Author Topic: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters  (Read 203 times)

Andrew

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A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« on: April 05, 2018, 01:21:19 PM »
So, Might & Fealty, is a game about characters and what they do, but we have a problem in that players realize that they're easy to make and will spam them.

I'm open to ideas on how to get players to value their characters more, and will start with proposing my own idea for how to do it.

Make it so captivity cannot be escaped by chance. Either your captor becomes captive (and you pass to the new captor) or they release/kill you. Captivity will either prevent you from killing your character, or massively up the spawn timer. The goal here is to tie up people who abuse the character setup, and at the same time, build up recognition between families and characters of those families that act in ways we want (not spamming characters to use as weapons).

Your thoughts please!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 01:23:46 PM by Andrew »
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The Vintroth

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Re: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 01:57:08 PM »
I believe that Might and Fealty, to a large extent, is interesting because of the stories that come from actual characters that develop in various situations in a certain setting.

The only thing I'd point out is that if your captor slumbered, it'd be nice to be able to escape. Other then that, ransoms should work well enough to get your characters free in most places. To massively increase or even stop you from killing the character will likely lessen the problem of FO commanders that are not characters. - Though there is always the chance that they won't be captured and remain the worthless 'character' they already are.

I would raise another idea that could complement your idea. To have characters approved before they can be spawned. It would increase the amount of time it would take to get a character spawned since a "Moderator/Admin/Character checker" needs to read through your description and general idea. For the negative effects this might possibly have, it would force everyone to actually put some effort into creating characters. Furthermore, it would force people to write descriptions which I believe is always nice to see.

Foxglove

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Re: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 05:30:53 PM »
I've never been a fan in any game of the concept of putting characters semi-permanently in to a place where you can't play them unless someone else allows it (i.e. if you are captured you stay there until another player decides to release you). The game would effectively punish you for taking part in a battle by depriving you of use of the character if it gets captured. Not a good idea.

I think there's often a vision in game design that a problem can be solved by a big stick rather than a carrot - punish a player to encourage them to behave in certain ways, rather than offer them some incentive to behave in a certain way.

There are basically two ways that games traditionally create player attachment to characters - on an emotional level (the character has or develops some story that makes the player attached to them); or by making the character more valuable as you progress through the game (new skills, etc) - or, of course, by some combination of the two.

My suggestion would be to allow characters to gain something as they go along (experience; abilities; skills; or some thing of that sort). When you create a new character it's a blank slate but becomes more valuable as you go along. Then players wouldn't consider characters to be so disposable and spamming new characters wouldn't be an easy option.

I'd suggest things like giving characters a bonus to settlement production; a bonus in battle; and so on depending on their past actions - i.e. charcters actually have to do something to earn experience (in the form of players clicking options while playing them). They wouldn't gain experience just passively. That may mean that people who really focus on development of a few characters might then actually gain advantages over players who just spam large numbers of disposable characters. Possibly, you could also make it so that experience/skills degrade if they are not used for a time. That might somewhat guard against the creation of super-characters who become amazing at everything by being rotated through different duties so they max out experience in all areas.

Also, it would be a help if the trait system actually worked. Part of the reason it was introduced was to make characters different from each other, but it does no good unless fully implemented.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 05:42:38 PM by Foxglove »
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Cipheron

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Re: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2018, 01:10:01 AM »
I think there's often a vision in game design that a problem can be solved by a big stick rather than a carrot - punish a player to encourage them to behave in certain ways, rather than offer them some incentive to behave in a certain way.

That's right. Richard Bartle, the creator of the original MUDs also talks about this as a common stumbling block when creating online games. Devs often believe they can dis-incentivize a behavior and that players therefore must switch to the "preferred" behavior. But they can easily switch to the behavior of playing a completely different game or activity. When trying to shift players from Choice A to Choice B, you should take into account the risk of Choice C, which represents "play something else".

Quote
I'd suggest things like giving characters a bonus to settlement production; a bonus in battle; and so on depending on their past actions - i.e. charcters actually have to do something to earn experience (in the form of players clicking options while playing them). They wouldn't gain experience just passively. That may mean that people who really focus on development of a few characters might then actually gain advantages over players who just spam large numbers of disposable characters.

I don't think if that would help tip the balance in this particular scenario. Consider a players with a 10-character account, they've trained up their core characters, then during a war, they bump up to a higher-tier account and spam additional commanders. They're still getting the benefit of the high-focus training on their core leaders, but that in no way dis-incentivizes them from spamming disposable grunts. This is not a criticism of the idea, but we need to think through real-life examples to see if the policy would actually affect behavior in the way that's claimed.

The thing is, there's a huge disconnected between how many troops an account can have in their settlements, vs how many troops you can effectively mobilize. It's this imbalance that creates the scenario in which massive character spam is a winning strategy in warfare. So while putting a dampener on character creation could slow this down, it's only hiding the exploit below an extra level of paperwork, not removing the core issue of game balance.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2018, 01:11:37 AM by Cipheron »

silvershot

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Re: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2018, 03:16:34 PM »
I am concerned that an inability to escape would simply give more power to the players who do not care about the stories of the world that other players have created. When your characters means nothing, and their character(s) means a lot... Only one person really has anything to lose.

It may be better to revisit how one should be able to escape; what risks might be involved. Additionally, killing yourself why captured might eventually be a viable option, but it's unlikely if it's a character you care about (unless it fits within their personality assuming you role play).

If you cannot escape, and you cannot under any circumstances kill your character while they are captured, then I find it highly likely that someone will just hold prisoners, blocking that character slot from being used, and then just simply execute them after getting what they want afterwards.

Perhaps the latter point makes sense under some circumstances in story, but there's definitely room for power-gamey abuse.


To put it in a more succinct manner... A meaningful character captured by a meaningless (e.g. drone or what have you) character will just be killed or be held (until likely killed) by a player who does not care about creating a story nor the IC consequences of their actions. Basically, if you don't play the game to develop stories, then everyone else's stories are probably irrelevant and IC feelings about you and your characters will basically never matter to them.

Humbaz

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Re: A Discussion On The Value Of Characters
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2018, 03:10:43 PM »
One character per player only: Thats the way to go in my opinion. People would identify with and value their characters much more.