As it had been said many times before, one of the fundamental principles of the development of Gloria Victis is to create a living, credible world that offers as much immersive experience as possible. But the term “immersion” does not limit to the NPC guards patrolling the roads and commenting the latest events out loud or to a realistic day and night cycle.
One of the biggest problems in the classic MMORPGs is the fact that the world is usually static and doesn’t react to the actions taken by players any more than having the NPCs being killed and the resources being harvested, however they respawn at the same place, in the same numbers and in the same time over and over again. Therefore we have started working on implementation of the dynamic points of interest system that will put more variety and life into the world of Gloria Victis.
Let’s explain how it will affect the user experience. First of all, the NPC enemies will not be spawned in random and purposeless spots like in the middle of an empty valley but focused around their own points of interest, like bandit camps or lairs of animals. Thereby they will be grouping and defending their areas, looking much more natural and credible. Second, they will not be spawned at the same place all the time – amount of their respawns will be limited and when depleted, another group will appear in the location. Moreover, players will be able to destroy their hideouts to receive additional rewards but this way the spawn point will be deactivated – and if they don’t, a spot would be claimed by another group of NPCs. For instance, if players hunt and kill a herd of boars, it’s reasonable to expect a wolf pack to appear, lured by the smell of blood; if players slay an entire group of thugs, probably peasants will come to rob their camp – or the brigands will come back strong in arms and numbers to reclaim their property.
The same mechanism will be applied to the distribution of resources. As the nodes will be finite, gatherers will deplete them and if lucky, they will find another node of a specific resource nearby – but not always of the same quality. As the quality of resources will have a huge impact on properties of the final products, careful exploration will receive a new purpose, rewarding the players who travel through various lands. Not to mention that the most precious resources will be accessible only in specific territories, so conquering and controlling them will be a key factor in order to obtain an advantage in war.
The dynamic points of interests system will also allow to determine certain conditions required to spawn specific objects or entities – it’s more probable to meet foxes in woods, or a drowned maid while exploring the swamps at night than in the light of day. We will be able to connect the spawners and initialize the dynamic events as well – even the chains of events, so, for instance, to fight a boss the players will need to defeat various groups of weaker NPC enemies, and each of them will appear only when the previous group has been defeated. They may also appear only in specific time of a day, for limited time or in a hidden location. Overall, the system offers awesome possibilities of creating a living world filled with engaging, credible and immersive events.
Moreover, an idea of the chains of events – and the dynamic events themselves – can be also easily adopted to introduce new players to the game, guiding them through the first hours of gameplay. They will also be useful to mobilize players from entire nation who are present in certain lands to achieve the same goals, like raiding an enemy town or chasing the bandits hiding in the unpleasant mountains, in effect receiving the precious rewards – thereby the social aspect will become even more important in Gloria Victis.
The system of dynamic points of interests is an important step on our way to improve the user experience and immersion, introducing an interesting variety in the distribution of resources and NPC enemies. In future it will be expanded with the next features, such as an ability of NPC enemies to attack another NPCs groups and performing ambushes or raids on the player-ruled towns. They will not only look much more natural thanks to being associated in groups connected to their own areas like camps, lairs or hideouts, but also be able to act and react credibly, evolving from the static background to the actual part of the living world.