Crazy stuff. I can't imagine more than .0001 of the NWN games having more DMs than players.
Here is a breaking news report for all you gentlemen:Originally Posted by Legolas Greenleaf, long under tree
The experts have arrived with their tales of dungeon questing and how it should be done! This article reads like a comedy how-to spoof, but I am told it is real. Fair enough. If you want to truly enjoy the m/p NWN with the DM client, just follow these suggestions. Notably:
I'll bet it does! How about this - maybe have TWO dungeon masters for each player, so that the game doesn't have to stop when one of them has to go to the bathroom!Originally Posted by Expert Dungeon Master
Again, bravo for the ingenuous thoughts! Or perhaps the dungeon masters (all of them) got lost, and the players ended up in an art museum! Do not run! Do you hear me? No running in this dungeon. Stay together, two files please - no shoving!Originally Posted by Expert Dungeon Master
If you need to chain your players' feet together and then chain the players themselves to each other in order to be able to "stay ahead" of them, there is something wrong. Have any of you ever DMed a pen-and-paper game and had to talk REEEAAALLLLYYY SLOOOWWWWWWW because you hadn't finished the dungeon and were stalling for time while you thought up new stuff? Neither have I. So leave it to computers to break new ground for us all!
Even so, you can't discount the need for just a little luck. Just see below
Luckily! Because what if the party had split up?! That would have been panic time. Hope for a server crash! Or go get 3 more dungeonmasters.Originally Posted by Expert Dungeon Master
This is the craziest evaluation of a game I think I've ever read. This is an excellent ship- it leaks a lot of water but really not all that fast! If all the passengers man the pumps for the whole voyage, there should be no danger of sinking.
I will not get into the looney tunes reactions to the technical issues
It is like the end of his paragraph does not remember what the first half of his paragraph said. But that is OK. Stability bugs are a technical issues and while I am not a computer genius, I can see that a lot of games get patched and end up just fine. So I can wait on that. But the one DM for every two players part is a big design problem, and only the most crazy, non-running, hardcore computer myopist could think different.Originally Posted by Expert Dungeon Master
Crazy stuff. I can't imagine more than .0001 of the NWN games having more DMs than players.
You guys can goof on it all you want, but there's a great Harcore mod for NWN that makes death PERMANENT. I'm all for that kind of shit. No joke. In Real D&D, there is no respawning.
However, I'm not so hardcore as to walk everywhere...
Until you re-load, right? If I'm just gonna re-load and do the same thing I just did a minute ago, but not die this time, why not allow me to jump right back into the fight that killed me?but there's a great Harcore mod for NWN that makes death PERMANENT.
Depends on your DM. But I would say that, most of the time, dying in D&D is a little less likely than dying in NWN, though my D&D experience is, admittedly, limited. But if you die, you know one of your buddies will get you resurrected before long. Not having buddies playing in the single-player module makes that a bit tough.In Real D&D, there is no respawning.
I think knocking off 50 XP per level is harsh enough. At level 7, I'm losing more XP per respawn than I've ever gotten in one chunk...Including finding the cure for the plague. (Which, I realize, had experience given per reagent, but only 150 at a time...Which still seems crappy to me.)
Permanent death would be cool. It would force players to really slow down.. and at the same time allow DM's time to breath. I think its a good option.
I do like the idea of eliminating respawning, but death in D&D is only permanent if you are low level. Higher level characters can either afford a raise dead or do it themselves. I spent a good part of the Baldur's Gate saga with three or four Rods of Resurrection distributed around the party. However, raising your fallen comrades is something that takes place after the battle is won, so removing respawning would slow things down some.
Having the reload feature makes permanent death completely pointless. At the least the respawn adds a penalty for dying. If you just reload, there is no penalty...Other than lost time, which amounts to you not wanting to play anymore, if you have to redo something you've just done.
I love the respawn feature. I think it's brilliant.
Respawns/savegames are for wimps! The DM should know when a death is a death (and a res should have some risk as well ie... res failure and complete death!). Especially when a player plays dumb! At least in pnp it should be like that.
The upside to perm death is that it gives that extra edge while playing. It DOES create more tension and for some that equates to fun! And with NWN, personalizing your charcter and actually wanting him/her to survive... its just that much more immersive (not that word again!).
If you're a cleric, and you know some guy is trying to save your city, wouldn't you try to keep an eye on him, and resurrect him?
As long as it's D&D, resurrection is a valid concept, and as long as resurrection is valid, so is respawning.
Okay, I'm done. I'm not gonna reply to every post anymore...I think I've made my opinion clear. :oops:
I like the perm death concept. What I like better is that NWN has the flexibility to have some games perma-death, some games diablo-esque, and some games that haven't even been thought of yet.
Yeah, its better to have it in as an option, than to not have it in at all. Diablo 2 has it, so why not NWN? Sorta like the savegame issue except in reverse... or the issue with tb games having random maps... that sorta thing. We all like to have options!
Though when I think about it, I'd probably never play a perm death server. SO I guess I'm just wheezing pointlessly :wink:
Permadeath is a very underutilized idea and it's a good one for all the reasons you bring up and more besides. Whether it would be a great idea for NWN in particular I don't know but other MMRPGs are roleplaying hells simply because there are no substantial reprocussions for anti-social IC behavior. If the worst thing that can happen is a temporary inconvenience as the result of being killed then there will always be grief players. Make death A Bad Thing and behavior will shape up except for particularly desperate, greedy, pissed off, or crafty and amoral characters. Just as it should be.Originally Posted by mtkafka
You're right. On the other hand, MMORPG subscription fee games that have perma-death don't make money, period; either you don't get players spending their money there just to risk losing it all or the customer service costs are so high you can't make money.Originally Posted by Anonymous
As NwN is not a subscription-fee game, perma-death should work just fine, in the sense that the customer service department won't be overwhelmed with claims of lag death, cheat death and "Damn it, I've invested over $2000 in my character, give him back, you bastards!" In terms of scenario design and/or DM ability to keep it fair... deponent sayeth not.
>MMORPG subscription fee games that have perma-death don't make money, period
Have any actually tried perma-death? I remember a few proposed it (like the aborted Lord of the Rings Online), but I wasn't aware any actually adopted it. I remember debating Raph Koster about it for a while, in the context of UO's then rampant pkilling. I'd like to see a game have perma-death, and not be so overwhelmingly level-based, like Camelot and EQ.
Someone posted a script (I think you can find it on the Lyonesse script database) for "death's door" rules. I tried it, and it's pretty neat. Basically, when you drop to 0 hp, you fall to the ground and start groaning (it even has a random SpeakString generator that makes your character say things like "I require healing!"). Then every heartbeat, you lose one additional point. When you reach -10, you die (and can respawn as normal). Pretty neat.
Here's my idea for penalizing players for dying. Make an area in your game and call it Purgatory (or whatever). There is no door anywhere in your game that leads to Purgatory, but all respawns end up there. Getting out of Purgatory requires... well, whatever you want. Make them fight their way through a gauntlet, or perhaps give them choices (pay a fine in gold or items, fight through a gauntlet, or try to answer a riddle... could be anything, really). If they make it through whatever challenge you set for them, they reach a door that leads back to the mortal world (one-way trip, of course).
Could be amusing.
Originally Posted by Desslock
I agree. People always moan about how lame that would be, and if the game were otherwise just like EQ, I'd agree. But a game desinged around permanent character death could be really interesting. I think the industry wrote the idea off too quickly.
It was tried a number of times on the old online services before 1996, when M59 launched on the Internet. Every time we tried it, customers complained and left in droves. At that point, the only thing left to do was take it out... at which point, the customer base returned.Originally Posted by Desslock
"I'd like to see a game have perma-death, and not be so overwhelmingly level-based, like Camelot and EQ."
If you want to be the developer that has to deal with the inevitable lag deaths, PKing by things like training in EQ, or having a team member get you killed by some stupid or ignorant manuver. Unless you make the game very quick to level in like say Diablo II. If its like EQ or DAOC like then I don't see it working.
An easy solution here to your interest. Just risk a few million dollars to develop, launch and maintain a perma-death game for a few months and see if you can make it work. <g>Originally Posted by Ben Sones
Seriously, the only way general population perma-death is ever going to be tried again in the for-pay side of the industry is if someone is willing to risk millions to fly in the face of the available evidence and experience. Corporations are not noted to be so inclined.
I suspect what we may see is experimental servers that feature perma-death under certain controlled, completely opt-in circumstances.
I must be the only person here who forgets to log or sign in before posting. At at rate, I was the anonymous guest.Originally Posted by Jessica M.
Well, see, there's the rub of it. It takes huge resources to create massive graphical roleplaying environments. Ergo, the target market will have to be the least common denominator, right?
If that's true, then how the heck do four star restaurants survive? Has anyone tried a business model based around dogged quality and correspondingly high prices? I'd pay double or triple the going rate to play a no-shirt-no-shoes-no-service MMRPG that required people to conform to a fictional setting and roleplay an appropriate character. Heck, they could even charge more for that but offer deductions for players willing to pitch in with different aspects of administration or generation of content.
I'd like think that if there was such a place there are many folks who are utterly turned off by MMRPGs, maybe even computer games in general, who'd find a more fleshed out and mature environment very exciting. I could certainly turn a intelligent friend on to a strong setting like that much more readily than I could try to explain the good points of camping and levelling.
Give me permadeath and a dress code. That's a start isn't it?
For MMORPG perma-death to work, I'd think it would have to be quite difficult to actually die... not something that could happen casually. And then maybe the blow could be softened somehow, i.e. your next character could be "heir" to the one that died, and receive whatever of his property wasn't on his person at the time of death (and wasn't therefore looted by the killer), and maybe a level boost too (i.e. I read my daddy's old journals and they gave me a head-start in life...).
The macho-bullshit-man in me likes the idea in principle, but the age-old question of "fun vs. realism" comes in. Depends how frustrating it would be in practice.
Not at all. As you point out with your restaurant example (what about 5-star restaurants?) your target market simply needs to be able to support your production costs. I don't think your "double or triple" figure for an enforced role-playing environment is going to be anywhere near enough to support a professional MMORPG based on the numbers you're going to draw with a perma-death, enforced role-playing environment. And the higher the price gets, the more you price it out of the range of the people who are going to be attracted to something like this. Are you willing to pay a few thousand dollars a year to play in your perfect role-playing world? It's just a game, after all. Is it really that attractive to you?Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
I think you are totally overestimating the number of people who want to sit around and painstakingly pretend they are in an alternate universe, and the available free time of people who are going to pay several thousand dollars a year to do so. I'm not going to spend a few grand a year on an online role-playing game, because there are much more interesting things I can do with that money.Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
Even if people were somehow unexpectedly drawn to an expensive make-believe world where they couldn't run in the dungeons and had to worry about their characters permanently dying, how much time do you think people who have these kinds of desires and the money to spend on them are going to have to devote to them? A friend of mine recently bought one of those DAOC characters for something like $1200. His explanation was that while he is really interested in this kind of thing, he doesn't have time to spend months building up a character to the levels where it is fun, since the whole point of the game is RvR and that's not really viable anymore below 50th level. So for $1200 he gets a character he can play for a few hours a week while he is on the road in his hotel room. Do you really think your fascist role-playing world would be viable with people who played a few hours a week? And I guarantee that my friend would lose instant interest in the game if there were some chance his character could be permanently killed. I realize that this guy may not be your target audience, but he is an intelligent person with a lot of money to spend. Your proposed audience of (1) people with a lot of money to spend, (2) who like the idea of an online role-playing game, (3) want to have strict role-playing observed (what does this mean? everyone speaks Old English? no running in dungeons?) , (4) will spend enough time on it to create a viable world, and (5) are comfortable with permanent death of a character into which they have invested thousands of dollars, must be so small that there is no price at which it could reasonably support a professional game of this sort, especially one complex enough to handle all the environmental variables you want and the dedicated support to keep it running.
Explain golf? Folks will spend money on anything once somebody's convinced them it's fun. I think participatory roleplaying, we can even call it make believe, is a far more natural and intuitive behavior than alot of what passes for entertainment today on or off the PC.Originally Posted by Legolas Greenleaf
Folks spend alot of money on very frivolous things and spend way too much time on their butts in front of TV sets and computers as it is. We get home from work at some ungodly hour, we deal with whatever other personal obligations we have, and then we have a a few hours of our own time on our hands (if we're lucky). I dunno, but I'd go for a personal holodeck where I could meet up with some friends for a while - one with a persistant memory and things to do beside shooting. Maybe one where I could meet other folks from other places IRL but form my own circle of participants and friends from the safety of anonymity. How do you judge who those people are? See how well they present a character or can organize some action or see what they can create. Pretty soon you'll have a group meeting up on a regular basis and deciding for themselves how best to contribute (cut costs via in-kind work) OOC and how to play IC.Originally Posted by Legolas Greenleaf
I think the key might be in-kind payments. Make the fee very high but cut into it for various kinds of contributions - technical skills, hardware, creative skills, support and service volunteers and so on. The goal, at least initially, shouldn't be much more profit than the game needs to go on. Down the road when things are rolling there will probably be many ways it can be leveraged for a profit. Maybe more automated, less managed, spin off servers for a lower price. Maybe single player games and addons developed and spun off from original adventures presented to, and possibly created by, the premium crowd (who might well include 'name' designers, writers, or whathave you, moonlighting for the game).Even if people were somehow unexpectedly drawn to an expensive make-believe world where they couldn't run in the dungeons and had to worry about their characters permanently dying, how much time do you think people who have these kinds of desires and the money to spend on them are going to have to devote to them? A friend of mine recently bought one of those DAOC characters for something like $1200. His explanation was that while he is really interested in this kind of thing, he doesn't have time to spend months building up a character to the levels where it is fun, since the whole point of the game is RvR and that's not really viable anymore below 50th level. So for $1200 he gets a character he can play for a few hours a week while he is on the road in his hotel room. Do you really think your fascist role-playing world would be viable with people who played a few hours a week? And I guarantee that my friend would lose instant interest in the game if there were some chance his character could be permanently killed. I realize that this guy may not be your target audience, but he is an intelligent person with a lot of money to spend. Your proposed audience of (1) people with a lot of money to spend, (2) who like the idea of an online role-playing game, (3) want to have strict role-playing observed (what does this mean? everyone speaks Old English? no running in dungeons?) , (4) will spend enough time on it to create a viable world, and (5) are comfortable with permanent death of a character into which they have invested thousands of dollars, must be so small that there is no price at which it could reasonably support a professional game of this sort, especially one complex enough to handle all the environmental variables you want and the dedicated support to keep it running.
But to even attract that quality of player and volunteer you have to have the right setting and set the right tone for it.
Look, you've probably figured out I'm not a businessman. However, I am an experienced MUSHer and I've played on many permadeath games and only lost one character. Why? Because he stuck his neck out - and it was about as white knuckle exciting as it gets when a character with two years of development and background has his neck on the block.
Don't want to die? Find a less dangerous way to live or make alot of friends that nobody wants to piss off. Either way, that makes for roleplaying. Talking, IC communication, actually matters when permadeath is the alternative.
Anyhow, as for what I'd consider enforceable roleplaying standards? That would depend on the game and the approach. There are impositional, hardcoded, techniques that could be used to help newbies figure out different cultural approaches and loosened up once they gained experience with the setting. At it's most basic, though, I'd handle it like most games where you can petition an administrator if someone is acting in a disruptive manner. Additionally, if someone bugged you but you didn't feel like hailing an admin there might be some way to put a 'hex' on them. Just a mark flagged on the character with a note. If an admin decided he needed to check out someone getting complaints he could look over the notes. My guess is that another useful tool would be for players to also be able to endorse each other's skills like sellers and buyers do on Ebay or Epinions.
Most meaningful roleplay would probably be informally scheduled between players or players and a coordinator ("Will you be here next Sunday?") but there should be settings where freeform, pickup, RP could encouraged as well (Star Wars warzones are one example and another might be the ubiquitous generic tavern). Continuity between different groups/settings and major breaking events could be managed and coordinated by salaried, nonvolunteer, employees as they must ensure the show goes on at all times, regardless.
This is the most important sentance in my reply: I don't have all the answers, maybe none of them, but I'm not at all sure anyone is asking the right questions yet either. Online roleplaying has huge potential but I don't see the aesthetics of it moving forward as much as I'd like yet.
" think the key might be in-kind payments. Make the fee very high but cut into it for various kinds of contributions - technical skills, hardware, creative skills, support and service volunteers and so on. "
Thats sounds like it would be a nightmare to administer.
NWN is new, and it has an extremely long (and really realy excellent) single-player game. But it's way up there on multiplayer usage:
Of course nothing is even close to Half-Life. You almost have to just take it out of the picture because it screws up all the other comparisons. :)
Yep, there are tons of games available at Gamespy.
Of course, from what I've seen, 99.9% of them suck. :wink:
>nothing is even close to Half-Life. You almost have to just take it out of the picture because it screws up all the other comparisons.
No kidding. It's also interesting that Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament still beat every shooter released during the past couple of years other than Medal of Honor. But Counterstrike/Half-life is amazingly dominant - when the hell is anything going to top it?
I'm also amazed at how CS is dominant over the other Half-life mods. I was just looking at the stats pages, and HL shows 46,000 players, but over 38,000 of those are CS. Team Fortress is next with only 2,000 players, and my beloved DoD comes in about 8th overall with 1800 players.Originally Posted by Desslock
For professional reasons, I have been poking my head into lots of PC gaming centers recently. Someone is always playing CS, regardless of the time of day. Even if it is during school hours and only a few people are in there, at least one of them will be playing CS. It will be interesting to see if Condition Zero continues the run.
I'm also amazed that more people aren't bored by it yet. I've shoulder-surfed on some very good players, and they play much of the game by rote. They usually take the same path through an area. They usually use the same gun. They know the hidey holes so well that they come around corners already aiming or shooting into them. If they are playing against poorer players, then they just keep doing this. Only when they face someone of equal skills do they have to improvise. I guess the amazing part is that they keep playing and playing and playing against the unchallenging opponents. Why not just play bots? Why not move on to a new game?
I wish I could answer that question, but I find myself prone to similar behavior in MOHAA, particularly for the Hunt and Bridge map. I just love playing those maps and I generally know where I"m going, what I'll use, when to shoot, and so forth. You'ld think I would be bored, but just the opposite is true. I love it. Hmm.... I guess its just that I, like most people, enjoy success. In shooters, kills make you feel good. Sick isn't it.