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Community Poll #1 - Gameplay

Discussion in 'MS:Source Discussions' started by thesupersoup, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. thesupersoup

    thesupersoup New Adventurer Source Developer Developer

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    Straight from the news article on ModDB-

    We're going try something new. There has been a lot of internal discussion over certain aspects of Master Sword, such as the leveling system, how items and their stat prerequisites work, etc. So, rather than keep that all bottled up, we're going to let the community in on the fun! (Especially since what we decide affects you most in the end)

    Which would you see implemented in MS:S, and why? (Why, as in what appeals to you, what "feels right", etc.) -

    Diablo/Torchlight/Fate-style gameplay mechanics (Weapons require "Strength 16, Dexterity 17" to wield. Leveling up gives a pool of points to allocate, but only to player stats rather than skills. Player can have special feats or abilities, which may be offensive or defensive. Fast paced. Action RPG)

    Vanilla Master Sword-style gameplay mechanics (As you use weapons, XP goes toward leveling up that skill, such as "Swordsmanship" or "Axe Handling". Stats are leveled up based upon what skills the player focuses on. Can be slower paced.)

    Elder Scrolls-style gameplay mechanics (Player has major skills, either determined by them or by what skills they use the most, which have a larger effect upon leveling up. Slower than Diablo, but faster than Vanilla Master Sword as far as pace is concerned. Upon leveling, there is a small pool of points available to the player to distribute to his stats based on what skills he used. Different stats govern different skills.)

    A mix of two (Please explain)

    Or something in the style of another RPG not mentioned here

    This is the chance to let your voice be heard. What direction would you like to take Master Sword: Source?
     
  2. Stoned

    Stoned New Adventurer

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    I would be fine with an Elder Scrolls or vanilla Master Sword leveling system.
     
  3. thesupersoup

    thesupersoup New Adventurer Source Developer Developer

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    Elaboration will help us to help you in the long run ;)
     
  4. DarkWasp

    DarkWasp New Adventurer Source Developer Developer The Dragonknights

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    I think we should be innovating this one. Part of what makes MS:C stand out is that you feel a sort of Zelda-like connection to the items. Like the UGA, its collectable and also a good way to level divination. Or the bloodstone (is it bloodstone?) ring, its almost as useful and monumental in MS:C as the grapple is in Zelda: OoT. The point is, we're not talking about just items that do more damage, we're talking about items that the players connect with.


    That said, I feel like we can expand on that. Making the weapons like changeable classes.

    EX: 2 players go to fight a flaming rock-monster boss.
    P1 has a Super-Duper Ghostly Ice Blade
    P2 has an Extra-Righteous Maul of Superior Crushing

    The boss deals fire damage if you go close to him, unless P1 keeps putting the fire out. Boss's attack speed in insane without the Ice Blade's snare as well. However, the damage dealing is done by P2's maul because swords really don't work well against rock monsters.

    So how does this all tie into the leveling system? Here's an idea:

    -----

    You level up your root abilities:

    Strength - Deal more damage with melee weapons and bows, less stagger when blocking heavy blows, more HP, ability to hold more weight

    Agility - Run faster, jump higher, higher dodge chance, ability to hold more weight, maintain stamina longer

    Proficiency - Better aim with bows and spells, less missing with melee weapons, faster weapon switch/ swing speed/ reload, ability to memorize more spells

    Dominance - Increased effectiveness of spells and weapon magic, decreased duration of conditions on self, increased mana, increased magic resistance, increased penetration of enemy magic resistance

    -----

    You level up your personal proficiency with each weapon/spell, but it's individual weapons. So like getting to level 10 (max) with a rusty axe will no grant you level 10 with an iron axe, you'd have to start the iron axe at 1. If you sell the rusty axe to a newbie it will be level 1 for him, the weapon leveling is personal only.

    Essentially what this does is make the game have months of possible leveling, but it is not necessary to be a good player. If all you want to do is be a valuable swordsman to your team then you only have to level a few swords to 10. Should only take a week or two. If you're a completionist and want to level every weapon to 10, then you have a bit more grinding to do.

    -----

    In addition we could add linear grind levels to anything fun we may want to add to the game like: Crafting, Fishing, Thieving, Reprocessing, .etc

    -----

    In summary:

    1. Main levels are character based and are leveled just by using weapons, walking in heavy armor, .etc
    ----- + Not required to increase weapon level to level these.
    2. Weapon\Spell levels are character based and individual weapon\spell based
    ----- + Not "Axe Mastery" but instead "Unbreakable Golden Axe Mastery"
    3. Other fun levels are linear normal RPG type, perhaps crafting
    ----- + Maybe collect a rare sword to salvage a rare orb off it to put on your hammer as in upgrade or added spell effect
     
  5. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    None of the above? ;)

    Actually, what I'd like to see is probably closest to the first proposal. Having a Stat pool, and no Skill pool, however, completely defeats the purpose of that system, namely, to give as wide a variety of character variations as possible - to make each character unique as possible, without force-slotting them into playing particular classes. (Kinda the opposite of what we have now, where every character is eventually the same - even if it is to be mitigated down the line by Titles, and even those are really just pigeon holes).

    The System I designed for ye works along those lines. The addition of sub-stats and purchasable feats likely make it more complicated than need be, but those can be eliminated without impacting the dynamic range offered by the system too badly.

    Such dual-pool systems, properly setup, allow for neigh infinite class combinations and replay - and they integrate nicely with randomly generated weapons, instantly creating a huge and never ending trade economy.

    Without the second pool, however, it's extraordinarily restrictive, boiling down to two or thee "classes" depending the number of stats and "special abilities" you have, rather than the dozens of combinations (at least) you would otherwise have access to.

    I think we've more or less thoroughly demonstrated the drawbacks of this system, and I, for one, have no desire to reproduce it. Any weapon=class system should be avoided like the plague, in my opinion.

    These only work in single-player games, really. They are often extremely limiting, and require investment areas you likely wouldn't see in a multi-player game. Again, I'd like to see a system where characters varied as much as possible, and pigeon holing characters as little as possible, and the Elder Scroll systems simply do not provide that.
     
  6. Jelly

    Jelly New Adventurer Developer RiP

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    You are here --> X
    My vote goes for Thothie's system.
     
  7. DarkWasp

    DarkWasp New Adventurer Source Developer Developer The Dragonknights

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    I know it's a bit much to ask, but could you make a post which explains all this? The link is just a little bit mind-blowing, I'm having trouble piecing it all together in my head.

    Also how do you feel about collecting vs progression? By that I mean you either keep playing to collect items or titles or you keep playing to level up in weapons and stats. I'm personally a fan of collecting, this is why MS:C held my attention way longer than WoW or LOTRO. The problem I have with those two is, once I got to like level 30 or something I thought to myself... what's the point? I'm just going to be doing the same stuff at higher levels doing higher damage ammounts to higher HP monsters. On the other hand MS:C has me collecting weapons, and Guild Wars has me filling my Hall of Monuments. I just find it a more appealing goal.
     
  8. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Yes, yes it is... But give me a few days to spell it out more thoroughly in text... Though I should be working on the patch or the script wiki or the various religious texts I should be re-writing if MiB doesn't hop on them soon...

    What I have written up goes on for like 6 pages. ...and that's the hybrid of two other systems I wrote up. ><

    The system I proposed was to allow infinite trade and hunting possibilities by stacking various random value generated Stat, Substat, Skill, and Feat affecting abilities (and penalties) to weapons, armor, and magic items (rings/amulets), as well as more direct effects hinted to in the examples. These could, potentially, increase the character's abilities far beyond what one could achieve through point investment (though the base requirements would rise as well). Under that system, the point investment would also cap out well before the item adjustment would. This would be via the classic Diablo/Torchlight/Fate style item generation that would actually be quite a bit more valuable in a multiplayer universe. (Coupled with the usual "fixed" named/unique items tossed in for good measure and specific styles/lore.)

    Such a system would be neigh impossible under MSC due to the size it would increase the character by, but MiB came up with a new concept method for an FN style central server that would bypass that issue entirely in MSS.

    You would want to avoid allowing the player to "select" weapon abilities (via forging or what not) as it would hamper that system, but modding the weapon or item through fixed means (ala the standard crystal/slot system) would work just fine. (And give you yet more crap to go collect.)

    One could also scatter tomes throughout the world that would provide additional XP or specific Skill/Stat points, consuming the item for immediate investment, but you'd have to balance that out accordingly and/or cap the level they can raise beyond.
     
  9. FER

    FER New Adventurer Developer RiP

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    Diablo system would be really nice given how its limits the player on the amount of skills you can max, allowing more varied builds per class, however the game could be less stat based and make way to more tangible effects and stuff. (diablo is still stats heavy despite being an action RPG)

    Personally im in for a action heavy RPG style, like Gauntlets: Dark Legacy but that would be way too different I guess.
     
  10. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    If you're talking about the HashFN idea, it has a few kinks that would need to be worked out before I would trust it enough. I never developed it that far. More of an expanded theory.
     
  11. DarkWasp

    DarkWasp New Adventurer Source Developer Developer The Dragonknights

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    Well if we need to fall back on something less complex, my idea still accounts for the prevention of clone characters. As every important weapon would have a slot for an upgrade. The upgrade would likely be an element of some sort.

    Either way, I do feel like we should be doing something mostly entirely new. Not in the MS sense but in the RPG sense. Something more than just first-person that would make MS:S stand out. We can still pool all the RPGs we know and discuss the dos and don'ts.

    For example:

    Oblivion

    Do:
    Create quests which do not reward EXP, but instead gold, useful items, or progression to the next quest

    Don't:
    Incorporate fully scaling monster difficulty
     
  12. FER

    FER New Adventurer Developer RiP

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    Must we account Oblivion so much as if its the only FPS RPG out there? its not that good anyway
     
  13. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    My FN idea isn't complex, it just has potential problems. Most of which could probably be solved if someone would put a bit of thought towards them, but.. meh.
     
  14. Orochi

    Orochi New Adventurer Source Developer Developer

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    Thothie, do you realize how much overhead all that would have? Part of the way I'm saving space is using a master item table. Randomly generated weapons are a no-go with that idea. Also, from what I saw of that first proposal, it is WAY too complicated; you have stats for basically everything but breathing. Some of that is purely unnecessary.
     
  15. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    Customizable stats has very little overhead if you aren't having it so you can have ranges of values and instead use set values attached to flags. Even if you are using ranges, it's still not much overhead.

    Plus, extra character space isn't a problem if you perfect the HashFN idea.
     
  16. Orochi

    Orochi New Adventurer Source Developer Developer

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    This is the first I've heard of HashFN. If there's something you want me to use then you should bloody well tell me as *I* will probably be the one who has to implement it. >_>

    If we do have customizable values, then they will not be set values attached to flags. It completely defeats the point of having totally randomized stats. The problem is there are only 32 flags possible in a single integer. (I'm compiling the game under 32-bit for compatibility reasons)
     
  17. The Man In Black

    The Man In Black Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer RiP

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    I did tell you about it. Might have even put it in the Dev section, but I'm fairly certain it was just a conversation. First one we had after you took over.

    No, flags don't get rid of customizable values, they only make it LESS customizable (but a lot smaller, and possibly easier to balance). Instead of having the game generate a Strength mod from -15% to 15%, you'd do one of two methods for adding flags for -15%, -10%, -5%, 0%, +5%, +10%, +15%.
     
  18. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Well, given that it's been done about a hundred times in a dozen different Diablo clones, at least three of which are playable on-line, and don't seem to suffer from any overhead that I can see, I don't see it being a major issue.

    Bit-flag arrays would work - but I think Diablo II, from taking it apart, does it with integer arrays. Each type of stat adjustment has its own assigned number (say 1-255, or in D2's case, 1-1024, eg. 64=Fire Damage), and a second array tracks values for those adjustments (eg. +25 - although D2 also seems to have a third array for sub-values, but I think that's overkill). Some other Diablo clones seem to use a single integer array, with each level of adjustment having it's own value, similar to what MiB suggests (64=+5 Fire Damage, 65=+10 Fire Damage, etc.). In most cases, they seem to rebuild the character and apply the effects of all the arrays, whenever an item is equipped or unequipped, rather than rummaging through the items in every attack. The resulting overhead is thus negligible.

    However, you still need that master weapon table, as there have to be *base* types of each weapon to be modified, each with base stats, with better ones appearing at each tier (like so). Plus, while you can have neigh infinite variety in items fairly easily, having an infinite number of models would be quite a bit more work. Best you can likely do is differentiate them slightly via color codes and particle effects, possibly tack on some submodels for additional ornamentation, but in the end, you at least need different models for each tier of each weapon.

    Like I said, it does violate KISS in favor of maximizing character customization while avoiding the dreaded pigeon hole... However, eliminate or internalize the Feats and Substats, and you've got a very simple, tried and tested system, which still allows a wide range of customization.

    The only function Substats serve is to minimize the need for players to invest in Stats that may not conform to their chosen style. There are, in the end, only really four or five real stats (HP, MP, etc.), it's just a matter of how they are tweaked and acquired.
     
  19. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Okies, here's a fleshed out version of the system in text form for the hard core enthusiast:
    http://www.thothie.com/msc_dev3/mss_stats.rtf

    It isn't in anyway balanced out, however, it just, very thoroughly, demonstrates all the base concepts, including Item Generation and Spell Making. It's a bit of a mess, but I've wasted four days of MSC development time working on this, when I'm about that many days away until patch due time. I don't want to take the time to fully balance it until we've decided on a system, and some aspects of the system (such as the values for added mobility) simply can't be balanced until we at least have some sort of player/monster interaction to work with.

    Some of the balancing effort will likely involve programing some simple program to toss numbers into and see how they come out (such as a Javascript page). I'm willing to work on such an effort when things are more finalized.

    Also please excuse all the forum formatting in the document - I was originally going to make it a post, but it got far too lengthy.
     
  20. Srgnt Rehab

    Srgnt Rehab New Adventurer DarkTide

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    Even I don't know...
    My favorite system is always the ability to pick your own points each time you level up, a classic old game I used to play that is a great example of how this works would be Darkstone (I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with this game) but you are given 6 points each time you level up and you can pool them into any of your 5 different stats. I don't have time to look over everything said in this thread at this time, (sorry if this is a strange and poorly timed) but it looks like thoth has a great idea running.
     
  21. DarkWasp

    DarkWasp New Adventurer Source Developer Developer The Dragonknights

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    I have been working on reading this, just to let you know. It's a lot though, like a Ph.D paper hahaha.

    One question so far, does the system work with re-stat-ing? I am not a fan of games where you can mess up your character to an extent by being a newb the first time you play.
     
  22. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    Tried to make sure it was open enough that you could experiment with any given weapon line, and at least the basics of each spell line, without wasting too many points in the process.

    Mentioned in there somewhere that it maybe wise to provide a function to 'uninvest' some points - either painful quest, or difficult to acquire item, that gets more difficult/expensive each time you use it, to prevent abuse. Stats would be easy - but dropping Feats as a result maybe a bit tricky to work out.
     
  23. Caelius

    Caelius New Adventurer DarkTide

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    Whatever you decide to do, please don't make it take 5 years of playing to reach a point where your character is powerful enough to do the hardest content (Like the original Master Sword) :p A cap on skills would be welcome, in my opinion.
     
  24. Thothie

    Thothie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Developer

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    I musta missed that version somehow. ;)
     
  25. Caelius

    Caelius New Adventurer DarkTide

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    I may have made a slight exaggeration >.>
     

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