~Player Made Quests and Their Structures in Feelings~

Discussion in 'Quests & Lore' started by Time Lord, Oct 5, 2016.

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  1. Time Lord

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    ~Player Made Quests and Their Structures in Feelings~

    I believe it has now become important to begin talking openly about what makes a good quest and what feelings we should come away from having experienced it.

    Quests are by nature secret things we as participants aren't suppose to know about, yet our game has come to the time in which our own player's creative Dungeon Mastering or Quest Inventive Mastery will play an important role within the MMO portion of our game.

    Many times we simply walk through a storyline which has an ultimate conclusion or adds something to our own character's ever expanding storyline of their own which helps us deepen our connections and can draw us more into our gaming reality.

    So today, I'd like to talk about the Cthulhu and what it is, what it should be, and how it's presence needs to be handled, along with how to bester structure it's ideals into a never ending storyline.

    But there's one problem with Cthulhu/s and that is when it comes to it's presence being felt, it becomes a problem within our SOTA Forums, "when it's done well". The problem is simple, it's the forum's posting member's fear of loosing control of their world, which is what any good Cthuhlu does.

    We have seen this type of human behavior within our forums, where each individual word becomes subject to ridicule, misunderstanding or outright rejection because of our ego's desire to be always in control and dominating "our own world". But our world is, as well as is not our world, "it's Portalarium's world", where they invite us all to come play inside.

    So let's first take a look at some lesser Cthuhlu/s that we've already witnessed in our game and see how they've been handled and what the current outcome in fears they have eventually provided.

    Example of a Cthulhu that were first presented as good and found to be bad in a sinister web of deception;
    Ultima VII's Fellowship Guild who invited the Avatar to join them, yet the deeper the Avatar saw within their web were discovered to be the filthy rat bastards they truly were. The biggest problem with their Cthulhu, was that it died in the end and was called "The Guardian". But this was a "single player, one way storyline game" and our SOTA is an MMO, which has many different social dynamics to overcome when administering such a storyline, if storyline is anything needed at all, because unlike a single player game, an MMO is persistent and never ending.

    Examples of Cthuhlu that were presented as good, ridiculed as being bad, yet later found to be good by the products of their labors;
    The Poet's Circle which first was ridiculed and accused of taking over our musical content in an overbearing and sinister way, "yet provided everything we hear in true quality of music we now can all enjoy throughout our game".
    The Scholars of Novia, who's members were all chosen ones leading many outside that circle to jealousy for not having been invited to participate in, "yet added great background lore for many of our storyline's continuity within our game".
    All our Radio Stations at times are thought to have access to our Portalarium beyond what influence we as forum's members have, "yet provide us with interviews and interesting questions to be discussed here in our forums which is how most world news agencies normally operate".
    Our Hospitallers who have been operating under the suspension that they are somehow stealing away potential members from guilds who did not wish to participate with them, "yet provide an endless steam of helpful people who help us better understand our game's interface and technical design".

    Example of a Cthulhu with well known sinister background of deception;
    The Fellowship in Shroud of the Avatar. An as yet known force within the game who are absolutely and totally sinister! A true unknown and highly suspected real Cthuhlu...

    ~The Fellowship~
    :cool: "We are not hiding anything" :cool:

    Now let's look at Cthulhu and see how this improves our gaming entertainment quality;



    Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - Full Movie | Snagfilms
    :cool: "We are not hiding anything, We're truly coming to get you!" :cool:
    ~The Fellowship Project~

    @dallas , @Berek , @DarkStarr , @Lum the Mad , @Elgarion
    For your consideration forward and remaining with The Fellowship credo in direction...
    Richard Garriott retweeted (on Twitter) an Ultima fan who wrote this: "The sinister nature of The Fellowship was so well-done in Ultimate VII I may just be hoping for more in SOTA!"

    Our feelings make better games because they are what we come away from our game, which keep our personal connection with our game meaningful, instead of concentrating on what is technical about it. Feelings compel us, where technical things confine us. Until we can break from the technical, we can't truly enjoy any feelings within our game's mysteries.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  2. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    How we could construct Cthuhlu styled quests within our SOTA;

    As we can all see, it's much like Dungeons and Dragons, where choices bring consequences, rather than a one way street of story told in phases with an inevitable end. In MMO's endings don't make for good reasoning, yet in "mini-quests" they can, yet not always needed.

    When we look at such dark examples, we can see where we can "lighten it all up" so we don't overstep that which overloads the player (Outlander), while mixing these types of "story trails" to meet the main objectives of "for example" the Outlander Guild's primary missions of;
    • Better train the new player.
    • Helping them find the right guild which best suits them or deciding to go solo
    • (Invitations BTW which we as solo players need to be able to turn off any guild requests if we don't want any unwanted invitations.)
    With it's secondary mission which is for the above 2 objectives to be accomplished by providing "just enough" entertainment value for the Outlander to remain vigilant through both of these primary processes.

    When we look at such Cthulhu presence within our normal player made quests of any individual author or guild, we can see how dark mystery deepens the entire entertainment value of the whole, which is the big difference between a scavenger hunt and a real mystery compelling us to solve.

    In the end, we must cause a learning atmosphere where all our players and guilds can help create better quests by improving their knowledge of how to Dungeon Master or write better questing works with ease, which is another objective of what The Fellowship Project is all about. Only through practice can anything better itself which is allot better than any speculations.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  3. Olthadir

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    These posts make me happy. The points you make are valid, and I wish more people felt this way.

    Thank you for your articulation of this difficult topic.
     
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  4. Time Lord

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    Thanks @Olthadir , I love to watch things like these and then attempt applying them within my own questing works, help others or keep a large consolidated work like those created by many players to stay on track with each other, "yet all the while with a special attention to protecting the Cathulhu" from becoming a well known entity... an entity I might add that many game makers wouldn't or may not have fully described at all while heading off to create their game. It's truly not needed in many cases to ever have fully fleshed out a Cthulhu if it's never going to ever be revealed in the first place.

    [​IMG]


    ~Our MMO Personal Project Pet Cthulhu/s~
    Some of our MMORPG quest writing ways must transform in order to accommodate a more proper Cthulhu by utilizing the tools we have within our game. Let's look at the simplest well known questing tools which are notes and books.

    Let's say that I am a distribution point for such quests and I have 10 different books on me which are all written by different quest writers. I meet or come to know a player's personality type and quest abilities which fits one of the questing books I have which was given to me by it's author.
    The player takes the book, see's the author's name in the book somewhere and sends a friends request through our SOTA communication system. The 2 players find a time when both are in game and thus that player's quest begins.

    The description in the above is an example of a simple quest design, yet functional. After the quest that player may provide feedback which could further influence the writer to make adjustments on the same quest which can only make it better the more people that accept that quest. Such interactions not only have helped many players find rewards at their ending, but have better self taught the writer from having had then, actual hands on experience. The judgment questions on such quests become, "was the Cthulhu presented well and how much deeper could that Cthulhu been buried or framed to have had a more mysterious quality to it". This is where our Cthulhu/s are like pets or trained dogs, because each time it is rewarded by praise or by sheer practicing again after failing, the pet comes to know what actions have best worked to have gained it's reward from positive player feedback and how that, or those players "felt" when they came to know that particular Cthulhu.

    Yet, one can even see through this description above, where even those who have experienced that Cthulhu, they may wish to ask about it again, or meet someone else who has also met that same Cthulhu and enjoy how that Cthulhu has grown as if a happy dog they once knew. This in turn helps the entire Cthulhu culture to have grown by challenging the imagination of others to try and seek building their own Cthulhu and placing it into the wonderful ever expanding mix. Connections can then grow between different or similar Cthulhu in meaningful friendly ways between the players who made them. But as one can see, though these are all dead Cthulhu as soon as they are completed, they can always be resurrected and evolved into more complex, entertaining and meaningful ways to live again with any new player coming to visit them.

    ~The Immortal Cthulhu~
    By deepening our Cthulhu's story, we can begin to hide them ever deeper, which further hides them from the eyes of the seeker. This provides longevity to the Cthulhu's possibly short initial life span. Through a great deal of that Cthulhu's success as an entertainment value, then the deeper he becomes hidden depends on that entertainment value he has displayed to others. Therefore in order to become immortal and thus unsolvable, all the cloths and hidden layers within such a quest must have provided that entertainment value. This is where only the immortal through trial and error Cthulhu can then find a home which can shed it's skin, yet also change in directions with time.

    I hope this has made some sense to some future quest makers so they can realize the great potential of what our pet MMO-Cthulhu are capable of, "if only we accept them into our lives as the pets that they are.

    Many people have back stories and lore for their own character, which are a total imaginary works of fiction, yet have many similarities with baby Cthulhu photos. Those stories can be seen as dead Cthulhu because they are a representation of a past. Sure they can always be re-written, yet when a player has adopted a Cthulhu, then that living Cthulhu can then add more life to any character's continuing storyline which then is allot more alive in reality than dead somewhere in some past.

    We need to come to know our personal MMO-Cthulhu as the pets they are, where they can begin first being written, grow in size of their depth and where we can become more proud of them as they further develop through our own personal player efforts and group efforts that they can become threw our community's enjoyment of them, because MMO living Cthulhu are the ways of questing in our SOTA's possible future.

    But above all else, we need to become less afraid of our Cthulhu, because we are in a game that's so safe for everyone that comes to here to play. We need to trust within their authors and not suspect that the author is somehow here to destroy us or cause us true misery because that's impossible in our game because of our game's mechanics. Quests are for their entertainment value and as such they are not something we are trapped in. We can stop at any time we wish, we can change in directions anytime we wish and the seeker can never be truly harmed by anything where words are willingly read. This is where if you don't like the Cthulhu you may find as a seeker, you can always run away, just close the book or just not continue and find something else to do. Yet to the brave, a robust Cthulhu may be exactly what they're into, coming out the quest's other side with volumes of imagination which can follow them throughout their normal life outside of the game wondering what a particular Cthulhu had brought to them or where they as seekers could be lead further into.

    Wonders of mystery is the only thing we can take away from any game and as such it's much different fun I am discussing here than the wonder which is how many hit points a sward may have, how much virtue points or other technical % there is in a this or a that. This subject deals in feelings and not in the logical, but in the psychological in perfect safety for all.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  5. Time Lord

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    ~Taking our Cthulhu's into Battle~
    Now I would like to present why our Cthulhu are so important to our game right now and why I've chosen to attack this problem we're currently having in our game head on!

    So, "what are we battling here?" (and I answer)... We're battling a number of current issues as well as some very old ones...

    The number one thing we are battling here is our game's complexity within it's interface, which is a problem all our Hospitallers know all too well. But deeper into this same issue, we're battling all the negative feedback which has caused much of our game's complexity, by having to institute so many safeguards and options, but those are some of the good things that come from good constructive rhetoric. What I'm talking about here that needs confronting by using our own Cthulhu, is player toxicity from the frustrations of loosing because we're not all good at hitting all the right buttons in our game, which is the battlefield of the Hospitaller. Too many times the issues on our forums become all about how people can't do something or accomplish something without first complaining that our game is just too optional or heavy button technical until the player get's either use to our highly technical system, or gives up entirely to look for a much more simple game with less options and less entertainment value because it's so simple.

    So, "how can our Cthulhu attack this terrible problem which hinders not only our player's enjoyment, but also our game's funding, appeal and possibly bad gaming reviews?" (and I answer) By providing a greater entertainment value which compels and entices the player into staying with us through it's development and further into our future launched world's gaming market of true competition with others.

    Here is where we have trouble in understanding what all our SOTA gaming world can actually currently do. For the number we have of old D&D players and even those who are younger D&D fans, "we seem to have very few Dungeon Masters around here".

    I played D&D and Dungeon Mastered many times at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin California right outside of NASA's Gold Stone Tracking Station where they had parked the Star Wars project for a while. The players who played along with me became the most winning team on the US Army's Lazar Tag battlefield with something called M.I.L.E.S. But when the Army's officers took over as Dungeon Masters, the project failed because of their inability's as Dungeon Masters were overshadowed by their egos desires to control. Yet within the halls of the US Army's War College, D&D playing became quite an interest to many extremely successful combat training commanders.

    Later I was once one of UO's first Troubadours, which was a project to place into the hands of the players, the abilities to construct and implement quests all on their own with very special abilities, because Richard Garriott and the UO team got too busy to place into that game all of what Richard had first desired to do when he first conceived UO. They became simply too busy, which is something we may see some of as our SOTA moves forward here as well. Yet with the early Troubadours, it became very evident early on that some of our quest making enthusiasts who became Troubadours weren't as good at Dungeon Mastering as we had at first hoped for, because many were from the UO Councilors. Then the other UO Councilors became jealous of our abilities and ridicule came from all sides saying that we were only over privileged players who were not reaching enough masses with their entertainment value.

    UO slowly died after that in a slow death spiral from being so high and slowly got overtaken as the continuing market for MMO's rapidly expanded. Yet after those days when the UO Free Shards began their first operations, literally every one of their most successful free to play shards almost always were due to the inclusiveness of increased Troubadour abilities empowering the players to all create their own Cthulhu styled quests and events. Yet as you can see, each program mentioned above failed by all suffering from a single thing which is "Player Toxicity" in one form or another, but proved their worth in their continuing later highly successful programs.

    So let's look at a short video which can possibly better describe what Player Toxicity is in all it's forms...


    Now I know that not all of that applies to our SOTA, but some of it does and any of it is toxic to any good gaming environment even in it's smallest of forms.

    While looking back at what caused the successes of the Dungeon Master and Troubadour programs, as well as what failed in some of them...
    We don't yet have the amount of responsible, reliable players to be trusted with any special powers yet because there aren't enough "good or great" Dungeon Masters. Sure there's people trustable enough with such power, yet they are not at the level of Dungeon Mastery that is totally needed if those special abilities are given to them to greater enhance their questing quality... and so, "we must grow them ourselves and from ourselves". Though as well, we don't need special abilities just yet to create great quests here in our world because everything that's needed is already in our game and available here to us. "All we have to do is look around for it, and they're all there and very useful to any creative mind that can incorporate them within their own questing designs".

    If anyone is "assumed" to have such talent to be provided such abilities, "I say let them prove their Worthiness using what we have", before we jump off and hand something to someone we haven't seen entertain "masses of people", masses that they themselves have drawn together because of what they have provided in entertainment value. We've all seen our Portalarium do it, yet waiting on them to provide us something we can already do for ourselves seems a little less supporting because we're taxing their time, with us paying the taxes for that time, time which they should be needing to more fully develop their own Cthulhu to entertain us all. These all, are the reasons why our own Cthulhu's need to support our Portalarium's Cthulhu while their Big Cuthulhu is still being worked on.

    So some person might say, "who are you to tell me about such things because I am so much more Kooler than you are"... well, that would be an ego statement which is a part of the toxicity we need to combat around here and I know allot of really Kool talented people around here, who may be not you. But I know them because they've come forward, applied themselves to an overwhelming task and come out the other side with a program which can help raise an entire army of Cthulhu which will better our world's struggles with it's interface, by aiding the Hospitallers in the battle they've been facing along with our Portalarium. Together, 100+ players came together and built our Fellowship's Cthulhu and now he's ready to rally all of his friends of other Cthulhu... and we accomplished all of this long before our Portalarium ever came to the idea of the Outlander's Guild.

    This is why we now encourage everyone to build their own Cthulhu, because our game needs them and needs all of us to help bring our game full circle back to the old days, where true proven Dungeon Masters can live again once more.

    We don't know right now, whether or not our Cthulhu will die or be given room to live as it was created to do, but that won't ever stop any of we players to ever loose the ability to all create our own, or come to the aide those who have them.

    Many of us remember when "our Lum was not Lum the Mad", but I beleave he's going mad because the closer he gets to Portalarium's Cthulhu, the stronger that Cthulhu becomes. We may have him placed in a psychiatry ward just to make sure once he completed his hard work for us all.

    The reason why Cthulhu games have been as successful as they were, was because their players were more interested in the Cthulhu than they were about it's technical game design which deflected most player toxicity into worrying about what comes next through the expanding mystery surrounding the Cthulhu. Cthulhu is an enticement, a lure, a magnet of wonder which is an endearing and enduring testament to the works of H. P. Love...

    [​IMG]
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
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  6. Pikegirl

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    Pikey here!

    To start things off, I wanna say that I've played Darkest Dungeon quite extensively and the mood was as great as it was maddening.

    As the Questmistress of the Flash Quest Community Series and without giving too much away, this thread has made its point and I'll have to admit I myself see many like-minded concepts and views that I'll be exploring more in my own way through the series itself.

    For example, after this current quest is done, focus shifts to the other companions and sheds a bit more light on not just redoing the Crash Site and attaining a SotA ideal, but more on the study of human nature and greed.

    All I know is that pacing and interest of an activity waxes and wanes like the daily tide, but we all know that it's gonna go on as consistently as before.

    I'll be aiming on consistency, adding in the SotA metagame, classic Cthulhu ideals and my own brand of humor.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this thread and will look forward to more material like this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
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  7. Leelu

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    [​IMG] Not even the gods fight against necessity.
    Simonides (556 BC - 468 BC), from Plato, Dialogues, Protagoras
     
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  8. Time Lord

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    Wow, Thank you so much @Pikegirl !
    That means an awful lot to me because you are one of my favorite Dungeon Master questing heroes around here :)

    As a matter of fact o_O...
    If I had the ability to offer up any special in game Troubadour abilities...
    I'd give them to you long before giving them to some sinister style jabberwocky like me :D
    [​IMG]
    ~Time Lord~:p
     
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  9. Kambrius

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    @Time Lord

    I have to say, my friend, you do a fairly good job at unpacking a problem and presenting it.

    I usually am the guy that points out problems, so please bear with me. Here's what I see as problematic:

    Going by @UnseenDragon 's interview with @Lord British, it would seem that despite technological limitations, if tools can be placed that have a purpose and can not only be showcased but are integral to the story being proffered to the player (or "interactive story consumer/ participant"), then it becomes necessary to introduce those tools.

    The tools you have now is a story you craft, tradable items that are doled out as a reward to the consumer, and the mutual reward (hopefully) of a good play experience with feedback.

    What hinders that experience for you DM types, I think, include:
    • The consumer: Participates, collects the reward, and moves on (hopefully wanting more and maybe giving good feedback). Captivating and encouraging this entity to participate and come away with an opinion or emotional response with the limitations you have to face is, of course, your biggest challenge. With so many "time-challenged" folks about who are engaged in their own personal goals in the game, drawing them in seems difficult without sufficient ease of access.
    • The simplest form of player made quest I've seen offered is a player lotto in which the consumer buys a ticket and is doled out a gold reward by the event creator. I'm sure barring a small army of drones working towards the end of collecting the amount of gold being used, this takes a considerable amount of time for the event creator to put towards such an event when it comes to planning and execution. If an event creator has to spend such time gathering rewards for a limited audience of consumers who have taken the time out from daily activities and goals, then I think the creator of events is going to eventually burn and bow out to the detriment of the community.
    • The DM is faced with trying to fit a square peg (the scope, intended effect, the planning/execution, and hope) through the round hole of the game world and its limitations (the world may be persistent but it still is under construction as I assume so are the tools).
    • You have the meta-Cthulu that is created by players and the spreading of hysteria that chips away at the promise of a well-crafted world with a compelling storyline and single/multiplayer options along with anything else that was pitched. That limits the entrance of those that may come and participate in these wonderful player-run events.
    • As mentioned before, the Dev team is running against a clock to release a polished episode. The focus may not be towards you creative folks to provide you the tools to facilitate your efforts in presentation, creative use of assets, scripting tools, etc.
    What I think that would be cool and would help you DM/ creative types would be something akin to The Foundry that Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online uses which would include the ability to populate the game world with curated player instances or roaming encounters (that have been Dev screened for content/exploits) with scriptable NPCs, mobs, bosses, and interactive doodads. This provides the DM/creative type to have more agency in how their creative ideas are fleshed out and can provide a platform for feedback and a means for improvement. Thus, going along with the motif of player's introducing their Cthulus into the world space for others to experience. I hope someday such tools are made available. It would certainly help in the long term for the game as better tools become integrated.
     
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  10. Time Lord

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    @Kambrius ... I didn't really want to troll my own post here, but I'm going to do it anyway :D because that's the type of sinister type guy I am :cool: and that's just how we Fellowship roll...

    I'm going to do this because one of the most important points I believe you make here are within those three words you mentioned under the title of what hinders us DMs...
    Now stay with me because I believe you're onto something here, because nowhere within those hindrances that you mentioned (all great points BTW) did you ever mention the word "Players." Participants an Consumers I believe better describe what interactions we may be facing here with our public offerings in quest design and perceptions. A very wise Brethren of ours @Lord Blackthorne once said, "When does the fun part start?", or words to that effect and those words have haunted me ever since because their intent rings so true throughout most everything I've ever seen within all the text clouds of bickering we many times have around here.

    I had always found that those few words held so true with such power that they ever were heard by me just 2 days ago while I was scouting through a local Thai Internet Café just to see what everyone was playing inside. I had just finished the better part of about 4 big Leo beers at a bar close to there while chatting with some English teacher friends of mine, one from England and the other from Cameroon who was playing me some music from his country on the pub's internet (The English/English teacher's Thai wife who works there had asked me again, which is the 5th time she's asked me if Lum could make her into the only NPC of the game that cleans toilets for a living. BTW that's an actual request she's been making for quite a while now, so I just want our Portalarium to keep that in mind... Thai people can be very humorous that way), well... they told me where I could find the closest internet café and off I went. Upon arriving it was around 11:30 AM, I often go off drinking a few in the morning's here after staying up all night organizing things with players elsewhere in the world. I went in and counted up all the mostly young guys there in their early 20's. 9 of an RPG guild were playing some Lineage MMO knock off looking game while 5 were in an online soccer league 2 were on facebook 2 were playing the MMO horror game Dead By Daylight and 1 was vid chatting with his extremely good looking GF who works somewhere in Bangkok. Nobody spoke any English there but they all had that good old Thailand perma-smile going on, so I headed to the counter where this extremely good looking young lady sat in front of her own computer screen on facebook. This kitten behind the counter started staring at me while I asked for a pen and paper, because the girl there didn't speak any English either (did anyone actually just now believe that I was going to make some joke about a beautiful you woman and her...err...umm let's just say "cay?"), We 2 went back and forth communicating with Google Translate trying to find her boss's phone number, when some guy comes up out of the obviously back room which may also contain computers in it as well, and he says to me, "I speak some English" (Thai's are really helpful, extremely friendly people that way). So we begin talking and I begin telling him how I'm a close friend of Lord British (I can lie like that can't I? I'm guild leader of the Fellowship for crying out loud :cool: so I'm bound to lie in just about anything :p). Yet those few words immediately caused 2 of the RPGMMO players to come all the way up out of their seats to come over and listen while this other guy translated.

    Now here's the part where all these things begins becoming all tied together...
    The number one thing all of these players were complaining about their RPGMMO was that they were all tired of only bashing monsters on their heads. Everything was able to be killed and their gaming offered no substance other than to simply go out and bash even more monsters on their heads together with their friends. They too had gone from seeing themselves as participants and consumers instead of the player's they once were. They didn't say it in those exact words, but when @Kambrius posted this it all came together for me which is why I first began this assault on how we can find a way out of all the messiness we find ourselves in. I'm not lying to you, that's an absolutely true story (did you see what I did there? I just told you all that I was a lying rat bastard of the Fellowship 7 sentences ago while stating I'm now telling the truth about something.... I also told you all about a beautiful young girl with a wonderfully sweet looking... err...umm... "cat" <---<<< One word, Cthulhu and that's how Cthulhu works from by alluding to something sinister, while it can also even add some levity, yet both left hanging in the air leaving the mystery behind of what was very real and what might have been not). And that's something to think about which leads me into my next subject Bad story writing by having provided an example... :rolleyes: and the future of MMORPGs and the importance of empowering the players themselves to be able to become their own Dungeon Masters, as our good Brother @Kambrius points out so well. It's was still a pretty good "bad" story example though hu? :) ( @Berek That guy's nick name is Jay and I'll give you his phone number if you ever want to talk with him about exchanging free SOTA downloads for getting all our game instructions translated into Thai ;))... :D Did you all think I was lying about it o_O?' Using Cthulhu works! :cool:

    Bad writing and the future innovations needed which this entire thread's been all about ;)


    ~"Get Use to Becoming Friendly Folks"~
    [​IMG]
    ~Brought to You By~
    [​IMG]
    ~"The Fellowship"~



    :cool:~Time Lord~:confused:
     
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  11. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    "Extra Credits" on YouTube talks about Nostalgic games and then "James" of the Extra Credit's vids talks about Ultima VII The Black Gate and it's impact upon the industry. :D Enjoy some Ultima VII Talking points;

    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
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  12. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    Now I've been reflecting on Innovation and New Gaming Art Forms and how all this can fit into a player driven workshop of questing ideas which could help our game achieve even more uniqueness.


    As we can see from these Extra Credit videos, it's not easy or cheap for our SOTA for instance, to invest in innovation workshops, "unless they're player driven" o_O...
    So, in order to tackle this problem head on, we must as players, "think outside the box", by investigating new ways to bring what we have in events, party hunts, quests and storylines into our game, "from the players side", while also keeping that proses fun for everyone involved.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
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  13. Olthadir

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    @Time Lord, you are making me want to make player made quests. All this information is wonderful and is a great place for people to start doing some serious thinking on quest building/story telling.

    Can you use your powers to manipulate time to give me more time in a day/week/my life to make that happen?
     
  14. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    Well... first of all thank you for the thumbs up always my friend :)
    o_O But I do actually have a concept model for a quest which takes the in game player forward and backward in time :confused: It's a challenging one, but it hasn't had a test run yet because I'm always in the wrong time zone or dimension long enough to have attempted it o_O...

    I'm not a (what I would call) "good writer" when it comes to storylines, but I am a decent (what I call) quest mechanic in using many media that changes the way normal quests can leave their trails for the seeker.

    As a quest mechanic, I'd like to see these types of media becoming used in our future;

    Quest mechanics I want our quests to spill over into;
    • The forums.
    • The web.
    • The outside world.
    • Videos.
    • Card collection card combat with puzzle completion.

    Psy-ops, secretly collected data from befriending players through temp chr spies;
    • Secret collected player data being used to channel player interest of where they may want to go and do, or who they'd like to be around.
    • Secret data used for; astrologer (charlatan), crystal ball gazer, palm reader, gipsy.... fortune teller.
    Psy-Ops type quests are what will be used in this one if it becomes adopted;
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/f...ved-in-new-britannia.59144/page-5#post-677056

    These work the same as if you know someone well enough, that then "that player" can then "happen across" one of your alt characters and seemingly know allot about them as if clairvoyant. We've seen this work quite well when it comes to MMO games, where a friend takes their alt chr and introduces them to one of your old friends. It's a simple trick, but extremely effective given the proper set up.

    The time teleport is done using books or notes, where one takes the note to an RP player, the note dictates the time zone which the RPer needs to depict that "time" within the story. Thus a puzzle, leads to a stack of books, the books have random looking wisp language and only the RPer who it's going to, then can translate to know the time needing depicted within the story. The story is then a random, yet becomes a puzzle once solved, and then the puzzle of how it all fits together, becomes it's following puzzle. If they choose one way for the story to go, then they may receive a different result, yet when the proper result is obtained, then this can lead forward to another part, yet each part always has a circle leading to the beginnings where the mystery becomes clear of what's happening and what actions need to be taken.
    ~Time Lord~:rolleyes:
     
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  15. Pikegirl

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    @Time Lord

    Too much, too much. What I'm doing here is a drop in the ocean for what SotA and your grand vision requires to add content and meaning to the game, but hopefully it's still an extra drop.

    Awesome ideas which I'll adopt over time, especially the web and images, which you are naturally so adept at translating the moods over.

    @Kambrius

    I have designed Neverwinter Online Quests before but the options were not robust enough for me personally.

    You're very right about the limitations in SotA when it comes to creating what we want but with a bit of improvisation, it is still manageable but not pretty. The emotional part is tough too, but can be enhanced by sacrificing time on your own side to communicate more with the participants. But Warning! There is a fine line between getting a message through to them, and harrassing them out of their normal play pattern.

    Ultimately, the biggest concern personally is the small/limited player pool of SotA itself, with no new blood coming in constantly to replace the jaded and worn. Any project with such an audience or attention pool will soon find itself out of "business".
     
  16. Womby

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    I finally got around to reading this thread. Interesting stuff. Coincidentally Vyrin and I have created a Halloween quest to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of our first bookstore, and we expect to post an announcement sometime around October 21. It is unlike any quest that I have seen before, so it will be interesting to see how it is received.
     
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  17. Kambrius

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    I'm sure that Neverwinter Online/ Star Trek Online Foundry tools are probably quite limited (and I'd think to limit reward exploitation) , but then again, much of the way the quests worked was pretty janky. Nevertheless, there were some interesting stories that were deeply lore-based to be found.

    One of the ideas I'm trying to pitch to the Devs like Richard on Twitter (I'm not a social media type of person and I actually created a Twitter account just to communicate ideas to him -- within limits, of course ;)) and on the upcoming Release 34 Postmortem (if they select my question) is a "pay to place" scene creation where players can use the tools to populate either cloned POIs with quest givers/ quest chains or populate unoccupied hexes (similar to POTs) with the same. Gradations of price point will be depend upon whether the scene takes place in cloned POI or unoccupied hex. Devs would have to formulate rules and probably screen for reward/ content exploits. The intention being:
    • For Port, it is an additional revenue stream plus content to help fill their world in terms of quests and further development
    • It provides persistence in terms of the time and effort that content creators put into designing compelling quests and lore-based story lines.
    • It would provide a way for those that have schedules incompatible with events to participate in a creative endeavor.
    • It can work within all selective multiplayer modes
    • The price point would restrict folks from populating with low quality content
    • The price point might also allow (and should) for collaboration between players (as in meta groups like RPotA ) to pool together resources and time to craft very compelling quests
    • Services can be offered in the Player Marketplace for help in quest design and use of tools to populate a scene
    • There are opportunities for a channel of education and collaboration from the Devs to the those who wish to use the tools to create content.
    Of course, this shouldn't be a replacement for dynamic player made quests. They definitely do have immense value, feel more organic, and have the benefit of contributing to a shared memorable experience with the participants.

    Also, I would never expect such a system to come about in this episode, but I think the potential it offers might bring in new players and retain current ones, especially the creative types through labors of love.

     
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  18. Time Lord

    Time Lord Avatar

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    I'm beginning to compile a list of all the great places that the Outlanders need to be lead to and the bookstores so they can become aware of them early on. I'm actually hoping to do this through quest books, which would lead the Outlander into such quests which all the different player made destinations have to offer.

    I haven't been on much lately because I've been using this time before the coming of the Outlanders to find all that I can to help hone and refresh my memories of great quests and possibly find new one which can be adapted from not only player made quests like this one;


    But also from other games and quizzes which are much more simple, like those of old game designers or Psy-quiz games which can now be possibly done with few adaptations needed;


    ~Extremely harsh critic~... even to my own works~o_O "art work of the dissatisfied"... I'm extremely harsh on myself as well as others... I can even go overboard and become too complex :confused:...
    Quests themselves, "no matter who makes them" (player or company) aren't as dramatic attraction as they should be... or could be... or the art form is merely dying off.... or they don't last long after their trails become plastered all over 100+ web sites.
    I like the idea of @Kambrius because it's innovative, yet I also think that most quests (pardon me) stink when it comes to player made quests. Not that they aren't good, but that they aren't that great to be so attractive to players. Yet to me, this is where all company quests do as well.

    Reasons;
    They don't cause me to "feel" anything (yet) and they haven't engaged me in new ways other than following a trail of bread crumbs.

    Yet I would like to see something like that "eventually" as @Kambrius describes. I just think we need to move in "stages" to get there... one blastoff rocket at a time.

    It's for all these reasons mentioned above in this post that I suggest "UO Styled Barkeeps"... many here may have used them, but I would venture to say that "just as @Kambrius described" that they could be created with options and abilities that they never could have achieved before.
    As @Kambrius points out and the rest of us here most likely can agree, that questing tools are what we want and what we need. Yet maybe not a single NPC type Barkeep, but many different NPCs which could be specialized as to what they do "very similar to action figures we could all collect", that could be sold in our Add-On Store.

    Examples;
    • A general programmable NPC with response system.
    • An NPC which could be sick and die when it's key word/s are mentioned and resurrect itself within a given amount of time.
    • An NPC which would fight to the death any player that triggered it's key word/s and after death or battle could then return to it's original position.
    • An NPC which could cry when a given key word/s are mentioned and all other emotions could also be sold in the Add-On Store
    These are but a few examples and I'm certain we could all think of more @Berek ... (I don't like to call the other guys of Portalarium because I want them to remain busy building such things :p).

    It's the Questing Mechanics which drive the artist and I don't think those things should be free. Maybe we could build some prototypes and take them out on a combined quest creator effort for a spin, yet be returned to Portalarium once we're done with them, until they could fill the needs and preform the tasks they need to before being sold in our Add-On Store. Effort = Reward and if our Portalarium provides that effort, then they should be rewarded for doing so. In-Game Tinker skills could create them possibly, and make them mechanical the same as our Mech-Servants, which may help point them out in the beginnings of their usages. This would enable players to notice them and wish to interact with them when they see them. We could even have them have those (!) overtop of their heads to allow them to be differentiated from the actual Portalarium storyline.

    I do believe we need more mechanics to help broaden our Player Made Questing Community which could become just one more unique feature of our game, yet I do believe in such a program being made available to us in stages of our abilities in using them, meaning that as the Player Made Quest Community grows, so then should our Portalarium reward us by making such questing mechanic tools available for sale to us.

    What do you all think?
    ~Time Lord~o_O
     
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    I would have said this is a good idea (and it still is), but SotA has too many of the "if it is fun, you gotta pay dearly for it" parts for me going on into the future.

    You wanna have 4 npcs in your lot to "do" up a scene? City lot.
    You wanna create an entire scene with an empty canvas (w/o deeds etc)? At least $750 (or $900) for the smallest POT available.
    And now you wanna create a workable scene with some tools? (insert an amount of USD here.)

    I'm lucky enough to have some of the infrastructure in place (Deco/Deeds invested with own/shared money, nested POT contributed by @Barbarian King etc) but what will happen to the bulk of players who did not have access to this P2F (Pay2Fun) system and get turned off?

    A sandbox game with many fun sandbox elements locked behind prohibitive paywalls defeats the whole purpose of a sandbox game.

    This is an expensive game to take to another level besides pure grinding/mining, and I don't know if encouraging another high-priced tool Quest add-on system will help the complexion of SotA itself.

    On the flip side, if this good idea was made very affordable, or available as a Quest reward/ obtainable with Gold currency earned in game?

    Then players can have something to work towards and feel really satisfied to have earned the right to use the tools.
     
  20. Time Lord

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    Funding is new wave now. It's that darned initial cost of things that seems to get eaten up while we players demand more from them, that may not have been accounted for in the company's initial plan. As far as these NPC... maybe they are different and possibly cheap because we have some in game already that seem pretty awesome at they can do. But it's the added programing, that I have no idea of how much that would take, so I can't even speculate. But there is a right way of doing it.
     
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