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MMORPG Game Concepts  » How would you change it: Mobs Triggered by Absence of Events

6 posts found
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11916

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

 
OP  9/05/12 8:21:48 AM#1

Your player is exploring and some time has passed since he last interacted with the game world or its objects. After x time passes, a mob is spawned in the general vicinity of the player. The purpose is to create content for the player when they fall into a period where nothing is occurring.

Scenario: If players do not see the mob or if they flee from the mob, you could easily end up with areas dense in mobs.

How would you change/improve the design to remove (other than a despawn timer) or make use of the unused mobs that have spawned over time?

This is an entirely creative exercise and there is no right answer to it. The goal is to discuss ways to build on an idea to make a game mechanic more compelling, more fun or simply work better.

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

9/07/12 8:46:26 PM#2

Considering that it takes effort to avoid "action" in most of these games, I'd let the players enjoy their earned peace.

So my first change would be to change the spawn trigger to too much activity.  This offers something akin to battle fatigue but leaves it to the player to either manage the fatigue or deal with the consequence (facing an inner demon).  The demon would be tethered to the zone.

I agree, despawning is a lame answer.  I might accept it though, at the cost of a player debuff linked to the zone.  For this route, that debuff could only be removed by resummoning the demon and destroying it.  Perhaps better would be to have it live and feed, randomly poaching spawns at first and then merging with other demons until the thing reaches "world boss" proportions.  I'd actually aid this process by limiting who can attack them prior to becoming a serious threat (think 3-5 man party).  Before that only the player that spawned it or those specialized for it (class or skill line) would be able to attack it, that said it would be passive to everyone but the spawning player.

I have more but since I've pretty much flipped the script, I'll leave it here for now

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11916

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

 
OP  9/09/12 2:57:10 AM#3
Leaving the spawned mobs passive is an interesting approach. It probably would be really interesting in settings outside the overused fantasy theme, where actual reasons for such behaviour would be part of the mechanics of the world. I'm thinking something like Fantastic Voyage, Matrix or some other 'inside the system' theme.

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

9/09/12 5:20:21 PM#4

One of the things I left out earlier is that the spawned demon would be scaled to the player that spawned it.  The passive element is a counter to using it as a form of griefing.  If the creature was aggresive you are simply inviting high level players to spawn and abandon their demon in starter/low level areas. 

These demons are intended to serve a similar role as the battle fatigue system of SWG (while not specifically forcing the down time).  I'd probably increase the points accrued for easy mode farming and (in OW or FFA PvP) ganking.  Because it is essentially a penalty system, the rewards are terrible for defeating demons.  At least until they evolve (require a group at the level of the spawning player to down), I'm only talking 1 to 10 XP and at best trash loot*.  However, downing them is still important to the players.  The spawning player gets debuffed for 2 hrs of play time (persisting through death and not running if logged out) if other players down the demon.

*- for exorcist players the reward is increased as a repeatable quest reward from their order.

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

9/11/12 7:39:11 PM#5

"Scenario: If players do not see the mob or if they flee from the mob, you could easily end up with areas dense in mobs.

How would you change/improve the design to remove (other than a despawn timer) or make use of the unused mobs that have spawned over time?"

I would limit spawning of mobs by:

if # of mobs > # in area from player, don't spawn more

else spawn mobs

Or make mobs to not be of the same type when spawned (neutral faction) that will attack other mobs if they roam too closely. Could also make some of them turn aggressive when they linger there for too long. This will limit the spawned mobs from being too dense.

However, simple mob spawning isn't a very entertaining after a while and you will probably get sick of it like in older FF games. Including other events would be even better.

Such as where (example from Skyrim) a thief runs by and asks you to hold onto an item (you can accept or refuse). The pursing hunter will ask you if the thief gave it to you (you can give it or keep it and kill him). If you return it the hunter may not continue after the thief but if not he will hunt him down and kill him for it.

Other that could be done:

Caravan attacked by bandits

The caravan and a group of bandits of varrying size spawns from X distance apart. There is a possibility that you will encounter then bandits or the caravan first and can take different actions.

You can help the bandits and persuade them to split the loot. If unsuccessful they will attack you too.

Defeat the bandits and the people in the caravan reward you greatly.

Pick off whoever survives. Or hide and wait for the fight to be over and scavenge what remains.

Courier with a message

The message can be a warning of an attacking army, an assassination, or something else. You can convincing the courier that you will deliver it yourself or you can take it from him by force. Deliver the note, alter what the message says, or destroy it. Because of what you did the outcome is different. If the message is delivered to warn NPC about assassination, you get a heap of gold, if it wasn't delivered in time then that NPC dies and you get a change at stealing their belongings or revealing the thief's identity. If it is a message of warning you can alter it so the NPCs come unarmed to an ambush. Or be the boring hero that protects the courier as you journey with him.

NPCs will need to be created so they can be killed off and can only be affect by the player with the quest involving them... depending on the event.

Multiple people can be involved in these and take different parts. They could all be the bandits, the protectors, or both(PvP). Someone may deliver the message while the other is the assassin.

Same as mob spawns these can't occur on top of each other or immediately right after one ends. There needs to be an event tracker running in the background that makes sure that players can get involved in these when nothing else is going on.

I think I made it too complex....damn...

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  ghstwolf

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/08
Posts: 386

9/14/12 3:24:12 PM#6
Originally posted by mmoguy43

NPCs will need to be created so they can be killed off and can only be affect by the player with the quest involving them... depending on the event.

I think I made it too complex....damn...

I think these 2 items are deeply related.  Dynamic/emergent behavior is more difficult to pull off if the default methodology is static.  Seriously, with an unchanging world the events become meaningless nearly as quickly as simple mob spawns.  How many times would you need to see the thief event or the caravan event before they become dull?

One fix for that is to allow an impact on the world, but to limit it within a fixed range.  Merchants are a great example for what I am talking about.  Let them have a +5% to -5% variation on their prices.  In one village you have Bob a greedy jerk who buys at a discount (pays -5% for goods sold to him) and sells at a premium (+5%) to everyone.  Another village has Sam who likewise buys at a 2% discount but sells at a 5% discount as well.  Then in a 3rd village there is Gunther, a grizzled vet that hates mages and charges them 5% more/ pays them 5% less, other warriors are charged 2% less and paid 2% more, with the remaining classes getting standard market pricing.  Those variations would change as merchants are replaced after being killed.  This relatively simple tweek brings a lot to the game.  There's a social/political element, as I would make sure there is a play counter play aspect to this.  It also adds a deeper connection between the player and an NPC than the proposed disposable props.  Lastly, it adds the fixed range dynamic element that gives weight to player actions without allowing it to become too disruptive.

Personally, I find that to be a much more durable system that could be worth the extra coding.