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Congrats for the Dev blog. Your first posting was very informative.
You mention that developing theme park content is both time consuming and expensive, making it a poor return on investment. Your economic case was quite compelling.
However, I do not think you can skip on PVE content, especially when it comes to new players or older casual players.
Hence my suggestion: leverage your community by giving us the tool to do this for you.
Remember: Many of us are Dungeon Masters who would love to help you for the fun of it.
Developing good content with a limited set of artefacts (monsters/locations...) is challenging? Then challenge us. I think you could be surprised how creative your community could be.
Why not organise a contest a la RPGsuperstar? Give us a limited stock of NPCs, Monsters, Locations and other parameters you see fit and see what kind of interesting stories we can come up with.
It does not need to be complicated. Maybe the submission could take the form of a PDF with an outline of the plot, a limited number of cut scenes, a decision tree and a dungeon map? Nothing high-tech there.
... Not to mention that such a approach to content design would great a lot of goodwill and be quite out of the box and innovative.
Can you really say no to "free labour"?
|HalfOrcHeavyMetal Goblin Squad Member|
Let us help! Let all the weird and wonderful brains out here help! Would that minimum donations were not capped at 100,000 too, but I understand that.
But playing Devil's Advocate here, the Forums do contain a large number of Trolls and Flame-War Worshippers, so perhaps only the 'top contributors' could be requested to come up with ideas.
Jeez though, imagine, Pathfinder Online starts up, you watch the credits roll, and your handle on the Pathfinder Forums scrolls into view. Can you imagine that feeling?
I'm a fan of it from the Open Call style for PFS and for the RPG Superstar model of things.
Maybe the sandboxy-ness of the game will make it possible in a different way. I could see myself, instead of keeping a huge stack of "loot" on my own, taking that same thing and either
1) Building my own dungeon (or similar complex) and opening it for raiding attempts
2) offering rewards for completing actions ( New player! Go get firewood for my manor!)
Though Guild Wars 2 has an over reaching story line with some linear questing, the majority of the PvE content is made up of dynamic events. Rather than running to a quest giver, you encounter these events as you travel around ... which seems much more immersive that quest hubs and linear questing.
Here is the thing .. I recently read a dev blog that suggested they have some kind of template driven middleware that allows the whole process of creation, testing and implementation of a given event to be done in 2-6 hours.
By the way, Star Wars Online has or will be implementing player created missions. I do not know how it all works, but getting the community involved with your game, provided you have the infrastructure to ensure quality could really help. Games of the year like Fallout, Oblivion, and Skyrim, though great games in their own right are all about user content creation.
|Dorje Sylas Goblinworks Executive Founder|
The reverse dungeon has had its place in the tradition in the past. I don't see a reason not to look at including something of similar nature.
GM Weynolt, speaking from the EVE experience, this would need to supported correctly to do. At a certain point you can get ISK(Gold) and base level loot from mission running (PvE) so easily that just giving it some of it to new Corp/Guild members was a no brainer. It thought it odd at first when I was new, but when I got to that point it made sense. The trick would be to create a system to streamline that without distorting the virtual economy, maybe as simple as dropping loot into a Guild " quest hopper" to fund those kinds of make work guild improvement tasks.
A set of "built a task" switches would work for that. Pick a spot, pick the thing to kill, pick the body part to collect and the let Player Guilds run them off NPCs inside their territory (if they have one). A Build a Quest system not unlike the Contract system in EVE but with less BS and more transparency.
If the intent is to kinda be like the Kingmaker kingdom system then this works even better as tasks like keeping bandits in check, killing off wandering monster populations, putting down revolts, etc. is all within the requirements to keep the kingdom rolling. Gold gets expended on general upkeep, but that gold is the "Sink" in the system to pay for the payouts on the actual quests PCs can do in a PC run kingdom.
What EVE doesn't have it Player's Vs the World. They've started adding this, but it is almost a grueling as PvP to participate in and carries with it the same trust problems as impromptu PvE mission running. A game set in the River Kingdoms has an inherited Players vs World element. Everything from wandering monsters to actual active monster factions.
Imagine how different EVE would be if in 0 Sec (full PvP areas) if the biggest issue to a Player run Corp/Guild wasn't rival guilds but NPC faction elements. In the EVE context, if you've pushed your way into Angle Cartel NPC space and staked a claim they'd come after you and if not dealt with would eventually destabilize your holding. This actually isn't modeled in EVE, but it could be. In Pathfinder we have savage humanoids, magical monsters, fey, even the occasional dragon that take umbrage at "humans" sticking their noes into their turf. These are things that any Player based kingdom should have to deal with... which becomes make work "theme park" quests for those not directly tied to the kingdom (or those who are in the kingdom as affiliates).
Actual "quest sites" could most defiantly be drawn from a pool of user created content appropriate to the tasks being generated. This would help focus quest creation into various categories.