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About Eiviyn

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  1. Stop. You're going to make a mess if you just draw up a list of 400 spells. I guarantee it. Firstly, 400. Assuming 4 or 5 spells per hero, you're making 80 to 100 heroes. That is a lot. That, with a full design team, would take years, assuming you take the time to polish and stylise your heroes sufficiently. Making this many heroes in a shotgun approach runs the risk of producing poor heroes. When developing a hero, you need to identify a few aspects prior. What role on the battlefield will it fill? What aspects of the hero will be satisfying? What style of play should the hero promote? What makes this hero different from the ones I already made? These are tough questions, and are just as important as the hero's skill set. To provide an example, let's say I'm creating an assassin character. Her role will be to provide modest disables and high damage, while being fragile. This combination of attributes grants her a bonus when soloing another hero, while being disproportionately weak when outnumbered. What would make her satisfying to play is her situational style of play. Getting a hero alone will give you an advantage. To aid her in this, she would need some intel style ability that grants vision or denies enemy vision. Successfully applying this intel to the battlefield and pulling off a successful kill is what would make her satisfying. So. She needs some high damage skills, with moderate disables. She needs an ability to help her set up a kill, and a long cooldown, high damage ultimate would probably fit her best. Ability names are generic. Strike Deals x damage and marks the target for death. Each mark increases the damage you deal against that target by y%. Marks stack to 5. This encourages you to stay on one target and commit to killing that target once begin. Her damage without marks would be below average, while at 5 marks, her damage would be unsurvivable. Poison Passive. Attacks slow the target by x% and deal y additional damage over 15 sec. Can be activated to provide a% additional attack speed for b sec. Basic cooldown and the moderate disable. Move speed reduction mostly to prevent her target from escaping. Stealth Her intel ability. Leveling could grant energy regen bonus or movement speed while active. Pretty standard RPG stealth. Alternatively; Mark of Death Places a mark on a target. You gain x% of the target's vision radius and can teleport to the target at any time, so long as the target is within y range of you. This allows you to set up kills and provides the intel needed to properly allow you to wait until the enemy is alone. The mark should only be visible to the caster. Generic High Damage Ultimate Fill in whatever you want here. Ultimates should be high risk for the caster too. Either difficult to aim or forces the caster into a more vulnerable state.
  2. Eiviyn

    Pilgrims of Parnassus

    The name really, really puts me off before I even read details. Firstly the word "pilgrim", conjures up images of religion and generally nothing exciting. Secondly, "Parnassus". http://www.wowwiki.com/Darnassus Darnassus is a WoW term that is used extensively. Parnassus is eerily close. I'm sure it wasn't a conscious decision, but it simply sounds like a mispronunciation of the above.
  3. Acceleration = force / mass. Double the mass, and you have to double the force (thrust) in order to achieve the same acceleration. [/quote] You're absolutely right, I'll edit my posts.
  4. That's reasonable insofar as it goes, but there are some subtleties to be aware of: Acceleration is a function of thrust divided by mass. A fighter tends to have a huge proportion of it's mass devoted to engines - it's doubtful that a city-sized spaceship would devote 50% of it's mass to engines - thus the fighter may still be faster. Even without friction, we still have inertia. The larger ship may be able to accelerate faster, but changing direction is going to take just as long. A trained fighter pilot can survive about 5 g sustained acceleration. It's doubtful that a city-sized spaceship would have the structural integrity to survive 5 g acceleration - and the humans inside would likely be pulverised by manoeuvres at those types of acceleration. [/quote] I feel all these points rely on differences in design, rather than differences in mass. With that said, bigger engines are always better in a vacuum. If an engine is twice that of a fighter, on a ship 10 times it's size, the large ship will still travel much faster than the small one. Inertia is a factor, but the limiting factor in speed tends to be friction. With friction removed, it's only really limited by the amount of force you can produce, which is higher in larger engines. Off topic, but why does the forum require you to use "< br />" in order to create a new line?
  5. Since any attempt to balance such things is ultimately in your hands, I feel the names would suffice; Kinetic Missile Bombs Torpedoes Cruise Missiles Tactical Missiles (Small versions of cruise missiles) Strategic Missiles (Nukes) Light Missile (Generic name, designed for anti-fighter use) Kinetic Projectile Point Defence Artillery Magnetic Acceleration Cannon (MAC) Railgun (Smaller version of the above) Cannon Autocannon (Smaller version of the above) Siege Cannon Energy Missile Chemical Bomb (Replace "chemical" with anything sciencey, such as plasma, neutron, photon, graviton etc, inflicts status effects) Chemical Torpedo (Same as above) Energy Directed (Chemical) Lance (Replace "chemical" as above) (Chemical) Pulse Laser (Chemical) Beam Laser Microwave Laser Energy Misc Nova (Generic name, creates a nova which deals damage around caster ship) Repair Laser Shield Recharger Misc Drones Fighters Bombers Logistics support ships (repair/reshield) To spin some balance into the mix; Bombs Very short range, extreme high damage, may only target large ships, countered by range Nova Inflicts light damage to everything near caster. Damage too light to really harm large ships, but devastating against light craft. Countered by just not using light craft. Drones/Fighters Very short range but capable of making the distance up using their own drives; countered by point defence and nova weaponry. Torpedoes Mid range. High damage. Can't target fighters/drones. Countered by extreme close range (bombs), extreme long range, or relying on fighters/drones. Missiles Mid range. Low damage. Capable of engaging any target, even torpedoes/bombs. Countered by large ships (damage too low to be a threat) and avoiding fighters/drones. Tactical Missiles High range. Mid damage. Can lock small ships, but mostly ineffective. Designed for use against large ships. Low DPS compared to torps/bombs. Countered by getting in close with high dps/short range weapons or fighters. And so on, you get the idea. Note that all of the above is completely unscientific. "Real" space warfare would likely exclusively use railguns due to the complete lack of friction in space, and the fact that a railgun of sufficient size would be capable of accelerating a lump of metal to insane speeds, ensuring engagements take place at utterly ridiculous ranges. The accuracy of such weapons with gravity mostly taken out of the equation would render "fighters" and missiles easily shot down. Large ships make large targets, ensuring that ships would only be as large as their engines needed to be, and the size of their railgun.Fighters especially are rather a joke. There is nothing stopping a huge city-size ship from being as nimble and fast as a shuttle sized ship in the absence of friction. The contrary would actually be the case; the large ship with the larger engines would travel faster than the "fighter" with fighter sized engines. Something to keep in mind if you're after a semblance of realism (which I would not recommend, as it's dull!).
  6. Eiviyn


    Don't worry about gimmicks like persistent levels and achievements before you have the gameplay down. I suggest you look into DotA, a WC3 custom map that is (was?) arguably one of the most popular competitive e-sports around. The game had one terrain, no stat tracking outside 3rd party programs, no achievements, no unlocks, nothing. It was pure gameplay and learning what made people willing to play the same terrain thousands of times will (even if it doesn't directly translate into your game) help you. The most important aspect is variation. Player vs Player games have innate variation because players are difficult to predict. Of course, you need to allow players to be unpredictable if you want a successful PvP game. For this, you can look at anything from Starcraft to Halo; unpredictability creates variation. Variation creates replayability. Next comes varying degrees of success. While "You've won!" or "You've lost!" certainly work for some games, I'd argue that such a boolean outcome is dull. Take a look at any fps game; you have the same overarching "You've won!" message at the end, but in addition, you have your kills and your deaths. Your team may have won, but your 3 kills and 28 deaths probably didn't contribute. This is a varying degree of success; you succeeded, but you could have succeeded better. That drive to improve is a very important aspect in creating replayability. High skill ceilings and good competitive aspects both improve (but not create) this. Lastly, direct variation. DotA consisted of 2 teams of 5. Each player would pick from 60+ heroes. This meant that you rarely would have the same composition of allies, and rarer still would you fight the same enemy. I don't think this needs much expanding. Of course, this is more aimed at PvP, but the same principles can be applied to PvE centric games. Diablo and Diablo 2 are PvE games that create a lot of variation; random loot drops, random dungeons, random enemy spawns. The less likely that the player will be in the same situation twice, the better.
  7. I think the key element here is atmosphere. A good villain/apocalyptic event needs a lot of presence to make players feel in danger. Danger and fear go hand in hand. Fear is a primal responce to being predated upon. Hence a good antagonist should be a good predator. So those two key components; Presence Predator Fear is induced by suspecting you are in danger. You aren't afraid of lions because they have no presence near you; you know they're (probably) thousands of miles from where you're sitting right now. However that monster under your bed that was around when you were 5 years old had huge presence; it was right next to you and you slept with it every night. Sure, you never saw it, but it had presence and that alone is scary. In context, a good antagonist has to be close to the player. You're not afraid of some black hole on the other side of the galaxy; but news that our sun will become one within 24h will scare the hell out of you. Next, the predator part. Sun becoming black hole is a good predator; you can't fight it. Take every good horror film antagonist and they all have one thing in common; they're efficient at killing you. The aliens from Alien are nearly endless in number, strike from the shadows, are all around you and can incapacitate you in seconds. That's a damn good predator, and damn scary if they had presence in your life. To summarise, you need to feel like the antagonist is close. You need to feel like the antagonist is an efficient killer. How you do this is entirely up to you, one method isn't really better than another, just get those 2 elements down and it'll have that "psychological effect".
  8. Eiviyn

    Good MMO characteristics

    Intellect provides 1 spellpower per point. Each spell has a spellpower coefficient. Shadow Bolt has a coefficient of 0.857, pyroblast 0.115 (0.13 with talents) and so on. Nearly every spell has a unique coefficient, one you could only reasonably know by checking 3rd party sites. Values taken from patch 3.3. So 100 intellect will increase your shadow bolt by 86 damage. This is before talents take effect. For an affliction warlock, 100 int increases bolt damage by 112. For demonology, 100 int returns 99 damage increase, unless you're in demon form where it gives 119. Oh then throw in mastery, which increases the damage by a % and throws off the final increases even more. Basically, 100 int gives a seemingly random increase depending on a huge amount of factors that are completely unrelated to your magic power. My point is that "100 intellect" tells you nothing and can only be compared vs other gear in the game (which may be a valid reason to use this method alone), while "+5% spell damage" is clear even if you've never played the game before. Of course, both have merits, but I prefer the latter.
  9. Eiviyn

    Good MMO characteristics

    I never understood the point of primary/secondary stats. Speaking as a gamer rather than a developer here; You start a new game. You've never played this game before. An item drops; "Wizard's Robe of Intellect". The stats read +5 intellect. This means nothing. I just reeled off 6 words and none have any meaning to you, short of comparisons you can draw from other games (such as assuming intellect makes you better at magic). However, let's say in the game, intellect increases your spell damage. Would it not be better to just drop the "intellect" stat entirely and have this? Wizard's Robe of Intellect +5% spell damage Granted, % based stats don't work in all games. WoW for example had to drop them due to scaling issues. However % stats are infinitely clearer than arbitrary "8625 armour, +5 intellect, +3 healing" to a new player, and even older ones (I've played WoW for 6 years and still have no clue how much of a damage increase 300 intellect is).
  10. Eiviyn

    Innovation in Social Gaming

    The problem with user-made quests is always going to be vulnerability to being exploited. EVE online has something similar to this where a player can create contracts, typically involving the delivery of an item from one locale to another. This works well as the reward is often worth the effort, and the task is actually something the player wants. With that in mind, crafting-centric player quests come to mind. Similar to how an auction house works, where goods are displayed with their price alongside them, this quest system could be like this, but in reverse. The quest lists item(s) required, and the reward (probably the game's currency). Now the trick would be to force the player to rely on others to complete their quest. This could be done by preventing certain classes from undertaking the quest (I want 10 potions, but I'm not an alchemist). I feel this system would be difficult to exploit, but all things considered, it just doesn't seem very fun. Relying on people in gaming tends to be slower than simply doing it yourself, and this creates frustration. I would love to see a game effectively pull off user-made questing, but despite the above idea, I'm drawing a blank.
  11. Eiviyn

    Agriculture - plants vs livestock

    This lacks a lot of context, so my reply may be a little generic. Firstly, disease. Of course this depends on the type of game, but this has always been a factor in farming. Diseases tend to target one or two species only. You could have diseases that periodically decimate certain livestock types. This is realistic, though probably not very fun for the player. Perhaps diminishing returns on stock size, so your first farm will have 100 hens, but your second farm can only have 90, with disease being used as the magic plot device. This way, it may always be cost efficient to start with hens space wise, but you would not be able to monopolise in only hens due to the lessening productivity. Thirdly, perhaps they could decrease in value as you sell them (assuming they are to be sold). Just like real trade, oversupplying would decrease the worth of that particular livestock and as such it would pay to diversify. While realistic, this wouldn't be very useful if you are producing meat for internal consumption. I feel the diminishing returns would be the simplest in terms of explanation and gameplay, while also being the least annoying.
  12. Eiviyn

    Item/Equipment/Monster Rarity

    I feel people are missing the point of a rarity system. I'll use World of Warcraft as an example, as it's the best one I can think of. The point of a game's UI is to get information across to the user in the most efficient way possible. Text is a horrible way to convey information, and in general I feel people are very resistive to reading unless they absolutely must. Without even reading an item's tooltip, a user can decide whether they should even consider the item. Leveling a low-level rogue and see a green item? Worth reading. Playing your epic geared warrior and see a blue item? Not worth reading. This initial "Should I even consider the item?" is the purpose of a rarity system. The faster you can convey information, the better, and a rarity system basically acts as a filter in the user's eyes to immediately see whether the information in the item's tooltip is worth reading or not.
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