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Are open pvp + full loot SANDBOX mmorpg's still possible?


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#21 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:45 PM

Then I'd say you should try out EVE online.
It's the only MMO that I know of that comes close to what you describe; it's like ultima by the sound of it.
It does'nt have no-pvp zones, but zones guarded by NPCs that discourages players from pvp, but if you're far enough away from the guards you can do hit-n-runs and be gone before the guards have time to respond.
But it's a sandbox game alright, and there are no servers with pve only since there is only one single but huge server where every player plays; sheeps and wolfs alike.
You can chose to play as the pirate, hunting for targets and ambushing lone miners or cargo transports and destroying player ships drops some of the equipment mounted on them, not all, so there's no full loot.


guarded zones have to be very limited imo.. theres too many in eve.. ive played it... lowsec is ok but too much highsec.
Also the game is just incredibly boring it feels like a papersheet game with graphics.. flying around 100 hours to get to destinatoin...
clicking attack and yawn while fighting... u know what i mean. just staring at ur pixel sized ship surrounded by endless space flying in direction determined by "compass"... yawn. maybe if eve online was more like strartrek online but with eves pvp system and startreks combat system... then it might be fun.

There's 1 AAA mmorpg that might become good.. world of darkness.. made by same company behind eve online.. but its gonna be a more normal mmorpg.. not space.
But i cant bother waiting excitedly like a kid waiting for santa anymore.. too many mmorpg's have tried like dfo, mo to name the big ones.. then hundreds of other small ones.
its like waiting for santa and finding socks in the present... i just dont believe in santa anymore :D but if it turns out theres no socks in the present this time ill be really happy but its nothing im expecting from past experience.

I just dont see how they can succeed with WoD.. because of the reasons towards the beginning in the thread.

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#22 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:00 PM

So what concessions are you willing to make on your "ideal" game to create an MMORPG(fantasy) that can be successful and enjoyed by many?

An open world for PvPers and PvEers to both enjoy. How can you do it? There are no limitations other than what you desire to put in place for the sake of a successful, enjoyable game experience for the majority of potential players.

It seems most of what is discussed here is the same old discussion on the topic. We know what the issues are, so how do you remedy them?

Edited by Caldenfor, 25 July 2012 - 02:01 PM.


#23 archlurkerchad   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 02:05 PM

Aye, don't get your hopes up. You seem to have high standards regarding open world pvp and given the general market and the casual gamer era I doubt well see anything like what you want.
Much like in real life no one wants to live in constant fear of being preyed upon in an MMORPG either, especially if they could lose their stuff.

I could see it open world pvp work if the gear was second in importance and easy to come by and people were given unique enough rewards for playing the role of the sheep, something that the wolfs can't get, not even steal or loot from them.
The wolfs can't have the sheep and eat them too so to speak; they need to make a choise about their playstyle; they need to pay a price.
Just playing a merchant character and being able to make money that then can be stolen isn't a good enough carrot for players to play sheep. It needs to be something more awesome, maybe to be able to influence NPC factions or something, as long the wolfs can't get it. Period. They'd have to reroll sheep if they want it.
I think that could motivate the players playing sheep and thus in turn giving the wolfs something to do.

#24 Malabyte   Members   -  Reputation: 583

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 06:32 PM

I think the biggest problem with these games is that players are sitting anonomously behind a pc screen. They're not held accountable for their actions in the same way as in real-life. Coincidentally, that's also why I tend to frown at any analyses concerning how real-life behavior and game behavior are linked, how they "can model eachother".

Anyways, as long as there's no real punishment for being a complete jerk to other people, this isn't going away any time soon.

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#25 archlurkerchad   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 01:39 AM

Well, there have to be a price for their actions when they kill players too.
WoW again is a poor example of world pvp since there's nothing to stop higher level players to prey on lower level players in starting areas.
Also their actions as you say has little consecquences in the world. But they don't get any loot either, their just being bastards, griefing players out of spite. That's the tricky part to get rid of.

EVE does this better, but not perfect. There every character have a security rating of sorts, visible to everyone. If it goes into the negative (for destroying ships and killing players) they get a red-flag and a flashing nametag warning players around them.
Players can also equip their vessels with gear specfically designed to escape these attacks.
Also players can put bounties out on them to attract bounty hunters to them to make their pirate lifes less enjoyable.

Just slap some kind of reputation system on the game or even justice and law system and make sure there are a price in one form or another to pay for the wolfs.
Make mercenaries readily available to defend players during journeys to further discourage attacks.
And so on.

Thing is that this in my head comes rather close to real life, where thiefs are less common than normal folk, because basically everyone that can avoid stealing don't simply because it's not worth consequences in most cases. It's much more comfortable to be able to make money from a job and buy stuff you need, rather than stealing everything.
But maybe that would work. Given harch enough consequenses for stealing/looting and killing players only the most motivated players would want to engage in that kind of behaviour voluntary. Maybe they don't respawn instantly if they have bad karma/reputation or something. They'd then be a minority in the game.
Sounds more plausible?

#26 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 08:41 AM

I think the biggest problem with these games is that players are sitting anonomously behind a pc screen. They're not held accountable for their actions in the same way as in real-life. Coincidentally, that's also why I tend to frown at any analyses concerning how real-life behavior and game behavior are linked, how they "can model eachother".

Anyways, as long as there's no real punishment for being a complete jerk to other people, this isn't going away any time soon.


I dont either think irl behaviour and ingame behavior have any similitaries.
But not for the reasons you mentioned.

Most mmorpg's would be best matched to the irl era hundreds of years back when there wasn't much firearms.
Back then, "police" were the "military" who defends the towns and empire. It's also a lot more ugly than movies and stories make it seem.

Armies would cut off womens breasts just for the fun of it while sieging other towns.

It was very darwinistic life then.. You really think that if a defenseless lonesome girl back then walks away from the town is safe?
If she walks into some guys are that out hunting its a good chance they might rape and kill her.. with very little consequence.

I'm not as knowledgeable about americas cowboy life but in the movies at least its usually just the sheriff and a couple of deputies who are defending and upholding justice in each small town. Because they are fearless and experienced with the way of the gun.. and they are good people.. so they want to take care of others.
It wasn't easy for them though to stop bandits raiding caravans outside the town and stuff like that.

imagine the people living outside towns in hermitages... ouch..

so I think consequences are about the same.

But reason I think its different is that its not as ugly killing someone in a game.. its not real... its a game Posted Image

but ya.. consequences are good in games too.. anti-pks will protect the sheep.. just like sheriffs do in cowboy movies. :D

#27 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:01 AM

Just slap some kind of reputation system on the game or even justice and law system and make sure there are a price in one form or another to pay for the wolfs.
Make mercenaries readily available to defend players during journeys to further discourage attacks.
And so on.

You dont need a reputation system when you have real human players.
I can imagine bots would need a reputation system.. but not humans.
If someone steals from you ingame.. he loses reputation with you.. because you dislike him now and know hes a thief.
You tell your friends or maybe everyone in the town and now he lost reputation with all these players.

Mercs are available in all games.. just that most games have made it so its either not worth paying someone to guard/fight for u or that you cant get paid enough to make it worth fighting/guarding someone else. But theres always anti-pks that will do it for free.

justice and law system also not needed.. players make their own "laws" and powerful clans uphold them.. usually its a strong anti-pk alliance that rules the game because they are so much more in numbers than the PKs.

PKs should not be auto punished thru some killing penalty system for killing someone.. or else whats the point? just to grief? I thought you didnt want griefing.

If a pk succesfully kills someone he should be rewarded with the loot and whatever else personal reasons he had.
The victim should be punished... and which is death... because your not supposed to die in games.. its something you should try to avoid.. duh.
PKs take plenty risk and lose a lot of things when they become a PK... depends on game design too ofc.. but for example in UO you coudlnt go inside town anymore. If you dont create a npc auction house and make it more sandbox so that players can chose to run their own auctions.. PKs can get blacklisted form them. Theres lots of stuff really.. and PKs are at constant risk when they cant enter guarded areas.. running into other pks or anti-pks.. or sheep that can defend themselves.. its not always they find a defenseless sheep.. and the defenseless sheep played very bad to put themselves into that situation at first place.. so they are punished with death then.

But pks can just create an alt char to get access to all those blacklisted stuff and town.. so you would need 1 char per account and make new account cost decent amount of money.
But Im not really trying to tell you details and what kind of systems and mechanics you need to make a game like this work.
Im really just mentioning the very basics.

#28 archlurkerchad   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:08 AM

I can imagine bots would need a reputation system.. but not humans.
If someone steals from you ingame.. he loses reputation with you.. because you dislike him now and know hes a thief.

True. This works if the game world is small enough, or takes effort to travel in. Keeping track of people in-game and their reputation on a piece of paper quickly gets tiring once you've bumped into over 100 PKs, and spreading word of them is an effort as well.
Now if characters have a territory of sorts, home ground where they hang out and rarely travel beyond you can familiarise yourself with the somewhat established players in that area and keep track of them. Same goes if the game server only hosts a few number of players, but that's not really an MMO then.
But if all the tens of thousand of players they all can teleport, gate, fly or somehow very easily navigate the game world you probably want an easy way to keep track of players.

Mercs are available in all games.. just that most games have made it so its either not worth paying someone to guard/fight for u or that you cant get paid enough to make it worth fighting/guarding someone else. But theres always anti-pks that will do it for free.

I was primarily thinking of player-run merc-corps, and some kind of advertisement or contract system or channel where you can easily get protection.

PKs should not be auto punished thru some killing penalty system for killing someone.. or else whats the point? just to grief? I thought you didnt want griefing.

This is true as well. Ideally no artificial punishment system would be needed. If it's done in spirit of your wild west it could work, just give players the tools they need, and they'll make their own laws, and band together.


I reckon games like this in itself would work, provided they make it easy for new players that don't know the laws or faction, to get into the these factions and become part of them.

I think the real problem is to attract players in the first place like you said.
Sheep friendly mmos like WoW will get the people that just want to have fun with friends in dungeons, while pvp-people will search out pvp-dedicated games.
It takes a certain personality and attitude to want to expose yourself to danger in a non-pvp focused game; I imagine it's the same people that would roll hard-core characters in diablo :P
And as you said it's rather niche.

So, closing though. While doable, it wouldn't be as profitable as an MMO could be. Or so I believe.

#29 FlyingDutchman   Members   -  Reputation: 207

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 04:37 PM

i play UO sometimes on the freeshard the second age and it exactly how it was before they invented trammel and felucca. PvP everywhere. It is kinda frustrating in the beginning but I have to say that the majority of players are not PK'ers and that most of the newbie training spots are actually pretty well guarded. The cool thing about it is , that you really thrill when you go deep into the wilderness and you see someone with a red name (PK). Its like, shit i am dead and i will loose all my stuff. Posted Image But mostly PKs leave you alone if they see you are weak. On the other hand, you very soon learn not go out alone but in groups. That was one of the first lessons i learned in UO (10 years ago). STICK TOGETHER!

btw.. UO was even so cool , that even richard garriot was PKed while playing as lord british Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

nowadays you dont need it anymore, and thats quite a shame. I can understand why. UO's prime (financially) came with the introduction of trammel.

Edited by FlyingDutchman, 26 July 2012 - 04:38 PM.

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#30 hustlerinc   Members   -  Reputation: 169

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:06 PM

Tibia handles this sort of good. They use a skull system, where a kill gives a white skull and 15 minutes locked out of protection zones. If you kill 3 people in a day you get a red skull for a month. Anyone with a skull are free to kill for anyone (the attackers get a yellow skull allowing the skulled to protect himself without consequence).

If you die with a redskull you drop all your items when killed, so you don't want that.

I like that system, but it could be improved.

#31 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:13 PM

I would imagine that there should be something to encourage some people to settle down together, such as useful worthwile defenses that are multi-person projects, as well as shops and taverns to attract people. There should also be a simple way to track down PKers with your friends and gank them. Finally, however, there should be a prison system so that people can discourage someone they really dislike. If they have enough people to build a prison, they can jail people, but jailing people does not give you any rewards, so one would only do if out of revenge. Also, it would take multiple people to continously gaurd it, while the criminal can try to break out. As such, a group of sheep may band together to do it, but there would be no reason for a wolf to jail sheep. Also, the sheep can be broken out if he has friends.

#32 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:50 PM

Two options that come to mind, both have issues:

A) Jail = locked out of your character for X amount of time, % chance of breaking out early/probation. Consequence of breaking civil law is that you will be locked up for your crimes. Friends wouldn't turn friends heads in generally to keep them from being locked out. Can still be abused.

B) A constant bounty is placed on the head of a player, but the reward is not cash, sort of "item shop incentives" for not being a criminal. Item shop would not be pay to win, only non-beneficial things. If people want to pay players for these rewards once earned from turning in enough bounties, let the value be determined in game. Thus it isn't a one shot deal where the player's friend can nab the big bounty and then it is worthless to hunt the criminal. Potential to limit number of turn ins per set amount of time. Can still be abused.


Big Aid: Allow tracking. Promotes bounty hunting, but could also be used to track innocent players unless handled through a game mechanic that limits tracked targets to criminals.

#33 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1784

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:36 PM

I love me some DayZ, and the reason I love it is that there's no "endgame" per se. It's a roguelike, like the adventure mode in Dwarf Fortress. You roll up a character, make a bad decision, get eaten by zombies, try again. Then you get to a weapon, kill some zombies, get sniped by a jerk on a catwalk a half-mile away, try again. Then you get geared up pretty well, meet up with a couple strangers, have an epic fight with bandits where you're the last man standing, load up with the spoils and head for the hills all alone. You survive a couple days, meet up with a guy from work, then break a leg falling down a glitchy ladder and have your partner shoot you in the face so you can respawn and try again. Bad decision, zombies eat you. You get some medical supplies and are running to a rendezvous, but the sun goes down and you get lost and starve to death with a backpack full of morphine. Then you get run over by a car full of jerks (true story). Then you decide to live off the land, hunting for meat and drinking water from a pond. That lasts a good week, then you get bored and go check a city and get machinegunned in the halls of an abandoned school.

And on and on and on. Many players are paranoid enough to shoot on sight, but I find that I'm almost always better off trying to make contact with people. Especially with the new patch reducing solo combat capabilities and making zombies more dangerous, it's usually worthwhile to team up, even with strangers. So the sheep get a little more organized and a little better equipped. A few days ago a friend and I were set upon by three bandits in a major city, and while my buddy bled in the street and the bandits moved into position to finish him off, I climbed an apartment building and shot all of them to death with a hunting rifle. Too late to save my chum, but we were new spawns with lame gear and the stuff I took off of the aggressors represented many hours of legitimate playtime.

Of course, that's assuming they earned it legitimately. If you see a guy with a ghillie suit and a .50 caliber sniper rifle, you can bet dollars to doughnuts he didn't find that stuff on his own. More likely he either directly hacked it in or he abused loot farming mechanics and item duping glitches to get his kit. What's more, he likely keeps it by disconnecting from the game at the first sign of trouble. It's not uncommon for a bandit to take a shot at a survivor and then Alt+F4 if he misses, then join another server, run 300 meters to the other side of the valley, go back to the other server and try to kill his target again as they advance on his original position.

That kind of dirty play is why the game doesn't work right. If you had to earn your gear and defend it fair and square, you'd see fewer sociopaths in the game. It's not that they're bad people, usually. Even in single player games, the phenomenon can be seen. I know when I turned on the cheats in Goldeneye's story mode, I'd fight halfway through the level, get bored and start building elaborate mine traps to kill Natalya during cut scenes. My high-level characters in Skyrim or Fable turn into douches when the game stops challenging me and I start looking for puzzles to solve in the form of either killing hordes of city guards or trying to break the game by pushing the boundaries of what is allowed. So when a sandbox can be "beaten" and the winners are left with all the power and none of the challenge, they'll try to get a high kill count or a monopoly on all the server's vehicles, or they'll try to add gameplay by running a script that spawns a fighter jet into the game and strafing the hospital.

Griefing only happens when players have too much power and not enough to do. In EvE, people that have good combat skills and plenty of money but don't want to deal with the bureaucracy of organizations that do serious PvP get their fix by griefing, since it feels like combat and satisfies that urge without all the waiting for orders and choosing targets and getting killed all the time. In DayZ, players grief when they have an easy way to regain lost asset or avoid risk and thus no longer derive satisfaction from playing the game as intended.

#34 Wolfsong73   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 11:53 AM

The only way full open PvP could work, in my opinion, is by providing incentive for people to actively hunt down active PK'ers. A reward system with built-in limitations related to the incentive to prevent exploitation or abuse (ie. preventing people from killing their friends over and over to "power-level" their rep. etc).

There also needs to be disincentives - actual in-game/lore-related penalties for someone being a PK'er. This requires there to be a distinction between someone who's engaged in PvP, and someone who's just running around ganking. L2 had a pretty straight-forward way of implementing this... If you attack someone, you go "aggressive". Someone attacking you back will also go "aggressive". If you're killed while in an "aggressive" state, there's no penalty for your assailant. It was PvP, plain and simple.

However, if you go aggressive on someone and that person doesn't fight back, and you drop them, you go "chaotic". Being chaotic brings with it certain penalties. Regular city merchants will not do business with you. City guards will attack you on sight. You are considered an "outlaw" and so others can attack you without penalty to themselves, or without flagging as "aggressive". A chaotic/outlaw player is basically a "mob" at that point.

What I always kind of get a kick out of is how against the idea of any kind of penalty for PK'ing/Ganking many self-described "hardcore" or "avid PvPer's" are. Most every suggestion they make always seems to involve piling all the risk and loss on the victims/sheep - such as full corpse looting, etc. However, they are typically completely against any kind of tangible risk or penalty to themselves for ganking/PK'ing, often citing it as "unfair" or "being punished for wanting to have fun", etc. That seems to be the opinion shared by glhf in this thread.

The suggested risk/penalties they put forth for themselves are typically quite "vaporous" and extremely situational. A common one, which again is shared by glhf, is the whole "players getting together to hunt down and take on the PK'ers/Gankers". It sounds reasonable right? Two main problems with it:
1. It requires others to band together to hunt down the ganker/griefer, so it's not a guaranteed penalty to begin with.
2. The griefer/ganker can - and usually will (as per the "hyena" analogy used earlier in the thread) - run, teleport, or force-log at the first sight of someone coming to deal with them. So even when item #1 does happen, they are gone. Because the typical ganker is not looking for actual PvP. They're looking for easy kills with little or no risk to themselves.

The only PvP system most so-called "pro-PvP'ers" will ever accept is one that places all guaranteed risk/loss on the victim - with the reward of "full loot" - while keeping any risk to themselves as conditional and avoidable as possible.

The only suggestions they seem to support in terms of lessening ganking/griefing is for the sheep to go somewhere else. Basically... run away and stroke the ganker's ego. Of course, when the sheep/victim leaves, they're regarded as a "carebear" for not standing there and being the willing victim.

Again, GLHF's arguments are so familiar, as I've seen them in thread after thread when this such discussion comes up.

I made a suggestion to balance the playing field for the PK'ers and non-PK'ers in TERA's forums some time back as, at the time anyway, it pretty much favored the chaotic players/griefers/gankers. You wouldn't believe the outrage and indignance that was hurled back at me for even suggesting that a PK'ers existence be a bit more dangerous than it was. The strongest arguments against my suggestions came from those who always argued for "more risk and danger". Of course, and as usual, the only "risk" or "danger" they're in favor of is that piled on their victims.

Edited by Wolfsong73, 22 August 2012 - 11:58 AM.


#35 2DExtremeOwner   Members   -  Reputation: 142

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:00 PM

I wonder how that mod became so successful tho.. being perma death and open pvp.. doesnt make sense! Posted Image


Honestly, that's the only way it does make sense. If you die, you die. Everyone can kill and lose it all. If a player can't be "godly", open pvp makes the most sense in the whole design. Where is the fun if you can be epic and never die? Just for that one player. If there is no cost, only the first to reach the top can screw up every body else. That is not good design. IMHO (I have not played the game)

(I have played true open PvP 2d games in the past, for years. You got exp for killing, but couldn't take items away. It had a bounty system, it made you a target by increasing the amount of EXP and money you gave for being killed, and that was cool. I have been a "sheep" and a "wolf", but it becomes fun only after you are capped or near capped and if the game is real time based combat, otherwise it would just plainly and utterly suck.)~Personal Opinion.

Edited by 2DExtremeOwner, 23 August 2012 - 07:01 PM.


#36 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:20 PM

I think that it depends on how much of a sandbox it is. If it's one where people band together in large cities that they make themselves, then it would be best to give the players themselves the responsibility of punishing the wicked.

#37 Telcontar   Members   -  Reputation: 858

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:23 AM

There are a few reasons why the wolf/sheep thing is a tough nut to crack for game designers, and reason one is that people don't want to be sheep.

Everyone wants to be the wolf. Yet, for every wolf in a forest there are a ton of "sheep" (deer, rabbits, whatever). Being a wolf is hard. Dumb wolves die. Weak wolves die. Slow wolves die.

When you come to the problem of players beings so-called wolves, you need to take into account that in most games they have no needs. Characters of high enough level can heal themselves and stay out away from population centers forever. Real bandits and thieves needed those centers because they, too, needed the benefits of society. Food, shelter, health care, etc. You might introduce a couple of these into a game to limit loner PvP activity.

If I ever designed anything approaching MMO status, it might not be hugely popular, but here's how I might go about the issue of 1v1 or small group PvP (wars are a different matter):

A) Players engaging in non-consensual PvP ("Wolves") open themselves up to permadeath situations, or at the very least increased corpse looting and loss due to death.
B) Wolves require supplies to survive (probably would be true of all players) such as food. They can't just go dormant for a long time to let people forget about them. They need to keep eating.
C) If a wolf is unsuccessful in a kill, or has witnesses for his crimes, local towns will know about him. The justice system will act accordingly depending on level of his actions. Also, guards are not cannon fodder. You don't want to screw with them unless you are pretty badass yourself.
D) Abilty to self-heal is limited.

Those are a few thoughts. Obviously the overall design is tied into a thousand and other games systems. The main point: You can't make being a wolf easy. You have to make it hard enough that most players won't bother. If they do and they don't have the smarts, they fail miserably. Only the strongest should be able to hack it playing this kind of game, and even then they face the possibility of a vigilante party coming for their ass.

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#38 Dinner   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

Salem, its a new mmo..the character graphics annoy me, but sandbox open pvp with perma death. http://www.paradoxplaza.com/games/salem

#39 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

yes. you give all power to advance to "sheep", and give them a way to revenge.

haven and heath: all exp gained through crafted items, pvper activity results in scents (tracking and summoning offline players), and perma death.

eve: sure everyone levels with time but real advancement is gaining the ability to replace loss, further the real game is a market simulation.

I really don't see any good design coming out of a post that sees builders, designers, networkers, and artisans as nothing more than prey. your goal is to design for the former... no one plays prey.

#40 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:02 PM

Ideally, if sheeps aren't careful, then wolves could kill them and the wolves would get more stuff than the sheep. However, if the sheep are careful, then they don't get killed and get all the stuff.




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