The Purge

PvP for People Who Aren't Asshats
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Dustie wrote:
I love the idea of having the orcs your helped like you whereas orcs hundred of miles away know nothing about you.

I like that it gives you something of a "home base".

Ideally, a "living world" MMO would be 1 world for all players, which is basically to say I think it should be really, really big.

The "living world" aspect means that even if you're off in the hinterlands, you can still get involved in the ongoing struggles and see the factions in your area going at it and take sides and participate.

But just because you impress the orcs over HERE doesn't mean you can go way over THERE and suddenly impress those orcs or displace players who were working locally to that location. The orcs might have heard of you and may treat you better than a bum off the street, but you'll have to earn reputation with them, as well. ("Faction trickle" may diminish over distances. Over large enough distances, faction decay may overtake faction trickle, though certain "feats" may generate a chunk of faction nationwide. e.g., you help kill the dwarf king, throwing the whole dwarf land into anarchy, you gain +200 faction with all orcs everywhere.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:12 pm 
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If we could make this work and protect is from abuse, I'm thinking this would be a really fun and interesting feature. I like it alot.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Incidentally, another "living world" advantage is that you shouldn't have to design any static quests. Static quests wouldn't make any sense in a living world.

The quest system would have to be equally dynamic. Like the camp boss wants 5 dwarf beards, because they're at war with some nearby dwarves. If they were at war with elves, he'd want elf heads. Ideally, camps would have their own little internal economies. They may want food, which helps them create a stockpile and grow the camp faster, or wood because they want to upgrade the barracks and train troops faster, or iron because they want more armor (or they may simply buy armor from you and then go wear it, if you make armor).


Sounds a little pie-in-the-sky but I can visualize how to do it, and it's all pretty simple. Programatically, "camps" are just a table of needs and desires with values adjusted based on what the NPCs can actually do. Orc Camp A wants "100 food" in the stockpile so they literally trek out to a farm, mill around for a while and cart 1 food back home. If the stockpile is too low, they "want" some and will offer players incentives to bring them some. If the stockpile is high, they aren't interested.

You wouldn't necessarily generate "quests", per se, but rather, the NPCs in town can easily tell you what they want and you can negotiate from there what you want in exchange. (They would always be happy to give you faction in exchange but may also trade you money or goods depending on what they have an excess of.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 4:44 pm 
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That might be dynamic but what impact does it have on the players and their emotional connection to the game? Does it change your gameplay experience from what is currently available other than make things more unpredictable and perhaps more inaccessible as a consequence? Part of the appeal of a static game is that the content is available to you whenever you have time to access it and it's relatively straightforward to learn because the routines play out the same every time. Just playing devil's advocate.

A lot of this is developing AI. You could probably program something like this as a mini-game app for Apple. Define a plane. Set two spawn points. The camps spawn rabbits at set intervals and have random headings, distances, velocity, etc. As you build influence with the spawn you gain more control over those variables. I'm not sure what the goal would be. Maybe the plane would have obstacles that respond better to certain variables (one obstacle would change velocity into heading or heading into distance). Larger planes correspond better to velocity/distance. Planes with many obstacles correspond better to heading. Just kind of brainstorming. Maybe there are 'gravity point's on the field that the spawns would be attracted to and depending on their proximity would have an influence on velocity or heading.

Gravity wells acting on MOBs pathing could be an interesting way to influence but not absolutely predict where a spawn might end up. In a way you would be spawning NPCs with a purpose to assist in combat like in alterac valley but with a lot more of the environment/gameworld dictating the behavior of those npcs.

I suppose my line of thinking is that a living world has an element of randomness to it and not the type of randomness that decides whether or not the Guk Lord has a Yak or not. The randomness of NPC and PC spawns coming across one another in any given environment would really heighten suspense in an MMOG. It sucked to come across super high level Griffons and get chased for 5 miles but you certainly paid much closer attention to what you were doing than in most other games we've played in recent memory.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:44 pm 
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Jake,

You solve the runaway effect by keeping the world evolving. You don't break the game up into teams. You break it up into factions.

For example. Guild Purge is the Purge faction. Our allied guilds are part of the Purge faction by being allied with us.
When we interact with the world it is every changing and it interacts with Purge.

Think of Shadowbane but with a completely evolving world around all of the players. Their are no winners like in POBS, the war goes on just as the world does.

For example lets say I only have a guild of 10 players called GuildX. Instead of trying to compete by building castles and attacking others players resourses with the larger guilds I use the world to help balance the playing field.

GuildX works on faction with some NPC Grand Knight in order to try and become vassals of said Grand Night. If they build up enough faction and resourses with the said Grand Knight they can convince him to send his armies to attack the Purge castle. In order for Purge to retaliate they have to deal with the castle of the Grand Knight. If Purge defeats the Grand Knight, GuildX can just move on to another NPC and find a home.

If the Grand Knight sacks the Purge castle then Purge has to leave the land and set up camp somewhere else. GuildX is given some spoils and the Grand Knight promotes them and will help in future campaigns.

The battle is only between GuildX and the Purge and if one loses they use the interactive world to start over again. As long the world is big enough you could rinse and repeat this multiple times.

For individuals that are not guilded they can try to interweave themselves with in the enviorment as well. If you run across PlayerX (who is unguilded) and he is a long time member of the NPC Oggok Thieves guild and you kill him in PVP the Oggok Thieves guild will put a price on your head. This can be collected by other players or NPC's.

If you are looking to do some questing, just head to the Oggok Thieves guild and find out who has prices on their heads. Take the quest and go search out those players. If you pay some money to the NPC Barkeep you get a heads up on if they are logged in and what country you were last seen in by some NPC's that didn't like you.

If the price on you head is high enough the Oggok Thieves guild may send their higher level NPC's to kill you directly. Horizons did this by making NPC's that can spawn on you while just running up the road based upon your faction standing.


Maybe the quest just isn't to go kill PlayerX, maybe the quest is to kill any Purge you find.

My point is if you make the world interactive enough with shit loads of factions their may be won or lost battles but their is never a winner or a loser. It doesn't matter if it is 1 person, 10 or 50 with an interactive world you can pvp and attain victories with out creating appathy.


Vllad


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 9:36 pm 
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Hoofhurr wrote:
That might be dynamic but what impact does it have on the players and their emotional connection to the game? Does it change your gameplay experience from what is currently available other than make things more unpredictable and perhaps more inaccessible as a consequence?

I would say that current games create an emotional connection via social interaction and "character investment".

The problem with this model is that "character investment" = "gear and skill upgrades" which is ultimately incompatible with a PvP world. So we have to cast that aside and find something to replace it. (Also, a "character investment" system can make it hard to ever return to a game -- you'd be too far out of date and there would be a new "price of admission" to get back to where you were!)

I would suggest that factional and reputation investments could replace gear and skill investments. When you've seen your wee orcish camp grow to a small empire, you're probably feeling pretty invested.


The tricky part would probably be what happens to Vllad's GuildX after we wipe them and their NPC faction off the map. They could start fresh, but we'll probably have to think of a way to give them a leg up on a restart. Maybe after the defeat is done, they get a letter in the mail from the NPC Grand Knight that says, "If you are reading this, then it must mean that I am dead. You have done well for me in the past, and so I have sent word to my brother, Grand Poobah, to expect your arrival. He will see that you are provided for and perhaps one day you may avenge my death."

Grand Poobah is 200 miles away. So they can either stay and start from scratch or take this offer of a move to a completely new part of the map, where a faction leader over there will treat them as if they had only lost 50% of their reputation rather than all of it.

Or alternatively, maybe factions never really get wiped out. They get to their last stand and if they get defeated there, they "surrender" and become a vassal state to the conquering faction. In that case, GuildX can still work for the NPC Grand Knight, but the NPC Grand Knight is now working for us (perhaps even joining The Purge faction).



As for new players, I think we could get them going well enough simply by creating a decent tutorial and giving them a happy note to give to whatever faction they choose for a free leg up and a place to start.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 10:09 pm 
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I remember like 7 or 8 years ago, this game called Dawn.... ended up just an idea... But along the dynamic world....

Basically it was a player born into the world... No classes, but born into a town. The towns werent there until people built them. Hierarchy of the towns were how the players created it. Town politics were built from what the players wanted it to be....

Anyways, his idea was mine for iron for weapons, chop wood for trees to build huts, etc etc.

So the game world is basically a blank slate. And the players build it up how they want. A single player could roam and adventure on his own, setting up shop in caves or staying at another cities inns. This was the created economy or trade.

I tried to find a site for it, but cant locate it.... Anyways, sounded like a great idea. Throw down a blank slate, add in combat mechanics, and let the players run the world....

As with most over-ambitious games, it faded into oblivion under its own weight. I can see something like this happening in the future with better programmers and a widening gaming public looking for this type of thing.

EDIT* To control players being able to wipe out town on their own, players experienced death and rebirth after time.... And their "legend" wasnt one guy, it was how well they advanced their family in the game world. Kind of a different idea than other MMOs where your "legend" is equipment.

I think gamers would embrace a different idea of dick waving than their equipment. But it remains to be seen what that is....


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 12:54 am 
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That's where I think NPC controlled factions have to come into play.

If you give players a sandbox, it turns out that they make a really boring game out of it. I think direction has to be given to the players, and NPC factions seems like a good way to do it.


The other way to do it would be the Planetside way, where there is literally nothing to do except kill other players, but I think I want more depth than that.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 5:58 am 
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One way of handling exploiting of faction, like any item, would be faction decay. (i.e. - what have you done for me lately?) You would never lose faction unless you did something contrary to the factions pruposes but it could vary between exalted to meh due to decay. One time faction increases like Kill Dwarf King First Time +200 Faction and the 2nd time No Faction. Sort of like a tome unlock with faction in War.

Another idea it to have multiple factions that would change based on certain criteria and distance. Closer to the center the stronger the faction pull and on the borders almost non existant and changeable by PC game facts. I would think you would need multiple factions that change because of ingame action but 1 faction or faction block would never dominate.

To resist the domination of 1 faction by PC control would be to make the NPC more resistant and buff their NPCs. This may allow newer PCs to get into the game.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:00 am 
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Slamz wrote:
That's where I think NPC controlled factions have to come into play.

If you give players a sandbox, it turns out that they make a really boring game out of it. I think direction has to be given to the players, and NPC factions seems like a good way to do it.


Raph Koster has proved this in every game that he has ever created.

The sandbox does not work.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:06 am 
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1000xZero wrote:
Slamz wrote:
That's where I think NPC controlled factions have to come into play.

If you give players a sandbox, it turns out that they make a really boring game out of it. I think direction has to be given to the players, and NPC factions seems like a good way to do it.


Raph Koster has proved this in every game that he has ever created.

The sandbox does not work.


So what is Eve Online then? World's record most concurrent users, subscriber growth every year, largest amount of space in any world, biggest and most complex crafting and game economy and dev economist to oversee it

sure we arent necessarily excited about the combat, but there is alot to do besides combat: politicans, crafters, traders, smugglers, etc

oh ya its 7 years old

Sandboxes work when your devs arent complete fucking retards, ie...Ralph Koster

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:20 am 
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The main problem with EVE, as I understand it, is the tendency for players to avoid wars because they don't want to risk losing what they have. When they do want to fight, it's usually a for-fun attack on the other side of the universe, well away from their home sector, so that they don't risk starting a real war with their immediate neighbors.

Also, my time in EVE convinced me that a majority of their players are PvE bluebies. For every pirate, there's 50 dudes somewhere mining rocks or hunting NPCs, either in missions or in their guild's home sectors.


EVE has a lot of other issues as well ("price of admission" is too high, for one) but I don't think the sandbox is doing it any favors. Without some motivating factor, the galaxy can get very dull. I think I want a game where I can log into a fight every day if I want, and not just on days when the guild leadership has decided to launch an attack against the enemies in the Gamma Quadrant, 50 jumps away.


I think you need NPC pressure to keep things stirred up and interesting.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 10:34 am 
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The other thing NPCs do is give you the feeling of being part of a story (as long as you inject some story into the equation) and how that story plays out could be open.

Along the lines of 'risk' in EVE I think you ought to have to ante up in order to gain anything. You should only be able to gain as much as you are willing to risk. I hate to draw a poker analogy but you don't win big pots without betting big pots and the same should be true in PvP.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:02 am 
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Slamz wrote:
The main problem with EVE, as I understand it, is the tendency for players to avoid wars because they don't want to risk losing what they have. When they do want to fight, it's usually a for-fun attack on the other side of the universe, well away from their home sector, so that they don't risk starting a real war with their immediate neighbors.

Also, my time in EVE convinced me that a majority of their players are PvE bluebies. For every pirate, there's 50 dudes somewhere mining rocks or hunting NPCs, either in missions or in their guild's home sectors.


EVE has a lot of other issues as well ("price of admission" is too high, for one) but I don't think the sandbox is doing it any favors. Without some motivating factor, the galaxy can get very dull. I think I want a game where I can log into a fight every day if I want, and not just on days when the guild leadership has decided to launch an attack against the enemies in the Gamma Quadrant, 50 jumps away.


I think you need NPC pressure to keep things stirred up and interesting.


You also werent in 0.0 were you? and didnt have a guild backing you. Eve and space are not a place for a loner. I died several times trying to get my noobie as to GoonSquad controlled space. Once there I was able to quickly earn 10 times a day more than I did in the 'inner core' pve area.

There were daily patrols and raids into enemy space to pick off anyone that got sloopy as well as monitor enemy force movements. Large fleet operations were something that had to be planned.

You cant just jump your carrier into enemy space and expect not to get owned. A small group of figthers could keep you from warping out and your ship that cost you a month to build is destroyed.

Take a look on the corporate terrirtory maps and see the daily skirmishs along alliance territory borders. It was as real as any conflict that exists among real nations.

Goonsquads main enemy was able to push all the way into their territory, making progress daily and dropping the boarder sectors space stations. Goonsquad knew that isnt going to be able to repel the attack, so the he command was issused to pack your shit up from the home sector and fall back into allied 'Red Alliance' (russian guild) space if you didnt want to lose your belongings. Once the enemys took the sector they controlled the space station and you would lose access to any belongings/ships you had docked, until the sector was retaken.

If there was every a time that reminded me of Empire Strikes Back that was it. The siege of Hoth and the rebel alliance having to evacuate, you dont get that in kind of immerrsion in 'warhammer' or non sandbox games.

I was part of a 'team' or faction and part of a real war effort/campaign. Ships and goods required massive amount of materials to build to rebuild destroyed ships. THere were buy orders on the scale of billions of units of minerals to fuel the shipyards. You could see that your team wasnt keeping up and that you are slowly losing to attrition.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:18 am 
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And now we just need to take that level of action and make it so that all players can experience it without a large price of admission, and without feeling that it's a "special event" that happens once in a blue moon or that you have to be part of a major guild to do it regularly.

But I think we're mixing the definition of "sandbox".

I definitely don't want a purely directed game like WOW, where steps A-Z are pretty well laid out for you and players are barely free to make their own choice of where to go or what to do.

But I also don't think the EVE model works for most people, where players have no real motivation to go out and do something, other than boredom.

I think a factional, NPC driven wargame could do a lot to ensure that even small guilds and solo players can become a part of a much bigger battle, and see fights with neighbors on a daily basis.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:38 am 
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I think the best approach is "sand box with toys." (and possibly really smart sand fleas). In other words, you can't throw players into an empty box of sand and expect them to start making awesome castles. I like the idea that if the players don't go start building interesting things, then the NPCS will. I like the idea that if you lock all players out of the game for a week, and then come back and log in, you'll see that the NPCs have done something more then just stand around.

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:49 am 
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Dustie wrote:
I think the best approach is "sand box with toys." (and possibly really smart sand fleas). In other words, you can't throw players into an empty box of sand and expect them to start making awesome castles. I like the idea that if the players don't go start building interesting things, then the NPCS will. I like the idea that if you lock all players out of the game for a week, and then come back and log in, you'll see that the NPCs have done something more then just stand around.


Be careful what you wish for. The NPCs might not allow you back in. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 11:54 am 
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Thudz wrote:
Dustie wrote:
I think the best approach is "sand box with toys." (and possibly really smart sand fleas). In other words, you can't throw players into an empty box of sand and expect them to start making awesome castles. I like the idea that if the players don't go start building interesting things, then the NPCS will. I like the idea that if you lock all players out of the game for a week, and then come back and log in, you'll see that the NPCs have done something more then just stand around.


Be careful what you wish for. The NPCs might not allow you back in. :lol:


That would be awesome -- if our first patch had to be to "dumb down" the NPCs because they were too smart.

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"Hamilton is really a Colossus to the anti republican party. Without numbers he is an host within himself. They have got themselves into a defile where they might be finished but too much security on the republican part will give time to his talents and indefatigableness to extricate them. We have had only middling performances to oppose to him. In truth when he comes forward there is nobody but yourself who can meet him. His adversaries having begun the attack he has the advantage of answering them and remains unanswered himself. For God's sake take up your pen and give a fundamental reply to Curtius and Camillas" - Thomas Jefferson to James Madison


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:18 pm 
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If you rely heavily on NPCs, you risk having to write massive backstories for factions. Since the NPCs will "respawn", your story always goes in circles. Think massive instance grinding in WoW..... How many times does Onyxia actually get killed? Like a billion?

I think better to have the players write the story. Just not sure how to do it :)


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:27 pm 
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Alio wrote:
If you rely heavily on NPCs, you risk having to write massive backstories for factions. Since the NPCs will "respawn", your story always goes in circles. Think massive instance grinding in WoW..... How many times does Onyxia actually get killed? Like a billion?

I think better to have the players write the story. Just not sure how to do it :)



Actually since we would be killing factions off we wouldn't need to give that much lore except to some of the Lords etc.

The only deep Lore you would need are with some neutral NPC's that you could use to set the whole faction thing up.


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Ahhh, I see. What happens when the installed factions are all gone? Server restarts?


Im just thinking out loud. In WW2OL, there is no NPCs. Basically the players run the show. The "High Command" decides the strategic element of when and where to attack, and funnel the players to the battles that need to be covered. Other low level High Command will grab ranking players from squads, and give them missions. "We need a para drop on Brussels.... 30 men.... 20 minutes"

Then that player will get his squad together, and run the "mission"....

After one army takes enough of the map, victory conditions apply, and we restart the map after a couple days of intermission. All the stories are written by the players. The Battle of Verdun post comes up on the forum, if it was an especially good fight, and players talk of the experience there.

Now, we're talking about a FPS..... But there has to be a way to run a WoW-style combat game, that incorporates great PVP, where the players are running the story.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:42 pm 
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Alio wrote:
Ahhh, I see. What happens when the installed factions are all gone? Server restarts?

New factions would always be cropping up.

Arguably, old factions may never actually die completely but will simply crop up somewhere else after they've been defeated.

My idea of game world size would be something along the lines of the map of WW2O. Very, very, very big. Plenty of room for a new faction to pop up unnoticed for a time or for an old faction to sneak off to regroup.


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Alio wrote:
Ahhh, I see. What happens when the installed factions are all gone? Server restarts?


You just creat new ones. Some grow, some get conquered and become part of a bigger one. Some revolt, cause civil wars with the conquerer, some are destroyed.

One day you are running by some bare patch of land in South Karana and you notice a new camp that wasn't there before. You go talk to the leader of the camp and notice it is a brand new faction. Maybe he got tired of following his old leader and set off a new.

They offer you grand rewards to help them grow stronger. As long as they don't become an irratant the bigger NPC groups ignore them.

Maybe in two months with a little help from PC's that small bare patch of land becomes a castle or a lair.


Vllad


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:51 pm 
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yea, cool idea. I think we have the AI advancement by now that this could actually be pulled off.....


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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Hail to the King
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 10:35 am
Posts: 16899
Location: Cimmeria
I was even thinking that if factions had unique, random (or semi-random) stats, that you could get some interesting Darwinism going on. This faction has high strength, that faction has high magic, the high magic faction turns out to be better and wipes out the high strength faction.

Or factions always look to their neighbors and compare stats. This ogre faction has very high strength and stamina but low speed and stealth. They'll fight the Trolls to the death over resources because the trolls have similar stats and are simply competition. But when the Ogres encounter the Red Court Vampires, the two immediately decide to create an alliance, as the Vampires have low strength, low stamina but high speed and stealth, and when they form battle groups consisting of combined forces, they have far better success in battle.


Some random corner of the map that no player has been to in 6 months has been slowly breeding the perfect super alliance. Factions that don't fit the alliance get wiped out, new factions form, and those that make a good fit get added on...


It's like you're having good success with your Werewolves of London faction, then one day the Red Court Alliance just shows up on your north border and there's ogres, vampires and liches kicking your ass in perfect harmony.

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