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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:30 AM
Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:49 AM
Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:30 PM
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.
Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:16 PM
Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:19 PM
Posted 12 July 2012 - 07:56 PM
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:02 AM
You should make two separate inventory: (1) as an NPC (2) as the player. Have it so that players could move things between the two inventory, but the game server cannot access the player inventory when the character goes into NPC mode (log off). There should also be two separate currency counters, of course with similar restriction. The player has access to both sides, while the server has access to only the NPC side of things.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:06 AM
Yes, I agree that having some sort of flag to explain that a character is in NPC mode would be useful, I was thinking of having their name Highlighted over their head fulltime and maybe a specific color or outline. My intention is also to have character names not be visible unless you know them, ask them, or you can click on the character and notate a name. More realistic then everyone having a name before you get to know them. Its an idea.
Characters in offline mode need to be visibly marked as such so other players don't get confused trying to chat with friends who aren't actually online.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:11 AM
As for the "honing your skills" bit, you could do a time ratio for learning skills. Say you have a skill tree, where you have to use or learn or wait so long to gain the skill you now have the level for. You could have offline time in that skill be a fraction of online time where either way they could unlock that skill but it takes longer offline than on.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:17 AM
I agree a decision tree is how it should be, with many questions ending in a drop down menu, and turning itself into an If/then setup. If a player asks for something, then I can make it or I can't, do I have the raw materials, refined materials, or the skill? If not then say" That is out of my ability, sorry"
I think you should have a decision tree or something like you would do with normal AI's
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:29 AM
It would be a lot of active characters for the server to track. It would amount to every character owned by every player in the whole game being online at all times. They wouldn't eat up bandwidth, but the server would have to run all their automated tasks, eating server resources at all times of the day and night.
From a player perspective, it would be weird to see a friend's character in "zombie mode", offering robot responses to stimulus and not remember the great dick joke from last time you quested together. You'd never see your own guy in the game, unless you were playing on another character, which might be vaguely gratifying, but not terribly productive.
Also, if the benefits of offline training or commerce were substantial, it would encourage players to build a stable of automatons, setting their drones to work leveling up or farming resources or upgrading in-game assets, rather than actually logging in and playing the game. I know that when I played EvE online, there would be months when I'd log in a few minutes a week to update market orders and skill training queues, never so much as undocking my battleships. Not the most engaging gameplay model.
How much of your game's infrastructure would be tied up with this? If the best alchemist in town sets his character to level up archery for a week while he's on vacation, will the potion market be seriously impacted? Will an NPC take his place? Will it be easy for another character to fill the gap? Will my automatic work when I'm offline be an oppressive duty, or a meaningless bit of roleplay?
I think this kind of idea works better int he context of a single-player game. What if I could get my guy in Skyrim leveled up in smithing, then buy a shop in Markarth, then retire to make sweet axes and cheap arrows? My next character could go there and purchase high-end gear from him, maybe get some training in the skills the older character had mastered, or barter for rare items that I had collected in my earlier travels.
What do you hope to achieve with this?
Ambiance? Because characters in online games are created ex nihilo, usually through a customization interface, it's likely that you'd wind up with cities packed with idle characters, at least a few of whom would have immersion-shreddingly horrible features and dress. As I said above, the inability of the drones to recognize friends or interact with active players in a meaningful way would seriously reduce the value of their presence.
Is it productivity you're after? Anything a robotic Character player model could do could be done--more cheaply--by simple offline timers. Tell him to build 40 leather backpacks. You get a progress bar and nobody in-game needs to see your little man pathing from the tannery to the leatherworks to the tailor for hours on ends, hanging up in doorways and staring straight ahead and ignoring my chat hails.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:37 AM
Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:44 AM
Edited by AltarofScience, 13 July 2012 - 12:44 AM.
Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:54 AM
Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:44 AM
Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:48 AM
I actually read it when it came out, I liked a lot of the things said. Now when I get a few minutes I will reply in more depth, but thanks for the info. I will let you know how things come along.
if you go here:
there is a thread called Asynchronous Interaction and Faux NPCs that I made several months ago on mmorpg.com which has a pretty extensive discussion of offline characters.
note that the game discussed has no NPC characters, if we don't include monsters in that category. so no shop owners or inn owners and so forth.
but it might contain some useful ideas or theories about working with offline player characters.
Raph Koster even posted, but it wasn't that useful imo. cause he is a busy dude.
Posted 14 July 2012 - 12:57 AM
Mito, that is exactly what I was thinking, if you make crafting more in depth, instead of hit button, make 20 chain armor, it should be time driven to make better stuff, time to get up to skill and time to make it. I have no problem automating things, but instant crafting I am very against.
well, get rid of the shitload of npcs that mmo's normally have and let the offline player characters fill their gap.
when the player go offline, his/her character can open their store and start acting like an npc shopkeeper.
i liked the idea of controlling the character using a phone, what if when someone sends a PM to your character you receive a push on your phone and can reply?
Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:10 PM
Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:54 PM
Posted 15 July 2012 - 02:41 PM