What I would do... For Episode 2

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Razimus, Oct 24, 2019.

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  1. Razimus

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    What I would do... For Episode 2

    Have you ever played an MMORPG with 100 players on 1 map, 1 server? How about 50? Few MMO players have ever witnessed even 50 players on a single map, as few MMOs are actually massive. Due to the number of players the best way to maximize the social MMO aspect of a game like this or any game is to put them on the same map.

    Since Episode 2 will be small, if everyone played on the new Episode 2 map, the game wouldn't feel so empty. My number one gripe about SotA was the multi-trillion options of how to play, online, offline, offline-solo, online-solo, friends-only, friend-solo-only, etc, I made up a few of those but you get the point, and this has been discussed at depth, but give it a try.

    Ultima Online Pre-Alpha Test 1996 was fun, the screen shots are crowded with players, because the pre-alpha map was so small! Even 20 players on 1 screen looked intense. It helped the hype of the game, big time. Even for those who didn't have a chance to participate, saw the screen shots, and applied to join the beta test.

    Episode 2's map is a perfect environment for such success. I know there are technical limitations and 50 players per screen may never happen, but I would personally push the boundaries of getting as many players on 1 map, 1 screen, 1 server as possible as it greatly boosts a factor that current towns do not have.

    The funnest I've had in this game so far was when there were many players on the same map. Speaking of the map, here it is.

    [​IMG]

    The original design for Serpent Isle's Isle. Garriott said make it the shape of his iconic serpent emblem and the team said no. Now we have a chance at the closest thing to Serpent Isle Online we'll ever see. Being someone who previously headed a project to attempt a Serpent Isle themed UO shard with a custom SI map I will check out this incarnation of Serpent Isle, even if it's by another name.

    Small land mass won't be a bad thing if every single player of the game is on that land. The trick is, what instance of that land will everyone be on? If they aren't on the same instance no matter how awesome it looks, it won't capture the reason people play online games to begin with, social interaction. Maximize the social interaction and you will maximize the potential of any MMO.

    I know there will be players who prefer single player, to them I recommend they boot up an OG version of Ultima VII, part 1 and 2 and play for infinity. Single player games are fun, but ever since UO I've almost exclusively played MMOs, the exceptions are few, Cyberpunk 2077, was stoked about that single player game, pre-ordered it, when I heard they will make it an online game eventually I was beyond happy. MMORPGs are the future.
     
  2. Razimus

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    An example of what a tiny map looks like, with a good number of players. UO Pre-Alpha 1996.
    Tiny map + All players = Fun.
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Stealth2

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  4. Sulaene Moon

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    On a SotACon video, Chris and Starr said that there won't be serpent islands in the beginning only a landmass half or quarter the size of Hidden Vale and not serpent-shaped.

    It also seems that Ep2 is now pushed back to sometime in 2020.
     
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  5. evillego6

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    Well they've already sold 128 overland PoT spots for the new land with another 22 transfers still available and more nested on top of that. Even if the map size is small overall, the number of towns sold alone spreads people out more.
     
  6. Razimus

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    Derailers gonna derail, haters gonna hate, but this remains a true statement.

    Tiny map + All players = Fun

    Maximize the social interaction and you will maximize the potential of any MMO

    ----------

    I realize this information will be insta-rejected, and there will continue to be dozens of instances you can use to access the game. I can say this, housing is instanced, housing in sota has always been instanced, I'm the one that pushed for non-instanced-housing, in fact, I coined the term non-instanced-housing, I bet you all don't know this, doesn't matter, but on mmorpg dot com and many other sites across the interwebs I proclaimed "the #1 thing I look for in an mmo is non-instanced-housing like UO" and I said it again and again and again for years on end, we're talking as early as 1999 I was looking for UO2 and used that term before anyone. And then Shroud of the Avatar came along and Richard Garriott said SotA will have "Non-Instanced-Housing" which never came to be. If you can see my house in a different instance, single player, offline, party, online-solo, etc, etc, etc, and I'm in front of my house and you can't see me and I can't see you, yet you are in front of my house too, guess what, you're in an instance, a copy of my house, an instance copy of my house, literally the exact opposite of non-instanced-housing is taking place. I'm sure many know the difference just wanted to point it out, Non-Instanced-Housing never existing in SotA is the reason I never fully enjoyed the game. It was a promise that was never called out.

    No serpent shape? Since Garriott owns the serpent shape wonder if he still wants the shape in the game. Anyway I would like to see the serpent shape in the game, I'd also like to see non-instanced-housing but you can't always get what you want. Luckily many cool MMOs are coming out. I look beyond the medieval European style MMOs, I'm a fan of GTA 5 Online, pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption 2 for Online, and look forward to Cyberpunk 2077, especially the online feature. Mince my words all you want but I just wanted this to be here, I'll paste these true statements again, they will always be true.

    ----------

    Tiny map + All players = Fun

    Maximize the social interaction and you will maximize the potential of any MMO
     
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  7. Katu

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    Tiny map + All players + Razimus_opinion = Fun
    Fixed it for you

    You make huge assumption, that those who like MMO's wanna have interaction with others all the time. I don't have a need for constant player hugging. Occasional hunt parties etc are ok, but thats not what I like about MMO's.
    I think Sota has too big map now, with all the instanced housing, yes, agreed.

    Also, reason you are not seeing hundreds of players in same "map" or "instance" is techical. It takes lots of computing to achieve that.
     
  8. Aetrion

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    The best single feature of original Ultima Online that is unfortunately impossible to replicate today was that you could only talk to people who were on the same screen as you. It meant if you wanted to talk to someone you had to actually find someone. The social environment in the game directly corresponded to your location in the world. Even if the UO map would have been huge people would have figured out social hubs to interact in and filled them with players. Of course all of that is highly inconvenient and people immediately began working around it with ICQ. Now with Discord and every single game being designed with global chat rooms we'll likely never see a game where communication is tied to the actual location of your character again, but that's what I thought made UOs social aspect better than any other game I've played since.

    SOTA had a similar feel early on when Owl's Head was the only city. I remember just wandering the streets and offering people my services as a healer, and that's how I got into groups to adventure with. That was a lot of fun, but eventually the community became so atomized that all the actual gameplay of being a wandering healer disappeared since you simply couldn't find anyone to offer your services to.
     
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  9. evillego6

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    Besides Ken, everyone else appears to agree with you, so I'm not sure who is hating or derailing...
     
  10. Stealth2

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    Well, i'll have you know that my post was obviously a meme about dance parties.
     
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  11. kaeshiva

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    The problem with putting more than a handful of players on a single map is, and has always been, that the spawn density/respawn rate of creatures/resources is barely sufficient to keep a single player busy without having long empty boring 'standing around with nothing to do' time periods. This is why most folks I know have their default scene setting to 'party', and regardless of what bonuses are put into 'multiplayer' mode (such as XP bonus) it rarely ends up being better than party mode because if there's other people there fighting you simply run out of stuff to fight. With just one friend fighting with me, we quickly strip just about any scene of all resources/killables, with very few exceptions. Most of the mines I outstrip -alone- and have to stand around waiting (or more often, tab out of the game and do something else). I'm not saying that there's no problems with the system we have, but that system is encouraged by the way the scenes are designed.

    I agree fundamentally that having more people around can be fun, but having more people in the same adventure scene is more often than not, detrimental rather than beneficial due to how the scenes are designed, the loot is not enough to split, and the experience when split is often also not worth it unless you're in one of the handful of high XP grind locations for that purpose. Even in such locations, a group of 8 often feels too big and most folks I know prefer to keep parties to 3-4, if not soloing.

    It would be nice if there were like, overworld spawns of bosses and such that put many players on a map together to fight something big with millions of HP - provided that everyone who participated got some sort of reward. The current system of "1 person gets usually crappy loot" is not conducive to encouraging cooperation. Its like taking 8 players to kill dragons and, after an hour, everyone's (maybe) gotten to skin one once, and most people walk away with a couple hundred gold worth of crap, and sometimes not even a haunch. What's the point? You can get more value spending 2 minutes alone in the starter zones. Before we add big cooperative content we need to make sure that said content is worth doing.
     
  12. Grimace2

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    We shared this experience of all players in a single instance in a confined space when Owl's Head was the only scene to explore.

    We swam with Lord British when swimming was added to the game.
     
  13. Astirian

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  14. Girlsname

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    All I’m gonna say is.... I’d love it.

    But....

    Peer-2-Peer....
     
  15. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    This. This. This. Did I say "This" enough? I just want it to be clear...THIS!!!

    I've always been a proponent of overworld spawns. I take every opportunity to mention the "event" they had a few years ago where there were dragons and other monsters sitting around the map just teasing me! This ALONE would increase the playability of the game. Color-code them green for solo, orange for group, red for bosses that require Mac-level (see, I'm looking out for the high-end solo gods) or "raid"-style play (and here I am looking out for the rest of us). This would allow all of us to partake when we wanted, how we wanted.

    OP, I get your point. Not everyone shares it. I agree that they should make new zones that can host larger groups of people, but as Kaeshiva (Shim) points out in another reply, the technical aspect plus the loot/drop/gathering problems prevents some of this. Not to say it shouldn't be done, but you get the idea. And let's not forget that they have attempted to lessen the impact of all the game modes by forcing multiplayer in the Overworld/POT's/etc.

    But THIS might work towards the OP's goal of having more people in a zone to make it fun - and this is what color-coded Overworld spawns could, theoretically, achieve. Orange/Red spawns would require parties/raids to conquer. Greens are available for solo-play. Each color-coded spawn could also come in tiers (starting at 5, 5+, 6, etc.). Yes, there are already zones that do this for us, but they are larger zones that spread out the player base - these spawn zones are tighter and are simply there to give us more things to do, but with less work required (the maps exist, the mechanics exist, etc.).

    This could easily be funded with a telethon. The "Owerworld Spawnathon" (TM pending). @Chris, consider spending some time to figure out how much it would cost to get art assets/models of mobs/mechanics for said mobs, make that a "goal" and then let loose the OVERWORLD SPAWNATHON (TM Pending)! Create a plan, state a figure, make it a huge event that is constantly hyped (~ 1 month?) and then have at it. Leave the existing zone maps for now - if it is successful (err, WHEN it is successful) then consider adding new maps from all the funding that occurs after we get more players to enjoy this wonderful new-ish already existing feature!

    Seriously, this is a great idea. *Pats himself on the back, get's off his arm-chair developer seat* :D
     
  16. 7thRankedNoob

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    What I would do ... a crazy idea.

    No one wants to hear this, but I think the WORST decision the devs every made was not wiping the server on launch. Having persistence prior to launch is NEVER a good thing...

    When the game 'launched', newbs were vastly outnumbered by the community, with a huge uphill climb to get to a point where the existing community was sitting. This is fine and expected when entering a game like EQ or WOW ... you expect to be far behind the curve when entering an 'old' game.

    But not in a newly launched title. And not in a game that had as many 'ahem' interesting idiosyncracies as SOTA has....

    A wiped server would have put everyone on equal footing, at least in the beginning. Yes, Vets would have been pissed etc, but would have leveled faster etc and would have had past knowledge behind them, again creating a bit of a divide, but not like it was for new people at 'launch'.

    I would:
    1. Open up a fresh server
    2. After a year (or 2), merge server 1 and server 2.
    3. People cannot buy PoTs/houses wherever someone owns one on server 1 .. when the merge happens, server 1 people lose nothing

    Regardless if you like the idea or not, I still think it was a VERY bad decision to not wipe before launch.

    People throw out word like 'Whales' etc funding this game ... but fact of the matter is, the game doesn't need Whales when there is alot of players. Whales are nice to have, but Catnip shouldn't be putting their hopes on them. FTP games make money on cheap to buy store items and lots of players.

    And SOTA lost players because of that large margin between new and old players.
     
  17. oplek

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    What I'd do for Episode 2 is work on Episode 2. They keep adding in things that delay working on it. Bards seem to have come out of nowhere. We have a crippled, off-putting quest system, but fixing that is going to be put off for a new class.
     
  18. Sulaene Moon

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    What I would do is not keep pushing back the release. First it was Q3 than end of 2019, now it's some time in 2020. I would buy the early release pack if I knew I was actually going to see it.
     
  19. Floors

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    Release dates slip all the time. Take the time to get it ready. There is no rush - the current playerbase is die hard and not likely to go anywhere.

    Ep 2 lands need to be different and interesting. Not just more of the same in Novia and Hidden Vale. There should be 0 reused scenes. We need new, weird tress, fauna, wildlife, fantastic landscapes, new types of ancient ruins (Ophidians ?) and there should be at least a couple scenes like Ulfheim in complexity.

    It needs to advance the plot. The current lore is cool but it's pretty muddled and confused. We need new quest content. We need an interesting storyline to keep us occupied.

    This takes time.

    "Bards seem to have come out of nowhere. "

    It's true, they are constantly coming up with things (Lua comes to mind) that come out of left field. I don't mind bards tho, that enhances the playstyle of the game.

    I'm dubious as to how big of a deal Lua is really gonna be. It's used in another game I play and alot of the scripts used are buggy or do weird things. Modding the UI is one thing, but the level of scripting sota is talking bout is another. It's a real concern how well that will work and be policed given the amount of problems in the game.
     
  20. Stealth2

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    I would

    • commission more artwork for loading screens
    • emphasize regional content (in game, ie: shogun light poles in the south near Ardoris, common street lights near Brittany)
    • enhance the chat box (although this seems to be coming with Lua)
    • add more music and also make it more regional/scene oriented -- If all I'm doing is crafting, for instance, it might be cool to hear music with slight "battle hymns" decorated in the distance, but not the blasting theme of courage etc.
    • Close all control points and remove open-banking, and then later revert back to the current system after everyone complains enough
    EDIT: Multi-screen support. Would be nice to have chat, inventory etc on one screen rather than everything on one screen
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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