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How Static a World and Endgame Interest


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#1 Angborn

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:10 PM

One of the main detractions of WoW, for me, is the static world. No matter how many people cure the poisoned gazelle in the barrens they continue to be sick. No matter how many fights occur between the Horde and the Alliance in Ashenvale, the territory will always be contested. The world is static.

As a contrast, EVE Online is just the opposite of WoW. The outer regions of space in EVE are not static. Different player alliances can claim and fight over the territory. Players can form together to achieve a goal that benefits all of them. They can say "We claim this space" and build an outpost there, they can live there, and they can fight there to defend their space from other player alliances who want to live there instead. The EVE galaxy is not static and the political intrigue that occurs between the player alliances adds something to the game that makes it much more interesting than WoW, at least in that respect (WoW, of course, has it's own positive aspects, such as the quest system, that EVE sorely lacks.)

My question then for Alganon is to what extent is the world going to be static? To what extent will players be able to conquer and hold territory (and receive real benefits for holding that territory)?

Say for example that the God of Death commands his followers to take a certain territory/town that is under the control of the God of Light. Will the God of Deaths' followers have the real opportunity to take control of the city or will game mechanics make it so that they never truly hold the city?

What about non-deity related control? Say a guild forms of players who want to band together and take control of some town (be it a neutral or god controlled town). Will they have a real opportunity to take control of it or will game mechanics forbid them that possibility?

This raises another question of whether players will be able to create towns from scratch (and whether other players will be able to destroy those towns).

I saw a DEV post that said one god/faction would not be able to take control of the entire world. Was this statement based on the fact that game mechanics will artificially prevent this from happening (like in WoW) or is this statement based on the fact that it would be near impossible for a player group to conquer the entire world (like in EVE) though the possibility would exist.

Added to this, would it be possible for all the Gods of Kujix to join together in effort to try and take over a capital city? Say they focus all their attention on Haderos. Would it be theoretically possible for them to conquer it or will game mechanics make that impossible?

I would prefer the possibility. Can you imagine the effort it would take for all the forces of Kujix to organize together to attack Haderos (which is, I'm sure, a very well defended city). It would be great fun for both sides. Something REAL would be at stake. The forces of Kujix would have to not only siege the city, but keep an eye on their backside in preparation for the army of Asheroth that would come from the rest of Ardonya to help defend Haderos. Assume Haderos falls, now the Kujix forces try to fortify the city and use it as a base to conquer the rest of Ardonya. But would they be able to do that? Would the Asheroth allow it, or would they know secret ways into the city to ensure that Haderos would once again belong to them?

It'd be like the great battles in the Lord of the Rings or other great fantasy epics. So I ask, will the world be truly dynamic where the players have the real possibility to advance and conquer or will game mechanics relegate the world to a state of static predictability.

#2 Syndic

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 05:05 AM

As much as I think anyone would like this (although the lag in the Kujix battle would mean noone would win becuase the server would grab a gun and just shoot itself) there is also a fairly lengthy thread with similar dynamic content, not so much on the PvP side of things but certainly as you said in the gazelle example events happening around the place that wont be there for next 10 years.

Not to say that it is not possible, but the content generation required to create a world that is dynamic is monumental, and I'm not sure if it would be feasable in our lifetime if ever.

Currently it takes years to make an MMO world, all the art assests, scripting, design, modelling, sound yadda yadda, now to have it so the world can be recreated (reflecting change) in a 1/4 of that time.

Remember players chew up content about 30 times faster than it can be made.

Also for story reasons I couldn't see an Fantasy MMO ever having a major city being taken over by the "opposing" side, for play experience fairness some things need to remain stable, not static but stable (hance I think the reason no 1 god would control the world).

#3 Zheng

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:59 AM

In particular answer to taking over towns, I recall Requnix mentioning their plan is to have a few of the "border towns" on each of the two continents to be under dynamic control. They would be capturable in other words.

From a game balance standpoint, having the entire world or even most of it to be able to be captured would "break" things IMO. I, for one, am not always in the mood for PvP. Sometimes I just want to log in and dink around or have a PvE day or week. I wouldn't want to ever log in to a game that could change so radically that where I logged out safely on day could be deep behind enemy lines the next time I log in. Less fun, I personally think, would be having lost so much territory in the world that you need to watch your back in 90% of the game world, especially when you got used to feeling relatively safe in 50% of it.

That said, I do get incredibly annoyed by the static feel of MMO worlds and agree very much with Angborn that some "movement" is in order. The small differences in quests given and even the chance to change ownership through quests would be enough to get me to log in sometimes when I otherwise might not.

#4 Ripperric

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 01:36 PM

i thought that having town and strongholds thats up for player control would some the norm in any MMO now!!! I thought that the question would be more like "what privileges would come when you take the border town?" now.

#5 Grimmway

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:33 AM

Will it be possible for one side to completely control the entire world?
No. The game will be designed to only allow a certain threshold of control; plus the deity structure allows for variations even within the same faction. Just because one deity is worshipped by the Asheroth doesn't mean they get along with another deity worshipped by the Asheroth. It's possible for deities under the same faction to war amongst themselves.


Ironically, the FAQ of the day was on this timely topic.

It would be a neat dynamic to see a city fall to the other side. Of course, this would be complete with new guard spawns, etc. But this would also leave behind a hostile citizen/merchant class now trapped in their city.

Could guard spawns be affected by a simple mathematical balance? As the percentage of original city guards drops, then the respawn (dirty word) rate of the guards begins to diminish until the defenders' supply is exhausted.

Then, start a small timer that the invaders have to occupy the city for until their guards begin to spawn there?

Would make an interesting dynamic.

But, and the big but - there needs to be a good reason to do this, not just 'because it is there'. Occupying a city should convey a bonus that isn't normally available. Otherwise, the novelty of taking a city is just that.

But if you give me a reason (because it sits on top of the only adamantium mine! or somesuch), then I'll sign up to go!

Grimmway

#6 Eric

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:39 AM

I'm a big fan of world PVP objectives. I think taking over a city/town should convey some kind of bonus to your faction. But I also like smaller pvp objectives in zones, maybe controlling them will give you a small boost to your damage or XP rate, or give you a temporary ability/spell. It makes things more fun and dynamic while leveling, and it's a great way to keep the sense of war and vying for power at all levels of play.

#7 dice

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 01:44 AM

I agree.

Perhaps something like this:
Each deity has a "dominion" rating - how much land they control; how many townsfolk are under their direct control, etc.

If a faction of players who worship that deity take over another city and convert it by the sword to the worship of that deity, their deity gains Dominion. This results in greater benefits for players who follow that deity (in terms of the bonuses that they get from worshiping that deity). However, the larger a deity's dominion, the less concerned they are about the state of the world.

"So, I am very dominant, eh? Things must be going well; my minions must be following orders successfully, etc... I really don't think I need to keep too close an eye on things at the moment," says the deity.

Whereas the deity whose dominion was just reduced says:
"Damn... I'm going to have to do something about this..." <queue Rage Against The Machine's `Wake Up'>

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

So, basically, as the god's dominion gets reduced more and more, the more active role that deity takes in the day-to-day governance of his or her dominion. Imagine a deity whose sphere of influence is reduced to just one city. He or she would prowl the streets day in, day out; crushing any attempts to take the city personally, and leading assaults against neighbouring strongholds.

Ok, yeah, it might be a bit difficult to implement, but it would allow for some stability while still giving a hugely dynamic experience.


I myself agree with the first couple of posters. If I participate in a full scale assault of an enemy town, and having vanquished our enemies and gained control of that town be completely unable to reap any benefit from our endeavour, I would be sorely unimpressed.

I think it should be all about dynamic gameplay. It should be all about player-created content. Just my opinion.

Cheers,
dice.

#8 Zheng

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 09:02 AM

I'd have to say I like the idea of a diety who gets more active as their lands/people are threatened (reduced dominion).

#9 Darkrift

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 08:23 AM

The first time i ran across sieging it was fairly exciting , i remember we use to start early morning with a few of us widdling away at the doors in Daoc till we slowly rallied more support and before knew it we had a battle going on over a keep. granted this was early days when only hand full of us were 50 heh.


Anyhow as this is a pvp and a pve game i was considering ways both would be involved in a siege.

personally i enjoyed trying to take it from npc's more though lot of that was do to a lot of lag use to have on my dial up in pvp. But honestly the real excitement comes from other players.

With only a bit of time to think on it it seems one potability would be to have target out of pvp areas that pver's can fight to control from npc's that has a direct impact on the balance of the pvp stronghold in the otherb pvp ariea.

The idea is to allow both to partake in the effect and outcome of the influences over the realm while not forcing pvp.


Any thoughts to expand on this idea




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