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Medieval MMO, thouble with lack of things to do


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#21 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 06:32 AM

Hmmm, so you think the lack of goal is the core of the problem as well... Therefore, if I add minigames there it would not solve the problem, it would add things to do, but not a real goal to strive for...

 

This brings me to an important question, can that goal be only from competition or maybe from cooperation as well (I'm asking in practical sense, I know we can theoretise and prove it can be done both ways, but I'm asking more if it mmakes sense and if it makes sense for this game)?

 

My original way of thinking when I was designing this game (I wonder if it's not all wrong... PLEASE COMMENT on this):

The core is a medieval world with predefined historical kingdoms, the players would join a kingdom (most likely their real nation) and then cooperate together (more or less) to make their kingdom "the best" (by constructing shared public building and participating in wars of their kingdom). Also they would have individual assets (the whole economy/production thing). The game is everlasting (no resets), all positions/roles are filled by real players (from the king to a peasant).

I discarded most of the individual competition because of the everlasting nature of the game (those who start early would be on the top forever, which is not that bad in case of cooperative game but much worse in case of a competitive game) and tried to fill it with prestige only competition and cooperation (noty sure if it can work through).

 

Note: if you see something wrong with my way of thinking/approach please say so, I have incredibly thick skin, you won't offend me. I desperately need to know what is wrong with this game and I would gladly sacriface my ego to make this game finished if needed :)

 

Please reply if my suggestions sounds ambiguous or to vauge.

No, no, it's all right. I mostly need a general direction right now, not details. So vague is OK at this stage.

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#22 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

For cooperative elements you might consider looking at A Tale in the Desert, which has a collaborative setup for players and little if any competitive aspects.

As you've laid it out, you want a continuous server for all players as they contribute bit by bit to the glory of their kingdom. In this case the goal isn't players developing their characters but each one finding a way to add something to everyone else's work. Players would probably need some way to distinguish their own contributions from those of others, but most of the focus on the works they build together.

If this is a decent read of your intent, then you need to design kingdom-level works for players to work on. It's all well and good for players to make bricks or do whatever else they do in exchange for payment, but what are the bricks for? Or the payment, for that matter? But if one section of the kingdom is building a cathedral that needs 10,000 bricks, every stamina point that brickmakers invest has purpose and works towards a specific goal. And if that same cathedral needs 20,000 units of labor to complete, that adds something for players not engaged in brickmaking to do. Artists can invest their labor to make the cathedral more beautiful or prestigious.

If you have a kingdom-level goal structure, that opens up lots of possibilities for players. Kings can decide which projects the kingdom should undertake, and allocate money for paying workers or buying materials. Religious leaders and their groups can try to get their favored projects built. Individual players can produce wares in hopes that someone will buy them, contribute to a specific project, or lobby the king to build something that uses what they produce. Maybe as players amass wealth they can afford to build their own things, for their own purposes.

Individual assets might no be very important. What would they do? War without conquest or loot sounds similarly unimportant. And while you can keep "medieval mood", historical realism may not be doable.

#23 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:14 AM

If this is a decent read of your intent,

Not exactly. Focus on cooperation was merely my *original* concept. It was more like a tool, to achieve other things (listed below), not the goal. I just thought cooperation would work best for the kind of game I was making. I'm not tied to the cooperation aspect too much.

 

The primary design objectives (I want them at all cost):

- medieval, historical theme with predefined real kingdoms (players can not create new kingdoms)

- everlasting game (no resets)

- players are citizens of a kingdom of their choice (a kingdom is shared by many players)

 

Secondary design objectives (it would hurt me to remove these but I can sacriface them if needed):

- the ruler (king) of a kingdom is one of the players

- some form of hierarchical structure within a kingdom

- keep the current market feature (since it works much better than I expected)

 

Trietriary design objectives (I find these very benefitial and appealing to some players, but I can sacriface them for a greater good)

- players can be non nobles (peasants, craftsmen, merchants) if they choose to (surprisingly, many want just that, they don't enjoy being nobles or rulers for some reason...)

 

War without conquest or loot sounds similarly unimportant.

Conquest, as for taking over cities is out of the question (the last time I checked eRepublic Poland took half of the world and was fighting rebels in their USA province :D I would like to avoid this). As for loot, at the moment there is no individual loot, but a kingdom can rob another kingdom (kingdom treasury not the citizens).

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#24 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:51 PM

I think that most of your design objectives could be kept with a setup like the one in my previous post. The keys are kingdom-level goals, and then ways for different players (be they kings, noblemen, craftsmen) to make distinct contributions to those goals. It may not change the things players do in-game, but the added context can supply a reason to do them, which is what it sounds like your game might lack.

#25 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:02 PM

The keys are kingdom-level goals

Let's forget about everything that was said for a moment. Do you, as a player, find this kingdom oriented goal gameplay appealing? Do you find it more appealing that a goal centred around your individual assets/achievements/power?

 

Personally, the descripton of A Tale in the Desert put me off. I didn't make me want to play it...


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#26 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:49 PM

Let's forget about everything that was said for a moment. Do you, as a player, find this kingdom oriented goal gameplay appealing? Do you find it more appealing that a goal centred around your individual assets/achievements/power?
 
Personally, the descripton of A Tale in the Desert put me off. I didn't make me want to play it...

I don't play Tale in the Desert for the same reason. However:

I'll be brutally honest. With the constraints that you most want to maintain on the game, I have a hard time finding the individual character goal approach appealing. It comes back to the issue you created this thread to address: there isn't much to do. If I want to play a peasant character (or a noble or king or anything else), what is there for me to achieve, ever? Amassing wealth would feel kind of hollow if I could just as easily have chosen a noble character instead of a peasant. Maybe I could put together a cool collection of stuff, but if we're observing historical realism how much of a variety of stuff can I accumulate? If I want to show off my accomplishments compared with other players or amass power I can use to change the play experience for others, how can I ever catch up to to players who started before me if there is never a server reset?

I could go on. But the main point is that under the current design, the only interactions I can really imagine having with the game will never change from what I would experience in the first five minutes of play. The maximum development my character can achieve is to be marginally better than he was at the beginning. In the framework that you've laid out so far kingdom level goals allow for individual tasks to have meaning, and for different kingdoms to be distinct from each other in meaningful ways. I don't know that it would be enough to be the whole attraction but I might at least be willing to play.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, but without seriously compromising on some of your core design ideas I don't know what my character could be that would bring me back to play more than a couple of hours. Kingdom level goals allow for some expanded options without compromising on your core design goals while keeping the game as a historical sim. Alternately, if it were a game from a different genre (casual smartphone game, collection of minigames, or something else) I might not mind the current crop of options. In fact, if your game were like Torn City I might enjoy it a lot. I don't know if the mission-based setup would mesh with what you're envisioning, but it keeps a lot of the elements you have now.

Are there any things that you wish you could do in the game but currently can't?


Edited by Khaiy, 18 February 2013 - 10:34 PM.


#27 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:19 AM

I don't play Tale in the Desert for the same reason.

That what I was afraid of. A strictly cooperative game could work, but it won't make you nor me "wow, I have to play this"...

 

I'll be brutally honest.

Please, be. I find it extremelly annoying when people try to be polite or worry about my feelings when I just want feedback, tracking of problems and solutions. I really, really apreciate people who don't treat me like a kindergartener :)

 

With the constraints that you most want to maintain on the game, I have a hard time finding the individual character goal approach appealing.

OK, how *you* would do it? Preferably keeping _some_ of these constrains if possible...

 

In fact, if your game were like Torn City I might enjoy it a lot. I don't know if the mission-based setup would mesh with what you're envisioning, but it keeps a lot of the elements you have now.

Can you explain (from a player perspective) why you enjoy it?

 

I have not played it but I can bet it's Mccodes script which means there is an energy that refills overtime (2 kinds of energy, one to do missions, one to attack other players), then there are several tiers of missions (unlocked "locations" witch every holding around 5-10 missions with increasing difficulty) and you can attack other players to steal their money. Usually it would not have resets of any king (everlasting) althrough sometimes it can have resets.

If I missed something important, please say so.

 

Are there any things that you wish you could do in the game but currently can't?

Well, actually it's the opposite. I made this medieval game (www.lordsgame.com) which is highly competitive, balanced, fair, with periodic resets. But with that setup not everything that feels medieval could fit, so I thought of making Europe1300, it was planned as a kind of a mirror image. Which means it could be cooperative (with group vs group war mechanic which could not fit to my previous medieval game), everlasing without any resets, not that strongly balanced nor fair (in exchange for thematic/mood goodies) and with totally unfair (yet fun) hierarchical structure. But that was just a concept, I'm not tied to it at all.

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#28 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

You are correct about Torn City, at least as of several years ago. When I played I enjoyed the pace of character progression and the continuous unlocking of new game features that came along with it. These included new activities and play mechanics, not just new mission locations, provided by ongoing additions from the dev team. You can be as social as you'd like, but you're never forced to it. For players interested in doing so, you can cooperate with others for greater rewards. And you are exposed to some risks, but you're not in danger of having your character be wiped out.

For your game, my preferred approach would be to deemphasize historical realism relative to your other design goals and increase potential competition between players. I would aim for countries made up of regions and regions made up of cities, towns, etc. Players in these towns can amass resources in order to increase their influence at this level, with the implications that players with similar clout can vie for control (or cooperate).

Players with more power at the city level can meaningfully participate in a similar system for influence over the region, and at the regional level players can do the same for the country. Players who don't want to participate in the struggle for political influence can play as simple peasant farmers, chandlers, craftsman or whatever. Political aspirants need to maintain support from enough of these to keep their own stations secure, which they can do with gifts, formation of groups, promises of work and wealth for them by choosing public works, and so on.

Mechanics that support these sorts of things allow for the correct mood (feudal arrangements that balance individual ambition with pacifying underlings and mollifying superiors) while not forcing anyone to participate in more than running their farm or producing their goods if they don't want to.

The flip side of this is that more powerful players might make their underlings' prospects worse, but this would increase the risk of someone else taking power. My idea is that it gives context to the work of the lowest-power players while allowing those who want to have governing positions to make consequential choices.

There would need to be other play elements as well, but at a minimum players could aspire to rewards and try to avoid consequences.

#29 Hasmond   Members   -  Reputation: 143

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 01:56 PM

Does it feature permanent death?

 

Like if a kingdom decided to completely destroy another you could kill all the players in the other kingdom and not have them respawn instantly.

 

 

I'll be trying the game out and I'll report on things that I think work well and things I think work less well.



#30 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 04:28 PM

Does it feature permanent death?

 

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if a kingdom decided to completely destroy another you could kill all
the players in the other kingdom and not have them respawn instantly.

No, no, it's not a game like that. It's a persistent simulation of living in medieval times rather than Counter Strike style deadmatch :) You can't kill other players.



 

I'll be trying the game out and I'll report on things that I think work well and things I think work less well.

That would be nice :)


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#31 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:44 AM

When I played I enjoyed the pace of character progression and the continuous unlocking of new game features that came along with it.

I think that's a very important acpect of it all. Progression. How about unbalancing the income curve? Right now it's almost static (a new player and an old one would earn the same amount per day on average). How about making it grow so a old player earns x10 than a new one after a year of play (and after a year he hits a cap and the income becomes stactic again)? By grow I mean of course via player's investments, not a simple function of time :)

 

Players in these towns can amass resources in order to increase their influence at this level, with the implications that players with similar
clout can vie for control (or cooperate).

I have a trouble visualising the "influence resources"... Do you have some ideas/examples what could increase influence over a town? BTW, how it works in real life? :D

My first impression is some nobles mustering their troops and taking over land, but that does not sound as a viable solution for a town...


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#32 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

I think that's a very important acpect of it all. Progression. How about unbalancing the income curve? Right now it's almost static (a new player and an old one would earn the same amount per day on average). How about making it grow so a old player earns x10 than a new one after a year of play (and after a year he hits a cap and the income becomes stactic again)? By grow I mean of course via player's investments, not a simple function of time

 

I think that more important than the quantity of resources that can be gathered is how the resources can be used. If I can generate 10x more income than a new player, I won't care if that only means I can buy 10x more chairs. I would expect an older player to have more ability to produce things than a new player. Progression, to me, would suggest something like new activities that are not feasibly available to a new player. Wealth is a fine way to define when new activities become available, but it isn't the only possibility.

 

I have a trouble visualising the "influence resources"... Do you have some ideas/examples what could increase influence over a town? BTW, how it works in real life?
My first impression is some nobles mustering their troops and taking over land, but that does not sound as a viable solution for a town...

 

What I'm imagining is more like there are offices that players can hold, and those offices give players the ability to make different things happen. Maybe there's a mayor of a town who can decide what buildings will be built, and he can court "lower" players by suggesting buildings that they would want either by giving them something to do or by increasing demand for the resources they produce. Or a regional governor can demand resources from towns in her region, and can impose some kind of penalty if someone doesn't meet the quota.

 

Influence isn't so much a distinct resource as it is the ability to impose things on or demand things from players/institutions below you.



#33 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 15 March 2013 - 03:07 AM

What I'm imagining is more like there are offices that players can hold, and those offices give players the ability to make different things happen. Maybe there's a mayor of a town who can decide what buildings will be built, and he can court "lower" players by suggesting buildings that they would want either by giving them something to do or by increasing demand for the resources they produce. Or a regional governor can demand resources from towns in her region, and can impose some kind of penalty if someone doesn't meet the quota.

 

Influence isn't so much a distinct resource as it is the ability to impose things on or demand things from players/institutions below you.

I was thinking about it for a while, and I see two big problems.

 

One, it's only about the players on the top, the "players/institutions below you" do not benefit from this feature at all. Only a small minority of players would ever enjoy it. Therefore, it's not solving the problem. I'm concerned about the players at the bottom, because those at the top will enjoy the game anyway, just because they have the power over others :D The key point is how to make it fun/interesting for those at the bottom of the hierarchy.

 

Two, it's bacisly how it works right now... There are kingdoms and one player (who accumulated morst influence, mostly by lending it from other players) in each is the ruler. Sure, I could add more tiers (like duches), but the concept is still the same here (plus I won't have that many players to fill a multitier hierarchy - I estimate 300-500 active players total which will be spread (unequally) among 26 kingdoms).


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#34 wodinoneeye   Members   -  Reputation: 856

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 05:27 AM

Consider contingencies to keep the 'cooperation' working when players quit or go on vacation or just dont have much time to play.

 

How much interaction (initial and continuous) will the 'cooperation' require to work.

 

If one or more of the scenarios in the first line above start happening will any organized arrangements which make your kingdoms work quickly fall apart?

If you have someone new step into whatever roles you have and are they restricted in what they can change from whats previously been organized (and how much checks and balances are there if say they decide they are quitting and decide to trash everything they can lay their hands on ??)

 

Its a problem many of the MMORPGs have where groups to achieve raids or whatever are often short lived (and its hard to even find serious people any more in many of them who actually want to cooperate - many are just in it for what they want and are gone instantly once they get it)


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#35 Hasmond   Members   -  Reputation: 143

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:14 AM

I'm back!

 

I've been playing for some time and reached top 10 spot on the highscores and I have some questions about the game;

 

If I immigrate to a new country what happens with my mansion in my old country? Can I still return to it when I immigrate back?

 

 

Also this game might need a sort of "level up" system.

 

Most games when players train a skill (let us call it 'jewelry') the players gain exp and level up. Eventually the player learns to make better necklaces/gems/rings than before. Making better jewelry would allow more profit for the player. More profit would mean more money for materials, more materials more jewelry, more jewelry more exp, more exp a higher level, a higher level means better jewelry. It can go on for ever like this.

 

My country doesn't have a king yet (I am planing of becoming one) so I can't tell you about combat.



#36 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3874

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:16 AM

Mansion

There are 2 systems:

1) You have one mansion and it "travels with you". A strightforward system.

2) You can have any number of mansions but only the best on in your CURRENT kingdom adds influence (this system is used right now). The reminaing mansions add prestige, but no influence, so excessive mansions are mostly useless with an "consilation prize". The advantage of this syetm is that you can't easily make a hostile takeover (move a group of players to another country, take over the throne, wreck the kingdom, and then come back to your original kingdom) because in the new kingdom you don't have the mansion which is a significant source of influence.

 

I'm hesitating which one to use in the final version...

 

Level up

You have skills, but... I guess these don't seem too progressive. I'm thinking of making it more traditional (you are poor at the beginning and overtime your income increase significantly), but it has drawbacks too...:

"Progression. How about unbalancing the income curve? Right now it's almost static (a new player and an old one would earn the same amount per day on average). How about making it grow so a old player earns x10 than a new one after a year of play (and after a year he hits a cap and the income becomes stactic again)? By grow I mean of course via player's investments, not a simple function of time"

 

Rulers of kingdoms

I just released a new version and basicly all kingdoms start with an ability of a king now (almost no vassal kingdoms).

 

 

@Hasmond, since you played it, tell me, should I redesign the gameplay totally (like making fighting over land system or something) or rather stick with what currently is and improve it (by adding proper level up system for example)?


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