Not a big fan of the HEX system overhead map

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Brink1123, May 24, 2014.

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  1. Deus_Irae

    Deus_Irae Avatar

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    Just watched the video again and made a list of their main points for choosing the overhead map.

    Faster delivery: I highly doubt anyone would prefer a faster delivery if they have the option of not playing with an overhead map.

    Single player: Chris mentions the importance of the overhead map in the single player mode, which cuts away a large portion of the games online audience.

    Cut down on travel times: Seriously? Create runes and code in Kal Ort Por if that's such a big issue. Long travel times in UO was never an issue. The choice to spend a long time walking from city to city WAS there though, unlike in SoTA.

    Cut out annoying exploration: Again, who finds exploration annoying? If you don't want to do it, then don't, but removing the ability to randomly run into a forest to explore seems very strange.

    Decreases testing time in small instances: This ties back to the first point of a faster delivery time. I am sure that we would all be patient enough to wait a little longer for a truly amazing game.

    A lot simpler to develop: Probably, yes. I don't know the first thing about coding or making games, so I'll concede this one. However, players will be able to tell that this was the "simple" approach.

    Focus story. Never been too fond of story based MMO's, but I am aware that many are. Ultima VI however also had a great story, and as far as I recall, there was no overhead map, and the world felt rather large, and still allowed exploration. Atleast that's how I remember it.

    No need for Different servers since the map is all cut up. The age old excuse of "No longer will you have to re-roll to play with friends". Come on, how many does this predicament truly affect? Start over on a new server. If you found out your friends are playing on a new server, move. Or tell them to move, simple.

    Low cost: Granted. However this will not solve the growing concern many of us players have about playing with an overhead map. A recent poll showed that it was very unpopular, and as has been argued before in this thread, this game cannot afford to alienate such a large audience.


    Again, I am not bashing the game, its devs or anything of the sort. I want this game to succeed obviously since I've pledged. I just fear that its current path will lead to disaster down the road.
     
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  2. Mishri

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    Faster delivery: This is in regards to smaller scenes being changed out on the fly, lower bandwidth requirements (less data transfer) they can roll them out faster as they complete scenes even post launch.

    Single player: He didn't seem to be stressing single player, he was talking about flags being set so you enter a specific hex depending on various flags (could be quest, party, guild, karma, path in the story)

    Cut down on travel times: This land is huge, much bigger than WoW or UO. just the starting island (episode one) and the rest will be even larger. You don't want to have to run through it, and no guarantee what sort of teleport/portal abilities they want to include. Recall/Gate travel has it's own downfalls.

    Cut out annoying exploration: You can always explore a hex if you want, every inch of a forest. But he said he doesn't want you to have to walk through the same areas every time you want to get from one city to the next.

    Decreases testing time in small instances: This isn't about being patient waiting for game. Lots of small instances can be rolled out as they are completed, simplifies distribution, batching, testing. smaller data that needs pushed out. You can't easily roll out new instances in whatever pattern you want in a single scale world.

    A lot simpler to develop: Probably, yes. I don't know the first thing about coding or making games, so I'll concede this one. However, players will be able to tell that this was the "simple" approach.

    Focus story. They can delivermore story driven elements changing and tailoring things for the story as needed.

    No need for Different servers since the map is all cut up. This is a huge bonus for me, I have friends scattered on 4 different servers on WoW I can never play with them all at once. I love that we have 1 shard.

    Low cost: allows for a larger game, they can tell a bigger story for a lower budget.

    helps keep minimum computer specs low - you can have higher quality visuals with smaller scenes.





    Out of all the reasons listed my favorite reasons for dual scale worlds is 1) Larger world- you actually get more exploration opportunities with a dual scale map. 2) Travel times, I hate running through the same old areas over and over again to reach my destination. Many games have to include some sort of safe zone -resting area in a scene. This game doesn't require that because once we leave the scene we can go straight to a city/town. We aren't walking through miles of wilderness to reach an actual town/city.
     
  3. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    Me too. (devils advocate version) [Forgive me if I quote some things without using quotes.]


    Allows for easier High Level changes and control:
    A more dynamic world: With a dual scale map a more dynamic world is possible, a single scale map complicates things significantly. Using the dual scale map, sections of the world can be easily updated and changed with simple updates being pushed through for that specific area.

    Time scaled events: Areas can change slowly and spread to surrounding areas in a time based fashion. (Example used, plague based event, meteorite strike, ice age, etc.. .)

    Surprises: The ability to make changes to continuously surprise the players and make old places new. (No more Let's go hunt Destard for the 15,000th time and everything is the same.)

    The dual scale map allows for the breaking of the 1:1 between overland and continent, which allows for :
    Faster delivery: Content delivery is faster this way as the basic game can be delivered earlier followed by selective game play updates which would not be possible with a single map. New scenes and lower level maps are easily added and provided after the fact.

    Individually defined areas of play: Areas can be customized for players based off of which flags they have set. Critical for single player but also of use for multi-player in situations like quests. (From other conversations, PvP areas with higher resources) etc..

    Development: The use of 'instances' simplifies distribution, patching, testing times, more story driven content, the ability to keep things dynamic.

    Required Hardware: Helps to keep the target specs low on the required hardware needed to play the game.

    Polish: With smaller instanced scenes they can create more polished, immersive and interactive areas that players can enjoy without having to have powerhouse systems to load all the information at once.

    Shardless Servers: In using this method of instancing, they can keep the world together so that everyone plays in the same 'server' and there is no need to bounce or transfer. You could run around telling friends to 'move' but why should you have to?

    No Monthly Fees: Not needing to have separate servers related to not have to pay monthly fees to maintain these separate servers.

    Keeps the cost of content creation low: This allows for a much larger world with more story & in-game content development. Also helps to keep publishers out of the loop, this keeps the oversight and marketing element out of things and allows the developers to build a game around their creative ideas instead of around corporate marketing suggestions.
     
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  4. Brink1123

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    "Required Hardware: Helps to keep the target specs low on the required hardware needed to play the game."

    I had a 4 year old pc. with a two year old graphics card and I couldn't play sota. I had to buy a brand new pc from amazon so I could play. many people have an older pc so im not sure how low they are shooting for with the hardware requirements!!! all I know is that my old pc would handle mortal online which is on a 1:1 scale map and it wouldn't handle sota even broken up into little pieces.

    I move for a petition to remove the dual scale map and hex zones from this game maybe if we get enough people to sign, the dev team would rethink there approach. I would be one of the first people to sign this petition. so if anyone out there wants to take the first step and make a petition thread you will have support!
     
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  5. Aldo

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    Surely no one else will agree with me, but has anyone considered having two separate games? The offline game could have a great story line, many episodes, a hex set-up and be a raging success on its own. The second complete game could be the multiplayer with a less structured storyline, standard traveling ala UO and perhaps a few shards. I mean really, the whole pvp thing could be addresed shard-wise to a great extent. RG could still work with instancing and such. If people could travel from one place to another somehow in a straight line (perhaps with auto hex reassignments) and explore along the way then most problems would be solved. Folks could enter the overland map system through gates or keystrokes for faster travel if they preferred. The overland map system could be a great way for groups to assemble and enter an area together.

    To sum up: I propose two games, one a single player with a strong story line, a defined endpoint with many episodes. The other a multiplayer with straight line travel, a slower story line progression with an economy driven by crafting, hunting, gathering and etc. The story line could develop as new techniques, items and knowledge become available through the economic growth.

    I know it is either too late for this, or that I am a dreamer or some such. I will enjoy whatever comes of this in any event. I want a great story, but I also would like to dally here and there, craft, explore and meet people. I realize that I want two separate games.
     
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  6. Kaisa

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    Yeah reading some of the comments on this board really helps me understand why companies usually don't let people see their games at this stage.
     
  7. Kaisa

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    With their budget which right now is a little over 4mil I really don't think making two separate games or scraping the hex/overland map system is remotely a possibility even if they wanted to do so.
     
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  8. Kaisa

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    I watched that video again as well. It really does do a good job explaining why they went the way they did. I can understand peoples dislike of the dual scale map and hex system, I really can. It was actually part of the reason I did not pledge during original kickstarter. I think ultimately though with their budget and perhaps more so with what they are trying to do with the game the system they have chosen is probably the best. There are definitely issues that need to be addressed as best as they can but I am sure they are working on it. I mean for instance people have mentioned the pain of finding the exit points. Well I agree it can still be a pain but it has actually gotten better. This release for instance they added those archways. Prior to this release you had no visual cues. So continue to give your feedback and concerns just remember we are at a very early stage and things are still being developed/tweaked/fixed and this is not the final product.
     
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  9. Sunsanvil

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    Oh I agree, but that's all just academic at this point. I long ago felt they were biting off more than they could chew trying to make one game serve two play styles. I in fact contend that the game is built as an MMO, and that engine is being "recycled" for a single player game. Thats how I see it anyway. I've often thought that a true offline single player game using a sort of high-res version of the U7 top-down engine with a fresh story would be a lot less work and sell like gangbusters... I know thats what I was hoping to find when I first read the phrase "returns to his roots...". Man did I misinterpret THAT. :)
     
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  10. Deus_Irae

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    Never understood the whole "It's pre - Alpha, relax people" approach. We KNOW it's early days, but we can still determine whether we like/agree with the direction taken.

    It's the same concept that Darkstarr wrote about with regards to sausage making, we don't wanna see how it's made, etc etc.. We are fine with how the game is being built, and able to see progress here and there. What we do not want to see happen is someone throwing rotten rat meat into the mixture because logic and a few test tastings have left us with a foul taste in our mouths.

    ...rotten rat meat is a little extreme, but you get the gist. :)
     
  11. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    Two comments about this.

    1- They are not finished (barely started) in tweaking the performance for the game.
    2- If you think it's bad now imagine if they had to load ALL the map and game data at the same time and not just one instance. Your suggestion would make it worse not better.

    By the way, I also bought a new system, in part to play this game. Of course I've done that many times over the years for various different reasons and software so this is nothing new.
     
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  12. tamino

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    This isn't even an issue that needs addressing in the first place as 100's of MMOs have proven.

    This is still an immersion-breaking design in many people's opinions.

    Traveling through familiar areas can be an enjoyable experience with proper world building and design and is much more dynamic, vibrant and immersive much like the real world, which doesn't have a dual scale map, and yet remains a wonderous and interesting place that is constantly changing. This is so much better than canned scenarios connected by an immersion-breaking meta-map layer.

    By the way, it has been proven (and many development teams with much higher budgets have learned) that no matter how hard developers try, they can't keep up with the rate that players consume content, so the best way to keep players engaged is emergent gameplay.

    I don't believe there are very many people that would describe exploration of a well designed game world as "annoying."

    I disagree and I could point out many games where this assertion is proven wrong. EverQuest is probably the biggest example. They built the whole game world by evolving it one area at a time.

    We don't want a game that is simple to develop. We want a good game, not a low-budget, mediocre disappointment.

    As if they can't do this without an extra layer of map connecting everything together rather than connecting things directly. It's just another poor justification for something they want to do to try to save themselves time and money.

    Guess they haven't heard of other games that do this without a dual-scale map.

    This here is the real reason they are doing it. But that's also why it's going to result in a very mediocre game if they do it.

    I also have pointed out before it's not really the least costly option despite the spin it's been given.

    By the way, "large" is just an illusion with a dual-scale map.

    Lastly, who cares if the game is large if all the content fails to immerse us. I believe in quality over quantity.
     
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  13. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    Ok let's go with this. Cost to build an exceptional game from scratch somewhere in the ballpark of 30 - 50 million. Budget 4 million. I'm sure if you have an additional 26 million or so, they'd love to build the game the way you are suggesting. I would love it too but considering what they have to work with I think the work they are doing is amazing.


    EDIT: Note the 30 - 50 is a bit generous. Wall Street Journal says that "World of Warcraft" cost about $100 million to make. See Here

    Quote: "...the company spent more than $100 million to develop the game; that figure referred to its "World of Warcraft" game."
     
  14. Deus_Irae

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    According to MMORPG.com, UO was given a budget of 250,000 dollars to develop.
     
  15. NRaas

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    Strictly speaking, one can develop a contiguous open world system of that nature, by requesting only the data within a certain range of the player character be sent to your machine.

    Of course the underlying framework for the entire game would need to be redesigned to handle such, and most of the existing work scrapped outright, which at this stage in development is most certainly a non-starter. :)

    That was the budget provided to create the prototype. :)
     
  16. tamino

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    After Richard Garriot and company developed a prototype using the U6 engine, UO was given around $50k from EA initially.

    Since that's barely enough to pay a single programmer for a year, they were in trouble.

    Then they built the UO pre-alpha.

    After that, they raised another $250k or so from the fan base who each sent in $5 to be a part of the beta. This is the earliest instance of crowdfunding I know of.

    At that point, EA threw in more capital after it was shown there was considerable interest in the game.
     
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  17. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    Here are the costs for some games developed in the past three years:

    Source: Click Here
    I think this puts in perspective modern day costs for development of a 'decent' game. Demanding an exceptional game with no limitations or boundaries for only 4 million is a little much to ask realistically. They are doing what they can with what they have.

    Last I checked they had 38 people on staff. At a base 50k a year (low) that's 1.9 million right there. That does not count the cost of office space rent, hardware for the employees, software to develop the program and so on and so on..

    Also from Kick Starter to time of release may be close to 2 years. True not all the staff was there but if you even take half of the salary for a year and add that your looking at 2.85 million in just salary. I doubt they are making any profits at this point.

    Shall we start over on a single world project which might take another three years to build. I think we are a little late for that, if was ever really an option.
     
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  18. tamino

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    This assumes the budget is static and nothing can be done to change it, which is not the case.

    The budget is determined by how successful their vision and their pitch of it is. And currently, their pitches are striking out with more people than not. Most of us around here are here because of fan loyalty based on past games, not because of the pitch they've given about this game.

    Ask yourself, would you be so passionate about this game if it weren't supposed to be the spiritual successor to Ultima and if Richard Garriot AKA Lord British had nothing to do with it?

    I contend that if their vision, their pitch of it and their proof of concept was compelling enough, they'd have a much higher budget, and that it's not too late.
     
  19. Miganarchine

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    Elder scrolls online 200 million, And that was pants!
     
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  20. NRaas

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    Mind you, they sure were nice *looking* pants.

    Can't really say much on how well they fit though. ;)
     
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