Parties

edited November 2014 in Design
From Gavan:
With the new (community-inspired) emphasis on the non-roguelike aspect, there will be full parties. You will start as an individual and recruit whatever party members you want (you also won't be penalized for flying solo - maybe going solo gets you experience faster?). Edit: you can manually control your additional party members or have AI control them, whatever you prefer.

In roguelike mode, probably no parties although perhaps you can recruit AI controlled NPCs. Again, this is just to make low resistance to starting a new game, and low investment in your current game.
Parties are confirmed, and the dynamics of such are now fully up for debate. Gentlemen, let us begin. Some starter questions to consider:

- Should there be a maximum size for parties?
- How easy should it be to gain new party members?
- What should define the ease of which you get someone to join?
- Do NPCs have parties? If so, can you join?
- If you join an NPC's party, or they join yours, what keeps you or them from wandering away from the group and getting lost?
- Is it possible for NPCs to leave your party at will? What would be the catalyst behind this? What keeps NPCs from splitting away from your party all the time?
- What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?
- Would party members be able to choose what skills they level up for themselves, or would you have the ability to choose for them?
- Do they take care of their own needs and wants? Are they able to use money to buy their own weapons and armor?
- How is loot split between party members? How is money split?
- What keeps them from leaving your party and stealing the artifact sword you worked so hard to get? Should it be possible for them to get the artifact sword if they desire it badly enough?
- How should experience be split among party members? Is it based on whoever lands the last hit, or something else?
- What keeps other party members from suddenly turning on you? Should this be permitted? Should you be able to attack other party members?
- How should micromanagement be handled?
- Should players that micromanage have an advantage over those who don't? How do you find balance between the two?

Just a few ideas to think over and discuss. :)


edit: Fixed a typo.
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Comments

  • Talvieno said:

    From Gavan:

    With the new (community-inspired) emphasis on the non-roguelike aspect, there will be full parties. You will start as an individual and recruit whatever party members you want (you also won't be penalized for flying solo - maybe going solo gets you experience faster?). Edit: you can manually control your additional party members or have AI control them, whatever you prefer.

    In roguelike mode, probably no parties although perhaps you can recruit AI controlled NPCs. Again, this is just to make low resistance to starting a new game, and low investment in your current game.
    Parties are confirmed, and the dynamics of such are now fully up for debate. Gentlemen, let us begin. Some starter questions to consider:

    - Should there be a maximum size for parties?

    No artificial limits please. However, there should be some reason not to bring your army of 300. (other than CPU limits)
    For people would join you for adventure and treasure, the fact they are taking a cut is a limit to the player. Not everyone should be joining you for this however.
    Another limit would be to give the NPCs the ability to not get along. At some point some of them would start infighting. It would be up to the PC to get involved or stay out of it.
    Talvieno said:


    - How easy should it be to gain new party members?

    Early on it should be difficult. If the player becomes famous, gains many friends, or "takes over" large area of land. Much easier.
    Talvieno said:


    - What should define the ease of which you get someone to join?

    See my last answer.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do NPCs have parties? If so, can you join?
    - If you join an NPC's party, or they join yours, what keeps you or them from wandering away from the group and getting lost?

    I hope they have their own parties. Nothing should keep them from getting lost or wandering away. However, you could have the option of talking to the NPC and saying "If we get lost, how about we meet up here?"
    Talvieno said:


    - Is it possible for NPCs to leave your party at will? What would be the catalyst behind this? What keeps NPCs from splitting away from your party all the time?

    An NPC should always be able to leave your party. The reason should vary from NPC to NPC. Perhaps a NPC who is frightened easily runs away if the odds get stacked against them. Some may miss their home and tell the player to meet them there if they want to adventure again.
    However, it would also depend on WHY the NPC has joined you. I hope it's possible to be a king or warlord after a length of play. It could be possible to conscript and force NPC's in your party. They still have the ability to leave, it just could be more violent.
    Talvieno said:


    - What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?

    Make the encounters, particularly the advanced ones, have a reason to take the different skill sets.
    Make some creatures resistant to magic and others to physical damage. Make traps and locked doors and chests.
    Talvieno said:


    - Would party members be able to choose what skills they level up for themselves, or would you have the ability to choose for them?

    Level up themselves. However, if an NPC has taken the path of a mage for example, it should generally want to take mage skills. However, not all the time.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do they take care of their own needs and wants? Are they able to use money to
    - How is loot split between party members? How is money split?
    - What keeps them from leaving your party and stealing the artifact sword you worked so hard to get? Should it be possible for them to get the artifact sword if they desire it badly enough?

    The NPCs should always think for themselves. However, every NPC would be different. An NPC who was forced to join you, and hates you, would steal and run the first chance it could. If your a close friend to an NPC it might pick up the artifact and hand it to you personally. You could pre-arrange how the loot is supposed to be split, however it does not mean the NPC will follow it.
    Talvieno said:


    - How should experience be split among party members? Is it based on whoever lands the last hit, or something else?

    It all depends on how the skill system works. However, in larger parties, it should be harder to "level up". (if your doing less work)
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps other party members from suddenly turning on you? Should this be permitted? Should you be able to attack other party members?

    Nothing should keep them from turning on you. In fact, if your a jerk, and you have NPCs forced to party with you, I hope they DO try to turn on you at some point. However, this would be the bonus of adventuring with friends or people who want to adventure with you and like you.
    Talvieno said:


    - How should micromanagement be handled?
    - Should players that micromanage have an advantage over those who don't? How do you find balance between the two?

    It should be as natural as possible. This all depends on how advanced Gavan makes the NPC interactions.
    Talvieno said:


    Just a few ideas to think over and discuss. :)


    Just a FEW? Damn, I think I broke my mouse copying and pasting. ;-)
  • Talvieno said:


    - Should there be a maximum size for parties?

    Sadly, yes. At some point a party would become a troupe, or even a full blown faction with their own government.
    While I'm not really opposed to having that, I think it's important to distinguish a party from a community. Perhaps an arbitrary party limit could work if you'd be required to be able to feed the party. (Go hunting with your party and share food and resources.)
    Talvieno said:


    - How easy should it be to gain new party members?

    It should be fairly easy to get new party members. Chat up a farmhand who yearns for some adventure. Highly skilled NPC should be harder to entice.
    Talvieno said:


    - What should define the ease of which you get someone to join?

    Their skill level and your disposition/reputation.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do NPCs have parties? If so, can you join?

    Sure, why not. I'm not sure how the objectives of the party could be communicated clearly though.
    Talvieno said:


    - If you join an NPC's party, or they join yours, what keeps you or them from wandering away from the group and getting lost?

    Good pathfinding, a UI element that displays their general direction. Perhaps even a tracking skill. Of course, it should be possible for members of your party to leave for their own reasons.
    Talvieno said:


    - Is it possible for NPCs to leave your party at will? What would be the catalyst behind this? What keeps NPCs from splitting away from your party all the time?

    Yes, a party should have a common objective. The personality of your partymembers would also play a role for them to decide if they even want to stay associated with you. Much like in U7 Iolo would leave your party if you were stealing too much.
    Talvieno said:


    - What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?

    None, should be entirely up to the player to compose a party based on their tactics and playing preferences.
    Talvieno said:


    - Would party members be able to choose what skills they level up for themselves, or would you have the ability to choose for them?

    I don't like the idea of being able to determine how an NPC levels up, it would take away their free will. Perhaps the NPC could have a few preferred skills, and asks you for advice. Perhaps leveling up doesn't really have to mean that you'll set arbitrary skill points, and NPC will level the skills they're using.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do they take care of their own needs and wants? Are they able to use money to

    In a party the leader is responsible for maintaining the needs and wants of their members. He can perhaps make a camp and go out hunting with a few NPC, while others search for berries or go fishing, or fetch fresh water. These settlements could perhaps one day grow into a new town, with you as mayor.
    Money should only be used between NPC when there's a possibility to buy and sell.
    Talvieno said:


    - How is loot split between party members? How is money split?

    This is a tricky one... I don't really have an opinion about this yet, other than that the loot should be divided between all active party members. (those that partook in the kill) Or perhaps those that have a skills to loot certain parts. (eg skinning an animal)
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps them from leaving your party and stealing the artifact sword you worked so hard to get? Should it be possible for them to get the artifact sword if they desire it badly enough?

    Sure, backstabbing can be fun, if it's not done as a gimmick. Perhaps their selfish reasons to join your party is to let you do the heavy lifting and steal the loot. NPC and the player should always have an option here though, like Gavan said, no dice rolls.
    Talvieno said:


    - How should experience be split among party members? Is it based on whoever lands the last hit, or something else?

    Total XP of the kill could be divided along all the members that worked together for the kill.
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps other party members from suddenly turning on you? Should this be permitted? Should you be able to attack other party members?

    Yes, permit it. In Baldur's gate the interaction between party members were one of the high points for me.
    Talvieno said:


    - How should micromanagement be handled?

    Well. :D
    Talvieno said:


    - Should players that micromanage have an advantage over those who don't? How do you find balance between the two?

    I think this would mostly boil down to having combat as a turned based system (like baldur's gate could do) where you issue specific orders to partymembers, or you let each member do what they do best. The advantages to either are probably very situational specific, like a boss requiring your party to use a certain set of skills, and you advising your party about this tactic during a pause in combat to issue orders.
  • Sadly, yes. At some point a party would become a troupe, or even a full blown faction with their own government.
    While I'm not really opposed to having that, I think it's important to distinguish a party from a community. Perhaps an arbitrary party limit could work if you'd be required to be able to feed the party. (Go hunting with your party and share food and resources.)

    Feeding everyone is a good idea. I am very against hard gamey limits however. There has to be something to keep it from getting crazy and crashing the computer of course. ;-)
    If I gain the ability (such as I become King or something), I think it could be cool to have a small army with you.
  • Katorone said:

    None, should be entirely up to the player to compose a party based on their tactics and playing preferences.

    I agree 100% against artificial limits. However, there should be some sort of consequences if someone brings only one type of skill set and runs into a situation were having a different one would be much better.

  • Zanteogo said:


    I agree 100% against artificial limits. However, there should be some sort of consequences if someone brings only one type of skill set and runs into a situation were having a different one would be much better.

    The player could find these odds hard to overcome and make smarter choices in the future. :) I think this comes down to experience, and thinking about your tactics.
  • Another thing to consider is how far should your command extend? If you do get 1000 people following you, you don't have a party, you have an army. Commanding an army is a very different prospect than adventuring with a party.
    However, there can be some natural limits on adventuring with a large group. If you take on easy challenges, by the time you split the loot and xp that many ways, you didn't earn anything. NPCs in it for the loot are going to be unsatisfied and leave, and even ones in it for more noble reasons are going to be at a dead standstill in terms of power advancement. So, you have to face tougher challenges. However, a task tough enough to challenge and reward a large group is probably tough enough that you will lose people along the way. I see this all the time with TTRPGS- things were designed for 4 people, and when you try running a party of 12 appropriate challenges start leading to multiple deaths, as the percentage of your resources that it takes to overcome went from "We are all injured" to "2 people died". This will lead to practical limits, and people may eventually decide that 4-6 characters are the ideal party size, where you can find challenges that are tough and rewarding but still sublethal.
    This means that even if you manage to get command over 1000 people, you are likely to still want a small group to be your "party".
    To actually make commanding large groups feasible (and it should be; a king should have actual authority, whether it is a player or a NPC), hierachis of command will help. To integrate it with the overall AI design, you have the concept of "orders", which could also encompass requests and such, which given them a new goal to work towards. an order may give a high priority to that goal, factoring in things like loyalty, while a request may give a low priority goal. A high priority goal would thereby make them actively pursue it, while a request will yield less concession to giving up other things. If someone has enough loyalty, they may even obey orders that will lead to their deaths, esp if it achieves other goals (keeping someone safe, for instance)
    The flip side of this is giving NPCs(and the player) the ability to issue those orders and make requests. Part of this may be understanding how likely someone is to obey it - ordering some random person walking down the street won't work nearly as well as ordering your second in command, and understanding what they are capable of is important too,which can factor in how much authority they have. This will lead to the king issuing orders to his generals, who then go out and command their armies, through their hierarchies. The closer to the end you get, the more detail they may have to provide. The king says "your goal is to defend the city", and the general takes that goal and starts working on how to solve it- he will post me on the walls, so he tells the Sargent "defend the wall" and the Sargent tell their infantry to go to the top of the wall, assigns them bows etc. So, the king issues a single command, and it results in many NPCs carrying out his will. Similarly, if the player gains that much authority, they can issue those orders.
    a message system would also play into this well. Whether magical, or simple notes carried by pigeons or couriers, the ability to send orders or information to people you are not directly talking to can improve things. The King could issue an edict, and messengers will go out and tell everyone the new order, which will factor into their goals (maybe as if I do this, I will be arrested, for instance)
  • Seems like everyone is tending towards an idea of parties where they are essentially just groups of people who decide to travel together under certain agreements, which may or may not be followed.

    Each group member makes an "agreement" to join the party, based on whatever their motivations are, and might make any number of other decisions about breaking the loot-sharing agreement--another thing they "agreed" to--or deserting the party. They might go about this in different ways based on their motives or personality (if personality is a thing); e.g. "I know it's your turn to get the loot, but my brother needs a blanket so I could really use this pelt. Can I trade with you?" vs the npc just grabbing it and running.

    Regarding experience, it could be the case that experience is shared between anyone who fought a mob, regardless of whether or not they are actually in a party. That would make experience-sharing within parties a non-issue.
  • I can't even think about trying to answer these questions until I have a better idea of what the theme of this game is. Shouldn't the various features of the party mechanic in VQ be carefully chosen to support and enhance the overall point of the game?

    Which reminds me: where is this design document for VQ I keep seeing people talking about?
    Talvieno said:

    Gentlemen, let us begin.

    Great. Now -- thanks to Gavan -- all I can hear when I read that is "From the laboratory of Doctor Weird".... :D
  • @Flatfingers
    You're welcome! I wouldn't take it as gospel though. As I understand, many of the specifics will change based on some of the community input that has been collected over the past month and a half; however, the spirit of the game will likely not. :)
  • Makes sense. Actually, it makes me think of a few questions -- I think I'll post that elsewhere so that party mechanics can remain the topic here.
  • edited November 2014
    @Flatfingers‌ is an expert in partying, from what I hear ;)

    My initial thoughts on parties (open to suggestions, as usual)
    Talvieno said:


    - Should there be a maximum size for parties?

    No, you should be able to have 600 party members! Jusk kidding. ;) Yeah, I'm thinking the total count will be limited at (including YOUR character):
    3,4, or 6 people - this is usually the canon for most RPGs. I kind of want to go towards the smaller end, so that you must pick your allies carefully - if you have 6 members, its almost always too easy to fill all the gaps and you essentially have an uber-classed character spread over 6 people. Also, less party members means less micro-management.
    Talvieno said:


    - How easy should it be to gain new party members?

    Depends on: your charisma, your standing, your wealth, etc - why would someone want to join you when you are just extra weight?
    Talvieno said:


    - What should define the ease of which you get someone to join?

    See above.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do NPCs have parties? If so, can you join?

    Hell yeah they do. How cool would it be to walk into a tavern and see a rival party, then pick a fight with them for a good old-fashioned medieval bar brawl? ;)
    Talvieno said:


    - If you join an NPC's party, or they join yours, what keeps you or them from wandering away from the group and getting lost?

    Nothing! Find your kidnapped party member could be a quest then. As usual, I think lifting certain constraints/hand-holding makes for a more interesting world (but at the same time, fun > realism).
    Talvieno said:


    - Is it possible for NPCs to leave your party at will? What would be the catalyst behind this? What keeps NPCs from splitting away from your party all the time?

    Absolutely - if you violate their beliefs (motivations), etc. Its not entirely common, but if you really piss off one of your party members it can happen (say you destroy a shrine of the god they worship).
    Talvieno said:


    - What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?

    None IMO - let the player decide if they want all fighters or not. Of course, having gaps in your rank is its own weakness.
    Talvieno said:


    - Would party members be able to choose what skills they level up for themselves, or would you have the ability to choose for them?

    This is one thing that is probably based on player preferences, that ultimately winds down to one setting: player-controlled party members or autopilot with AI.
    Talvieno said:


    - Do they take care of their own needs and wants? Are they able to use money to buy their own weapons and armor?

    See above answer.
    Talvieno said:


    - How is loot split between party members? How is money split?

    I think its up to the player to manage this, but initially this will probably be simplified with an even split or something, or taking turns dolling out loot.
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps them from leaving your party and stealing the artifact sword you worked so hard to get? Should it be possible for them to get the artifact sword if they desire it badly enough?

    Nothing! Another good plot twist :)
    Talvieno said:


    - How should experience be split among party members? Is it based on whoever lands the last hit, or something else?

    Experience will probably be evenly distributed.
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps other party members from suddenly turning on you? Should this be permitted? Should you be able to attack other party members?

    Nothing. Again, see comment on artificial constraints :)
    Talvieno said:


    - How should micromanagement be handled?

    See autopilot answer. But I'm thinking that maybe you have a global inventory if autopilot is turned off, where you can see all 3-6 characters at once (IIRC Dungeon Siege did this).
    Talvieno said:


    - Should players that micromanage have an advantage over those who don't? How do you find balance between the two?

    Not necessarily. Sometimes the AI might be smarter than you are! :)
  • Will we be able to book a tavern for parties?
    What about unwanted party crashers? can we hire a bouncer?
  • edited November 2014
    Party size: I think this could be determined largely by reputation and social skills. Someone who's little known is as interesting as a rock might have a really hard time pulling together a party, while someone who's known everywhere might not have any trouble. Something very interesting I think should be pointed out: For the more people you have in a party, the thinner the loot gets spread, as well for the experience. "You want me to join? You already have so many people - what share of the glory would I have?" (Dwarf Fortress uses this.)

    For a scale with a maximum of five extra party members, increasing your reputation and charisma could have a huge effect on how successful you are out in the world.
    Zanteogo said:

    However, you could have the option of talking to the NPC and saying "If we get lost, how about we meet up here?"

    I very much like this idea.
    gavanw said:

    - What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?
    None IMO - let the player decide if they want all fighters or not. Of course, having gaps in your rank is its own weakness.

    I'd say the "having gaps in your ranks is a weakness" is an encouragement in itself. :P Plus, I personally think there should be a reason not to go all-mages; Every type should be equally useful, but some emphasis should be placed on tactical gameplay.


    And Lol, Japa. :P
  • Talvieno said:


    I'd say the "having gaps in your ranks is a weakness" is an encouragement in itself. :P Plus, I personally think there should be a reason not to go all-mages; Every type should be equally useful, but some emphasis should be placed on tactical gameplay.

    I agree. If "party of all X" is the best choice, there is something wrong with the game balance.
  • gavanw said:

    @Flatfingers‌ is an expert in partying, from what I hear ;)

    Someone's been reading my web site bio. :D
    gavanw said:

    if you have 6 members, its almost always too easy to fill all the gaps and you essentially have an uber-classed character spread over 6 people.

    YES. This is an argument I remember making a few years back when the question arose of how many characters the player should be allowed to create/control in a MMORPG.

    My argument was that for a regular progression-based game, this number should be low -- no more than 3, and preferably only 2. And that's for the exact reason given above: being able to control a collection of characters whose abilities span the available content types is functionally identical to having one ubercharacter. If you're OK with that, then you're better off only allowing players to run one character but letting that character learn all abilities.

    (Note though that I don't think every RPG needs to be designed to provide in-world progression. That's a convention, and conventions should be questioned. Some convention might still wind up being the Right Thing for a particular game, but you can't know that if you don't question it. In the case of in-world progression, if you're OK with not having that, then you can let the player control as many characters as they like... though maybe only one at a time.)
    gavanw said:

    Talvieno said:


    - What measures (if any) should be taken to encourage the player to have parties composed of members with differing skillsets?

    None IMO - let the player decide if they want all fighters or not. Of course, having gaps in your rank is its own weakness.
    I think that's a good answer, but I'd like to see it explored versus both the roguelike and long-term play styles.

    A total party wipe because you tried to take on the Ant Lord's Army with three Merchants might be fun in fast mode, where you can quickly jump back in with another (different) set of characters in a party... but it would likely be double-plus unfun in the long-term play mode where you've spent a relatively long time building up those three Merchant characters.

    On balance, though, I generally favor trusting players to know what they want to do, even if it's something I probably wouldn't do myself. In some cases I might implement warnings to the player: "Are you really sure you want to attack the High Lichlord of Certain Doom? The chances of your party of elderly shopkeepers surviving are 4,392 to 1." But having done so, hey, if you want to expunge those characters, you can.
    gavanw said:

    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps them from leaving your party and stealing the artifact sword you worked so hard to get? Should it be possible for them to get the artifact sword if they desire it badly enough?

    Nothing! Another good plot twist :)
    Talvieno said:


    - What keeps other party members from suddenly turning on you? Should this be permitted? Should you be able to attack other party members?

    Nothing. Again, see comment on artificial constraints :)
    I was once in a long-running D&D game with a guy who played an almost completely amoral and occasionally insane Halfling thief. The guy running this character played it absolutely straight -- the character was "unpredictable," so that's how my friend played him. He made that campaign... memorable.

    You just plain never knew quite what this character would do. Most of the time he'd just be a regular party member since too crazy isn't actually all that much fun. But every now and then, he would come up with something so off-the-wall -- but completely in character -- that we could only shake our heads in admiration. Sometimes it would be charging an enemy head-on (not always wise as a wee thief). Sometimes it would be to set one of his own party on fire for a distraction... even if no distraction happened to be needed at the moment. Sometimes he would give you a priceless artifact that he found. Sometimes he would steal everything that was green out of your pack during the night. He once urinated on a fire elemental. (The DM was so amused by this that he graciously resisted the urge to set a "party member" alight.)

    The point was that this character had to be watched at all times. You could never just get all serious, carefully debating which tactics to use against the Approaching Horde of Bad Things -- this guy would make sure that your plans were as useful as a toilet-paper umbrella. Sometimes that worked to our advantage; other times it was "Oh, crap, he's just teleported himself into the chief orc's bed -- the one with the chief orc in it -- while we were trying to sneak past them. Here we go again!"

    But what it never was was boring. :)

    Which is my long way of saying that I very much endorse the idea of party members having their own agendas that may support or conflict with yours, your character's, or any other party member's interests.

  • My argument was that for a regular progression-based game, this number should be low -- no more than 3, and preferably only 2. And that's for the exact reason given above: being able to control a collection of characters whose abilities span the available content types is functionally identical to having one ubercharacter. If you're OK with that, then you're better off only allowing players to run one character but letting that character learn all abilities.

    One of the reasons why I loved playing Guild Wars (1) was the ability to go out with a party and finetune the skills for the situations I'd encounter on the map. Collecting new heroes and skills, and thinking about what the situation required.
    I even created a 2nd account and unlocked all heroes and skills, so I could clear maps with a party of six heroes.
    In that sense, creating an "uber character" was extremely satisfying.

    Though I'm not sure VQ would offer the vast differences in enemies that would require this. I'm pretty sure with a too high party cap it would be possible to create "a party to rule them all".
    In the long run, that isn't much fun either.
  • Katorone said:

    One of the reasons why I loved playing Guild Wars (1) was the ability to go out with a party and finetune the skills for the situations I'd encounter on the map. Collecting new heroes and skills, and thinking about what the situation required.
    I even created a 2nd account and unlocked all heroes and skills, so I could clear maps with a party of six heroes.
    In that sense, creating an "uber character" was extremely satisfying.

    It absolutely can be very satisfying, especially to completionists (like me :D).

    And I don't even object to it from a design perspective for single-player games (where you ought to be able to play how you like), or games whose content is procedurally generated (so that you can't just buzzsaw your way through everything in a week) or if each character can have a strongly expressed personality style (so that you might pick characters on their personality instead of just their mechanical advantages).

    But for a multiplayer game with fixed content, being able to build a do-everything party is a ticket to players churning out rapidly.
  • He once urinated on a fire elemental. (The DM was so amused by this that he graciously resisted the urge to set a "party member" alight.)

    This might just be my college-age mind, but I feel like this went by unappreciated. :P

    But on a more serious note, I'd like to be able to see some sort of reputation system that goes beyond a number on a scale from good to evil. Obviously you can ask a character what their goals are, but if all goes as Gavan planned, they'll be able to lie to you. If it's not too complicated to implement, reputation that spreads via word-of-mouth (people talking in taverns, warriors recounting past experiences with someone) would give a lot of contextual depth to a character joining your party.
  • Well, let's look at reputation. As a starting point, I'd suggest you really only need two numbers: strength and type. (You could make rep location-specific if you really enjoy simulation.)

    Strength is how likely an NPC is to recognize you. Type is what kind of rep you have.

    For type... in terms of gameplay value, does it need to be more complex than a simple slider with "Dangerous" at one end, "Heroic" at the other end, and "Unpredictable" in the middle? What other kinds of reputation would have gameplay value?

    (I'm not implying there aren't any; it's a serious question meant to understand what other people think the scope should be for a reputation system in VQ.)

    Also, how does reputation change between an individual and a party? Is RepStrength cumulative and RepType averaged based on the individual reps of all party members? Or something else? When a character grouped in a party performs some action, does only that character receive a rep change? Or do all party members get the same rep change for being grouped with that character? Or is a rep change prorated somehow, either immediately or over time?

    Questions, questions. :)
  • Well, let's look at reputation. As a starting point, I'd suggest you really only need two numbers: strength and type. (You could make rep location-specific if you really enjoy simulation.)

    Strength is how likely an NPC is to recognize you. Type is what kind of rep you have.

    For type... in terms of gameplay value, does it need to be more complex than a simple slider with "Dangerous" at one end, "Heroic" at the other end, and "Unpredictable" in the middle? What other kinds of reputation would have gameplay value?

    (I'm not implying there aren't any; it's a serious question meant to understand what other people think the scope should be for a reputation system in VQ.)

    Also, how does reputation change between an individual and a party? Is RepStrength cumulative and RepType averaged based on the individual reps of all party members? Or something else? When a character grouped in a party performs some action, does only that character receive a rep change? Or do all party members get the same rep change for being grouped with that character? Or is a rep change prorated somehow, either immediately or over time?

    Questions, questions. :)

    There is definitely value in having your reputation be more nuanced. Are you considered dangerous because you are a wily thief, or because you murder villages? The former may encourage a thief to trust you and bring you into their scheme, the latter should send them running for the hills. Faction-based reputations are also useful. If you are known for murdering the /enemies/ villages, you may be considered a war hero. A more dynamic system wouldn't sum up your accomplishments into a single number, it would track which things each person has heard of, and let that person evaluate how they feel about each of them. This also lets you lie about what you have or have not done, which is in line with the general take gavan wants for characters being able to lie. (and of course, being caught out in a lie will make people trust you less). Such a system also avoids the "actions taken with no witnesses make people love/hate you" quirk many games have.
  • Good points, Mystify. It seems to me that what you're suggesting here is that reputation be keyed to faction.

    It might still be a simple "Dangerous --- Unpredictable --- Heroic" slider, but at least it allows more granularity in how characters are treated by other characters.

    In fact, it reminds of an idea I've outlined elsewhere for what I called "multifaction": not just letting characters have standings with different factions, but letting factions have different standings with each other and using that for second-order effects whenever a character does something. Faction A may like it when you help them, but that might also mean your standing is reduced with Faction B who hates Faction A. (I described that idea in some detail on my blog, and discussed it a bit more in a Limit Theory post.)

    So: is there any information about whether factions are planned to be part of Voxel Quest?
  • edited November 2014
    Faction based is a consequence of what I proposed, my suggestion is more generic. Rather than having a score for everyone or for each faction, you get it for each person, and its based on what they have actually learned about you.
    edit: as well as how they feel about those things.
    The faction based stuff comes in from a faction spreading information about your deeds amongst themselves, whether it was an action that they like or dislike.
  • So: is there any information about whether factions are planned to be part of Voxel Quest?

    Not yet. Take this with a huge grain of salt (just to be clear, this is by no means a representation of VQ's future features! I, PreacherJayne, cannot speak for Gavan, and this is purely wild speculation), but the word "faction" does come up once in the design doc when describing the player's alignment/reputation:
    Affected by your actions towards others. You can be somewhere between evil, neutral, and good. It is possible to disguise your alignment. Your reputation will vary between races, factions, and other alignments (i.e. if you are evil, other evil people may favor you).
    Keep in mind that this revision of the design doc is outdated, making this piece of info a curiosity at best. :) Would factions be interesting? Heck yes! But don't expect to see them any time soon, and I can't guarantee they will even exist.
  • I hope there will be some sort of faction system.

    After all, if your a king, guild leader, or part of the local rebellion, your part of a faction.
  • I'd prefer a more free-from faction system though. NPCs (and hte PC, of course) should be able to arbitraily create, join, leave, and possibly merge factions. This would allow the rebel leader to dynamically create a rebellion, and have people join. Joining a faction means you are accepting their goals as your own, with your loyalty to the faction a large factor in how highly you prioritize them
  • Zanteogo said:

    I hope there will be some sort of faction system.

    After all, if your a king, guild leader, or part of the local rebellion, your part of a faction.

    Yes, there will be factions. Pretty much any group will be abstracted as a "faction" - guilds, clans, rebels, etc. You can be a member of more than one faction simultaneously (i.e. a member of a guild and a member of some clan). Faction goals are determined by their leaders. There is nothing preventing you from leaving a given faction (in fact, you might be kicked out for breaking its rules or its trust). There is also nothing preventing you from creating a new faction (although, it may be a "faction of one" unless you can convince others that your cause is worthwhile). All this works pretty easily into the planned AI system, and is a big part of driving the dynamic storyline, but it is a ways out before I get to implementing this part.
  • This might sound weird, but could the concept of factions apply to animals as well? They could form groups, and if you hunt one down, you might be ganged up on later by its friends?

    Not a hugely important or game-changing thing, but I'm curious to know if that would be difficult to implement and if there are definite plans for animals within VQ.
  • This might sound weird, but could the concept of factions apply to animals as well? They could form groups, and if you hunt one down, you might be ganged up on later by its friends?

    Not a hugely important or game-changing thing, but I'm curious to know if that would be difficult to implement and if there are definite plans for animals within VQ.

    Yes, in this case it would probably be more like packs or families, but there would probably be many similarities to faction behavior.
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