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Request: Skill Training Through Usage


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Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:

A win/loss record after the fact for battles between characters with varying numbers of Archetype Merit Badges. That's what I was referring to.

Let's imagine two identical characters with identical gear.

Three scenarios:

1: There's no tactics or strategy involved - two characters just stand toe to toe and slug it out. Should be 50/50

2: Some strategy or tactics but nothing that requires constant player input. Should be weighted towards the better player but not excessively. Maybe 60/40.

3: A constantly evolving battle where the characters are engaged in continuous readjustments and player evaluations of options and execution of tactics throughout the fight. The better player should almost always win.

The above are my ideals but of course nothing is set in stone.

Now if we tried to imagine characters within the whole multi-dimensional matrix of character skill, gear, player skill, and luck, it would be virtually impossible for me to give you a good answer to any generic case. It would be almost totally dependent on the characters, situation and players in question.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

More in line with the topic. How is skill/merit progression going to look?

Its it going to be like, we train a skill like basic swordplay, and then it unlocks an ability related to swords such a sword proficiency that we unlock via merit badges.

Or will it be like we train, fighter level one. Which unlocks multiple fighter related badges?

So basically are we going to train skills one at a time or are we going to train up as character with a wide selection of merit badges to choose from related to our class?

Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
Now if we tried to imagine characters within the whole multi-dimensional matrix of character skill, gear, player skill, and luck, it would be virtually impossible for me to give you a good answer to any generic case. It would be almost totally dependent on the characters, situation and players in question.

I'm not really interested in trying to pin you down to how you'd bet if a Capstoned Fighter and a 10 Merit Badge Fighter were going to fight to the death in a one-on-one duel, without knowing anything else about either of them. However, I'm well aware that it would be possible to study actuarial data about past similar incidents and be able to compute statistical probability. I'm very curious about the general probability, not anyone's ability to predict any particular case.

There has been a lot of discussion, in this thread and elsewhere, that seems to take it for granted that the 20 Fighter would have a 100% probability to win. My understanding of what you and Vic have said is that you don't want the power curve to be that steep.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:


There has been a lot of discussion, in this thread and elsewhere, that seems to take it for granted that the 20 Fighter would have a 100% probability to win. My understanding of what you and Vic have said is that you don't want the power curve to be that steep.

I guess what I'm failing to communicate is that it's not the "levels", but a whole lot of factors that determine such outcomes.

A low skilled PC with a shotgun and good protection vs. a naked high skilled PC with a dagger? The shotgun probably wins most of the time.

A low skilled PC played by a master class player with the same gear as a high skilled PC played by someone who just bought the character on the internet and has no idea how to operate the PC effectively? Probably wins more often than you'd expect, but it's a percentage with a huge +/- variance.

A low skilled PC played by someone roughly as experienced as a similarly equipped but higher skilled PC? Usually loses but does win a meaningful (but low) percentage of the time making the fight risky, not certain for the high skilled PC.

A low skilled PC played by someone roughly as experienced as a better equipped but higher skilled PC? The low skilled PC only wins due to extraordinary luck and it can't be reasonably considered a risk.

A low skilled PC naked with a dagger vs. a high skilled PC with protection and a shotgun? Red paste.

I would contrast this with the tabletop game. In the tabletop game, if a 10th level fighter meets a 1st level fighter, the 1st level PC will always die (unless it can run away somehow). If the high level PC gets its hands on the low level PC, that fight is over.

But the MMO doesn't really have "levels" in the tabletop sense. Your "level" is not the part of your character that defines your power level. "Class levels" represent a PC's dedication to following a certain path of development. It's a reflection of who you are, rather than the definition of who you are. Because there are so many other ways to develop a PC, "levels" can't be definitive; we would literally have to come up with hundreds of "classes" to simulate to track everyone's "levels" in a meaningful way.

The way I would sum up this response is to say that you should not feel safe fighting any opponent (obvious extreme edge cases excluded), but that over time you'll develop the player skill to make good judgements about your chances of success for a given range of character power levels of likely configurations of opponents.

RyanD

Goblin Squad Member

@Ryan, you're not failing to communicate at all. I totally understand that there are a large number of factors that would need to be analyzed in order to predict what's going to happen in any given encounter.

I believe firmly that you've already answered the question that it sounds like I'm asking. And your summary just reinforces that belief.

Whereas certain people are convinced that they'll be able to predict the outcome based solely on the time played, I'm convinced that once a certain threshold of time played is passed, that will be impossible. However, there will still be statistical analysis that could be done after the fact to compare one-on-one fights between two characters, where their respective Time Played form the X and Y axes of a graph. I'm curious to know, eventually, what that graph would look like.

But I'm totally satisfied with this:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
... you should not feel safe fighting any opponent...


Nihimon wrote:

@Ryan, you're not failing to communicate at all. I totally understand that there are a large number of factors that would need to be analyzed in order to predict what's going to happen in any given encounter.

I believe firmly that you've already answered the question that it sounds like I'm asking. And your summary just reinforces that belief.

Whereas certain people are convinced that they'll be able to predict the outcome based solely on the time played, I'm convinced that once a certain threshold of time played is passed, that will be impossible. However, there will still be statistical analysis that could be done after the fact to compare one-on-one fights between two characters, where their respective Time Played form the X and Y axes of a graph. I'm curious to know, eventually, what that graph would look like.

But I'm totally satisfied with this:

Ryan Dancey wrote:
... you should not feel safe fighting any opponent...

The below indicates a level of specialization even deeper than I would have predicted.

Ryan Dancey wrote:
A Fighter that has specialized in being awesome at killing aberrations might suck at killing humanoids - due to skills, gear, and player ability. A player who focuses on PvP might develop a character that sucks as an adventuring companion but be exactly the person you want guarding you when assassins appear.

It's safe to assume the average person who is out there looking to kill other players for the vast majority of their playtime; specialized for PvP, equipped for PvP, is at or in the ballpark of the player skill cap.

So, at player skill cap, as experienced as possible, fully equipped, fully specialized vs X. Your speculative outcome? Mine is that most people aren't a threat to that character/group of like characters unless they are just as specialized, experienced, equipped, skilled, and also on vent/TS.

This is going to be the most common PvP encounter your average player has. Running into a pack of 2-3 PvP specialists ganking them for their stuff in the wildlands.

This is precisely where the concerns voiced here come into the spotlight. In order to enjoy PvP in the game we'd have to specialize just as thoroughly, and gear equivalently. Without some of the proposed systems in place to allow a variation of activities without additional time-sinks or a second account, many players are driven away.

It's why games like SWTOR get you to gear and level cap so fast, and why games like GW2 are rendering them irrelevant in PvP.

If Andius and I want to group up on Saturdays and collect bounties on these guys, we should not have had to exclude the possibility of viably partaking in other activities the rest of the week to make that possible.

/edit: tldr? Marou the mostly offline Bounty Hunter gets bored of the game much quicker than Marou the Adventurer.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
This is going to be the most common PvP encounter your average player has. Running into a pack of 2-3 PvP specialists ganking them for their stuff in the wildlands.

That assumes all sorts of facts not in evidence. Different players will have different experiences of PvP. Players with characters who specialize as soldiers and who play as a part of a large armed force will have a different experience than those who specialize as merchants who rarely leave town.

Being a part of an adventuring group, you may, from time to time, find yourself under attack by highwaymen. Depending on the makeup of your group, that may, or may not, be something you can handle (by fighting or running away). Don't assume that you'll be simply ganked.

Quote:
In order to enjoy PvP in the game we'd have to specialize just as thoroughly

"Enjoy" is a term with loaded meaning. For many, it means "have a good chance to win".

Think of PvP as one of the dangers that enriches the experience of play for everyone, regardless of outcome. Even if you have little chance to win, the mere fact that it might happen will affect your decisions and create options for interesting choices.

Without the threat of PvP, you could optimize your characters in certain ways that will likely result in cookie-cutter builds; boring characters with little variance in experience or outcome from player to player. With the threat of PvP, there are no "perfect builds", because player choice must factor into each decision you make - you will have to decide how much effort to spend on defense, offense, speed, detection, and other factors that interact with the PvP system, and each of those choices will affect how efficient your character is at doing whatever it is that you want it to be doing. You get to make tradeoffs in efficiency vs. ability.

Let me give you an EVE example.

Let's imagine you're a miner. You are planning your skill training and your ship and module purchases.

Are you going to be in mostly high security space, mining low-value ore? You'll want to dedicate everything you can to efficiency of mining. The risk of being ganked is low, but the margins you'll operate at are slim. Diverting resources to offense or defense reduces your margin even further and may make it unprofitable to be a miner.

Are you going into wormhole space in pursuit of medium-value ore? You'll need to be able to defend yourself against Sleeper NPCs who appear to harass you. You may feel the need to be able to scan down an exit by yourself if you're going to be working solo. And you may need to run if PC pirates appear. The cost to prepare for these distractions may be worth it since the resource you're harvesting has a moderate profit margin. Within this matrix of choices are all sorts of profit points that you select based on your personal preferences.

Going down into low-sec in search of high-value ore? Well you'll need to be able to run gatecamps, deal with NPCs and potentially take on random PC pirates who are looking for soft targets. You will want to be able to maximize the rate of harvesting to minimize your exposure to risk which means high-end mining gear. And the fewer trips you make the safer you'll be, which means high-end ships. Again, this results in all sorts of "valid" choices on configuration based on your personal risk assessment of the area, reinforcements on call, profit motive, etc.

Every one of these choices is driven by the potential for PvP. That's an interesting game world. And "interesting" is a proxy for "fun" in this conversation.

RyanD


Ryan Dancey wrote:

Let's imagine you're a miner. You are planning your skill training and your ship and module purchases.

Are you going to be in mostly high security space, mining low-value ore? You'll want to dedicate everything you can to efficiency of mining. The risk of being ganked is low, but the margins you'll operate at are slim. Diverting resources to offense or defense reduces your margin even further and may make it unprofitable to be a miner.

Are you going into wormhole space in pursuit of medium-value ore? You'll need to be able to defend yourself against Sleeper NPCs who appear to harass you. You may feel the need to be able to scan down an exit by yourself if you're going to be working solo. And you may need to run if PC pirates appear. The cost to prepare for these distractions may be worth it since the resource you're harvesting has a moderate profit margin. Within this matrix of choices are all sorts of profit points that you select based on your personal preferences.

Going down into low-sec in search of high-value ore? Well you'll need to be able to run gatecamps, deal with NPCs and potentially take on random PC pirates who are looking for soft targets. You will want to be able to maximize the rate of harvesting to minimize your exposure to risk which means high-end mining gear. And the fewer trips you make the safer you'll be, which means high-end ships. Again, this results in all sorts of "valid" choices on configuration based on your personal risk assessment of the area, reinforcements on call, profit motive, etc.

These examples are poor, to you they say diversify; to the people that actually play Eve they say run multiple accounts or remain ultra-specialized but join a large corp, or option 3: "Great ideas but this game isn't for me because I don't want to run multiple accounts or join a large corp". Most players fall into category 3.

/edit: It's easy to look at the 3+ accounts the more successful miners in Eve have and say *kaching!*, but the dollar signs are a lie. It could have easily been 50 real player accounts were the system better designed.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Marou_ wrote:
Ryan Dancey wrote:

Let's imagine you're a miner. You are planning your skill training and your ship and module purchases.

Are you going to be in mostly high security space, mining low-value ore? You'll want to dedicate everything you can to efficiency of mining. The risk of being ganked is low, but the margins you'll operate at are slim. Diverting resources to offense or defense reduces your margin even further and may make it unprofitable to be a miner.

Are you going into wormhole space in pursuit of medium-value ore? You'll need to be able to defend yourself against Sleeper NPCs who appear to harass you. You may feel the need to be able to scan down an exit by yourself if you're going to be working solo. And you may need to run if PC pirates appear. The cost to prepare for these distractions may be worth it since the resource you're harvesting has a moderate profit margin. Within this matrix of choices are all sorts of profit points that you select based on your personal preferences.

Going down into low-sec in search of high-value ore? Well you'll need to be able to run gatecamps, deal with NPCs and potentially take on random PC pirates who are looking for soft targets. You will want to be able to maximize the rate of harvesting to minimize your exposure to risk which means high-end mining gear. And the fewer trips you make the safer you'll be, which means high-end ships. Again, this results in all sorts of "valid" choices on configuration based on your personal risk assessment of the area, reinforcements on call, profit motive, etc.

These examples are poor, to you they say diversify; to the people that actually play Eve they say run multiple accounts or remain ultra-specialized but join a large corp, or option 3: "Great ideas but this game isn't for me because I don't want to run multiple accounts or join a large corp". Most players fall into category 3.

/edit: It's easy to look at the 3+ accounts the more successful miners in Eve have and say *kaching!*, but the dollar signs are a...

There are people who mine solo in 0.0. You don't see them often, because they choose to mine solo in areas where other people aren't. They also don't participate much in the great grand forum aspect of the game, because they are solo players.

If ganking becomes too common, party size will increase, carried items will decrease, and PvP specialized bodyguards and sleeper agents will become more common. All of those factors will make ganking less profitable and thus less common, either in a cyclical manner or until an equilibrium is (briefly) reached. Additionally, changes can be made to the game to make highway robbery more or less profitable and thus common.


DeciusBrutus wrote:
If ganking becomes too common, party size will increase, carried items will decrease, and PvP specialized bodyguards and sleeper agents will become more common. All of those factors will make ganking less profitable and thus less common, either in a cyclical manner or until an equilibrium is (briefly) reached. Additionally, changes can be made to the game to make highway robbery more or less profitable and thus common.

Thats a very idealistic idea of how things work out that is not too consistent with what reality in games looks like.

More likely Mary started playing with Bob and John. Bob and John are off 40 miles away doing something they started while Mary was still at work, she gets ganked 5 times in a row trying to get over to them, gets frustrated calls for help in guild, 20 minutes later one person arrives, and they both get ganked over and over. Mary is pissed and ragequits. Bob quits a week later cause she's his wife, and John quits because even though they were all a part of some chartered company/guild/whatever the only people he really played with on a regular basis were Bob and Mary.

The scenario of them getting killed over and over as a group while they try to do something they want to do by a lesser number (perhaps 2) of ultra-specialized chars would probably result in the same effect more simultaneously, but I digress.

There could be zero reward for killing players and it's still far more entertaining than killing AI. So, it's fairly safe to assume those *normal* players won't be there to begin with.

What you are left with in all pvp-centric systems is not people that act as you describe. How they behave is not very RP friendly either, heh.

---------------------------------

Again though, none of this addresses the perverse incentive to carry multiple subscriptions, or ultra-specialize in a single activity in order to compete with powergamers who do. This thread is about the flaws of a time-based advancement system like Eve's, which in many ways is far worse than the flaws in a standard system for the gamers that fall somewhere between casual and hardcore. They game every day, but work, will tire of a single activity, and aren't going to carry 3 accounts.

If we can't agree that there is a problem the suggestions are wasted breath, huh?

Goblin Squad Member

DeciusBrutus wrote:
If ganking becomes too common, party size will increase, carried items will decrease, and PvP specialized bodyguards and sleeper agents will become more common. All of those factors will make ganking less profitable and thus less common, either in a cyclical manner or until an equilibrium is (briefly) reached. Additionally, changes can be made to the game to make highway robbery more or less profitable and thus common.

My #1 hope for the game is that settlement/hex ownership rules are relaxed *and* complex. Complex enough that a PC settlement can encourage non-citizens to work the settlement mines, with some fraction of the ore automatically collected as a tax. In return, the settlement cadres (specialized to hunt humanoids and engage in PvP) keep the PK types away.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Marou_ wrote:
DeciusBrutus wrote:
If ganking becomes too common, party size will increase, carried items will decrease, and PvP specialized bodyguards and sleeper agents will become more common. All of those factors will make ganking less profitable and thus less common, either in a cyclical manner or until an equilibrium is (briefly) reached. Additionally, changes can be made to the game to make highway robbery more or less profitable and thus common.

Thats a very idealistic idea of how things work out that is not too consistent with what reality in games looks like.

More likely Mary started playing with Bob and John. Bob and John are off 40 miles away doing something they started while Mary was still at work, she gets ganked 5 times in a row trying to get over to them, gets frustrated calls for help in guild, 20 minutes later one person arrives, and they both get ganked over and over. Mary is pissed and ragequits. Bob quits a week later cause she's his wife, and John quits because even though they were all a part of some chartered company/guild/whatever the only people he really played with on a regular basis were Bob and Mary.

The scenario of them getting killed over and over as a group while they try to do something they want to do by a lesser number (perhaps 2) of ultra-specialized chars would probably result in the same effect more simultaneously, but I digress.

There could be zero reward for killing players and it's still far more entertaining than killing AI. So, it's fairly safe to assume those *normal* players won't be there to begin with.

What you are left with in all pvp-centric systems is not people that act as you describe. How they behave is not very RP friendly either, heh.

---------------------------------

Again though, none of this addresses the perverse incentive to carry multiple subscriptions, or ultra-specialize in a single activity in order to compete with powergamers who do. This thread is about the flaws of a time-based advancement system like Eve's, which in many...

You missed the part where all the players who don't learn mitigation methods ragequit or learn, leaving only players who know how to play in a game with open PvP. The players who only gank gradually have their equipment wear out, as they now receive on average a net loss. They get bored/frustrated and leave, providing more space for permanoobs who become entertaining targets for robbery...

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:


These examples are poor, to you they say diversify; to the people that actually play Eve they say run multiple accounts or remain ultra-specialized but join a large corp, or option 3: "Great ideas but this game isn't for me because I don't want to run multiple accounts or join a large corp". Most players fall into category 3.

You are incorrect in all respects. The examples are based on actual player behavior. You may not like these choices, but the fact that they are choices creates an engaging and interesting game world. The proof of the success of that design is in the fact that it's the only MMO that has grown consistently year over year for more than 7 years. Clearly, CCP is doing something right.

RyanD


Ryan Dancey wrote:
Marou_ wrote:


These examples are poor, to you they say diversify; to the people that actually play Eve they say run multiple accounts or remain ultra-specialized but join a large corp, or option 3: "Great ideas but this game isn't for me because I don't want to run multiple accounts or join a large corp". Most players fall into category 3.

You are incorrect in all respects. The examples are based on actual player behavior. You may not like these choices, but the fact that they are choices creates an engaging and interesting game world. The proof of the success of that design is in the fact that it's the only MMO that has grown consistently year over year for more than 7 years. Clearly, CCP is doing something right.

RyanD

Yet CCP acknowledges those flaws, just like all the players do, and all the people I game with (30+, guild since '99 or so). So, they are working in non-skill based activities for World of Darkness they are calling "Coffeeshop Elements".

Regardless I appreciate your time and response. I like knowing what to expect and where PFO stands in relation to other things I'm looking forward to. I will convey the info to other interested people I game with.

A fantasy game with a relatively straight forward clone of Eve's restrictive time-based skill system has some appeal to me, it's just much less than I'd consider ideal. It also ironically leaves CCP's next gen P&P based MMO in a more promising position than this P&P based MMO with respect to what I'm looking forward to.

Goblin Squad Member

@Marou

PFO will be an MMO based off the Pathfinder World, it will have nothing to do with PnP.

Also I understand your concerns, but hundreds of thousands of players continue to play EVE even with restrictions of time based advancement.

If GW can design a sandbox game with plenty of PvE content, a robust crafting mechanic, ample amount of non-combat features, exploration with rich enviroments and PvP with a purpose, I don't think you will be starved or restricted in the amount of enjoyed in PFO.

It seems like your focusing to much on what you can't do instead of what you can do, let's see what GW creates for us first then base are opinions on how much fun it is or isn't.

Lantern Lodge

Some reasons I dont want real-time based skills and why the below advantages are not so much.

Andius wrote:


I think the main upsides to a time based system vs. a skill use system is that:

1.It doesn't give a HUGE advantage to people with no responsibilities and social lives that do nothing but sit and play the game ALL day long.

2. It allows a player to enjoy their time more. In a usage = skill game, someone who wants to be a warrior will feel forced to go out and fight things to further this goal. Every minute spent doing something like role-playing, exploring, talking in taverns etc. is considered "Lost XP." Having the pressure of XP gains lifted from your shoulders really allows you to stop, smell the roses, and enjoy the game a lot more.

3. While it doesn't balance a party of players who all started at different times it DOES balance out players who all join at the same time and devote an equal amount of time to training their combat skills.

1. Is already being looked at from other angles making this mostly redundant.

2. Requireing one to use a skill does not mean that one has to perform mindless and repetitive tasks, ie, fable 3 allows top lvl spells to be cast regardless of skill, it just takes longer at lower lvls of skills. Mabinogi is another example. Besides a game doesnt force you to lvl quickly, some players just care more about that then others.

3. this should read "...DOES balance out players who all join at the same time regardless of the amount of time spent training their combat skills." How often does this actually come up? Less often now that low skill chars are supposed to be more viable with high skill chars.

--------

in addition, suppose I get a 3day weekend and I want to spend time playing this game,

if use based skills then I can actually lvl up and progress my char that weekend

but with RT based skills I dont progress anymore then I would have on a normal weekend, there is no feeling of progress despite increased play time.

and that is what I dislike the most, not that I want to max out as quickly as possible but rather because I want actually progress my char during those occasional marathons or there isnt any point in running a marathon and I might as well play for an hour then play something else regardless of time available.

-----

suggestion for compromise between the two, have skill lvl and skill proficiency, lvl increases based on time but proficiency increases with use, one would raise options for that skill and the other would raise success rate or cost of that skill. One fighter who plays often would be able to hit more often then a casual player but couldnt hit any harder or use specials that require higher RT.

OR you could just go by time played instead of time since joined. That would make a Marathon disirable again as the massive jump in play time ( 48 hrs in three days instead of the normal 10-30 per week)

Lantern Lodge

Note, I dont expect a change from GW but debating this points out things that might get improved by other methods, not mention I would like to be a game designer someday and this is good research. besides I am tired of people pointing out great upsides that are really just minor (gameplay-wise)


DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Note, I dont expect a change from GW but debating this points out things that might get improved by other methods, not mention I would like to be a game designer someday and this is good research. besides I am tired of people pointing out great upsides that are really just minor (gameplay-wise)

I always wanted a huge fantasy sandbox, like a cross between the Sims, Skyrim, and Minecraft, where you could jump in and do anything you wanted within the context of the world and the systems available. The game wouldn't have to have levels, although it could. If it does have a level or skill system respec'ing should be relatively easy and free but accessible only at specific places (like your home). It'd haveto be very large to allow everyone to carve out their own space without instancing. Much of it would likely be procedurally generated and subject to player terra-forming.

Having a bunch of different gear and crafting aspects would be important because creating or finding different gear sets and tools would better facilitate different activities. It shouldn't have tedious time-sinks like travel time except where it interferes with other game elements like wars working in a fun way.

Building a nice house, helping fortify my guild's fortress, collecting components for my buddy who enjoys alchemy, sailing a ship (maybe that's my house), exploring and delving dungeons, sitting by a river and fishing for 45 minutes, gambling for half an hour, and fighting in a large meaningful world PvP group battle.

I want to do all of these things during the same week with the same character in the same game. Being able to do a ton of things with my friends in a huge fantasy sandbox would keep me occupied for years.

However, subscription based games seem so hellbent on timesinks I end up playing (insert MMO here) for 2 months, get bored, and go back to games that inspire a sense of freedom, and creativity. Things that make me want to stop and smell the roses and lollygag for 3 hours.

That's the sort of thing I deeply enjoy after a 10 hour day of intense thought and concentration earning a paycheck. While carrot on a stick works for a small subset of the population, I think the market for "have the carrot, do what you will" is entirely untapped in the MMO sphere. I think it's viable based on the sales numbers of the non-mmo games I mentioned. Yes, I would absolutely pay a subscription fee for such a thing, even if it was $20 a month per person ($40 for me and my wife).

On some level it makes me die a little inside to know Bioware had the money to make something like that on a grand level and spent it all on voiceovers, scripted content, and CGI for a WoW-Clone

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:


However, subscription based games seem so hellbent on timesinks I end up playing (insert MMO here) for 2 months, get bored, and go back to games that inspire a sense of freedom, and creativity. Things that make me want to stop and smell the roses and lollygag for 3 hours.

Well in PFO I don't really see travel time as a timesink. In WoW and normal non PVP games with predictable enemy locations etc... I see why it is considered a timesink, in PFO where many enemies are rare spawns that land randomly in an unpredictable location, many good and bad things are not going to be in the same place twice. (dungeons hideouts rare monsters on the good, pirates ambushers and depending on the situation rare monsters on the bad as well). Traveling doesn't fall into stop and smell the roses, when it is one of the larger challenges in the game itself.

Also we have no idea what the travel time is, we do know to some extent fast travel will be in the game, we know it isn't instant, but it is faster then walking, though it is also not perfectly safe as you will have to watch out for bandit ambushes from hideouts etc... that can drop you out of fast travel.

Essentially either way travel is a high risk, and high reward activity, I imagine in many cases, traveling from A to B, will result in parties running into a rare wandering monster, or even a lair of which when they defeat they wind up earning double what they were intending to from the original goal, and that adds more diversity to the game compared to everything going to plan.


Onishi wrote:
Marou_ wrote:


However, subscription based games seem so hellbent on timesinks I end up playing (insert MMO here) for 2 months, get bored, and go back to games that inspire a sense of freedom, and creativity. Things that make me want to stop and smell the roses and lollygag for 3 hours.

Well in PFO I don't really see travel time as a timesink. In WoW and normal non PVP games with predictable enemy locations etc... I see why it is considered a timesink, in PFO where many enemies are rare spawns that land randomly in an unpredictable location, many good and bad things are not going to be in the same place twice. (dungeons hideouts rare monsters on the good, pirates ambushers and depending on the situation rare monsters on the bad as well). Traveling doesn't fall into stop and smell the roses, when it is one of the larger challenges in the game itself.

Also we have no idea what the travel time is, we do know to some extent fast travel will be in the game, we know it isn't instant, but it is faster then walking, though it is also not perfectly safe as you will have to watch out for bandit ambushes from hideouts etc... that can drop you out of fast travel.

Essentially either way travel is a high risk, and high reward activity, I imagine in many cases, traveling from A to B, will result in parties running into a rare wandering monster, or even a lair of which when they defeat they wind up earning double what they were intending to from the original goal, and that adds more diversity to the game compared to everything going to plan.

Oh, I have no problems with PFO's travel system. I'm just saying if I don't feel like exploring, I'm not transporting something valuable, and I'm not on my way to or from PvP, travel time is a boring detriment to me in games.

I think you could design a game that allows instant travel (in most cases) without sacrificing anything. If I'm at X , and my wife is at Y 30 minutes away in a "safe" area (not under siege), and I have nothing but the clothes on my back. The trip from X-->Y is boring and tedious. It cuts into my playtime without adding anything I consider enjoyable.

Any PvP I'm likely to encounter en-route is going to be both useless to the people that attacked me, and annoying to me.

Goblin Squad Member

Travel is a necessary time sink in an open world game with pvp. If people could be instantly anywhere, pvp would be very dull, and you would only have seconds before people would swarm to defend a seemingly alone target.

Just don't pull a SW:TOR and take vehicles that should be going near sonic speeds and chopping them down to 20mph.

I feel SWG was about the perfect level of time-sink for travel.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:

Oh, I have no problems with PFO's travel system. I'm just saying if I don't feel like exploring, I'm not transporting something valuable, and I'm not on my way to or from PvP, travel time is a boring detriment to me in games.

I think you could design a game that allows instant travel (in most cases) without sacrificing anything. If I'm at X , and my wife is at Y 30 minutes away in a "safe" area (not under siege), and I have...

The problem is you do sacrifice something. For instance in Darkfall people would hang out in in their city in the North East corner of the map all day before they siege a town in the South West corner of the map. When that siege happened neutral factions from all over the map would show up just to kill people and take their gear. In many, many, many sieges practically the entire server was there. One thing that really turned a lot of my clan off to sieges on Darkfall is we showed up to help an allied clan at a siege, against a fairly evenly matched force of griefers, but lost because a large powerful neutral clan from the opposite corner of the map showed up and took out half our forces. They didn't care about the outcome of the battle. They just wanted gear.

Travel time = players are invested in their location. If marching your forces across the map takes three hours, you aren't going to do it just to get gear from a comparatively weak clan. Your own cities could come under attack while all your forces are away doing so. It also means one powerful clan or alliance isn't going to claim all the best cities/locations from all across the map for themselves. They would be way to spread thin if they did so.

It means people are going to have to pick a region and make somewhat logical borders. It means their military relations with their neighboring kingdoms will be far more important than those in distant regions. And that markets will be highly dependent on local crafters and trade because even an amulet or a bow won't be instantly teleported halfway across the map with someone.

Silk and coconuts will be highly valuable in the north, while mammoth tusks and maple syrup would be more valuable in the south.


Andius wrote:
Marou_ wrote:

Oh, I have no problems with PFO's travel system. I'm just saying if I don't feel like exploring, I'm not transporting something valuable, and I'm not on my way to or from PvP, travel time is a boring detriment to me in games.

I think you could design a game that allows instant travel (in most cases) without sacrificing anything. If I'm at X , and my wife is at Y 30 minutes away in a "safe" area (not under siege), and I have...

The problem is you do sacrifice something. For instance in Darkfall people would hang out in in their city in the North East corner of the map all day before they siege a town in the South West corner of the map. When that siege happened neutral factions from all over the map would show up just to kill people and take their gear. In many, many, many sieges practically the entire server was there. One thing that really turned a lot of my clan off to sieges on Darkfall is we showed up to help an allied clan at a siege, against a fairly evenly matched force of griefers, but lost because a large powerful neutral clan from the opposite corner of the map showed up and took out half our forces. They didn't care about the outcome of the battle. They just wanted gear.

Travel time = players are invested in their location. If marching your forces across the map takes three hours, you aren't going to do it just to get gear from a comparatively weak clan. Your own cities could come under attack while all your forces are away doing so. It also means one powerful clan or alliance isn't going to claim all the best cities/locations from all across the map for themselves. They would be way to spread thin if they did so.

It means people are going to have to pick a region and make somewhat logical borders. It means their military relations with their neighboring kingdoms will be far more important than those in distant regions. And that markets will be highly dependent on local crafters and trade because even an amulet or a bow won't be instantly teleported halfway across...

In this game that incentive would not exist because it's not full loot. Meaning if you have nothing in your inventory, and only the equipment on your back you have zero value as a PvP kill. You also obviously aren't transporting goods for sale, etc. I also included the caveat that any such system should be restricted for the purpose of facilitating war. I think fast-travelling into or out of a hex that has a seige in progress counts.

Goblin Squad Member

Marou_ wrote:
In this game that incentive would not exist because it's not full loot. Meaning if you have nothing in your inventory, and only the equipment on your back you have zero value as a PvP kill. You also obviously aren't transporting goods for sale, etc. I also included the caveat that any such system should be restricted for the purpose of facilitating war. I think fast-travelling into or out of a hex that has a seige in progress counts.

Players are still likely going to come to a battle stocked full with combat related consumables. Which is admittedly less incentive than a full set of armor, especially when part of it will be lost, but that doesn't mean there are no problems with people being able to move about the map so freely.

As also stated in the topic people could use it to have cities all over the world. Also it is going to mean that NOWHERE is safe from any company. They can transport their entire army one hex over and then march right into your battle. Any limitations you can impose under the instant travel system are insufficient. Not being able to transport with any gear means they will build hideouts to supply themselves from in multiple locations across the map. Being moved 5 or 10 hexes away still shortens what could have been many hours of travel to 5-20 minutes. Limiting how often they can quick travel while being able to limit the harm of a the travel system, also limits it's usefulness.

I personally think our main travel system should be a fast horse or boat. Nothing more.

We don't want it so that if a small company ends up hated by a large powerful company it is game over for them. In Darkfall, Mortal, or any other game where you can quickly easily travel around the map, the only thing that can protect a small clan from things like this is a lack of structures to knock down. In this game EVERY clan will have structures. If you tick off "Big Powerful Unstoppable Company X" based in the River Kingdoms, you should not be facing their full scale forces in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. A big hard to travel map means places to hide. Even if the KNOW where you are. EVERY company, no matter how small, will have a place to call their own that they won't be getting constantly raided at to the point their is no point building or logging on because even if a bandit camp sets up right next door they can find a new more remote area where they won't be hassled as much. People can't just teleport up there to harass them and be back in the River Kingdom in-time for dinner. Beyond that certain areas will get certain reputations. If you settle right next to my company, Great Legionnaires, you know that rather than being hit by a full siege force from your neighbors, you can come to us for help if someone raids you. And we hopefully will have run out any major settlement run by griefers or bandits nearby as well. Where if you set up next to Dark Brotherhood X, and their evil aligned allies... you shouldn't be too surprised when you lose your town. And if we are on the east side of the River Kingdoms and Dark Brotherhood X is on the West, and they march their full forces up to attack you in the Realm of the Mammoth Lords... We will likely use the opportunity to wreak havoc in their no-good griefing towns.

If you want to be an explorer get some sturdy boots because they have many miles ahead of them! If you want to settle down and build a business or farm, pick an area you like and stick with it. Because long distance travel won't be easy!

Goblin Squad Member

Normal travel (I'd guess on roads) is only about 4 minutes per hex. Fast travel is 1/5 of that, or about .8 minutes for .75 miles traveled. With the opening map being 11 x 12 hexes, that's about 13 minutes corner-to-corner using fast travel, about 1 hour if you use normal travel. I don't see those travel times as especially horrible.


Urman wrote:
Normal travel (I'd guess on roads) is only about 4 minutes per hex. Fast travel is 1/5 of that, or about .8 minutes for .75 miles traveled. With the opening map being 11 x 12 hexes, that's about 13 minutes corner-to-corner using fast travel, about 1 hour if you use normal travel. I don't see those travel times as especially horrible.

I'm not saying it's horrible or anything, Hitomi just wanted to broaden the thread since the original issue in question is no longer relevant, so I was posing other thoughts.

I'm not the genius designer to come up with a system that isn't largely an annoyance but also necessary. Necessary evil, that's what travel time is in cases where you aren't marching for PvP, trading, or anything else, but moving long distances merely to meet up with people.

Whether I can come up with a solution to it or not, I'm sure one could exist.

Goblin Squad Member

I personally don't really see a huge problem with long travel times. Most MMOs have you constantly moving from town to town a lot. The solution is for this game not to have 5000 quest chains that have you running from this town to, to this town, back to that town. 90%+ of quest chains should take place within a few hexes. We know crafting is going to be a localized thing where you establish camps, and cities will be formed by players which obviously aren't going to be moving anywhere unless their whole settlement is made of tents. You shouldn't have to suffer the tedious march between cities often because you shouldn't have to move often unless you WANT to be exploring. If you and your wife or you and your buddies want to be together in the same town then go exploring when you are all online and explore whatever town you are stuck in when you aren't.

You have to approach travel with an entirely different mindset in this game. Long travel times can be a nuisance but they also have blessings that are overlooked by many games because they have been so trivialized.

Lantern Lodge

Random Encounters!

Goblinworks Founder

Yes those random encounters for a long trip... giant dice falling from the sky generating random numbers and the cackle of a voice that spells doom for you and your party.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

Landslide: Everyone Save vs. Death or die.

Goblin Squad Member

DarkLightHitomi wrote:
Random Encounters!

I would say random encounters is more or less a given. We already know players will be able to create hideouts that drop people out of fast travel into their ambush, I see no reason why it would be improbable to expect a few random NPC hideouts as well.

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