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Morbid Addiction

Resetting, Interactable world Online RPG?

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An Online (not going to say MMO) RPG where after all goals are met by a certain race the game is finished, reset and begun again. Unlike other ORPGs out at the moment (that I am aware of) this concept involves set overall race goals, instead of constant battle between sides and side quests. Features: 01 - Races/factions don't have a set diplomatic stance against each other; alliances can be formed or broken at any time. Random 'Start Locations' at beginning of each new world. Diplomatic relations allow races to trade, give, demand etc to other races. 02 - A News system that is actually important; Know what's going on in your world. 'Race 1 offered resources to Race 2 in exchange for Peace' etc. 03 - Game world evolves from start to finish; timeline where upon new world the races are limited; small but as time advances towns become cities etc; Much like an RTS the races (which are not player controlled but may be player suggested; meaning players have an input system where the computer can take into account player requests etc or may have Game Masters to control races in a form such the same as those text based RTS games such as kings of chaos, utopia etc) evolve and progress through tech trees allowing for better access to items etc. Start with basic Blacksmith etc... advance to many more shops/options of items etc. Race would start with say, small city, 3 towns each. Then able to expand, colonise new area. Able to overtake other towns. Generated NPC and Quests: When game is reset NPC names, appearance etc are randomly generated; also the quests given are generated but most likely would involve the same variables 'collect' 'number' 'item' 'bring to' 'take to' 'kill' 'MOB' etc but are random and could be generated to need of race. This could extend to the boring task of collecting a resource such as... food or anything. Though one or two set characters will always be named the same, such as beginning area. Also buildings, NPCs etc are randomly located in set structures. Think of a grid. Inside the grid 1 building may be set to be placed, inside that building the NPC's also added, or outside. But all of the placing is inside this set grid area on a selected square. As a city expands, the grid size would be increased. Districts/layouts would be defined. Buildings/NPC rotation would apply by a check to surrounding buildings and overall city direction. 04 - Guild System allowing for a building with NPC's to be placed, could have a becon point even that a guild leader would have, an item that when activated sets a marker for GMs to place a Guild Building, so could be anywhere. Gms would obviously not build a guild building randomly over some other structure etc. But would be able to have on an even ground (the building could have stilts) and over water. All MOBs in area would be moved as game world would place mobs in random location over set area - so rock monsters always around rock area, water, water etc etc. Would just move MOB spawn further away. Could not build guild with in closeness to other guild building. 05 - Trade System that can effect a races development - tax on items, money spent on items goes to race for resources. No NPC has set number of items from store, will sell items they bought for an increased price (but hey, it would be for a cause ;0). Trade would also extend to other races. 06 - World Events; A town/city may be attacked by MOBs; help defend. Items might appear for certain time, etc. Battles, raids etc. Game ends and world reset according to traditional RTS conditions. - No enemies left, etc.

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um, no one comment?

You can flame the crap out of it if you like, just wanted some responses/feedback. Discussion, Do you think players would like the idea of working towards something,

Do you think they would like a resetting world... meaning they start again. from lvl 1.

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I had a quick skim over, so if I am missing anything obvious, I apologise.

If you reset all the levels to 1, the game is going to become unrewarding I fear. There will be no point in getting to a high level if it is just going to be taken away from you every month (or whatever).

What you could do, is offer a lasting reward if the player did reach a high level, ie, going up in rank within the alliance.

The other problem is, if you have the big over-arching battles between two alliances, as cool as it sounds on paper, a lot of people would feel insignificant (unless you go for very small teams where everyone is crucial) This will drive people away.

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By resetting the world, you lose persistence, and RPG players tend to like persistence. If you reset the world under certain conditions, isn't that a bit like a victory condition in an RTS game, or any other game? So it ceases to be a differentiating factor - or rather, the difference is that your game becomes like other (non-persistent) games.

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Instead of resetting the whole world, you could reset part of it.

Lets say that a mission was to capture a enemy city by killing all their guards. If one team does this, the mission is reset, but so that the city is now owned by those player's faction. The guards are theirs and that faction is not offered that mission. However other factions are offered that mission and can try to take over the city (and if successful that new faction would gain control over the city).

This way the world evolves, you get mission resets and you don't have to reset the characters.

You could then have different cities with different defensive strengths so as to cater for characters of different levels.

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Just some random thoughts:

It would have to be relatively easy to level up / get good equipment, since it would all be lost at the end (none of this months of grinding stuff that is standard these days). Players would probably not be willing to invest nearly as much time and effort knowing it will be taken away whether they win or lose.

You could set up multiple "worlds", staggering their "starts" by some time, or maybe just a new one every time one of the current worlds starts getting full (or towards the end). Not many players would want to join a game where their faction is almost extinct, and it would be unfair to let new players jump in on a winning faction (pumping up their advantage even as they seal the deal). It might not even be bad to allow players to have characters in different "worlds" simultaneously.

You probably shouldn't allow players to carry over any real benefits to the new game just because they were high level, or they were on the winning team in a previous game. It would tip the balance immediately, and I would think that friends from the same team would team up again, increasing this advantage. But you could let them carry over stats (i.e. how many times they were winners, highest level on the server last time, etc), and non-function stuff (unique decorative equipment and items that do not affect game play but give them bragging rights / street cred).

It could work, but you'd have to be careful I'd think. Just out of curiosity, how long do you think the average game world would last?

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Hi there,
we have been doing a fair bit of work along the lines you describe (especially wrt the diplomacy model).
A paper of mine on the subject was on AI Game Programming Wisdom 4 titled "Implementing Story-Driven Games with the Aid of Dynamical Policy Models" (talking about some implementation in Neverwinter Nights).
We (a student of mine and I) are now preparing a new paper based on a revised policy model that was implemented in a more strategic scenario (my student built a simple turn-based strategic with fantasy elements in DX 9).
Let me know if you're interested in the models/papers...I could explain some of the concepts of our work (which is still ongoing) ;-)
Ciao

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krez:

It could be balanced to last from anywhere from 6 months to a year? And yes they would carry over stats such as 'awards' etc like that. Increase in rank. I think the main aspect of this would be that people will pull together better, your not in the game just for yourself, your there for the PvP aspect.

Level would be much quicker/or all rounded than traditional games. I just put this Idea out there because I felt when playing games like WOW, Anarchy Online, Silkroad (which is the best in my opinion except for the crappy alchemy system)that your just there repeating the same old same old and it never truely ended like a traditional game would (meaning an RPG, RTS, any game that you work to 'finish').

It would try to have a very re-playable system. And if you look at MMORPG's there are many people that start new characters all the time when they have other characters.

Maybe there is no levelling. You just gain items, etc. You pick a class, pick your skills and off you go.

Raids would have to be planed out.

Giving the illusion at least that the characters aren't the same, your not totally familiarising with the game world.

fzambetta:

Show me :)

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@Morbid Addiction: Send me a PM with your email address and I'll email you some PDF files (maybe my student's thesis and one of my latest papers?).
Ciao

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I like the idea of a resettable online game, since it is the only way to give a real purpose or goal in an online game.

I'd make it time-based, however. As time passes, darkness grows until the final battle against The Big Evil. (classical theme from fantasy books)
The players have to prepare and coordinate themselves in order to have a sufficient powerful army for the final battle. But that's not just preparation, since the agents of The Big Evil try to weaken the world through both political and armed interventions.

A lot of pre-defined events happen or not depending on what was done before, which makes gameplay very dynamic and also makes playing again very interesting.
It's really playing a story and trying to alter the course of events so that one side may win.

It could be reset from every 6 months to every 2 years, depending on what you come up with.

I am not sure it is such a problem if you lose all your experience etc. when playing the game again. If the game is very story- and roleplay- based, knowledge and understanding of the story and universe would be more useful than experience or resources acquired through lots of grinding.

An alternative to resetting would also to make the story circular, but that wouldn't work unless the game spans hundreds of lifetimes at least.

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@fzambetta

I have actually attempted something similar in Neverwinter Nights myself. It was a kind of RTS game where you could "buy" henchmen that would follow you around and fight alongside you (you could also give them orders and even tell them to assume a formation). But as players conquered locations, they would gain extra resources for their faction (which they would buy their henchmen with)

Players could also "mine" resource nodes for different types of resource (like food that would allow their henchmen to recover from injury and regenerate their special abilities - like spells). They could equip their henchmen (and themselves) with equipment they bought with the resources they have acquired.

It was extremely buggy, but it basically worked (I had trouble with some of the more complex formations, and made some changes that broke it quite badly - causing it to crash, but was never able to track down why or fix it).

Hmm, I might see if I have it still and see if I can fix the bugs at all.

I used a moderately simple algorithm to determine if a faction had control over an area. Basically certain events/situations would cause the loyalty of an area to rise or fall for a particular faction and, although these were fairly complex situation, they were not that difficult to detect, and then at the point there were detected, I would just raise or lower the loyalty value of the area or change the faction allegiance directly.

I used a Loyalty meter. An area would remain loyal to a faction as long as they kept the loyalty above a certain level. If the loyalty dipped below this level the area when neutral. For another faction to gain control over the area, they would have to reduce the loyalty to 0 and then build up loyalty for their faction (with the faction having the highest loyalty increase level being the faction it would go to).

Building up loyalty was relatively simple. If you had more troops (players + henchmen) in an area, then you increased the loyalty. If anyone mined from the area, it would reduce the loyalty (so if you did too much mining you would cause the area to revert to neutrality), and any action that would normally raise the loyalty for your faction, if in an enemy controlled area would reduce the loyalty of that area towards the enemy faction. An enemy faction could sneak in an mine your areas and reduce them to neutrality which would stop your faction from collecting income form the area. I played around with other actions (like donations to the NPCs in the area or doing quests for the NPCs in the area) as ways to increase loyalty as well.

This meant that "raiding" other areas was a good strategy, as it increased your special resources, and reduce the resource the other faction could get, and even could help you take over the area. In other words, the player were rewarded for invading their opponents areas (which encourages the conflict).

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Quote:
Original post by Morbid Addiction
An Online (not going to say MMO) RPG where after all goals are met by a certain race the game is finished, reset and begun again.


Check out ATITD (A Tale in the Desert). It is on its 4th "telling", which means they have totally reset the world 3 times already.

Anarchy Online was supposed to end or reset after 4 years, but a rocky launch and nearly going out of business made them a little too nervous to try such a thing.

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