Sleepers


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Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think it would be a cool idea if our characters had a "life of their own" when we're not playing them. Turn them into NPC's when we're not around (like in that old Dragon story I linked), set some behaviours and default actions, etc. The idea is cool.

It would be hard to pull off with current technology, I think, though. If I look at EVE Online, which has about 500.000 accounts, of which between 25.000 and 50.000 are actually online (the record stands at 65.303, but that number is something of an outlier), about 5%-10% of accounts are online at any given time. Which means 90%-95% are not, and they probably all logged out in a safe spot. It will be busy there :) When Pathfinder reaches 100.000 accounts, there will usually be 90.000 accounts "standing around".

(And unlike EVE, PFO probably won't have things like a starbase: when you're docked there, you're effectively gone from the game grid, you're just an entity in a chatroom, who can interact with the market, manufacturing, contracts, planetary interaction and the skill system. In PFO, most of those things require you to be about in the world -somewhere-, I would imagine).

Apart from that, imagine the tears from the player who got killed (repeatedly, I would guess?) while offline. And ragequits the moment they find out about it.

Goblin Squad Member

I think when you log off or disconnect, after about 30 seconds, your character is no longer in the world.

Can a disconnected character still get killed inside 30 seconds? Sure, but the likelihood of this happening often is rare. There has to be some time clock so that players can not avoid being killed, by logging off.

Goblin Squad Member

Bluddwolf wrote:

I think when you log off or disconnect, after about 30 seconds, your character is no longer in the world.

Can a disconnected character still get killed inside 30 seconds? Sure, but the likelihood of this happening often is rare. There has to be some time clock so that players can not avoid being killed, by logging off.

I think that if you are engaged before or during the timer, it should either be prevented, extended or cancelled. That stops the problem, but a cancelled timer also allows a very weak hostile to keep you persistent and call in a friend or "chip" you to death. Whether that is a problem or not, I will let you guys that care more, debate.

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Having a vulnerable avatar available 24-7 would certainly make mule alts less appealing.
But it does mean there'd be places filled with "bodies" of people who stopped playing.

Goblin Squad Member

Jester David wrote:

Having a vulnerable avatar available 24-7 would certainly make mule alts less appealing.

But it does mean there'd be places filled with "bodies" of people who stopped playing.

This!

Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
On the other side of things, how much fun do you think it would be to have every bit of the NPC settlements covered in naked sleepers?

This is how I can tell that people are just slamming basic ideas, than actually being part of a discussion.

Valkenr wrote:
I would just have sleepers out in the wild, if you log out in a settlement or POI you could go into that area's 'inventory' so you are only killed or looted if the structure falls. Logging out in NPC controlled territory, or on a road would send you to the nearest NPC city.

Ideas change, at least read all of the OP's posts before replying.

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Bluddwolf wrote:
Can a disconnected character still get killed inside 30 seconds? Sure, but the likelihood of this happening often is rare. There has to be some time clock so that players can not avoid being killed, by logging off.

EVE has the perfect system IMO, I linked it earlier. If you attack an NPC your character will remain for 5 minutes. If you attack, or are attacked by, another player, you remain in the game for 15 minutes.

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Bringslite wrote:
think that if you are engaged before or during the timer, it should either be prevented, extended or cancelled. That stops the problem, but a cancelled timer also allows a very weak hostile to keep you persistent and call in a friend or "chip" you to death. Whether that is a problem or not, I will let you guys that care more, debate.

There is no need for a system that helps people that log off in unsafe ares. In EVE if you need to leave quickly, you can "Warp within 0 meters" to the nearest station, and if you hit 'dock' mid-warp it will automatically dock you. That doesn't work all the time. Someone could pull you into a warp-bubble, and some NPC's and most PVP enemies will have warp scramblers to keep you there. I don't think PFO needs to do any more than something similar to that.

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Jester David wrote:

Having a vulnerable avatar available 24-7 would certainly make mule alts less appealing.

But it does mean there'd be places filled with "bodies" of people who stopped playing.

Read the first response in this post.

Additionally, you could make bodies only persist for few weeks, but I doubt bodies will remain out in the wild long enough and in great enough numbers to be a problem. Someone will come through and take care of them.

Goblin Squad Member

A novel idea but far too problematic to become an actual mechanic in PFO I think. None the less, it was fun to muse over.

Goblin Squad Member

Koschei wrote:
A novel idea but far too problematic to become an actual mechanic in PFO I think. None the less, it was fun to muse over.

No, I have great doubts it will go anywhere. Still as you pointed out, something to discuss and it helps get a count of attitudes (abstract poll).

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

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Valkenr wrote:
...at least read all of the OP's posts before replying. ...

No.

I replied to what I quoted. If I'd intended to reply to some other post, I would have quoted that instead.

Shadow Lodge Goblin Squad Member

Pax Keovar wrote:
On the other side of things, how much fun do you think it would be to have every bit of the NPC settlements covered in naked sleepers?

Sounds pretty damn fun to me.... Few drinks, Green Hats, Fraps rolling...... And I thought only Rust would have that kind of fun!!!

Liberty's Edge Goblin Squad Member

Harbinger of Chaos wrote:
Pax Keovar wrote:
On the other side of things, how much fun do you think it would be to have every bit of the NPC settlements covered in naked sleepers?
Sounds pretty damn fun to me.... Few drinks, Green Hats, Fraps rolling...... And I thought only Rust would have that kind of fun!!!

Or... you could save on the subscription price and just go to a virtual bubblewrap site for equally complex and challenging gameplay.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Brand new completely F2P version!

Too bad; I'm sure they could make a killing on premium bubble skins.

Goblin Squad Member

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Oh, By The Gods! Shane, you have wrecked my life. That game is sooo addictive!

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
Andas wrote:
Just don't force the rest of us to.
I really don't see how "what do you guys think?" translates into "you should all play this way" stuff like this keeps popping up around here.

I apologize - I thought you were advocating this system. If you read the rest of my post you will see that I did respond to "what do you guys think?"

Part of what I think is that you should be free to do this if you like as long as I am not forced to ;-)

Goblin Squad Member

Hmm. I support the idea that if a player lives in a settlement he/she should be there somehow, even if it is as a bot.

It shouldn't be terribly difficult to set up a script-building system interface to enable a player to choose a sequence of scripts for their character to, say, man the walls in the event of an invasion.

That said, if there isn't an invasion it would probably reduce the processing overhead for the unmanned character to be 'in lodgings' and out of sight. A well-populated town might look deserted without it, but that is mere aesthetics.

Or, as Nihimon wished, perhaps the character could have it's repetitive 'day job', running unplayervised, but again it should have a script providing it's defensive routine just-in-case.

After all, there will almost certainly be bots operating in the game anyway whether we like it or not. Why not enable everyone else to besides the criminals, cheaters and scammers?

Goblin Squad Member

Andas wrote:
Valkenr wrote:
Andas wrote:
Just don't force the rest of us to.
I really don't see how "what do you guys think?" translates into "you should all play this way" stuff like this keeps popping up around here.

I apologize - I thought you were advocating this system. If you read the rest of my post you will see that I did respond to "what do you guys think?"

Part of what I think is that you should be free to do this if you like as long as I am not forced to ;-)

Check-Box - Leave my body vulnerable in the world to be pick-pocketed or killed.

Talk about cool things nobody would ever do. If we want to make this an option, we need to talk about compelling reasons to do so. Is this a way for your character to do an automated job and earn some gold? Is this a way to increase your reputation faster?

I can see this as something of an extension of the PvP windows on settlements. Settlements have the option to set it as open or restrictive as they like. But they gain definite rewards for increasing their risk.

Goblin Squad Member

The Sleeper Wakens??!! Old Captain America comic title.

Goblin Squad Member

Harad Navar wrote:
The Sleeper Wakens??!! Old Captain America comic title.

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

Goblin Squad Member

Gilthy wrote:

The idea reminds me of a story in a Dragon magazine, a loooong time ago.

*googles*

It's "Catacomb" by Henry Melton from issue #97 of Dragon magazine May 1985.

If you want to read it, the author put it online to be read (for free) here.

And remember, this is from 1985:
This was written back when both the Mac and the IBM PC were new and years before the web. This was before everyone knew to click a mouse or knew that underlined text was a hyperlink.

Wow, I had that issue - the cover art came in late because of all the dragonscales that had to be painted. :) Girl meets a big thief?

Goblin Squad Member

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I have a Sleeper-Hybrid suggestion....

So, not counting the log out time issues, the issue with the Sleeper mechanic is, essentially:

I don't want to have to worry about my character while offline

Many reasons surrounding this, whether having to log out fast, or being offline for days, etc.

What if there were a risk reward situation? You can activate "Sleeper" mode for your charter while you are offline, this is an optional feature, and you must have gear threaded. While in "Sleeper" mode you can craft, act as an NPC guard using NPC AI (even during an open PvP window), or be assigned to an outpost.

The Risk being that your threaded gear takes 1 durability hit, and after you die, you are officially logged out of the game.

The Reward being a time reduction in crafting time, increase the quality, having the ability to have more hands on deck in the form of guards, finally getting an increase in outpost production.

Again, this would be optional, more than likely not everyone would do it, and there would be limits on how many PCs per settlement/POI/Outpost that could go "Sleeper" Mode, based on what the servers could handle.

Any thoughts?

Goblin Squad Member

An interesting sketch of what could evolve into an advance in game design.

Goblin Squad Member

Bigmancheatle wrote:

I have a Sleeper-Hybrid suggestion....

So, not counting the log out time issues, the issue with the Sleeper mechanic is, essentially:

I don't want to have to worry about my character while offline

Many reasons surrounding this, whether having to log out fast, or being offline for days, etc.

What if there were a risk reward situation? You can activate "Sleeper" mode for your charter while you are offline, this is an optional feature, and you must have gear threaded. While in "Sleeper" mode you can craft, act as an NPC guard using NPC AI (even during an open PvP window), or be assigned to an outpost.

The Risk being that your threaded gear takes 1 durability hit, and after you die, you are officially logged out of the game.

The Reward being a time reduction in crafting time, increase the quality, having the ability to have more hands on deck in the form of guards, finally getting an increase in outpost production.

Again, this would be optional, more than likely not everyone would do it, and there would be limits on how many PCs per settlement/POI/Outpost that could go "Sleeper" Mode, based on what the servers could handle.

Any thoughts?

I think the reward would have to be huge in order to run the risk.

I ran this by a friend who has a penchant for playing on the wrong side of the law and he practically swooned. He said that this would be a dream scenario for him- create an alt, and basically assassinate any sleeper he came across. Why? Because killing a player sleeper using NPC AI is far, far easier than killing a normal player, even if you took rep hits and got less reward for it. With Destiny's Twin, he will get all the XP he needs, and he won't need the advanced skills that a low rep will keep from him since he isn't taking on live players.

That to me would be the undoing of the sleeper system. All it takes is a few players deciding that killing sleepers should be their full-time job. Logging in and finding your character dead is annoying enough the first time it happens. Imagine how players would feel if logging out of the game was a virtual death sentence every single time you did it?

Goblin Squad Member

You wouldn't leave your char on autopilot just anywhere, and murdering characters in a settlement, it is said, is a quick route to the murderer's spawnpoint.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
You wouldn't leave your char on autopilot just anywhere, and murdering characters in a settlement, it is said, is a quick route to the murderer's spawnpoint.

I agree, you wouldn't be leaving them just anywhere. But we are also talking about players who would go out of their way to hunt down sleepers and who don't think the consequences of doing it are a problem. If the game also has disguise kits and other things to help with infiltration and espionage, even settlements won't be a guarantee of safety nor of swift justice.

In every game I've ever played, there are players who will go to the extreme to be a pain to every other player in the game, and will push every rule and game system to the limit in order to maximize the chaos they can create. I believe that implementing a system like this, no matter how well-intentioned, is giving those 1-5% of players a legitimate tool to aggravate the 95-99% of players.

Goblin Squad Member

If you would (in the best circumstances) log off and leave your "sleeper" in a pretty safe place (very low chance of being found/killed), then it seems it would primarily punish people that have to leave swiftly for real world concerns...

Goblin Squad Member

I feel as though the "autopilot logoff" should be more of a settlement benefit than an individual benefit. The individual gains minimal money or rep (if that), while the settlement gains economic or defensive benefits. Killing the sleeper wouldn't give you player loot, but would reduce settlement benefits appropriately. The player would no longer autopilot until their next login, and would be informed of the events, but otherwise would have no ill effects (unless the settlement was conquered or razed).

This would make settlements run by active groups seem more like active settlements, and give another way for people to contribute to their power structure.

Goblin Squad Member

If I am in my settlement and logout, leave my character on autopilot, and Trainus' pal gleefully murdered me in my sleep I'd login to find my character a few paces away at the settlement respawn point. If the town constables waxed my murderer before he could leisurely loot my cooling corpse I'd likely still have all my gear. And my script would have another data set, hopefully, for me to analyze for improvements. Further if my character was available to supplement the settlement defenses against a surprise invasion then all to the better, even if my AI routine isn't on par with a live pilot it is still one more defender on the walls.

Not much of a downside. And if AI scripts are running on a separate set of processors than the main game there should be little impact on the backend.

Goblin Squad Member

Although overall I think this idea is terrible, there are a couple ways in which I can get behind some sort of related concept.
In Everquest, for example, you can log off your characters in buyer or seller modes. You have to put them in a special area, set your buy/sell settings, and they basically turn into NPC vendors while you are offline. Depending on how vendors or markets work in PFO, something along these lines could get my support. Generally speaking though, WoW-style Auction Houses are far superior to systems like that IMO due to convenience. I'm curious to see what PFO comes up with.
Second, I like the idea that somehow, settlements with more members should be inherently stronger and more resilient to attack even if members are offline. I'd be OK with something simple like, the more players that are logged out in your settlement, the better the NPC defenses are. It'd need checks to make sure that creating a bunch of alts and logging them out doesn't really contribute and so on, but you get the idea. This depends on the mechanics of how exactly settlements are taken over/destroyed/damaged.
I could possibly even get behind some sort of "Settlement Defender" skill, which means when you log out your character turns into an NPC guard. I don't like the idea of letting every player do that for free though or we get the problem of the endless sea of inactive characters & alts which is beyond silly. Any NPC character should not be at risk to gain or lose anything while offline, though.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
.. if AI scripts are running on a separate set of processors than the main game there should be little impact on the backend.

I would say "less impact". The servers would still need to process all the commands coming in from the AI.

Goblin Squad Member

Nice, I am glad my comment about PC sleepers turning NPC defender, seems like everyone so far likes that bit.

Essentially all of this would be optional, so that means you don't have to participate in this aspect of the game if you don't want to. Maybe removing any gain you get personally, and just be settlement gains would be a better compromise, and having all of these people on AI scripts would limit the overall impact they have on the server, rather than having specific skills to train.

Goblin Squad Member

Bigmancheatle wrote:
Nice, I am glad my comment about PC sleepers turning NPC defender, seems like everyone so far likes that bit.

I like it a lot. Similar ideas have been floating around for a long time. I very much hope that Goblinworks can find a reasonably easy way to factor into Settlement Defense the accumulated XP of all Characters that are logged out in that Settlement

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I think the idea of everyone remaining logged in is bad, but I could see an insteresting choice if characters with abilities that make them valuable Assassination targets being vulnerable to suitably prepared characters. Logging out need not end the beneficial effects they have on their company/settlement/nation, but if so they shouldn't become invulnerable while offline.

Goblin Squad Member

Being wrote:
You wouldn't leave your char on autopilot just anywhere...

From the stories I hear about Hulkageddon and other suicide ganking in EVE, it seems there's no such thing as safety anywhere humans are involved. If certain EVE players could figure out where you live in real life, I'm sure there'd be reports of home invasion murders, too.

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