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Destination Games
MMORPG | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 11/02/07)  | Pub:NCSoft
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Non-Exclusive Dev Diary: Control Points

Posted by Keith Cross on Oct 12, 2007  | Comments

Non-Exclusive Dev Diary: Control Points - Tabula Rasa -

Tabula Rasa Producer Starr Long has penned a developer diary describing control points, a game mechanic intended to simulate the back and forth of war by creating a dynamic battlefield.

One of the fundamental goals for Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa was to simulate a war by creating what we call a dynamic battlefield. One of the ways we did that was to have the NPCs fight each other, but we wanted to take these battles a step further where they didn’t just fight each other sporadically as they encountered each other. Instead, we wanted them to actually fight over key pieces of territory which could alter the game environment in that area. These key territories are control points, and they are an integral part of what defines our dynamic battlefields.

Of course, there are more elements to the dynamics of the battlefield, but the control points are certainly a keystone of it. When the control points change ownership from the AFS to the Bane, for example, that changes a bunch of variables in the environment, including what NPCs are spawning and where they are spawning. In addition, this affects what missions are available to the players, so control point ownership even directly influences a player’s ability to complete missions. And it makes sense. If you were a soldier and had been asked to deliver a field report, for instance, and the destination base was under heavy attack, it’s unlikely you could just wander in, deliver your report, and then move on. You would more likely be ordered to help defend the outpost, or in the least, volunteer to stay and assist in the battle. Similarly, when I wander into a specific area in game that is under attack, I have to make an important decision, because what I’m fighting and where I’m fighting is directly linked to the control point. The fluid nature of where the front lines are and the ebb and flow of the battlefield is directly connected to the control points. As a result, a player’s decision to defend a control point personally impacts the face of that particular map.

Read the full dev diary here.