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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Dynamic

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Okay, I like to be fair. And while we all know I'm never wrong, sometimes I might be slightly less than right. Or something like that.

I did say the Griffon Towers event was a good idea but I dismissed it for not being true dynamic content. While I didn't get a chance to actually participate, the comments I read convinced me that the event was more interactive than I gave it credit for.

Here's
some of the reports that convinced me. And yeah, I know one of those threads is complaining about the short length of the event, but that's not my focus here (here's hoping they take the popularity into account for the next one - see Blackguard's comments on this). I'm more interested in quotes like this from the official forums:

"Now whenever my characters see the Griffon Tower on Coldwind Beach near South Centaur camp they will think ... We helped build that!!"

"It is just so cool that we could change the face of those zones."

"We can stand back and look at it and say 'I helped build that'."


I can't argue with that emotional response. But I'm happy to be wrong because it let's me harp on the fact that I think dynamic world-changing content like this is an important future of the MMO industry. Stuff like this could really help set EQII apart if they keep it up. Players are tired of feeling like they can't change the world they spend so much time in. And they love the feeling they get when they can make a difference.

But I'm not satisfied. I want to take it a step further. I want to see dynamic events that have different conclusions on different servers.

We have the perfect set-up. Freeport vs. Qeynos. I'm going to stick with griffon towers, just for an example. One griffon tower is going up. Whether it goes up in TS or Nek is up to the players. A simple race: who can finish the tower first? We have the good players struggling to build it in TS and the evil crew fighting to put it up in Nek. Whoever finishes first gets the tower permanently. As I said, the results would be different on different servers and the feeling of accomplishment would be even greater. Obviously, SOE can't do that specific example because the towers are already up, but you get the idea.

And let's do it in non-event ways, as well. I want every NPC I deal with on a day to day basis to react differently to me based on my level or faction standing. I want my armor mender to now say, "It's a pleasure to repair the armor of such a true hero." I want that Ironforge kid to say to me, "Wow, you must have seen a gnoll before because you're so damn uber it hurts my eyes to look at you." Well, maybe not exactly that, but you get the idea. To be fair some of this is in the game already, especially in terms of faction. In fact, some quest NPC in DoF recently referred to me by my character's name. Pretty cool.
But I want more. I'm greedy like that.

Oh, and while I'm giving SOE credit for something, I might as well throw in the fact that they're offering refunds on the pre-NGE expansion, Trials of Ewan McGregor or whatever it's called. So that's takes a little bit out of the sting of my parody last Friday. But only a little.

31 Comments:

Blogger warm_machine said...

I think you're dead on regarding future dynamic content. I only did one tiny quest for the TS griffon towers, but I feel like I contributed in some small way... which I did... literally.

This was the best though:

"Wow, you must have seen a gnoll before because you're so damn uber it hurts my eyes to look at you."

BWAHAHAHA!!!

1:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trials of Ewan McGregor. LOL. That made my day.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nathan Ironforge needs to die!

3:33 AM  
Blogger Twodragons said...

I scanned a few of the complaints that the event was not spread across all levels. Going from Aggromes idea of competing zones and from watching my son play a demo version of a game against really huge monsters, this may help:

There are 4 "focus nodes" in the zone that must be protected to help the carpenters keep building and finish construction.

The node is a large floating shard that naturally attracts monsters. (of course)

Each node will attract a certain monster level range, 20-30, 30-40, 40-50, 50-60, plus a named or two. To prevent the lowbie shard from being camped by an uber-licious DPS, the mobs can be immune to higher or lower level ranges (is that possible?) "I need a 30-40 healer and mezzer at northern shard, stat!"

If a node is destroyed by monsters, the construction is "capped". So if 2 nodes are destroyed, production is capped at 50%.

Once production is complete, a Colosuss (I'm talking BIG) will spawn and make his way to the tower, attemping to destroy it.

To allow everyone a shot at an epic-type mob, it can be hit by anything, only does stun/root/mez/charm/fear, but has a gajillion HP.

The colosuss can also be climbed so players can scale it's legs, back, weapon, and head to focus their damage. WARNING: If you fall, you will take damage and possibly die.

Slaying the colususs will result in the tower becoming permenent.

Woot, gratz!

...but not to be beaten, one day the shards will spawn and the tower will be at risk, requiring everyone to call to arms once again.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Twodragons said...

Jeez, why do ideas come to me in a trickle...

Anti-Shard v1.0: Shards appear in the zone at random locations. These shards prevent construction from continuing and they must be destroyed. Shards can cast AE spells and recipricate damage (it takes 500 and deals 500 back). Each shard will be immune to something...slashing, heat, mental, etc. 20-30 shards will spawn over a period of time. "Shard sighted in NW corner! To arms!"



Reap What You SoW: Players buy a Shard Seed (lore, no-trade) from a merchant in their own zone. There are only 50 seeds to buy and plant. They go into the opposing zone and plant these seeds wherever they can. Within 5-10 minutes, the giant shard will appear. During that time, they must cultivate the seed by harvesting (gather, mine, forage, trap, etc) to get the shard to grow.

Note: this would take live supervision, as we know someone will try to put a shard in a tree or rock, making it impossible to target. A GM can nudge the shard to a proper spot.

Meanwhile, the opposing forces are patroling the zone for such subverters. If they find a shard growing, they can attempt to destroy it by either dueling the "gardener" or damaging the node. The "gardener" counters damage with harvesting skills (kind of like crafting). Multiple gardeners can stack the cultivation effort. Cultivation uses power.

Alternate Ending: A person must stay with the Shard Seed and keep cultivating it during the entire construction process. If you stop cultivating, it decays until it self-destructs. "I'm OOM, take over! Mezzer, I need some crack, stat!"

As long as you have a shard in your zone, you cannot complete the tower.

First one to build a tower in a shard-free zone, wins.

Woot, gratz!

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