Author Topic: A few thoughts  (Read 2953 times)

Chalgyr

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A few thoughts
« on: 10/08/13, 14:07 »
Two basic questions I have been bouncing around for a time.

1) should we allow people to multiplay?

      This has been brought up multiple times in the past over the years, and we have code in place that currently prevents it, but people can (and have) gotten around it as well. Usually we catch it, but not always.

         * Reasons I immediately want to say 'no'
               It seems to defeat the purpose of focusong on a character
               just somehow feels 'wrong' to me after so many years
               could be used to cheat or exploit. Handing stuff back and forth, ganging up on players, etc

         * Reasons I can see why it might work
               A person could quest with one char, rp with another
               the MUD would 'look' busier when people log in
               might lower the difficulty curve if you had two or three characters in your group each time


2) if we were to say yes to #1 - should we allow characters to trade things back and forth between alts?

         Again, i've heard for years how "I've earned it, I should be able to do what I want with it". While I may not necessarily agree with that logic, it's out there. Also most MMO's now let you share some things back and forth. Take WoW's mail system for example. I would still say really rare items like customers should own to a particular player, so you can't just shuffle it back and forth between three characters, but maybe not? What are your thoughts?

             * Reason why I lean toward 'no'
                   Like above, it feels 'wrong' compared to MUDing I have always known
                   Does that make the game too easy?
                   It could make some exploits even easier to pull off
                   If someone hits max level faster, are they 'done with us' faster?

             * Reasons why it make sense
                   The entitlement issue mentioned above
                   People say customers are mandatory. This eases that curve
                   In theory if you max out one character's gear, won't you probably build up a 2nd one's gear next?
                   Less monitoring for the staff, less ways for people to 'cheat'


Would these things help with making the MUD feel busier, offering more roleplay opportunities with multiple characters, giving a person a reason to try out multiple classes and not feel tied to just one and help the difficulty curve out?

Or would these just tick players off?

I'm not saying ANY of this, or any variation of this will happen, but I'm curious what your thoughts are. I can play devil's advocate in either direction, which means I could use some additional thoughts. Thanks!
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Daklore

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #1 on: 10/08/13, 15:15 »
1) No. Cons outweight the pros.

2) When it comes to customs, the only things you can transfer to an alt at this point are tokens outright. And in the long run, you're transfering time from one character to the other in terms of questing. As long as customs remain owned, then it'd probably be relatively alright... in general... but I still don't like multiplaying.

As for why I don't like multiplaying, it can encourage a more solo-ist mindset. All you need to level now is your cadre of alts who are moderately amped on customs. There's no point to interact with others to group ... but, that's also an existing problem as is, because of the level range and the rarity of people, sure. With alt-armies, comes control over legendary spawns, which admittedly, most of us who can kill them invite others when we can/know they're around. With your army of alts, why bother with others?

An army of alts is sort of like an artificial solution to a less-busy-looking-mud. Yes, it looks like there are more people, but it's more akin to a MMO where one player is an actual person, and three of the others are farm bots. It looks like there's a bunch of people, but 75% of them aren't even actually -there-. So, nah. MMOs generally don't allow you to log multiple characters at once, obviously, people can and do get around it, but by default, you usually(usually) can't open more than one instance per computer... and if you have two or three, well... then, you're rich to start with >P

So... No.
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elios

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #2 on: 10/08/13, 17:48 »
I am sorry to say but I have to agree with Daklore's player in this matter.  And from my own point of view it is a matter of pride that everything my character has he has earned through his efforts not to mention that it is appreciated and valued the more.

Fric

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #3 on: 10/08/13, 19:30 »
I like the idea of multi-playing. It will give me a reason to play more of my alts. All my high level alts aren't looking for tokens or customs to take. I do like to rp, and with other people. However, I think it would be fun to have some of the toons I don't play to interact with the ones I do. As far as rp wise I have made it clear that Arnon and Dacen don't really see eye to eye. And Arnon and Fric have a friendly but starined relationship because of Fryca, who is married to Arnon and her being Fric's sister.

As for legendary switching people will always find a way to do that. But to disagree with Dak's point on not inviting others is still wrong. Some of my alts are a bit lower level or higher level than each of them. I could actually group more people with the range difference.

Most people have alts they could build upon this way. And when there aren't many people around you could rp and make it more interesting to add their personas to the mix.

For the customs yes they need to remain owned to the toon they are with.

Fric/Dacen/Arnon

Elendil

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #4 on: 10/10/13, 01:47 »
Hmmmmm......

Well, I can see and understand everyone's side of this new argument.  Whilst I do agree that it would be fun to witness the antics that certain people will come up with that have got more than one char in the works (Fric/Arnon/Dacen) one also must be mindful that not all of the playerbase can be counted on to be sane and have people skills....I will not mention names, since we all know whom the guilty parties are.  I really don't know, I suppose a trial run can come into play if that is what you want to do, Chal.  Perhaps give it a fornight, and see what happens since it is your ballgame after all, mate.

Rykira

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #5 on: 10/10/13, 08:03 »
Im for the multiplay...but with a 2 character limit. Trading between 2 characters of the same person I think isn't a good idea. Im not much of a writer so that's my lil 2 cents.

Thalia

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #6 on: 10/11/13, 10:01 »
What if multiplay had ...
- a "barrier to entry"? For example, you can only multiplay characters that have at least 100 hours?
- a limit to the number of your own characters online at one time? (like Rykira suggested only two characters at a time)
- a limit to the number of your own characters that can be in the same group?

And some questions, if we allowed multiplay, should a player be able to
  + cause a fight between two of their own characters?
  + Duel/spar between two of their own characters?
  + Arena challenge between two of their own characters?
  + Attack a single player with a group of their own characters?
  + Promote (religion/kingdom) an alt?
  + TELL, SIRE, FEED, et al with an alt?
  + Marry an alt??

Should it be public knowledge that you are multi-playing or just reserved to IMM knowledge?


Chalgyr

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #7 on: 10/11/13, 12:18 »
I'd definitely like to hear feedback on the above points Thalia, but the few I wanted to pipe up on were:

- I think a person should be able to fight amongst themselves. I think it would be hillarious to see Rylee kill Gardul in info. :P of course, this could skew a war, but those don't happen anyway anymore. :P

- marriage? sure, I guess if the rp line supports it. Pretty minimal benefits

- alt-knowing: still imm-only. I don't think it's the average player's business who someone's driver is if they don't want to share the info, personally.

Really curious what the rest of you think on these points? :)
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Daklore

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #8 on: 10/11/13, 17:12 »
What if multiplay had ...
- a "barrier to entry"? For example, you can only multiplay characters that have at least 100 hours?

DakBot sez: 100 hours is relatively easy to get, but it would still take a while. Sure, why not?

- a limit to the number of your own characters online at one time? (like Rykira suggested only two characters at a time)

DakBot sez: Still don't like the idea of multiplay, but, sounds fine. Not like it matters what my opinion is anyway >P

- a limit to the number of your own characters that can be in the same group?

DakBot sez: If we already limit how many you can have logged on at once, this point becomes moot anyway.

And some questions, if we allowed multiplay, should a player be able to
  + cause a fight between two of their own characters?

DakBot sez: Seems kind of pointless to do it in the first place. I mean... if they wanna kill themself, sure... why not?

  + Duel/spar between two of their own characters?

DakBot sez: Same point as above. What benefit do they have from even doing it? Aside from bloodsworn win. But even then, you can just buy the bloody mox and give it away instead of transfering the points through death. It's less effective to get half the points on two chars and then kill one, than it would be to get the full cost on both. As an example.

  + Arena challenge between two of their own characters?

DakBot sez: Yeah, no, they can't do arena between themselves. That's just ridiculous! :D


  + Attack a single player with a group of their own characters?

DakBot sez: This is where it can get abusive. Even with just two people, that can be more than enough to grief one person who doesn't want to bring their own multiplayer fully-customed weapons platform. I mean, obviously, there might be coding problems here... and it might be one of the things people -really- want to do, but... this has to be a very very very very very big no.


  + Promote (religion/kingdom) an alt?


DakBot sez: Hmmm... well... yeah, they should be able too since if you let them multiplay, it's RP-able for them to be promoted by their alt-superior. It does feel a bit meta-gamey, but it would be within the realm of accceptability. I mean, it's not like the old days when you'd get promoted for favourtism. ... I kinda miss those days XD


  + TELL, SIRE, FEED, et al with an alt?

DakBot sez: FEED should be allowable... siring should be disabled though. That's just plain meta-gamey. Feeding is a bit meta-gamey... but sometimes as a vampire... you just need a bloodbank. As for tells... well, they -can- be abused since you can make triggers to half-automate your alt. So... tells between alts might need to be disabled. But... I mean, you'd have to disable group talk because you'd automate off that... and then you'd get automation off of osay. But at least with an osay other people are aware of the triggering.


  + Marry an alt??


DakBot sez: Well, I suppose it's a bit of a weird way to masturbate, but sure, why not? o_O

Should it be public knowledge that you are multi-playing or just reserved to IMM knowledge?

DakBot sez: It shouldn't be overtly public knowledge... but most multiplayers will probably willingly reveal themselves anyway. So... I dunno, I dun care.

My responses are in the quotes in bolded-blue. Enjoy.
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Thalia

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #9 on: 10/11/13, 20:37 »
Other random thoughts..

Should a character get skill gains from attacking or casting at an alt?

As an "barrier of entry", how about having to spend RP points? 
How about a graduated scale for the "barrier of entry"?  At least 100 (?500?) hours each for 2 alts, 1000 hours each for 3 alts?


What are ways that a player could abuse having two alts online? Any solutions or suggestions to mitigate the risk or decrease the abuse?

Daklore

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #10 on: 10/12/13, 11:50 »
Other random thoughts..

Should a character get skill gains from attacking or casting at an alt?

Dakbot sez: Why not? I mean, we can already do this to certain mobiles if you have the right set of stuff as is.

As an "barrier of entry", how about having to spend RP points? 
How about a graduated scale for the "barrier of entry"?  At least 100 (?500?) hours each for 2 alts, 1000 hours each for 3 alts?

Dakbot sez: All it takes then is them getting access to bloodplanes and a little luck with bloody woodens. Ramping hours for more alts would work, if we decided to go beyond two...

What are ways that a player could abuse having two alts online? Any solutions or suggestions to mitigate the risk or decrease the abuse?

Dakbot sez: Ways? Yes. Most of them involve griefing. The most abusable aspect would be having a main(probably a mage) walking around with one or two, or three, customed out weapons-platforms that succeed on auto-attacks and very little input. How could we mitigate it? Not allow multiplaying :3 Seriously, we don't need it. At all.

Outside of that, uhm... you'd have to get a whole bunch of checks to keep alts from joining into combat against people and such. -Most- of the abuse would come from griefing other people and making their lives miserable. Outside of that... you'd quest faster by deciding to have one level 50 alt that just spams low-level quests(which people already do now) and funneling all the tokens into the main character. There's not a -whole- lot that you can really abuse here like you might in other games. Gold is pretty worthless in the grand scheme. Even with control over legendary mobiles, people will probably more than likely still continue to invite people they can group with even with multiplaying. So... it's really griefing you have to watch out for I'd say.


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sye

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #11 on: 10/14/13, 17:08 »
Cons:

Questing - people pooling their own tokens?  using mages in their own multi groups?
This would ultimately help people gain gear faster and enjoy content more easily though.

pvp - people are always sore on this, but honestly there are so much coding in place to make this as fair as possible  "Serene" "safe mode" "level gap" "kicking people or banishing them out of kingdoms" "attack trackers and blockers".   I think it would be interesting to have multiplayers set up to make pvp more fun.  I think in order to keep it safer we should move pvp to blood sworn only and make it 100 hrs of gameplay level 100.   I honestly don't see how anyone could grief but if they found a way they would stand out and get punished and those players shouldn't be around anyways.  (But you could unlease gamecontent focused on pvp, and up bloodsworn and blood items you could get, this would certainly give people something to do pvp wise, and preventing people from attacking their own alts.. I don't know what you could do about this.. but I wouldn't limit how many blood sworns can be on per account.  because I would personally love to fight an army by myself as sye wouldn't others?)

PROS

Something does have to change, id recommend finding out what is the GOAL of the mud, or a game in general?  PVP/ leveling/ grinding/ rp/ getting stronger/ social life/ making money/ events/ having fun.  What is the most important  and how do you make all types of players happy without losing others?


largest pro:
Game content since the 200 plus game release content how many people hit 275?  2? how many hit 260 plus? 2?  how many hit 200 plus? a dozen?  If people could group together it would make leveling easier and people could enjoy higher level content and augmentation etc.   It would enhance pvp, rp and gameplay all around,  if a new area came out what level would it be?  level 275? only help out three players? 2 who are still active?  level 240 help maybe 2 players still? that may or may not be active?  level 200ish?  help maybe a handfull of players that are moderately active at best?
With people being able to group with themselves and extend groups more you would see a skyrocket in leveling chars and more people would hit level 275 letting the focus be on newer harder content (you could even try areas that are even tougher due to larger groups? who knows?  But this would help others enjoy the 200 plus content that is so much fun.

There are other pros as well, people not having to sit at 50 forever to play, they could whip up some alts and then level easier, and get tokens easier.


Some kind of changes are awesome, some are dangerous.  I think giving people freedom at this point would only help the mud, but do other muds allow multiplay and how are they?
I don't know if there is any book on 'helping muds grow' etc.. or programing a game etc..

But maybe doing a KAIZEN event including the entire mud.  Outline the goal of changes, and have everyone brainstorm how to get that goal.  (use fishbone diagrams on what we want to do and how we could get there) This way whatever change is made it would be very unlikely someone would ragequit.
Could we do a list of the top 100 muds of mudconnect and see what aspects they have that keep players coming back? and what aspects turn players away?  How do they recruit people?  Are they suffering the same problems?  Do we need to do something outside the box entirely?  Understanding what has worked on other muds may help us out?  Maybe it wont?

How much time does it take to implement a multiplay change,  maybe we can only turn it on for a test drive with the understanding there may be a rollback? and give people an opportunity for feedback as it happens etc? 

I think doing nothing is far more dangerous than trying radical new things to keep players motivated online and happy.  Either way one or more of the changes will make the game easier for new players and old players should understand that.  do older players get any kind of grandfathered in awards?  Ie x amount of hours you get an item or tokens to give to any char of your choosing before multiplay is turned on?

Overall I think it's an entertaining idea.

three things I enjoy most about any mud getting stronger and challenging myself (grinding and pvp)
Enjoying being around others during same content level (IE not so much fun if you're on a new expansion or area of the game but noone else is there or to compete with)  LOOT, getting better stronger shiney loot legendary or better at any way, is always a fun way to improve your char, and a lot of games focus on this (diablo and borderlands). 

Hope this helped,
thanks,
Sye.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new - Albert Einstein

Chalgyr

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #12 on: 10/18/13, 12:34 »
I've been holding off on posting most of my thoughts to Thalia's concerns until now - I wanted to see what a few others would post. I'm good with almost all of these things - also the Dakbot masterbation one just about had me fall out of my seat here at work as I read it.

If Wars were a more common thing, I could see where the ability to kill your alts in combat could be abuseable, since you could just decide you're willing to muck up a character for the sake of war. Also as Sye pointed out, people could harvest tokens more quickly - but maybe that's not a bad thing, right? As he also pointed out, you would see more content that way. Also, if you considered your alt a 'keeper', you'd be investing hours into getting say, two weapons for character a - but you'd be doubling that time investment in the end if you wanted to outfit character b accordingly.

As for Sye's question about the 'kind of MUD you want it to be' - pretty much what it is in terms of the framework. Some people like to rp, some like to level, some want pvp - I wanted elements of all of those in place because a MUD lacking in those areas wouldn't have appealed to me personally when I started things up here. Any other horribly abusable aspects outside of the potential for griefing? (perhaps a check could be put in that if groups are comprised of more than 1 character of the same IP, no PVP can be initiated by that group? I'd say 'no pvp can happen', but I suppose you could use that mechanic as a selective Serene flag).
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Daklore

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #13 on: 10/18/13, 12:54 »
Any other horribly abusable aspects outside of the potential for griefing? (perhaps a check could be put in that if groups are comprised of more than 1 character of the same IP, no PVP can be initiated by that group? I'd say 'no pvp can happen', but I suppose you could use that mechanic as a selective Serene flag).

Another way to go about it, which might be more resource/code intensive, would be to allow the fight to happen, but exclude players with the same IP or whatever as your own from joining in. But then that would just encourage people to create a secondary IP to multiplay with to get around that. So... even then someone who really wanted to grief could still do it.

But, yeah, preventing same IP characters from joining a fight either you started, or someone directed specifically at your character, would prevent the soft-serene.
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Tylon

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Re: A few thoughts
« Reply #14 on: 10/22/13, 19:18 »
Let's do a little bit of forward thinking and hypothesize how multiplaying would pan out.

Part of the class balance in this MUD involves the dynamics surrounding ease of questing and ease of combat. Casters have it easier early on, fighters pan out as more powerful in later levels. There are some exceptions to this rule, but I think we can all agree that certain levels for certain classes are more powerful than others.

How would someone that is multiclassing take advantage of this? I forsee a "main" character that's going to be extremely powerful at higher levels (Looking at warriors and priests), with a gang of mage alts power leveling, questing, and in general building that character up.

The PvP implications would be disastrous in terms of balance. You want to talk about new player retention, what if some powerhouse with 3 level 275s is bouncing around plinking people off.

Are we prepared to have alt combos that, after augmentation, may have access to most of the buffs in the game?

Would content be rebalanced to deal with these people that have alts? What about those that have no alts?

I would look into remorting before I looked into multiplay. Another concept that some muds use is letting people afk indefinitely. I'd idle all day if I could.

I'm not really sure what's going on with the think tank on this forum, we have a large quantity of vetted ideas on how to modify this game already.