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Dinner

Monster Genocide

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I don’t have anyone I know to talk about such issues, so I'll make a thread here instead. Just looking for any type of ideas for improvements, flaws, or even if you just dislike or like the idea. Goal: Allow players to gain experience while fighting, while protecting monsters from extinction Monsters do not respawn when killed, but new young can be produced. Most monsters have some form of ability that lets them produce something Such as unique weapons/amour and jewelry. If a player knows the monsters language they are able to communicate. Now, since monsters have to produce their own young, if all the monsters of a type are killed, then that race is exterminated. While in a mmorpg, this would defiantly happen, current goal I'm trying to think of is how to reduce it happening, while still allowing players to battle/loot/gain skills of monsters. What my current idea would be to slow it down, is make serious injury and death hit separate, Life doesn't reduce below 0, when it hits 0 the monster falls unconscious. The players may then choose to just loot the body, or deal a killing blow. When fighting, experience is given per hit/skill use (within reason), And nothing is given for the death blow. Cutting some goblins throat hardly qualifies you to become a master knife user. The within reason would be, if you attack something that can't fight back you wont gain any experience for it, Or if you gain any it will be very little. (A parent would attack you if you threaten their young) I think this method, would stop/slow down the people that are just fighting for experience The more you leave alive, the more there are for you to hunt next time. Why kill a guy, when you can just wait for him to drag himself home then be back out in the fields once cured, So you can attack and him again and gain more experience. This wouldn't slow down someone that just wanted to kill them all, but what would If players realized the bit about rare items and birth/death, I can see the guild forming already 'Monster Wildlife Reserve' letting the players take control of keep a species alive while it has faults I think its better then some godly act to stop from running out of things to kill. So any ideas, thanks for any feedback ^.^ (The monster would be the fields for a Varity of reasons, they could be looking for food, Guarding the area from trespassers. The ai involved is an entirely different matter for now) (Reasons for dealing a death blow, to reduce a constant threat, or to fulfill a condition of a quest) This is a plan for part of a mmorpg, if I would ever make said mmo is an entirely different matter and not worth discussing I do have a degree in IT, and I've done among other things c,c++,java/network/ai and I have been researching mmorpgs for 5+ years. So I have an idea how much work would be involved to create such a game.

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First of all, I really love your idea. Having monsters really behave as part of the world population adds a sense of realism and I like that.

However, I fear that the inability to spawn makes it difficult to deal with a large player base. With spawning you can literally have creatures pop-up out of nowhere, which although unrealistic, would help responding to large groups of people that suddenly come by and start killing. I hope you can overcome this balancing issue though!

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Quote:
Original post by DaBono
However, I fear that the inability to spawn makes it difficult to deal with a large player base. With spawning you can literally have creatures pop-up out of nowhere, which although unrealistic, would help responding to large groups of people that suddenly come by and start killing. I hope you can overcome this balancing issue though!


Yes it is a problem, currently some of the idea's in my head have been
more non combat chances allowing advancements thru methods other then fighting
I am often a support type role, I make a crafter in any games that has crafters, and I play solo more often then not, so being forced to kill to get anywhere is annoying.

spreading out the population more, so everyones not sticking to a particluar city
increasing the bonuses for players to verus other players

The monsters should be more of a threat, but any skilled fighter should be able to handle anything middle and lower by themselve.
So preferably players would begin fighting monsters, but eventually leading to just fighting other players.

I know some people are very happy with monsters, and hate pvp (I'm not a very good pvper ^^) but I d like a skill system thats more rewarding, if you fight the same guys over and over you dont gain much, if you travel and fight a varity of monsters, then your skills would improve alot more.
instead of just click and kill you would have a varity of skills you assign and you perform them during combat.

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Quote:
Original post by Dinner

What my current idea would be to slow it down, is make serious injury and death hit separate, Life doesn't reduce below 0, when it hits 0 the monster falls unconscious.
The players may then choose to just loot the body, or deal a killing blow.

When fighting, experience is given per hit/skill use (within reason),
And nothing is given for the death blow. Cutting some goblins throat hardly qualifies you to become a master knife user.


That doesn't account for one basic fact in MMO games: people in those games tend to be -- and I'm trying to keep this family friendly -- idiots. Without creating monsters out of thin air, you'll run out of them. People will eradicate the bunny hill just because they want to spoil the game for "dumb n00bs". They'll terminate all their enemies just because they can. If there is any way they can hurt others, they'll use it, if it isn't sanctioned even more so.

Even if you'd make players lose a level or whatever measure of achievement you have, it won't stop them.

Never give a player any measure of power over other people's game experience or it'll get abused. It's one of the major and unfixable flaws in MMOGs.

I really like your idea, but it won't work in a game.

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yup I know what players are like, theres one other thing i was thinking of
which most players dont even think is possible.

Permement Death, wouldn't be for just monsters and the villages of each species would be under heavy guard, so you would have to have quite a large group of players to wipe out a entire village, and if a village is under attack, non violent monsters would flee and try and find somewhere far away to setup a new base.

It was also floating in my head, there would be a overlord, this overlord is the one that can get diffrent races of monsters to attack
if you wiped out a village, then a dragon or a army could be sent to your city.

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A couple of things pop'd into my mind, monster special abilities (like the ability to hide or heal) would be handy. Hunting them down when there's only a few left in their native forest could be problematic in such a large area. The other is Domestication, having them as pets (like Ragnarok Online), if all the "wild" creatures are killed, then the players can find two pets and breed them to bring the species back.

Another thing is something you seem to have missed about the balance of nature. If one species dies out, another species may start to grow out of control. Take Deer and wolves for instance, if you kill all the wolves (the deers natural predator), then the deer will breed out of control and strip the grass and plants in the forests bare. So if some dumbass player gets it into his head to kill all the fuzzy bunnies for kicks, he may end up getting overun by hordes of evil giant-man-eating titans that were previously afraid of the fuzzy bunnies. If titans were all but unstopable it may give incentive not to do it (especially if you reward the guys who killed all the fluffy bunnies with swift and permanent death, say at the hands of the titans).

I think Shadowdancer is also right though, you should have some serious pentalties for people who are just being jerks.

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How about tying everything together, makeing things codependant on one another.

Monster A is a field mouse, gives low experience, eats crops, can quickly reproduce.
Monster B is a lion, gives decent EXP, eats mice, slow to reproduce
Monster C is a griffin, gives good EXP, eats lions, very slow to reproduce

if players hunt down griffins to near extinction, then lions have no natural enemy and can thus reproduce faster...this in turn reduces the mouse population, and is a boon to crop farmers...but there are then more lions to attack wayward villagers

if players hunt down lions, then the mice population explodes hurting crops. and the griffin population slowly dies off from starvation (or at least those that don't kill off players to feed themselves)

if players hunt down mice, then lions starve, which means griffins do too. also crops get hurt as mice also eat crop killing weeds.

This can be a statistical model used to base on how common a particular creature is and how often it reproduces, etc...

Also give creatures a ranking system basied on how far off they are from thier population ideal. then magic users and such can act as "enviromentalists" protecting the creatures from harm (teleporting the creature away from hunters, shield spells, makeing traps for hunters to fall into, etc) all without resorting to PvP.



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I agree that this would be work a lot better (or at least be a lot more awesome) if you incorporated elements of ecology and evolution into the mix.

To add to the ideas, you could make it so that not all the monsters of one race would be the same. You could have weak goblins (easy to kill), normal goblins, and tough goblins. If all the weak and normal goblins get killed, then only the tough goblins are left to breed, so the race of golbins becomes stronger. You would occasionally have to throw a few random genetic defects into the mix based on a Bell curve, so that occasionally they'd be a ultra-weak or and ultra-strong golbin to make things interesting.

Then if you're game, you could extend this to other character traits. Make some goblins shy and some bold. The shy goblins would hide from players and so be less likely to be killed, but the bold ones would be getting more resources and so could reproduce quicker. See which ones last.

Or include intelligence as a trait. Smarter goblins might be more able to assess threats, or plan higher levels of strategy, or become more likely to be goblin mages.

But I also agree with Shadowdancer; although I don't play MMORPGs, from what I've read they seem to be plagued with spoiler idiots who try to wreck the fun for everyone else. Plus the default strategy seems to be to slaughter anything that moves. Maybe you should add some elven druid park rangers to put the fear of Silvanus into anyone who hunts endangered species? [grin]

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Quote:
Original post by HellRiZZer
You can also use the law of Highlander movie: the more monsters you kill, the more stronger others of their race become. Thus, that one last standing will be almost un-killable.


Yes, that would work, although it might be a little bit odd to have an invincible field mouse. [grin]

But another idea is that you have a fixed amount of 'life force' in the world. As creatures get killed, there's more life force available for new creatures. Then make the birth rate of the creatures increase to use up the pool of life force available. That way you'll always have a steady population of creatures to fuel the constant bloodlust of your MMORPG players.

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The one vital element to this would be to limit the scope so it was not an entire world, but part of one. That way you can revive a species in a realistic manner by having invasions, mass migrations, etc.

This is almost identical to something I wrote on paper on the ORPG I intend to build one day *maybe*.

Basically,

Players can be killed, permanently. Family lineages can be wiped if the player is careless (or does something stupid like exterminate certain key species which are 'protected' by nigh-invincible, which could be killed eventually but not before the player's family is wiped out of it's strongest specimens not counting the destruction of estates and other properties, beings to prevent breaks in the gain rate and slowing down player skill gain.)

Each Species
- 12 genetic traits ('stats' such as intel, str, etc.) + 2 'random' traits that provide special bonuses that are species specific, or flaws which weaken the individual.

- New species are introduced via invasions, mass migrations, refuges, etc.

- Populations nearing extinction are 'protected' by enviromentalist groups (Druids, Fae species, and Treants) so large player raids would be needed to wipe out the few remaining havens of an endangered species.

- Powerful monsters with semi-irrational fears/loves, such as the Titan/bunny example but a far wider result. (i.e. if you wipe out the 'giant snakes', the snake-loving Dragons would hunt the player and his family down and wipe them out in turn.)

- Migrates from region to region, and the more agressive will attempt to wage war with the players and possibly kill off the entire player population. [Leveling/Skill gain would take about 1 week for the average player and no more than 2-3 for the casual gamer who players less than 3hrs / week.]

That last thing is going to be virtually impossible to balance, but it would be cool. =)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Gyrthok
A couple of things pop'd into my mind, monster special abilities (like the ability to hide or heal) would be handy. Hunting them down when there's only a few left in their native forest could be problematic in such a large area. The other is Domestication, having them as pets (like Ragnarok Online), if all the "wild" creatures are killed, then the players can find two pets and breed them to bring the species back.

Another thing is something you seem to have missed about the balance of nature. If one species dies out, another species may start to grow out of control. Take Deer and wolves for instance, if you kill all the wolves (the deers natural predator), then the deer will breed out of control and strip the grass and plants in the forests bare. So if some dumbass player gets it into his head to kill all the fuzzy bunnies for kicks, he may end up getting overun by hordes of evil giant-man-eating titans that were previously afraid of the fuzzy bunnies. If titans were all but unstopable it may give incentive not to do it (especially if you reward the guys who killed all the fluffy bunnies with swift and permanent death, say at the hands of the titans).

I think Shadowdancer is also right though, you should have some serious pentalties for people who are just being jerks.



When a player maliciously is killing all the fuzzy bunnies, their fuzzy bunny god sends the fuzzy bunny angle of death (the killer rabbit from Monty Python an the Holy Grail) to beat the crap out of him (destroying 9/10ths of his character development and inventory), and if he repeats his dim behavior then perma death.


I always thought it was stupid in UO that the 'red' murderer players didnt have their houses start to disolve (equivalent to being burned down by the 'people')
-- outlaws in real life lead precarious lives (which might be a challenge for a real player, but would disuade the many dim 'griefers' that MMORPGs seem to attract).





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Quote:
Original post by HellRiZZer
You can also use the law of Highlander movie: the more monsters you kill, the more stronger others of their race become. Thus, that one last standing will be almost un-killable.


I was thinking this same design around post #4.

I also concur with shadowdancer that this is ripe for abuse. Especially if creatures make stuff. Some player will buy up all of the stuff the animals make, kill all the animals, then resell the stuff at exorbitant prices, since the stuff is super rare now. Players must not be rewarded for screwing over other players.

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Something to keep in mind is that there are certain base species that can't be killed. Take mosquito's, we all hate them, but can we ever wipe them all out? Hell no, same with roaches, they'll outlive us all come the apocalypse.

Reproduction deals with 3 factors, predators, habitat, and food. If you kill alot of frogs, mosquito's will breed out of control, this creates more food for frogs, which results in healthier frogs. Healthier frogs live longer (having more energy to avoid hungry predators), and thus live to reproduce more, unless otherwise eaten by predators, but generally you'll end up with more frogs because their able to reproduce more frequently than before because of all the food.

This works as a "buffer" for the system, if the players try to push frogs to extinction, the closer they are to oblivion the faster they'll reproduce, so without co-ordinated and persistent killing it would be difficult to kill them all. This results in temporary imbalances in the system now and then from players pushing a species to far, but generally reduces the number of Extinctions and imbalances the system would otherwise pose.

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1. make the monsters disperse. (if you can do it enough, it would take heaps of players to kill them all, but even that won't happen if there are 'sanctuaries' like caves with spells to stop invaders).

2. Monster dna.
Pretty much, you define two chromazomes for the monster.
One defines the physical properties. (they should all be trade-offs, so if you want a massive monster, then it needs more food, same if you want it to grow quickly, be strong, ect.)

The second cromazome is the net(ANN).
This defines the creatures behaviour. (which can also be taught, through reinforcement learning).

3. Monsters are all the same.
It doesn't matter if its a mouse, or a titan. There all made the same, they just have different dna.

4. Ability to breed
Breeding is viruslike, and is asexual, exept for a small amount of the time, where it uses both the monsters dna and another monsters which is near it in order to produce the offspring.

Reproduction takes heaps of food tho... (keeps the rates down).

5. Domesticatable.
You just grab your monster you want to domesticate, fence it off, and kill those that are the worst.
You are shaping the gene pool, so you can end up with monsters who will not fight, others that are savages, others that are manges, ect.

You can also train individuals using reinforcement learning. (which then randomly 'rubbs off on' other monsters, as they teach each other. This is not hereditary.)

6. Monster stats
So, your monster can level up by fighting other players/monsters.
When it looses, it looses exp/health. Hp regenerates slowly (from food), but in order to get exp, you need to fight things.

Overall, this would make it near impossible to wipe out monsters, mostly because you can't find them all, but also because as you kill them, you leave the better monsters (in exp, tactics, ect.) which then breed the next generation tougher.

Add to it, that tribes can learn from there mistakes...

From,
Nice coder

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Add an age to the mosnters. young monsters will flee from higher level players rather than attack. killing young monsters will give less exp or items.

Include a safe haven for the young monsters. perhaps young monsters can run through bushes or small caves and disappear or can access an area that players can not go.

this will make genocide harder since players might leave the monsters alone if they are worthless to kill. Noobs would still be attacked by young monsters to give them some exp.

It would not be needed to keep track the age of all the monsters, just the killed rate and the reproductive rate. once the kill rate exceeds the reproduction rate, the system lowers the exp and items of all the monsters until it becomes balanced again.

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With playing mmorpgs, as I’ve said I’ve been researching them forever now, and ive been apart of all sort of game communities, ones where when you level up everyone logged on congrats you, to ones that your just walking to a dungeon a pvper appears behind you and kills you, just for the kicks of killing someone.
So how the game is made, and how it and the community presents itself can have a big impact on what type of player base.

I had considered pets, if you got a young monster you would be able to raise it
if its capable of languages it could eventually be used
imagine a goblin secretary who took down messages while you was offline, and gave them to you when you logged on, or other monsters that just guarded things while you was offline (such as your house)

Players are idiots, but they will also go to extremes to do things,

I think if a bonus is given for keeping bunnies alive, then there is going to be at least one person that goes into the bunny trade, if their the only ones then the valuable item would skyrocket in price, so other players might try and get some bunnies or move to a different monster.

And id agree with dispersion, all the bunnies in the world wont be in the same place, some could be next to civilization, others might be the furthest point away and trying to kill them all, could be something that every online player might have to be hunting every corner of the world, and still manage to miss patches
I don’t like the idea of some place that can't be attacked; places should be harder to attack then others, but not invincible.

Say goblin village lives near a dragon, that dragon might put a magical shield in front of the cave so the goblins can live there in peace (as long as they supply sacrifices)

If that village started to grow to strong and it’s threatening a village, a mage might break the barrier, and while the dragon is distracted be one force another might try and kill all the goblins or enough that they are no longer a threat

for new races, one would be breeding say if the right goblin breed, there baby is a hobgoblin (stronger and a bit more powerful) eventually as breeding continues if no other forces interfere then the goblins are wiped out just from expanding.

Also new races could be created thru magic
and new continents, or different dimensions

I would put some form of eco system, big monsters hunt little monsters, kill all the little monsters and you get hunted instead

Its a lot of ideas and the programming behind it
gives me a headache just trying to plan it

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Perhaps having a monster scripting system? Only avalible for some monsters of cource. (some genetic set of traits that allow them to be scriptable. Maybe docility++ and intellegence between medium and high and not agressive).

From,
Nice coder

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One of the classes I did was agent orientated programming, which is basically just creating agents that act autonomously (They don’t have to be though), taking inputs and choosing a series of steps(plans) to carry out to complete there goal

with the game, if there where no players in sight then a village agent would control the village, and the villagers would be tools the village agent can use to fulfill there goals (such as foraging/guarding).

When they did have to interact with the players, then they would gain a independent agent (that was initiated by the village agent) and the village agent would loose all contact, until the agent came back within the domain
(What another villager can see and identify)

The individual agent would decide what to do based of its knowledge of the opponent (what there wearing) and there own skills/personality/village agent assigned role
If they was a timid weak monster and it was set to guard the village, and it met up with a character who radiated power (say they had magical enchanted weapons and amour on them or in there pack), it would more likely turn and run back to the village to warn everyone, a berserk unit might rush the player, and the village agent wont know what happened to the unit until they send a scout, to find out what happened

While it would be nice to have all npcs to each be an individual agent, I think that it would use too much computer time.

If the players where nowhere near a area, the area would become more dormant, and take turns sharing processing time, with other dormant areas
Just so, if a player left and they didn’t return for a week later to find the village in the same situation

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First, I am really enjoying this thread and all that people have posted thus far. This is a very interesting idea, but I have a few questions.

1. I've seen a variety of solutions for the problem of players commiting genocide for the fun of it or to greif other players. If you code so that this is not possible, then what is the point of having the system?

2. For that matter, if you do allow genocide, what is the point? Making mobs scarce or extinct doesn't seem like a fun gameplay mechanic to me.


Musings:

I was thinking about this idea and thought that one reason to do this might be to control the "supply" of a certain monster if you allowed players to capture and domesticate mobs and then use them for some purpose. Maybe crafting materials come from certain monsters and you can create a "monster ranch" that "grows" monsters that can be fought for their crafting materials by the ranchers. This would have a very Japanese feel to it and might be fun.

You would still need some control on monster extermination so that aggressive players could not wipe out the landscape in a way that precludes new players from being able to find anything to level up on or ways to get the funds to start their own monster ranch.

Neat thread.

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If the idea is to protect monsters, make it possible for players to protect them and get benefits for doing so.

Like the Monster Ranch idea, a player could see that griffins or whatnot are pretty cool, so they capture a few and breed them for either harvesting the items from them or selling them as pets, guard animals, arena monsters etc...

Perhaps have something like an Eco-Mage. A character can choose a type of monster (like monkeys) and then by learning certain spells or getting items they can join a monkey clan and work with them.

So you could have an Eco-Mage of monkeys living in a forest teaching the monkeys to gather food, killing monkey-eating lizards, building havens from nasty players etc...

But then, one of the real jerk players could become an Eco-Mage of monkeys and breed an army of killer spear weilding monkeys and use them to pester other players.

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Quote:
Original post by The Shadow Nose

But then, one of the real jerk players could become an Eco-Mage of monkeys and breed an army of killer spear weilding monkeys and use them to pester other players.


How is this person a jerk? That seems like a valid way to play the game. . . except for the pestering other players.

Having a legion of spear-weilding monkeys seems like a fun gameplay dynamic.

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Id program it to make it hard to kill them all, if a race is all killed then it wont be seen again/(or a long while) and to stop groups from killing of every single species

and for scarce/extint
its to give the players some challange, say your a crafter you know a species is running close to extinct, and you use one of the materials from them, you have to find and hire someone to capture two young (I havn't decided if there should be male/female or just make them asexual (or just depend on certain species)

Also if players dont, then npc's will

The biggest thing is choice, some people will want to wipe out a species, others might want to save it (not all of these would be eco, some might be merchants, or trainers)

for newbies, id prob see about getting npc's to create yards where people can fight, but not allowed to kill, but the monsters if raised by a npc wouldn't be as strong as wild ones (npc being very cheap with diets)

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I was playing UO, and i decided to go for a new career Petnapping
I got my herding skill up high, then when i saw a chance id kidnap a pet, put them on a boat and put the boat in the middle of the ocean
then id tell the person that there pet was napped, and id sent sc and ask for money, and returning the pet when the money was payed, thats pestering other players, but it was fun.
in a game that allowed more control over monsters then uo, being a pet napper could be lots of fun ^.^

I also wanted to make a arena for vs pets, but the game
didn't really have enough support.

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