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Sandbox: give players ability to reset world

anemoanemo Member Posts: 998 Uncommon

In every sandbox game that features A LOT of building(wurmonline, haven and hearth), you run into the problem of the world just blatently filling up.   Unnattended structures just decaying, the "old guard" holding down the best locations, and similar.   World resets also have an awesome effect of drastically increasing the number of players and activity of current players(I've seen figures of the active online users doubling for a month before returning to a little better than before).

Another factor that I personally see as a large problem is that since structures are around for so long, the developers fall into the the thought set of forcing a bunch of grind to lay down structures.   Which means that they also need to majorly buff the strength of structure when it comes to sieges, and forces players to play much much more defensively due to time investment.   All in all I feel it creates an environment where competitive play isn't a factor, rather only "effective" play matters.

I also feel that updates have a much smaller impact in building-sandbox games.   Essentially when you release something new players are still going to be stuck with all the old assets, updates can also screw economies in strange ways, and a larger update doesn't cause as large of a boost in activity/players because of the feeling of "the entrenched old guard".   I would aim for releasing updates with the world reset.

_________________

So the best idea I've come up with is a mechanic that allows an informal RvR system.  Pitting the players who want to keep the world alive, and those that want to destroy it.   There is no formal system to this; players activate no flags, the developers take no steps to organize the players, and players can change sides as often as their fellows let them.

Essentially in the middle of the world lets have a nice sized dooms-day temple that has 1KM of area around it that players can't build around(Goal is more along the lines of 20-30 mins of travel over rough terrain).

Then scattered around the world are 7 orbs that the temple needs to destroy the world.  The orbs themselves being a normal item meaning they can be put in inventory, stashed in locked chests, left in the open, and/or hidden behind player fortifications.  The orbs themselves serving no practicable use IE: no useful purpose outside of saving the world, drawing legions of players to your location, and keeping your character from logging out/leaving world even if you're not connected(bad thing usually).

All players have the ability to sense the general location of an orb.   The longer an orb has been in one place the more accurate everyone senses are.   The timescale I would aim for would be along the lines of 12 hour increments.

When the temple has eaten all 7 orbs all; player stats are reset, a new map is generated, and all items are destroyed.  Just for the extra drama would probably make something along the lines of a 7 day dooms day counter as well, just to give players time to congratulate/murder/maim each other and let all the old/future-new players know that new stuff is about to happen(IE: time for social media to catch up).

________________

So above is a system that eventually results in the world being reset, though it might need some tuning.  For instance an orb only being able to be moved a certain distance every day.  Maybe there being a cooldown for how quickly orbs can be destroyed(measured in days).   Though to be honest those are things I'd rather adapt for after they become an issue.

Also curious about other peoples thoughts.

Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

"At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

Comments

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHMember Posts: 5,733 Uncommon

    isn't it simpler to include destruction in the gameplay?

     

    in EVE for example, only stations cant be destroyed - which I believe it's a mistake. But POSes and ships? poof.

     

    a sieged city should take considerable damage and after a hairy we-barely-made-it siege, a large portion hould have to be rebuilt.

     

    creation without destruction is not as bad as dstruction without creation...until the world fills.

     

    why cant a sandbox have both and be forever caught in an attempt to balance itself? this forever-search-for-balance is the riving force behind sandboxes afterall.

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  • hfztthfztt GlostrupMember Posts: 1,109 Uncommon
    Originally posted by Robokapp in EVE for example, only stations cant be destroyed - which I believe it's a mistake. But POSes and ships? poof.

    EVE devs have stated many times they want to make Outposts destroyable, they just want to find a good way to balance it first.

  • RobokappRobokapp Dublin, OHMember Posts: 5,733 Uncommon
    Originally posted by hfztt
    Originally posted by Robokapp in EVE for example, only stations cant be destroyed - which I believe it's a mistake. But POSes and ships? poof.

    EVE devs have stated many times they want to make Outposts destroyable, they just want to find a good way to balance it first.

    I believe it.

     

    the way it works now where sometimes it's faster to 'supercap down' a station than to repair it is a bit silly.

     

    perhaps the last current RF cycle should leave it at 50% structure, where healing to 100% structure captures it, dropping to 0% blows it up? it would be interesting.

     

    however adding onto OPs idea, an MMO played in "rounds" is an interesting thought. if a cycle is very long - like one year - it leaves room for cool things. Travian for example was played in rounds, and they were 300ish days long.

     

    everyone day 1 would try to make friends with his neighbors.

    day 7 protection would drop, nighbors would begin coordinating attacks.

    one month in, powerblocks were begining to shape.

    3 months in, bloc politics were underway, preparations for endgame were made.

    when the endgame event (world wonder plans) spawned, everyone would shift all efforts towards that...

    2-3 weeks later as the race was coming to an end last efforts were made to flip the result...sometime uccesfully.

     

    then round ended and everyone would get ready for next round, look for friends from past round, get his group together best they could...

     

    it was nice. I liked it. it won't work for a game like EVE but for a game like...well...Xsyon? maybe? I don't know.

     

     

    image

  • anemoanemo Member Posts: 998 Uncommon

    EvE doesn't have the problem of players being able to build "anywhere"(well to an extent they do with the new expansion).  The most common Player housing are "guild level" housing around moons, the moons of which are really only of interest to someone financed at the corp level.   Which means the clutter you see in something like Haven and Hearth, Wurmonline, Xsyon doesn't matter.   Even though it's there it only affects corp leaders once a month or less when they set up a new PoS.

    EDIT: when a new player enters something like wurmonline the first thing they see are a bunch of abandoned structures, the first thing that hinders them from advancing beyond the starting town is a maze of the same ugly structures.   You can't hide the clutter as well in a game that has the "earth" rather than a big nebulus 3D world like EvE.

    The design I offered for review goal is to capture the feeling of Haven/wurm/Xsyon but at the same time offer:  PvP with a less-artificial purpose, a way to offer a "reset"(which I feel is required for most designs in building MMOs), A way to reduce A LOT of grind, and a way to encourage more new players to try the game(fresh start in building MMOs are a big deal).

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • SpeelySpeely Seattle, WAMember Posts: 861
    Thanks for bringing this up. I have been toying with the idea of utilizing an eschatological event in a sandbox world, but deciding on a specific method has been tricky.

    Your orb idea is intriguing. I had initially decided upon a doomsday event that was triggered by civilizations having reached a certain point of prominence via structures erected in key "power point" areas. This event would come in waves and would involve powerful entities that are tied into the creation myths of the lore. These invasion waves could be resisted effectively by a unified player base, but only for so long. Eventually the deitic invasion would be too powerful and the world would wipe. For every wave of successfully resisted invasion, players starting over would receive benefits in the "new world."

    The idea of using objects like your orbs is fun. It keeps things in the hands of the players, where it should be. I would probably tweak it to require special skills or criteria to sense the orbs. Perhaps a divination ability or set of seer-like abilities that required training in or some sort of task to obtain.

    Oooh oooh, there could be a number of key magically-resonant locations that, if held, imparted the ability to sense orb location to the possessors of said location.

    I would then perhaps require the orbs to be combined before being "eaten," allowing them to be siezed up until said point. The doomsday event triggered could be tailored to the religion or worldview of the faction that catalyzed the eschaton, allowing them to side with the invasion and "win" that iteration of the game world.

    Hmmm.
  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaMember Posts: 11,155 Rare

    Reset is a really bad idea because WHEN you do it can ruin the entire game.Imagine you are a player knowing the reset is coming in 2 weeks,why bother to do anything for those two weeks?

    People always wanting a total sandbox,need to realize this is not real life,you can only do so much in a game before ruining it.

    IMO building should be VERY limited,you should have to farm for MANY hours to be able to build anything,just as in real life,or of course sell stuff to be able to buy what you want.Then you need a real hard stance against RMT  and botting or the entire system is ruined again.

    I have yet to see a single economy NOT ruined by RMT, botting and that includes early days of both EQ2,FFXI,Wow and Vanguard crafting.

    If we are worried the world will become too cluttered with tons of random building,then it is too easy to build stuff.I feel SOE does not really grasp the whole concept and never put a lot of thought into it,all they did was see a trend and had a one trick pony gimmick in Voxels and went with it,so yes you can probably expect lots of random junk in the world.

    Another idea IF SOE put some thought into it would be to have cities with tax systems,taxing plots of land and put a value on those as well,determined by similar aspects as in real life.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • SomeOldBlokeSomeOldBloke Lancaster, UKMember Posts: 2,166 Uncommon
    Natural disasters such as Volcanos, Eathquakes, Solar Flares (for EVE)  are a good ay to reset the landscape... make them Random or GM controlled not player. Player controlled resets are just asking for abuse.
  • OnomasOnomas USAMember Posts: 1,129 Uncommon

    I would not play a sandbox game that resets the world and my characters. That just makes no sense.

     

    THere are many options that can be put in place such as decay, rent, time limits on structures (if not used at least once per month it gets packed up and put in players inventory), the mayor of cities could be allowed to remove structures not in use for lengthy periods of time, etc..........

     

    But a complete swipe of the world and players? Not very sandboxy to me........

  • OmaliOmali MMO Business Correspondent Orchard Park, NYMember Posts: 1,169 Uncommon
    A Tale In The Desert resets the world every few years, and they see an influx of players returning when they do.

    Check out my monthly column on MMORPG.com.

    image

  • SpeelySpeely Seattle, WAMember Posts: 861

    Slapping a reset on a game built in the traditional fashion would of course be a bad idea. However, if the game is designed correctly around said mechanic, it could work wonderfully and open up a lot of possibilities for new players and expansion releases.

    Like always, it's the implementation of the feature that matters, not the way it plays out in theory when applied to current game models.

  • PhryPhry OxfordshireMember Posts: 7,878 Epic
    Originally posted by Onomas
    I would not play a sandbox game that resets the world and my characters. That just makes no sense.   THere are many options that can be put in place such as decay, rent, time limits on structures (if not used at least once per month it gets packed up and put in players inventory), the mayor of cities could be allowed to remove structures not in use for lengthy periods of time, etc..........   But a complete swipe of the world and players? Not very sandboxy to me........

    No it isnt 'sandboxy' at all, in fact it renders the whole game entirely pointless, because no matter what you did, after a few weeks/days/months, whatever, it would all have disappeared as if it had never happened, and this would include any friendships etc you made in game, not to mention character progression being 'reset' has to be one of the dumbest ideas i've ever heard, why even bother having character progression in the first place? image

  • SpiiderSpiider BinzMember Posts: 564 Uncommon

    Been playing Wurm online for a year and the world around me changes so much many times, old folks leave new move in etc. Only few settlements really stick on the same sport still. And the world is evolving gradually and its only my server I know.

    If you want a reset every 5 days then play minecraft (meant as friendly advice).

    Also EVE's politics is what changes the game, not being able to destroy stations. If you can destroy outposts get ready to see one faction choosing their holy goal to destroy all stations because they can and are bored after 10 years of same old same old.

    No fate but what we make, so make me a ham sandwich please.

  • anemoanemo Member Posts: 998 Uncommon

    I certainly do agree that if a game followed the same concept of "personal goals are weeks away" the game would be pretty pointless.   If I saw such a eventual reset mechanic on most games I'd probably be pretty annoyed.  And there would be mechanics in place to alleviate that, but adding them would de-rail the purpose of the thread to get others opinions.

    I guess the goal I'm looking for in the game design is to encourage players to go "all in" several times over the course of the server.   And to have a forced story and PvPer mechanic that strongly encourages it.   Most other sandbox games rarely have a motivator that's worth the sacrifice, even if E-Peen is enough to get some interesting conflict.   Pretty much I hold the nagging feeling that war in sandbox games is more about forcing your enemies to think "It's not worth their time" then the actual goal of both sides involved.

    I'm also only getting rid of: stats, places and things.   Which means that friends lists, guild lists, and similar are still up.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • KilrainKilrain OregonMember Posts: 1,112 Uncommon

    The only way for this to make sense is to create some form of reset for abandonment. I had the idea that upkeep was necessary in order to keep a house for instance. If you didn't provide X amount of materials per day/week/month, then the home would go into disrepair. Once reaching a certain point of disrepair, the house could be claimed by someone else willing to repair it and/or disappearing all together after a certain point.

    One complain to this is always, "what if I have real life things to deal with?", well for one this isn't real life and two, if it were what would you do? Have a friend help you out. With this comes the worry that one person could hold the upkeep of multiple homes and the issue would still exist to an extent. If the number of materials required to upkeep a home were high enough, it would be difficult for an individual to keep up with more than one home. So in order to do it properly, you could have storage boxes that contained excess materials that your helper friend could use to help upkeep your home for a short period of time.

    "But I spend all this time building a home now I need to upkeep it too?!". Yep. If you don't like doing all this extra upkeep then.. we... GET ROOMMATES.

    The number of materials required to upkeep the home/building would depend on its size. This could also be translated into larger structures like castles with villages within the walls. The castle itself would have a quota and each structure within it would also have a quota. If the guild is losing people and can't keep up with upkeep, start tearing down buildings.

    Just a few thoughts on this matter. I'm working on a game design myself and this is something that I will be considering heavily as I work on it.

  • ArChWindArChWind Some Place, WIMember Posts: 1,223 Uncommon

    Why do you need to reset?

    Why do you need to destroy?

    Make everything degrade over time if you don't upkeep it. It will evolve on its own.

    Oh... wait! Nevermind.

     

    Someone will complain.

    ^^^^^^^

    One of the main reasons to just go mod single player games.

  • anemoanemo Member Posts: 998 Uncommon

    I'm pretty trapped up on a world players destroy themselves for all the reasons I listed.

    Followed by the fact that this would give me a chance to utterly destroy the advantages gained from bugs and updates.   "you're never going to catch up, he played with the infite gold/exp/duplication bug", and similar.   SOmething I'm pretty sure would happen somewhat frequently in a indy game I'd make.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

    "At one point technology meant making tech that could get to the moon, now it means making tech that could get you a taxi."

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember Posts: 14,247 Rare
    Originally posted by anemo
    I'm pretty trapped up on a world players destroy themselves for all the reasons I listed. Followed by the fact that this would give me a chance to utterly destroy the advantages gained from bugs and updates.   "you're never going to catch up, he played with the infite gold/exp/duplication bug", and similar.   SOmething I'm pretty sure would happen somewhat frequently in a indy game I'd make.

    There are far better ways to correct that than damaging or breaking persistence. 

    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

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