some players something to do (crafting arrows) but also contributes to a working economy.
You can contribute to a working in-game economy without introducing an entire subsystem that is technically-involved, frustrating to your average player, and harmful to the prolonged success of the project.

Wrong...torches will be highly in demand. Which means the crafters will be able to make money, which means the reed/wood, oil, and whatever materials gatherers will be able to make money. Every highly used consumable you phase out in the name of "convenience" will hurt vary large parts of the economy.

Want to remove stuff? Why not the epic magic items that only employ a very few to craft? Trying to get the materials for them "is technically-involved, frustrating to your average player, and [obviously] harmful to the prolonged success of the project."

Goblin Squad Member

Scott Betts wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)
Let's not assume that any mechanics from the tabletop RPG translate over intact.

Well, I suppose this is where a call to realism again helps the system. "Real" torches are not so easy to make and do require skill. Anyone can dip a rag in flammable material but those don't burn very long. Likewise, Water resistant versions can be made with sulfur and lime.


Scott Betts wrote:


If only.

Like I said, I've never built a video game... you seem to be claiming more knowledge on the subject and I'm willing to listen. Could you please elaborate on why it's so much more difficult to move from Twilight level of darkness to a more Everquest-ish level?


KitNyx wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)
Let's not assume that any mechanics from the tabletop RPG translate over intact.
Well, I suppose this is where a call to realism again helps the system. "Real" torches are not so easy to make and do require skill. Anyone can dip a rag in flammable material but those don't burn very long. Likewise, Water resistant versions can be made with sulfur and lime.

If we're being THAT realistic then keep in mind the damage that smoke will do to your lungs while spelunking with legitimate torches in the small chambers/tunnels :P


Zesty Mordant wrote:
My friend, I've never built a video game before in my life, but I find it hard to believe that it's much more difficult than a adjusting slider in the world builder program.

Programming is kind of like that, only the slider is a little gremlin that hates you and his neighbours are jerks.

Goblinworks Founder

Ryan Dancey wrote:

Here's the one thing that means that darkness isn't worth building into a game design:

Players can easily run software that will render the surrounding areas as if lit. If a game actually shipped with "meaningful darkness", a player-built patch to remove it would be available within hours. Then the only people who would "suffer" from darkness would be the ones who are unwilling to "cheat", and the "cheaters" would have a huge advantage.

Nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero could be done to stop this from happening. (Look up what happened when people figured out you could make the walls transparent in iD games if you're interested in the cat & mouse between developers and those wiling to cheat).

Did you know that World of Warcraft runs a hidden process on your machine that is designed to detect this kind of cheating? It's called "Warden" (you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warden_%28software%29

And even with this, people still hack the heck out of the WoW client.

Ask yourself if you really want Goblinworks to be that creepy, all for the un-achievable goal of making people have to worry about torches, lanterns and light spells.

The sad thing is, even though I am all for "meaningful darkness" "permadeath" and a true EvE style sandbox PvP, every counter argument I have seen makes a perfectly valid point.

Not only this, but your post is telling the dirty truth of multiplayer gaming. I know for an extra $15 a month you can subscribe to hacking programs that allow wall hacks, radar hacks and other dirty cheats that will work in MMOs and Multiplayer games. Normally I prefer to just stick my head in the sand and pretend that it doesnt' happen and I can enjoy my game. The sad thing is, the more I think about it, the more I am turned off by multiplayer and MMO gaming. Maybe I should just return to table top and skyrim and hope that Troika get back together to make a decent turned based pathfinder game.

Goblin Squad Member

kyrt-ryder wrote:
KitNyx wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Incidentally torches are a pretty shoddy 'item' to worry about having in the market. It's quite easy to produce makeshift torches on the spot without any ranks in craft at all (though this might require the use of the survival skill...)
Let's not assume that any mechanics from the tabletop RPG translate over intact.
Well, I suppose this is where a call to realism again helps the system. "Real" torches are not so easy to make and do require skill. Anyone can dip a rag in flammable material but those don't burn very long. Likewise, Water resistant versions can be made with sulfur and lime.
If we're being THAT realistic then keep in mind the damage that smoke will do to your lungs while spelunking with legitimate torches in the small chambers/tunnels :P

If that added something to another area of the game, I would agree with you.

Goblin Squad Member

kyrt-ryder wrote:
My point was that torches aren't a very marketable item. Some people might buy them for the convenience but nobody really needs them.
KitNyx wrote:
Wrong...torches will be highly in demand.

I love that I can quote these right next to one another.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:


If only.
Like I said, I've never built a video game... you seem to be claiming more knowledge on the subject and I'm willing to listen. Could you please elaborate on why it's so much more difficult to move from Twilight level of darkness to a more Everquest-ish level?

Technically? It might not be that difficult. Logistically? It will be impossibly tough to make it work properly.

Goblin Squad Member

Scott Betts wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
My point was that torches aren't a very marketable item. Some people might buy them for the convenience but nobody really needs them.
KitNyx wrote:
Wrong...torches will be highly in demand.
I love that I can quote these right next to one another.

Of course, so I am not taken out of context...I am saying it will be in high demand IF the ability for some races to see in the darkness is dependent upon a light source. And of course IF the crafting system is sufficiently developed. If we are all expected to invest in some form of hack or exploit...or if the devs just decide to build the hacks in because "they [read we] are going to do it anyways" well then I guess they wont be.

And I am not sure what argument you are making. Sorry for being dense.


Big +1. I'm midway into playing Amnesia now, and the darkness really amps up the atmosphere. I also love seeing darkness used to full effect, and it really just doesnt work on the tabletop. Virtual tabletops however, can use the darkness and LoS rules to their full effect, and oh-boy are they awesome for it.

Surely this can translate over to a computer game just as easily? I think it'd really add a lot.

Goblinworks Founder

I'm lucky in that my LED monitor has its own dynamic contrast built in. I can play a game with the gamma settings at default and walk into pitch darkness in a Skyrim dungeon and out into blinding snow.

I sometimes forget about it when I'm playing Rift and can't see a damn thing in Iron Tombs or Hammerknell and I have to turn the dynamic setting off so I don't piss off some random pug.


Zesty Mordant wrote:
Can we please return darkness to the mmorpg genre? I mean real darkness not this constant twilight that present in today's mmo's? In EQ, I remember the exhilaration of going to places like Kithicor Forest, The Feerott and Innothule Swamp (as a human) and not being able to see much more than 5 feet in front of me. Was it terrifying at times? Sure, but I'd had friends with spells or night vision that would act as my guide so I could make it from place to place, and sometimes without dying!

I think your idea is the perfect example of what Ryan is talking about in another thread, where something sounds cool, but in practice it just results in every player working around it.

As you noted, you didn't really spend much time stumbling around in the dark; you just had to have access to night vision. So basically it's just a night vision "tax", which doesn't sound super-exciting to me.


Scott Betts wrote:
Logistically? It will be impossibly tough to make it work properly.

Would you please expand upon that?

It worked properly in a 12 years ago EQ. It also works properly in some modern single player games that I can think of. In Oblivion and Fallout "darker night" has been modded in by the community for example. In Amnesia there's a slider that allows you to adjust the darkness to the level the game was designed for. It believe Batman: Arkham Asylum also has that feature. Single player is a whole different animal, I understand that, so we need not get into that.

Goblin Squad Member

Zesty Mordant wrote:
Scott Betts wrote:
Logistically? It will be impossibly tough to make it work properly.
Would you please expand upon that?

Sure. Putting darkness into a game nowadays is not an earth-shattering technical accomplishment. We have pretty good lighting engines.

But that's not the challenge.

The challenge is dealing with the impact that introducing darkness will have on the game. For instance, Ryan Dancey popped in to let you know that the (absolutely necessary) client-side nature of rendering means that darkness will be patched out of the game very easily, leaving those who choose to play with default darkness and those without the knowledge, ability, or inclination to apply the patch at a steep disadvantage compared to those who don't have to deal with darkness. This is merely an example, and one of many that could be given.

When designing a game, it's important to consider the impact of each mechanic on the larger whole. It's like a biological ecosystem; adding or removing a single species can have a tremendous (and sometimes difficult to forecast) impact on the entire system.

Sovereign Court

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I just have to say that it is disappointing to hear that it is technically unfeasible to pull of realistic day/night lighting in an MMO. I'd vastly prefer a more accurate simulation of lighting where torches and light spells are really meaningful, and the difference between races is clearly apparent with the different vision qualities.

Right now my wife and I are playing through Dead Island coop on the 360 and it's perpetually daytime, and that lack of cycling does detract from the immersive quality of the game. Aside from a few rain storms that darking things slightly, it's always a very bright and sunny day. In a game about zombies roaming about everywhere, you'd think having some nighttime wandering terror would add to the game.

I've enjoyed the Fallout games and they go from daylight to night time on a satisfying pace, though even there the nighttime is always a bit too bright, always seeming to feel like a full moon lit night.

Anyway, it is disappointing that trying to solve this is hard to overcome in a competitive virtual space. I'd have thought that an MMO, which has all sorts of opportunities for servers to sense patches would be the answer, but evidently the cheaters ruin things for everyone.

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