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Hikeeba

Hero Morphing and Ending Goblin Genocide

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I was listening the Molyneux lecture on Gamasutra, which is something you really should listen to I think. Anyway, one part was discussing the way your hero would change in Project Ego. Such things as an overdeveloped right arm if you went around carrying a battle ax, or becoming more lean if you snuck around and stabbed people in the back. So, it dawned on me about using a similar system for experience. Instead of gaining points for ruthlessly slaughtering the slaughterable, why not gain experience based on what you do? If you do sneak around a lot, you should become better at it. If you swing swords around, you should become better at it. Carry rocks around and become stonger. Run, jump, etc and become faster and more agile. If you're a magic user, burn down whole forests or torch grasslands while practicing your fireballs. Just an idea. Not very fleshed out, but I wanted to get it down before I forgot. I wanna' ride on the pope mobile. Edited by - Hikeeba on December 19, 2001 1:41:42 AM

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How about if we are honest and admit the truth: characters _do not_ improve. They can have stats, they can have skills and all that, but whatever happens, in but one week or two (the length span of a game) these will not change at all. What can change is what the world thinks of the player character and how the PC thinks of himself (fame / confidence).

And while at that, how about we be honest and admit another truth: wearing the best armor or wielding the finest weapons will not make that much difference.

And while at that, how about we finally accept that 10 goblins will eat alive the meanest hero any time day or night.

Do these, and then worry about adding _real_ gameplay to the game.

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Quote Hikeeba:
"Instead of gaining points for ruthlessly slaughtering the slaughterable, why not gain experience based on what you do?"


Dude, that ideas been around for ages. Daggerfall immediately comes to mind, but there are a heck of a lot more aswell. I wouldn''t spend ages refining this system to work with every single stat, instead I''d choose some key points like walking speed or strength or things that can improve in a reasonable amount of time like Diodor said. Can you imagine someone becoming more intelligent in 2 months?

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nothing of that is new, some of the earliest MUD systems had a skill system like that. or look at sierras Quest for Glory.

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quote:
Original post by Diodor
How about if we are honest and admit the truth: characters _do not_ improve. They can have stats, they can have skills and all that, but whatever happens, in but one week or two (the length span of a game) these will not change at all. What can change is what the world thinks of the player character and how the PC thinks of himself (fame / confidence).

that''s not completely true. if you spend all afternoon swordfighting for two weeks, you can bet you''d be better at if afterwards!
quote:
And while at that, how about we be honest and admit another truth: wearing the best armor or wielding the finest weapons will not make that much difference.

you have apparently never wielded the Dark Spork of Chaos!
quote:
And while at that, how about we finally accept that 10 goblins will eat alive the meanest hero any time day or night.

not if he has the Dark Spork of Chaos!

--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)

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I''m not talking about skill points, practice sessions, and levels or anything like that. Unless I missed something, the closest any game has come to this is skill points. I''m not talking about skill points though.

In the real world, if you run a lot you get faster. If you fence, you get better. You don''t kill things until you gain so many experience points and then go spend the practice sessions you earned at your guild hall.

Ok, you know how you trained your creature in Black & White? He got better at stuff after repetition. I''m talking about using something similar to that for character advancement. You control your character, and he gets better at swinging a sword just by doing it. He gets more accurate by swinging for a target, a tree for example. Get better at throwing fireballs just by throwing the damn things. Get more accurate by throwing them at a target. Get better at backstabbing by backstabbing. Better at sneaking by sneaking.

No levels. No skill points. No practice sessions. Sort of an experience neural net for lack of a better way to explain it. Not a tree, but a system where repetition results in your character being more effective.

I wanna'' ride on the pope mobile.

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quote:
Original post by Diodor
How about if we are honest and admit the truth: characters _do not_ improve. They can have stats, they can have skills and all that, but whatever happens, in but one week or two (the length span of a game) these will not change at all. What can change is what the world thinks of the player character and how the PC thinks of himself (fame / confidence).

And while at that, how about we be honest and admit another truth: wearing the best armor or wielding the finest weapons will not make that much difference.

And while at that, how about we finally accept that 10 goblins will eat alive the meanest hero any time day or night.

Do these, and then worry about adding _real_ gameplay to the game.


This has got to be the shallowest post I''ve ever seen. I think Hikeeba is latching on to the new wave of games that actually start to take advantage of all this processing power now at our fingertips. In Project Ego, not only does your character "evolve", but the entire world does to. If you leave your house as a kid and come back as an adult, things will have changed drastically. Also like Hikeeba said, Molyneux is probably using a spinoff of his Black and White AI to accomplish this feat, which is entirely possible. I think we''ll be seeing a lot of games that start to use these "evolving" features as time goes on. It presents a way for the player to personalize his character not through any set means (like leveling up with strictly defined abilities) but by the actual actions he performs in the game. So now it''s not just about fighting monsters to get enough skill points to level up, but fighting monsters to improve your swordsmanship, accuracy, strength.... all these general attributes. Levels will be a thing of the past. I think it''s cool.


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If I understand what you''re talking about, I''ve seen this system in older games like Jagged Alliance. In those games, you could do things like improve your aim through repeated target practice. (I think Ultima Online was also like this.)

I think that experience based on action has promise, but I''m not sure how you''d properly scale challenges. If I practice again and again, I might be able to easily beat all but the top challenge / foe.

Also, one thing repetition often fails to capture is difficulty of what you''re practicing against. I know from martial arts that if I practice only against beginning white belts, I''m not going to improve very much. So maybe it''d be more realistic to award greater experience the higher the challenge the player tackles.



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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I think there is something to Diodors post, while you do improve a little, in real life the change is nothing near what rpgs use nowadays.
Equally with equipment, a well-balanced and sharp sword will make a difference, but it will not be a deciding factor if a good swordsman fights a mediocre one.

Then there are a lot of gameplay problems, if you get better by doing things you will find that your players spend a lot of time hitting / climbing trees just for the sake of doing it. And endlessly climbing trees is not fun.
If you limit it to "real" experience only, then the player has lost most of the control over his characters development, so either way you are in a difficult situation.

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