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29 posts. Alias of Keovar.


Cognates Goblin Squad Member

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Andius wrote:

Drakhan Valane wrote:

What parts of GL's ideology do you find most appealing: Helping out the new players. I get a very "EVE University" feel from what I've seen so far and I love the idea. To have something like that running when the game releases to the public would do wonders, I think.

I think we will be a lot more deadly than EVE-University. But I get what you mean. I am a huge fan of clans like EVE-University, or Darkfall and Mortal Online's NEW Academy. I really want to make interacting with new players in the community and showing them the ropes part of TEO's goals. We will be much more militaristic and far more involved in politics than either EVE-University or NEW Academy but I wouldn't be at all upset if some of the TEO members devoted themselves entirely to those kind of activities. I know I'll be right there with them when I'm not managing our politics or fighting evil-doers.

☺ When helping new people, I prefer the adage:

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for the rest of his life."

☼ When dealing with griefers, that must be adjusted a little:

"Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a night.
Set a man on fire, and you keep him warm for the rest of his life."

(Credit to Terry Pratchett for the second one.)

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

How would you lose control? Pick the ethnicity (or pair of them for human/other mixes) that's closest, reroll a few times to hit close to what you want, then tweak a bit.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Race/ethnicity + stats (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution) would provide the midpoint of a range. A randomizer would roll within that, and afterward you have a number of adjustment points to tweak things.

That ensures that Ulfen humans look relatively tall and pale, while Kelishites are smaller and swarthier. Strong people would look strong, etc.

Then the randomizer keeps everyone from looking the same. You could randomize again as long as your patience allows, perhaps with a 'save' you could revert to if you decided to reroll and couldn't get a look you liked better than your last save. People who don't care about fiddling with details would just go with the first random look.

Then there could be a few points to adjust the sliders, so you could break the above rules a little, but not in every area. Costs to tweak looks could depend on how far out of your ethnic background they are, so a short, skinny or gold-skinned Ulfen is possible, but expensive enough that you couldn't break the norms in all ways.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Onishi wrote:
You pretty much have to start out evil (or at least neutral with evil leanings), to need selective channeling. Unless you are in a party of good undeads...

If a criminal, low reputation, and/or evil character jumps next to you while you are channelling, you'd heal them too. Now you're a criminal and take reputation and alignment hits. That's what I'm concerned about, AoE effects opening you up to attack by 'good' griefers. If it only affects spellcasters, then it's a witch hunt, with otherwise good characters getting ganked by those who are doing evil while claiming a good reputation.

Friendly fire happens with conventional weapons too, but that's ignored to give mundane weapons a pass while spellcasters are at risk of being turned evil against their will. If someone fires a scorching ray, it's entirely possible that someone could get in the way while the casting animation is happening. PFRPG avoids the issue because combat is turn-based and you can see where everyone is, but there's nowhere near that time or visibility in an MMO.

Maybe a compromise would be okay. AoE's can affect NPC's/monsters or members of your party. You'd have to be selective when party members are in the way, but random people wouldn't be affected unless they've attacked you.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

I like the psychological insights, and it's interesting to go through the list and see how PFO has dealt with the various points. I'm not sure if they've read this or a similar document, but they seem to understand a lot of its points either way.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

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This is a collection of principles affecting the design of online worlds, as collected by Raph Koster. I think it's an interesting list, and one with a lot of discussion potential!
The 'Laws' of Online World Design

(The above link has better formatting, but I know many fear Rick Astley music too much to click an outside link.)

The Laws of Online World Design

These are taken from both experience and from the writings of others. Most are the sort of "Duh" things that many who have done this sort of game design take for granted, but others may be less intuitive. Many of the laws here were actually stated as such by others, and not by me.

A Caveat

Ola's Law About Laws
Any general law about virtual worlds should be read as a challenge rather than as a guideline. You'll learn more from attacking it than from accepting it.

Design Rules

The secrets to a really long-lived, goal-oriented, online game of wide appeal
have multiple paths of advancement (individual features are nice, but making them ladders is better)
make it easy to switch between paths of advancementt (ideally, without having to start over)
make sure the milestones in the path of advancement are clear and visible and significant (having 600 meaningless milestones doesn't help)
ideally, make your game not have a sense of running out of significant milestones (try to make your ladder not feel finite)
Modes of expression
You're trying to provide as many modes of expression as possible in your online world. Character classes are just modes of expression, after all.

Persistence means it never goes away
Once you open your online world, expect to keep your team on it indefinitely. Some of these games have never closed. And closing one prematurely may result in losing the faith of your customers, damaging the prospects for other games in the same genre.

Macroing, botting, and automation
No matter what you do, someone is going to automate the process of playing your world.

Looking at what parts of your game players tend to automate is a good way to determine which parts of the game are tedious and/or not fun.

Game systems
No matter what you do, players will decode every formula, statistic, and algorithm in your world via experimentation.

It is always more rewarding to kill other players than to kill whatever the game sets up as a target.
A given player of level x can slay multiple creatures of level y. Therefore, killing a player of level x yields ny reward in purely in-game reward terms. Players will therefore always be more rewarding in game terms than monsters of comparable difficulty. However, there's also the fact that players will be more challenging and exciting to fight than monsters no matter what you do.

Never trust the client.
Never put anything on the client. The client is in the hands of the enemy. Never ever ever forget this.

J. C. Lawrence's "do it everywhere" law
If you do it one place, you have to do it everywhere. Players like clever things and will search them out. Once they find a clever thing they will search for other similar or related clever things that seem to be implied by what they found and will get pissed off if they don't find them.

Hyrup's "do it everywhere" Corollary
The more detailed you make the world, the more players will want to break away from the classical molds.

Dr Cat's Stamp Collecting Dilemma
"Lots of people might like stamp collecting in your virtual world. But those who do will never play with those who like other features. Should you have stamp collecting in your world?" We know that there are a wide range of features that people find enjoyable in online worlds. We also know that some of these features are in conflict with one another. Given the above, we don't yet know if it is possible to have a successful world that incorporates all the features, or whether the design must choose to exclude some of them in order to keep the players happy.

Koster's Law (Mike Sellers was actually the one to dub it thus)
The quality of roleplaying is inversely proportional to the number of people playing.

Hyrup's Counter-observation
The higher the fee, the better the roleplayers. (And of course, the smaller the playerbase.)

Enforcing roleplaying
A roleplay-mandated world is essentially going to have to be a fascist state. Whether or not this accords with your goals in making such a world is a decision you yourself will have to make.

Storytelling versus simulation
If you write a static story (or indeed include any static element) in your game, everyone in the world will know how it ends in a matter of days. Mathematically, it is not possible for a design team to create stories fast enough to supply everyone playing. This is the traditional approach to this sort of game nonetheless. You can try a sim-style game which doesn't supply stories but instead supplies freedom to make them. This is a lot harder and arguably has never been done successfully.

Players have higher expectations of the virtual world
The expectations are higher than of similar actions in the real world. For example: players will expect all labor to result in profit; they will expect life to be fair; they will expect to be protected from aggression before the fact, and not just to seek redress after the fact; they will expect problems to be resolved quickly; they will expect that their integrity will be assumed to be beyond reproach; in other words, they will expect too much, and you will not be able to supply it all. The trick is to manage the expectations.

Online game economies are hard
A faucet->drain economy is one where you spawn new stuff, let it pool in the "sink" that is the game, and then have a concomitant drain. Players will hate having this drain, but if you do not enforce ongoing expenditures, you will have Monty Haul syndrome, infinite accumulation of wealth, overall rise in the "standard of living" and capabilities of the average player, and thus unbalance in the game design and poor game longevity.

Ownership is key
You have to give players a sense of ownership in the game. This is what will make them stay--it is a "barrier to departure." Social bonds are not enough, because good social bonds extend outside the game. Instead, it is context. If they can build their own buildings, build a character, own possessions, hold down a job, feel a sense of responsibility to something that cannot be removed from the game--then you have ownership.

If your game is narrow, it will fail
Your game design must be expansive. Even the coolest game mechanic becomes tiresome after a time. You have to supply alternate ways of playing, or alternate ways of experiencing the world. Otherwise, the players will go to another world where they can have new experiences. This means new additions, or better yet, completely different subgames embedded in the actual game.

Lambert's Laws:
As a virtual world's "realism" increases, the pool of possible character actions increase.
The opportunities for exploitation and subversion are directly proportional to the pool size of possible character actions.
A bored player is a potential and willing subversive.
Players will eventually find the shortest path to the cheese.
No matter how many new features you have or add, the players will always want more.

Pleasing your Players
Despite your best intentions, any change will be looked upon as a bad change to a large percentage of your players. Even those who forgot they asked for it to begin with.

Hyrup's Loophole Law
If something can be abused, it will be.

Murphy's Law
Servers only crash and don't restart when you go out of town.

Dr Cat's Theorem
Attention is the currency of the future.

Dr Cat's Theorem as expressed by J C Lawrence
The basic medium of multiplayer games is communication.

Hanarra's Laws
Over time, your playerbase will come to be the group of people who most enjoy the style of play that your world offers. The others will eventually move to another game.
It is very hard to attract players of different gaming styles after the playerbase has been established. Any changes to promote different styles of play almost always conflict with the established desires of the current playerbase.
The ultimate goal of a virtual world is to create a place where people of all styles of play can contribute to the world in a manner that makes the game more satisfying for everyone.
The new players who enter the world for the first time are the best critics of it.
The opinions of those who leave are the hardest to obtain, but give the best indication of what changes need to be made to reach that ultimate goal.
Elmqvist's Law
In an online game, players find it rewarding to save the world. They find it more rewarding to save the world together, with lots of other people.

A corollary to Elmqvist's Law
In general, adding features to an online game that prevent people from playing together is a bad idea.

A caveat to the corollary to Elmqvist's Law
The exception would be features that enhance the sense of identity of groups of players, such as player languages.

Baron's Design Dichotomy
According to Jonathan Baron, there are two kinds of online games: Achievement Oriented, and Cumulative Character. In the former, the players who "win" do so because they they are the best at whatever the game offers. Their glory is achieved by shaming other players. In the latter, anyone can reach the pinnacle of achievement by mere persistence; the game is driven by sheer unadulterated capitalism.

Online identity
We spend a lot of time making people able to have a very strong personal identity in our worlds (letting them define themselves in great detail, down to eye color). But identity is portable. How many of you have been playing the same character in RPGs for 15 years, like me? You cannot count on a sense of identity, of character building, to keep someone in your game.

In game calendars
It's nice to have an in-game calendar. But emotional resonances will never accrue to in-game holidays. The only calendar that really matters is the real world one. Don't worry about breaking fiction--online games are about social interaction, not about fictional consistency.

Social Laws

Koster's Theorem
Virtual social bonds evolve from the fictional towards real social bonds. If you have good community ties, they will be out-of-character ties, not in-character ties. In other words, friendships will migrate right out of your world into email, real-life gatherings, etc.

Baron's Theorem
Hate is good. This is because conflict drives the formation of social bonds and thus of communities. It is an engine that brings players closer together.

Baron's Law
Glory is the reason why people play online; shame is what keeps them from playing online. Neither is possible without other people being present.

Mike Sellers' Hypothesis
"The more persistence a game tries to have; the longer it is set up to last; the greater number (and broader variety) of people it tries to attract; and in general the more immersive a game/world it set out to be--then the more breadth and depth of human experience it needs to support to be successful for more than say, 12-24 months. If you try to create a deeply immersive, broadly appealing, long-lasting world that does not adequately provide for human tendencies such as violence, acquisition, justice, family, community, exploration, etc (and I would contend we are nowhere close to doing this), you will see two results: first, individuals in the population will begin to display a wide range of fairly predictable socially pathological behaviors (including general malaise, complaining, excessive bullying and/or PKing, harassment, territoriality, inappropriate aggression, and open rebellion against those who run the game); and second, people will eventually vote with their feet--but only after having passionately cast 'a pox on both your houses.' In essence, if you set people up for an experience they deeply crave (and mostly cannot find in real life) and then don't deliver, they will become like spurned lovers--somebecome sullen and aggressive or neurotic, and eventually almost all leave."

Schubert's Law of Player Expectations
A new player's expectations of a virtual world are driven by his expectations of single-player games. In particular, he expects a narrow, predictable plotline with well-defined quests and a carefully sculpted for himself as the hero. He also expects no interference or disruption from other players. These are difficult, and sometimes impossible, expectations for a virtual world to actually meet.

Violence is inevitable
You're going to have violence done to people no matter what the facilities for it in the game are. It may be combat system, stealing, blocking entrances, trapping monsters,stealing kills to get experience, pestering, harassment, verbal violence, or just rudeness.

Is it a game?
It's a SERVICE. Not a game. It's a WORLD. Not a game. It's a COMMUNITY. Not a game. Anyone who says, "it's just a game" is missing the point.

You will NEVER have a solid unique identity for your problematic players. They essentially have complete anonymity because of the Internet. Even addresses, credit cards, and so on can be faked--and will be.

Jeff Kesselman's Theorem
A MUD universe is all about psychology. After all, there IS no physicality. It's all psych and group dynamics.

Psychological disinhibition
People act like jerks more easily online, because anonymity is intoxicating. It is easier to objectify other people and therefore to treat them badly. The only way to combat this is to get them to empathize more with other players.

Mass market facts
Disturbing for those used to smaller environments, but: administrative problems increase EXPONENTIALLY instead of linearly, as your playerbase digs deeper into the mass market. Traditional approaches tend to start to fail. Your playerbase probably isn't ready or willing to police itself.

Anonymity and in-game admins
The in-game admin faces a bizarre problem. He is exercising power that the ordinary virtual citizen cannot. And he is looked to in many ways to provide a certain atmosphere and level of civility in the environment. Yet the fact remains that no matter how scrupulously honest he is, no matter how just he shows himself to be, no matter how committed to the welfare of the virtual space he may prove himself, people will hate his guts. They will mistrust him precisely because he has power, and they can never know him. There will be false accusations galore, many insinuations of nefarious motives, and former friends will turn against him. It may be that the old saying about power and absolute power is just too ingrained in the psyche of most people; whatever the reasons, there has never been an online game whose admins could say with a straight face that all their players really trusted them (and by the way, it gets worse once you take money!).

Community size
Ideal community size is no larger than 250. Past that, you really get subcommunities.

Hans Henrik Staerfeldt's Law of Player/Admin Relations: The amount of whining players do is positively proportional to how much you pamper them.
Many players whine if they see any kind of bonus in it for them. It will simply be another way for them to achieve their goals. As an admin you hold the key to many of the goals that they have concerning the virtual environment you control. If you do not pamper the players and let them know that whining will not help them, the whining will subside.

Hal Black's Elaboration
The more responsive an admin is to user feedback of a given type, the more of that type the admin will get. Specifically, as an admin implements features from user suggestions, the more ideas for features will be submitted. Likewise, the more an admin coddles whiners, the more whining will ensue.

J C Lawrence's "stating the obvious" law
The more people you get, the more versions of "what we're really doing" you're going to get.

John Hanke's Law (cited by Mike Sellers)
In every aggregation of people online, there is an irreducible proportion of ... jerks (he used a different word :-)

Rewarding players
It is not possible to run a scenario or award player actions without other players crying favoritism.

The longer your game runs, the less often you get kudos for your efforts.

Dundee's Law
Fighting the battle for nomenclature with your players is a futile act. Whatever they want to call things is what they will be called.

Ananda Dawnsinger's Law
The less disruption that occurs in a community, the less able the community is able to deal with disruption when it does occur.

Rickey's Law
People don't want "A story". They want *their* story.

Socialization requires downtime
Whatever the rewarded activity in your game is, it has to give people time to breathe if you want them to socialize.

Darklock's First Law
Cheating is an apparently advantageous violation of player assumptions about the game. When those assumptions are satisfied, all apparently advantageous methods are fair. When they are violated, no apparently advantageous methods are fair. "Using exterior means to influence the play of a game is not necessarily cheating. It is only cheating if it violates the assumptions of other players *and* provides an advantage. When a player expects that gaining levels in a game takes a long period of time, he will call any method of gaining them rapidly "cheating" -- even if it is an intentional feature of the game. When he expects that gaining levels is a rapid process, however, he will not think the people gaining them slowly are cheating... because that is not an apparently advantageous situation. It does not matter whether this actually *is* an advantageous situation, only whether it *appears* advantageous."

Corollary to Darklock's First Law
A bug is an apparently *disadvantageous* violation of player assumptions about the game. "This may be viewed as a specific application of Dundee's Law, "Fighting the battle for nomenclature with your players is a futile act. Whatever they want to call things is what they will be called." It does not matter whether "cheating" or a "bug" was an intentional part of the game design; it only matters whether the players *assumed* they were intentional."

Darklock's Second Law
Any violation of player assumptions is bad. "This follows from the first law because allowing violation of player assumptions is -- pathologically -- a unilateral "license to cheat". When you license any player to violate the assumptions of others, you imply a right for ALL players to violate the assumptions of others, and they will attempt to do so in an apparently advantageous fashion. This turns your playerbase into a society of cheaters, under the umbrella of truths we hold to be self-evident. (Which is, of course, a "slippery slope" argument. It does not logically follow that *any* such playerbase MUST degenerate into a society of cheaters; only that human nature and psychology make some degree of such degeneration likely. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.)"

J C Lawrence on Utopias
Don't strive for perfection, strive for expressive fertility. You can't create utopia, and if you did nobody would want to live there.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Would a Facebook group be helpful? It makes sharing links easier and people can get email updates on new posts. There are also forums with much better software than this one, which can support things like automatically recognizing links or email updates on threads. Even a Google Group might be useful.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Chiassa wrote:

High five! it was always superjump for me, not flight, but same z-axis applies. Gods, I miss CoH...

And good suggestion. I'd love to see even limited flight options.

Hehe... *high five*

I just said flight because it's a simple catch-all. I liked Teleport with a side of Hover so I could stay in the air as long as I wanted. I'll miss doing that...

Tyveil wrote:
On the fence about it. Flight should be extremely limited, maybe once a day with limited duration. Perhaps even "illegal" to use in towns. I can imagine the game with everyone flying around, and that just completely breaks immersion for me. Though it would be kind of cool to use in just a few key situations.

You don't think these spells and items get used in cities? You're in a world where these things exist, and the people with access to them are going to use them without a care about how much it resembles medieval Europe.

Fortifications may ban people from overflying their airspace, but there are plenty of flying monsters that aren't going to care about whether the places they fly over consider it illegal, and the measures in place to deal with them can just as easily deal with a flying humanoid. Having locals with access to flight is a great countermeasure in itself.

Bobthebiobitan wrote:

I wouldn't worry too much about flight in this game. Remember, time is supposed to pass at 4x the real life speed. The fly spell lasts for 1 min/lvl, which turns into 15 seconds a level.

[more PFRPG stats]

You're aware they're not doing a mechanical conversion, right? Also, if you're going to multiply spacetime by four when calculating how soon a spell will run out, you need to do the same for the distance you can travel in that period.

Or, more reasonably, they could do something that's fun and emulates the feel of the game rather than the mechanics.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Jameow wrote:
Or it could work like uo monsters looting and they get your heaviest item

A little more difficult, but carrying a rock (material for masonry or sculpture)shouldn't be too hard. Just enough to outweigh my rings, amulet, belt, etc. but not enough to push me into encumbrance territory.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

V'rel Vusoryn wrote:

I guess I'm not seeing any point to paying a subscription, then, after Release if all it does is grant access to the game for which you don't have to pay for anyway?

Unless you're saying the Microtransaction system is to allow folks to purchase game time in an "as they go" and that the store is its own other thing that you buy consumables from that make the game easier.

Which if that's the case why even offer subscriptions if we can essentially just pay for the time we are logged in? Who wouldn't do that?

A subscription turns on skill training, even when you're not logged in. Buying time isn't referring to login time... you can sit around all day using a safe town as a graphical chatroom, but your skills don't get better without a sub. or buying training time.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:

Bottom line, ANY attacks should only be used when certain to hit 'enemy' targets....or face the repercussions of your gamble/stupidity.

Fixed that for you, unless you're intending to be an anti-spellcaster bigot.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Ryan Dancey wrote:
@All - I think I feel comfortable saying that nothing you buy for Skymetal should be lootable.

Thank you for that... what about them being destroyed as a result of getting looted?

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:

stackable items will probably auto-stack and count as 1 for a full stack

One scroll of each cantrip, one of each orison, and you've at least a dozen booby prizes. There are probably other low-weight and even lower value items you could carry to pad out the list, like one of each type of wooden stick used in making wands, different types of blank paper for scrolls, a bunch of differently coloured scarves, whatever. GW could set a minimum value, items under which are ignored, but whatever they set, players could still take a lot of the lightest and cheapest crap possible.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:

Because spells have this problem more frequently.

You will get a warning if you are about to perform a criminal act, or assist a criminal.

Bottom line, AOE attacks should only hit 'enemy' targets.

That's the only solution I see as well. It's unfair to only pick on casters, and if the same things were fairly applied to conventional attacks, it would be trivially easy to get anyone flagged for 'attacking' you, allowing PK'ing without consequence.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

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Why is all this about spells? If someone steps between your bow and your goblin, you better have precise shot or risk getting flagged as a criminal. Actually, be careful where you swing that greatsword too, and when your buddy the cleric channels to heal, you pass your flagging on to them as well.

If they make unintended targeting only apply to spellcasters, then they're hobbling them unjustly compared to every other class. Arcanists would be stuck with Magic Missile until they can buy a feat to avoid 'friendly' targets, and divine casters would need selective channelling or just go evil.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Will skymetal-purchased items be immune from PVP theft/destruction? I can't see myself buying anything for real money, if that would practically turn a virtual mugging into a real one.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

MidknightDiamond wrote:

There will be places and means for you to store things (banks, hideouts, etc.) so you won't be continually carrying everything you own in game on you to be looted.

Also, I believe it was mentioned that if someone loots your husk they don't get to choose what they get but are awarded a random item so you can't be reliably targeted for a specific item. Someone please feel free to correct me on that if I'm wrong.

Interesting... so maybe we could carry a few dozen cantrip scrolls that have practically no weight, but pad out your item list in such a way that someone who kills you is likely to draw one. It's not like 'ray of frost' is entirely useless, but it's certainly not worth criminal flagging, alignment shifts, and possible bounties.

Is there one looted item per criminal, or would one death mean one lost item, period? In UO a lot of the problem was caused by small hordes of gankers, but if it takes a gang to drop someone before they have a chance to flee or mount a reasonable defence, a single item for the group is trivial enough that they aren't as likely to use dogpile tactics.

Oh, and for the really abusive types who can't seem to resist hurling ethnic or orientation slurs... they can pull a ban for that, so be ready to screenshot.


When you're new, remember; you don't have to swim faster than the shark, you just have to swim faster (and look less tasty) than the other minnows.
Later on, you'll see that one of the best ways to rid yourself of an enemy is to outlive him.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

It's off-topic, but I do have some experience with the perspective you mention, Andius. I'm not(yet?) wheelchair-bound, but I do have to walk with a cane when leaving my place. The MS started to affect my walking in 2007 when I was playing LotRO a lot, and there were some emotional times when I realized that my character could run while I no longer could. Eventually I learned to better appreciate what I have while I have it, rather than messing up today by mourning yesterday or dreading tomorrow.


Anyway, the Fly skill should affect your speed and ability to change momentum and direction, but it could also affect your ability to stay aloft when being hit by missile weapons. A target on the ground could take cover from a flying opponent, forcing them to close, and then step out with a good mighty composite longbow or repeating crossbow. Casting Dispel Magic on a flying target could turn the tables for a grounded character as well, letting physics kill the formerly-flying attacker.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Samuel Leming wrote:

First, the griefers would have to find a way to bribe or stack all the player tribunals. Second, they'd have to comprise 51% of the game's population. At that point the game is dead anyway.

I'm not worried about evil characters, just evil players.

You're expecting 100% of players to vote on every case that comes up? Even for players that take the time to vote on every issue, there may be some that vote everyone they don't know out of the game just to leave more space for themselves. Sure, if they perma-ban enough people they'll make the game shut down, but some people play MMO's for 6 months and quit anyway, so they're not looking at long term concerns.

GW has already said that the staff will boot particularly abusive players, and since their income depends on retaining a playerbase, I think they'll show proper restraint before imposing the game equivalent of a death penalty. I have no such confidence in the player community at large. They could vote you out for no reason at all, and it's no skin off their backs until they do it enough to collapse the population.

Your other response seems to be a non-sequitur. Adding a player to a settlement's enemy list would affect all the characters on their account, regardless of individual character alignments.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

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Samuel Leming wrote:

What I would like to see is the ability for a player to be placed before a tribunal and if found guilty the population could then vote on removing the player from the game completely. The player, not just his characters.

Now that's some meaningful human interaction right there.

What would stop a coalition of griefers from abusing such a system to take out enemies they don't wish to fight?

I think it's been said that a player-run settlement can declare a particular character its enemy, so they're flagged for even entering the settlements controlled by that company. If there were a further option to declare the PLAYER an enemy, then that would limit metagaming abuses like having a 'good' spy infiltrate a good settlement to gather information to use with his evil character(s).

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Anyone could eventually get 'wings of the bat', 'cape of the mountebank' or some other flight item, so it's not limited to wildshape and personal spellcasting.
Also, don't forget that the Pathfinder RPG has a 'Fly' skill, so a character's air speed and manoeuvrability should be governed by that. If someone is flying over and not bothering you, there's no reason to care that they're up there, and if they're attacking you at range, they're also within missile weapon range, and those on the ground would usually have an advantage in being able to take cover.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

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Before it was permanently laid to rest, I'd re-up my City of Heroes account for a month now and again just because I missed the ability to fly... but in that game, no water could be more than waist deep, so it had z-axis limitations of its own.

Whether it's via spell or wildshaping into a bird, flight is often an option in a fantasy tabletop RPG, but rarely available in fantasy MMO's. I understand that themepark MMOs tend to avoid flight because more content-building options are available to devs when they can more easily railroad players, but movement limitations could also be accomplished by taking away Disable Device and forcing players to find quest-item keys for every door. Yet for some reason picking a lock is okay while flying over a chasm isn't.

Arcane casters are often the most at-risk in open PVP, so let's be sure to include spells for flight and invisibility to help mitigate that risk.

If the z-axis is open above land and below water, the sandbox gets so much bigger, and designing with that in mind doesn't need to limit any but the most narrowly-built content.


Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Azure_Zero wrote:
The triangle of (Features/Content vs Time vs Money) is a hard beast that all game companies know of.

It's not just game companies. Any software company, and probably any engineering field at all.

"Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two."

I was just thinking his description sounded a lot like a version of the "Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick any two." adage. I've only heard it applied to restaurants before, but yeah, I think it would apply to most products.


The Dragon Age appearance customization options were pretty good, but adding a bit more range to available body types would be nice.

I would hope for a high degree of customization, but I hope there are factors to guide people, so 'average' doesn't become an 8-foot tall super buxom/muscular blonde.

There are quite a few human ethnicities in Golarion, most of which map to an ethnic background for Earth. Some ethnicities could be created for the other races if they don't already exist. A suggested look could be provided that's based on the race and stats, with some random variation that isn't too far off the averages. You could choose an ethnicity to adjust where the averages are (so if you want to be tall and have light hair, go Ulfen, since they're essentially Norse). You could reroll the randomizer as much as your patience allows, and then you have a pool of customization points; enough to fix a few details, but not enough to reshape you entirely.

Facial structure and colouration could be handled the same way. If you get a face that mostly fits what you like, but with a nose or chin you don't like, spend customization points to alter it. Same goes for eye and hair colour. The cost to take things too far off what is typical for your ethnicity may be expensive to your customization points.

I think that would encourage more variation without taking away creative options. If you absolutely must have every feature 'just so', you could reroll your build and features as long as it takes to get as close as you can, so it only takes a few customization points to finish off your look, or you could just jump into the game with someone that is unique but still relatively typical for your ethnic background.


Oh, and when it comes to setting colours for eyes, hair, and skin, please give us the RGB numbers for what we're setting. Some games like DDO have really bad 'lighting' in their character creation zone, so one can't be sure what you're getting, and the tiny little squares you click on to set the colours are small enough that someone with poor vision has a hard time telling a lot of them apart.

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

I like the background story of having originally been adventuring companions who are now reuniting.


'Empyrean Guard' sounds cool, as it says what kind of person you're striving to be and what you want to do with your power.


I've heard (as in hearsay, grains of salt and all that) a half-elf has an elven parent, grandparent, or two half-elven parents. Though 'half' is in the name, 25% elf may produce a half-elf, in game mechanics terms. Of course, if that race isn't available, a human with sharp features and a narrow build may be as close as you can get.


I've been trying to put together a more fancy name for an arcane and academic organization, but my Jistka (Latin) is crap.

Azure Astra Arcanum - Trying for something along the lines of "mystery of the blue stars", as in "where are the stars when the sky is blue?" They're always there, just unseen.
I hope we're slightly more competent than the Unseen University, though. :P

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

JakBlitz wrote:

There is a way to record the meetings in Teamspeak.

Also I was thinking we should move away from names like Silver Blades, Golden Scales and Green Cloaks to something more formal for when we actually form them. This would leave the current naming to be more of a title for the primary membership.

Current ideas were The Golden Scales Trade Guild (Golden Scales), The Explorers League (Green Cloaks), The House of Steel(Silver Blades), and the Empyrean Embassy(White Staves). If we added a 5th subgroup for magical/general knowledge and possible magic based services (ie. teleporting and binding) It could be the Circle of the Azure Star? So basically this is mostly an ascetic choice.

This has been something I was just thinking about. Anyone else have thoughts on this idea?

Perhaps we should leave the ascetic choices to the monks. :P

As to the aesthetics, I like the idea of having a formal name and informal short form. Even if the company isn't primarily focused on RP, having the trappings there looks good and leaves the option for more roleplay open.

So the overall company name is in flux, going between 'Great Legion' to 'Empyrean Legion'? Or is more like 'Adjective _______' with the blank noun changing with the size of the settlement and area of influence (with an eventual goal of 'Empire')?

Oh, and good to know Teamspeak can record, thanks!

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Alaskan (GMT -9). But that is just me. We have a good spread of US timezones.

Well Mr. Scholar. What word would you use?

The scribe is mainly a position editing our official document and taking notes at the meetings you are able to attend. I could expand the duties and authority that comes with it if you do a good job though.

Ah, so do you have meetings using Robert's Rules of Order, and all that? I suppose keeping minutes is scribal work. Does Teamspeak have a way to record things for later note-taking? I'm not sure I could catch everything if a meeting gets to moving quickly.

The other 'scholar' bit was more of an in-character response. ;)

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Andius wrote:

Just putting in your advice or perhaps you are interested in Great Legionnaires and the "White Staves"?

Perhaps criticizing my name for that guild is your way of telling me you want to be our scribe? ;)

"Scribe" makes me sound like a secretary. I'm also a scholar and advisor, not merely a literate person with decent handwriting! :P

(What time zone are you in? I'm in GMT-5, Eastern US.)

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

JakBlitz wrote:
Kevin7 wrote:
Hey, I was talking with someone over on the Kickstarter comments...
Lol yeah you were chatting with me. It sounds better but, it seems my spell check disagreed with it. That being said White Staves sounds right.

Ah, so you're the other Kevin, with the One Piece avatar (I think... I haven't watched it, but I have a friend who is very into it).

I have my Chrome spell-check set to the Brit dictionary, since I apparently read too many British authors as a kid and I tend to use those spellings. This spell-check accepts both "staffs" and "staves", but I still like the latter form better.
Here's a fun bit of trivia: the original editorial pass of Tolkien's work tried to 'correct' the plurals of his races to "elfs" and "dwarfs", but he insisted that should be changed back to "elves" and "dwarves". He had some other linguistic quirks, like the doubled 'G' in "waggon" and using an 'X' in words like "connexion". Back when I played LotRO, I tried to be sure and use Tolkien spellings whenever possible.


So anyway, how would we go about setting up the mage tower / scholar academy thing? All of your other subgroups seem to have colours in their names, so maybe some form of blue would work for knowledge? "Order of the Azure Pentacle", perhaps?
(Call them the 'Azure Star' for short)
The academy motto: "Sapere Aude" - which means "dare to be wise" or "dare to know".
We amass knowledge, act as advisors, teach students, and advance the study of arcane magic. We're not primarily militaristic, but some members may wish to focus on blasting spells and the like. If the Magus class is ever added (or if people just emulate it by training with both swords and spellbooks), the Magi would train their arcane skills with us, along with Summoners & Witches, if those are added. We are not, however, a temple. Members and students are of course free to believe and pray as they wish, but the Order and the academy are not ruled over by any temple, even that of Nethys.
Magic item crafting is of interest to us, so facilities for artifice could be part of the academy as well.

What do you think?

Cognates Goblin Squad Member

Hey, I was talking with someone over on the Kickstarter comments...

JakBlitz wrote:
White Staffs

Maybe "White Staves" would sound better?


Some can also be pluralized just by adding an 's', but I've often thought it looks and sounds better to use the version that shifts the 'f' to a 'v'.

If not, no big deal, it's just a thought, not a criticism.