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Updated: Friday May 26, 9 AM EST. K Below the long line is the original post. I'm editing the first post to summarize what is generally decided on. Imagine an MMO or an online meeting place like MSN's Zone (if it's still there). Or like battle.net or something. Now imagine that players have the chance to create their own dungeon and let other players wander through there. Anyone can create a dungeon, assuming they have met the requirements. DM's ARE THEIR OWN RACE/CLASS I'm putting this idea in it's own area as it will drastically change everything below it. There would be no need for DM's to make money if they do nothing but just create dungeons. Anyway... It is suggested that DM's be a character of themselves. Completely seperate from an adventurer. They'd probably have their own leveling system as they don't gain levels normally. I'll probably still have them as character who walk around, but cannot be attacked. This is because they'll have to "buy" land to start their dungeon. Or maybe even be allowed to create a dungeon to safeguard other people's stuff. They can join guilds and be the guild's dungeon master. There are many possibilities with having a DM be it's own character. I'm going to keep everything below as is, instead of changing it to if the DM is it's own character. This is to show what it would be if they were not as everything would have to be rethought if they were their own char. FREE CLIENTS FOR MONSTERS People who haven't paid for the game would be allowed to possess a monster in a dungeon. It's quite possible that it wouldn't be restricted to just this however. (Only paid accounts get the elite monster possession ability... such as dragons...)
Quote:
by Edtharan There would need to be restrictions placed on the monster players. This might be limited areas (like an invisable wall, ot the creature starts taking damage if they leave their specific area, etc), random selection, waighting in a que until a position becomes avaiable, etc. This kind of system will give monsters a much more "intelegent" behaviour than any AI could do and increase the challenge for the normal players.
MONEY It seems the money issue as a reward is a touchy one. The final reward will not be a large sum of money. While buying mobs to guard the dungeon is needed, maybe the money used to buy them is what falls. Or at least a portion of that. Either way. I think it's safe to say that the money issue should be resolved after deciding how the economics will work. I don't want the economy to be or feel "tagged on" and for an economy system to work, it will have to influence player created dungeons as well. LOOT Jeez. This is the biggest response that I've seen wether the loot that is stored in the dungeon is purchased by the DM, is placed there based on the difficulty of the DM, or is put there as a bank, it's still in the air. So far my favourite idea is that the dungeon acts as a second bank full of stuff the player would have sold or thrown out anyway but could still be of use to someone. Some interesting ideas popped up with having the mobs actually using the weapons themselves. turning a regular mob almost into a boss. For sure, the first adventurer would not be able to collect everything that is in the dungeon. That requires too much maintenance and drain on the DM, instead it will at least be gradual. LOOT: WORLD UNIQUE ITEMS I also liked the idea of using dungeons to protect World Unique Items. To understand World Unique Items, everyone must realize that these items are extremely rare. They give superior powers to those that use them. Some have curses, others are just plain bonuses. But less than .5% of all players will have them. (Even less as the server population is very high compared to standard MMO servers). The downfall of these Items are that they are lootable. Even when the player is using them. All other items will most likely be bound to the player. So all epic items are stuck to that player. But these legendary items which give a regular warrior the power of 4 warriors, will be lootable upon death. Or if the player is off-line, then inside his dungeon. To rephrase, all other items are safe unless the player decides he wants them as drops EXCEPT for these World Unique Items. What happens when the dungeon collapses with a WUI in it? Of the two ideas I had, the one that would cause the least amount of grief to everyone was to have the item return to the owner. (Another note: Characters never leave the game. Just like Dark and Light, when a player logs, the character remains in the game and becomes almost like an NPC. The character is safe from everything but being looted of WUIs.) This causes one problem. What if the character is within a large city? It's almost impossible and even better way of safeguarding this item. Somehow the player will have to go to a poorly guarded part of town where it's easier to get ganked. Of course this has to be balanced, but they can't just leave their character sitting beside the king where no enemy faction can get to. RANDOMNESS While only mentioned a few times, it seems that another common idea is that dungeons must be random. Or at least have some random spots in it. Wether the dungeon changes shape over time, the turn is to the left and not the right. Mobs don't spawn in the same spot all the time. Basically so bots cannot be used to farm the dungeon and that details don't get published to the net or if they do, they quickly become inaccurate. DM INTERVENTION There seems to be some differences here. I personnally would like to see DM's have the ability to control their own mobs. But a common viewpoint is that dungeons should ... no must be self effective. the DM is not needed. To be frank, a dungeon that needs the DM's intervention is a poorly made dungeon. But back to controlling mobs, it seems that if this is the case, some limits must be in place to ensure the DM doesn't make it easy for their friends or too hard by getting all mobs to rush the party when they normally wouldn't. A lot of work needs to go into this part to ensure balance and the best possible way of preventing cheating. Another Idea was Guest Hosting a Dungeon. In this scenario, (probably upon approval of the DM, a guest could take part in controlling mobs in the DM's dungeon. MAKING THE DUNGEON To clarify, not everyone can make a dungeon. Just as in most MMO's not everyone has reached the highest level. I don't think everyone will want to make dungeons. But either way, there also seems to be a concensus that while everyone should be technically able to make a dungeon, having everyone actually make a dungeon could lead to saturation and nobody playing dungeons. To make a good dungeon, it takes a long time of playing. Months to perfect a dungeon. Only those who enjoy this sort of thing, wether it be sandbox style or whatnot, will be the ones who make the good ones people visit over and over. I think having the initial cost of a dungeon low would allow for aspiring DM's to start dungeon making. The cost of maintaining would be tied to how large it is and how many mobs are inside, maybe even the loot (depending on how loot is decided on). Dungeons also cost money to make. People make money through the normal means, drops from mobs anywhere, selling stuff, quests... Once getting enough, they can learn to start making dungeons. After a while of investing, good DM's may learn to actually make money off dungeons. But they are very high maintenance and will fall appart if left alone. So it's no simple setup and leave alone to generate income. Getting more into dungeon making will also require some economic buffs as the cost of this or that or how the mobs are purchased or other, will require the economics of the game be established first. STATS & OBJECTIVES (ADVENTURERS) A popular note was for players to recieve trophies for completing dungeons. Another was a way of rating DM's on how well or tough or how many people play their dungeons. There definitely has to have a motivation for entering the dungeons. Having world unique items at the end is definitely one draw, or just for looting as much gold / loot as possible. Maybe to drain as much as you can from rival guilds. Another idea was for trophies or tokens of some kind. But Unless others come up with ideas for motivations, any ideas regarding loot will have to be decided after how the loot should be placed in there in the first place. Another suggestion was to have Dungeon Masters become Adventurers to "learn" new dungeon modules. There could be many many themes for dungeons (ice, fire/lava, prison...) and many structures. But the starting DM only has a handful that they can use. They must become adventurers and learn these new plans. They may also learn to attract new types of mobs or even bosses. Maybe some bosses can be "captured". STATS & OBJECTIVES (DUNGEON MASTERS) As for the DM's, they also need a drive to make dungeons. While this isn't as necessary as running through the dungeon, (some people will make dungeons just because they can), it still is important, as we get the brightest of people who have a drive behind making amazing dungeons. I agree that dungeons should allow the DM to make money but only as a sidenote. Maybe enough to pay back the investment into the dungeon and enough to pay for the maintenance. Tolls seemed to be the safest way as it encourages well made dungeons instead of impossible dungeons. Each case would have to be controlled carefully so that a DM who makes an impossible dungeon will be punished and lose the investment into the dungeon where a DM who makes an easy dungeon ... too easy, shares the same fate. Only a good DM with a well balanced diet, i mean dungeon will reap the benefits. Should the DM have control over what loot is in his dungeon or shouldn't he. If he does, then maybe what amazing loot at the end is actually posted on a sign outside or inside some tavern or somehow a quest is created relating to the prize at the end. SPIN OFFS A few unique ideas even popped up. One such one was to have the objective even different than the typical kill all beat the boss type. Suggestions of having a Lumber camp or Ore Mine where you get materials if you can fight off waves of mobs. OTHER NOTES
  • Guild dungeons where multiple people could pool together to safeguard their stuff.
  • DM's could also have restrictions on what mobs they can play (if any) and that they would also have to level up in that to get to use the tougher mobs.
  • Would easy dungeons be easily exploitable or should the higher the rank, the less drops you get therefore making it pointless to enter a dungeon designed for lowbies. I'l try and keep this post updated so you don't have to read the whole thing. vvv Original Post vvv ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Imagine an MMO or an online meeting place like MSN's Zone (if it's still there). Or like battle.net or something. Now imagine that players have the chance to create their own dungeon and let other players wander through there. Anyone can create a dungeon, assuming they have met the requirements. There are a few holes that I need to fill first before my idea becomes solid. I would also like suggestions on things to change or what I have done well with. Also, picture a game where Grinding and Farming are pointless in the game. Going into Dungeons is about the adventure and challenge, not so much about the shiny object at the end. As far as Grinding goes, I've got that figured out how it will be useless. Farming,.... sort of. Weapons and armor are something that is free (at least for the basic stuff) The better armor costs money but not huge $. So remember, when I talk about loot at the end of the dungeon, that redoing the dungeon 30 times so that everyone in the party gets the nice loot would be pointless or close to. While people can, it serves no purpose to farm the dungeons. (This may be a problem from the start) First, what I have so far. Steps to make a dungeon:
  • First they have to learn the skill to make one.
  • Then they have to purchase some land to make one.
  • With each part of the dungeon (Picture a game like Dungeon Keeper or Evil Genius) it costs gold to create. There are themes to pick from, monsters to pick from to guard your loot. With each expansion and addition to the Dungeon, it costs gold to create and upkeep. Now the benefits of such:
  • This is potentially a source of income.
  • When opening such a tool to players, it allows for unlimited types of dungeons to pop up. Players can make their own and they could all be unique. Notes:
  • An unused dungeon falls apart after time.
  • There is definitely an investment on the dungeon master. They have to fork out gold to build it. But if they make it too hard, people won't try it and "An unused dungeon falls apart" so they have to fork out more gold if they want to keep it up.
  • I'm thinking that the DM gets gold whenever someone dies in their dungeon (based on their level). Now the holes:
  • The loot should depend on how difficult the dungeon is to players. So an easy dungeon drops crappy loot while a difficult dungeon will hold epic loot. Or maybe the loot is just "purchased" from a dungeon Lord (but the DM cannot use any of it as they cannot enter their own Dungeon in a real way. (They can practice but they get nothing out from it than just testing.) I still am unsure about this as they could make an easy dungeon with high loot and have their friends go through with no trouble. But if I make it depend on the difficulty, how can the actual difficulty be tested?
  • What's to keep this balanced so that you don't get people don't make dungeons too hard to too easy? Or if having a dungeon which is hard for a mid-level character and having high level characters help them every time which means they don't die. that turns into a loss for the DM. Opinions? Suggestions? [Edited by - trapdoor on May 29, 2006 8:19:17 AM]

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    Check out a recent MMO construction sets topic.

    Some disjointed ideas:

    Will the DM actually control the monsters, giving them tasks, targeting their attacks, etc - in RTS mode?

    Dungeons with infinite and/or random epic loot lead to disbalance and powermaxing - even if they're extremely difficult, people will still come through and get the uberloot.

    If the dungeon layout and spawnspots are static, the farming process could be botted - without much problems.

    You *will* need human moderation of the dungeons.

    Think about the % of player-created dungeons that would be really *fun* to play.

    What will be the player motivation for exploring a dungeon? If not the loot?

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    I think the idea would work better if you completely throw out the money/loot thing. Allow a basic account to host one dungeon. If someone wants to host more than one dungeon at a time they need to upgrade to a more real world currency per month account.

    Make all equipment free and ditch the ideas of uber-loot and newb-equipment. Differentiate equipment by having different pros and cons. That is, longsword isn't just rapier+1. Instead, longsword hits harder, does slashing damage, and is slower compared to rapier's piercing damage, faster hits, and less damage per hit. Try not to balance it by simply making all weapons have the same

    (hits per second)(damage per hit)/(average defense against damage type)

    Tie some stats to each account, like number of dungeons completed, number of deaths, etc. Have these at some point unlock different, but not necessarily better, equipment. At the end of a dungeon, instead of phat-loot, have a trophy that basically says "I completed a dungeon by so-and-so". Let other people see these trophies and other stats for bragging rights. Also, put in a rating system where people can rate DM's, individual dungeons, and PC's.

    Basically, I think the idea of user created content works better if you just provide a sandbox instead of trying to make user created content behave like developer created content. A lot of your problems basically come down to how do you keep people from making dungeons that allow easy power-levelling. I think the best answer is to just remove levelling.

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    How about this - the dungeon creator builds a dungeon, then puts a reward at the end (at their own expense) as an incentive to lure adventurers there. Once the dungeon is defeated, the reward is taken.

    Since money is obtained (from the defensive standpoint) by killing people who come into the dungeon, there would be a reason to lure people to it. If there's no reason to come into the dungeon, no one will come, and you won't turn a profit.

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    To clear it up, the DMs just set up the dungeon and let others try and beat it. There's no intervention of the DM, at least it's not required. It might be good for the DM to be able to watch and even interactive in the dungeon control.... I like that.

    As far as making dungeons, lets set the scene to a catacomb style. the DM can add 2 blocks of hallway, then the third block is a junction going left or right. The path to the right takes a staircase down where as the left opens up into a room. It would feel almost like a computerized version of Lego... but without the nobs on the top :)

    The monsters in the dungeon are hired or spawned or whatever. They do like gold, however, or some other valuable resource. This will be very much like Dungeon Keeper where you had to pay your creatures. So the more difficult dungeon it was, the more expensive on upkeep it was.


    I do plan not to have levels or at least nothing usual anyway.

    I like the rating dungeon idea too.

    I really want to stay away from having infinite epic loot at the end. As far as motivation goes, I've had these few thoughts:

  • The loot is actually stuff that the DM has purchased for the dungeon. That the whole dungeon scene is a way for players to "steal" from the DM. At a risk though, if they don't finish it successfully, the DM pockets the penalty to the players. Since I don't want levels, this also helps with preventing say a high level char walking into a dungeon and "Stealing" all the loot the DM had used to setup the dungeon because all the mobs were too weak for him. A dungeon should always prove to be a challenge, no matter what level the character is. It just will change how "long" a dungeon takes.

  • Another idea I had was that all player created dungeons go into a pool. The best 1% rated dungeons get better loot at the end than the others. and the top 3 rated dungeons get the best loot at the end.

    Oh! Games will also have world unique items. These items are ultimately powerful. Imagine 1 guy taking out 10 with ease. These items are unique so there is a set number of available in the world. Having one of these comes at a price; world unique items are lootable off your body or where you store them, while other good items are not. Since you can't exactly be in the game at all times, the item goes into your dungeon, or if you don't have one, just on your body (which is extremely easy to loot). The harder your dungeon is, the better chance you have of keeping your uber item. This would DEFINITELY create some motivation for dungeon exploring.

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    Quote:
    Original post by Mushu
    How about this - the dungeon creator builds a dungeon, then puts a reward at the end (at their own expense) as an incentive to lure adventurers there. Once the dungeon is defeated, the reward is taken.

    Since money is obtained (from the defensive standpoint) by killing people who come into the dungeon, there would be a reason to lure people to it. If there's no reason to come into the dungeon, no one will come, and you won't turn a profit.


    Yes. I think this is the direction i'm heading towards. I think the DM will also have to queue up the rewards, otherwise it will only be good every time the DM restocks the dungeon.

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    I like the idea of DM created dungeons, but a world full of just dungeons would quickly become tiresome (in my very humble opinion). Now if the players/DM's could have a choice with what to do with their land that would be more enthralling and entertaining.
    Choices could be - building a dungeon, an ore mine, logging camp, a farm or even building a small keep or castle with dungeons beneath them.
    As for excitement and income from these other areas:

    An ore mine would produce ore to be sold but only as long as monsters were fought off. Mining could break into areas infested with underground meanies who don't like to be disturbed. Adventurers would be needed to protect miners or kill monsters infesting an area so it could be mined.

    A logging camp would produce wood to be sold but only as long as forest denizens were kept at bay and your hired workers weren't scared off or killed. A poorly defended camp would lose its workers and income would be lost. Adventurers would be needed to recover missing loggers or kill a green dragon or the like.

    A farm (could be varying sizes and have different purposes) would sell their produce for coin. This farm would obviously need protecting. Bandits might raid or marauding orcs may be in the area and be scaring your workers. So adventurers will be needed to fight off the attackers.

    Each of these places could help with the varying degree of difficulty, e.g. helping protect a farm being the easiest and dungeoneering being the most difficult. They also would cost a varying amount to establish, and some terrains may only be suitable for certain businesses.

    As a player/DM increases his/her wealth they could potentially build more than one area and could become the lord of their own little realm. The Good Lord of the Castle helping to protect his farms, mines and logging camps... or an evil Lord who just builds dungeons in the hope of killing off heros for their wealth and sending his band of orcs marauding to other players realms.

    Anyway those are my thoughts/daydreams based on your idea.

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    Perhaps make it so a dungeon master can only have enemys up to the level he is himself. You may want a limit of one or two dungeons per player at a time and make it so you can't make dungeons unless you are lvl 20+(or some other checkpoint), this will keep your world from having thousands of cheap dungeons quickly tossed together. Let anyone enter a dungeon, no matter how hign a lvl dungeon it is, but have 'dungeon data' or soemthing, allowing any player to view the level of the monsters and maybe even value of the loot, as well as the creator of the dungeon. And if a dungeon master gets the money of dead adventurers, what if two people go dungeon crawling together, one dies and since he has no or little money, loses nothing, and the other dies losing thousands of gold he saved up? Maybe have a 'door fee' that is also set by the dungeon master. He could charge 0 gold or 500 gold, at his rates, and if a player dies while in that dungeon, he loses that amount. (It tells you how much you have to pay ahead of time, and in 'dungeon data') Since there will be alot of dungeons, a player could browse the 'dungeon data's and decide which he wishes to wander through. One may have a loot value of 3000 gold in items and coins, but charge 200 gold upon entry, while another might have the same level of monsters and same value of loot, for 150 gold. You may even recogize the name of a dungeon master. "Oh, let's explore this dungeon, I heard this guy makes creative dungeons" or "Look at this, this dungeon was made by the great dungeon-master Halmisl, I bet there is good loot here"

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    Quote:
    Original post by trapdoorOh! Games will also have world unique items. These items are ultimately powerful. Imagine 1 guy taking out 10 with ease. These items are unique so there is a set number of available in the world. Having one of these comes at a price; world unique items are lootable off your body or where you store them, while other good items are not. Since you can't exactly be in the game at all times, the item goes into your dungeon, or if you don't have one, just on your body (which is extremely easy to loot). The harder your dungeon is, the better chance you have of keeping your uber item. This would DEFINITELY create some motivation for dungeon exploring.


    Hmm... I'm not a big fan of this particular idea. It's like Star Wars Galaxies's Jedis(at least in the original game, not the remade one), but with only a limited number of them. It kills the casual player.

    The rest of your ideas are definately going in the correct direction.

    You're going to need some limits on the dungeons, though. A DM who is rewarded for killing players will (wisely) put all the traps at the very beginning of the map right where the player *has* to walk through with no way around them. And then right after that, a bunch of baddies pop up out from around the corner and killing the remaining PCs. You might need a certain restriction on how many monsters/traps can be in any one area.

    Having the ratings would help, alot, too. It would give the DMs insentive to make a good dungeon, not just one that can kill the players.

    The other thing that you might be able to do is have the difficulty of the dungeons automatically adjust. So if only 25% of the people who attempt Dungeon X mkae it through, the monsters and traps become slightly easier. This might take away from the fun of the DM and make the DM loose more money.

    I love the idea of the DM actually purchasing the loot and dungeon. That really forces it to be well-thought out.

    Another problem might be that if this game gets alot of players, new DMs might find it difficult to get their dungeon high enough to get played. A "Random Dungeon" button that gives you a random dungeon would be nice, and to add more incentive to use it, prehaps give players 105% reward (no cost to DM) for using the random dungeon button

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    So kind of what your going for is a multiplayer version of the old dungeon keeper games? I like the idea very very much, but here's a problem:

    Why would people play the players when they could be a dungeone master instead? Will there be any players, or just a glut of dungeon masters in the end?

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    @Rian - If you read the whole post you'll see that you need money to build a dungeon, money that is acquired by playing the game if you don't have a dungeon of your own.

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    Quote:
    Original post by trapdoor
    [...]Oh! Games will also have world unique items. These items are ultimately powerful. Imagine 1 guy taking out 10 with ease. These items are unique so there is a set number of available in the world. Having one of these comes at a price; world unique items are lootable off your body or where you store them, while other good items are not. Since you can't exactly be in the game at all times, the item goes into your dungeon, or if you don't have one, just on your body (which is extremely easy to loot). The harder your dungeon is, the better chance you have of keeping your uber item. This would DEFINITELY create some motivation for dungeon exploring.
    You're almost on the right track. Drop the epic/unique/etc, but keep the "dungeons are banks" idea. Make the game semi-realistic in that there are no "secure banks" at all, and everything must be stored in play-built areas. A dungeon isn't a mission so much as it's a secure storage facility =-) For those that have dungeons, their stuff is kep at the end of their dungeon when they're not logged on and when they are logged on, anything not on the character is in the dungeon. For those that don't have dungeons, they can select another player to safeguard their stuff (or perhaps put it in a decent NPC dungeon) and hope it's there when they get back. Perhaps you should do levels, but have them be meaningless as far as 'power level' goes, but they could still be used to judge a character because a higher level character has been playing longer and likely has better equipment (unless they put it all in one place and it was taken) and you could have a rule where level X players can't take stuff from level <X-10 players, so newbies don't have a chance to build up a bit before the "this game world is my life" players take everything. It'd also be interesting if, instead of a huge chest at the end or monsters randomly dropping things, there would be a few monsters at the end that would actually use the items you're trying to take (so taking a good item is more difficult simply because it's a better item and makes the monster stronger).

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    Quote:
    Original post by Extrarius
    You're almost on the right track. Drop the epic/unique/etc, but keep the "dungeons are banks" idea. Make the game semi-realistic in that there are no "secure banks" at all, and everything must be stored in play-built areas. A dungeon isn't a mission so much as it's a secure storage facility =-) For those that have dungeons, their stuff is kep at the end of their dungeon when they're not logged on and when they are logged on, anything not on the character is in the dungeon. For those that don't have dungeons, they can select another player to safeguard their stuff (or perhaps put it in a decent NPC dungeon) and hope it's there when they get back. Perhaps you should do levels, but have them be meaningless as far as 'power level' goes, but they could still be used to judge a character because a higher level character has been playing longer and likely has better equipment (unless they put it all in one place and it was taken) and you could have a rule where level X players can't take stuff from level <X-10 players, so newbies don't have a chance to build up a bit before the "this game world is my life" players take everything. It'd also be interesting if, instead of a huge chest at the end or monsters randomly dropping things, there would be a few monsters at the end that would actually use the items you're trying to take (so taking a good item is more difficult simply because it's a better item and makes the monster stronger).

    Following this route, you shouldn't have the first player to get through the dungeon takes all the loot, or will it be that you can only take select amount of items plus 25% of the gold? And what if a guild was formed, that all they do is run from dungeon to dungeon wiping out everything but fellow guild members? Perhaps have it so player crafted dungeons can only be solo'ed or at the most allow only three looters at a time. Maybe there should be the option of keeping one item unlootable, so a player wouldn't be completely wrecked and would still have his best weapon or armor. Otherwise, if you are hit by looters you would be out of weapons and armor, with no money to buy more and you would need to fight weaker monsters by hand until you have enough money to buy a good item. You certainly couldn't run through another player's dungeon without a weapon, and all tanks would be destroyed by a looting, while all casters wouldn't be affected too much.

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    I disagree with the "all your possessions should be kept in a the dungeon". This seems really radical, and poses several problems:

    • It royally screws over low-level players, and requires you to hack together some kind of "safety" system to help them out. This is a sign of bad game design, IMO.

    • What happens when you reach the end of a dungeon? Do you take all of the loot? If so, what's left for the next adventurer?


    I think, to balance it, there should be some kind of "safe" bank where you can store gold at least. To benefit new players, you could have a cap on the bank as to how much gold they can put in there, so that eventually, yeah, you'd have to start storing it in a dungeon. But not until you're well-established. I still disagree with this kind of "must store in dungeon" system, since it basically kills any possible reward queueing system so the dungeon can be defeated multiple times before being "restocked".

    Another problem with the bank system is that everyone would put all of their money into the bank before adventuring. Thus negating any possible loss. Which kills the "profit" aspect of the game. Sure, you can charge "entry fees" for the dungeons, but O____O. I wouldn't pay to venture into the abyss.

    Sure, you can design around these to include some kind of safe storage system, but inevitably, there will probably be some method to exploit it such that losses are minimized. Which makes it so there's only one strategy, which kind of sucks.

    I dunno, I have mixed feelings about it in any case. But it definitely is an area which needs to be addressed.

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    Guest Anonymous Poster


    Think of creating a dungeon as a skill -- with levels. Once you get proficient at creating a dungeon at on level you garduate to the next. Advancing levels have more resources available to the 'dungeon master'. Some point system is needed to specify the resource points of different dungeon components and the point value of more dangerous/complex objects should increase. Possibly the 'total point cost' is also a vector of the danger level of the objects and the number of objects making up the dungeon. A dungeon master would have limits to both factors at any particular level. (The limits would go a long way in curbing abuse ie- slaughterhouse scenarios intended to kill players maliciously.....)

    The difficulty of the dungeon could thus be roughly judged an allow better player matchup (decision to tackle it...) and XP reward.

    Some system of review would be needed to decide when a dungeon master is deemsed 'proficient' and able to graduate. A complaint process will be needed to handle the usual 'inappropriate content' as well.

    I would have some 'token of achievement' for the player completing a particular dungeon (so the objective is not just loot) and also some persistant marker to facilitate a system to deny too many repeated playing of the same scenario.
    (ie- a party with someone who did the same dungeon 5 times couldnt enter....)

    If the game system if flexible enough, 'random encounters' with instances of the 'dungeon' might be possible (which may then disappear afterwards or persist until the dungeon is completed (and the loot taken....)

    If possible have a system of mutation of the scenario to keep the inevitable 'publishing of details on the web' (which ruins/cheapens the experience of many players). Rearranging tunnels/terrain, spawns, a shell game for the boss/loot, different puzzles, etc.. could increase the reusability of a scenario.


    Such a system should also include placement of 'clue' props to get/attract parties to a new scenario (the usual 'guy in the tavern' or the sign saying 'this way to certain death'....). A general quest generation system would
    fit player created dungeons into a larger scheme to keep the players supplied with interesting content.

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    Guest Anonymous Poster

    The aspect of having the DM (player) actually run a dungeon is generally impractical in the MMORPG games. 99% of dungeons will HAVE to be self executing as most DMs wont be around to run their dungeons (and many wont feel like running their dungeons all the time they are online).


    There may be a solution to this problem (assuming the game system is made to allow the following...).

    Guest hosting of the 'dungeon'. There may be yet another 'skill' mechanism -- that of running a dungeon (seperate from creating one).

    A system of letting players play monsters (and/or direct monsters) in a game would go a long way to improving the game. A pool of players would get assigned roles on an as needed basis to dungeons or random encounters. They would control the monsters and be restricted to only what the monster could do.
    Flexibility in assignment will be needed because of the freedom the players have to decide on their actions (many dungeons will be inactive at any point in time and suddenly a scenario with a multitude of monsters will become activated).

    The assignments would be random to prevent players from assisting a party they know. Metric could be calculated to whether the player was effective of not in performing the task. The 'monster' players would only be able to communicate with the party as appropriate to the monster role (precanned scripted stuff could be provided as part of the mechanism).

    An good idea may be to have the names of the party players not be shown (maybe a monster view showing labels like 'raw meat #3' or 'mage intruder' or even just greytone blobs like in some sci-fi movies....)


    Like the dungeon creactor 'skill', the dungeon running skill would also have levels with increasing abilities. Proficiency in using the resources (of either a whole dungeon or just on the monster directly controlled) leads to the next level and being allowed to control more dangerous/complex situations.

    Of course all dungeons/monsters will have default/automatic behaviors so that if the controllong player is disconnected/ leaves, the scenario isnt disrupted (carries on running).

    Directing a dungeon may be as simple as designating targets for existing minsters or the timing of activating spawns.

    Whole sets of 'monster proficiency' could exist with players qualifying for different types of monsters ('I have my Lesser Dragon Badge, and you dont -- hah hah!!)





    The AI on these games will be pitiful/soulless for a very long time and what I have proposed could expand what players can do in a game (play a whole spectrum of monsters or control/direct a dungeon scenario). This is actually seperate from the 'player create a dungeon' and could be used on company created content.
















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    Quote:
    Original post by Servant of the Lord
    [...]Following this route, you shouldn't have the first player to get through the dungeon takes all the loot[...]
    Correct. My thoughts were that dungeons should be instanced for small parties (say 10 ppl max, though a limit like 4 would be better for me) and only X% (by gold value) of the items in a dungeon would be available per group (and it would store a groups' progress for X minutes after the group leaves, with every Y minutes some of the monsters reappearing so you can't come back at the end of the time period and be exactly where you left off), but in addition their would be some 'free' (to the DM) rewards that would be far below the challenge level (ie level 30 monsters giving level 15 items/gold/etc for 'free) since there has to be a source for money if there is a money sink (presuming things sell for less than full value, so buying then selling to NPCs results in money dissapearing from the world).

    Mushu: I think a safe bank causes more complications than it solves. You could, perhaps, have a VERY limited bank that can store a single item (or, if diablo-style, perhaps 8 'squares' of items) along with a bit of gold (maybe 5000 if prices are along diablo 1 levels), but anything that would help out more serious players at all would detract significantly from the dungeon focus of the game.

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    Guest Anonymous Poster
    Quote:
    Original post by Extrarius


    Mushu: I think a safe bank causes more complications than it solves. You could, perhaps, have a VERY limited bank that can store a single item (or, if diablo-style, perhaps 8 'squares' of items) along with a bit of gold (maybe 5000 if prices are along diablo 1 levels), but anything that would help out more serious players at all would detract significantly from the dungeon focus of the game.



    If you arent aiming for an open-ended game then its not as big a problem.


    Players will always accumulate interesting items and extra equiptment (especially in a 'rich' detail world). If you dont have something like the invulnurable bank for items, you would lose out on ALOT of player gameplay.
    A severely limited storage would hamstring the game (ie- kiss crafting goodbye, kiss unique/varied weapons/tools/loot goodbye).

    If you try to have a house (or equiv) where the assets that a player accumulates are left open to predations of other players you will eventually need a lockdown scheme (like used in UO) which is a bigger drain on the server (effectively it is a visible bank).

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    Quote:
    Original post by Anonymous Poster
    [...]If you arent aiming for an open-ended game then its not as big a problem.

    Players will always accumulate interesting items and extra equiptment (especially in a 'rich' detail world). If you dont have something like the invulnurable bank for items, you would lose out on ALOT of player gameplay.
    A severely limited storage would hamstring the game (ie- kiss crafting goodbye, kiss unique/varied weapons/tools/loot goodbye).

    If you try to have a house (or equiv) where the assets that a player accumulates are left open to predations of other players you will eventually need a lockdown scheme (like used in UO) which is a bigger drain on the server (effectively it is a visible bank).
    If you go with the idea that monsters in a dungeon actually use the items they defend, then awesome items would be sought after not only to have for yourself but also for your minions. You could have a few well-equipped very strong monsters guarding your prized possions behind a hidden passageway (that you have to use a skill to find and open, or maybe you just need to locate the switch on one side of the dungeon and then go back to the other to find the door, etc), while more reasonable monsters are in an obvious area to challenge other players and give rewards to the winners. There are many possibilities that could work, such as having 'guild dungeons' that multiple people could contribute to in order to safeguard their stuff, essentially being a player-run realistic bank.

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    Quote:
    Original post by Extrarius
    There are many possibilities that could work, such as having 'guild dungeons' that multiple people could contribute to in order to safeguard their stuff, essentially being a player-run realistic bank.


    I think that when you log, your equipment that is actaully on you and not just in your inventory should not go into a dungeon, that way if someone does loot your particular dungeon, you wouldn't be completely ruined. All of your inventory gets added into your bank-dungeon at log, but your equipment on you wouldn't, upon relog your inventory(or what's left of it, if any) would return to you. What you actaully place in your dungeon would stay there until removed by you or a looter.

    I like the idea of a guild dungeon though, where every guild member helps build it/upgrade it. In everquest, there was this guild called the "Western Trading Guild" or something simular, and it was consisted of high end merchants. Maybe in this hypothetical MMO, Banking Guilds will form that spend lots of money to mantian dungeons, which charge other players fees to store their goods in the Banking Guild's dungeon. Of course, that will, in turn, create fake banking guilds. Insurance will be created by a legit Banking Guild for if someone loots your items from their vault; this may(nay, will) bring insurance scams, where someone buys insurance on tons of high end items, and has a friend loot them, splitting the insurance and returning the goods to the original owner for placement in a different bank. Heh, many 'shady' busineses will spring up, bringing more imersion into the game, more role playing, more annoyances but overall allowing people to go more in-depth. And with the creation of banking guilds, perhaps loaner guilds? If you don't pay a loaner 110% of what you borrowed to purchase your cool item, the whole guild will go and loot your dungeon clean, and keep looting it until you pay what you owe. Someone may take advantage of that, and create a charactor to loan money, than pass of the money to a friend and delete the charactor, but then the loaner guild may start only loaning to level 15+ charactors, as people wouldn't want to delete a semi-high level charactor they took the time to level. Just thinking out loud...

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    Why do you assume that dungeon masters have diametrically opposed interests to players? The trick is to find a system that works for both of them, not one-way. You don´t want dungeons as banks, or rewards per killed player, since that will only cause relentless optimising.

    What you want to look for is a system that will reward dungeon masters by creating interesting, rewarding dungeons that are challenging and FUN. Give rewards to the DM based on how many people play his dungeons. Reward the DM for dungeons that are challenging, but not too hard.
    A possible system would be to reward the DM according to the percentage of deaths/failures his dungeon causes. Too many and it´s not fun, too few and it´s to easy.

    DMs also don´t need gold, and probably should be limited from the player gold economy altogether (problems of explointing easy dungeons will be pretty massive anyway). The DMs reward should be the ability to build better, bigger dungeons - which in turn will allow his dungeons to become more popular. MMOs are a lot about status.
    And take the loot question almost completely out of the DMs hands - find a way to calculate an overall "Dungeon Difficulty" and assign loot based on that. Something along the lines of monster count x monster level would probably work, with some adjustemnts for group sizes and traps.

    Any dungeon must also function without direct control from the dungeon master, naturally. He should be able to take part while there´s a party in it, but not to the extent that his presence is necessary.

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    Instead of having the player set the loot for a dungeon, why not have a ranking for the dungeon (set by players) that determines the loot.

    This ranking can be based on many different metrics. Some of which might be:
    1) Player votes (Favorite): The players vote for their favorite dungeon.
    2) Player votes (Hardest): The players vote for the hardest dungeon.
    3) Death/Completed ratio: Based on the number of (unique) players that enter the dungeon compared to the number of players that finish the dungeon (get the loot), could determine the level of loot that can be got.
    And so on.

    This kind of ranking could also determine what type of loot and for what class/race/specific build the loot is for. This can be taken from player stats when they vote or could be an actual vote topic in its self.

    This system not only allows for player to build a dungeon, but also allows the comunity to set the loot that is availabel at the end of the dungeon.

    The negative feedback loop that results from players trying to make their character unique (ie not let everyone have the uberloot) will make the better loot harder to get and if it is based on the metrics, then the good loot will also be in the more interesting dungeons.

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    Guest Anonymous Poster
    Quote:
    Original post by Edtharan
    Instead of having the player set the loot for a dungeon, why not have a ranking for the dungeon (set by players) that determines the loot.

    This ranking can be based on many different metrics. Some of which might be:
    1) Player votes (Favorite): The players vote for their favorite dungeon.
    2) Player votes (Hardest): The players vote for the hardest dungeon.
    3) Death/Completed ratio: Based on the number of (unique) players that enter the dungeon compared to the number of players that finish the dungeon (get the loot), could determine the level of loot that can be got.
    And so on.

    This kind of ranking could also determine what type of loot and for what class/race/specific build the loot is for. This can be taken from player stats when they vote or could be an actual vote topic in its self.

    This system not only allows for player to build a dungeon, but also allows the comunity to set the loot that is availabel at the end of the dungeon.

    The negative feedback loop that results from players trying to make their character unique (ie not let everyone have the uberloot) will make the better loot harder to get and if it is based on the metrics, then the good loot will also be in the more interesting dungeons.




    The players would simply wind up voting for the easiest dungeon to solve and that dungeon would then be both the easiest and give the best loot. Players would figure the system out and begin exploting it almost immediately.

    The loot would match the calculated difficulty level of the dungeon and players hopefully would be blocked from playing the same one to the final 'big reward' over and over (like all the static dungeons in games the player head straight for the best bits and ignore the rest once they learn the place).


    Calculation of the difficulty would have to be automated somehow and should be more complicated than a simple summation of monster/traps. Somehow the sequence and density of threats has to be worked out (a party fighting each monster one at a time each in a seperate room is much easier than fight many at once and the terrain each fight happens in also increases the difficulty).


    Maybe a system of loot accumulating the longer the dungeon stands unbeaten might
    work.

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    Guest Anonymous Poster


    Using a 'dungeon' to protect a players 'stuff' is just begging for failure.

    Players will beat whatever protective measures you could use or it becomes so hard
    with protective uber guards that its basicly impossible (and therefore a useless system). You have to guard against the highest level players who will just shrug aside you pitiful minions/traps (and if you have access to uber-minions to protect from the high level players then it will be a slaughterhouse for low level ones (or they will simply be blocked by unopenable doors and unpenatrable forcefield spells etc...)

    Every player wants a 'bank' and many inept ones will lose all their stuff and damn the designers who created such a dim system.

    In guilds you would probably start having players stealing from each others stuff in a 'communal' storage arrangement.



    A possible system is to just always be able to make new 'stuff' from controlled raw materials. A person would have land (etc..) which cant be stolen and access (or workers) to produce new 'stuff' (or to generate money to get new 'stuff' from other players.) Now you can have some small 'secret' place (bank) to stash small items (keepsakes, weird artifacts, dungeon momentos).

    Depending on the death system, you cant always have everything you own on you (to possibly be lost when you die). I suppose a clever system could be made where the player never is killed (just injured/disable/trapped/frozen) and that would allow a player to wander around with all his best items.



    Dungeon masters should be given a proscribed amount of loot for theor dungeons automaticly. It shouldnt become a game of 'loot a players fortress'.....

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