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game dynamics

TrollHammer

So, what do you want to see as part of the game dynamics?



What I mean, is how involved do you want it to be? Like drinking water and eating food to stay alive, or atleast have an easier time of it?



What got me to thinking about this was when the wolfriders got stuck out in the desert, a healthy wolfrider barely makes it straight through from the tunnel to Sarrows End, and an injured rider wouldnt have made it if the rest of the tribe hadnt brought water back. A sun villager, while physically weaker than a rider, has more stamina in the heat and properly provisioned, can make it 2-3 times as long without difficulty.



I figure an each tribe (sounds better than sub-species) has their own pros and cons: sun villagers are weak for elves, but can stand the heat well. Go backs are tough and can stand the cold. Wolfriders are tough but are not at home in the cold or the heat. Wavedancers (supposedly) would fry in the heat and freeze in the cold, but can breath (supposed) underwater. Frozen mountain trolls would be stout against cold, strong, and relatively smarter (well, craftier), but would not do well in the desert at all.



More later.

TrollHammer

As posted on the Engines thread, Im having a difficult time choosing an engine I like.

That is, for the full ElfQuest game...

Trollquest, however, with no trees or sky or whatnot, is much easier to mess with.

So, unless the as3iso engine works well enough to jump on Ill focus on the test game, Troll Quest (which was the origional idea anyway, but oh well.)

So, prepare to go green... Troll green.

Dynamics of Troll Quest: much thr same dynamics as Elf Quest will be, after all it is the test bed, but instead of having multiple races and topside related items, itll just be Troll related stuff. Still have plenty to explore, plenty to make, and plenty to do. (actually, there is more stuf to do underground than above ground, interestingly enough!)

for now, trolls only. Later Ill add some elves, unless the full project gets underway.

TrollHammer

I think I figured out a solution to one of my greatest fears about making this game.

This game, intended to be an online roll play game, would be classified as an MMORPG, like Rift, Vanguard, and World of Warcraft. One attitude that seems to arise with these games is "the best player is the one that can kill everything", and you end up with a player or two that leave a path of destruction in their wake. As it is intended that a player character has only "one life", eitger there should be no way to allow a character to get overpowered enough to allow them to kill all the other characters, or some other check and balance needs to be in place.

Making all characters equal without the ablity to "grow" (get better at doing things) would be dull. There wouldnt be any reward dor doing anything, and players would see no point in playing.

Making it impossible for a player to die would be about as pointless in Elf Quest as having infinite lives: no challence, no risk. This is fun for some people, but I dont feel like EQers would feel that it is "the way".

Instead, I propose Death Coil. Just like madcoil and mindcoil were empowered by the pain and suffering of others, Deathcoil would be generated and strengthened by an individual player character killing other player characters unprovoked. Deathcoil would then target and attack the murderer. In this way, if a PC accidentlly kills another PC, Deathcoil manifests as something small, like a squirrel, that is only somewhat of a nusence but managable. If a PC kills many PCs in a short period of time, though, a monster as horrible and deadly manifests and grows too large for the killer to handle, and wipes out the killer. If the community wishes to protect the person that has been killing them, they have that option.

The second idea I had was an aura of warning surrounding a PC that has killed other PCs. The aura would extend in all directions further and further with the more PCs killed, and be darker and darker as well, giving the other players the chance to escape.

Embala

In the second case - this character would live on - but no one would interact with him/her. He/she could only seek death and start anew. Or - you imply a way to redeem - and loose powers in that way - as well.

TrollHammer

Embala said


In the second case - this character would live on - but no one would interact with him/her. He/she could only seek death and start anew. Or - you imply a way to redeem - and loose powers in that way - as well.







I think that's pretty much what I'm trying to say, however each race would "see" the aura differently. A Human that killed elves (like the hunter we saw in EQ volume 2, I can't remember the specific title) would not be seen by other humans to be a murderer per se... perhaps even be welcomed by a tribe that opposed Elves (like a Gotara tribe), and it would make it more difficult to hunt more elves (which some would find a challenge, I suppose). A tribe of humans that killed/hunted/sacrificed elves could have a forboding darkness surrounding it as seen by Elves or even Trolls (as it might be assumed that elf haters might also hate Trolls), but wouldn't look like much of anything to the humans, or perhaps even bright and shiny... I'll have to think about this.



A human that killed a human would be deemed a murder by most races, except perhaps Trolls, but it wouldn't be as big of a deal to Elves as an Elf killer would be. A tint surrounding them could be dark red or just dark as well... not sure yet, but not as strong as that of an elf hunter. Of course, this would make it easier for police to catch them.... which I guess isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case. We want to discourage killing as much as possible anyway.



An elf that killed another elf, even mistakenly, however, would be sharply contrasted with "normal" elves. It seems natural that "outsider elves" would have been very wary around Strongbow ( it was Strongbow, right?) for a while after his mistake. Of course, actual players in a tribe would know the circumstances of whatever happens and be able to ignore this if they choose to.



So... I guess the better way to put it would be that if a player character killed (or tricked, as in Mantricker/Demontricker's cases) a player character of another race, they might have a dark or colored aura as seen by that race's view, but not as much as by other races.



Different colors could represent different kinds of mischief, such as theft, tricks, bullying, lieing.... I don't know how much of this could actually be made to work "in game", but its a possiblity. Of course, this also gives rise to developing the ability to mask the aura, which would also be a challenge. IE:



Lets say Treestump turned into a theif. If he just started stealing other's meat, weapons, leathers, and whatnot, and didn't try to keep others from blaming him, he could easily become known to all the tribe as a thief, and perhaps other tribes or races down the road. If he works on being sneaky, though, and masking (covering up or passing the blame) his trail, others wouldn't notice him, or might blame it on Trolls. (this is a bad example, as theft is fairly unknown among elf tribes, but it's just to illustrate).



Anyway, yes, I think ability to "forgive" another character should be a possiblility. Two other ways of "cleansing the aura" would be to either move far away (banishment to a place you are unknown), or wait until other forget. In a place like Blue Mountain, though, "forgetting" is not necessarily easy, and would take longer.



(Thinking of these things makes the game very complex sounding... and I think to an extent it should be. EQ is a very dynamic story/world, and I feel that if some of this complex interaction was left out, fans might be disappointed.)



As far as losing powers and skills... I think that in some situations this would definately fit in. Strongbow lost his ability to aim. A human that finally learned to Send would most likely "lose" that ability if they lost the trust of the Elves that they were sending to, I would think.



I guess, though, in a sense, if a player decided to simply go through and kill PCs indescriminately to the point that ALL races and tribes dispised his presence, I feel little pity for them if they have to dump their character. I want to make sure that there aren't WoW/Rift players coming in that think this is a "kill or be killed" game. This game is supposed to be more like Sims for WoTM/EQ. I suppose I should look at Sims more to see how the dynamics of that game work.

TrollHammer

One other thought that keys into the above: I was considering a strange feature to the game: Madness.



Most RPGs have stats that follow something like DnD, and this is fine to an extent. In Elfquest, though, you have some odd dynamics that don't make sense without madness, such as Winnowil's trechery that would be debilitating to most elves, but she seemed to thrive on it, and Two Edge, who's perspective was so twisted he couldn't tell one thing from another half the time.



This is more complex than I can explain right now, but my idea is to have a "madness" statistic (like Strength or Wisdom in other games) that can be triggered and compounded in some situations.



What this would look like in-game is:



Normally, if you do something "bad", it's debilitating and distances you from your peers and yourself (simulates self detactment, you gradually lose your powers)



If you are "Mad" to a certian degree, however, your skill in one thing or other becomes stronger instead (healing for Winnie, Metalwork for Two-Edge).



Normally, the world would look normal... trees are trees, rocks are rocks, et cetera.



A "Mad" character, however, could have the graphics replaced depending on how "mad" you were... A "mad" Troll might see trees as tunnels, above ground creatures as below ground creatures, or pools of stagnent water as casks of brew or gems...



In the case of racial conflict, Humans might see Elves that have attacked/killed/tricked/burgled them as demons, and be fearful of the area they live in. The area near where the Elves live would start looking spooky (large area, to keep from pinpointing the exact location). Graphically, normal trees would be replaced with gnarled trees, normal rocks with jagged rocks, regular bushes with thorny. It would be perception based (only visible on screen) and wouldn't have as much effect on gameplay (thorny looking bushes would not necessarily be thorny or hurt a character, they are just seeing it because they are scared). (this has nothing to do with Madness, but more Fear, another perception-bending state of mind)



It's just a thought for now, though. I don't know how it will actually play out when I get to that point in the game.

Embala

A game for creation and developement - not for destruction and selfishness.

TrollHammer

Embala said


A game for creation and developement - not for destruction and selfishness.







Exactly. I've been looking up game types on wikipedia and have a few more ideas. Here is a list of catch-phrases for what I'm going for:



Open World

Life Simulation

Interactive Fiction

Non-linear game play





The hard part that I'm trying to straighten out (the part that isn't just as easy as just plugging the information into the program to get it to work) is that Elfquest explores both the lives of the inhabitants of Abode as well as conflict. Conflict is normal, but we want to stay away from destructive conflict. Does that make sense: Constructive conflict?



Anyway, not the main focus of the game, just something that concerns me a LOT, as I know there's going to be someone who tries to ruin everyone else's fun.

Embala


One other thought that keys into the above: I was considering a strange feature to the game: Madness.

Greetings from Stormcatcher: I should tell you to check the game statistics of the "Call of Cthulhu"-RPG considering madness; she found it inspiring... Smile

smellsgood

Alright, I finally stumbled across this page. TrollHammer, this game sounds really interesting! It's late, so I've only skimmed the stuff you've shared, but I'll take a closer look tomorrow, for sure. Smile

Edit: I read this stuff more closely. A Tale in the Desert is an MMORPG that doesn't have any combat, and has systems in place to allow players to deal with disruptive players. You might look into it for ideas.

TrollHammer

Thanks, Giving it a look-see now...

TrollHammer

I realized today fhat I need to lay out the mass of ideas I have and condence similar functions into a plan.

You guys cant look in my head, and Im finding Im having a hard time keeping things straight, but after a thought exersize today (that was shaping up nicely and was almost complete when a computer crash lost half the info. Grr.) I found some beter ways to to simplify battles and make ways to fight without killing each other. As a result, I found more methods to describe the events in the game, but a more tangled web too.

For example, one thing I want to be able to do is allow players with the right skill set to take congrol of other characters, be it NPCs or PCs.

I wont go into the full details, but it resulted in the following rules:

All.magic is affected by range.
All magic will be affected by both the source and target charscter's experience with the specific magic.
Both the source and target character gains experience with each exposure, even if the attempt fails.

More later.

TrollHammer

(BU)