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SpittingTrashcan

Character mood and RP encouragements

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Good forum readers, With two posts in one day under my belt, it seems I just can''t keep my ideas to myself. If you don''t feel like hearing it, ignore me and I will go away. The thing that bugs me about CRPGs and MMORPGs is that they fail in many cases to live up to their title of "role-playing games." The core concept in the original pencil-and-paper RPGs was that one took on the persona of a person _who isn''t you_ and attempted to live their life. This meant in many cases declaring that one''s character was doing something one would never do oneself. However, in CRPGs and MMORPGs people rarely bother to pretend that they are playing a role. Rather, they are playing a game, and they are playing to win. In CRPGs this means completing the game with the most optimized character and best equipment, and in MMORPGs it means optimizing one''s character, obtaining perfect equipment, and then puttering around being bored. I can understand the fun factor, being a fan of FFVII and Diablo II, but it''s somewhat unfulfilling in a philosophical sense. So what causes people to Role-Play? In pencil-and-paper games it was usually the spirit of the game, reinforced by a game master who rewarded good roleplaying. CRPGs don''t have a GM, but they do have something else: a perfect calculating system which can track a player''s every action. My idea is to use this power to cause a player to _want_ to RP, because it is the way to advance. Here''s the core of the idea. When a character is happy, he learns faster, works harder, and advances at a much better rate than when he is unhappy. What makes him happy? Well, what makes you happy? When a character is created, the player decides what the character likes and dislikes. When the character is doing something involving one of his likes, he''s happy. When he''s doing something involving one of his dislikes, he''s unhappy. Eventually any activity, no matter how fun, will become boring and the character will become unhappy, and want to do something else. Now this is the tricky and difficult to implement part. A character can _justify_ doing something he doesn''t like by linking it in his mind to something he likes or wants. This linking can be accomplished by the player, Pavlov style or through some other method. An extremely simple example: Joe doesn''t like hard physical labor, but he does like being paid. He''ll work harder and longer if he knows he''s being paid more... This also makes stats like Charisma useful and popular, especially in a multiplayer game. Being around friendly and attractive people makes you happy. Bards who can keep workers entertained with music or the like could be well-paid depending on the increase in productivity they produce. Even hardened warriors may bring a musician along to cheer them to battle. Mental endurance also becomes more of a factor, if a character with a good will can stay happy even under stressful and difficult circumstances. People expecting to work or fight long and hard will probably attempt to improve such a statistic if it exists. Hopefully the final result is that people do what their characters want, because it is more useful to them than trying to go against the wishes of their characters. Note that things such as "killing" or "increasing my level" should NOT be on the list of acceptable likes. I''d appreciate any comment you have, but I''d particularly like feedback on these lines: 1. Has this been done before, and where, and how well does it work? 2. What are the expected/known problems? 3. What changes could be made to make it more rigorous? 4. How could it mesh with other ideas/existing concepts? Thanks in advance for your time and thought! You can''t have "civilization" without "civil".

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Adellion - www.adellion.com - will be like this in that it will be an MMORPG but with real role playing. In this game you cannot macro skills or reach "levels". Also there is perma-death so you have to be careful.

In this type of game you don''t need a Charisma skill. The enjoyment is in playing your character and interacting online with others. A Charisma stat - which you would never see in this game anyway - doesn''t help. It''s up to you to roleplay effectively.

Quote "Hopefully the final result is that people do what their characters want, because it is more useful to them than trying to go against the wishes of their characters".

I think your suggestion is artificial in the sense that you are loading a character''s stats to make him/her perform in a certain way. In a real RPG you take on the attributes of your character and simply don''t need these sort of mental stats at all. In a game like Adellion you will be your character.

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It is always my hope that people will roleplay without incentive. But we will have to wait and see if games such as Adellion succeed in getting people to RP without any incentive to do so other than the rightness of doing so. I''ll look into this game with all due haste. And yes, my system is artificial and forced. But if it works, that makes it all worthwhile. Besides, I like character progression as a mechanism; just not as the only goal.

Thanks for your comments!

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Actually, there is a good reason why you might want to include a charisma stat, even though it may appear not to do anything.

In a P&P RPG game, you describe a character using a set of numbers. Take D&D for a well known example. There are three stats which are most relevent for the character's personality: Int, Wis, and Cha.

If you rolled a character with Int 16, Wis 6 and Cha 8, the DM would expect you to roleplay those stats - an academic character who has lived a sheltered life and doesn't relate terribly well to other people springs to mind. If you played this guy as an academic, sheltered but charming character, the DM should penalize you.

Those stats alone do not make Roleplay. But they do give the player something to Roleplay to, a guide to how his character should act. Without the Cha stat as a guide (or something to encourage them to roleplay the character's charisma) the majority of people would do exactly the same thing they do on Everquest - wander around and chat to everyone they meet. (unless they are a PKer)


Edited by - Sandman on November 20, 2001 12:49:48 PM

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Youre going to have to be very careful when designing a fun MMORPG. You cannot force people to play if the incentive they usually have in CRPGs nowadays isnt present in your game. For many "killing" and "leveling up" are valid incentives. Others they have are getting all the rarest equipment, or becoming the best in PvP, all these things are usually related by the way. An example of this in myself is, I like starting a fresh, brandnew char because I''m so weak and its a real struggle to get anywhere. In that case leveling up is my incentive, those first few levels feel like real acomplishments. I''m agreeing that there should be other incentives but you have to take into account what people are going to want to play. Otherwise theyll be happy to leave your game for one of the myriad of games ouit there that satisfy there desires.

I''m a little confused about: "Hopefully the final result is that people do what their characters want, because it is more useful to them than trying to go against the wishes of their characters." Dont you want the people to be the template for the chars actions? Otherwise it could get a little restrictive and you might end up with a lot of quests one after another and THAT can get old real fast.

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By itself, it doesn''t sound like a bad idea. However this isn''t the sort of idea that should just be integrated into a game. Having to tend to the needs of the character is a very time consuming activity, and drastically changes the focus of the game. So, if you want your game to be something more than killing and story, it might be an idea to ponder.

Now, Why do I role play? I role play because I enjoy it. I find placing my mind in the place of a character a fun expierence.

However, I don''t like being forced into something. And your system could be sort of like a min maxing way to do it. "Damn my mood isn''t maxed out, time to go eat some cake."

Now, I do like the idea of people working better around chrasmatic people, or to the music of a bard. However, this seems a little more suited to a game specifically designed around the management of people who aren''t supposed to be the player''s representation.

But somehow I find things more likely that I''d merely search for characters who had statisics that got in my way the least. Rather than playing the manipulate the person game.


Just some thoughts

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Sorry, but i dont think you have the correct view of what "role playing" is. First of all, if a game is open-ended, such as in mmrpgs like everquest, then how do you expect players to define how roleplaying should occur. Some want to be the best, and that means best armor, best weapons, and most money. Others want to be strong, go out and adventure or see all the different places that is available in the game. So far, neither of these require you to roleplay because THE GAME DIDNT DEFINE IT EITHER. The game says here is your character, go do what you want within the rules.

You cant define role playing by what makes you happy or sad for your character. It makes absolutely no sense to me. You just alienated half of your player pool by eliminating things that make them happy: getting the best weapons, best armor, and killing the best monsters.....hmm, kind of sounds like they are role playing a HERO Warrior by some definitions out there. I just cant come up with the best way to describe how your idea doesnt exactly work because i dont see the relationship between making me happy and role playing.

If you really want roleplayers, then why dont you just design a game WITH A GOAL and then forces the player to pick a specific character that needs to perform certain tasks towards that goal(s). This way, people who like the type of situation and type of character will play the game and role play the character correctly towards the GOAL.

This happy-unhappy stuff sounds like all that liberal crap spit out by the media to make all the immoral people feel good or something.

Edited by - GalaxyQuest on November 20, 2001 4:28:49 PM

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Oi!

I seem to be caught in a catch-22 here. My first post was too long and encompassed too much, so people suggested I put out one idea per post. My subsequent posts have been single ideas, and people ask how the concept is intended to be integrated into a game!

I guess I''ll just have to make a game or something to show you what I mean...

For now, please consider these ideas as raw concepts to be polished, then integrated into a coherent whole. Feedback along the lines of "what else needs to be there to make this work" would be especially appreciated. And GalaxyQuest, there''s no need to be confrontational! I''m not shoving anything down your craw. If you don''t like it, then don''t read it, don''t buy it, and don''t play it.

Hauling out the trash once again,
SpittingTrashcan

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No offense, but getting the best armor, weapons, and killing the best monsters isn''t role-playing, it''s Diablo, which is roleplaying in the very loosest sense of the word. I would question your idea of what roleplaying is.

You can call them HERO Warriors if you want, but when people go out with large high powered rifles and shoot tigers, I fail to be impressed with big game hunters. Slaughtering things is not particularly heroic unless you have a good (heroic) reason, even if the players are well armed.

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This effectively kills the openness of any game. The idea is to have an open world and to have the player do things that would make sense for his character. Sort of like real life...

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