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 Post subject: Night vs Day
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 6123
I've been thinking about a more and more about a sandbox type game where players actually LIVE and FUNCTION inside a city and/or villages. One thing I struggle to figure out, is how do you deal with night v day cycles. I always imagine games where rogues actually need cover/darkness to sneak around and nitetime is their time to shine, however a game needs equal playtime for both a rogue sneaky person and a daytime trader type person.

In minecraft its not that big a deal, you can just go dig underground and be oblivious to the outside world for the most part.

What exactly would a player such as a farmer/resource collector/trader do during the night time? Sit in your house and actually craft a night?

Would you actually consider playing a game where 60-90 minutes your character would be less effective? Say a burgler thief having to wait til nitetime to actually do most of your action/more exciting type gameplay. Or a resource collector that needs to come back inside the city at nitefall due to baddies/monsters roaming around?

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 Post subject: Re: Night vs Day
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:26 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:05 pm
Posts: 2235
I don't see why you couldn't view it as a sort of "buff" whereby certain skills worked better/worse depending on whether the buff was on or not. You could even expand that to include not only day/night cycles but even perhaps seasons too.

The only tricky thing would be that you would want the cycle to be much quicker so that a player with 2 hours to play wouldn't always be stuck in the same cycle.

Balance would also be a bit tricky too.

That being said, I would think it would add a nice dynamic to the game whereby certain quests or objectives were easier/harder depending on your role and any other buffs that might be available.

I would limit it to side mechanics and not core combat dynamics however or the balance problem would become even greater.


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 Post subject: Re: Night vs Day
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 11:21 am
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Location: Warren, NJ
if players have a need to do things in private (e.g. crafting) then it would be possible to allow them to play in the past, but it would have to be carefully managed.

let's suppose that our player, Jack, trades with other players during 'daytime' and crafts magical items during 'nighttime' (let's suppose these items *must* be crafted at night for lore reasons, perhaps because demon summoning is involved). when he last logged off, he was in his shop (closed) and 'nighttime' was just beginning. today, he is logging on and it is currently 'daytime'. because he logged off in a private area (his shop) the game gives him the option of resuming where he left off (still 'nighttime') or fast-forwarding to the current time ('daytime'). if he chooses to resume, he can play in the past, crafting items or whatever, but he must stay in his closed shop. once he's done with that, he can then fast-forward to 'current' time and open his shop, at which point Jack becomes visible to other players in his now-opened shop (but he can never do anything in the past that would have been visible to other players if any had been there to see it). if it has been many in-game days since he last logged off, and he's restricted to making only a certain number of items each night, Jack might choose to fast-forward to the next night to do more crafting. but until Jack fast-forwards to the current time and opens his shop, other players only see a closed shop and there is no way for them to know whether Jack is inside or not.

and, like the box containing Schroedinger's cat, there is no reason for other players to care whether he's inside or not (or what times he was and wasn't there) as long as the door remains bolted.

but this only helps if players have things they can do in private while waiting for the current day/night cycle to get to where they want, and of course you can never rewind once you've gotten current. and it's only *useful* to do this if the things you can do during the day are different from what can be done at night, or if long crafting cooldowns are involved. otherwise you might as well always play at the current time.

and it is absolutely no help at all for anything that requires interacting with others, or which changes visible game state for others, which is almost everything in most MMO's, especially PVP MMO's.

there is some room for abuse with this, of course. if demand for an item with a long crafting cooldown suddenly spikes (and prices go up) you can take advantage of this by logging on a crafter who hasn't played in a while and making a lot of those items in the past (but only if you already had all the ingredients available -- you wouldn't be able to leave your shop to buy ingredients without fast-forwarding to the current time).


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 Post subject: Re: Night vs Day
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 3:04 am
Posts: 8179
Location: Buffalo NY
I think EQ had some of these elements and I didn't mind them at all. Some players had night vision some didn't. I agree as long as you handle them like buffs instead of debuffs you are fine.

From a crafting perspective I think it is the very best way to inhance crafting. Let me expand that beyond what Snow said.

Not only should the time of day impact crafting but the location as well. If I did the ultimate type of craft game I would make not only components matter but where and what you used to make them.

For example: If I wanted to make the Sword of God I would make earning the components for such a sword in such a way that makes it rare. The idea being not only would I need some special steel but I would need to forge this steel in a special forge between Midnight and 1 AM on the third day of every month on the Mountain of Angels. You can figure out the lore yourself but the time of day and the location that you forge makes the creation of items unique. If I took those same items and forged them at 3 PM on a Saturday in the Valley of the Green Swamp I get a Sword of Goop.

Why would I do this?

1. Crafting in most games breaks pvp. You need to make people craft in area's around the world so people just can't play the game stuck in their capitol and never leave it.
2. In a big world you need area's and reasons to pvp. If people have to go to the Mountain of Angels to make shit now you have a reason to PVP at the Mountain of Angels. That means crafters are problaby going to have to take an army with them to craft the Sword of God.
3. Crafting should be unique to every individual. I have played game after game where crafting was nothing but a waste of money and resourses for the individuals because all people make all of the same ole shit.

By having a game that runs a time and calendar you can do those kind of unique things. Assuming the game designers have any kind of imagination.


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