Announcements

Watch this space for important information on planned twitch streams, updates and more

Story vs Lore

115 posts / 0 new
Last post
Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
Story vs Lore

Something shared by a game reviewer I follow the other day struck me - how many games confuse Story with Lore. In order to achieve a feeling of epicness, they force a story onto the players. We witness this in many games, where you are "The Chosen One" or "The Lone Survivor". But, this is an MMO, where you are literally one of thousands. By forcing every player down the same story, it discourages the multiplayer aspect of things. Then they have to force it, typically through raids or quests which require multiple players.

To me, this defeats the purpose of an MMORPG. The goal is not to play the developer's story, it is to make up your own. We, as developers, are there to give you the tools needed to build that story, arcs, quests, tips, etc which can be woven together. Recall the opening to Final Fantasy X, when the words of wisdom given to the hero was not to defeat the dragon, or conquer the kingdom, but "This is your story."

That is our goal. We are not here to tell you a story, to prattle off a tale of adventure with a mask marked "you" over the generic protagonist as we see in so many other games. This world we are making is not there for our ourselves, we make the bits and bobs, but we cannot bring it to life. For that to happen, we want you to tell your story.

For another perspective, The Hive Leader in his "My Dream MMO" series, discusses just this point. I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to hear his ideas. While most of his ideas are not applicable to us, in this case, they are on the money.

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Riptide
Riptide's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/09/2013 - 07:01
Thanks for sharing. That was

Thanks for sharing. That was interesting!
I don't think I ever stopped to think about it before in those terms but I guess that's why I usually had so much more fun in sandbox type games (like SWG) compared to the ones in which you are essentially on rails from the tutorial to level cap (like SWTOR).
I guess in our case, it's better to have lots of little stories with a beginning and an end and which don't have to be completed in any specific order.

ooglymoogly
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 09/05/2014 - 11:13
Eve Online typifies that

Eve Online typifies that approach, to an almost nihilistic degree.

Dark Ether
Dark Ether's picture
Offline
Last seen: 22 hours 39 min ago
kickstarter
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:26
Fallout 4 serves as a good

Fallout 4 serves as a good example of what not to do - pre-define the characters and force a story line regardless of possibly player choices. At least the vastness of the setting and the extra side missions help.

They did good with Skyrim, excepting for a few quest lines (the mage college comes to mind), and took a large step backwards with FO4.

(insert pithy comment here)

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 49 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Dark Ether wrote:
Dark Ether wrote:

Fallout 4 serves as a good example of what not to do - pre-define the characters and force a story line regardless of possibly player choices. At least the vastness of the setting and the extra side missions help.
They did good with Skyrim, excepting for a few quest lines (the mage college comes to mind), and took a large step backwards with FO4.

Yeah FO4 was basically a fun game, but I very consciously played it "wrong" by doing almost everything I could to NOT stick to the established path of the main storyline. I did a bunch of side quests and wandered all over the map long before I decided to "finish" the game.

It's OK to have storylines played out in things like TFs or Trials but players should generally not be forced to follow a single path like that for an entire game. Having a playground/sandbox where various lore elements are there to be used or not used at a player's discretion is the way to go for a MMORPG.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

blacke4dawn
blacke4dawn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 03/28/2015 - 03:02
Heh, and here I was about to

Heh, and here I was about to post that video myself and ask you how close you are going to model CoT in regards to "story" with that video.

The less of "red thread" you have (a.k.a predetermined main path) and the more and smaller arcs (or even single quests) there are the more re-play value it has since one can always pick a path that one hasn't played in a long while, and thus making feel fresh longer. Thinking back I never had a real problem with skipping quests in CoH while I do have problems with that in effectively every other MMO I have played, mainly because of the "red thread" they present.

Fire Away
Fire Away's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 09:05
I very much like the message

I very much like the message But saying and doing are two very different things. Unless MWM has done a fundamental shift in philosophy (one can hope), they have pretty much headed down the path of calling the shots in a specific way from the get go. I am referring to this idea that there is a "core audience" for CoT. It's a very specific demographic. Namely, displaced former CoH players who reacted in a particular way during the final days of that game. The same way, I take it, that many of the developers reacted. Like any cult (for lack of a better term) these people have a unique set of symbols and slogans which CoT has readily adopted as an integral part of their identity and game play. As a very active CoH player from Issue 3 until the game ended who did not share this particular belief system, I find it unfortunate most of your initial public glimpses into CoT constantly reinforce that image.

For the record, I really don't have a problem if the vast majority of players parade around with touches held high or recite trite slogans when CoT opens. That's a player's choice just as it will be my choice not to participate. I have a problem when you, as developers, force feed this symbolism or terminology as an unavoidable part of your game. I also, quite frankly, resent the implication that this subset of the former CoH community is, in fact, the definition of the entire community. My point of saying this again (I know ad nauseam) here is this: If you really want me to tell "my story", you can start by not laying "your story" on me at seemingly every opportunity.

Lost Deep
Lost Deep's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 days 18 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 03/20/2015 - 17:48
Now, I like The Old Repulbic

Now, I like The Old Repulbic's story. It's surprisingly well written, all said and done. The issue is that for me it discourages me from playing multiplayer.

With the social system in place, what I choose in dialogue and what happens aren't necessarily related, so I feel that by playing with others I risk polluting my own storyline and characterization. What's more, the other players don't organically fit into the narrative: the story is about my character and her NPC companions.

Overall, the way that CoH did it I think was very good, both because it worked well in gameplay and because it was like a superhero comic!

REALLY. Zombies this week, gangsters the next, worrying about the fate of the city/world/love life, it felt like an episodic format and therefore a lot like a comic set or TV show. One of the things I love about superhero settings is how anything is possible, and CoH grabbed that very well with a pseudo-episodic setup.

However, it being really easy to miss plotlines was a bit of a downer. I never found the Faultline quest, for instance; my characters that got that far just never got it.

Under Construction...

Darth Fez
Darth Fez's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/20/2013 - 07:53
Indeed. Certainly CoH's

Indeed. Certainly CoH's approach of using contacts, rather than an overarching story, helped to avoid this problem. Each contact had their own goals and problems which were important to them, and the players could choose to help them. Or not. It completely sidestepped the common problem, as shown in the video, of, "I could help you gather wood or I could go about my business of saving the world. Hmm. Moral quandary!" or the less common, "You'd rather pursue your petty vengeance than help me try to save the galaxy from a horde of murderous machines? Okay, then! Good talk." It also avoids the disconnect of not being able to save the world because you're really not into raiding but that's what you have to do to save the world because reasons.

I certainly understand why MMOs follow that model. It's familiar and thus, in many ways, easier. Also, many people enjoy playing through specific stories. To wit: an article about BioWare games.

- - - - -
Hail Beard!

Support trap clowns for CoT!

Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
Fire Away wrote:
Fire Away wrote:

I very much like the message But saying and doing are two very different things. Unless MWM has done a fundamental shift in philosophy (one can hope), they have pretty much headed down the path of calling the shots in a specific way from the get go. I am referring to this idea that there is a "core audience" for CoT. It's a very specific demographic. Namely, displaced former CoH players who reacted in a particular way during the final days of that game. The same way, I take it, that many of the developers reacted. Like any cult (for lack of a better term) these people have a unique set of symbols and slogans which CoT has readily adopted as an integral part of their identity and game play. As a very active CoH player from Issue 3 until the game ended who did not share this particular belief system, I find it unfortunate most of your initial public glimpses into CoT constantly reinforce that image.
For the record, I really don't have a problem if the vast majority of players parade around with touches held high or recite trite slogans when CoT opens. That's a player's choice just as it will be my choice not to participate. I have a problem when you, as developers, force feed this symbolism or terminology as an unavoidable part of your game. I also, quite frankly, resent the implication that this subset of the former CoH community is, in fact, the definition of the entire community. My point of saying this again (I know ad nauseam) here is this: If you really want me to tell "my story", you can start by not laying "your story" on me at seemingly every opportunity.

A lot of that has to do with the way in which we formed, from a lot of people who were invested emotionally. So, a lot of the early input reflected that investment. It carried forward, but over time it has shifted a lot, internally. Some references remain, certainly, but I'd like to think we've broadened our scope. You'll note, for example, we haven't done a torch holding shot in over two years. After awhile, it felt like pandering to nostalgia, and that meant we were in effect comparing ourselves against an idealized memory and nobody can succeed always looking over their shoulder.

This shift has resulted in a lot of things which were originally decided on for symbolic purposes being changed or dropped. For example, the Hurricane event changed from something which happened in 2012 (referencing the shutdown) to something which happened in 1998 (now referencing the end of the "dark era" of comic books and movies).

We want to make a game, not a mausoleum. It would have been easy to just make what was a "CoH with numbers filed off" as a kind of memorial to stand around in and mope away. But that would have been the easy way out, and we all deserve better than that. Now a sizable number of our volunteers never even played the original game, and brought new ideas and visions to the table. So, while yes, some elements from the initial founding have carried forward, over time, these elements have changed, just as we all have changed.

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
I disagree with Fire Away's

I disagree with Fire Away's most recent post above.

The game has to provide a background or environment which we, the players, can then place our characters in the foreground and have some sense of existing in a shared, common world. Also, due to the limits of human and computer time and energy, and for game balance, there must be limits on what you can do, how the toon can look, etc.

I expect CoT to be a game where I make a superhero of my own design, within the limits of the character design system they have for us to use. It will probably require my toon to be a bipedal humanoid who walks upright on legs, or a robot that looks similar, etc. I expect to have missions that I can either do or not do, possibly with different choices to make at the end whereby I can do the "hero" thing or the "villain" thing or something inbetween. I expect there will be NPCs that the game devs designed and I will interact with them in various ways (vendors, level-up functions, mission-givers, etc). I expect that there will be group content that I could do, solo content that I could do, PVP that I could do. I expect players will have the ability to make user-generated content, at least eventually, not only because CoH had that, but because MMO players in general like it. I expect Players will be able to fit their character story into the backdrop of Titan City as much or as little as they really want to. None of this, in my opinion, would be an example of the game's intended "CoH spiritual successor" identity getting in the way of my creativity or desire to make my character's story myself instead of having one thrust upon me by the devs.

By comparison, Guild Wars 2 has a "personal story" arc of missions that are optional, but which get you Mastery Points, gear, XP, etc to the point where you're better off doing it than not. And that story is the same for everyone. You end up joining one of three guilds (the Durmond Priory, the Vigil, or the Order of Whispers) and then you unite the guilds in an effort to defeat a dragon named Zaitan, attaining the rank of Commander in a new group you help form called The Pact. None of that is malleable or subject to any real modification on your part. THAT is the type "story forced on players" that I would like to avoid in CoT.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

ooglymoogly
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 8 hours ago
Joined: 09/05/2014 - 11:13
regarding the value of lore -

regarding the value of lore - not only does it help place our 'stories' into a shared context and make for a richer world, it also provides a foundation for MWM to create and spin up other properties beyond the actual CoT game itself.

Cobalt Azurean
Cobalt Azurean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 52 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:39
I thoroughly enjoyed the lore

I thoroughly enjoyed the lore in CoH/V, so much so that I used some of it to progress the story of my Cobalt characters. I expect to do the same within CoT. Please continue to develop in breadth and depth the world for us to enjoy in the future.

blacke4dawn
blacke4dawn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 03/28/2015 - 03:02
Fire Away wrote:
Fire Away wrote:

If you really want me to tell "my story", you can start by not laying "your story" on me at seemingly every opportunity.

What makes you feel that they are going to "force" their story onto you?

If it's just the existence of a back story and important characters then I feel that no game ever will be "good enough" for you.

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 38 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
I know you guys have said it

I know you guys have said it before, but it's nice to see MWM continue to support this divergence from the majority of MMOs out there. As a couple folks (and the video) said, having multiple short arcs like we did in the old game allows us to build each character's story similar to the way multiple stories make up a real life. The one place where I wouldn't mind some blurring of the line between lore and story is in the ongoing (bear with me here) story of the lore. By which I mean that I hope the background 'lore' is not entirely static, and that over the years the lore evolves in a story-like form, as it did somewhat in the old City, with changes to zones, signature characters, etc. It's an over-arching story, yes, but one that's going on in the background. One that players can choose to participate in or to ignore, or dip in and out as they see fit. It gives the feeling that the city is alive, and events are moving along, as they do irl. I would hate for all the lore presented when the game goes live in 2018 (fingers crossed) to remain completely unchanged when I'm playing in 2025.

The other point in the video I would love to see addressed is the question of why we need to team up to defeat an enemy that looks pretty much like another one of us. The one thing that always seemed counterintuitively deflating about the Incarnate system in the old City was the conflict between "You are now a super-duper-hero" and "So this means you now can't defeat anything in the new content by yourself." Really? I felt more super before the duper.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Darth Fez
Darth Fez's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 46 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/20/2013 - 07:53
Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

The other point in the video I would love to see addressed is the question of why we need to team up to defeat an enemy that looks pretty much like another one of us. The one thing that always seemed counterintuitively deflating about the Incarnate system in the old City was the conflict between "You are now a super-duper-hero" and "So this means you now can't defeat anything in the new content by yourself." Really? I felt more super before the duper.

I found this to be one of the weakest parts of the video, especially since he's touting lore. If the game's lore is up to snuff it should explain - as it does in the case of Arthas / the Lich King, his example for a bad raid boss - why that boss is so powerful. I also disagree that a boss has to be the size of a small town or country to be a worthy opponent. That's tantamount to stating that our characters can never be particularly powerful because we can't make them more than 7' tall.

- - - - -
Hail Beard!

Support trap clowns for CoT!

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 38 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
I took his point as the same

I took his point as being the same thing you're saying: that the lore should explain why you have to team up to defeat a team-boss, something I usually found lacking in the old City, even leaving Incarnate content aside. If my character is at the maximum level of power, how come s/he needs help to take on any of the signature characters?

I do agree with your point about size. It doesn't have to be a physical difference to account for why a boss can't be challenged one-on-one.

As for the example he was using, I'll defer to you there, because it wasn't something I recognised.

Spurn all ye kindle.

blacke4dawn
blacke4dawn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 03/28/2015 - 03:02
Cinnder wrote:
Cinnder wrote:

I took his point as being the same thing you're saying: that the lore should explain why you have to team up to defeat a team-boss, something I usually found lacking in the old City, even leaving Incarnate content aside. If my character is at the maximum level of power, how come s/he needs help to take on any of the signature characters?

I think that depends on how you define "maximum level of power". I would posit that if we players, at max level, represent the top 10% of power users then the signature heroes/villains represent the top 1% or even top 0.1% of power users, and that is the reason they can be so much stronger than us.

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 49 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Cinnder wrote:
I took his point as being the same thing you're saying: that the lore should explain why you have to team up to defeat a team-boss, something I usually found lacking in the old City, even leaving Incarnate content aside. If my character is at the maximum level of power, how come s/he needs help to take on any of the signature characters?
I think that depends on how you define "maximum level of power". I would posit that if we players, at max level, represent the top 10% of power users then the signature heroes/villains represent the top 1% or even top 0.1% of power users, and that is the reason they can be so much stronger than us.

Look at it this way: Even Superman needed help from the Justice League from time to time. ;)

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Lin Chiao Feng
Lin Chiao Feng's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/02/2013 - 09:27
Lothic wrote:
Lothic wrote:

Look at it this way: Even Superman needed help from the Justice League from time to time. ;)

That's pretty much the theme of DCUO.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

Fire Away
Fire Away's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 09:05
I am rather surprised and

I am rather surprised and delighted by the internal shift of emphasis expressed by MWM above. Bravo. This will dramatically improve my personal enjoyment of CoT. I was not aware that these changes were/are occurring. While not a total divesture from the past, to me this is a big deal to create a viable new community. Given the level of passion and investment many of the devs had/have wrt to the save CoH movement, this shows a level of maturation and forward thinking that is likely necessary but I know was not easy. I think in the long run it will pay many dividends.

Nos482
Nos482's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 18 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/25/2013 - 14:50
blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

What makes you feel that they are going to "force" their story onto you?
If it's just the existence of a back story and important characters then I feel that no game ever will be "good enough" for you.

Dunno... Pong seems like a good choice.

When people ask me about my religion, I tell 'em I'd worship Cthulhu.

How bad could I possibly be? Let's see...

Deathrattle
Deathrattle's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 08/17/2014 - 10:32
Honestly, I agree. Burn the

Honestly, I agree. Burn the (main) story and just have tons of magnificent LORE! If you want a main story, have events within the world that might shape the world by means of player interaction.

Hiveleaders video about Events seems like something you guys should watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goMiJy6Xws4&index=5&list=PLna5HiHhggPalJNl3FMtdXSkzN6Pf8rUd

As for personal story... I like the idea and the path that has been stated by Warcabbit a few years back in that one interview, we make our own story, rather than the GW2 method of "Here are the fragments of story that you can choose from while you create your character."

You hear the dead, their bones shake and rattle for you to join them. So you will.

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

For another perspective, The Hive Leader in his "My Dream MMO" series, discusses just this point. I would highly recommend taking a few minutes to hear his ideas. While most of his ideas are not applicable to us, in this case, they are on the money.

I really hope this isn't true. I disagree with almost everything Hive said in his video. In fact there were only two things he said that I agree with.
1. Story and Lore are different.
2. 'Chosen One' stories are played out.

Game story does not have to be the antithesis of a personal story in a MMO.
The problems come when game story is a narrow path you must follow and isn't just because the game has a story. I believe multiple overall game stories with multiple paths to multiple goals, is better than isolated small stories with no connection other than lore.

One of the reason I think a game needs far reaching goals and a story paths to reach them is a matter of player types in a combat focused game. Removing story driven goals also removes a games built in incentive and puts the onus of goals is in the players hands. At first this seems great, I get to make my own goals. Then, usually in the most abrupt manner, you realize that everyone else gets to make up their own goals as well.

The creative and co-operative players will find ways to live in the games world without causing to much of a disturbance.
The not-so-creative and co-operative players will try to live in the game world but will inadvertently create issues.
The not-so-creative and not co-operative players will quickly bore and leave because obvious disruptive behavior won't be available (hopefully).
The creative and not co-operative players will flourish by inventing unforeseen disruptions.

All of these types of players will exist in a multiplayer situation regardless of story or not but certain types of players are drawn to certain game environments. Disruptive players are drawn to games with the most freedom.
An extreme example would be DayZ's open world freedom and the type of game environment it has. Even games that do not allow direct action against players have this sort of behavior. When a creative mode server for minecraft opens to anyone the first thing that happens is players come in and destroy anything others have built.
To be clear, I don't think disruptive players are the most common type of players nor do I think they will be the most common type of player in this game even if it lacks pre-set goals and paths. But disruptive players do not need numbers to have a huge impact on a game.

The other reason I think having story driven goals is a good thing deals with a players investment in the game.
Not everyone is creative. Not everyone is able to define their own goals and figure out how to get from point A to point B. Some people just need a visible goal to strive for and a few gentle pushes along the way to reach that goal.
When players cannot come up with a goal to strive for beyond the immediate on their own, boredom sets in. Players who lack creative thought deal with this boredom mostly in two ways. They usually either leave the game or they become disruptive. Neither is good for the longevity of the game.

So how does a game cater to both players who want freedom and those who need structure? Do not make either a requirement in playing the game. When you give players clear options that don't result in 'on rails' paths the freedom is maintained but still acts as a buffer for boredom and deterrent for disruption.

Instead of having a single story with a single goal, have multiple goals and have multiple ways to reach each goal, including a way to avoid these goals completely. Branching and intersecting story lines are key to letting players determine their path while still providing guidance for those who need it. It also provides a built in structure to the game that discourages disruptive players.
The beauty of this approach to story telling is that as the game ages new goals and paths to those goals can be introduced offering a longer replayability lifespan.

It is also closer to table top role playing. Few role playing games work without a GM presenting a story for the players to work on. And few players are able to complete their goals without the help of the GM. It's a symbiotic relationship where player and GM work together to tell a story together. The same is true in a RPG video game. The only difference is the table top GM can allow the player to set pretty much any goal and offer any path to that goal while the video game is unable to have that kind of freedom. So either a video game sets goals for the players to strive for and helps them achieve them or the game leaves players to their own devices. One is symbiotic the other is less so.

Other things I suggest in regards to story (overall story or small stories):

It's OK to have one of the multiple paths and goals be related to a 'chosen one' concept but do not flood the options with that story device. It is a tough sell that everyone is chosen, no matter how it is written.

Be more creative in most story branches/intersections than just a simple what came immediately before affects what comes next. By this I mean plant seeds of what may come to pass two or three or eleven choices back so players can adjust if they want to. It also has more meaning when you can track events over longer periods and gives players a stronger feeling of influencing what is happening.

Speaking of branches/intersections. Offer more than just two choices when the chance arises. Two choices is the bare minimum in offering choice and is only slightly better than no choice. Human nature causes most to see two choices as an ultimatum but three or more choices change perception into us seeing freedom. It is important that one of these choices is always to stop following that story completely.

For the love of all that is good and right in this world, avoid throw away story arcs or individual quests without a damn good reason. These include fetch quests, kill x mob quests, communication quests, lore exposition quests and the like. I can't stress this enough, quests that only exist to extend game play or provide information like running to so and so to read a text bubble and run back or beating up a predetermined amount of mobs before the quest progresses is not fun and feels like a chore. I am sure many remember the annoyance of the original Cape quest that CoH had.

Reoccurring characters are a must. I'm not talking about a personal rogues list, although that would be nice, or contacts you go to for anything. I am talking about characters who may be innocuous yet keep turning up or mysterious strangers that flit about the edges of what is happening or even underlings whose only distinguishing feature from other mobs is that he has a name. These character connect the past with the present just by existing and do it without being blatant about their purpose. They can even change into direct allies or enemies later and it has a greater impact because you have history with them.

There are more but I think that's enough for now.

To conclude. I think removing any and all main quest story from the game would be detrimental to the game and I think my suggestions would offer enough freedom for players to actually create their own story for all but the most zealous of detractors.

Phararri
Phararri's picture
Offline
Last seen: 20 hours 37 min ago
Joined: 09/13/2015 - 20:08
Games like Black desert

Games like Black desert Online forces a horoscope system upon the player. I am like, first off, I dont get involved in that nonsense, secondly, will it hurt to allow players to simply skip that?

GW2, this mmo forces a pre-made story upon the player at the character creation screen. I am like, wait, I will do what!?..

DCUO, you are a sidekick, and I believe all players got their powers the same way or something to that extent?

Great discussion Doc. This has annoyed me and even discouraged me from playing certain games believe it or not. I am not huge on RP, but the experience is crappy when your decisions are made for your character. I just dislike being told what my character did and being the last to know what my character did despite creating that said character.

As a child, I thought my name was handsome, cause that is what everyone called me.

Greyhawk
Greyhawk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 days ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/03/2015 - 19:17
I enjoyed your comments,

I enjoyed your comments, Doctor Tyche, and agree wholeheartedly. The profanity-laden video did not impress in the least. He had a good point, but it was buried in so much emotional vomit it became illegible.

I do not enjoy single-player console games. None of them. I started gaming regularly in my thirties as a way to spend more quality time with my rapidly growing sons. The whole idea of a "chosen one" should have died out long before The Matrix was ever written, let alone be continually resurrected in the countless flood of games that have filled store shelves in the decades since Super Mario Brothers and Street Fighter were forced to surrender market share to Myst.

Pristontale and Lineage II gave me access to an open world and a non-linear progression with no "chosen one" nonsense. I've been hooked on MMORPGs ever since. "One of many" rather than "the one and only" is a far more logical structure for storytelling and lore in a Massively Multiplayer game. It is a far more acceptable game structure for me personally because the "chosen one" idea has always grated on me as being patently false to begin with. Outside of Christ, there is no "only one" so why do Messiah metaphors and crucifixion iconography keep getting reused in movies and video games? Do movie producers and game producers honestly believe everyone in their audience has a Christ-complex they need to cater to? It is just a lack of imagination?

All I do know is that it's completely boring.

Now, if next we could just get past the vampire and zombie fad that has far outlived its purpose, everything will be fine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My author page at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APIPZC?ref_=pe_584750_33951330

Halae
Halae's picture
Online
Last seen: 2 min 46 sec ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 09/17/2014 - 09:37
I'm pretty sure it's not a

I'm pretty sure it's not a christ complex, but a need to be important while projecting onto the character. It's just a quick and easy way to do so and the easiest way to do it is through a prophecy of sorts.

That doesn't stop it from being bad and kinda stupid, as this video points out in many ways, but it does make it a tad better.

An infinite number of tries doesn't mean that any one of those tries will succeed. I could flip an infinite number of pennies an infinite number of times and, barring genuine randomness, they will never come up "Waffles".

Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
Halae wrote:
Halae wrote:

I'm pretty sure it's not a christ complex, but a need to be important while projecting onto the character. It's just a quick and easy way to do so and the easiest way to do it is through a prophecy of sorts.
That doesn't stop it from being bad and kinda stupid, as this video points out in many ways, but it does make it a tad better.

Nooooo! Rabbit hole!!!!!

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Deathwatch101
Deathwatch101's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/30/2016 - 15:26
Ive always preferred the idea

Ive always preferred the idea that your character is a small cog in a world. It would be nice to see the occassional player through events be uplifted to legend/legacy among players and maybe even by the developers based on an action or actions during a live event or something (if we do live event).

ConundrumofFurballs
ConundrumofFurballs's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 53 min ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 16:03
Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

Be more creative in most story branches/intersections than just a simple what came immediately before affects what comes next. By this I mean plant seeds of what may come to pass two or three or eleven choices back so players can adjust if they want to. It also has more meaning when you can track events over longer periods and gives players a stronger feeling of influencing what is happening.

Yup. Check. Already accounted for.

Brainbot wrote:

Speaking of branches/intersections. Offer more than just two choices when the chance arises. Two choices is the bare minimum in offering choice and is only slightly better than no choice. Human nature causes most to see two choices as an ultimatum but three or more choices change perception into us seeing freedom. It is important that one of these choices is always to stop following that story completely.

Oh yeah. Definitely. Check. Already accounted for.

Brainbot wrote:

For the love of all that is good and right in this world, avoid throw away story arcs or individual quests without a damn good reason. These include fetch quests, kill x mob quests, communication quests, lore exposition quests and the like. I can't stress this enough, quests that only exist to extend game play or provide information like running to so and so to read a text bubble and run back or beating up a predetermined amount of mobs before the quest progresses is not fun and feels like a chore. I am sure many remember the annoyance of the original Cape quest that CoH had.

Disagreed. Some people would prefer these over the more story driven arcs. As such, they are present. A couple might appear in the more story driven arcs, but they're there for a reason, even if it's not clear at the time. Most of the "throw away story arcs or individual quests" as you call them are not directly involved in the main story line, but are still accessible. Some people might want to run them to grind XP, so they're there. Some people might want to run them while they wait for their buddy to get online, so they're there. It's something to do to fill time, XP, or whatever. Enough people want them, so they're there, but you are not forced to do them for any of the truly story driven content without a good reason.

Brainbot wrote:

Reoccurring characters are a must. I'm not talking about a personal rogues list, although that would be nice, or contacts you go to for anything. I am talking about characters who may be innocuous yet keep turning up or mysterious strangers that flit about the edges of what is happening or even underlings whose only distinguishing feature from other mobs is that he has a name. These character connect the past with the present just by existing and do it without being blatant about their purpose. They can even change into direct allies or enemies later and it has a greater impact because you have history with them.

Oh most definitely check. We've got some, and plans, and some integrated like that already.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Conundrum of Furballs

Composition Team, Staff Writer

Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 28 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
Glad to hear from you, CoF.

Glad to hear from you, CoF.

My own opinion is that Lore and Story are inextricably linked, yet still separate. Also, there are more than one Story.

There's the Story of the Setting, the Story of the various BigNames, which helps keep the setting 'alive'. There's stories for the various Factions that set up tensions in the background. There's stories for all the myriad people and Characters, roaming about in the Setting. Finally, there's the Story of the Player's Character, and the associated stories of the friends they're involved with.

All of those stories are different, separate yet entwined, and all partake of the Lore. The problem of this thread comes when one of those factors imposes dissonance on one of the stories, particularly the Player Character Story.

Success or Failure is not the issue, but any time a scripted action, thought, or behavior conflicts with the Player's sense of what should be true for their Character, there is dissonance. There is a similar reaction to scripts that force associated Characters against their nature, if less strong.

Happily, all the Devs have to do is tell the stories without scripting the denouement, the after-effects, the 'feels'. Authors can do that with their own characters, but in this format, the characters do not (necessarily) belong to the Devs. It's all about style!

Be Well!
Fireheart

Nos482
Nos482's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 18 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/25/2013 - 14:50
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:

so they're there, but you are not forced to do them for any of the truly story driven content without a good reason.

Which reminds me... we will get some equivalent of radio/newspaper missions, right?
It seems like a no-brainer since CoH had them and afaik they were fairly well liked. But, it pays to ask...

When people ask me about my religion, I tell 'em I'd worship Cthulhu.

How bad could I possibly be? Let's see...

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 19 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
The video in the OP makes me

The video in the OP makes me recall all those forum posters who whined that the player character wasn't the #1 HERO. Instead it was the NPCs who were the real powerhouses and players complained about it.

My thought is, the game shouldn't treat you as the #1 HERO. It should instead word things as if you may need help, making it sound like there are some other heroes out there, while maybe not the million the players make up, but just more than just you.

This allows the game to have a story, while not exactly making you out to be the chosen one (except for maybe in your own head). "Hero! Imperius is trying to take over Cimeron! He must be stopped! You may need to find some fellow heroes to defeat him!"

That /may/ allows you to try it solo and help with the story saying you're not alone in the world, without making the world seem like a joke with 1million other heroes running around in one city. You're not the chosen one, there are other heroes now, but maybe you can show yourself to have become exceptional.

I had no problem with CoH's Phalanx being the equivalent of the JLU and the players being the next step down, in the CoH story, but I remember lots of complaining on the forums at the idea of that :p

But then, get in game, and I heard lots of complaints about the idea of soloing a TF. :p

Brand X
Brand X's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 19 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/01/2013 - 00:26
blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Cinnder wrote:
I took his point as being the same thing you're saying: that the lore should explain why you have to team up to defeat a team-boss, something I usually found lacking in the old City, even leaving Incarnate content aside. If my character is at the maximum level of power, how come s/he needs help to take on any of the signature characters?
I think that depends on how you define "maximum level of power". I would posit that if we players, at max level, represent the top 10% of power users then the signature heroes/villains represent the top 1% or even top 0.1% of power users, and that is the reason they can be so much stronger than us.

The story just needs to suggest there are other heroes out there, but it doesn't need to make it sound like there are hundreds of them out there.

Seriously, other than seeing the other heroes fly by and the fact that people can make hundreds of alts, the story should act like the city has multiple heroes, but act like that number is much smaller than the player base. It makes for a better story than "We have 1million heroes in a city with 3 million people!" :p

As for the players who then like to RP every other player is actually in the city with them, we can roll our eyes at the, and we can allow them to get upset with the idea that we're rolling our eyes at them :p

Greyhawk
Greyhawk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 days ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/03/2015 - 19:17
One of the reasons that

One of the reasons that gaining missions by assembling clues discovered while doing other things appeals to me is because it puts the player-character in the active role. I like being in the active role. One of the reasons I became so obsessed with CoV over CoH is that there was no assumption beyond the first few missions of any kind of "chosen one" status. Contacts basically said, "Yeah, I got a couple things need doing. You up for it?"

I really loved that approach.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My author page at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APIPZC?ref_=pe_584750_33951330

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:

Disagreed. Some people would prefer these over the more story driven arcs.

I honestly can't think of a player who gets one of these quests and thinks to them self 'Yes, a quest thats all text and no combat. I have been waiting all day for this.' But then again I haven't done any real investigation into the issue so my opinion on that might not be as universal as I thought. The fact that I can opt out is a perfect way to cater to both those who like them and those who don't.

There is actually one other thing I thought of that I consider pretty important.

Signature superheroes as contacts. It always bothered me that signature heroes like Statesman and the freedom phalanx would stand around all the time and tell you to go deal with some big threat. It made slightly more sense redside when the signature villains did this but not much. It was pretty clear that these signature characters were gods among men everytime you faced them but instead of actually dealing with threats themselves they prefer to direct traffic. I hated going to IP and seeing Statesman and Psyche just standing around posing.

In DCUO they dealt with this so much better. When Batman asked you to go stop Harley from poisoning the circus it was because he was going after the bigger threat, the Joker. When it came time to face the Joker, Batman actually asked you to come along and when you fought together you were on the same combat level.
This was such a great way to deal with the logic of powerful NPC characters asking for help. It also had the side effect of making your character seem comparable to these mega heroes and villains. You weren't second banana to Superman, he viewed you as an equal, and so when he asked you to help deal with Braniac forces you understood he was doing the same thing even if he wasn't with you at the time.

I would really like to see more elements of this in CoT. I would hate it if CoT's signature NPC heroes and villains just stood around all the time and the only way to interact with them was either them telling you to go do something or by fighting them in some trial. When they ask for help it's because they are dealing with something else at the moment or sometimes they join you.

Lin Chiao Feng
Lin Chiao Feng's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/02/2013 - 09:27
Brainbot, reading it over it

Brainbot, reading it over it seems like you were (eventually) talking about "pizza run" missions, but the first couple sentences of that part sounded like you were talking about "newspaper" or "police radio" missions (short, no arc, throwaway, repeatable, etc.). CoF seemed to only be talking about the latter.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:

Brainbot, reading it over it seems like you were (eventually) talking about "pizza run" missions, but the first couple sentences of that part sounded like you were talking about "newspaper" or "police radio" missions (short, no arc, throwaway, repeatable, etc.). CoF seemed to only be talking about the latter.

Yeah. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have called them 'throw away quests'. Maybe I should call them 'chore' quests? There just isn't a good catch all phrase that really gets across the type of quests like in the examples I used.

Lin Chiao Feng
Lin Chiao Feng's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/02/2013 - 09:27
"Pizza run" and "errands" are

"Pizza run" and "errands" are the closest terms I've heard for those.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
We call them "FedEx Quests"

We call them "FedEx Quests" in my house. And I hope the mission writers are keeping them to a mininum.

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
Yeah. No well know term for

Yeah. No well know term for them. That's on me though. I kinda suspected it would be confusing even with the examples.

Oh well. Doctor Tyche, Conundrum, any thoughts on the signature npc heroes and villains idea I wrote a few posts back?

Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
We have been taking lessons

We have been taking lessons from DCUO along with our own tip system. The goal is to make a far more player centric system, where you are the driving force. But yes, part of the design goal is that when a signature character is involved it will be more interactive, more you as a partner than a lackey.

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
That is great to see.

That is great to see.
DCUO gets a deservedly bad rap most of the time but they did have some fantastic idea's sprinkled in with the 'blech'.

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
https://www.youtube.com/watch
Doctor Tyche
Doctor Tyche's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 24 min ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/04/2012 - 11:29
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otAkP5VjIv8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur6GQp5mCYs
relevant links are relevant

Big followers of Extra Credits

Technical Director

Read enough Facebook and you have to make Sanity Checks. I guess FB is the Great Old One of the interent these days... - Beamrider

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
also? this for the importance

also? this for the importance of finances

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45PdtGDGhac

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

notears wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otAkP5VjIv8https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ur6GQp5mCYs
relevant links are relevant
Big followers of Extra Credits

Oh!! Cool :]

Brainbot
Offline
Last seen: 4 weeks 16 hours ago
Joined: 04/25/2016 - 21:30
I love the idea of making the

I love the idea of making the world have meaning and turning environment elements into quest givers. But investigation type quests only have meaning the first play through unless it has some serious design elements to make it unique each time you participate. In most cases those types of quests go from mysteries to 'travel the path in order to move the quest along' or fed ex quests as he calls them. I have ideas on how to do this but I think the devs have a pretty good handle on it already.

The illusion of choice video mostly relates to development costs of single story games. Especially the idea of how a story can appear to diverge only to converge later to reduce development cost.
A MMO is presumably going to have more stories than a character can participate in due to the open ended nature of the game. It is perfectly acceptable to have many stories that do not converge ever without it being an additional development cost simply because they need to write and include these extra stories regardless. There is also the fact that continued development will allow for more and more paths to branch further and further. It is true that a game will never really give you complete freedom, but with branching, twisting and even converging storylines choices can not only have the illusion of choice but actually deliver on it.

Cinnder
Cinnder's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 38 min ago
Gunterkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 08/26/2013 - 16:24
Everything

Everything ConundrumofFurballs has to say on this thread makes me all the more impatient for this game to go live. Personally, I like the occasional non-story-related FedEx or kill x mobs (especially if it's outside) mission, just for variety. I even liked the original cape mission arc. As long as the mobs we fight from the start are more significant than rats, I'll be happy. Oh and as long as the contact system is similar to that of the old system and we don't have quest hubs.

Doctor Tyche wrote:

... part of the design goal is that when a signature character is involved it will be more interactive, more you as a partner than a lackey.

I think the old game had examples of sig char interaction that were worse than just having them as contacts, but also some that were better.

Worse: There were so many things to hate about the Shooting Stars arc, but to me the most egregious bit was finding out at the end that Manticore had been lying to you the whole time and it was all just a test. Being treated like an idiot is worse than being treated like a lackey.

Better: In the second Signature Story Arc, after the loss of Statesman and Sister Psyche, the Freedom Phalanx asked you to bolster their ranks. There was some interactive dialogue with the team, and then at least one team mission (my memory's getting fuzzy) where they didn't send you out to perform a task, but went along with you. I thought this worked well because (1) it was completely optional, (2) you did stuff with the sig chars and not for them, and (3) they acknowledged that you had become a significant power in the city (I think minimum level was 30 for the first mission) without implying you were any sort of Chosen One. You had just been around long enough for the Phalanx to know who you were and ask for your help.

Spurn all ye kindle.

Empyrean
Empyrean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 6 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 03/16/2014 - 07:51
Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

That is great to see.
DCUO gets a deservedly bad rap most of the time but they did have some fantastic idea's sprinkled in with the 'blech'.

One of the things that really excites me about CoT is that while it's main template is learning from the successes and failures of CoH, the Devs are obviously learning from the successes and failures of other Superhero MMORPG's as well.

They are clearly paying attention to other non-Superhero genre games also--but learning from the specific games whose Devs were trying to capture the feel of the same Superhero genre in a fun way is obviously particularly instructional.

Hell, even CO got a few things really right.

The Whiteout series was amazing and the Multifarian Earth missions (driving a freaking giant robot against the Shadow Colossus--EPIC) were amazing. Powerhouse and the Nemesis System were great ideas (though the Nemesis System was incompletely implemented and forgotten). The proportion control in their costume creator is great, etc...

Too bad that, in the end, so much was borked in CO that I just couldn't keep playing it. The overall look, overly tongue-in-cheek tone, and lack of anything new fun things to do "endgame" being chief among these.

Same with DCUO. Some good things, but the main reasons I couldn't keep playing were that the endgame was raid grinds but, most fatally, combat did not feel heroic at all. You felt "meh" powerful.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

ConundrumofFurballs
ConundrumofFurballs's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 53 min ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 16:03
Nos482 wrote:
Nos482 wrote:

ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
so they're there, but you are not forced to do them for any of the truly story driven content without a good reason.
Which reminds me... we will get some equivalent of radio/newspaper missions, right?
It seems like a no-brainer since CoH had them and afaik they were fairly well liked. But, it pays to ask...

Radio/Newspaper missions are most definitely going to be there. Those are the ones I was actually referring to in the post you quoted.

Brainbot wrote:

ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
Disagreed. Some people would prefer these over the more story driven arcs.
I honestly can't think of a player who gets one of these quests and thinks to them self 'Yes, a quest thats all text and no combat. I have been waiting all day for this.' But then again I haven't done any real investigation into the issue so my opinion on that might not be as universal as I thought. The fact that I can opt out is a perfect way to cater to both those who like them and those who don't.

Lin Chiao Feng wrote:

Brainbot, reading it over it seems like you were (eventually) talking about "pizza run" missions, but the first couple sentences of that part sounded like you were talking about "newspaper" or "police radio" missions (short, no arc, throwaway, repeatable, etc.). CoF seemed to only be talking about the latter.

Correct. I was referring to the newspaper/radio missions, as that is what I thought you meant.

Missions that are primarily (or all) dialogue with minimal or no combat are reserved purely for story purposes (and there has to be a solid reason for no combat and all dialogue all the time). These provide key information in the stories, for the LoreHounds at least. If you're not into the lore that much, but you're still playing the story-driven arcs, you'll just have to click through them. Beware of what you're clicking, though, as some things can have effects in later missions....

As for FedEx missions, we are avoiding those whenever possible, unless they have a story purpose. And not a story purpose of "I'm too lazy to do this, so can you take it to that guy 3 zones over that you were just talking to and then come right back so I can give you something else that I won't tell you about until then?" Those always irritated me.

Brainbot wrote:

There is actually one other thing I thought of that I consider pretty important.
Signature superheroes as contacts. It always bothered me that signature heroes like Statesman and the freedom phalanx would stand around all the time and tell you to go deal with some big threat. It made slightly more sense redside when the signature villains did this but not much. It was pretty clear that these signature characters were gods among men everytime you faced them but instead of actually dealing with threats themselves they prefer to direct traffic. I hated going to IP and seeing Statesman and Psyche just standing around posing.
(snip for brevity)
I would hate it if CoT's signature NPC heroes and villains just stood around all the time and the only way to interact with them was either them telling you to go do something or by fighting them in some trial. When they ask for help it's because they are dealing with something else at the moment or sometimes they join you.

We will have some NPCs that stand around as contacts. That is relatively unavoidable (at least for now? maybe tech can come up with something down the road that could change this, but it's not a priority, so it's not even being thought about really). But, that's not all they do. When it's appropriate, they will show up in missions. They're not stick figures, they're not cardboard cutouts. They're heroes/villains for a reason, and it's not to stand around all day with their thumbs up their &^@%$.

Cinnder wrote:

Everything ConundrumofFurballs has to say on this thread makes me all the more impatient for this game to go live.

Egggssscellennnt...My plan is working purrfectly!

_______________________________________________________________________________

Conundrum of Furballs

Composition Team, Staff Writer

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 20 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:

As for FedEx missions, we are avoiding those whenever possible, unless they have a story purpose.

I'm still of the opinion that it would be fun to make a whole set of these "pizza run" missions and organize them around either a Ninja Burger franchise ... or around doing deliveries to random doors (in less than 30 minutes) for Paragon Pizza Pie. The "purpose" behind these missions would be exploration of the game world so as to "find" locations/objectives rather than being "guided" to them so as to give an alternative means of playing the game in a way that can be immersive in the setting, while at the same time expanding the Player's familiarization with different neighborhoods.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 28 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
What if part of that

What if part of that exploration mission was a Uniform that acted as a disguise? It could mask the character's own factions and substitute the factions of the sponsor. Trigger NPC interactions based on the Delivery Person role?

Be Well!
Fireheart

Lin Chiao Feng
Lin Chiao Feng's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 6 days ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 11/02/2013 - 09:27
Redlynne wrote:
Redlynne wrote:

ConundrumofFurballs wrote:
As for FedEx missions, we are avoiding those whenever possible, unless they have a story purpose.
I'm still of the opinion that it would be fun to make a whole set of these "pizza run" missions and organize them around either a Ninja Burger franchise ... or around doing deliveries to random doors (in less than 30 minutes) for Paragon Pizza Pie. The "purpose" behind these missions would be exploration of the game world so as to "find" locations/objectives rather than being "guided" to them so as to give an alternative means of playing the game in a way that can be immersive in the setting, while at the same time expanding the Player's familiarization with different neighborhoods.

Which would amount to "pull up the walk through on the wiki for the umpteenth time." Remember how boring and time-consuming the cape mission was?

Leave this for player-generated content.

Has anyone seen my mind? It was right here...

Huckleberry
Huckleberry's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 hours 35 min ago
Joined: 01/03/2016 - 08:39
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:
Lin Chiao Feng wrote:
Redlynne wrote:
ConundrumofFurballs wrote:

As for FedEx missions, we are avoiding those whenever possible, unless they have a story purpose.

I'm still of the opinion that it would be fun to make a whole set of these "pizza run" missions and organize them around either a Ninja Burger franchise ... or around doing deliveries to random doors (in less than 30 minutes) for Paragon Pizza Pie. The "purpose" behind these missions would be exploration of the game world so as to "find" locations/objectives rather than being "guided" to them so as to give an alternative means of playing the game in a way that can be immersive in the setting, while at the same time expanding the Player's familiarization with different neighborhoods.

Which would amount to "pull up the walk through on the wiki for the umpteenth time." Remember how boring and time-consuming the cape mission was?
Leave this for player-generated content.

Your response indicates you did not even read Redlynne's post. Randomly generated doors all over the city does not sound like anything a wiki could assist with. And besides, why would anyone want to check a wiki for delivery missions in the first place?

I personally think that's a great idea to introduce a player into all the different neighborhoods of the city, and maybe even get some waypoints saved, if there will be such things. I like the uniform idea, too, so you get a chance to see some neighborhoods that would otherwise be hostile to you. There is even the potential of getting robbed during a delivery. All around positive idea, I think.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 20 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Aye, but ...

Aye, but ...

How much difference would there be between a "burger/pizza delivery" mission run be from a newspaper/police scanner styled (infinitely repeatable) mission set?

Well ...

With the burger/pizza delivery mission, the "action" all takes place in the shared game world outside of instances and is primarily a matter of navigation from Here to There. The mission functionally ends when you arrive at the Mission Door (and make your delivery).
With the newspaper/scanner mission, the "action" all takes place inside of instances and traveling to the mission door is pretty much beside the point. The mission functionally begins when you enter the Mission Door.

These two types of content need not be mutually exclusive since they fill different niche roles of "instant content" for Players to do if they've run out of things to do. The only difference is "where" the point and the purpose of the missions take place ... in the shared world, or inside of instances.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 28 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
If you're delivering for

If you're delivering for Ninja Burger, then part of the challenge might be, "You must not be Seen."

Be Well!
Fireheart

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 20 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Delivery without drawing

Delivery without drawing Aggro (effectively) would be a reasonable condition for Mission Complete for a Ninja Burger delivery.

Delivery without taking Damage (effectively) would then be a reasonable condition for Mission Complete for a Paragon Pizza Pie delivery.

These are closely related, and indeed aligned, objectives but they are not synonymous, equal or equivalent objectives. Obviously the Ninja Burger objective would be easier for someone who has "stealth" styled Powers allowing them to avoid detection, since the mission would functionally be a "Stealth Mission" taking place in the shared world, rather than inside of an instance.

Is there a grand and glorious plot or story to tell with these kinds of missions? No, of course not ... but they could be a lot of fun to play, depending on the navigation between the pick up point and the destination(s) for the delivery (or deliveries), such that you get a sort of Traveling Salesman type of navigational task for optimizing your delivery route. Add in the notion that not every delivery still has 30 minutes left before MISSION FAIL and things could get interesting.

At the same time, these kinds of Ninja Burger and Paragon Pizza Pie deliveries could be used as a way to generate Clues that then feed into other possibilities. Who answers the door to take the delivery? Where was the delivery ordered? Were you given an outrageously large tip of IGC? Simple little things like that might "add up" into being Clues that then lead to other bigger (and better?) missions. So although Ninja Burger and Paragon Pizza Pie might not have a great deal of STORY going on with their "el cheapo delivery" missions, they could be an interesting vehicle for getting snippets of GAME LORE into the hands (and minds) of the Players, such that they learn more about the City than they otherwise might have. So think of these kinds of optional missions as being Lore Leads rather than Story Leads and then you're onto something.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Nadira
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/01/2014 - 13:25
Doctor Tyche wrote:
Doctor Tyche wrote:

We have been taking lessons from DCUO along with our own tip system. The goal is to make a far more player centric system, where you are the driving force. But yes, part of the design goal is that when a signature character is involved it will be more interactive, more you as a partner than a lackey.

Look at The Secret World and learn from that instead.

It has probably the best quest/mission system bar none.

First of all it treats player characters as regular grunts in the war to save the world (and to achieve total global dominance too). Only unlike superhero MMOs there are no super powerful mentors. Instead stuff blew up in our faces and a apocalypse in slow motion is in progress, with the deep state organisations (one of which your character is recruited into, forcibly if necessary) throwing whatever agent is available at the problems to try and stem it from breaking out into the open. In true disorganised cluster f**** style of every military organisation since the time the first humanoid picked up a stick and decided it would be a good idea to hit other humanoids on the head with it.
This helps sell the story that there are many agents in the area, each doing some small part of the damage control. There is an overarching story in each cluster of zones, but the system would work just as well if there are many of them of which the player picks one organically.

On a more technical level, there are some quest hubs for each zone (and the main story leads you to each of one), but you are prohibited from picking up all of them at once. A character has at most one main quest (either story or faction) and three side quests. The fun thing with the side quests is that while there are some in the quest hubs this is typically not where they end. Instead, at the point where the quest ends there usually is one or more environmental quest. E.g. when you leave the tutorial and enter the first game zone proper, you are greated by a quest giver who tells you a bit about the problems with the zone and then directs you to the main quest hub as well as giving you an initial side quest. But as you complete that one by the time you are done with it you find a burned out car nearby. If you examine that you will find a note and a second task (this one is pretty boring, but it illustrates the principle and teaches players to pay attention to the environment because wherever you end up there probably is something or somebody to give you a new quest). Many of these side quests also tell, or expose, a small part of the lore of the zone (e.g. in the first zone you may end up doing a difficult mission that exposes a secret that the villages rather forgot their forebears kind of did a lot of witchburning and torture and now the dead won't stay dead...)

Third, there are three basic kinds of missions, your regular combat (usually) centered ones, stealth and puzzle. Puzzle gives you an initial story and a vague (sometimes more than obscure) clue and access to the ingame internet browser and ... good luck figuring it out.
Stealth is not as smooth as it should or could have been, but basically you are given an area to cross to reach your objective. An area riddled with traps and patrols and security cameras all of which are one hit kills when activated. So it becomes a matter of sticking to the dark areas, hiding around corners and dashing (and jumping and rolling) precisely timed to avoid detection. Usually there will be switches to turn off detection and cameras for a short while to give you time to figure out a clue or to unlock some (simple) puzzle that locks the next stage.
The regular missions mostly involve combat, but almost always there is a decent story or lore reason to do that mission, and they are really varied regardless. You may be tasked to collect resources for a group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. And then to get some mystical components to make fun weapons, which you then get to use in another mission to find crucial information. Yes, there are some, cull x monsters, but usually even those are at least couched in lore or story to make them less tedious (and they are rarely so prohibitive to become boring) and typically they have some twist at the end. Or there is some enemy or enemies that strike terror in you for the level you encounter them first. There's missions where you have to decipher various clues and visit the landmarks they describe for the next clue (in the hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). There's few escort quests, but rescue missions you will find a couple of. Usually along the lines of "We're exploring something strange. Would you mind taking a closer look? Oh, and while you are at it, we lost a team to researchers too so if you would be so kind as to figure out what happened to them (and more often than not those researchers became part of the phenomenon you are trying to survive rather than investigate).
And there are some fed ex quests too, though usualy they are given a little twist too. E.g. in the first zone there is a secluded spot where you may find an artifact lying on the ground, just like every other environmental quest. If you pick up that item you are tasked to bring it to a specific place. By that ime you should have no problem working out the description of the location and it is not too far from where you are. Only ... by picking up that item you also become a monster magnet AND you trigger wave after wave of ambushes along the way. Failing means you lose the item and it may be quite some time before it shows up again (for you), likely longer than you will remain in that zone.
And almost all tasks and missions are written to be environmentally aware. They make sense to the place where you find them, direct you to places that can be described in more or less cryptic clues and if you have to fight monsters they too make sense for the area. If you have to collect items either the items can be found in places that make sense for them (wood is found in the forest) or the enemies that drop them do (wet zombies are found in the bay). And pretty much always these items are used to create a temporary power you get to use in a follow up quest (I mean, how much better can it get than clearing out a zombie infested sewer using the landmines, handgrenades and a flamethrower you created yourself in previous missions?)

So, as you enter a zone you pick up a side quest and that leads you to another one and so on, sending you across the zone while also working on the main story missions. But if you pick another first or second set of side quests your path through the zone will be different and you may find different landmarks and bits of lore. And pretty much no two quests are essentially the same, nor are (m)any of them simple. There's always a twist or addition to the boring basic 'kill x of y' or 'bring x to y' quests.

Cobalt Azurean
Cobalt Azurean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 52 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:39
Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

Doctor Tyche wrote:
We have been taking lessons from DCUO along with our own tip system. The goal is to make a far more player centric system, where you are the driving force. But yes, part of the design goal is that when a signature character is involved it will be more interactive, more you as a partner than a lackey.
Look at The Secret World and learn from that instead.
It has probably the best quest/mission system bar none.
First of all it treats player characters as regular grunts in the war to save the world (and to achieve total global dominance too). Only unlike superhero MMOs there are no super powerful mentors. Instead stuff blew up in our faces and a apocalypse in slow motion is in progress, with the deep state organisations (one of which your character is recruited into, forcibly if necessary) throwing whatever agent is available at the problems to try and stem it from breaking out into the open. In true disorganised cluster f**** style of every military organisation since the time the first humanoid picked up a stick and decided it would be a good idea to hit other humanoids on the head with it.
This helps sell the story that there are many agents in the area, each doing some small part of the damage control. There is an overarching story in each cluster of zones, but the system would work just as well if there are many of them of which the player picks one organically.
On a more technical level, there are some quest hubs for each zone (and the main story leads you to each of one), but you are prohibited from picking up all of them at once. A character has at most one main quest (either story or faction) and three side quests. The fun thing with the side quests is that while there are some in the quest hubs this is typically not where they end. Instead, at the point where the quest ends there usually is one or more environmental quest. E.g. when you leave the tutorial and enter the first game zone proper, you are greated by a quest giver who tells you a bit about the problems with the zone and then directs you to the main quest hub as well as giving you an initial side quest. But as you complete that one by the time you are done with it you find a burned out car nearby. If you examine that you will find a note and a second task (this one is pretty boring, but it illustrates the principle and teaches players to pay attention to the environment because wherever you end up there probably is something or somebody to give you a new quest). Many of these side quests also tell, or expose, a small part of the lore of the zone (e.g. in the first zone you may end up doing a difficult mission that exposes a secret that the villages rather forgot their forebears kind of did a lot of witchburning and torture and now the dead won't stay dead...)
Third, there are three basic kinds of missions, your regular combat (usually) centered ones, stealth and puzzle. Puzzle gives you an initial story and a vague (sometimes more than obscure) clue and access to the ingame internet browser and ... good luck figuring it out.
Stealth is not as smooth as it should or could have been, but basically you are given an area to cross to reach your objective. An area riddled with traps and patrols and security cameras all of which are one hit kills when activated. So it becomes a matter of sticking to the dark areas, hiding around corners and dashing (and jumping and rolling) precisely timed to avoid detection. Usually there will be switches to turn off detection and cameras for a short while to give you time to figure out a clue or to unlock some (simple) puzzle that locks the next stage.
The regular missions mostly involve combat, but almost always there is a decent story or lore reason to do that mission, and they are really varied regardless. You may be tasked to collect resources for a group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. And then to get some mystical components to make fun weapons, which you then get to use in another mission to find crucial information. Yes, there are some, cull x monsters, but usually even those are at least couched in lore or story to make them less tedious (and they are rarely so prohibitive to become boring) and typically they have some twist at the end. Or there is some enemy or enemies that strike terror in you for the level you encounter them first. There's missions where you have to decipher various clues and visit the landmarks they describe for the next clue (in the hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). There's few escort quests, but rescue missions you will find a couple of. Usually along the lines of "We're exploring something strange. Would you mind taking a closer look? Oh, and while you are at it, we lost a team to researchers too so if you would be so kind as to figure out what happened to them (and more often than not those researchers became part of the phenomenon you are trying to survive rather than investigate).
And there are some fed ex quests too, though usualy they are given a little twist too. E.g. in the first zone there is a secluded spot where you may find an artifact lying on the ground, just like every other environmental quest. If you pick up that item you are tasked to bring it to a specific place. By that ime you should have no problem working out the description of the location and it is not too far from where you are. Only ... by picking up that item you also become a monster magnet AND you trigger wave after wave of ambushes along the way. Failing means you lose the item and it may be quite some time before it shows up again (for you), likely longer than you will remain in that zone.
And almost all tasks and missions are written to be environmentally aware. They make sense to the place where you find them, direct you to places that can be described in more or less cryptic clues and if you have to fight monsters they too make sense for the area. If you have to collect items either the items can be found in places that make sense for them (wood is found in the forest) or the enemies that drop them do (wet zombies are found in the bay). And pretty much always these items are used to create a temporary power you get to use in a follow up quest (I mean, how much better can it get than clearing out a zombie infested sewer using the landmines, handgrenades and a flamethrower you created yourself in previous missions?)
So, as you enter a zone you pick up a side quest and that leads you to another one and so on, sending you across the zone while also working on the main story missions. But if you pick another first or second set of side quests your path through the zone will be different and you may find different landmarks and bits of lore. And pretty much no two quests are essentially the same, nor are (m)any of them simple. There's always a twist or addition to the boring basic 'kill x of y' or 'bring x to y' quests.

Everyone remembers their first Kingsmouth.

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

Doctor Tyche wrote:
We have been taking lessons from DCUO along with our own tip system. The goal is to make a far more player centric system, where you are the driving force. But yes, part of the design goal is that when a signature character is involved it will be more interactive, more you as a partner than a lackey.
Look at The Secret World and learn from that instead.
It has probably the best quest/mission system bar none.
First of all it treats player characters as regular grunts in the war to save the world (and to achieve total global dominance too). Only unlike superhero MMOs there are no super powerful mentors. Instead stuff blew up in our faces and a apocalypse in slow motion is in progress, with the deep state organisations (one of which your character is recruited into, forcibly if necessary) throwing whatever agent is available at the problems to try and stem it from breaking out into the open. In true disorganised cluster f**** style of every military organisation since the time the first humanoid picked up a stick and decided it would be a good idea to hit other humanoids on the head with it.
This helps sell the story that there are many agents in the area, each doing some small part of the damage control. There is an overarching story in each cluster of zones, but the system would work just as well if there are many of them of which the player picks one organically.
On a more technical level, there are some quest hubs for each zone (and the main story leads you to each of one), but you are prohibited from picking up all of them at once. A character has at most one main quest (either story or faction) and three side quests. The fun thing with the side quests is that while there are some in the quest hubs this is typically not where they end. Instead, at the point where the quest ends there usually is one or more environmental quest. E.g. when you leave the tutorial and enter the first game zone proper, you are greated by a quest giver who tells you a bit about the problems with the zone and then directs you to the main quest hub as well as giving you an initial side quest. But as you complete that one by the time you are done with it you find a burned out car nearby. If you examine that you will find a note and a second task (this one is pretty boring, but it illustrates the principle and teaches players to pay attention to the environment because wherever you end up there probably is something or somebody to give you a new quest). Many of these side quests also tell, or expose, a small part of the lore of the zone (e.g. in the first zone you may end up doing a difficult mission that exposes a secret that the villages rather forgot their forebears kind of did a lot of witchburning and torture and now the dead won't stay dead...)
Third, there are three basic kinds of missions, your regular combat (usually) centered ones, stealth and puzzle. Puzzle gives you an initial story and a vague (sometimes more than obscure) clue and access to the ingame internet browser and ... good luck figuring it out.
Stealth is not as smooth as it should or could have been, but basically you are given an area to cross to reach your objective. An area riddled with traps and patrols and security cameras all of which are one hit kills when activated. So it becomes a matter of sticking to the dark areas, hiding around corners and dashing (and jumping and rolling) precisely timed to avoid detection. Usually there will be switches to turn off detection and cameras for a short while to give you time to figure out a clue or to unlock some (simple) puzzle that locks the next stage.
The regular missions mostly involve combat, but almost always there is a decent story or lore reason to do that mission, and they are really varied regardless. You may be tasked to collect resources for a group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. And then to get some mystical components to make fun weapons, which you then get to use in another mission to find crucial information. Yes, there are some, cull x monsters, but usually even those are at least couched in lore or story to make them less tedious (and they are rarely so prohibitive to become boring) and typically they have some twist at the end. Or there is some enemy or enemies that strike terror in you for the level you encounter them first. There's missions where you have to decipher various clues and visit the landmarks they describe for the next clue (in the hope of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow). There's few escort quests, but rescue missions you will find a couple of. Usually along the lines of "We're exploring something strange. Would you mind taking a closer look? Oh, and while you are at it, we lost a team to researchers too so if you would be so kind as to figure out what happened to them (and more often than not those researchers became part of the phenomenon you are trying to survive rather than investigate).
And there are some fed ex quests too, though usualy they are given a little twist too. E.g. in the first zone there is a secluded spot where you may find an artifact lying on the ground, just like every other environmental quest. If you pick up that item you are tasked to bring it to a specific place. By that ime you should have no problem working out the description of the location and it is not too far from where you are. Only ... by picking up that item you also become a monster magnet AND you trigger wave after wave of ambushes along the way. Failing means you lose the item and it may be quite some time before it shows up again (for you), likely longer than you will remain in that zone.
And almost all tasks and missions are written to be environmentally aware. They make sense to the place where you find them, direct you to places that can be described in more or less cryptic clues and if you have to fight monsters they too make sense for the area. If you have to collect items either the items can be found in places that make sense for them (wood is found in the forest) or the enemies that drop them do (wet zombies are found in the bay). And pretty much always these items are used to create a temporary power you get to use in a follow up quest (I mean, how much better can it get than clearing out a zombie infested sewer using the landmines, handgrenades and a flamethrower you created yourself in previous missions?)
So, as you enter a zone you pick up a side quest and that leads you to another one and so on, sending you across the zone while also working on the main story missions. But if you pick another first or second set of side quests your path through the zone will be different and you may find different landmarks and bits of lore. And pretty much no two quests are essentially the same, nor are (m)any of them simple. There's always a twist or addition to the boring basic 'kill x of y' or 'bring x to y' quests.

Yeah we could learn a lot by looking at the secret world's story system, It's fairly open ended for an mmo, and it would be cool if CoT tried to shoot for something like.... only problem? Secret world isn't a superhero mmo... it's a monster hunting mmo.... it's modeled after shows like, supernatural or buffy the vampire slayer and in shows like that it's okay to have the main protagonist be just an ordinary joe trying to make a living in the magical underworld. Those stories are based off of real myth, and protagonists often study up on those myths.. hence why the investigation mission aren't really that out of place, that and the monster hunting genre takes place in a secret world hidden within our world. The Superhero genre on the other hand? Are if anything the opposite of these things... unless your trying for a parody or deconstruction of it that is.... the superhero genre doesn't take place in our world... it takes place on a more fantastical version of our world sure, but it doesn't take place in our world... a superhero world is very different than ours, people may not see that many examples of actual magic and mad science in person but they do know it exists, and while a monster hunting show can have a protagonist who's not that special, superhero shows really can't have that. My proposal? While there may be a lot of fantastical elements in the city, the players play characters who are the 7% of fantastical beings who can take out 5 of those other fantastical beings without breaking a sweat. I mean you aren't anthem material but you are still pretty powerful in your own right. I'd also replace the investigation missions with heavily puzzle focused missions. Stuff that makes you feel like you're batman investigating a crime scene, or iron man trying to study something or doctor strange trying to figure out a magical artifact, stuff like that.

Nadira
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/01/2014 - 13:25
Cobalt Azurean wrote:
Cobalt Azurean wrote:

Everyone remembers their first Kingsmouth.

True, though for my first character I just as vividly remember my first Savage Coast. When the game first took the gloves off and taught you that the idea you had a good grasp on how to play the game was all a big joke at your expense...
Hello ambush. Hello fuzzy dog monster thatireallyneedhelpwithbecauseitisusingmeforchewtoy Hello ... hell?

Nadira
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/01/2014 - 13:25
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

Yeah we could learn a lot by looking at the secret world's story system, It's fairly open ended for an mmo, and it would be cool if CoT tried to shoot for something like.... only problem? Secret world isn't a superhero mmo... it's a monster hunting mmo.... it's modeled after shows like, supernatural or buffy the vampire slayer and in shows like that it's okay to have the main protagonist be just an ordinary joe trying to make a living in the magical underworld. Those stories are based off of real myth, and protagonists often study up on those myths.. hence why the investigation mission aren't really that out of place, that and the monster hunting genre takes place in a secret world hidden within our world. The Superhero genre on the other hand? Are if anything the opposite of these things... unless your trying for a parody or deconstruction of it that is.... the superhero genre doesn't take place in our world... it takes place on a more fantastical version of our world sure, but it doesn't take place in our world... a superhero world is very different than ours, people may not see that many examples of actual magic and mad science in person but they do know it exists, and while a monster hunting show can have a protagonist who's not that special, superhero shows really can't have that. My proposal? While there may be a lot of fantastical elements in the city, the players play characters who are the 7% of fantastical beings who can take out 5 of those other fantastical beings without breaking a sweat. I mean you aren't anthem material but you are still pretty powerful in your own right. I'd also replace the investigation missions with heavily puzzle focused missions. Stuff that makes you feel like you're batman investigating a crime scene, or iron man trying to study something or doctor strange trying to figure out a magical artifact, stuff like that.

True, there are considerably thematic differences between a survival horror game and a superhero one, but they don't have to be equally big mechanical differences.

One of the things I really like about The Secret World is that it neither downplays your character nor puts it on a pedestal. 'Only you can save the world' is a boring trope in single player games and does not work at all in multiplayer ones (the sillyness of the story in e.g. Guildwars 2 or SW:TOR is painfully obvious where you save the entire galaxy (or subjugate it if you play red side) just like the thousands of other, identical characters who happened to pick the same class as you)

However, far more important is to develop a quest and mission system that is as varied as possible, write missions that actually have a fun little story written into the steps and interactions and that fit the theme of the zone and the natural evolution so far. While this works slightly better in The Secret World, the principle applies. Granted, running into an army unit protecting scientist studying the zombie invasion before they (plan to) drop a couple of nukes on the whole place is thematically suited for a survival horror game. But in a superhero game the same attention to detail would see your heroes at the start of their careers stumble on swat teams and superpowered first responder units trying to contain the violence of a gang war that is getting completely out of hand because of magical or biological powers getting into the hands of the gangs.

I don't know if a single player character should be able to take out dozens of enemy minions without effort. Too powerful also takes the heroism out of the experience. I did not like it one bit the first time I was invited into a group and was told to sit just inside the mission door while the fire tanker rounded up the entire map and, after herding them into a corner, burned them to death. Expressly forbidding the other players to do anything at all. It certainly did not make me feel heroic or powerful. The thrill of being barely able to take on three minion at once and not being entirely certain I would come out on top was a lot more fun and certainly did me feel properly heroic when I pulled it off (that was the thing I loved most about young stalkers. You could easily defeat two enemies but a group of three? That was a real danger that you could just as likely lose as win).

And the most important lessons that should be learned from The Secret World have nothing to do with the specific theming. Rather, it is that you should keep the number of active missions very low, to make them meaningful, spend a lot of time to create actual stories for and within those missions as well as make them as varied as the mission system allows (and to work on making the mission system as broad as possible). And to integrate missions within the game world. While you can't entirely get away with mission hubs, keep them small and varied and have plenty of side quests that direct players and groups all over the zone. It keeps the entire zone used and prevents 'dead' areas that are there just because the map can't have holes in it.
Not a lesson technically from the mission system of The Secret World, but a valuable lesson nonetheless, don't be afraid to mix in level inappropriate enemies and regions into a zone. If the zone is intended for level 10 to 20 there is nothing wrong to put in a little area with level 25 enemies near the entry point, just a little off the obvious path, but not so distant that a careless or inquisitive players can not stumble into it (and promptly get wiped for his or her lack of caution) Such a little area sits there as a promise to the players that they can come back to it later when they have more skills and abilities under their belt, Or they can find some friends of their own and give it a try.

Oh, and keep instancing to a minimum, but use it without hesitation where an open world would interfere with the experience. (because the open world means you run with other players all the time and the game world will feel alive, whereas the more you switch to instances the less lived in the world will feel.

Redlynne
Redlynne's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 weeks 20 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/28/2013 - 21:15
Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

Oh, and keep instancing to a minimum

I seem to recall the vast overwhelming majority of Missions in City of Heroes being behind Doors that led into ... Instances ... and I believe the intent is to continue that sort of design philosophy in City of Titans.


Verbogeny is one of many pleasurettes afforded a creatific thinkerizer.
Fireheart
Fireheart's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 28 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/05/2013 - 13:45
In a 'great outdoors' game,

In a 'great outdoors' game, open world content makes sense. However, in a City, it doesn't make sense to do everything 'out in the street'.

One of the advantages I've noticed, with open world content, is one can have assistance and support, without the extra step of organizing a team. This works especially well in games and situations where experience gain is not based on percentage of damage done.

In instanced content, one needs to coordinate with and trust in the team, whether that's a team of one, or of many. However, instanced content is, by the same token, more personal, more intense, and often more rewarding. The Story of instanced content becomes more important, precisely because passing strangers can't derail it by tossing a nuke (or mass heal/buff) into the mix. The Devs can put more Story into instanced content, because it's a more controlled environment. In an instance, a Zone Event can't interrupt and send all of your assigned targets underground.

I feel this may actually be a point of division. In open world content, Lore is dominant, while, in instanced content, Story takes over.

Be Well!
Fireheart

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Nadira wrote:
Nadira wrote:

notears wrote:
Yeah we could learn a lot by looking at the secret world's story system, It's fairly open ended for an mmo, and it would be cool if CoT tried to shoot for something like.... only problem? Secret world isn't a superhero mmo... it's a monster hunting mmo.... it's modeled after shows like, supernatural or buffy the vampire slayer and in shows like that it's okay to have the main protagonist be just an ordinary joe trying to make a living in the magical underworld. Those stories are based off of real myth, and protagonists often study up on those myths.. hence why the investigation mission aren't really that out of place, that and the monster hunting genre takes place in a secret world hidden within our world. The Superhero genre on the other hand? Are if anything the opposite of these things... unless your trying for a parody or deconstruction of it that is.... the superhero genre doesn't take place in our world... it takes place on a more fantastical version of our world sure, but it doesn't take place in our world... a superhero world is very different than ours, people may not see that many examples of actual magic and mad science in person but they do know it exists, and while a monster hunting show can have a protagonist who's not that special, superhero shows really can't have that. My proposal? While there may be a lot of fantastical elements in the city, the players play characters who are the 7% of fantastical beings who can take out 5 of those other fantastical beings without breaking a sweat. I mean you aren't anthem material but you are still pretty powerful in your own right. I'd also replace the investigation missions with heavily puzzle focused missions. Stuff that makes you feel like you're batman investigating a crime scene, or iron man trying to study something or doctor strange trying to figure out a magical artifact, stuff like that.
True, there are considerably thematic differences between a survival horror game and a superhero one, but they don't have to be equally big mechanical differences.
One of the things I really like about The Secret World is that it neither downplays your character nor puts it on a pedestal. 'Only you can save the world' is a boring trope in single player games and does not work at all in multiplayer ones (the sillyness of the story in e.g. Guildwars 2 or SW:TOR is painfully obvious where you save the entire galaxy (or subjugate it if you play red side) just like the thousands of other, identical characters who happened to pick the same class as you)
However, far more important is to develop a quest and mission system that is as varied as possible, write missions that actually have a fun little story written into the steps and interactions and that fit the theme of the zone and the natural evolution so far. While this works slightly better in The Secret World, the principle applies. Granted, running into an army unit protecting scientist studying the zombie invasion before they (plan to) drop a couple of nukes on the whole place is thematically suited for a survival horror game. But in a superhero game the same attention to detail would see your heroes at the start of their careers stumble on swat teams and superpowered first responder units trying to contain the violence of a gang war that is getting completely out of hand because of magical or biological powers getting into the hands of the gangs.
I don't know if a single player character should be able to take out dozens of enemy minions without effort. Too powerful also takes the heroism out of the experience. I did not like it one bit the first time I was invited into a group and was told to sit just inside the mission door while the fire tanker rounded up the entire map and, after herding them into a corner, burned them to death. Expressly forbidding the other players to do anything at all. It certainly did not make me feel heroic or powerful. The thrill of being barely able to take on three minion at once and not being entirely certain I would come out on top was a lot more fun and certainly did me feel properly heroic when I pulled it off (that was the thing I loved most about young stalkers. You could easily defeat two enemies but a group of three? That was a real danger that you could just as likely lose as win).
And the most important lessons that should be learned from The Secret World have nothing to do with the specific theming. Rather, it is that you should keep the number of active missions very low, to make them meaningful, spend a lot of time to create actual stories for and within those missions as well as make them as varied as the mission system allows (and to work on making the mission system as broad as possible). And to integrate missions within the game world. While you can't entirely get away with mission hubs, keep them small and varied and have plenty of side quests that direct players and groups all over the zone. It keeps the entire zone used and prevents 'dead' areas that are there just because the map can't have holes in it.
Not a lesson technically from the mission system of The Secret World, but a valuable lesson nonetheless, don't be afraid to mix in level inappropriate enemies and regions into a zone. If the zone is intended for level 10 to 20 there is nothing wrong to put in a little area with level 25 enemies near the entry point, just a little off the obvious path, but not so distant that a careless or inquisitive players can not stumble into it (and promptly get wiped for his or her lack of caution) Such a little area sits there as a promise to the players that they can come back to it later when they have more skills and abilities under their belt, Or they can find some friends of their own and give it a try.
Oh, and keep instancing to a minimum, but use it without hesitation where an open world would interfere with the experience. (because the open world means you run with other players all the time and the game world will feel alive, whereas the more you switch to instances the less lived in the world will feel.

Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...

blacke4dawn
blacke4dawn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 03/28/2015 - 03:02
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...

And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
In the balance between

In the balance between outdoor and indoor content, I think one thing CoX did badly enough that it could be improved is the outdoor events. First, I'd have them fire off at set times. GW2 has that and it's generally conducive to more people accessing that content more often. The wiki even has countdown timers that tell you when the next Shadow Behemoth spawn will be, etc. That game also has some stuff that triggers whenever you go to the place and click the glowwie to activate it. For example, there are usually 3-10 "Hero Challenges" on every map. You go there, and if you can defeat the boss that defends the Hero Point glowwie, you can click on it, let the timer bar fill up, and get yourself a Hero Point. That boss will always spawn either when you click the glowwie or it'll just be there and harass you if you go near the glowwie, so it's like instant boss fight. When you're leveling up, it can be challenging , but any two toons can generally do it, and there are often ad-hoc helpers running around.

It think it would also be good to have a few daily giant monsters that spawn on longer timers such that you can get the good rewards for defeating the thing once per day, but it spawns multiple times per day just to give different people a chance to defeat it for the rewards at different times. GW2 has many examples of this, dragons like Tequatl, the Sunless and Kralkatorix, the Shatterer being the prime examples.

So make outdoor stuff spawn on a regular basis and give rewards for doing it and people will show up to do that stuff more often.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Tannim222
Tannim222's picture
Offline
Last seen: 31 min 25 sec ago
Developer11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/16/2013 - 12:47
blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?

There is one part of this already in a KS update where players can do things and get a drop called a Lead. A Lead can end up providing access to a mission. It could be a one-off mission, or it can be the start of a story arc.

And the thing is, you as a player may have done something random like stopping a purse snatcher and the thug "dropped" something that is the Lead. Maybe it reads thet he said something, or it reads as an item such as a hand scribbled note.

Later one, we want to make a system where players "craft" a mission by piecing together Clues on a Clue Board - sort of like a Mad Libs style where Cues placed into different sequences and different types of Clues in different combinations can create a wide range of missions.

These could be a investigation into a crime, or a plan to commit one.


I don't use a nerf bat, I have a magic crowbar!
- Combat Mechanic -
Tech Team.
notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?

It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
I think investigation is a

I think investigation is a pretty major theme of some comics, like Batman for example. Also, I would argue that the world that superheroes inhabit is intended to be very much like our own. The buildings, the cars, etc everything is "realistic" looking, unless you're in Asgard or Atlantis this month, in which case the "exotic location" rules apply and the background art is all kinds of whacky, on purpose.

MANY comic book origin stories assume that the protagonist is the only super-powered hero in an otherwise "normal" world, and very often the main antagonist is the only super-powered villain, thus the conflict. Only Our Hero can possibly be expected to be able to defeat The Big Bad, because those characters both posses unique superpowers that the normal police and criminals don't have.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Cobalt Azurean
Cobalt Azurean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 52 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:39
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote:
notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?
It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...

While playing TSW, I almost never used the in-game browser provided. I used the one that Overwolf came with or through Steam or, since I play Windowed, I just tabbed or clicked over to my normal browser and used that instead. The browser isn't really a non-starter as one might think.
As for not being super-heroey, I couldn't disagree more. I love me some pulp era comics, such as The Shadow, which was the basis for later characters such as Batman (as mentioned above), both of which were very much figuring out who was doing what and when for why. Even in current era comics, quite a few street-level superheroes and vigilantes (The Defenders with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, along with Punisher, etc) are usually following the clues or squeezing little bits of info out of thugs and flunkies to try to get the bigger bad guy. It's not always fighting off alien invaders like The Avengers or interdimensional a-holes ala Guardians of the Galaxy where you immediately know who and what the bad guy is and what they're trying to accomplish. So I do think something investigatory could be interesting in CoT.
Now, do I think they need to be instituted the way TSW did? Not really. It would be difficult to implement in such a way and not have people immediately think of how TSW was ripped off. It could be more generic, such as mentioned previously where the hero/villain would overhear a thug say something or drops something or he scribbled it down on his hand etc. Or it could be just as simple as finding a glowie to keep it more in the spirit of CoH/V.
This actually reminds me a bit of Radiac's thread about themed missions and how could just be rolled up into that kind of mission arrangement.

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I think investigation is a pretty major theme of some comics, like Batman for example. Also, I would argue that the world that superheroes inhabit is intended to be very much like our own. The buildings, the cars, etc everything is "realistic" looking, unless you're in Asgard or Atlantis this month, in which case the "exotic location" rules apply and the background art is all kinds of whacky, on purpose.
MANY comic book origin stories assume that the protagonist is the only super-powered hero in an otherwise "normal" world, and very often the main antagonist is the only super-powered villain, thus the conflict. Only Our Hero can possibly be expected to be able to defeat The Big Bad, because those characters both posses unique superpowers that the normal police and criminals don't have.

Yes but batman's investigation has been shown to be possible, through games such the telltale game and the Arkham series, to be possible in puzzle format, and he also doesn't investigate the same way the secret world investigates, he doesn't boot up a computer or look through a library. He shows up at the scene of the crime and he looks around at what's already there, and in comic universes, which this game is kind of based on, there are totally more than one hero in the mix and a lot more fantastical elements. Sure in movies and tv shows, there's usually one hero and one villain, but that's more to ease people who didn't grow up with comic books into the more fantastical elements of the superhero fiction.

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
I thank Cobalt Azurean for

I thank Cobalt Azurean for the plug.

I think different missions could be more or less investigation intensive and people will or won't do them at their pleasure. I'd like to see some of that, but it doesn;t have to be the whole game either. I'd allow some jump-scare-bearing horror missions too, for the fans of the spooky scary games.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Cobalt Azurean wrote:
Cobalt Azurean wrote:

notears wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?
It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...
While playing TSW, I almost never used the in-game browser provided. I used the one that Overwolf came with or through Steam or, since I play Windowed, I just tabbed or clicked over to my normal browser and used that instead. The browser isn't really a non-starter as one might think.
As for not being super-heroey, I couldn't disagree more. I love me some pulp era comics, such as The Shadow, which was the basis for later characters such as Batman (as mentioned above), both of which were very much figuring out who was doing what and when for why. Even in current era comics, quite a few street-level superheroes and vigilantes (The Defenders with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, along with Punisher, etc) are usually following the clues or squeezing little bits of info out of thugs and flunkies to try to get the bigger bad guy. It's not always fighting off alien invaders like The Avengers or interdimensional a-holes ala Guardians of the Galaxy where you immediately know who and what the bad guy is and what they're trying to accomplish. So I do think something investigatory could be interesting in CoT.
Now, do I think they need to be instituted the way TSW did? Not really. It would be difficult to implement in such a way and not have people immediately think of how TSW was ripped off. It could be more generic, such as mentioned previously where the hero/villain would overhear a thug say something or drops something or he scribbled it down on his hand etc. Or it could be just as simple as finding a glowie to keep it more in the spirit of CoH/V.
This actually reminds me a bit of Radiac's thread about themed missions and how could just be rolled up into that kind of mission arrangement.

Yes I know that, infact this is actually something I do want. Not something where I'm going to the library or what not, but rather, investigating like batman or Luke Cage, I don't want to scroll through a computer, I want to hit the mean streets of Titan City, and interrogate some punks and piece together a crime scene. Look I'm not saying we should do away with investigation type missions... I'm saying that in a superhero MMO I don't want to investigate through a web browser... I want to investigate like a street level superhero

Cobalt Azurean
Cobalt Azurean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 52 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:39
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

Cobalt Azurean wrote:
notears wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?
It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...
While playing TSW, I almost never used the in-game browser provided. I used the one that Overwolf came with or through Steam or, since I play Windowed, I just tabbed or clicked over to my normal browser and used that instead. The browser isn't really a non-starter as one might think.
As for not being super-heroey, I couldn't disagree more. I love me some pulp era comics, such as The Shadow, which was the basis for later characters such as Batman (as mentioned above), both of which were very much figuring out who was doing what and when for why. Even in current era comics, quite a few street-level superheroes and vigilantes (The Defenders with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, along with Punisher, etc) are usually following the clues or squeezing little bits of info out of thugs and flunkies to try to get the bigger bad guy. It's not always fighting off alien invaders like The Avengers or interdimensional a-holes ala Guardians of the Galaxy where you immediately know who and what the bad guy is and what they're trying to accomplish. So I do think something investigatory could be interesting in CoT.
Now, do I think they need to be instituted the way TSW did? Not really. It would be difficult to implement in such a way and not have people immediately think of how TSW was ripped off. It could be more generic, such as mentioned previously where the hero/villain would overhear a thug say something or drops something or he scribbled it down on his hand etc. Or it could be just as simple as finding a glowie to keep it more in the spirit of CoH/V.
This actually reminds me a bit of Radiac's thread about themed missions and how could just be rolled up into that kind of mission arrangement.
Yes I know that, infact this is actually something I do want. Not something where I'm going to the library or what not, but rather, investigating like batman or Luke Cage, I don't want to scroll through a computer, I want to hit the mean streets of Titan City, and interrogate some punks and piece together a crime scene. Look I'm not saying we should do away with investigation type missions... I'm saying that in a superhero MMO I don't want to investigate through a web browser... I want to investigate like a street level superhero

The web browser was more of an auxiliary tool to find out things that you didn't know, such as Morse code from a very particular and early investigation mission in Kingsmouth of TSW. I don't know Morse code, but what I did use the web browser for was to find an app that would listen to the code and tell me what it said. Sure, I could of just sat there and listen to the beeps and squeaks over and over and over ad nauseum until I eventually got it but I prefer to fight smarter and not harder.

And not to nit-pick a fine point about Batman not using a computer, but he would regularly retire back to the Batcave and use the mainframe there for various tasks, usually corroborating results and going through personal records to find people he could talk to for more information.

But I get it. You want to actually go and do stuff, not sit at a computer while sitting at a computer. And that's fine. But there is something to be said, and I've played TSW and done it, for working your way through a problem without your fists. I kind of relate it to a boss encounter in a tabletop game such as D&D. The reason I say 'encounter' is because it doesn't always have to be a fight. In fact, one of the ex-devs from CoH/V just tweeted that their D&D group talked their way out of two fights as the DM can, and does, offer the occasion where you can charm or intimidate or otherwise coerce your way out of the impending altercation.
Don't get me wrong, I like to crush my enemies and see them driven before me too (ala Conan), but it can be satisfying to use your brains over brawn as well. And I think that option should be afforded to players.

Cobalt Azurean
Cobalt Azurean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 hours 52 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/03/2013 - 16:39
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I thank Cobalt Azurean for the plug.
I think different missions could be more or less investigation intensive and people will or won't do them at their pleasure. I'd like to see some of that, but it doesn;t have to be the whole game either. I'd allow some jump-scare-bearing horror missions too, for the fans of the spooky scary games.

Plug +1.

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Cobalt Azurean wrote:
Cobalt Azurean wrote:

notears wrote:
Cobalt Azurean wrote:
notears wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:
notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?
It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...
While playing TSW, I almost never used the in-game browser provided. I used the one that Overwolf came with or through Steam or, since I play Windowed, I just tabbed or clicked over to my normal browser and used that instead. The browser isn't really a non-starter as one might think.
As for not being super-heroey, I couldn't disagree more. I love me some pulp era comics, such as The Shadow, which was the basis for later characters such as Batman (as mentioned above), both of which were very much figuring out who was doing what and when for why. Even in current era comics, quite a few street-level superheroes and vigilantes (The Defenders with Iron Fist, Luke Cage, along with Punisher, etc) are usually following the clues or squeezing little bits of info out of thugs and flunkies to try to get the bigger bad guy. It's not always fighting off alien invaders like The Avengers or interdimensional a-holes ala Guardians of the Galaxy where you immediately know who and what the bad guy is and what they're trying to accomplish. So I do think something investigatory could be interesting in CoT.
Now, do I think they need to be instituted the way TSW did? Not really. It would be difficult to implement in such a way and not have people immediately think of how TSW was ripped off. It could be more generic, such as mentioned previously where the hero/villain would overhear a thug say something or drops something or he scribbled it down on his hand etc. Or it could be just as simple as finding a glowie to keep it more in the spirit of CoH/V.
This actually reminds me a bit of Radiac's thread about themed missions and how could just be rolled up into that kind of mission arrangement.
Yes I know that, infact this is actually something I do want. Not something where I'm going to the library or what not, but rather, investigating like batman or Luke Cage, I don't want to scroll through a computer, I want to hit the mean streets of Titan City, and interrogate some punks and piece together a crime scene. Look I'm not saying we should do away with investigation type missions... I'm saying that in a superhero MMO I don't want to investigate through a web browser... I want to investigate like a street level superhero
The web browser was more of an auxiliary tool to find out things that you didn't know, such as Morse code from a very particular and early investigation mission in Kingsmouth of TSW. I don't know Morse code, but what I did use the web browser for was to find an app that would listen to the code and tell me what it said. Sure, I could of just sit there and listen to the beeps and squeaks over and over and over ad nauseum until I eventually got it but I prefer to fight smarter and not harder.
And not to nit-pick a fine point about Batman not using a computer, but he would regularly retire back to the Batcave and use the mainframe there for various tasks, usually corroborating results and going through personal records to find people he could talk to for more information.
But I get it. You want to actually go and do stuff, not sit at a computer while sitting at a computer. And that's fine. But there is something to be said, and I've played TSW and done it, for working your way through a problem without your fists. I kind of relate it to a boss encounter in a tabletop game such as D&D. The reason I say 'encounter' is because it doesn't always have to be a fight. In fact, one of the ex-devs from CoH/V just tweeted that their D&D group talked their way out of two fights as the DM can, and does, offer the occasion where you can charm or intimidate or otherwise coerce your way out of the impending altercation.
Don't get me wrong, I like to crush my enemies and see them driven before me too (ala Conan), but it can be satisfying to use your brains over brawn as well. And I think that option should be afforded to players.

Well I'm not saying that I don't want non-combat stuff in the game. Just that I don't want to investigate like sam and dean. You make a good point about the bat computer though... it isn't most of his investigation but it is there...

Greyhawk
Greyhawk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 4 days ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/03/2015 - 19:17
Personally, I really want to

Personally, I really want to be assembling clues that lead to semi-hidden story-based mission arcs. If from time to time those arcs send me searching through city hall records, computer databases, or personal libraries of crusty old books, so much the better! I have been advocating for such missions since the very first time an NPC told me to go gather bits of some animal or carry some book to the wizard in the next town. Why should I, a proactive and intelligent player, be limited to running errands for NPCs? Shouldn't the world itself provide hints and clues I could use to find some hidden treasure, uncover a nest of monsters, and so on? Learning the history of the world should, of course, be part and parcel of this process.

It's an RPG. It's a story that my character is creating with their decisions and actions. That has always been my intent, living out a fictional life in a fictional world.

If I just wanted to bash heads I'd play Street Fighter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My author page at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000APIPZC?ref_=pe_584750_33951330

notears
notears's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 47 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/04/2013 - 17:24
Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Personally, I really want to be assembling clues that lead to semi-hidden story-based mission arcs. If from time to time those arcs send me searching through city hall records, computer databases, or personal libraries of crusty old books, so much the better! I have been advocating for such missions since the very first time an NPC told me to go gather bits of some animal or carry some book to the wizard in the next town. Why should I, a proactive and intelligent player, be limited to running errands for NPCs? Shouldn't the world itself provide hints and clues I could use to find some hidden treasure, uncover a nest of monsters, and so on? Learning the history of the world should, of course, be part and parcel of this process.
It's an RPG. It's a story that my character is creating with their decisions and actions. That has always been my intent, living out a fictional life in a fictional world.
If I just wanted to bash heads I'd play Street Fighter.

this..... I like this...

blacke4dawn
blacke4dawn's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 2 hours ago
Joined: 03/28/2015 - 03:02
notears wrote:
notears wrote:

blacke4dawn wrote:
notears wrote:
Well the encounters should still be as hard as CoX's, unless you're fighting a boss, the minions have to try to take you down with numbers rather than their own strength... I also still think that we should replace the investigation missions with puzzle missions. more times then not I got the walkthrough to the mission rather than researching clues and it never made me feel like sam and dean researching the monster of the week, but that I was just following specific steps...
And exactly what do you think will be gained by having puzzles instead of investigations since any possible solution to those puzzles will be equally accessible?
It won't be as easy to access them since it does not require a web browser implemented into the game. Plus it's more superheroey.... having investigation type missions in a superhero MMO makes about as much sense as having investigation missions in LOTR mmo... superhero fiction tends to not be set in our world unless your trying to deconstruct the genre... why would we be researching our own worlds history in a world that has a very different history to it...

After having read all comments between the one I quoted and this one it seems that you want a much more hands-on/active style of "investigation" that is actually done in the game world rather than just searching on the web (in-game browser or not is irrelevant), am I correct?
If so then I'm all for it. I have nothing against puzzles/investigations when their implementation feel like a natural part of the game. Due to the structuring and background of TSW it did make sense and felt fairly natural in there for their implementation, but for CoT such an implementation would feel completely out of place so using one that keeps you completely within the game-world and relies more on interaction than straight up reading would be a much better choice.

ConundrumofFurballs
ConundrumofFurballs's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 53 min ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 16:03
Greyhawk wrote:
Greyhawk wrote:

Personally, I really want to be assembling clues that lead to semi-hidden story-based mission arcs. If from time to time those arcs send me searching through city hall records, computer databases, or personal libraries of crusty old books, so much the better!

We have these, to some extent. They're not really "hidden" missions and arcs, but the general type of missions do exist. For now, the clues are "assembled" in a pre-determined order, and typically unlock otherwise hidden objectives rather than missions. We do have a bunch involving some searching through records kinds of things, including some databases and filing cabinets (city hall, PD stations, etc.).

That's all I can say at this time. Please, be assured that we do want to have a wide variety of content, this type included, but we can only do so much with the people we have due to time constraints from life and everything else.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Conundrum of Furballs

Composition Team, Staff Writer

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
Something I had mentioned in

Something I had mentioned in a post in another thread long ago was the idea that you need more tools at your disposal than CoX had to make better, more varied content. CoX had "defeat the boss" and "defeat all the mobs" and "click the glowwie" and that was about it.

In GW2, there are objects you can pick up, walk around carrying, throw, drop, use (if it's a gun, you can shoot it, if it's a torch, you might be able to walk over to a pile of wood and start a campfire with it, if it's a shovel, you can dig, probably in a designated spot, etc). There are also dialog boxes that pop up and can present options, which CoX had but didn't use as extensively.

I would like to see the ability to make decisions using dialog boxes with multiple choices, 3D assets as objects that can be interacted with in ways more than just clicking on it, and the ability to maybe type in a password or alphanumeric code for some missions. That way instead of "find and click the glowwie" it could be "defeat mobs until one of them tells you the secret code, then use that when you click the glowwie, and be careful, because it might be a fake code" etc.

In GW2 the objects you pick up overwrite your 1-5 skill keys, often with fewer skills. You might be carrying a rock and the one skill it gives you is "throw" while all of your 2-5 skills are now blank because you're not wielding your weapons. Since CoT won't require hardware to determine your skill shortcuts, you could just make those carried objects the stuff of temp powers. By the same token, they could, and in some cases probably should limit the animations and maybe even grey out some of your powers while you're burdened with them. Not all objects, but some of them. Like it should be a possibility that you can use your attacks while holding a large rock, metal girder, etc in both hands.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

zyric
zyric's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/18/2014 - 06:21
I think COH did a good job at

I think COH did a good job at not writing your story for you but provided enough story arcs to help you write it. Complete freeform games just don't do it for me. I play RPGs and MMORPGs because of the stories, and the character development. To me a good RPG or MMORPG is like reading a good novel that I helped write. One thing COH did well was give me a lot of branches in the story I was writing. Am I going to help this contact and take on the Circle of Thorns or this one over here against the Nemesis. Another thing that was nice, was the random NPC chatter based on the quest and accomplishments you did. What I didn't like, was that to get the SO's you needed you had to fight certain types of mobs which forced you not take certain arcs based solely on the fact all of the loot would be useless. From what I understand this will not be the case with COT so that issue has already been solved. Another thing, which has already been mentioned, that bugged me was that you could out level a contact before you talked to him, and thus could never get the arcs he offered. I'm not really sure how to handle this because of the way contacts were opened up. Maybe have all arcs that are accessible through a contact also be accessible from a random lead? Just a thought.

So basically I think if COT had a system similar to the way COH did theirs and then through in a couple of more modern concepts, like the lead system they have talked about along with an event system like what GW2 or Rift has, I think they would have a good story/lore balance. Oh, and what I mean by an event system is that GW2 and Rift have one time events that span multiple days or even weeks. It keeps things ever changing and exciting. I like this better than holiday events because holiday events get a bit tedious after a while. Especially if you have been playing for 3 or 4 years and every Christmas you have the same exact event with maybe one minor change. How many times do you really want to watch the same play about Bilbo, kill the treants and harvest mushrooms?

ConundrumofFurballs
ConundrumofFurballs's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 53 min ago
Developerkickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 12/05/2012 - 16:03
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

In GW2, there are objects you can pick up, walk around carrying, throw, drop, use (if it's a gun, you can shoot it, if it's a torch, you might be able to walk over to a pile of wood and start a campfire with it, if it's a shovel, you can dig, probably in a designated spot, etc).

The objects and things to pick up, carry around, etc., those are things that need additional code, last time I checked (someone from tech can correct me here).

Radiac wrote:

There are also dialog boxes that pop up and can present options, which CoX had but didn't use as extensively.

We have plans for this. Sometimes it's a choice with a true effect, sometimes only a dialogue effect, sometimes no effect, but there are lots and lots and lots of choices, both through dialogue and action.

Radiac wrote:

I would like to see the ability to make decisions using dialog boxes with multiple choices, 3D assets as objects that can be interacted with in ways more than just clicking on it, and the ability to maybe type in a password or alphanumeric code for some missions. That way instead of "find and click the glowwie" it could be "defeat mobs until one of them tells you the secret code, then use that when you click the glowwie, and be careful, because it might be a fake code" etc.

The dialogue boxes are definitely there. See previous comment. Objects with more types of interactions need more code, I believe. Entering codes is, I believe, planned for after launch.

Radiac wrote:

In GW2 the objects you pick up overwrite your 1-5 skill keys, often with fewer skills. You might be carrying a rock and the one skill it gives you is "throw" while all of your 2-5 skills are now blank because you're not wielding your weapons. Since CoT won't require hardware to determine your skill shortcuts, you could just make those carried objects the stuff of temp powers. By the same token, they could, and in some cases probably should limit the animations and maybe even grey out some of your powers while you're burdened with them. Not all objects, but some of them. Like it should be a possibility that you can use your attacks while holding a large rock, metal girder, etc in both hands.

Power replacements, well, I'm not sure about this at all. This would be a gameplay question, and one that I don't know if it has even been discussed.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Conundrum of Furballs

Composition Team, Staff Writer

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
One thing I think would be

One thing I think would be awesome is if there were a park somewhere where you have a chess board laid out on the ground in tiles or something and you could move actual chess pieces around and play chess, just by picking up and dropping the pieces. The Rooks have a chess theme, so that might be a good thingy for their home area maybe. Heck, you could even have a series of different chess boards across the city and have different A.I.s playing the opponent, and then make it a badge for beating all of the Titan City chess masters, starting with the easiest one and working up to the boss of bosses grand master. Or maybe a badge for each master and an Accolade for beating them all. Just thinking out loud. If you don't change the code for the A.I. , people will eventually figure out a set of rote moves to win those games with and post them on the internet anyway.

As far as suppressing powers while holding an object, I mean, CoX had power suppression while doing various things, right? It might be necessary to allow the game to turn people's powers off for various reasons, so I'd at least look inotr that as a design feature for some areas, or when holding a large object in two hands, etc. Maybe even have power suppression while using long distance travel powers, I don't know.

OOH! You could also have a large deck of playing cards someplace with a "shuffle" function and people could play freecell or memory with it.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 49 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

OOH! You could also have a large deck of playing cards someplace with a "shuffle" function and people could play freecell or memory with it.

Or have game stores in the city where you could go play Magic or other collectible card games. We could have this MMO game sponsored by WotC lol.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Radiac
Radiac's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 hours ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/19/2013 - 15:12
There are database tools that

There are database tools that allow you as a programmer to link to actual magic card art from your website or whatever. Many websites use it for various deckbuilding and other purposes. There are cellphone apps. That said, yes I do talk about Magic too much :P

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

Lothic
Lothic's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 hour 49 min ago
kickstarter11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 10/02/2013 - 00:27
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

That said, yes I do talk about Magic too much :P

That's fine. I think we still have like 10,000 mint never-played MtG cards in a closet somewhere from when we mostly collected them like 20 years ago. I'm sure 9,900 of them aren't worth crap now but there may still be a few dozen in that mix worth $50-100 each. One of these days we'll rifle through them and see if we have enough value to retire on or not lol.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Nadira
Offline
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 01/01/2014 - 13:25
Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Something I had mentioned in a post in another thread long ago was the idea that you need more tools at your disposal than CoX had to make better, more varied content. CoX had "defeat the boss" and "defeat all the mobs" and "click the glowwie" and that was about it.

This indeed.
It also was part of the point I was trying to make with describing how versatile the quest system of The Secret World is (and why it is held up by many professionals as one of the best still, for sheer variability)

You can have goal oriented combat missions (like the ones in CoH), but this can be extended to 'go to a target area', 'get item from mob', 'deliver item to mob' (the infamous fed-ex mission)
Related to these are the gather missions, which can be environmental (usually resource gathering from crafting nodes if the game has them), ground spawns or loot based. And of course a mob can give something as reward for interaction, or as a trade item. (SW:TOR has several climbing puzzles that require a specific item that is store bought).
You can have crafting related missions, either directly if the game has a separate crafting sphere (with its own progression, reward and currency system), or to create specific items an npc ask for.
You can have missions that require temporary powers (disguises, special attack abilities, hacking tools, magic, etc. The creativity of the writer is the only real limit here as long as it fits the theme). These powers can be granted by the quest, or can be the result of picking up tools or crafting them.
Then you have environmental quests, of which interactive ones are a subset. These are centered on interacting with the game world in a non-violent way. This can be going to a place, activating a static item, picking something up or dropping something. Again, these are usually story heavy and can be used to tie or bridge missions to the zone, making the world feel a little more immersive. The Secret World kind of pioneered this type of mission and uses it a lot to good effect.
Interactive missions are mostly talking to an NPC (or sometimes to a computer). Done poorly it becomes an info dump, but in games with a more robust conversation system (or where it is a mini game) this can be a mini puzzle with a reward or mission progression at the end of succesfully navigating the conversation tree. BIoware games tend to use these a lot, but generally relatively poorly because most choices amount to the same. Elder Scrolls tend to have this as a crude mini game where you can convince npcs to act in certain ways. Vanguard SOH had a more elaborate diplomacy mini game in the form of a collectable card game (which actually was surprisingly fun and got very deep very quickly).
For a superhero themed game this is where you want to place a lot of your effort at fleshing out the investigation and interrogation part of your mission system (unless you want to reduce it to the COH and GW2 stand by of 'beat up bad guys until the nth spills the secret' which is not very heroic if you ask me). This means as a designer you may want to invest in an actual conversation system that is more complicated than a shallow branching tree, and studying how detective work, CSI and interrogations work in reality might give a clue how to design a fun system that is not too difficult to learn but has enough depth to be interesting to master).
Another subset of environmental missions are the stealth missions. Here the task is not to interact with the environment but rather to avoid that. This can be simple enough (avoid the brightly lit spot in front of the camera, learn the pattern and dash from dark spot to dark spot). but they can also be emergent. E.g. The Secret World has an area in one of its early zones that is a forest filled with monsters that are slightly more powerful than most players are at that point. They also have the nasty habit of regularly perform a dash attack that stuns the player if they don't get out of the dash area, while others throw an immobilising effect. These monsters have an assist radius that is considerably larger than their aggro one. Most missions only touch the edges of this area but two are found in the middle of this forest. Players now have a choice to dash through and hope they make it, fight their way through (but this is dangerous because the longer you fight the bigger the chance that a roamer will come wihtin the assist radius and join in. Or the player treats it as a stealth mission and tries to weave between the monsters until they reach the safe area in the middle. There is nothing in the mechanics that makes getting there a stealth mission, but the environment (location and combinations of abilities of the monsters) make it a natural reaction for most players to treat it as such.

There is more that can be said about mission design, but what I would like to conclude with is that a modest increase in triggers in a quest system can lead to a huge variety in missions, and that paying attention to the environment and how it interacts, can lead to more variet missions, as well as ones that are more rooted in the game world and lore (and create emergent missions that require very little resources by the developers).

Empyrean
Empyrean's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 hours 6 min ago
11th Anniversary Badge
Joined: 03/16/2014 - 07:51
zyric wrote:
zyric wrote:

I think COH did a good job at not writing your story for you but provided enough story arcs to help you write it. Complete freeform games just don't do it for me. I play RPGs and MMORPGs because of the stories, and the character development. To me a good RPG or MMORPG is like reading a good novel that I helped write. One thing COH did well was give me a lot of branches in the story I was writing.

Agreed.

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

Pages