Question: Mob Spawns vs. Player Structures

BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

In my spare time I have been building my dream Sandbox MMO system. It's a hobby I can only hope will someday perhapse become a business plan. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds.

Today I was thinking about the details of a game world where players can build a structure almost anywhere, like Arche Age (is promising) or Ultima Online. No teraforming or anything crazy. Lets just say you can build a small house anywhere in the game world. It would automatically clear rocks and trees and level the ground.

 

Where I'm running into a road block is this:

If mob spawn locations in the world are static, what happens if a player builds his/her house on top of it?

If the mobs continue to spawn that could be weird or annoying.

If the mobs stop spawning then players will eventually destroy all spawns. Griefers could build a house on that awesome rare mob spawn and screw the server.

How do games like UO work in this regard?

The quickest solutions I came up with are along the lines of not letting a player build on a spawn or perhapse have that spawn move. These both bring up problems I don't exactly want.

Any ideas?

 

 

Comments

  • CeridithCeridith Member CommonPosts: 2,980

    The best way to deal with this would be to create regions that span an area of your world, and have MOBs spawned on any passable (non-obstructed) tile within a region. This will also make managing spawns easier in the long run as well, as you could potentially use regions to place multiple MOB spawns are once over a wide area, cutting down on management you'd have by creating singular static spawns.

  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    Hmm, that's a great suggestion.

    However, couldn't this result in a mob spawning in someones front yard? Or just outside their house?

     

    I'd like to let players own territory. The more residents, the bigger it grows. (Similar to Xsyon)

    But I guess the basic issue is, what happens when players gobble up all the land and build all over it?

    Should the mobs spawn in the player's cities?

    Should mobs spawns be displaced?

    Should there be regions for mobs that players can not build in?

    I doubt I'm the first person to be boggled by such an issue, and I don't think many MMOs to date have fully addressed the issue.

     

    I didn't play SWG all that much. Anyone know how SWG handled players building things everywhere in relation to mob spawns?

     

  • CeridithCeridith Member CommonPosts: 2,980

    Originally posted by Belight

    Hmm, that's a great suggestion.
    However, couldn't this result in a mob spawning in someones front yard? Or just outside their house?
     
    I'd like to let players own territory. The more residents, the bigger it grows. (Similar to Xsyon)
    But I guess the basic issue is, what happens when players gobble up all the land and build all over it?
    Should the mobs spawn in the player's cities?
    Should mobs spawns be displaced?
    Should there be regions for mobs that players can not build in?
    I doubt I'm the first person to be boggled by such an issue, and I don't think many MMOs to date have fully addressed the issue.
     
    I didn't play SWG all that much. Anyone know how SWG handled players building things everywhere in relation to mob spawns?
     

    UO and SWG work very similar to how I described in my previous post. And you're correct, there was the possibility that MOBs could spawn around your home, and it could get nasty to deal with at times if your house was in a denser or more dangerous spawn area.

    Per your other questions...

    Should the mobs spawn in the player's cities?

    SWG dealt with this inadvertantly by having spawns in the 'wild' (non POI related overworld spawns) tied to 'lairs'. Lairs were mini structures that were destructable, and basically NPCs spawned from them so long as they existed. The caveat was that like with any structure, there needed to be sufficient room for a lair to spawn, and couldn't spawn directly adjacent to player structures. For a single structure in the wild, a lair could spawn relatively close to a home. For a player town/city, if there are several player structures relatively close together, then lairs and thus MOBs would not spawn inside of the settlement, though they could outside of it.

    Should mobs spawns be displaced?

    In UO and SWG, this is how it worked. From a coding standpoint it's easier this way, otherwise you would need to calculate how much of a region's open area has been settled, and dynamically adjust spawns accordingly. IMO dynamically adjusting the spawn is a better system from a design standpoint, but harder to achieve from a technical.

    Should there be regions for mobs that players can not build in?

    In my opinion, yes. UO and SWG both had such places. In or directly around POIs, NPC cities, and/or entrances to dungeons. For example, an overland graveyard or ancient ruins that spawn undead, you'd probably want to create a buffer from players being able to build and block other players from accessing the area or otherwise clutter what should function as a hunting ground for combat characters.

     

    Also something to think about, regions can potentially overlap, and potentially supercede other regions. Creating a structure or placing a 'town hall' structure to create a player town could create a 'player region' that creates a region that overlaps the 'wild' region and supresses any hostile NPCs from spawning inside... and potentially spawns friendly NPCs.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember RarePosts: 14,247

    Originally posted by Belight



    How do games like UO work in this regard?

    I'm not sure if it's still done this way, but here's how UO used to do it.


    • Generate random location within a certain distance/radius of the spawner to be the spawn location

    • Check to see if location is blocked. If blocked, repeat until valid spawn location.

    • Generate spawn type from spawn table (ex: Orc Lord and three orcs, Four orcs and NPC damsel, Four ratmen, etc)

    • Spawn mobs at location

    • When all its mobs from a spawner have been killed or left the zone, timer starts for next respawn

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • BelightBelight wichita, KSMember Posts: 73

    Very informative replies! Thank you!

Sign In or Register to comment.