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Project Vex: A First Step

Project Vex is currently in the design phase. This web-log is dedicated to my thoughts, theories, and progress in relation to Project Vex. I invite everyone to take a look and donate a few thoughts. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Author: Velexia

Chaos and PvP, with some Death on the side.

Posted by Velexia Thursday March 19 2009 at 3:42AM
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Project Vex is a game that makes use of Permanent Death.  Additionally, Player versus Player combat is unrestricted.

There is a problem here, which, if not fixed would likely cause Project Vex to wither, never reaching its full potential.

The first step, is to divide players into two groups -- those who wish to engage in combat, and those who do not.

The mechanic for this shall be fairly easy:  If your weapon is drawn (or you are unarmed, but in a combat ready stance), you are fair game for anyone.  If you have had your weapon drawn or been in a combat ready stance recently (as of yet undetermined length of time possibly around 15 seconds) you are still fair game.  If not, you are considered a non-combatant, or no threat. 

Attacking a player who poses no threat is still possible, however... a character must be penalized in some way that does not interfere with other game mechanics if they kill the other player who posed no threat.

I have considered branding the character as a murderer (permanently), however, an assassin type should be able to kill their target and still somehow manage to get away with it, without being permanently branded as a murderer, along with various other scenarios.

Now mind you, you can defeat a player without killing them, and the majority of  the time, that is how battles will play out.  Thus, a murder is only committed when the other player dies, not  when they are defeated.

There is also cause for concern in relation to a character purposefully keeping their weapons sheathed and instigating a battle, drawing their weapon only after the fight has begun to brand the other character as a murderer, should they lose.  This can easily be fixed by determining a murder to be the death of a character that began the fight unarmed, not in a combat stance, and ended unarmed, not in a combat stance for the last few seconds (~15 seconds?).

Assuming the above mechanic works well enough, we are back to the concern of consequences for murder that do not interfere with other game mechanics.

Perhaps the use of a disguise, given enough ability in the "skill" could allow a player to temporarily hide their "murderer" status?

 

The Full PvP aspect of the game, and the Permanent Death are not likely to change, so I would like to focus any commentary/discussion regarding this on how to best handle the madness that results from completely free PvP, thanks.

-Vex

 

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A few things I feel I should add:

You can never be branded as a Murderer in your own community for killing a character outside of the territory of your character's community (kingdom, lair, self, etc.).

There are no levels in Project Vex, and generally speaking, no character is ever impossible to defeat by any other.

Items and wealth are fairly easy to acquire in Project Vex.

 

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Ah, and also:  NPCs will react to a character branded as a murderer if their fame / infamy is high enough. 


Regarding that, a character's fame / infamy is a hidden score based upon their quantity of (ir)reputable acts.  Players will be unaware of a character's brand as a murderer if the character's fame / infamy is low enough.  A character with a high "skill" in something akin to local knowledge will have a higher chance of being aware of a murderer status.


Characters must still deal with a high disguise-type "skill" to recognize a character at all.

 

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Another note:  The effect of killing another character branded as a murderer is still undecided.  It may be based upon the community; some seeing murder of a murderer as just, while others only allowing "authorities" to properly deal with murderers.

All in all, it seems that how a murderer is dealt with is entirely subjective.  Perhaps I need to come up with an entirely different system for limiting PvP?  I am as of yet, unsure.

Sovereign797 writes:

Hi Vex.  I like your ideas on permanent death.  I've always been a fan of the mechanic and realize that you really do have to build your game around the possibility or it would never work.  Blizzard couldn't just add it tomorrow.

Anyway, as you have said, defeating someone doesn't necessarily kill them.  I like that and it should be a separate and willful act on its own to kill the player. 

How 'defeated' would a player be?  Fully incapactitated? Would they still be able to run (perhaps faster because of adrenaline?) to avoid the killing blow, making it harder and require even more planning to kill someone? 

Also on Assassins, if you're to have a class of that kind, it shouldn't be readily apparent that someone is an assassin.  If you can see someone's class they should show as something else.  Perhaps the assassin would also have to spend money or skill to hide their deed.  When a murder is comitted, it is a matter of time and investigation as to whether someone is found out or not.  The assassin should have to spend some time via a quest, or spend some of his skill to hide each and every unlawful kill.

Hope this helps

Sat Mar 21 2009 9:01AM Report
mixcael writes:

nice, where did you get the idea? gothic2 perhaps?

Sat Mar 21 2009 1:00PM Report
Velexia writes:

A player that is defeated is temporarily incapacitated and at the mercy of their opponent. There are several spiritual aspects in Project Vex that pay attention to the actions of the players. Murdering a character attracts the attention of aspects that relish in Murder, which in most circumstances is a bad aspect to garner the favor of. Allowing a character to live after defeating them grants the favor of an Aspect of Mercy. Aspects will influence the actions of NPCs around you. A simple example would be: The Aspect of Mercy wold influence NPCs to let you live, or may not even bother you, while the Aspect of Murder influences the NPCs to consider murdering you. I have not yet worked on how the Aspects will influence the actions of the PCs, but it is definitely on the table.

A character in Project Vex is able to change classes as they see fit. Equipment and gear is not class specific, basically just custom tailored by the player to fit the kind of character they are creating. Not only can you not see the class of another character, you can only see the name they want you to see, and only if they talk in character chat. The character name can be changed at will (the player name however is static, but not directly linked to the character name).

Basically the way I have it set up currently is this: When you kill another character, PC or NPC in cold blood, you are marked as a Murderer. Theoretically, anyone can see that you are a murderer, however you can have several skills to prevent the characters from seeing this. First, each kill witnessed by another character (they have to witness the killer, not the victim) gives you points of Infamy. To hide your infamy, you can use skills along the lines of disguise and other forms of subterfuge. Other characters can counteract this with detective style skills and general knowledge of the local area. The more infamy you have, the more likely that a character will recognize you for the killer that you are. The default rules will be: Killing a character that you know to be a murderer will not brand you as a murderer yourself, however if they 'are' a murderer, but you don't know it, you will be deemed a murderer (if a character learns that another character is a murderer, they can alert other characters nearby). There may possibly be an option with player controlled governments to allow only law law enforcement (guards and such) to deal with murderers. Also, a character with especially high Fame is subject to being easily recognized as a murderer as well.

Hopefully this system will be enough to keep Project Vex from being one massive bloodbath, while still allowing for entertaining things such as assassins.

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This idea is basically just my brainchild, which arises from all of my various experiences; I couldn't pin it on just one thing, but definitely not Gothic II.  I never played the game.  I did play Gothic, but only very briefly.

Sun Mar 22 2009 12:17AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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