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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Preffered Spawn system?

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  Jean-Luc_Picard

Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2724

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7/28/13 4:49:20 AM#21
Originally posted by Rydeson
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard
A spawn system that relies on an ecosystem, and not simply on an infinite supply of rats/wolves/dragons to kill.

     hmm I like that idea as well..  Similar to another thread in which I would love to see day/night cycle and weather have an effect on mobs.. I assume your idea is like wolves eating rabbits, so if I keep killing the supply of wolves, rabbits might start to over populate? and so on and so on?

Yep, pretty much. Eventually, a new colony of wolves or other predators would come, lured by the massive availability of rabbits (and of the other wolf prey).

Also, in the surroundings, quests would be generated automatically and dynamically depending on the ecosystem. E.g. if there are too many wolves who eat the villager's sheep, the farmer will ask for help. But if you pass through the village again a week later, you can be almost sure the available quests would be totally different since the surroundings would have changed. Intelligent NPC (Orcs, Goblins, Bandits, etc...) would migrate too, the village could then be threatened by a Orc colony which stopped in the nearby forest because of the abundance of food (rabbits!) and start to threated and harrass the villagers, and the quests in the village would relate to that. Ultimately wiping out the Orc camp would require an equally big player group ( or even raid), you couldn't do that solo just like in many other MMOs, but quests would also include solo/small group stuff like hunting the orc scouts and hunters attacking the villagers and their cattle.

I have a ton of word documents I wrote over the years about designing a dynamic world MMO - I've even made some tests using Neverwinter Nights and got some quite fun and working results. One conclusion I came to is that there still needs moderate amounts of "artificial" spawning to keep some areas populated, but they mix just fine with the dynamic ecosystem.

Playing now: Archeage, WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3272

7/28/13 4:52:23 AM#22
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Axehilt

Instancing is important to both, as it controls the number of players able to fight the encounter at one time, ensuring the encounter is balanced to be the correct amount of challenge.  Without challenge, players decisions become meaningless and there is no game.
 

I disagree.  I think developer-tweaked challenges are over-rated and that as long as you have open-ended challenges and at least a few available with mechanics that scale faster than linearly with the number of attackers, then choosing your optimal group size and challenge is a meaningful decision.

Instances are a powerful tool for giving people nice measurable packages of content, but the level of challenge is actually the least interesting part to me.

     I so so so agree with this.. Every game I've played that uses instances has developed the drama of "optimal" group for killing and farming..  People will min/max EVERYTHING to get the most for their effort.. Even EQ ran into this problem in the post PoP era.. When I left WoW, most of the raids were done this way as well..  I'd like to leave instancing out of MMO all together.. :)

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3272

7/28/13 4:59:09 AM#23
Originally posted by Helleri

btw, sorry to all for post #12 I got a little carried away there.

@Maplestone, ty for the clarification on the gauntlet thing.

General Question at this point:

What is an aspect of a spawn system in a game that you never want to see repeated and why? (not to hard press for a focus on the negative but rephrasing it here from my Op as we have not gotten to that yet).

     I never want to see a spawn system like Rift where mobs are every 3 feet..  SWTOR open land zones had a good mix, and GW2 was close but still a little heavy on density.. I can understand a wolves den having 10 wolves in the area, but to have a wolf every 3 feet for a mile is sorta silly.. lol

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3272

7/28/13 5:06:16 AM#24
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

One conclusion I came to is that there still needs moderate amounts of "artificial" spawning to keep some areas populated, but they mix just fine with the dynamic ecosystem.

     Agree, it's why I mentioned that I like to see at least a certain level of fixed spawn, on a fixed timer..  We, or at least I don't want to run into extinction problems.. lol   As much as I love ALL the ideas being discussed on this topic, one thing worries me.. Is it possible with the skill of devs to put much of this into code without a HUGE world fill with bugs left and right..  I remember my days in SWG.. OMFG, the nest and missions were bugged left and right.. So much so, that it was a game breaker..

  Jean-Luc_Picard

Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2724

There... are... four... lights!

7/28/13 5:17:30 AM#25
Originally posted by Rydeson
Originally posted by Jean-Luc_Picard

One conclusion I came to is that there still needs moderate amounts of "artificial" spawning to keep some areas populated, but they mix just fine with the dynamic ecosystem.

     Agree, it's why I mentioned that I like to see at least a certain level of fixed spawn, on a fixed timer..  We, or at least I don't want to run into extinction problems.. lol   As much as I love ALL the ideas being discussed on this topic, one thing worries me.. Is it possible with the skill of devs to put much of this into code without a HUGE world fill with bugs left and right..  I remember my days in SWG.. OMFG, the nest and missions were bugged left and right.. So much so, that it was a game breaker..

What migrating mobs also allow is to make those "fixed" spawns which are intended to maintain a minimum population outside of the view of the player, and then the mobs would move in the area. It would avoid the "pop in your face" spawns, which I always found awfully immersion breaking.

The main idea I explored is to create a world where you had little chance to find exactly the same situation twice. Imagine never seeing the same thing than on your previous characters when "leveling" (or more "skilling up", since my model would be skill based like UO) an alt, because the world is really constantly changing.

Playing now: Archeage, WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO and GW2.

"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/28/13 6:45:06 AM#26
Originally posted by maplestone

I disagree.  I think developer-tweaked challenges are over-rated and that as long as you have open-ended challenges and at least a few available with mechanics that scale faster than linearly with the number of attackers, then choosing your optimal group size and challenge is a meaningful decision.

Instances are a powerful tool for giving people nice measurable packages of content, but the level of challenge is actually the least interesting part to me.

That only works for players who completely don't care about challenge.  I don't think that's a particularly large audience, since games which provide the Sweet Spot of Challenge (which varies by player) is one of the cornerstones of good game design.  If something is too easy, it's boring.  If something is too hard, it's frustrating.  If something is just right (in the sweet spot), it's a fun game.

So anytime more than 6 players can fight a mob designed for 6 players, they undermine that gameplay and bypass a game's natural Challenge vs. Reward relationship.  Normally fighting that mob with 6 players involves a certain amount of skill, but when 12 players fight it it requires less than half that amount of skill.

Now once that becomes the normal way you fight that 6-man mob (to use 12 players) the game just completely fails to offer an interesting challenge and nearly all players become bored very quickly because it trivializes the entire game: where once you cared about rotation, mob abilities, your gear, and your role, now you just spam the most basic of attacks and all of those surrounding game systems aren't important.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/28/13 6:49:21 AM#27
Originally posted by rounner

Yeah, balance goes against the principle of variety and surprise.

This whole discussion assumes things don't deviate from the current standard that much. For example, why we are killing farm animals, or that we are killing things for typical  rewards such as xp or mats.

Balance is actually required for a surprise to be impactful.  If a boss is designed for 6 players and 12 fight it because there aren't limits on player count, then an ambush of additional mobs isn't a "surprise" -- it barely affects the fight at all.  With 12 players, the fight had already been trivially easy, and now it's still trivially easy.

But if only 6 players were fighting (balance), then additional mobs take a tense situation and draw it tighter in a way which is very noticeable.

You need that tension in game mechanics, or all the systems fall apart and become meaningless.  A game which used to be about delicate, tactical decision-making falls apart and becomes a mindless spam of the most basic attacks and heals, because there isn't any challenge to the fights.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3272

7/28/13 7:10:32 AM#28
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by rounner

Yeah, balance goes against the principle of variety and surprise.

This whole discussion assumes things don't deviate from the current standard that much. For example, why we are killing farm animals, or that we are killing things for typical  rewards such as xp or mats.

Balance is actually required for a surprise to be impactful.  If a boss is designed for 6 players and 12 fight it because there aren't limits on player count, then an ambush of additional mobs isn't a "surprise" -- it barely affects the fight at all.  With 12 players, the fight had already been trivially easy, and now it's still trivially easy.

But if only 6 players were fighting (balance), then additional mobs take a tense situation and draw it tighter in a way which is very noticeable.

You need that tension in game mechanics, or all the systems fall apart and become meaningless.  A game which used to be about delicate, tactical decision-making falls apart and becomes a mindless spam of the most basic attacks and heals, because there isn't any challenge to the fights.

     Not so Axe.. You miss one very important thing when talking about gaming and group content.. YOU assume everyone is equal to the challenge and that isn't the case..  I don't consider myself a pro by any standard, but I am good at what I do, very good.. I can definitely hold my own in any role except tank.. LOL 

     One thing that frost my ass in today's gaming, especially instance games is that I have friends that do not excel in the combat area..  For example, I can log on to my friends character and set it up to do 3,000 dps (which is above average) but soon as my friend logs back on to join us in the dungeon, they have a hard time doing 1,500 dps..... So now what?   Are you suggesting that I stop playing with my friends that lack the skill to maximize their character?  I come from the aspects that if I have guild mates and friends that are less then optimal I'll just get MORE to pick up the slack..  That my friend is called social gaming..   I never refuse or turn down another player because they don't meat the threshold.. WoW was notorious for this.. I can't begin to count how many times I had raid members that fall into that category of less then optimal, and because of the raid limit size, our raids failed.. BULLSHIT is what I say.. If I have 1 or 2 members that aren't combat focused, I should be allowed to pick another player or two to pick up the slack..

     MMO's should be social, where NO one person is told to GO HOME because they can't carry their weight.. Not play this Esport instance mentality that seems to run wild..

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/28/13 12:04:29 PM#29
Originally posted by Rydeson

     Not so Axe.. You miss one very important thing when talking about gaming and group content.. YOU assume everyone is equal to the challenge and that isn't the case..  I don't consider myself a pro by any standard, but I am good at what I do, very good.. I can definitely hold my own in any role except tank.. LOL 

     One thing that frost my ass in today's gaming, especially instance games is that I have friends that do not excel in the combat area..  For example, I can log on to my friends character and set it up to do 3,000 dps (which is above average) but soon as my friend logs back on to join us in the dungeon, they have a hard time doing 1,500 dps..... So now what?   Are you suggesting that I stop playing with my friends that lack the skill to maximize their character?  I come from the aspects that if I have guild mates and friends that are less then optimal I'll just get MORE to pick up the slack..  That my friend is called social gaming..   I never refuse or turn down another player because they don't meat the threshold.. WoW was notorious for this.. I can't begin to count how many times I had raid members that fall into that category of less then optimal, and because of the raid limit size, our raids failed.. BULLSHIT is what I say.. If I have 1 or 2 members that aren't combat focused, I should be allowed to pick another player or two to pick up the slack..

     MMO's should be social, where NO one person is told to GO HOME because they can't carry their weight.. Not play this Esport instance mentality that seems to run wild..

If there's no point to anything you're doing because the game is going to give you a trophy just for participating, what's the point of playing the game?

At the end of the day, everyone wants there to be some content balance at their personal sweet spot of challenge.

  • If it's too easy, it's boring.
  • If it's just right, it's fun.  (sweet spot)
  • If it's too hard, it's frustrating.
This extends to group skill as well, implying you should always be able to find dungeons which are fitting of your group's overall skill (including your friends who aren't as good.)
 
We're talking about RPGs so it's not like a social raid isn't going to be able to find content to do.  There will be lower level or easy-mode raids to do.  But if even the hardest raids let players just over-fill them with players, the game ceases to have any meaning because victory is handed out for free.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/28/13 1:44:02 PM#30
Originally posted by Axehilt

  • If it's too easy, it's boring.

It's not that I think you are wrong about this, it's that I think you are too focused on this one element of a much larger picture.

Even if you engineer the perfect difficulty that is right on the edge of my personal sweet spot, if you keep giving it to me, it gets bland.  An MMO needs texture, it needs punctuation.  To get great memories, you need contrast, you need moments that stand out from the background routine.

Look at this way: good, memorable battles are the loot of the exploration side of game.

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

 
OP  7/28/13 2:48:46 PM#31

Seems like things are getting a bit off topic (it's about spawn systems, not how people should be treated and why). I don't want this to degrade into arguing over weather players deserve to be included regardless of merit. That is not what this thread is intended for. Lets please try to steer this back on topic. Because, as it stands it  is using spawn system discussion as a plank to walk off into an ocean of other stuff.

 

 

 


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  KBishop

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/13
Posts: 205

7/28/13 4:28:58 PM#32

I prefer the spawn type where I can control when I spawn something and get on with my life.

I had spawns with a respawn time. I hate respawns with a window. I hate spawns that there is only one of at a time which cuts off how many people can kill it.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

7/28/13 7:52:31 PM#33
Originally posted by maplestone

It's not that I think you are wrong about this, it's that I think you are too focused on this one element of a much larger picture.

Even if you engineer the perfect difficulty that is right on the edge of my personal sweet spot, if you keep giving it to me, it gets bland.  An MMO needs texture, it needs punctuation.  To get great memories, you need contrast, you need moments that stand out from the background routine.

Look at this way: good, memorable battles are the loot of the exploration side of game.

First, the sweet spot is a range of difficulty and not precisely the same difficulty each time.  Looks like someone threw together a convenient chart of it recently for some Firefall post: image.  It's a little weird to graph it as Difficulty vs. Skill, but it's basically the same idea.

Second, in RPGs there will naturally be a cycle to the challenge.  You'll fight mobs which will progressively get harder, then you'll level and they'll be very easy for a while, but as you keep progressing and fighting harder mobs it gets tough again, then you level...Even with a system dynamically adjusting difficulty, this is going to be the case because that system will likely be driven by one factor (like level) while the player's strength is the result of many factors (like level and gear,) so the end result is still a cycle.

Third, shitty battles are going to happen anyway -- even without the system trying to serve up an appropriate challenge.  For example, there are some truly epic down-to-the-wire overtime rounds I've had in TF2.  This can only happen in a match where both teams were nearly balanced in skill.  Similarly in PVE, some the most memorable fights were the ones where your 25 man kills the boss right as he hard-enrages, or when I was the tank and last man standing when I killed the boss.  The fights where we wipe (too hard) or where we facerolled (too easy) the boss just automatically happen on account of players not always playing at exactly the same skill.

But the good fights -- the really close ones; the memorable ones -- happen most frequently when the boss is perfectly suited to the raid's gear and skill level.

  Helleri

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Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

 
OP  8/03/13 12:16:35 AM#34

We have been over items, and individual monsters, mobs and bosses, timers etc...But, there is one thing I would like to touch on before letting this thread die...The Player and Spawning. Rather, The penalties for player death and methods of player Re-spawning.

 

Should players have ghosts? What about on the spot or near to goal resurrections? Should death penalties be harsher for PvP or PVE; or consistent across both? Is loosing a portion of experience fair? How do you feel about loosing items? How should all this work?

 

Plenty of good questions in there to address that didn't get looked at here in any depth, yet.


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  iixviiiix

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 479

8/03/13 12:39:20 AM#35
Originally posted by Helleri

We have been over items, and individual monsters, mobs and bosses, timers etc...But, there is one thing I would like to touch on before letting this thread die...The Player and Spawning. Rather, The penalties for player death and methods of player Re-spawning.

 

Should players have ghosts? What about on the spot or near to goal resurrections? Should death penalties be harsher for PvP or PVE; or consistent across both? Is loosing a portion of experience fair? How do you feel about loosing items? How should all this work?

 

Plenty of good questions in there to address that didn't get looked at here in any depth, yet.

Ghosts part may fun but i don't think it should , just normal return to nearest town are best lol.

As for death penalties , i don't think lost experience are good idea. It make game pointless longer and annoying.

item dura lost or broken sound better.

Repair cost and new item purchase are good for in game economy gold sink.

Reasonable consume are better than lost something.

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

 
OP  8/03/13 1:40:04 AM#36

I can understand experience loss from a death, granting it seems fair and is useful. If I die before reaching a next level. It seems to make sense that my character would not deserve to keep as much experience as it would had I kept it alive. For sure I don't like loosing all of my experience earned between leveling if my character dies. And, I don't like de-leveling if I die to much.

 

But, I think I would rather loose a little experience from a single death or two, in order to show me that I am out of my depth then to have to repair or replace an item. Earning a little experience back seems easier on me then having to give up some of my earned wealth. But, others might feel they would rather loose experience and have to fix a few items.

 

I think I might most appreciate a death screen option of what to loose and what to keep. If I can see an item is near breaking because I forgot to repair it and my most recent death will push it over the edge and make the repair of the item cost a lot more or force my hand in getting an all new version of that item, I might elect to loose experience instead. If my items were full repair, and it was a lag death near gaining a level, I might want to take the penalty to my repair status. I feel like I would enjoy having the option in any case.


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  iixviiiix

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/04/13
Posts: 479

8/03/13 6:33:52 AM#37
Originally posted by Helleri

I can understand experience loss from a death, granting it seems fair and is useful. If I die before reaching a next level. It seems to make sense that my character would not deserve to keep as much experience as it would had I kept it alive. For sure I don't like loosing all of my experience earned between leveling if my character dies. And, I don't like de-leveling if I die to much.

 

But, I think I would rather loose a little experience from a single death or two, in order to show me that I am out of my depth then to have to repair or replace an item. Earning a little experience back seems easier on me then having to give up some of my earned wealth. But, others might feel they would rather loose experience and have to fix a few items.

 

I think I might most appreciate a death screen option of what to loose and what to keep. If I can see an item is near breaking because I forgot to repair it and my most recent death will push it over the edge and make the repair of the item cost a lot more or force my hand in getting an all new version of that item, I might elect to loose experience instead. If my items were full repair, and it was a lag death near gaining a level, I might want to take the penalty to my repair status. I feel like I would enjoy having the option in any case.

In some old game , "little experience" take 2-4 days or weeks to fill, and in those time , you drop behind people in your group. lol

But more important

Since designer still often use old level system , i think lost exp are troublesome

 with current quest hubs MMOs design , lost a lots exp can broken game design. They design only 3 quest  for 1 level, if you die 2 time then you don't have enough exp for next level (design broken).

You can still play and have fun with weaker gears , but have to add more labor than design aren't good.

 

Just my personal though , the "hard" in case of broken/lost gears are more are more than casual exp lost. And it fair for everyone than just exp lost , it mean the more power you hold (power of your gears lol) the more you lost when you die (gears broken).

It give player more option to chose when face challenge , face it with normal gears (less loss) or face it with powerful gears (great loss)

  exdeathbr

Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/05
Posts: 120

8/04/13 5:10:38 PM#38

maybe something like this could work

specific monsters on a area spawn on some invisible circle with some area

after every x hours, the system get the position of the monsters and their initial position and do some average to see how much they moved from their starting position (even if the position they are now is still inside the invisible circle).

the game then after it,  move the circle position a little based on how much the monsters moved from their original position.

if some monster die before the hours run out, the position that he died counts as where he was, to calculate the averare I said before.

  Helleri

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/26/08
Posts: 766

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”- Henry Ford

 
OP  8/07/13 7:03:11 PM#39

And, that is proposed towards the ends of roving mobs?

 

Your talking about spawn area's and roaming ranges....

 

If you have 3 monsters spawn anywhere within a 3m sq. game space area (as a mob) and they all have a roaming range from origin of 3m on Random...the average more then likely would have them staying in roughly the same spot. And if they have no set roaming range then a day later, the newb area can be covered in high level monsters.

 

Even if you take the maximum distance one moved away from it's origin and move the center of the spawn area to that point. You end up with a spawn area that wiggles over the course of a few rather then actually going anywhere. There would have to be a system in place that moves the spawn area to a random location within it's own diameter of the previous location from the edge of the previous location. And it would have to re-assign the spawn area a lot more frequently then every few hours to see anything interesting come about.

 

It's doable if I understand what you mean by that right. but you need a controller that does not rely on what the mob may do. or you will rarely end up with a result you can predict to any degree, beyond doing nothing (relatively) or doing far more then it should have.


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  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/07/13 9:58:40 PM#40
Originally posted by Helleri

We have been over items, and individual monsters, mobs and bosses, timers etc...But, there is one thing I would like to touch on before letting this thread die...The Player and Spawning. Rather, The penalties for player death and methods of player Re-spawning. 

Should players have ghosts? What about on the spot or near to goal resurrections? Should death penalties be harsher for PvP or PVE; or consistent across both? Is loosing a portion of experience fair? How do you feel about loosing items? How should all this work? 

Plenty of good questions in there to address that didn't get looked at here in any depth, yet.

Apart from resetting the encounter (an obvious necessity of failure,) any additional penalty doesn't really add to a game.

To zoom way back, the evolutionary trait of "enjoying skill improvement" is advantageous.  Which is why certain species derive pleasure from things like play-fighting.  Which is why spending more time practicing tends to be more enjoyable to spending time experiencing a lengthy penalty.

So basically any penalty that turns gameplay off for any significant length of time is going to make the game less fun for most players.  And while penalties that focus on gameplay (or involve completely new gameplay) are definitely workable, they're definitely not required for a fun game, except for the reset.

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