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infrmtn

People, people! Stop making large worlds!

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In general, I believe (as some have said)

Unless you have a game that *warrents* a big world dont make one. If you have alot of storyline, unique fighting experience and missions than go ahead make a world, make it huge and make there is enough content to make it *full*. Dont leave a mindless generic fantasy world.

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Original post by Gyrthok
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An old example of a small world that's (sometimes) too large:

XCOM: UFO

Anyone whose ever had to track down the last alien on a map knows that the 5 or 6 tiles square maps (each tile being something like 15 by 15 squares) are suddenly very large when you have to spend up to quarter of an hour retreading previously explored ground to find the one survivor who slipped through your net earlier...


I think you maybe thinking of UFO2: Terror From The Deep (or not), either way, that game was FAR worse for the "Stray enemy" than the first UFO was because of their larger maps. Nothing sucks more than trying to track down (and be killed instantly by) an alien hiding on football-field sized 4 layered map.

I never really got into TFTD enough to get annoyed at the "last alien syndrome" - partly I came to the game from UFO, so was more resigned to it, but mostly I was more annoyed by the way my men kept dying before last alien syndrome could become an issue - actually reaching the stage where I was trying to find the last survivor was enough of a relief to outweigh the irritation at having to take the time...

XCOM: Apocalypse potentially had the same issues, except I never played the missions in turn-based mode, and it wasn't unknown for the last alien on the map to run away itself, so bug-hunts generally never lasted longer than it would take an alien to reach an exit anyway... Though I remember one mission where I ended up demolishing a multistory building's supports with (infinite ammo) disrupter fire rather than send my men up the stairs into an ambush

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Original post by rmsgrey
I agree that mindlessly inserting teleportation systems is extremely unlikely to be the best answer. The question that should be asked is why do players ask for teleportation and larger worlds simultaneously?

Larger worlds mean more content, which means more content of interest.

Teleportation means the ability to skip content, which means less content which isn't of interest.

Suddenly the two ideas make sense together - what's really wanted is more selective content. Which doesn't solve the problem, but does at least help identify the right problem to tackle...

The 'right problem' would then be the good old issue with "traditional" level-based system rendering large amounts of content useless for everyone who isn't on the "right" level...

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Original post by tolaris
The 'right problem' would then be the good old issue with "traditional" level-based system rendering large amounts of content useless for everyone who isn't on the "right" level...


I think the problem's actually wider than that - unless you're very restrictive in how people can approach the game, there will always be some content which is more relevant to some players than others. Level and class systems are obvious examples, but any choice of play-style produces the same issues.

The problem is how to match content with player - or at least enable the players to match themselves with the appropriate content.

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Most large worlds exist for one reason: To suck up your time. MMORPG developers that charge per month WANT you to WASTE TIME. It makes them money. Look at a game like Diablo II. Everything is fast.

Now, in World of Warcraft, there is a timer on everything. Slow, tedious, dull. Gigantic world. It takes forever to get anywhere.

If there were a game with a huge world that had all of the detail of a game with a much smaller world, it would be warranted. But until then, it's a bussiness device employed in MMO's to suck up your time and generate increased long term revenue.

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Original post by rmsgrey
The question that should be asked is why do players ask for teleportation and larger worlds simultaneously?

Larger worlds mean more content, which means more content of interest.

Teleportation means the ability to skip content, which means less content which isn't of interest.

Suddenly the two ideas make sense together - what's really wanted is more selective content. Which doesn't solve the problem, but does at least help identify the right problem to tackle...



Isn't this an issue of the player's experience evolving? Aren't you interested in lots of expansiveness when you first start, but then in getting things done as you grow to master the game?

I can't use MMOs as a gauge because I don't play them, but in Morrowind, I wanted a huge world as a new player because I was strictly in a limits testing and exploration mindset. Once I knew the lay of the land and where the leveling resources (quests, items, businesses) were, I became interested in mastering what I'd discovered.

I certainly vote for making teleporting increasingly expensive as it becomes more useful. By the time you want it, you're probably a high level character needing money sinks anyway, and nothing is worse than being so rich you can't do anything with it.

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Original post by rmsgrey
I think the problem's actually wider than that - unless you're very restrictive in how people can approach the game, there will always be some content which is more relevant to some players than others. Level and class systems are obvious examples, but any choice of play-style produces the same issues.

Dunno about it, really... i mean, you can break the "playstyle" in very few groups -- solo or grouped (either pickup groups or 'regular'), outdoor hunting, dungeon hunting and optionally crafting in games which have it... now, how would either of these choices determine significantly larger amounts of travel than others, or even introduce large amounts of travel period, in game which doesn't limit content available to your character at any given time to a few small pockets scattered all over the world..?

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Original post by infrmtn
It's definitely and infinitely easy to add some more 'land' tiles into your world and say: "Wow, now it takes 15 minutes to walk from one end to another."

BUT! Why do I want to walk through a large area consisting of randomly placed look-alike trees, a few rocks, some plants and a cemetery? How many times have YOU thought, "Great, I get to explore the flora" instead of, "OK, I gotta wander through these plains and woods to get to the next town, where the action is. I'm kinda weak still so I'm gonna do a running version of 'Piper of Hamelin' to evade the monsters."



Personally I don't mind large terrains as long as the following is respected

a) the terrain is diverse enough
b) the terrain is recognize-able enough
c) designers don't use it to lengthen the game by making me run on
so-called fed-ex missions
d) and if there are fed-ex type of missions I require fast transportation from
one location to another even if I am just beginning with the game, at least
that is one point that most of the games I have played so far missed out on,
except perhaps Elderscroll 3: Morrowind and follow ups. Although the missions
and the terrain could get a bit tedious if not lenghty at times. Gothic 1 on
the other hand could become quite boring after a while due to the large
terrain and the way the missions were laid out [c].

I think that large terrains are valuable in that it provides for more empty space, space in which the player may rejoice or reconcile his or her belongings, skills and plans for the future of the character and game-play regarding role playing type of games. Other games would not necessarily benefit from larger terrains, except perhaps strategical or simulatory games with their focus' set on realism.

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text deleted due to double post due to somewhat confusing license agreement ;-)

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text deleted due to double post due to somewhat confusing license agreement ;-)

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