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  1. I've always wondered why MMOs didn't adopt an open ended leveling mechanic where there was no level cap. However...XP required for the next level would increase exponentially. Levels would be harder and harder to attain so you'd need more and more xp to gain the next level and not just a fixed amount.   E.g.: from 1 to 2 you need 100 xp, from 2 to 3 you need 200 xp, from 3 to 4 you need 400, and by the time you're trying to hit 20 you need over 26 million.   I take it back...there WOULD be a cap in this type of system: time. But instead of artificially restricting progress you're leaving it up to the player how much time they want to invest to level up. As a developer I don't this would pose MUCH change in the way you design "end game" challenges. You'd have to consider what the mean player level would probably be, and what the max level on average would probably be.   I dunno'...just always hated artificial barriers to progress. Invisible walls, level caps, etc.
  2. Not sure how you are representing your "overworld", or how you are storing your areas. From the title (2D) I assumed a simple x/y grid of tile data.   Can you elaborate on how you're storing the data that represents your areas/chunks/world?
  3. When I played U4/U5 on my Apple II it had such a system which loaded in the surrounding chunks as you moved around the map. The world map was like 256x256 tiles, and the game only loaded in the surrounding chunks of 32x32 (U4) or 16x16 (U5) tiles at a time. Even on my old Apple II the disk access was sufficiently fast to only present like a quarter second delay every time you moved enough tiles over for it to load new chunks.   With today's hardware I could easily envision loading a chunk of even 256x256 bytes much faster. Assuming a 64K (256x256) chunk (1 byte per tile) and a 9 ms average seek time coupled with a 120 MB/s hard drive read speed, it'd take around 9.5 milliseconds to load.   Let's go with a 3x3 grid of chunks (1 for the chunk the player is "in" and then the surrounding 8). Even allowing diagonal movement by the player, you'd only ever be loading in 5 chunks at a time. Assuming a worst case scenario of all chunks being non-contiguous on the HDD, 5 times 9.52 ms = 47.6 ms. Unnoticeably fast, I'd say. Remember that the player is probably only traversing 1 tile at a time, so after a load there's 256 tiles to traverse before another load.   This would allow ridiculously large worlds to be stored on disk and paged in as needed. The only hard part would be tracking things that happened outside of a player's loaded set of chunks. Nothing too difficult I would say. It would just require lots of forethought and planning. I.e., how would the game know where a shopkeeper in a chunk that is no longer loaded would be upon the player's return? You could just "freeze" the NPC positions but this is very immersion breaking for the player. You could use a formula, plugging in time of day and yielding some approximate position. You could remember the NPC's last location, figure out how much time has passed, and then determine how far the NPC could move in that time. Add the two together. Throw in some random possibilities like heart attacks, robbers, etc., etc. Lol. Enough discussion there for a complete new thread IMHO.   Anyway, just some thoughts.   Take care!
  4. I can understand the arguments for/against both types, but I vastly prefer random. I'm coming from a background of Iron Crown Enterprise's Rolemaster RPG system though, so.... I've always liked the idea that a lvl 1 nub with standard weapons/armor could take on and potentially get a critical hit on a vastly superior foe and take them out (i.e., a 'you strike foe through the eye killing him instantly' kind of thing). It also preserves a lot of tension (and yeah, presents a huge potential source of frustration) when your high level unit can be taken out by vastly inferior units. I think it also makes for a much more exciting and memorable game when there is at least some degree of randomness present. Otherwise no matter how many more strategic/tactical elements you introduce into the game you're still going to have something akin to chess.   But I guess it goes back to what some have mentioned above. It depends on what kind of game you're shooting for. No matter what kind I make it's going to incorporate RPG elements. Unit progression at the least, where each individual unit can "learn", get stronger/faster, etc. And RPG elements...I dunno', they just seem to go hand in hand with a large degree of randomness.   Interesting discussion!   Take care.
  5. Why not allow searching, but once an area is searched don't allow any further PRODUCTIVE search of that area by the same searcher until skillup (including buffs from items, etc.)?   Just a thought!
  6. I'm in no way insulted by being told I am wrong. You are absolutely correct. Too many people nowadays are “sissified” in my opinion. In fact the first thing being told I was wrong made me want to do was to find out WHY. And what my [admittedly very limited] research showed was that you were in fact entirely correct. Phased laser pulses can in fact produce explosions. Pretty cool stuff! However...   ...it's my turn to be insulted. I don't understand how any of my comments above could have been taken in any way, shape, or form to be “telling you” anything about lasers. In fact all I see me doing in the main is ASKING QUESTIONS. To make the implication that I'm simply some idiot who gets all his knowledge from television is what makes your remark so rude. Bleh.   Yeah, you're right again here. For the most part. However I would like to point out that “honest” would also include not categorizing your readers falsely. And “efficient” would probably mean not needlessly offending your target audience by demeaning their intelligence. Other than that thanks for educating me on the additional properties of lasers. Sincerely, I had no clue they could do that even though it's such a small step from what I thought they did to what they actually do! Truly a 'duh' moment for me! I look forward to further comments in this thread. Take care.  
  7. Not to be nitpicky or anything, but how are you imagining lasers? I can't conceive of an implementation having any kind of explosion/K.E. at all. If you're thinking something like what appeared to be a plasma spitting repeater from Terminator (i.e., the future/flashback where a T800 infiltrates a human base, dogs start barking, and it whips out a 2 handed rifle and begins to unload on everything) then maybe I can see where you get the explosion part, but that would more fall under some kind of plasma weapon than an actual laser. I.e., the humans fired back with lasers in that same flashback. And even in that case the "explosion" was simply the super heated plasma expanding on contact and creating a crack/pop. Not something I would imagine as an actual explosion, per se.   Why wouldn't lasers simply have tons of pierce?
  8. So what exactly is the question?   Are you doing a kind of system where your unit's skills, etc., are maintained from one map to the next? Or is everything self-contained in one map?
  9. I'm confused. How are lasers dealing "concussive" damage?   How do they have any kinetic component at all?   Otherwise seems like a really cool system. It does seem a wee bit overcomplicated with possible room for some simplification, but like you said the computer is doing all the heavy lifting so....   Take care!
  10. Well there you have it.   Why can't you "graduate" from having 10 decked out/maxed out cavepeople to being able to eventually manage 10 GROUPS of cavepeople (or more)? In other words, why can't you go from first person caveman back to RTS caveman? Where you're more focused on the general concepts of maintaining tribes instead of the minutia of finding the next berry bush to pick.   I believe you stated/hinted a couple of times that the original incarnation of this game was like that? Think of it! You will have come full circle, grasshopper!   :P   From one caveman to 10 cavemen to god mode caveman nation simulator!   Just a thought....
  11. That's awesome if I'm understanding correctly. So I can basically train up a given skill forever, getting better and better but taking more and more time to do so?   This kind've bugs me. Its sort've like the invisible walls used by some games to keep you corralled into "playable" game space. If I want to pick some round red things hanging off a bush, let me pick some round red things hanging off a bush!   In all seriousness though, this doesn't seem to jive for a game that you've stated is grounded/constrained by realism to a large degree.   I would've thought you'd do it something like this:   Player goes running up to a berry bush selecting it with the spacebar and clicking on "pick berries". *game determines (either now, or when sector was created but no reason it couldn't be on the fly) if the berries are harmful, helpful or neutral (no effect)* *game checks player's Plant Lore skill versus this type of berry bush and finds either: player has no clue, player has some idea, player knows this bush* *game informs player either: You are certain these berries are edible, you are uncertain if these are edible, you have no idea if these are edible.* Player then makes decision to eat the berries based on degree of knowledge of berry bush versus degree of hunger (i.e., I'm starving so it's worth the risk of getting sick).   If the player dumps the berries because he feels it's not worth the risk (i.e., his Plant Lore wasn't high enough to get "certain" feedback) then his Plant Lore can still go up minutely.   If the player however EATS the berries, either way his Plant Lore is going to go up a lot more. Especially for THAT type of bush! He's either going to get sick or he's not.   I dunno'. Just seems a rather contrived way to do things. And again, especially in a game that's striving for realism.   I get the lack of tool notification. You want to get some stone or ore? Well it's not happening with your bare hands. You want to shape some ingots after heating them up in a forge/furnace? Ditto the bare hands thing. BUT! Again with the research. I really think you're putting the cart before the horse here. You should probably separate research from ability. It seems like you're confusing them conceptually. Bear with me...   If I want to pick berries to eat I don't need to know how to do it. I go up to the berry bush, I pull the berries off, and I eat them. Action Complete.   If I want to forge a sword...now THERE'S something I can't simply walk up and do. I wouldn't even know what a sword WAS, let alone how to forge one.   Likewise if I want to gather nuts why should I have to have some kind of skill? I see some local fauna with bushy tails nibbling on some nuts and I get the idea that they're edible. So I grab some off the ground and try it. Action Complete!   Likewise killing animals for food. Sure my chances are going to SUCK MAMMOTH PRIVIES until/unless I've developed some kind of trapping or combat skills, but why would I not even be able to attempt it? Which you haven't come right out and said, but you've implied it.   Again with the I dunno'. Perhaps you can go into more detail about how you're breaking down Skills, Research, ability, etc. I can understand completely how one might need to RESEARCH something before you can even attempt it. Like a Tech Tree or something. But I'm at odds with your example of berry picking for starters as far as requiring any kind of research. Berry Picking SKILL, by all means, which could affect what % of edible berries you gather per unit time or something.   And maybe you just casually lumped everything into the paradigm of Research+Action=Finished without thinking some of them through. If that's the case I suggest rethinking some of the more basic actions and making them more of a Action+Finished=Skill Increase paradigm. Like gathering, or basic combat.   Do you have a "Tech Tree"?   Please don't take all of the above the wrong way. I've been reading through most/all of your threads on this game and I'm super impressed/excited. I'd love to see more screenshots and/or movies of stuff in action. Sounds like a really awesome job so far and I wish you all the best. So yeah I mean all of the above in the greatest spirit of constructive criticism possible.   Take care.
  12. http://nehe.gamedev.net   Start with Lesson 1: http://nehe.gamedev.net/tutorial/creating_an_opengl_window_%28win32%29/13001/   Assuming you're developing for Windows.   Depending on how many of the tuts you go through you'll end up being able to render pretty much anything you want (text, tiles, models, etc.). Which is a huge start towards getting a game going. I liked them not only for that but also for the Win32 code it steps you through. Basic window creation, basic input, etc.   When you're ready to add sound I'd suggest OpenAL. It's got similar syntax to OpenGL.   My biggest hurdle right now is multiplayer. I'm trying to wrap my head (and classes heh) around Winsock.   Anyway good luck! Game programming is fun and rewarding if you stick with it.   Take care.
  13. Glass armor!   The paper and pencil RPG system Rolemaster called it Laen (pronounced 'line' I believe). It provided protection/ability slightly higher than mithril and slightly less than eog/meteoric steel (mithril<-laen<-eog). It was peculiar in that to forge/shape it you needed COLD instead of heat. The colder you got it the more malleable it became necessitating the use of "cold forges".   Pretty cool idea I think.   Awesome thread! Take care.
  14. Don't know if this would be possible with your game, but what about the map making skill affecting the *resolution* of the visible map? Ranging from, for example, 1 for 1 pixel granularity down to a really high value where the player is only seeing blobs.   Kind've like this...     ?   Just a thought, and good luck.
  15. [quote name='sunandshadow' timestamp='1354435919' post='5006235'] An additional thing about PvP I was noticing today - I often win with a fairly bad performance (because my opponent somehow managed to screw up even worse) and lose with a near-perfect performance (when both of you perform very well, someone has to win, even if it's by only a few points or a few tenths of a second). That's not vary psychologically satisfying. [/quote] Maybe that's because you're not psychologically (possibly even physiologically, assuming you're female?) compelled to the level of competitiveness that results in those VERY same outcomes feeling extremely satisfying. Especially the latter! The most recent example for me (unfortunately?) is World of Warcraft Arena PvP. I have actually had matches where I would get an adrenaline rush. I mean seriously, a flight or fight reaction, sitting in the safety of my house in my computer chair? Those moments are very rewarding and satisfying and what I think PvP is all about. Have I ever had the same satisfying reaction versus PvE/AI controlled "monsters"? Yes but to a very smaller degree. I mean pulling a number out of my hat we're talking 10x less satisfying. A trickle compared to a rush. Knowing you're going up against other thinking people makes things way more exciting. Although thinking about it just now, and to put things in perspective if I ever jumped out of an airplane to skydive it would probably make any PvP rush I could experience on my computer seem a trickle in comparison as well. Heh. Re: 3) If I had the same opportunity to "kick down their sandcastle". That would take some of the sting out of it. "I'll get you back one day, you rat *******!" Re: 4) Definitely! It's one of my biggest complaints about WoW Arena PvP. What's fair about throwing combatants into battle together who have the possibility of having vastly differing qualities of gear? In my opinion Arena in WoW should start every team off with a packaged set of equal powered gear tailored for their class/spec. Then you get a pure skill match for the most part. Also, I would prefer a PvP game to be more skill based. Even the lowliest "level 1" nub should have a chance, however remote! of being able to take down or significantly damage (think permanently maim) a much higher level player. There are many paper/pencil/dice RPGs that incorporate mechanics like this (e.g., Rolemaster and their wickedly detailed critical hit tables). That way even a lone wolf godly assassin has a chance of being taken down by a lucky off strike by some peasant, or has to honestly weigh his chances when taking on 5 level 2 guards. Sunandshadow, while your definition of what makes PvP "fair" has some merits and those guidelines certainly encompass a certain type of PvP (i.e., arena/battleground matches), you lose a huuuuuuge amount of what also makes PvP FUN! For a humorous aside, this is how I read one of your statements Sunandshadow: "1B. PvP must be levelless or level-equalized such that the aggressed person is never of lover [sic] lever [sic] than the aggressor, AND people already fighting a monster cannot be aggressed AND there are no penalties for dying when aggressed in a PvP match...." AND all PvP must take place in a magical land of rainbows and snuggly teddy bears AND there must be unicorns! AND skittles! Hee hee? Again, that "gladiator" stuff is fine and dandy but you REALLY put a cap on potential epic-ness when you confine PvP to such an environment. Ask any of the "old timers" from World of Warcraft (to use a bad example) who enjoyed world PvP in zones such as, say Tauren Mill. In conclusion I completely get that "controlled" PvP is pretty much the only way to do things with the way most MMOs are set up. Level based/gear based progression. BUT! if there were changes to the ruleset/mechanics made some of which have been detailed above by myself and others, then I'm sure a much more potentially enjoyable PvP MMO could be created. Take care and really cool discussion!