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RE: CF: Long term experimental ideas

On Tue, 14 Sep 1999, dragonm wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Hwei Sheng TEOH
> To:
> Sent: 9/14/99 2:38 PM
> Subject: Re: CF: Long term experimental ideas
> On Tue, 14 Sep 1999, dragonm wrote:
> Hmm... I've never liked the idea of generators in CF, especially generators
> that you can "kill", and that ceaselessly produces monsters. I think,
> generators should either be made invisible (as is proposed), or made
> "indestructible" (what does it mean to "destroy" a dragon cave
> anyway?!).  Then, generators should produce only limited numbers of
> monsters, like with a max number (as is also proposed). I like the idea of
> "hidey holes" that no one can reach -- we can put generators behind dungeon
> walls, (simulating unreachable caves where the monsters are hiding) and have
> them produce monsters on the other side of the wall.
> Another interesting idea would be to have players that choose to play as
> a monster of that type have access to that hole. (So that if a player is a
> kobold, he can lurk around the kobold holes). This may or may not be
> feasible for mapmakers to do, though... so maybe the player can only access
> a few small rooms where the kobold generators are. We can then explain the
> generators as the holes where reinforcements are coming from. The kobold
> player can then use that hole to hide from other creatures in the dungeon.
> ----------------
> Uhm, actually, I wasn't intending to keep generators as a variant of their
> current form at all.  And I wasn't refering to literal hidey holes, either.
> That paragraph was intended to be backstory justifying the behavior.
> Generators as such would cease to exist.  AI Monsters would appear based on
> probabilities and densities for a given area of map floorspace.
> However, you bring up a very salient point.  A human player who wishes to
> play as a kobold or other cannon-fodder creature would definitely prefer to
> run around in the company of a horde of his brethren, even if they are just
> AIs.  In this case, a literal hidey hole is a necessity.  I hadn't thought
> of that.

It will make the dungeon designers' job harder if we decide to do that... I'm
afraid what will happen is that mapmakers will just completely ignore the
hidey holes and place generators inside the dungeon rooms directly. I don't
know how many people will actually be interested to go through the trouble of
creating safe "hiding areas" for all kinds of player races, when they're
trying to create some quest.

> Good point.  AI heroes would definitely be needed, especially if there is a
> preponderence of monster players.  This idea already generalizes in
> precisely that way.  I see I didn't make that clear.  "Hero" and "monster"
> were convenient labels, not straitjackets to push players into.  Using race
> was exactly what I had in mind.  However, I didn't intend for that to be a
> straitjacket either, if you'll recall my contribution to the races thread.
> I detest server-enforced animosities between races with no leeway.  In
> EverQuest, there are a bunch of different races, each with racial
> animosities towards each other.  I thought that was stupid, since except for
> town guards and shopkeepers, ONLY humans were playing any of those races.  I
> proposed eliminating it entirely.  You've taken it a step farther, and
> proposed generalizing it to its greatest extent.  In that case yes, the
> racial animosities are necessary as AI drivers.  I do think that there
> should be some slack in enforcement, though.  A wraith accompanied by a
> powerful human should be able to enter a human town and not get killed on
> sight by the guards.  There's more to be said on that subject, but I'll
> leave it for now.
> ----------------

Hmm, so far I don't remember seeing any response to my ideas about player
reputation, etc.. What I had in mind with that was that players playing a race
opposite to a particular city should still be able to visit it, and the
citizens' attitude would be slightly friendlier if the player has a good
reputation in general. Their actual friendliness would still be biased by the
fact that the player's race is one they dislike. This should still allow for
players of different races to cooperate. (Haven't we all read fantasy stories
where the heroes met friendly creatures of usually enemy races? Even the
current Scorn has a Friendly Giant's tower. We definitely should allow such
exceptions to the "normal" racial oppositions.)

> Actually, much of that can be included as well.  What the NPC says is
> adjusted by the human wizard.  The backstory is, the NPC is the wizard's
> employee, though he doesn't admit it.  The mechanism is, the player who took
> the AI wizard's place can edit the clues that refer the quest that leads to
> himself.  They're part of the "property" of that wizard.

Hmm, this may make things hard to implement... unless there's a sensible way
the NPC's can be "re-educated" when a player takes over a wizard's position in
a dungeon.

> Being able to take over a particular dungeon certainly appeals to me...
> I don't know how far you should push this Wizard thing, though; having the
> entire world dominated by one player seems a little too far (may cause
> vast imbalance in the game depending on what the player does with his power
> -- if we allow things like changing dungeons (like you described above),
> you're assuming that whoever manages to take over the dungeon has enough
> sense to keep that dungeon reasonable. Otherwise you may get total chaos on
> the entire CF world (whoever takes over will turn it into whatever he likes
> it to be) with unreasonable traps, map inconsistencies, strange combinations
> of monsters, etc., but on a worse order of magnitude (can't guarantee game
> quality at the map level).
> ----------------
> As my last sentence said, there could very well be multiple Wizards, some
> good, some not.  I definitely didn't intend for one Wizard to acquire enough
> power to control the entire world simulated by the server.  A Wizard's
> control should extend throughout his realm and no farther.  I do think a
> Wizard should be able to edit his dungeon, but I also don't think it should
> just be another name for Crossfire Map Maker.  There should be costs
> associated with changing things, and costs associated with maintaining
> things.  Just because you're a Wizard doesn't mean you should have the power
> to plant an unlimited number of Greater Demons in your realm, even if you
> are an evil Wizard.  I think it will be all you can do to maintain control
> of ONE Greater Demon.  You can't create unreasonable traps and map
> inconsistencies quickly because moving walls around in a dungeon is NOT
> easy.  Ever try to dig through solid rock with a shovel?  :)  And as soon as
> one unreasonable trap is implemented, word will spread and everybody will
> know to avoid it.  And six virtual months of hard work goes down the drain.
> As I said, the virtual physics of the game world and the player's own power
> will limit what a Wizard-class player can do.  They won't be kind limits.
> So whoever takes over most definitely will not be able to turn it into
> whatever he likes it to be.

Hmm, if we do things this way, we're basically allowing minor differences from
the basic/original dungeon map (which is much more reasonable). This way,
perhaps even placing of monsters can be restricted -- only monsters of 
certain races live in that dungeon, so the wizard can only use them, perhaps
summoning a handful of other special monsters, but no more than that.

> ----------------
> OTOH the idea of being able to "administrate" a dungeon that you just
> took over suonds really fun to me. We'll definitely need to think over the
> necessary restrictions and rules that the player needs to abide by.
> ----------------
> Almost.  Lots of restrictions.  No rules.  If you can afford it, we'll let
> you do it.  But buddy, if you think you can put 8 pit traps in one corridor,
> don't blame us if the entire corridor collapses.
> One restriction would be cost.  Yes, finally you have something to do with
> all that platinum.
> One restriction would be physics.  Dungeon walls can't float on air.  If you
> tunnel out their foundation, they fall down.

This will be rather difficult to implement... currently, maps are related to
each other only via "exits". Mark did mention something about layered maps,
but I don't know if we're actually going to have true layering (in the sense
that digging underneath a wall could make it collapse, altering potentially
several maps at the same time). Also, this may permanently "cripple" the
dungeon and make it useless for future players.

One thought about all of this -- how does the wizard actually go about
*building* all this stuff and placing all these monsters? I personally think
it's silly to suddenly transform the player's window into "wizard mode" with
editing commands, etc., upon becoming a wizard. There should be a way to
administrate a dungeon that integrates into normal gameplay smoothly.


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