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 Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
 Post Posted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:03 pm 
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The biggest problem with this would be copyright issues.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:07 pm 
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    That's why the custom IP. :D

    I'm still working on this, but I've mostly been working on things that don't produce content.

    Regarding the turn order, that's a pretty good system too. Nothing says there can be one and only one turn order, with the game being single and multiplayer - small/regular multiplayer and multiple larger scale/mmo style servers - there's room for multiple options. :)

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:05 pm 
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    I don't think a pure MMO as you have described it can fit with the canon and style of Erfworld, for a few reasons:
    First of all, being turn-based is a massive hurdle that presents a ton of possibly insurmountable problems
    • Multiple players on a single side are not going to all come online at the same time, and won't all be on when it's their side's turn.
    • Being off-turn can be a very boring experience
    • MMOs center around being able to log off when you're in a safe area and need to stop playing. Erfworld has no such possibility, as long as it's daytime, you are never safe. Players could be killed while they're offline, and nobody likes losing when they have no control over it.
    • How long can a turn take in real life? This poses problems for when players log on, as I mentioned earlier.
    There are a few other problems as well caused by Erfworld's mechanics:
    • Only Rulers and Barbarians have completely free will. All other units have to obey to a certain degree. A game has no way to actually force your behavior though, and even if it did, this removes the point of it being a game, and turns it into a movie. Playing a Basic unit would be pointless, and normal Warlords would just be a step up.
    • Units on a side depend on getting their upkeep paid, again a factor that's largely out of their control. If you Ruler or even Warlords perform poorly, you could disband. Again, not a fun experience.
    For all of these reasons, there is only one way I believe an MMO would work. Players would need to be Rulers and Barbarians.
    • Each side only has one player that way, greatly reducing the timing issue.
    • All Players are free-willed this way
    • Barbarians agree to contracts, so any association between players is willing rather than forced.
    • Your survival/financial success is entirely in your own control.
    • Basic units popped by sides would be functionally mindless and just part of batle calculations. Warlords popped by sides would be controlled by AIs who follow orders but have some basic personalities that dictate how they interpret/execute their orders. Order a Warlord to claim a city: a Reckless one would burn it with Inferno and then rebuild, a Strategist one might siege it and force a surrender, and a Diplomatic one might bargain for it.
    Turn order still remains a tricky problem, but becomes much more manageble when each side only has a single player or a few players who have voluntarily agreed to work together and be online at the same time. Here is what I think would be the best solution:
    • Allow Rulers to set a schedule of their availability in real-world time.
    • With some sort of algorithm, the server calculates Battlespace (if 2 sides have enough Move for their units to reach, then it triggers Battlespace) and assigns a Turn order with a real-world window of time for each side.
    • Rulers (and any players contracted with them) must log in during that window to issue orders, with the Turn automatically finishing at the end of the announced time.
    • A complete in-game day would probably transpire over the course of a real-world week.
    • Uncontracted Barbarians get a full 24-hour period each week to act first like in the comic, and Night would be covered by a full 24 hour period at the end of each week.
    • Barbarians who are Casters and in the MK may log in and act at any point during the week.
    There would be various auto-pilot setting options, depending on character type.
    • Barbarians in the Wild could only be attacked while offline when they are off-turn, so fleeing is not an option. They could set various strategies about how they will use their units in a given scenario, if a Side attacks them.
    • Rulers have their AI Warlords, so any time they are attacked off-turn and they're not online, any warlords who are involved will handle it in their own style. Rulers can designate who is in charge of a given city or combat group with a pecking order, and of course the CWL's AI plays a big role if the side has a Thinkamancer or the like.
    • Casters in the MK are in no danger of attack, so no need for autopilot there. Though perhaps an "auto-work" option would be appropriate, which spends all their Juice and earns them currency for the day based on a current valuation of supply/demand for their discipline. The Auto option would low-ball and result in a lower income than if they actually spent the time looking for and performing work.
    Lastly, this all assumes Rulers and Barbarian Warlords log on every single week, which isn't entirely realistic. To Rulers we could offer the ability to set queues for production, and to designate order authority to the CWL AI if they know they will be unavailable a given week. Barbarian Warlords could "purchase" (in-game currency, real money, or options for both maybe) a protection that removes their character/stack from the game for X turns, suspending their need for upkeep and making them vanish from the map. Would need to have restrictions though to ensure it's not abused offensively.

    So that's my take on things. Sorry if parts of it have bene said before, I just wanted to put it all together cohesively.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:47 pm 
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    0beron wrote:
    I don't think a pure MMO as you have described it can fit with the canon and style of Erfworld, for a few reasons:
    First of all, being turn-based is a massive hurdle that presents a ton of possibly insurmountable problems
    • Multiple players on a single side are not going to all come online at the same time, and won't all be on when it's their side's turn.
    • Being off-turn can be a very boring experience
    • MMOs center around being able to log off when you're in a safe area and need to stop playing. Erfworld has no such possibility, as long as it's daytime, you are never safe. Players could be killed while they're offline, and nobody likes losing when they have no control over it.
    • How long can a turn take in real life? This poses problems for when players log on, as I mentioned earlier.
    There are a few other problems as well caused by Erfworld's mechanics:
    • Only Rulers and Barbarians have completely free will. All other units have to obey to a certain degree. A game has no way to actually force your behavior though, and even if it did, this removes the point of it being a game, and turns it into a movie. Playing a Basic unit would be pointless, and normal Warlords would just be a step up.
    • Units on a side depend on getting their upkeep paid, again a factor that's largely out of their control. If you Ruler or even Warlords perform poorly, you could disband. Again, not a fun experience.

    keep in mind that not all MMOs need to be MMORPGs. if players who aren't rulers or barbarians just (re)spawn into suitable units currently in battle (that are otherwise AI-controlled) and play the game as a kind of shooter, the only one of these problems that remains is that their side may be off-turn when they log on. and that can be circumvented if you allow those players to fight for multiple (maybe randomly chosen) sides.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 1:53 pm 
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    Finn MacCool wrote:
    keep in mind that not all MMOs need to be MMORPGs. if players who aren't rulers or barbarians just (re)spawn into suitable units currently in battle (that are otherwise AI-controlled) and play the game as a kind of shooter, the only one of these problems that remains is that their side may be off-turn when they log on. and that can be circumvented if you allow those players to fight for multiple (maybe randomly chosen) sides.
    The problem is that you can't have both. For one, giving the basic infantry even enough "free will" to fight in combat is more free will than they actually have in the comic, and I personally don't foresee that being popular with players. Additionally, you're proposing mixing two incompatible systems. A "crunch the numbers and roll the dice" system that Erfworld runs on doesn't mix with a FPS where outcomes are based on skill and reaction time. You can't put FPS gamers and auto-attacking placeholder units in the same combat, they produce totally different outcomes.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:39 pm 
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    Diablo style hack n' slash then =/

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:09 am 
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    What I mean is that in Erfworld, infantry pretty much seem like living Numbers. They have stats, and when they clash in combat, Erfworld adds up the Numbers, rolls some random chances, and calculates the results. The units themselves are mere placeholders, physical representations of Numbers. There are 3 things that determine victory: Bonuses/Stats, Luck, and the Tactical cleverness of the person in command of the stack.

    Players however have skills and reaction time and many more complex processes than merely being Numbers. When a player engages in combat, 2 things determine victory: Bonuses/stats, and Skill. Since they're making their own decisions about how to attack, the Commander's orders no longer are as important, and Luck no longer factors in.

    So in other words, a Player should usually win, because in general their Skill should be better than the average Luck.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:22 am 
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    of course skillful players will be better, but that doesn't mean that there can't be a random component (i.e. luck) to the damage they deal and receive.
    and the commander's orders could be made more important by giving the players less XP if they disobey.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:42 am 
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    Granted this is just my opinion....but I don't envision that being enjoyable for players. Diminish their skill by applying Luck, and tell them what they have to do? Sounds like the classic awful tutorials people try to rush though as fast as possible...expanded into an entire game.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:29 am 
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    I was thinking the skill-based system would apply more for led groups, ones with a warlord or caster. The intent behind some of the game rule mechanics, in terms of free to play vs pay to play, were meant to encourage a raid leader or leaders playing as warlords and leading their group. With the right game join/match/lobby mechanics, it could make it very easy for everyone to join the right session and group.

    The draw to come do this here instead of in WOW or whatever would be the meaningful gameplay, a battle with actual consequences, and the chance to make a change in the world. Few MMOs have that, they stick to the themepark mode where everything resets for the next person in line. Even the ones that do have some changes will basically just have different-colored flags over static locations and nothing really changes with the world.

    Unled units attack in a simple manner, but led units can execute complex maneuvers, using actual tactics and strategy. Though that brings up how those units behave once the leader dies. :D I'd imagine they could continue following the last orders but lose whatever leadership bonus immediately.

    Regarding it being an MMO, I've modified the concept to allow for singleplayer, small-scale multiplayer, and large scale multiplayer (MMO) - originally I was just writing ideas for an MMO but the Unity engine I was poking at scales really well. :) Putting the servers in the players hands might impact the number of MMO players, but they probably wouldn't be playing the MMO anyway. Making rulesets flexible encourages variety in the server lists, and there's still room for 'big' MMO servers alongside that. The MMO won't be the big moneymaker in this case, it'd be the $10/box or whatever it starts out as, going up as it moves out of alpha and beta.

    I still think the free to play aspect is important though, especially how infantry can get promoted to warlord or even ruler. Maybe that's why the royals REALLY hate Stanley. ;)

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:43 am 
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    I suppose, I just don't see it all meshing well in a way that actually appeals to players. I totally get what you're saying on paper....its the plausibility of execution (in a faithful Erfworld cannon fashion) that I question.

    I think there might be a way to pull it off after all though. Barbarian Knights. Knights are units who do seem to have some level of tactical sense of initative. They don't NEED orders to do well. So if we went with my suggestion of Rulers and Barbarians being the "primary" players, then the coresponding free-to-play option would be Knights who are stacked with Barbarian Warlords in the wild. I actually like the idea, it feels very Erfworld, and dodges all the problems of Obedience to a Ruler. Heck, we could even allow these players to spawn into Knights on a side as well, since the behavior is still the same I think.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:49 pm 
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    0beron wrote:
    Diminish their skill by applying Luck, and tell them what they have to do?

    weapons that do x-y damage or have a z% chance to inflict critical damage are widely accepted and the vast majority of games tell the players what to do.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:18 pm 
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    What about unit variety? In the comic side units are subconsciously created by the Ruler, would there be a full unit creator here, or would everyone have access to basic stuff, and new options open up with pay? What about different Twibes? We know that there's a wide variety, including the green skinned ones, among others. Would a player be able to create their own Twibe? Join an existing one? Could Twibes have hidden bonuses we don't know about? All three (only two were actually discussed) green skinned twibe members were casters, so maybe they have a higher caster rate but lower twibe numbers. If one can create their own Twibe, would it be possible for players to be part of/create natural ally sides so they do get the bonuses and further increases variety of the worlds?

    I don't know if most of this is even possible, but anytime I think about Erfworld games, my mind lingers on the wide variety of possibilities, from the simple city designs and side livery, to units differing from side to side, the twibes, artifacts, and even natural allies/Barbarians.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:39 pm 
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    Part of me thinks that there is some finite master list of unit types, and which ones a side gets are either tied permanently to the capital site, or subconciously chosen, or assigned by Titanic will. Because people seem to disucss various units as casually as we discuss lions and tigers and bears oh my. Nobody (except for Forecastle) ever shows any confusion when a unit is mentioned, they seem to recognize from the name what it is.

    So I imagine the game would need a huge library of unit types. I think the method of unit selection that would make players the happiest (and thus encourage more people to pay to be Rulers) would be to have them select their units from the library upon side creation. There might be some rules though, about the types of units that can be picked together.

    With regard to the Tribes, every unit that pops to a side is of that particular Tribe (Stanley popped as a Piker but he was still a Plaid Tribesman). So if there were indeed some sort of secret trait a Tribe has, it should be something that manifests in individual units, or is some trait that benefits a whole side. An example of the former would be better chance of popping with high Move, and an example of the latter might be Elves are more favorable towards and likely to ally with Sides Ruled by members of this Tribe.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:55 pm 
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    Perhaps unit templates with built in customization? Like you choose stabber (More offense oriented stats) and then choose from armors and weapons that are available that alter the stats slightly, but are mostly to change the appearance, then apply side colors? A system like that would open up a market for player created weapons, armor, textures, designs, ETC.

    Maybe use something similar for cities, you get a list of the basic stuff (Outer walls, garrison walls, tower, dungeon, some misc buildings in the city that appear at random for flavor) and then have different designs past setting their stats that alter slightly, but are once more mostly for appearance, and once again opening up more for a DOTA style player market.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:01 pm 
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    It seems that all Infantry are the same, stat-wise. It's only the special units that should vary by side.
    But yes I agree about full customization in terms of looks. Tride can determine physical appearances, and the Ruler can chose from a number of options to have "infinite" combos of side color, clothing/armor style, and so on. In a perfect world everyone could upload a crest....but for better quality implementation I think a sort of design tool would be best, certain shapes that can be moved around a canvas and colored to make a fairly unique design.

    Cities that the side builds from scratch should have a universal architectural "theme" that the Ruler decides on at side creation. The actual stats of cities is a whole different topic though.

    Both of these would also generate ample oppurtunity for paid vanity features. Including clothing/armor styles that Rulers pay to unlock, additional shapes and details for use in Crests, and different architectural looks, and so on.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:07 pm 
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    True, but sides are probably distinguished by more than just color, we know royal/noble units get slightly better stats and level faster, so my thought is that non-royal sides have some kind of bonus attributed to them, probably a boost to a specific stat in the side, like how some units sides infantry seem to have higher move than others. That could also boil down to Twibes.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:22 pm 
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    Durmatagno wrote:
    we know royal/noble units get slightly better stats and level faster, so my thought is that non-royal sides have some kind of bonus attributed to them
    Yes, the two types of sides each have a unique stat that the other seems to lack. For Royals: Stubbornness and for Non-Royals: Intelligence
    Durmatagno wrote:
    like how some units sides infantry seem to have higher move than others.
    I don't recall anny suggestion of this.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:24 pm 
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    It's a theory of mine from Book 0, one of the Wanda focused texts seemed to imply that Goodmintons units were a bit faster than Haffatons without mounts.

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     Post subject: Re: Erfworld MMO?
     Post Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:01 am 
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    I am still alive and I am still working on this, though I also did the sobering math and found that the project would take longer than my estimated remaining lifespan if I continue solo. :D I'm still working a day job and I didn't win the kickstarter lotto or anything. Anyone interested in joining in? ;)

    You can grab Unity and start playing with it if you want, there's some test files linked earlier in the thread. Anything related to the project would be helpful as well.

    ---

    Varied unit types seems a natural in Erfworld, though there are a lot of common infantry also, but that may just be those particular sides which we have seen. I think that I'd like to see the same variety in First Pancake. I'm guessing there is way more variety in Erfworld than we have seen, and I have the feeling that we've only seen like 10% of the variety present, counting all canon sources. Tho I can't back that up obviously lol. :D

    Even with infantry, sides and even warlords seem able to choose their own livery and that of their soldiers. I would imagine a similar customization function would be available in First Pancake.

    ---

    Regarding gameplay, first person combat would basically be like Mount and Blade PVP/PVE combat or PVP/PVE raiding in WoW/MMOs, that seems to still be going strong, and empire management would be similar to Civilization and the like. These are all reasonably fun games. It seems like they should be fun together. :D I do realize the hard part is to blend them smoothly so they feel like the same game rather than 2 different games. I've seen ones that did it poorly.

    ---

    Mini sample of the notes I've been doing: Basically I've been working on casters, what the base magic system is and how they might link up, with the idea that the code and base system could be re-used for Erfworld. I had the idea to use elemental casters in First Pancake, the common earth/air/fire/water thing, and the basic linking system would be similar, 2 or more casters working together, and that would allow a nice variety of gameplay with a common mythologial/historical basis that doesn't infringe on Erfworld IP. The linking and magic could easily be modified for such if Rob decides to make his own game or allow the FP project to make an Erfworld game.

    I'm working on interlinking effects and balance issues, I'd like it to be fair but interesting and capable of powerful effects. The volcano spell is an example, without their ruler out of the hex it would have been game over, and without it being the magic kingdom the casters would have been lost, so it isn't as OP as it seems. I'd like that same level of balance in gameplay with linked casters.

    I'm definitely open to suggestions in this regard also. :) The magic system is not set in stone, the elemental theme can go in the trash easily if something better comes along. - That does not infringe on Erfworld IP, that is. ;)

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