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GaldorPunk

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  1. I can see the appeal of an ending, although that's not something that I personally look for in games. I think the biggest problem in designing this conclusion/ending mechanic is making it feel significant, but still allowing the player to come back later on (especially if there's an expansion to the game later.) MMOs really have an interest in keeping players playing, so I think any kind of ending is also going to have to leave the door open for players to come back, and probably even encourage some players to replay the game more.   Perhaps some sort of highscore entry could work? Each character gets one opportunity to "finish" at a point of their choosing and they see a cutscene and get a special in game title depednding on their achievements (lore wise, the idea of "finishing" could be the player retiring, or maybe it marks their graduation from training adventurer, maybe it's signified by receiving knighthood or induction in some special guild, or so on.) In any case, when a player chooses to finish, all their achievements are tallied and they can see how well they did according to various metrics: total wealth, all the dungeons they've beaten, PvP K/D ratio, and so on.   This way you could have a way to put a capstone on your character if you want to quit, but it would also encourage other kinds of players to make multiple alts: go for a highscore of fastest to max level, lowest level to beat a certain dungeon, make a pure crafting character, and so on. It could even use a roguelike inspired feature where each character that finishes would give the player's next character certain starting bonuses, or maybe some kind of account wide flair for your other characters.   A bit of a tangent, but as a side benefit to the roguelike idea above; one of the other problems this might address is that in MMOs that fall out of popularity, the population tends to get concentrated at max level endgame content, so players who pick up the game years after release don't have anyone to group with until they get to the endgame too. That was one of the problems I saw a lot of in Age of Conan where as the population dropped it became impossible to find groups for all but the highest tier dungeons; they eventually added some achievements but there was never really enough of an incentive for most players to collect them. Encouraging the hardcore players to properly play through low level content again would probably be good for the community in this case.
  2. I don't know, I think these games do tend to have a conclusion if you're looking for one. MMOs tend to have main questlines with milestones when you reach max level or beat the highest tier raids, it's just that there's almost always more to do afterwards (and expansions to extend the storyline) if you want to keep playing. There is actually a sizable chunk of players that stop playing once they hit max level since they aren't interested in raiding or pvp.   Even ignoring economics, the nature of MMOs usually requires them to maintain a healthy population so players have other people to group with, fight, or otherwise interact with, so I don't think there's any incentive to provide a definitive "ending" so players would be encouraged to stop playing.   Additionally, I think story is just less important to most open world games. For most people, the main appeal is going to be the gameplay itself, and as long as there are new and fun things to do, there will be a reason to keep playing. (I for one never finished the main questline in Skyrim, still played it much more than most RPGs and had fun exploring the world) The real "end" for a lot of players is either when you get bored or when you can no longer improve your character because you've beaten all the dungeons and you have all the best gear.   Besides, just from a narrative perspective, it's harder to use a standard RPG main quest in an MMO: "You are the chosen hero who is destined to save the kingdom… except for those thousands of other people doing the same thing." Not to mention that you can't ever really defeat the bad guys for good because in MMOs mobs have to respawn and instances reset so you and other players can fight them again. MMO stories are more believable when they focus on your character's personal journey of self improvement, and that kind of story ties in well with leveling up.
  3. Is your monitor 1280x960? That would be explain the mouse coordinates.   As for the screenshots, are you using the keyboard shortcut for printscreen? If so, that doesn't work with XNA games in fullscreen, you'll have to use a program like fraps or add in code to save it in the game such as: http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/67895/594286.aspx
  4. Houses would make sense, that's what Age of Empires does after all. I think it's also fine to have other buildings such as farms or barracks double as population buildings. Battle for Middle Earth 2 for example did that with their resource buildings (they're called farms for the human faction, the others factions' buildings are called different things but they're otherwise identical) each resource building you built also increased the population cap, so most of the time the player wouldn't have to worry about increasing the population cap because you were going to build the farm structures anyway.   I think the same kind of thing would make sense if applied to barracks or other military structures, so each barracks, fort or castle (or whatever other relevant structures you have) could provide supply in addition to being a production structure or whatever else it does. It could even work where any kinds of civilian buildings you control count as supply buildings. The soldiers you recruit were probably already living in the city and if they weren't, it wouldn't be unusual in a medieval setting for the civilian population to be forced to feed and house the soldiers anyway.
  5. I think it's mostly to do with encouraging players to play certain content themselves and for making it harder to buy power. In a game where items are bound to the character when they drop, then you know that if you see someone wearing that item, they're at least competent enough to have run the dungeon where that item drops. Higher level dungeons tend to be more complicated as well as requiring better armor/weapons, so you really want players to learn from the lower level ones before they attempt the harder ones. It's not fun for anyone when a noob buys top tier equipment and joins an advanced group without understanding how to play the character.   Personally, I think a mix of bind on pickup and tradeable drops makes the most sense. Bind on pickup drops are important for encouraging players to progress through content in the right order, but if everything is bind on pickup then well geared players lose their incentive to run lower tier content. Whatever stage of the game you're in, there's typically only a few instances that are worth running at any given time because the others are either too difficult or the drops are worse than what you already have. (It's boring if you're stuck repeating only the same dungeon for a long time with no variety, and it's a waste of content if you advance past dungeons without playing them much if at all.)   The principle I'd suggest is that at any stage of gear progression, the player should be able to spend game money to improve their power level, (such as using valuable tradeable consumables or adding tradeable gems to BoP armor) however without getting bind on pickup gear a player should still be less powerful than an equivalent player that does run those instances. One could also argue for limiting tradeable drops to cosmetic items and other items that aren't combat related, but without items that are useful in relation to the game's primary mechanic (which is usually combat, although in some MMOs it could apply to some sort of crafting skill as well) a lot of players won't care - tradeable items need to be useful for players to actually want to buy or farm for them.
  6. Command and Conquer and Supreme Commander for example have a "streaming" or "pay as you go" resource system where you can add units to the production queue without currently having the money to complete them, and the game automatically spends the money over time as long as the player has some. It's also the system I'm using in my game, it's more complicated to implement but there are some advantages to using it. The basic idea is that, unlike games like Starcraft or Age of Empires, you don't have to wait until you have the full value of the unit to tell the game to start building it. So in that example, if a unit costs 30 resources you can tell the game to start building it whether you have 0 or 25 or whatever and it will start building over time as long as the player has money to spend, which means you'll never have to wait for the player resources to hit a certain amount before starting production.   This is the basic form of the equation I use in the production building's update loop: resourcesSpent = (buildingQueue[0].initialCost) * (timeStep/ (buildingQueue[0].buildTime)); if(resourcesSpent > player.totalResources) { if(player.totalResources < 0) { resourcesSpent = 0; } else { resourcesSpent = player.totalResources; } } buildingQueue[0].remainingCost -= resourcesSpent; player.totalResources -= resourcesSpent; Where: resourcesSpent = amount of money this production building spends on producing stuff this update loop buildingQueue[] = a list of data on units to build buildingQueue[0].initialCost = the total cost of the unit (e.g. 30) timeStep = how long it's been since the last update loop (probably something like 1/60th of a second) buildingQueue[0].buildTime = how long the unit would take to build if we didn't run out of resources during building (used along with initialCost to determine the rate at which resources are spent) player.totalResources = how many resources the player currently has buildingQueue[0].remainingCost = initially the same as to initialCost, when this reaches 0, the unit is completed and removed from the queue   There's more to it, like dealing with integer rounding, evenly distributing resources when there's a low amount and multiple production buildings, but the above code is the main part.
  7. I'm not sure I entirely understand what the issue is, but I think it would be better to separate the money coming in from the money being spent. (First add all the money coming in, then in a separate and independent equation subtract all the money being spent.)   In that equation, I'm guessing the 10 represents the number of farms? What happens though if the number of units and buildings is greater than the amount you're getting from farms? It would make sense for the player to be losing money in that case, but that case alone doesn't cover it.   Also, is this a real time game or turn based? If it's real time you can definitely smooth out the income and resource spending over time (spend a percentage of the cost every update based on how much time has passed out of an overall build time) rather than spending up front in chunks.
  8. I think either would work. Doing it as yourself might be the safer bet if the production values are low, plus you'd be able to talk more about how they affect the gameplay and what game design or technical challenges went into making them, but doing it in character as someone from the game world would be cool if it's well done, something like Diablo 3's lore journals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM1h2af-Z4s
  9. I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with generic as long as it’s well done and not a complete clone of an existing game. That faction upgrade system sounds like it’s enough to offer a unique experience and make your game stand out from others in the genre, and there’s plenty more you can do with small mechanical decisions to make your game feel different from existing games. Whatever the theme or gimmicks, I think the best strategy is to focus on the fundamentals and just make a really solid RTS game.   One problem I see with the second one is that it sounds too much like rock/paper/scissors, not in the sense of having a combat triangle of counters, but that by separating the production and battle phases, players will have to blindly choose a tech path and hope that they picked the right one to counter the other player, since they’d have much more limited opportunities to switch builds after seeing what the enemy is doing. It sounds like it’d run the risk of being too much of a simplification of the genre, and that could turn off the core RTS gamers who would otherwise be the main audience.
  10. Some ideas:   Have an early defender’s advantage that diminishes as the game progresses. You could for example make powerful base defenses that are cost effective against early units, but are weak against upgraded or higher tier units like artillery and aircraft. Tech progression is often on a different timeframe compared to regular production, that way players can’t just spend more money to unlock tech faster. While each player is waiting for the offensively useful techs, they’ll want to spend their remaining money on base building and defensive units.   Tie the economy to base building. Normally, you have to expand to more vulnerable locations to increase your income, but you could make it so resources are mainly found near your original base and/or make it so that your initial base can be significantly upgraded (adding on new modules to your refineries or something, maybe even get income from the total “population” of your base) to increase your income. This would encourage building a single large base and make it harder to harass the other player’s economy early on, but you’d still have to have some change in pace later on (like superweapons or the higher tier offensive units above) to make sure both players eventually have an incentive to attack.
  11. I think the controller is a big part of it, but at this point there’s also a different built in player base for strategy games and consoles. RTS definitely tend to have issues without keyboard and mouse, but you don’t see turn-based strategy as much on consoles as on PCs either, and the controller is less of an obstacle in that case. I think it's mostly controller and economic factors that cause it, but there's a perception that strategy games are something you play on your PC, not in the living room. Economically, I think it ends up being a problem with limited player bases (limited to everyone who bought that console) that make game companies want to avoid the less accessible genres for the fear that they won’t be able to sell enough copies to break even, especially for exclusives. Even with something like the Wii U controller, which is well suited for certain kinds of strategy games, there’d probably be a relatively small percentage of the already limited set of console owners that’d even be interested in them.   As for MOBAs, they could be successful on consoles, but I wouldn’t classify a MOBA as a strategy game any more than I’d classify a team shooter as a strategy game. There’s an element of strategy in most games, but they don’t have much in common with traditional strategy games other than the fact that DotA was originally made in an RTS game’s engine. MOBAs enjoy mainstream success because the core gameplay is designed to be accessible and encourages constant action, while traditional strategy games are less accessible, which is why they’re more of a niche genre and therefore less suitable for consoles. MOBA isn't my kind of genre, but it has s a very successful design philosophy for a few reasons. The towers, the creeps, and the leveling system in MOBAs are all meant to ensure that the match lasts a decent amount of time (without turning into a complete stalemate) even if the teams are mismatched in terms of skill level. This works at the casual level because it ensures a minimum playtime, so even a fairly bad team has a chance to play and get practice without being rushed out of the game in the first few minutes. At the same time, the attrition style of MOBAs also works at a professional esports level because it reduces uncertainty and volatility. Not only does this lead to longer games for viewers, but it makes it less likely that a worse team will beat a better one. It’s the same concept as the law of large numbers, if you think you're the better player, you don’t want the game to be decided on one early fight, but by a lot of fights throughout the game. When the game makes it harder for an unscouted rush to end the game early on, that gives more time for the better team to gain an advantage. That’s why SC2 pros also tend to view long macro games as more legitimate than cheese (rushes) because a less experienced player can still win a few early engagements and take a game, but that same player just won’t out-macro a full time pro without putting in a similar amount of practice.
  12. Tiberian Sun has one of the best singleplayer campaigns even to this day. Graphically I think it holds up very well too, it certainly isn't an ugly game, and skirmish gameplay is good if you like building up your base, you can only produce out of one barracks/factory at a time so it doesn’t play quite as aggressive as newer games. My favorite of the newer ones would be C&C3 Kane’s Wrath, it’s a more modern take on the classic C&C formula (construction yards, tiberium harvesting, etc.) and the pacing and scale feel right, you get large armies but it still tends to be fairly fast paced.   Supreme Commander is good but I was never really into it especially in multiplayer, it has a different feel to a lot of other RTS, unit speeds and the way the economy is set up tends to lead to a bit too much spam.   As for communities, there’s gamereplays.org although that tends to have a multiplayer focus, maybe reddit/r/rts, and it’s worth checking out modDB.com, which isn’t a RTS community but there are a lot of good mods for various RTS games there.
  13. I’m a big C&C fan so that’d be my first suggestion. You can get the Ultimate Collection, which includes every C&C game for just $20, which is absurdly cheap. (they’re all classic RTS except Renegade and C&C4 – also although official multiplayer support has ended, you can still play online with other services like cnc-online or gameranger)   I’ve also had a lot of fun with singleplayer in Sins of a Solar Empire, which is kind of classic RTS but with a bit of 4x as well, the nice thing about that game is that skirmish games tend to last a long time and with big random maps it doesn’t get very repetitive. There’s a long tech tree and some diplomacy options as well.   Maybe Age of Empires series too? I’d suggest BFME2 as well but it’s pretty hard to get copies of that these days.
  14. I'm with mikeman on this, this definition talk is especially silly and not useful, even in the context of this thread. Let’s be real, when people say “this game is sexist” they aren’t implying some overly broad definition where even a person being romantically interested in one gender over the other could be considered sexist, the word as most people understand it means a more negative kind of prejudice.
  15. I don't like that either. Retailers are of course free to carry the games they want, and I don't play AO games myself so I don't really have a personal stake in it, but I think ideally it would be more fair if there were more mainstream options for adults to buy those kinds of games. On the other hand, I definitely don't like strict government censorship unless its something that's blatantly illegal and harmful in other ways. If I saw a thread here specifically about German censorship, I'd comment in that too.