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Large scale multiplayer survival game that's not combat focused.

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Serinx, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Serinx

    Serinx

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    TLDR; Ideas for how to make a game like ARK/Rust/LifeIsFuedal without focusing on combat.

    I'd like to get your thoughts on why so many large scale multiplayer survival games tend to lead to combat as the "end game".
    Although it isn't necessarily a bad thing, I mean combat is fun right? However it kind of makes every game in this genre feel the same.
    Start with nothing, grind up some basic resources, craft some weapons, build a shack to store your stuff then go out and start the real game!
    I feel like the problem is that everything leading up to combat is a boring chore with slow return, then combat is fun and gives high reward. The rewards only get bigger with lower risk as you get more gear, bigger clans etc and then you're basically just running around killing people for resources you don't really need.

    Why I think this happens in most cases:
    -Kill or be killed - there's no punishment for killing another player in most cases, so it's always safer to shoot first and ask questions later
    -Combat is fun - not only is it fun, it's one of the ONLY fun things to do in the game. Sometimes building is fun, but if you're too scared to build something creative, you just end up building some impenetrable monstrosity as quickly as possible to prevent being killed and looted.

    What I think could prevent this:
    -Punishment for killing - Most surivival games have basic needs - Food, Water and HP. If we can't punish someone by arresting them, we could introduce new "social" needs. If you kill someone, you might gain a bag of gold, but lose sanity, lose charisma, lose "motivation". These could all impact the game in other ways, when people see you, if you're driven mad from all your killing, they wont want to get near you and wont want to trade with you. Your low charisma will prevent you from socialising with other players, driving you further into insantity, and your lack of motivation will prevent your stat gains. This all depends on the constructs of the game, but I believe it would add a lot of depth.

    -More interesting professions - whether you're a weaponsmith, an armourer, a potion master or an engineer, your goal is always to labour away and then equip yourself or others with tools for combat. Why not make this part of the game the fun part? rather than having a button "craft sword" and watching a progress bar, add in customization for every single weapon, switch out handles, sharpen the blade to perfection, balance the sword, test it out on some practise dummies then go back to the table to tweak some more. Go to your local ore supplier and see if he has any rare metals to help give your swords that extra wow factor. Every profession could go into this much depth and you could have so much fun experimenting and selling off your epic creations, that you wouldn't even want to see such a thing of beauty covered in blood.

    I know these things take a lot of work to develop, but I feel this would add so much to a game, and it would cater to a much larger playerbase than just those that are combat driven.

    I would love to hear everyones thoughts on this. Suggestions for how to stop people killing each other, without literally disabling combat? Or if you think this is a bad idea outright, say so with reasons :)
     
  2. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    What if there's a monster that you can't attack (ethereal maybe?) but that gets drawn to acts of violence.
     
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  3. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Huh? What does this mean?

    Edit: oh, are you saying that would kill the player if they act violently? Same issue as one of the suggestions in that it makes combat less fun rather than making other things more fun.

    This is probably one of the main reasons. You need a fun loop, and combat is by FAR the easiest way to do that.

    This is making combat less fun, not making the rest of the game more fun. The goal is to make the rest of the game more fun.

    This is an interesting idea, but would probably require quite a bit of design skill. How do you make crafting a blade fun? Not just the customization - but the actual process itself. How does one make that fun? I'd wager than most of the enjoyment in real life from that comes from the physicality of the effort--setting this piece of metal in a hot fire, then pulling it out at the right time and hammering away at a certain part with your hammer to shape it the way you want (I know nothing about how metalwork is done). You might need to simulate the heating/melting process. You might need to design a system where the player can click on the blade at a certain place to hammer it there, and deform it to a certain shape (which would require mesh deformity I suppose). Perhaps you could have pure metals and alloys as well--pure metals simpler to work with with lesser stats, and alloys more difficult to manipulate but with higher value and stats.

    I think there's potential there, but there's a whole lot more work to that than just making a bunch of menus the player can click through to poop out a weapon. You could probably do the same with many things. Cooking or tailoring (though tailoring might be troublesome in terms of the amount of control you allow the player, and how to simulate the effects of that) or what have you. But at that point you're making all of these advanced systems for a single game, rather than one polished set of systems (combat) to base the game around. You're spreading yourself kinda thin.
     
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  4. Serinx

    Serinx

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    @EternalAmbiguity Punishment might not be the word I wanted.. perhaps consequences? I don't want every battle to put you at a disadvantage. E.g. If you had clans at war, killing people in the other clan would not give you any negative side effects. Whereas killing an unarmed peasant who was begging for his life would. I'd still want combat to be part of the game, just not where everyone want to get to.

    Making the professions fun would definitely be difficult, but I'm sure theres a way you could do it. Perhaps a mini-game where you use you have to balance the sword on the sharpener and you slowly lose balance (like grinding a rail in a skateboarding game), the longer you holder it the sharper it gets. Maybe have a quicktime event when hammering the metal so you need to hit the blade at the right times. And then finally you could have 1 minute to destroy as many target dummies as possible. More kills = better weapon.

    The more that I think about it, these things probably aren't done because there's so much involved.. You'd basically have to make a game around every profession. I guess bloodsport is one of the most popular mechanics so it's safer to focus that as a game dev?

    That could be interesting, when you go insane from killing, you start seeing these ghosts. You have to keep on the move or they'll catch up to you. To make them go away you either keep running and wait it out or do some acts of kindness. There aint no rest for the wicked ;)
     
  5. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    I like where you've started with this idea, though I believe your assumption that making combat somehow less desirable "... would cater to a much larger playerbase than just those that are combat driven" is almost certainly incorrect, and at minimum will need some research.

    Combat being popular in games, especially within this genre, is not some kind of accident, and I would be surprised if the total player base that wants a survival game that punishes combat, thereby discouraging it, was not significantly smaller than the player base that wants combat to be a prominent game feature.

    Don't let that discourage you though. Not every game needs to cater to the masses. There is plenty of room for niche games out there.
     
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  6. njblair143

    njblair143

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    It really comes down to how it's marketed, and then once players are sold on the idea, make sure your systems incentivize players to play this way. You make a good example with giving the crafting some depth. The problem I see with this though is not a design one, but a time and budget one. By adding depth to all the things you can do in the game that aren't combat, you are essential making a whole game for all of those things. So I would say take care to not be too ambitious with how many different things you want to add. However you can tie all things together with one or two set of mechanics to reduce the load on development. Also I agree with EternalAmbiguity, punishing for killing doesn't make the other things good, just combat bad. Think the card game in Witcher. It stands just fine on it's own. No need to punish combat to highlight Gwent.

    A couple videos come to mind for this project.

    This in relation to non combat centric things


    and this for a general way to get your mind around encouraging certain kinds of play


    Good luck.
     
  7. Serinx

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    @Joe-Censored Thanks for your input. So it seems the general consesus is that it's bad to punish players for doing something they enjoy, that makes sense. I wonder if making other options more enticing is a way to avoid it... It would definitely be an interesting experiment.

    @njblair143 Interesting, I watched the first video and although it made some good points, it kind of talked about an entire game without combat. My vision is a game that has combat, but is not the players go-to action.

    I wonder if thieves/bandits had an option other than fighting to rob people, then they would do this instead. I don't simply mean threatening the enemy so they drop their goods then leaving them alive. What if there was a built in "negotation" mechanic. If you are a peaceful social player, your social and negotiation skills will increase. When a player tries to rob you, if your negotiation skills are high enough, you can talk them out of it. Also if you are the robber, you might convince the player to give you something. The only problem here is the player loses control of the situation and it takes away from their freedom. Say the robber steals 100g from you through persuation, but you'd rather fight them. This sounds like an awful idea in theory, but to make persuation just as powerful as combat is the goal here. Perhaps there could be some skillful mechanic in place here where "arguments" and "rebuttles" are actual objects that fly at your screen and you need to shoot them down and counter them, that way it's not just based on a stat and some rng.

    I can imagine this being an interesting game mechanic actually. Imagine a guard has an "authority" stat. A thief is running down the street. The guard launches a "HALT" command at the thief. If the thief fails to dodge the command, he is halted and arrested. If the thief has resistance to authority, he might be able to absorb 1 or 2 halts.

    Anyway I'm blabbering, but this has really got my brain going with ideas o.0
     
  8. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    One can appreciate what you're trying to get at here. Thing is though, this is essentially a combat system, just with different objects than guns and health bars.

    Now whether that's a bad or good thing, you decide. But this is really little different than standard combat. It's not a fundamentally different type of gameplay.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  9. Joe-Censored

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    I don't think you need to throw out the idea of punishing players for combat. I think there are elegant ways of implementing your goal without it being a negative play experience for anyone. I think the key is probably incentivizing alternatives to combat. Make it generally more advantageous to cooperate, and you'll get a lot more cooperation than combat, while still allowing players that want to fight to be able to.

    For example, in a multiplayer game what if you had a reputation system where cooperative players will know instantly and from a distance who is likely to cooperate and who is likely to try to kill you for your gear. From a distance is key to cut down on the shoot first and ask questions later tendency players may have. Cooperative players will gain advantage with their numbers, sharing of resources, and mutual protection. Known killers can still play their combat oriented version of the game but gain none of the advantages of cooperation since they would likely be killed on sight by virtually everyone. The team players get their favored experience while always being at risk at the fringes from the rogue boogeymen, and the solo killers get their favored experience going it alone trying to pick off the slowest gazelle from the herd so to speak.

    A similar system can be setup for AI characters when interacting with the player.
     
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  10. Serinx

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    The key difference here though is nobody ends up dead. In a game like rust, death means you lose everything you're carrying. I think maybe once someone pointed a gun at me and asked me to drop some stuff and then left me alone, I'd love to see more of that.

    I like this idea. The only problem is, if you kill the low-rep person on sight, does that lower your rep?

    I suppose it would be like you start at neutral rep. Doing bad things turns you into a "bandit", doing good things turns you into a "hero". and you have some rep number to determine what degree of player you are.

    If you kill someone with a heroic reputation (and you're not at war etc), you lose reputation. If you kill someone with horribly low reputation, there are no rep penalties, and possibly a rep gain if they have a "scum of the earth" reputation.

    People would be less inclined to be a bad guy if everyone can kill them without penalty right? Although I can imagine there being a gang of badasses who dont give a crap about their rep. but that would just make for interesting gameplay :)

    What would be a good way of displaying someones reputation? blood soaked clothes for lower rep and extra shiney armour for high rep? Could adjust the eye colour, but then you'd have to get up close before you knew what type of person they were!
     
  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    I haven't read each post, so I'm only responding to OP.

    My opinion is that if you don't want players killing everything, don't give them the ability to kill anything. Even with strong incentives not to take the most simple solution, I think its just too long been hard wired in gamers brains that the other things in the game world are meant to be killed.

    With a lot of incentives to not kill, if killing is still more simple of a solution than not killing, regardless of effectiveness, I think most players will still always go with the most immediate and obvious choice. Then, if they are punished for killing, they'll probably just be annoyed.

    However, if you just don't have a button that kills other players, and the only way to interact with them is via negotiation, dialogue, etc., I don't think anybody would have a problem learning the game and playing something different.

    Just my speculation. Never played the Sims games except the really old SimCity titles, but weren't they basically MP games that didn't involve killing each other?

    Additional note:

    If it is a survival game, I assume you'd be hunting and thus have some kind of weapons. Perhaps in the case of friendly on friendly the offending person will be automatically ostracized from the group or something? Stoned by AI bots that act as the mouths to feed for the village? I think your answer may come about as you dive further into your game mechanics. Something to fit in with the overall concept that makes sense and doesn't seem like an arbitrary rule to remind players "killing is bad".

    Now that I ponder the idea a little more, it's really pretty interesting. A lot of people are attracted to games like Minecraft for the chill atmosphere, the simplicity of gathering things with a creative goal in mind and working on in in almost like a meditative trance. I imagine a lot of people get turned off by the hostility of other players and maybe only play single player. I know I've avoided MP in a few games because I didn't want to deal with annoying people. So maybe a game in which players can only cooperate or not with each other, but never raid and nuisance one another, could find an audience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
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  12. EternalAmbiguity

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    Very true.

    With that in mind, however, what do you think the attacking bandit will do when they "fail" to persuade the innocent victim to hand over their money?

    You might consider implementing a combat system which doesn't kill the character, but instead knocks them unconscious or something. Keeps combat, with some consequences, but not nearly as severe as normal.

    You might take a look at Kenshi. Probably plays nothing like the game you have in mind, but you might find the mechanics insightful.
     
  13. Serinx

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    @BIGTIMEMASTER I really wouldn't want to take combat completely away. It's a fun part of a game. Yes I think the idea of banishing the wrong-doers from the rest of the population is a way to go. Although it would be the other players choice, not a hardcoded rule.

    Then there would be no combat. There would have to be a system where instead of being able to swing your sword at someone willy nilly. You'd have to first "engage" them. You'd have a list of actions "Request trade", "request duel", "demand money". If they refuse the duel or demand and fail to persuade you, then combat begins, otherwise you cannot make another request for x time. This "engage" idea would be done away with when you're on a battlefield of course.

    I have thought of this and I like it. Also having a "hidden inventory" where you can store a certain amount of gold and a few precious items which can't be looted.

    I guess it all comes down to the design of the game. Things like having specific battlefields where clans can fight over territory, a wilderness like in runescape where anyone can attack anyone, making large cities peaceful i.e. your weapons are stored at the gate (you could still have brawls in the pub ;)).

    FYI, I haven't actually started developing this game. Just wanted to think it through and design something different to survival MP games out there while maintaining all the fun bits. I've got a couple of small projects lined up and I will look into prototyping this one next year some time, it will definitely be a lot of work!
     
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  14. EternalAmbiguity

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    It definitely sounds worthwhile.
     
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  15. Joe-Censored

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    That's pretty much exactly what I was referring to. And yes some bad guys may end up working together, probably friends acting as a squad, but things should still go well as long as teams of bandits don't end up dominating the game. Perhaps you give additional advantages for the hero players like small camps or towns useful for crafting or a small market, but they are guarded by hero aligned NPC's preventing access to the bandits. Bandits would then have limited crafting abilities and only be able to trade 1 on 1 instead of posting items for sale on a market.

    Hero players would be able to more easily customize their gear, while bandits would have to take what they can get with less options other than what dead heroes drop.

    Something like eye color I think would require the player to get far too close to determine if they are good or bad, making it more advantageous to attack anyone they see with ranged weapons rather than get close enough to check reputation. Clothing or armor that you can clearly see at distance sounds better to me. You could also consider alignment displayed while looking directly at a player for a few seconds (so players can still be sneaky without some reputation thingy floating over their head, but if you already have spotted the player you can see their alignment displayed even at range).
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2017
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  16. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    Though some players might find it cool...
     
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  17. Serinx

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    @Joe-Censored Maybe a good idea would be hygiene. Over time your character starts to "smell" (flies appear around them) and their clothes get dirty. Cities where crime and violence is low would offer baths and laundry services. Bandits staying out in camps in the wilderness would not have this luxury. Players would learn not to trust people that are smelly/dirty and obviously blood soaked. Would make for an interesting game mechanic which I haven't seen before! (Except maybe in the sims..)

    Edit: Also being dirty would make you more prone to infections

    @EternalAmbiguity Yeah if the game had some fantasy element to it, this would be a good solution. Or maybe one of the skills players can level up is Psychoanalysis which lets you see from a distance (and up close) whether a player is "good" or "evil" based on how many crimes they've committed. That information isn't available for everyone, so recruiting a psychoanalyst into your team would be super beneficial.
     
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  18. theANMATOR2b

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    Echoing similar thoughts as Joe, incentivizing a player who is playing as a thief to perform thieving tasks instead of performing fighting tasks seems pretty simple. More exp. for setting a trap instead of slashing to death the guard. More exp for a successful trap execution. Whatever the experience point currency is (reputation or whatever) a thief would gain more for doing thief tasks and very few for straight up fighting. Also thieves are never as powerful as other games make them. They should be weak and unable to go up against other players who are fighters.
    To incentivize players to be other 'classes' that aren't fighters/warriors, make leveling up or acquiring the fun rewards in the game extremely difficult for warriors. If people still want to play as warriors, they could be lumbering, slow, dim witted, consume more food than they can successfully acquire, and become more tired faster because of lack of consumption.
    They can be terrible at building shelters and a host of other shortcomings that deter players to other chosen 'classes' or type of play.
    If there are no classes in the game - stats and attributes can change based on the players play style, although they are not officially in a class of warrior, there stats reflect the play style. If a player goes berserk hacking and slashing everything in its path, the stats of intelligence, charisma, and others needed to learn techniques to survive are reduced. And the player is informed of this - so they can learn - this isn't the best play style.

    But - I rarely play online multiplayer games so - I'm just thinking here about design - I might be not experienced enough in this type of game to provide thoughtful input.
     
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  19. daxiongmao

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    You could look at ultima online reputation system.
    The had the idea of normal, criminal, murder.
    Each state had different results when fighting someone or engaging them.
    And the world reacted to them differntly.

    If you stole you turned grey for a while. Guards would bother you and you could be attacked withou penalty if I remember correctly.
    If you killed blues / normal people you would lower your rep until you became red / murderer.
    You could no longer enter towns and everyone would try to kill you.

    Yet at the same time seeing a red name apear on your screen was always a little scary.

    Ultima was also harsh in that if you were killed all your stuff was available.
    I remember it being a very frustrating game at times but also really fun for the same reasons.
    It also had lots of skills and crafting that you could do if combat wasn't your primary desire.
     
  20. Kiwasi

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    I think you are approaching this fundamentally backwards. Rather then taking a game that is combat based and working out how to dial it down, why not take a non combat game and dial it up?

    MineCraft is a large scale multiplayer survival game, with virtually no focus on combat. Here are a few takeaways:
    • There is no significant reward for killing another player
    • There is no significant penalty for being killed
    • Killing other players tends to be detrimental to achieving the main goals of the game
    • The combat system is fairly unsophisticated compared to the rest of the systems in the game
    With those factors in play there is the occasional kill for lols. But otherwise there is very little incentive to fight.
     
  21. Serinx

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    I might be wrong, I don't play minecraft online, but dont you drop everything when you die?
    Incentive to kill is to get all the loot off the other player, penalty for dying is losing hours of harvesting.
    I played once online but it was heavily monitored by admins and rules etc. I can't remember what happened if you died.

    I agree with your idea of making a non-combat game works. But I'd still want combat to be a part of it.

    I imagine Game of Thrones as a game. Sure there's fighting, but the people that get to the top are not the fighters, they're the schemers, the influencers, the leaders. The most beloved characters are not the ones that run around killing everything (well some people like those characters), but the honourable characters are my favourites. I'd love to see a game the promotes honour as an incentive. Feed a beggar, help someone build a house, win an award for the best lute player. Is that something other people would be interested in?
     
  22. Joe-Censored

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    I know it is a completely different genre, but have you ever played Eve Online? Its a cut throat space MMO with its fair share of combat, but like what you're looking for, the people at the top aren't necessarily the best at space combat. They are the best at organizing others (their corp and alliance), controlling space, and mastering the markets.

    They pull that off with a very detailed manufacturing and market trading system, fairly deep mechanics for building up your group (fleet mechanics, corporations, alliances), a complex system allowing leaders to set opposing groups as friend or foe, and building player control of most of the galaxy into the core game. A lot of disputes are settled with fighting, but the systems they have built make diplomacy an essential element, even when things end in a fight. Even to win wars requires diplomacy, since you'll need allies, and those allies may turn on you as soon as the long term situation changes.
     
  23. Serinx

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    @Joe-Censored Haven't played it but I've heard about it. As you said, very economy driven, that could definitely be a good alternative to combat.

    So I guess to summarize notes if I were to persue this type of game
    -Don't limit/punish combat
    -Provide fun activities other than combat
    -Build the game in pieces or minigames - each profession has a fun element to it and is just as enjoyable as combat
    -Don't make combat to the death in most cases
    -Knocking someone out, you can loot some but not all of their inventory, and they will stand up a few minutes later
    -A reputation system might encourage people to "play nice"
    -Players with low rep are recognised in a non-blatant way e.g. smelly/bloody clothes
    -Players with high rep have perks such as access to special shops
    -Social alternative to combat when robbing, using stats e.g. Intimidation, persuation
    -(maybe) You must engage someone in combat before you can hurt them, unless in war/battleground/wilderness
    -Weapons banned in safe zones such as large cities.

    Just had a couple of new ideas while summarizing too..
    -High rep is required for taking positions as a leader within cities e.g. kings, generals
    -An outlet for combat which doesn't lower your rep e.g. Arena, wilderness
    -A "capture" system for people that want to arrest someone without losing rep for attacking them e.g. knock them out with a blunt weapon and bind them. binds last 5 minutes or so and prevent you from using weapons and you must follow your captor.

    Thanks for everyones thoughts. This has been very helpful :)
     
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  24. EternalAmbiguity

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    Just want to point out that you didn't say this before. This is very, very different from "a multiplayer game where combat isn't the focus."

    To do something like this you're going to need to incorporate power elements, where a player gets some type of in-game value out of the higher "ranking" positions (just an idea - maybe a property ownership system, taxes, etc). You also need to add these negotiation elements for the politics.

    Furthermore, if you're making a player a "king," you need to allow for some amount of player influence on the universe.

    And given that this is a multiplayer game where many people are expected to play, the majority of people will be in the lower-level positions. And thus those mechanics need to be highly polished so they're worthwhile. At the same time, the upper-level mechanics need to be polished as well so they're actually worth pursuing.

    Honestly this sounds totally different and like a huge endeavor. But definitely very interesting.
     
  25. Serinx

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    @EternalAmbiguity Yeah this topic has just spiraled out of control with different ideas haha. Sorry about that, sometimes my brain just runs wild. I guess it highlights that this is a very complicated topic with no simple solution. I guess this is why it's never really been done as I imagine it. Definitely a huge task to undertake, especially considering people might not even like the concept in the end. It would even be difficult to prototype!
     
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  26. Deleted User

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    What you need to do is emulate the survival genre, but do something fresh, and do it well.
     
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  27. Max_Bol

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    If you want to remove the "Open PvP" side of a game, you got to get to the very basic of what make the "Open PvP" happening and either keeping it up more under control or removing it.

    In this manner, for a large scale multiplayer survival, the players kill other players for :
    - Loot inequality
    - The fun of the act
    - Lack of punishment
    - The risks involved
    - The action of the targeted player

    We could go on, but at the end the main point and core reason is "Because they can".
    Now, how could you control this? There are multiple ways.

    First, you got to think about What makes people stand together instead of backstabbing each other?
    - Overcoming Impasse
    - Lack of personal capacity
    - Preservation & Self-Preservation (Surviving)
    - Acceptance/Respect
    - Personal values

    So, to make a game more focusing on the "Don't kill others", you got to balance the game in a way that promote players standing together in instead of just killing each other.

    One point will come around often in such case and that is basically means to survive.
    We group together because that makes us stronger. Right?
    How do we promote that? Well.. You got to think about What is required to make us stand together to become stronger?

    Once you find the answer to that question, you're already on the right road to achieve you goal.

    Let's put an example.
    Let's say the game gives no benefits to kill other players (no drop or items).
    The game involve a raising difficulty with the number of players.
    The enemies aren't something that only 1 player can beat IF more that one player is present.
    Some enemies, regardless of the number of players, can't be easily defeated by one player.
    All enemies gives something that allow the player to seek each other without killing each other.

    There's what I see with those points :
    • You got enemies in the world that are easy and hard for 1 single player.
    • You got bosses that requires Raids to be beaten.
    • Every player can get something out of any monster/boss kills. (Instance based drops?)
    • Players can kill each other, but that gives nothing in return.
    • Players that kill other players get affected by something like a punishment. (Could be that the killer have a sent of blood on him which attract things nobody wants to fight because they get nothing out of it.)
    For example, if a player kill another player without starting a duel, that killer get cursed which makes nightmarish spirit attack him. It would only take 2-3 PK to make the spirits impossible to survive. The curse could be removed by being forgiven by the players that were killed or by a long cooldown.
    • Players can duel, but that doesn't end with neither being killed.
    • Groups of player (Guild/Clan/etc.) could have the ability to "open hostilities" between each other which would turn off the curse/negative side of the PvP between the members of those 2 groups. It would require both groups to agree at the terms of war. Anybody not affiliated to either of the groups at war would bring bad thing if killed.
    • Players have areas where killing each other is not possible at all (town? Guild Hall?)
    • Each player can level up something, but can't level up everything.
    • Multiple set of skills are required to build and craft things.
    • The difficulty is raising with time or with some event of some sort. Slowly forcing all the communities to band together against this upraising difficulty. Could be that the number of monster or the difficulty of the monster keep raising.

    The only point that can't be removed is "The Fun of the act" and that's a cost when you give the ability of any player to damage another player. If you remove that ability, some will find it "bad" or "boring" as it's less of a challenge without any friendly fire.
     
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  28. jggwaltney

    jggwaltney

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Posts:
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    I was considering a game with choices to be made say starting a peasent and you can progress to X point, But then you must choose a path say a farmer, Farmers can then grow crops, have low combat skills such as HP and damage, and can raise cattle and pigs ect. or they could be a chef, they can hunt gather materials but often must purchase/trade for special ingredients the farmer produces that they make faster or simply the chef cant make. the list goes on from there.

    The important thing that you come to is The game must do what it intends to do.
    If you advertise a city building simulation then combat is hardly relevant outside of protection and hunting.

    When you look at an MMO its and RPG but what is the goal. that is what decides if its combat focused.
    Some games i have seen say they are Sandbox MMO but then have heavy combat systems, and crafting blows. Well then its just a blood bath with stuff in between.

    So nail that down then consider how do you make that fun.

    Then if you want to avoid combat dont make it not fun or not give things. Make it hard, and make other things more fun.
    So if i want to attack another player they are very important and people like them AKA rep as they are the towns only blacksmith per se. so they hire bodyguards, where people who may say ill hire them too.. but with you attacking another person they would not aid because that is just asking for trouble ect. some system like this. Make PK hard and pointless Not impossible or unfun. Perhaps add tracking skills or pets that can track scents, Then after a PK a person has your scent when respawning ect and they can hire a bloodhound to find you and bring friends. This in turn creates more combat but again just one idea.

    The biggest thing you must do Is focus on the non combat parts. Make the blacksmithing fun. Get wood build a fire then get it hot enough with bellows for the material you are using, Make it so you have lots of choices of what to make. Make these choices matter. Should i make a iron handle on a pickaxe NO it would be be painful to hit stone with something that has no give. Make it possible but not the right choice. Then inventory is limited so should i make a pick and a shovel or should i make a mattock which combine the two function but not identical as having both.
    So now choice matter and there is an in depth system. also sometimes you need iron beams, or bars, or panels to build things. Add a builder .. perhaps an engineer. these are people who research and build so they can research to teach you how to make the iron panel they found they need to create a mine cart, and they need iron bars for the track. so they learn things by studying.. how to do studying idk yet. But then they teach you how to make these things then later can teach you ways to make them better.

    Now important question why are all these people working together.. Well give them a reason. Is it a guild? is this the whole game community in this instance is 1 city. consider this hard.

    If you have ever seen Sword art online. They work as an entire gaming community that must reach the top floor of a giant layered game. So floor 1 is a whole Map of many cities and areas to go. Find the dungeon your raid team kills the boss and everyone EVERYONE has access to the new floor 2 with all new cities ect. ** purchasable houses too
    So common goals are important to these games. Do anything games like minecraft leads less innovative types to do what they do in all other games and kill players. Having a connection to all other players a cooperative community brings them together. OR do both, have guilds and have an objective they are trying to reach. but they need cooks, blacksmiths, ect ect. and then make them live inside of territory or some other boundry seperating them. Then allow for protections. So forts, guard towers, walls ect. that makes raiding others very hard to do without them being ready for it. Possibly allow NPC protection rental. Then have some areas combat free, say a few trade hubs have NPC guards that attack anyone that deals damage to another player inside the bounds. OR just block it inside the area no weapons ect.

    ** another class type, beast tamer, makes pets and mounts tame for use. Fun stuff out there if we try to make it.

    The game also needs puzzles, and player made puzzles like hiding their camp with fallen trees. and the ability for players to have blindspots. Literally make theives a thing, and make players use a limited perspective first person no 180 degree vision. and make !**no nametags or highlighting**!, (make customization and communication/ learning what your friends look like matter.) and make some serious camo stuff could be sooooo fun.

    So many possibilities .. I dont know how to make video games but I do make RPG, and maps for tabletops so I would love if we could have these things.
     
  29. Teila

    Teila

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    Posts:
    6,932
    This is what we are doing...so I won't give you any suggestions. :) But it is not a bad idea. You will find that most people here will tell you that you cannot do a game without focusing on combat..no one will play it, etc.

    However, when I talk to people about our game, I find that people who normally do not play games are interested and many that do play games are interested. I think the point is that we need a diversity of games and your ideas are as valid as anyone else's ideas.

    Everyone does the same thing because it is what has been successful in the past. But the trick is to find something else that will be fun for your players. No, you probably will not include hard core PvPers in your audience, but if your game has fun elements that are unique, you will find an audience. Maybe not as large, but if we see more games that concentrate on consequences for actions and do not revolve around combat, we may see more players enjoying those types of game.

    So go for it! :)
     
  30. Well, this is absolutely wrong after the sheer success of the Sims and the Minecraft sandbox...
     
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  31. Teila

    Teila

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    Of course it is wrong! lol But somewhere there is a thread where someone said that to me! lol
     
  32. fetish

    fetish

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2015
    Posts:
    73
    The short answer is "because it's interaction". The crux of any multiplayer game is the interaction between players. If players don't need to interact, it's likely they wont, and at that point, why is this a multiplayer game?

    Board games have made some strides in cooperative multiplayer (games like Pandemic, etc) in a way that I've never seen in a video game, so that's a place to start.
     
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  33. neoshaman

    neoshaman

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
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    Also make combat an agreement, ie you can't attack a person who didn't agree
     
  34. DerrickMoore

    DerrickMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    Posts:
    246
    boredom.. when players get bored, they troll each other or just shoot the place up.

    the best way to combat boredom? give the players something they've never had before.
     
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  35. RxGian

    RxGian

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Posts:
    82
    I was thinking like that before and I realized that violence is hard to break out on video games that involve real-life elements like human characters. Because video games will be fun when players can do things that can not be done in the real world. For example playing a social simulation game will be boring when you realize you can do that in your own real life. That's what I think.
     
  36. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    11,847
    It is definitely the interaction, but also a bit of competitiveness. Most people who play games find enjoyment in doing well at them. They want to get to that next level, or solve some hard to understand puzzle, etc. They get a feeling of accomplishment doing well at the game. In a multiplayer game this often means doing well in comparison to other players.

    In a game with PVP combat, doing well in comparison to other players typically means killing the other players, which leads to the non-combat elements of the game (crafting, building up your character, etc) all becoming a means to an end, the end being killing lots of other players.

    What I think needs to happen for a game that doesn't focus on combat to be successful is to create a method of competition between players outside of combat, and some way they can measure their progress. In a PVP game this is simple, because you have immediate feedback of how well you're doing in comparison to other players - you kill them or they kill you. In a non-combat oriented survival game you'll need to promote some other metric for their relative progress in relation to other players.

    For example, you could place some kind of total value on a player inventory, or you could record how long your character has survived in comparison to the average player in the game. You could base it on territorial control or some kind of organized political power within the game. Make it something that the players see as their goal in competition with the other players.
     
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  37. Serinx

    Serinx

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Posts:
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    I like that idea, non-combat competitions. The game "The Black Death" does this by displaying the players with the most accumulated wealth, wealth can be gathered in many different ways so I guess it's a good way to measure overall successfullness.

    I think it would be interesting to take it a step further and have actual competitions where players test their skills against one another. For example you could have horse races, competitions to craft the most brilliant helmet, parkour obstacle courses, archery competitions (shooting moving targets rather than each other). Then you could throw in dueling for the players that want to whack the crap out of each other without risking their lives :p
     
  38. Chrisasan

    Chrisasan

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2015
    Posts:
    270
    There was an MMO that had this concept. In the MMO players created a deer as their aviator, and they existed in the world just to survive. There was prediter animals, and also hunter humans. I never played the game myself, but have heard of it. It had a good player base.