Author Topic: Considering Leaving  (Read 3478 times)

Mookzen

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2016, 05:54:29 PM »
The core problem I see is the fact that without the content players generate the game is empty as a source of entertainment. Because the game-world itself doesn't do anything and doesn't have anything beyond the back-end and the blank-slateesque front end, there is no nexus to conduct emergent player interaction in a way that reliably generates content and no systematic means for players to know that content is happening somewhere else even if it is. 

In that sense, its like getting a bunch of strangers together in a forum thread and trying to get a tabletop RPG going without a campaign, without a GM and barely a ruleset they can agree on, there is a map drawn and a combat/economy script calculator, most of the game itself is done via private messages, of course its going to be a struggle most will not put up with. Can't just throw a bunch of people on a map, give them a messaging system and say 'you are the content', for this kind of game concept to work like half of dev time should be devoted to creating in-game systems that help players generate content, the nexus, the game world itself needs to invite players into action and interaction, not be completely impotent and passive.

How to do it? Difficult question because I've not seen anything like this done. Could involve some kind of elaborate procedural event generator on a noble, family, sub-realm, realm, region and world levels that aims to shake things up with both RP and tangible in-game consequences, move players into action and thus meaningful content and interaction by tying stuff related to different players together through random, semi-random, prerequisite-based events in a way that both encourages them to react either at collaborative or opposing trajectories and provides a blurb of generated descriptive flavor text to provide the nature and context of the event players can grow their RP around as they wish and involve others as they wish or ignore as they wish or take the RP thread beyond the event as they wish. Just like in real life on all the different levels from personal to world, -shit happens- and whoever is in a position to do something about it does or doesn't and others react to consequences, or don't, but it happens and it makes life worth living.

Point is that -shit never happens in the game at the moment- so we can't be very surprised that not much action or interaction grows from it, in real life shit happening is a consequence arising from the staggering complexity of stuff, like societies, but the game needs to have shit happen at least somewhat-artificially to generate meaningful -emergent gameplay-, nothing will emerge from a blank slate, and giving players absolute control over all of their stuff in a completely static world (and no, the equilibrium economy doesn't count in this argument) could sound vaguely full of freedom and potential but is actually a big detriment to a good game. If everything in the game world is under perfect mind control of the supreme leaders and no in-game 'events' can happen for the player and others to act on and make things interesting then yeah, the whole burden from A to Z of making the game sustainable rests on the small minority of players taking the initiative to invest in RP at the level necessary to create content for themselves and others from scratch again and again and persuade others to engage in it, such a setup is a crutch for the game bound to fail sooner rather than later, its a flawed design.

The players don't need a blank slate to play on, they need shit to act upon, most can no doubt summon a great deal of creativity given a seed of a story and context and some impetus but not without. If the average gamer, even from the target audience, was brimming with free time, dedication, creativity and cooperation to the extent the game in its current state depends upon assuming they are, creativity tools would be more popular than games. A fancy stack of blank pages is not the best book we can ever read and to think otherwise is a fundamental misunderstanding.

Might be way off the mark in the rant though, just throwing it out there...
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 09:18:15 PM by Mookzen »

Dorian

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2016, 06:51:59 PM »
Your post stands. Lack of content is the problem, especially since the critical mass of players to create content themselves worldwide was never reached.

Mookzen

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2016, 08:26:36 PM »
Your post stands. Lack of content is the problem, especially since the critical mass of players to create content themselves worldwide was never reached.


It's a feedback-loop for sure, but game design needs to get that motor going initially and keep the oil flowing.

WVH

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2016, 10:05:11 PM »
Hmm.  Maybe something very simple... random goals with real rewards.

Have someone toss out a random settlement and say who ever controls it on May 1st will win 100 credits or the clobbering sword of frogs... or something.

Achievement goals would be another way to provide some excitement.

Idea is that what ever actions people take to accomplish that goal will also see them making enemies who could retaliate.

feyeleanor

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2016, 07:13:30 PM »
The game is currently a lot like a MUD where everyone can build, but no one can add interesting behaviours, items or descriptions.


I'd love to be able to add my own dungeons and adventures to the game, or set up mobs to do things, or give artefacts a useful function. These are things we could all work on when we have spare moments, fund out of the gold and resources generated in game, and pin to places or to characters.


Giving players the chance to script new additions to the game would open up huge opportunities for content creation.

And how about dropping the restriction which forces several players to work together to explore a dungeon? I hardly ever run into a player who's interested in forming an adventure party and in all my time playing have only once managed to explore a dungeon - and that not long enough to really get a feel for how they work.

Dorian

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2016, 08:41:47 PM »
Without a stronger developer drive the game is at the dead end. The idea that content can only be generated by the players is a pipe dream, especially with this low number of players. Scripted content could be introduced, by whoever develops it, but then again, the game first needs to have someone working on it before we can think about any advanced improvements. Not sure the game can last that long without sinking into obscurity. Or perhaps it is already there.

Weaver

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2016, 09:25:49 PM »
We are at the very least looking at a restart of the game, in a much smaller area.

Dorian

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2016, 09:34:03 PM »
Well yeah, the map is obviously too big. The West was opened so that the game could capitalize on the growing influx of players but they didn't stick around because of the obvious flaws in the game design. I wouldn't mind a restart of the sorts but would prefer if the world was simply shrunk and not remade entirely. Although I could work with that too. If the game is to grow something definitely needs to be done. A developing team is a milestone to make any changes at all but I am not sure if anything is currently being done in this regard. Some parts of the code are being open-sourced but I doubt anyone will make any mayor improvements there.

Weaver

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2016, 09:45:49 PM »
I am waiting on Tom to reveal how many active players there are. I have been thinking about proposing a game restart and adjustment to the mechanics to keep the game alive. But you know, maybe we're just over-reacting. There might be more (quiet) players than we think.

Roran Hawkins

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2016, 12:13:02 AM »
In my opinion a far, far smaller map or playable area would be ideal. Up to the point where inside a realm the rich nobility has a maximum amount of 3 to 5 regions in their personal control at best because the rest of the realm is governed my smaller nobility with 1-3 regions each.

An army of a realm would then have a majority of lords leading 20-40 men and a small amount of powerful figures being capable of raising larger bodies of troops.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2016, 12:36:36 AM by Roran Hawkins »
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stueblahblah

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2016, 02:12:47 AM »
In my opinion a far, far smaller map or playable area would be ideal. Up to the point where inside a realm the rich nobility has a maximum amount of 3 to 5 regions in their personal control at best because the rest of the realm is governed my smaller nobility with 1-3 regions each.

An army of a realm would then have a majority of lords leading 20-40 men and a small amount of powerful figures being capable of raising larger bodies of troops.

Oh yeah, the best would be to reduce map to 3-4 regions at most and automatically erase all characters who don't log in every 15 minutes during 24-hour day. ;)

That is exactly what kills battlemaster, radical changes every now and than that destroy every feeling of persistent world which was compelling to players for many years, and belief that fun will be created by mechanical pushes.

Large game world creates much more opportunities than small one, and fun will be created by people, not by mechanical tricks - if they are left in their world and reasonably protected from ooc gangs and trolls. messaging system need ultimate repair though.

Roran Hawkins

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2016, 02:38:55 AM »
Oh yeah, the best would be to reduce map to 3-4 regions at most and automatically erase all characters who don't log in every 15 minutes during 24-hour day. ;)

That is exactly what kills battlemaster, radical changes every now and than that destroy every feeling of persistent world which was compelling to players for many years, and belief that fun will be created by mechanical pushes.

Large game world creates much more opportunities than small one, and fun will be created by people, not by mechanical tricks - if they are left in their world and reasonably protected from ooc gangs and trolls. messaging system need ultimate repair though.
Right. Because currently there's just so much meaningful character interaction.


The entire fact that players control such vast swathes of land without challenge or other players to interact with makes 9/10th of the map a desert of inactivity where nothing happens except if the controlling player's imperium is threatened.
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Tom

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2016, 08:53:12 AM »
I am waiting on Tom to reveal how many active players there are. I have been thinking about proposing a game restart and adjustment to the mechanics to keep the game alive. But you know, maybe we're just over-reacting. There might be more (quiet) players than we think.

Today 289 active users, with a slight downward trend.

Tom

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2016, 08:55:04 AM »
How about this:

Every account gets one additional free character who can only be placed on a new section in the game world that is in size tuned to about 200 characters? Meaning, it has about 100 regions.

This way, we can check if this is any help without destroying the existing.

Dorian

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Re: Considering Leaving
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2016, 11:25:21 AM »
I believe that to be a good experiment. Although, there are no guarantees that all the existing players will participate due to time restraints or mere lack of desire. A better option would be to see how many players use this extra slot and then adjust the number of regions.