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Traderoutes and Travel and Exploration

Yay another thread about TenThousandsuns! I am mainly posting this since the forum has lacked threads which really interest me in the last few days and I need something to spend time on.

In TTS the world is a dynamic persistent world. Monsters are released into the world through the planar tears and they then seek out a spot to live and form lairs and kingdoms and so forth. Lair positions are static with what I call an AoO, Area of Operation, where the creatures will travel around and perform tasks such as patrolling or being a sentry. Monsters may also do things like explore the world for human settlements or set up defenses and so forth. Only some monsters have ranged or flying capabilities. This is all just background for our actual topic though.

A large focus of the game is the player driven economy where players must explore the world to find resources and create their own settlements to live in. Settlements have various purposes, strategic, like guarding passes or being on a hill in some plains, economic like for gathering resources and crafting, and various other purposes.

Because the world is massive and filled with an ever changing monster landscape where large areas are travel safe for the most part but areas might change from safe to dangerous or vice versa, moving resources is an important part of the game economy. Players can carry resources or use carts or pack animals to facilitate trade.

However as I was discussing the possiblity of sky forts in another thread I thought it might facilitate exploration and trade and warfare to have some other travel methods.

Players can create gates to other worlds and they can use a similar magic to create Paths. This is fairly similar to the Ways in WoT. Players can also access other planes to travel faster, technically Paths are based on that same idea also.

However those and skyforts are more of a high end capability that is expensive to produce and use and won't be easily accessible to most players.

There are some simpler material focused travel methods, since magic is really rare and hard to access and requires a lot of mana manipulation efforts. For this particular thread I want to talk about sea and sky ships.

Sea ships are more basic, in some sense and easier to deal with. They require less work and simpler materials. You can use anything from a rowboat to a ship of the line type ship. In theory you could construct an entire city on the ocean, which may or may not be able to move. A basic ship will require only wood and cloth. More advanced ships with extra functions require more advanced material.

In general there are no nearly so many water as land monsters. Although out on the deep sea you may meet some serious leviathans in general near the coast its not so bad. And land monsters cannot really access the sea. Sailing will also work on lakes and streams and rivers. Sailing allows you to carry more goods faster than land travel and of course access other continents and many islands.

Air ships can travel even faster than sea ships and do not have the same limitations. They are much harder to build. You will need a gas source, which can either be found or designed, some superior cloth materials, preferably some light and strong woods, maybe some metals and so forth.

In any case my goal is for there to be both land and sea and sky trade routes that are relatively stable and productive.

Ships and steeds and air ships also have various exploration and combat values. An airship may allow you to travel further and search from the sky for interesting areas to explore. Airship navigation may be simpler than land and see as well. Having an airship not only allows for speed of travel and easy access to locations like mountains and such, but you can move loot you find. Say you kill a dragon and skin it and take the bones. As opposed to how hard it is to carry stuff on your person.

You can also use sea and air ships for combat, attacking from where you can't be countered. However especially for air ships flying or ranged monsters can take down the air bags and you may crash and burn.

Do you think you could see yourself doing trade routes and building caravans and ships and air ships? What about raising animals like horses to carry things?

I am also thinking of allowing you to capture certain types of monsters to breed and train. You will not be able to take over demons or eldritch horrors and such, or goblins or orcs, but you may be able to train large birds or dragons or some 4 footed animals. You may also be able to use some summons for travel.

I am making another thread about including some technology and more steampunkish elements both to ships and air ships and other things also. I am not sure how strictly high fantasy I want the game to be.

Comments

  • UknownAspectUknownAspect Member Posts: 277

    I'm assuming this is a game of your design (first time I'm seeing one of your threads).  

    The concept sounds actually really what I'd like to see in a game.  A lot of sandbox elements, but a good dynamic environmental force.  

    In regards to travel, I think you should keep land travel something as a starter, maybe move to sea and air in latter patches/expansions.  Just because this may drastically change the way your world works in a matter of minutes on implementation.

     

    Also, quick travel is a no no.  Travelling and transporting goods should be a risk in itself.  Of course it is important to have safe zones, and maybe a couple quick travel points, but if you allow an entire infrastructure to be built for quick travel, you take the pirating and exploration out of the game.  It's one thing if you have zones that really don't need to ever come back to, but if you want zones to be persistant battlegrounds, you should not allow quick travel through them.

     

    imo

    MMOs played: Horizons, Auto Assault, Ryzom, EVE, WAR, WoW, EQ2, LotRO, GW, DAoC, Aion, Requiem, Atlantica, DDO, Allods, Earth Eternal, Fallen Earth, Rift
    Willing to try anything new

  • CuathonCuathon Member Posts: 2,211

    Originally posted by UknownAspect

    I'm assuming this is a game of your design (first time I'm seeing one of your threads).  

    The concept sounds actually really what I'd like to see in a game.  A lot of sandbox elements, but a good dynamic environmental force.  

    In regards to travel, I think you should keep land travel something as a starter, maybe move to sea and air in latter patches/expansions.  Just because this may drastically change the way your world works in a matter of minutes on implementation.

     

    Also, quick travel is a no no.  Travelling and transporting goods should be a risk in itself.  Of course it is important to have safe zones, and maybe a couple quick travel points, but if you allow an entire infrastructure to be built for quick travel, you take the pirating and exploration out of the game.  It's one thing if you have zones that really don't need to ever come back to, but if you want zones to be persistant battlegrounds, you should not allow quick travel through them.

     

    imo

    Well all of that is addressed in my previous threads, all 40 of them, but I'll do a quick comment:

    Gates are interworld transport, so not instant travel within a world. Paths are very very high end magical products and possess a cost for their use. You have to have the mana to open them and keep them open while you travel and that means spending time storing up that mana.

    Sea and air have a high cost to get into and they have their own limitations.

    My game does not possess PvP at all, its all PvE. Theoretically every single player is allied to every other player to not be overrun by the monsters attacking all the worlds. Now most people will onyl interact with their city kingdom or guild, and leaders of those entities will organize among themselves.

    I designed the world to work with sea and air travel. It won't change the dynamics too much. As players get to these new methods monsters will also be approaching a stage where they can somewhat counter the benefits.

    As more players join the game the tears in reality grow and new ones form, and also monsters already in the world age and become stronger and more organized. The environment evolves to deal with players having more power.

    It mau be difficult to really understand if you haven't read my other threads, but that is a basic explanation.

  • CuathonCuathon Member Posts: 2,211

    No one has any opinions about local markets variable speed travel systems and shipping vs flying vs running/mounts? I mean I went into specifics but there are the general contents?

    I really wanted to see what people had to say about the different travel systems and their costs and benefits.

    Do higher entry and maintanence costs justify higher speed?

    In the case of Paths do you think having to have enough mana power to use the Paths justifies a 10-100x compared to running travel speed? For instance you might spend 20 minutes a day storing mana up in the Paths so that one day when you need to respond very quickly to an attack on a town you can get there from any other major player settlement very quickly? This is part of the RTS part of the game more than the RPG part. You have to decide do you want to put in some effort to get a lot of flexibility later or do you feel that its okay to save time now and have to not be able to make it in time to defend yourself later?

  • TorikTorik Member UncommonPosts: 2,342

    Originally posted by Cuathon

    No one has any opinions about local markets variable speed travel systems and shipping vs flying vs running/mounts? I mean I went into specifics but there are the general contents?

    I really wanted to see what people had to say about the different travel systems and their costs and benefits.

    Do higher entry and maintanence costs justify higher speed?

    In the case of Paths do you think having to have enough mana power to use the Paths justifies a 10-100x compared to running travel speed? For instance you might spend 20 minutes a day storing mana up in the Paths so that one day when you need to respond very quickly to an attack on a town you can get there from any other major player settlement very quickly? This is part of the RTS part of the game more than the RPG part. You have to decide do you want to put in some effort to get a lot of flexibility later or do you feel that its okay to save time now and have to not be able to make it in time to defend yourself later?

    Give me the final numbers and I will run them through some spreadsheets and then I can give you a real response.   If I am doing trading I will use the method I find more profitable. 

    If you want to include a non-interactive timesink as part of your cost then you have to realize that players will AFK or macro those tasks.   If that is possible these costs drop to zero.    So if I can charge up a path for quick travel while I am watching a video on my second monitor, I am less likely to use the longer travel method that might be just as boring but I have to pay more attention to.

     

  • CuathonCuathon Member Posts: 2,211

    Originally posted by Torik

    Originally posted by Cuathon

    No one has any opinions about local markets variable speed travel systems and shipping vs flying vs running/mounts? I mean I went into specifics but there are the general contents?

    I really wanted to see what people had to say about the different travel systems and their costs and benefits.

    Do higher entry and maintanence costs justify higher speed?

    In the case of Paths do you think having to have enough mana power to use the Paths justifies a 10-100x compared to running travel speed? For instance you might spend 20 minutes a day storing mana up in the Paths so that one day when you need to respond very quickly to an attack on a town you can get there from any other major player settlement very quickly? This is part of the RTS part of the game more than the RPG part. You have to decide do you want to put in some effort to get a lot of flexibility later or do you feel that its okay to save time now and have to not be able to make it in time to defend yourself later?

    Give me the final numbers and I will run them through some spreadsheets and then I can give you a real response.   If I am doing trading I will use the method I find more profitable. 

    If you want to include a non-interactive timesink as part of your cost then you have to realize that players will AFK or macro those tasks.   If that is possible these costs drop to zero.    So if I can charge up a path for quick travel while I am watching a video on my second monitor, I am less likely to use the longer travel method that might be just as boring but I have to pay more attention to.

     



    Um, there are no final numbers. It depends on if you get caught by monsters and stuff like that. So taking a path may be safer and faster, but you have to store mana. Air might be the safest aside from that but you have to build and maintain the airship and you could still get attacked.

    Paths aren't really meant for general travel. It would technically cost more time to travel by path except that you can choose when to use the path. So you wouldn't want to use it just to move goods or something but you would want to use it if an important city was under attack and you needed to get there right away.

    As for macroing, I don't really give a crap. If you want to macro its not my problem. The monsters certainly don't care if you macro. In theory I could make disruptions for macroing, or I could make a minigame like, you have to do some actions to keep some frequency or w/e set properly or else the mana battery will explode. Or mabe it just transfers faster or w/e if you keep it aligned. But since you aren't fighting other players who will whine about it being unfair it doesn't matter. Honestly I was thinking of battery charging being one of the offline tasks you can do. And the decision is what you want to spend your offline time on.

     

    How do you feel about local markets? I know some people just want GAH and some really want to have a trading game.

    Would you like flying to just be point and click, also shipping, or do you want like a minigame.

    For instance there could be winds and you could respond to by rising or falling or turning sails or something like that. And to steer you would change sail orientation or move a rudder or something. Essentially have a flight sim and a sailing sim in the game.

  • EdeusEdeus Member CommonPosts: 506

    Hey you finally mentioned something from WoT (the ways) before I worked up the nerve to call you out on being Mat :P

     

    On Topic: Going all out with raising horses as well as building the caravan and airship can be TOO huge for a lot of people (me included).  It sounds more hectic to manage than fun.  Also having travel be a mini-game can get tedius after awhile (see SWTOR spaceship travelling).  But at the same time, can my airship carry other people?  Can it be attacked?  Can my caravan carry other people?  Can it be attacked?  What are the risks/rewards for utilizing this over say a portal system.  Can people see what I am carrying and make a decision on whether to attack me, or is there a set of goblins that always camp the gate of X city and will always be there to try to attack me, so predictably.

    Also, while on the topic of raising pets for transport, just horses is lame.  What about rhino's and zebra's?  One offers more pulling power while the other more speed.

    And I think having a local market system is a must.  One massive AH system is bleh.  Also price history and maybe some graph functions.  Having it in a fantasy setting also creates the problem of "Needing to be at that market, to see that market"  You know what I mean ;)

     

    image

    Taru-Gallante-Blood elf-Elysean-Kelari-Crime Fighting-Imperial Agent

  • CuathonCuathon Member Posts: 2,211

    Originally posted by Edeus

    Hey you finally mentioned something from WoT (the ways) before I worked up the nerve to call you out on being Mat :P

     Mat is the best character. I skipped 50% of Perrin's stories from boredom and rand gets all emo and self hatey. His stories still pwn Perrin's but Mat is 100% awesome 100% of the time.

    On Topic: Going all out with raising horses as well as building the caravan and airship can be TOO huge for a lot of people (me included).  It sounds more hectic to manage than fun.  Also having travel be a mini-game can get tedius after awhile (see SWTOR spaceship travelling).  But at the same time, can my airship carry other people?  Can it be attacked?  Can my caravan carry other people?  Can it be attacked?  What are the risks/rewards for utilizing this over say a portal system.  Can people see what I am carrying and make a decision on whether to attack me, or is there a set of goblins that always camp the gate of X city and will always be there to try to attack me, so predictably.

    Also, while on the topic of raising pets for transport, just horses is lame.  What about rhino's and zebra's?  One offers more pulling power while the other more speed.

    And I think having a local market system is a must.  One massive AH system is bleh.  Also price history and maybe some graph functions.  Having it in a fantasy setting also creates the problem of "Needing to be at that market, to see that market"  You know what I mean ;)

     

    As for minigames, I always implement minigames as a bonus. So you go 20-50% faster depending on how well you play the minigame but you still get places if you don't want to or you suck. And the minigame will be fairly non trivial, so if you like flight or sailing sims it will stay fun a while.

    There are no rhino's or zebras, but I guess I can include some options. Definitely for summons and flying creatures you will have options. I might even do like, an airship, but you use levitation to raise it, or move it, and the air part makes it cost less power, and you can have one or both of those, plus an animal pulling it. So like a chariot style airship with levitation and/or balloons to keep it up and a dragon to pull it. We will see how much extra time I have and how the engine will deal with that. I think it would be pretty epic. FYI, airships and dragons under player control and large ships and crap will be like guild level or higher stuff. Also not everyone can use magic. So you might have to buy levitators and such.

    Since there is zero PvP and its all players on the same team, as opposed to soloing and stuff I can ignore various fairness issues.

    Airships and caravans and boats can carry as many people as you can fit and also cargo. They will also be attacked based on the dynamic creature system. So you may or may not be attacked based on if any creatures who are capable of it can hit you.

    As I have described elsewhere my game does not have static monsters and respawns. If you kill it its dead.

    Also I commented back to you in the other thread but the devs arbitrarily had it moved to the dev corner.

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