Concerning Dragons

Discussion in 'Wishlist Requests' started by Red, May 11, 2013.

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  1. Redrik

    Redrik Avatar

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    A few times in the chatroom the topic of how dragons would be handled has been brought up with mixed opinions. One person even being so bold as to not want them included at all. As we all know, Dragons are a staple of the medieval fantasy genre and it can even be said that they may be the poster child for it. They are in and of themselves wondrous creatures, giant leviathans that soar through the air on mighty wings, with scales harder than most armors and the ability to breath fire on a whim. It brings a powerful image that has caused many like myself to love the beasts dearly, and thus we'd like to see them done justice. As during these discussions many seemed to like my ideas I figured I would take the opportunity to list how I would like to see them implemented into SotA in order to show them the respect they deserve.

    The biggest topic of debate is concerning the two most used versions of dragons: Wise versus Feral. While the earliest form of western dragon was mostly portrayed as a mindless killing beast to be taken down by a warrior, what most people seem to want is the intellectual beings popularized by Tolkien and Dungeons and Dragons. Dragons tend to have long life spans in fiction, ranging from hundreds to thousands of years. With that time comes wisdom not normally obtainable by a normal human being, not too mention a fully matured dragon has probably flown around the world at least a few times before settling on a lair of its own. That is not to say that the feral route can't be explored as well, sub races of dragon such as wyverns and drakes could easily fill that slot and a young, proud dragon trying to assert dominance over a few humans wouldn't be out of the question either. Making the dragons intelligent is a big part of their development and will have a hand in every instance of their interactions with the players and the world at large, as well as the suggestions I'll be listing below.

    The second biggest topic tends to be the frequency of their appearance. Many fear that if they show up constantly or end up being frequent bosses that it will cheapen their value. Dragons are often thought of as rare, majestic beings who don't often dabble in the affairs of humans or other smaller beings. Another thing that ties into this is the strength of the typical dragon. Many of us believe that dragons should be one of the strongest beings around and capable of great things, and having them appear to frequently would mean their defeated frequently, and that again cheapens them. Perhaps it could be justified if some villain had enslaved a dragon or two and forced it to do his or her bidding, but even then they would have to be a top tier villain to have accomplished such a feat, not just some underling who answers to someone else. Those of us who discussed it in the chatroom agree that dragons should be sparse, rare enough that seeing one would be something to brag about, but still common enough to where it's not impossible for the average player. After all, being able to meet a dragon and live to tell the tale should be something to brag about and be met with applause, not "So? I did that like, twelve times today."

    With those main subjects of debate out of the way, I'd now just like to bring up some features that I personally would just like to see. First off, individuality. As dragons are considered top-tier I think it's only fitting that many are not considered like normal mobs. Not only would I like to see them have varied appearances, possibly something based on the character creator that players use, but they could possibly have their own names as well. Maybe even a title. The way I'm imagining it is that when a dragon spawns in the world it generates a name, appearance, and possibly a personality, and then that single dragon will stick around until it is either somehow killed or driven off, at which point a new dragon spawns later on with a different name and appearance to take up the freed territory. After all, which would you rather say? "I just encountered that dragon that's been flying around." or "I just met with Therius the Grey."

    Combined with procedural generation of names and appearances, I'd like it if they had their own personalities as well. After all, what's the point of having that intelligence if they can't express it in different ways? When a dragon spawns, you never know what you'll get... it could very well be an evil dragon who wishes to torch your village to the ground just for laughs or boredom, in which case you never find out until he or she decides to do so. It could just be as likely that the dragon is actually rather passive, simply wanting to be left in peace and means no harm, but may get agitated if foolish humans keep venturing into it's layer while it's trying to relax. Perhaps in order to find out what kind of dragon you're dealing with you take the initiative and enter it's lair yourself, only to be welcomed in by an old dragon who challenges you to a game of wits, delighted that it has someone to converse with. It could even turn out to be a rather young dragon that is on a quest of its own, and is only stopping hear momentarily. These small quirks in the mightiest of beasts would, in my opinion, breathe great life into the world.

    As you can tell from what I've said already, I want dragons to have an impact on the world, even though they themselves may be rare. An idea I had is that they could be interacted with by the players in different ways, though most of what I've come up with involves friendly or passive dragons. The first idea I had was that dragons could recognize players it has met and remember how that player treated it. As we've seen in some demo footage, dragons soar over the world map and there will be times when npc bandits or monsters will attack the towns we will be residing in. Let's say that a player, or maybe even an entire town got together and decided to pay respect to the dragon, possibly gathering food and offering it at the dragon's den or simply being respectful and holding a conversation with it during visits in order to gain approval from the mighty wyrm. Then later when the village is attacked, the dragon may be flying over head and recognize those that went out of their way to befriend him and descend to join the fray and fend off the invaders. Although, with evil or proud dragons that method can also be used to appease them so they don't set their town ablaze, at least until a group of warriors strong enough to end the dark beasts' reign shows up.

    I think that's all I have to say on the matter. I understand many of what I said may be hard to implement, especially considering the Selective Multiplayer, but I still think they are interesting concepts to mull over, no? I hope everyone enjoyed reading and if anyone has ideas of their own Concerning Dragons, please feel free to speak up! ^_^
     
  2. Fireangel

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    So,...dragons are an important subject in a medieval setting or in a fantasy. Personally, I don't like it when a story teller takes an old subject and comes up with a whole new lore about that subject, stating, "Disregard all you've heard before. That's wrong." For example, I don't like having the old vampires from classics like Dracula being dismissed and completely remade into 'Twilight' vampires. I'm much happier when a story teller takes what has been written before and uses their imagination to tell us the 'whys' or 'hows' or 'whos', building upon what is known, and elaborating into what we never knew.

    I liked the conversation that was going on between Richard Garriott and Stephen Daniele while Stephen was drawing the MASSIVE dragon. One of Tolkien's dragons was that huge in the Silmarillion, and I do think of Smaug from 'The Hobbit' first when I think of intelligent dragons. I like the idea as in Dungeons & Dragons that there are all types and ages of dragons, and that they have different dwelling places, powers, weaknesses, and personalities. Some can transform into human form, and can walk among us.

    Dragons might be powerful manipulators behind the scenes politically or beyond our knowing, either for good or ill, or both -- playing us like chess pieces where they may. And as you know, you should 'never play chess with a dragon'[David Gerrold]. Elder, mature dragons might never be seen, or only be seen at the last scene of the last episode, and perhaps it is only the one -- one like Stephen drew. Perhaps a drake or a wyrm or wyvern might be seen at some point, somewhere prior to that.

    Gold? Treasure? Scales? Eyes made of Jewels? Caves of hoarded thefts? Mountain nests of rare dragon eggs? A stolen dragon egg in one of the parts of the realm? 4-legged dragons that also have massive wings, or will the dragons here have front limbs that end in talons? What will the adventurer see, and when?
     
  3. PrimeRib

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    If dragons are going to matter, they should be contested, open world bosses which guilds/factions fight over. Otherwise it's just another mob.
     
  4. AndiZ275

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    I see it like Spoony in his counter monkey about dragons (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFnTRfR46Gc). A flying dragon should never land without being forced to and firebreath players to death out of the air, when they try to fight him in the open. Dragons should be terrifying even for advanced groups and never be "just another mob"

    General, I'm against the "just another mob" status of most of the monsters in many games (I know of course, that you didn't spoke out for such a systen, PrimeRib ;-) ).

    As a positive example: Take Dark Souls for example. Even lesser creatures like zombies, rats and skeletons can become annyoing, when you don't use the right tactics. And a creature like a Giant, Oger or Troll, that has over 10x the weight of a human becomes pretty devastating in combat, when you don't pay attention, since you can't simply block them.

    As a negative example: Take nearly every other MMO beginning from UO over WoW to games like Lotro. There mobs are mostly just mobs, where you don't need tactics and were you don't have to pay attention. And I hate it, when you can outlevel monsters and slay monsters 50x the size and weight of you solo, just because that monster is 10 levels below you.

    As a very negative example: Take most mobs in Lord of the Rings online. After you have encountered a monster type, all similar monsters later in the game will be just the same mob with higher level and another skin. What is fun, when you enter your first drake early in the game, becomes tedious and boring, when you still fights the same monster types 50 levels later. Giants will still just throw some rocks (that don't do real damage, regardless those rocks are 2x as heavy as you) and kick you, Drakes will do the same fire attacks over and over, spiders will do the same poison attacks and orcs, humanoids and goblins will mostly just stand stupidly around and do one or two special attacks. Sometimes you encounter an "elite" version of a mob, that in most cases is just a bit stronger version of the normal mob.

    So, I'd like to see each monster becoming special.
    Cheers,
    Andreas
     
  5. PrimeRib

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    There were two dragons in Lineage2.
    Antharas was somewhat farmable. Meaning that 2-3 of the strongest guilds could kill it on spawn if they had the right people, etc. Valakas really took the absolute best to kill and the only time it was farmed was one clan on one server figured out an LoS exploit so that they could keep a huge number of support players out of his attacks. I saw two Valakas kills but many, many failures.

    Either of these required everyone to do a quest. It took a few hours and was all over the world. But it was really obvious if the entire guild was running around doing the quest. So that other guilds might try to do the same and / or lay ambushes. People would often 2-3 box support and some classes were just terrible solo for PvP so this could make things really difficult.

    The spawn time was approximately 9 days with a variable window of several hours. Both of these were about an hour deep into their lair. There were multiple opportunities to ambush while the raid group had to PvE their was through. Again, a large PvE group like this travels slow as they're running multiple clients. At the end, you had to hold and camp the spawn and expect ambush. It took 50-80ish to kill one of the dragons. Undergeared people or parties without the right support / buffs were huge liabilities - rather than assets.

    PvE groups were often very different from PvP groups. Both due to inherent rock/paper/scissors balancing and you may simply be stacking "tank" groups for max survivability and "dps" groups for glass cannon damage. We could easily have twice as many people as needed to kill the boss to help with PvP. Once the boss was fully spawned, maybe 30 minutes or so after it was triggered, it locked the raid into a zone so others could not continually ambush the raid. The bosses may take 2 or even 4 hours of PvE focus, which would simply be impossible with constant PvP.

    Both bosses had their own piece of epic jewelry which dropped. There were the only bosses in the game which would consistently drop multiple pieces of full loot (everything else was generally crafting mats). The earring had things like +chance to stun, +resist to stun. It could be minor but in a 1v1 more stuns over time could make a huge difference, as would a healer getting stunned less in a group.
     
  6. Matheryn

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    @ fireange

    I have to agree with you with the twilight bit it should have been strangled at birth but as for taking something thats old and recasting it in a different light i have to disagree with you there as many cultures across the world have different takes on the same thing IE lets use the werewolf as an example, we all know what a werewolf is - a man that turns into a wolf under a full moon but different cultures have different versions and names for the werewolf - take romania for instance they call it the Varcolac (and your vampire dracula was known to them as a strigoi and he wasent the first) where as the irish call the werewolf a lithoric in gaelic tongue, the americans turned scientific on it and gave it a medical term lycanthrope whereas the africans call it daestonomia "dog demon", native americans "indians" call it werchaki.

    so as you can see just because someone has a new take on something doesnt always mean its going to be something bad it could be a different legend or it could be something new made up but still have a solid ring to it.

    a famous quote to sum all this up nicely would be "dont judge a book by its cover"
     
  7. Fireangel

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    @Matheryn Hi :)

    I'm not saying to recast it in a different light. I apologize for how text can somehow get misunderstood. I'm saying, for instance, in using the example that you give, let's take the werewolf. So let's pretend you're the writer, Matheryn. You've just now been promoted to writer. ;) As writer, you have explained that you have the knowledge from the past lore that different cultures have different perceptions of werewolves. In Romania, you know that they call it the Varcolac. In Ireland, you know they call it a lithoric in the Gaelic tongue. In America, you know that we've used science and medical terminology of lycanthrope. In Africa, you know they call it daestronomia, meaning 'dog demon'. You know the Native Americans call it werchaki.

    *Note: I didn't find 'daestronomia', and I'm not negating your term, but just commenting that I couldn't look that up, because I see instead werehyenas for African werewolves. Anyway...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werewolf <--- There's one place a writer might start from, just as an example.

    So now, pretending you've become the head writer, if you were to go from what premise I'm trying to communicate, you write your story. First you read all these legends and lore from the different cultures, use what you know from those, and begin to weave them together, and create your unique tale, using what you know. You would explain, you see, why these different beliefs exist, the reason behind them, the evidence found, the bodies, or the people, the places, the histories, maybe even the evolution of the beast. You're not coming up with something totally new and different and discarding all that was written before you came along. You're using all of that and illuminating all of your readers as to why all of it is true, or seems true, as you tell your unique tale to us. See? That's all I'm saying. :)
     
  8. Isaiah

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    Remember folks Tracy Hackman is on board as lead story designer and working with Richard Garriott. He did a great job with all sorts of dragons in the Dragonlance books. In fact I think Dragonlance had the most interesting dragons ever imagined.

    I think we can look forward to very innovative and interactive dragons in this game. I would not be surprised if we see some cool dragons and dragon-like creatures in this game. I would be very shocked if there aren't.
     
  9. PABS

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    I like how D&D handles dragons. I like the idea of a legendary creature. Smart, wise and dangerous. I think there should be different types and "breeds".
    For ex: White dragons are not sharp as their cousins in D&D. And black dragons are dangerous because they're intelligent and evil in nature. Golden Dragons are wise, they know the balance must be kept. Silver dragons even kinda like humanoids and in history there are dragons that willingly fight with other dragons to keep humanoid creatures safe.
     
  10. rune_74

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    I like dragons to be important and significant. I don't want disposable tameable dragons. Lets make these a scarey encounter.

    The whole word mob irritates me when referring to enemy forces, it is a very MMO term that makes a target seem like easy kills. I think it mostly comes from groups of monsters standing waiting to be attacked by the player. I'm hoping in general the monsters in the game don't sit there waiting for your decisions.
     
  11. PrimeRib

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    "Mob" is a MUD term for a "mobile" encounter. It's as intelligent as you can get from AI. It you want something that's intelligent and proactively hunts you, then you really need another player. Otherwise it's nearly impossible to get something too good (the AI cheats, ignoring LoS, etc.) or too easy.
     
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