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 Death, Injuries and Heirs

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Tikk



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PostSubject: Death, Injuries and Heirs   Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:37 pm

Allright, so this will be the controversial one I guess. Death and Injuries!


If we go forward with the Timeline and the Age System we will need a way to "end" characters. The pros and cons with this has been discussed since the dawn of RP I guess. When is the time to put your belowed character to rest? Why would you do that, with all the time invested? What incentives do I have for permakilling him? The questions are many and most of the time people react with overwhelming negativity to the concept.

The Pros
- A fresh start, a new challenge
- Keeps you from getting stuck in the same old tracks/storylines
- Makes you focus on your current character and the rp around him
- Somewhat counters peoples desire to play an alt because they need a new challenge
- The timeline stays consistent. Everybody ages, nobody stays "young hunk" forever
- Adds a real fear of death
- Might counter PK behaviour (also, might be the opposite :S )
- A live and playermade history!

The Cons
Since I love the idea of permadeath, I am not objective here. Please, bash me with all the negative parts of a system like this. I want your imput.


Basics
In essence, the whole system should contain 3 components.
The first one is related to Age, character age, calculated from the time you create the character. Each year will add to the "risk" of permadeath. Naturaly this will only factor in once you become old. For those with math knowledge the function should be exponential, only stacking up towards the end (say around 50 years).

The second component should be everything not related to Age. This is events that happens to you character throughout his lifetime, good or bad. If you continously fight your entire adult life, chances are you sooner or later suffer a fatal injury. Average lifespan of an 8th century man was not 70 years, try 30 and you might be closer.
This component also takes sickness, poison, hard labour and anything else that wears down your physical fitness into consideration. If you choose to live a life of perilous adventure you have to accept the consequences. Similiary, if you take good care of yourself, you will probably live a long but maybe dull life.
It should be noted that this component should not only deal with things that bring you closer to death! There should be ways (within boundries ofcause) to keep healthy. Im not talking about the LOTR ring.. But things like crude youth potions and blessings, religion and even magic. Some are ofcause more potent than others.

Then we have the third component, and perhaps the most important one. Saving your progress.
I would not dare to suggest you start over from scratch once your character dies. That is robbery, plain and simple. No, we need a system that allows the player to transfer some (but not all) of his accomplishments to a new character. This could involve advanced applications, item transfers, skills, stats, you name it. Naturaly, it has to be orchestrated in a fair manner.
You will not be able to simply chance your chars name and keep everything the same. You will however be able to play as your old characters son, keeping somethings from your "father".

Now, people will immediatley jump on this and say "Hey! I worked for those skills/items/other-virtual-stuff"... Well, all I can say to that is, this is suposed to be a roleplaying shard, not a virtual museum of your pixel crack. The shard, and its players, should treasure the stories generated by RP, nothing else.
Hence, it should be very important to keep these stories alive! I can se graveyards popping up with named gravestones, I can se songs written, I can se Isles named after dead heroes, Towns called after its liberator. Heck, I can even se some being worshiped as Gods. The Staff should be incouraged to support things like this, going as far as adding "game mechs" to suit the purpose. Prayers to long dead characters could result in a buff to stamina for 1 hour. That sword your character carried while sacrificing himself for his comrades, it might become an artifact/relic, a named sword with special significance.

Personaly, I think this is a much better destiny for a character than ending up in the limbo that is "Im shelfing XYZ for a few months, he just doesnt feel fun anymore".


IG Mechanics
The coding might be hard to accomplish, I am aware of that. These are some of the things we need done:

1. Interface
First off all, we need an interface where players can view their age, their current injuries, past injuries, their effect and everything else related to the system. The only thing this interface wont tell you is how many "points" you are away from dying. It should be displayed in a general way.

Number of points
- None/Very Low: "You feel as fit as the Gods themselves"
- Some: "Nothing can stop you"
.....
.....
- Quite a few: "You feel tierd. Your body does not respond like it used to"
- Very many: "You know the end is near, you can feel it"

2. Algorithms and Constants
This will be important. Im talking about the actual coding here. We need a basic framework to support it. I am no codemonkey so I can not realy comment on implementation, but on the top of my head we need a way to store the "death points" and methods for handling input like injuries, deceases and cures. The weighting of every event has to be talked about aswell. Does a punctured lung increase the points more than an amonia?

3. The Heir component
This needs to be addressed. This will ofcause be done partly OOG in consultation with Staff/Seers, but a vessel of sorts is still needed to "store" everything the dead character possess.
I would propose we give players a chance to choose this IG if possible. For example, once a character dies, he would be transfered to a separate room with access to this storage vessel. Here he would be able to put the things he wants to "transfer" to his next char.
The application process can be handled out of game, with the advanced character created with whatever skills/stats the player got approved.

The one issue I have here is that once a char is dead, it should NOT BE POSSIBLE for anyone else to se him in the world, ever again. Nor should he be allowed to interact with the world save for example to clean out his house or something similair.
Im sure we cant guard against OOCly giving away all your stuff to someone only to get it back on your new char. This is nothing we can guard against, and I think we should simply allow it. I dont know.


4. Legacy
This, I belive, requires very little coding. Anything that requires IG mods of say gravestones, books and whatnot should be done by Seers/Staff.



That was a small summary of my ideas. I've missed loads of things, Im sure. Hope this works as a start atleast. I would be very interested to hear from the scripters about whats even remotley possible as Im sure I have overcomplicated things here. Same goes for everyone ofcause. This might all sound very elaborate, but it is my firm belief it doesnt have to be. So.... Give me your input!


Last edited by Tikk on Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Death, Injuries and Heirs   Tue Mar 10, 2009 2:11 am

It's like you took my thoughts and wrote them down. We are truly on the same path here and if this would work out, mech-wise, it would be the best shard I ever played on Smile

And why would anyone want to play a character forever? Even in fantasy novels, books & movies character dies. As you say, imagine to have a town named after you or an whole Island whispering about your mysterious ways that took place ages ago... It's great and add's a really nice charm to the game.

This also gives us a honest excuse to make a few artifacts, weapons wielded by great men or women.

Well, I simply agree with everything you have written here Tikk. Im to tired though, to come up with any additions at the moment .... there is a new day tomorrow though Razz
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Bulldogc



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PostSubject: Re: Death, Injuries and Heirs   Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:23 am

Most of that is duable with some ease but there are huge issues that arrise from this for a couple of reasons, how to track time in a meaningful mannor, uo time generaly transits about 1 day per hour. So that say a 30 year life time would pass in something like 450 hours that is very long time for that character now some could be cut down by say starting them at like 13 but it is still a signifigant time for lives, and are we tracking all characters realtime or just when their loged in, if you want this perma death system for rp value only then it should be tracked equaly for all players, if thats the case then the life time melts to about a month every new character. the problem with this however is we cant expect people to play daily. this leave them with not a ton of time to get things accomplished before death. reguardless of how we decide this is gona get impliments its is going to take a fairly signifigant amount of testing to make it work right so we need to settle on something fairly quickly so the work can begin asap.

some other problems include, no way to show aging on a toon asside from maybe changing hair color and messing with stats alittle.
things will have to update on login, realtime alterations of toons is prettymuch out of the question, any fair sized server would be way to taxing to track and update everyone wile their ingame in realtime. this might also messwith login times somewhat it would need to be tested.
Im still not confident that people are gona want to play on a server with a perma death system that could potentialy screw them out of alot of time, rp or otherwise. lets face it, think back to all those long term table top games youve played, howmany of those characters that you really liked did you ache to have die on you so you could start over from scratch. this alwase sucks even when you got a small level boost to bring yourself closer to your other party members. this could be solved by doning some kinda inheritence type thing. maybe a fame or renown system, where the more "famus" your character was over his life the larger percentage of skills your able to tranfer to your child. this fame could come from slaying foes, being well know/liked by your fellow players(for crafter types perhapse) that kinda thing.
any interactions with gm types for routine things such as starting a new character after death is likely to become very trying and result in downtime for the player that he/she isnt going to want to wait for. lets face it there arnt many of us and its very likely there wont be someone online at all times people are gona be dieing. this system is gona need to be autmated to some extent.
magic and potions that kinda thing would be very easy to script and could even force an immediate toon update on casting, very easily doable.
Accidental death, this needs to be addressed in some detail aswell, shit is gona kill people and starting new characters every time it happens is absolutly ridiculous, there needs to be some mechanic for resurection in some from.
Really all we can do with long term injury without a massive overhaul on the core systems is reduce current or max stat/skills, a max reduction is somewhat unrealistic and a curent reduction would just be mitagated by a little bit of "paractice" to regain the loss. To be honest im vastly against any kind of perma reduction to either. No mmo that implimented any kind of perma reduction did it in a mannor that wasnt terrible, im not sure you can do it in a way that wont piss players off. we can say its an rp server till the cows come home but its still a game and if its not fun people arnt gona use it. something like temp reduction from a disease or massive injury is probably possible and were it curable or if it passed on its own after a wile i dont think it would ostricize the player base all that much, at wich point the its an rp server argument begins to work better. if theres going to be a fair amount of magic in the world then it is definatly reasonable to think there would be such magics avaliable to fix that kind of injury.
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Tikk



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PostSubject: Re: Death, Injuries and Heirs   Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:33 pm

Bulldogc wrote:
Most of that is duable with some ease but there are huge issues that arrise from this for a couple of reasons, how to track time in a meaningful mannor, uo time generaly transits about 1 day per hour.
Yes, true, major issues will arise. Such a large mod to the basic UO concept will bring problems. When it comes to the time scale it can be modded to suit our needs. The "internal" UO clock can be changed, I've seen a script for it over at RunUO boards (and if im not mistaken it was highly customizable).

Quote :
... are we tracking all characters realtime or just when their loged in, if you want this perma death system for rp value only then it should be tracked equaly for all players, if thats the case then the life time melts to about a month every new character. the problem with this however is we cant expect people to play daily. this leave them with not a ton of time to get things accomplished before death.
I think the best solution to this is to track this aging even when they are logged of. Two reasons for this.
1. We want people to play the shard a lot, not just log in sporadicly. This might force their hand but it is worth it.
2. It keeps the overall timeline consistent. If we track a characters age based on played time (logged in) we create a discrepancy. Two chars created at the same time at the same age will after a few weeks/months not be the same age anymore. This would be a horror to a consistent RP environment.

Quote :
reguardless of how we decide this is gona get impliments its is going to take a fairly signifigant amount of testing to make it work right so we need to settle on something fairly quickly so the work can begin asap.
Yes, this will be the major issue here. I expect testing to take way longer than we think. This will be a balancing act. Totaly agree with the statement that something has to be decided asap!

Quote :
some other problems include, no way to show aging on a toon asside from maybe changing hair color and messing with stats alittle.
things will have to update on login, realtime alterations of toons is prettymuch out of the question, any fair sized server would be way to taxing to track and update everyone wile their ingame in realtime. this might also messwith login times somewhat it would need to be tested.
Agreed. RT updates is nothing we can consider. As for toon alterations, the things you mentioned is what I had in mind.
"Graphical" changes should be second priority imo. Besides, anything but hair color / length will be impossible. Stat changes however should be possible to implement.

Quote :
Im still not confident that people are gona want to play on a server with a perma death system that could potentialy screw them out of alot of time, rp or otherwise...
I agree. But I do think it would be something new, something fresh. Lets not forget the main goal here, to stop the stagnant RP we se when people have their chars for too long. Some people end up in a leadership position (be it a community, guild, PvP, whatnot) and stay there forever simply because there is no reason not to. You end up with a bunch of players that feel they cant realy advance, thus they become disgruntled.. Everything stagnates. Sure, this process does not take 1 RL year, more so 2-3, but if we are gonna build this shard to last we need to consider these things.

However, this is hardly the only reason for a system like this. The primary reason should be to "force" some sort of fear of death on the players. It will promote a better, more realistic RP. You wont charge into a pack of wolves and expect to come out unharmed. You cant loose battle upon battle and expect to live.

Quote :
this could be solved by doning some kinda inheritence type thing. maybe a fame or renown system, where the more "famus" your character was over his life the larger percentage of skills your able to tranfer to your child. this fame could come from slaying foes, being well know/liked by your fellow players(for crafter types perhapse) that kinda thing.
Another idea I've been toying with, and this could be added in to an inheritance system, is to ease up on skill gain somewhat (overall skillgain). If we are going to rob a well established player of his character, it is only fair that creating a character shouldnt be Superhard.

Quote :
any interactions with gm types for routine things such as starting a new character after death is likely to become very trying and result in downtime for the player that he/she isnt going to want to wait for. lets face it there arnt many of us and its very likely there wont be someone online at all times people are gona be dieing. this system is gona need to be autmated to some extent.
Would this be possible? To script an automated system? I thought that would be very tough, but if its possible it would be GREAT!

Quote :
magic and potions that kinda thing would be very easy to script and could even force an immediate toon update on casting, very easily doable.
Good! excelent!

Quote :
Accidental death, this needs to be addressed in some detail aswell, shit is gona kill people and starting new characters every time it happens is absolutly ridiculous, there needs to be some mechanic for resurection in some from.
Yes, I agree. People get pissed of when they get fragged in CS!!! Hell, imagine the kind of outrage you would get if you char got "con loss permakilled" by an ogre...
No! Permadeath should never ever be a result of combat, or a direct action. There needs to be a warning system in place. A popup that tells you "better get back to your house now, get things in order, say your goodbyes.". People should have the opportunity to continue playing their character after this popup/warning with the added incentive that death is near. Perhaps for a full RL month longer. FIghting might not be a good idea, as it could possibly shorten that RL month by days or weeks. Think of it as "a last chance". RP your ending days, set your house in order, talk to your son (i.e. perpare your new child char) or even se a wicked witch to bargain for magic or potions that extend your life.

But never ever should a player be forced to se a black screen with a simple message that "You are dead.. Please apply for a new char..."

Quote :
Really all we can do with long term injury without a massive overhaul on the core systems is reduce current or max stat/skills, a max reduction is somewhat unrealistic and a curent reduction would just be mitagated by a little bit of "paractice" to regain the loss. To be honest im vastly against any kind of perma reduction to either. No mmo that implimented any kind of perma reduction did it in a mannor that wasnt terrible, im not sure you can do it in a way that wont piss players off.

we can say its an rp server till the cows come home but its still a game and if its not fun people arnt gona use it. something like temp reduction from a disease or massive injury is probably possible and were it curable or if it passed on its own after a wile i dont think it would ostricize the player base all that much, at wich point the its an rp server argument begins to work better. if theres going to be a fair amount of magic in the world then it is definatly reasonable to think there would be such magics avaliable to fix that kind of injury.
Couldnt agree more. This is suposed to be a FUN game to play, and the server has to be FUN. Without that simple asumption we aint going nowhere.

Simulation of an aging process would have to be discussed at length. One suggestion I had was to divide skills and stats into categories. Some you can rise faster and higher when you are young (dex based), others rise faster and can go higher at middle age (str based) and the rest rise faster and go higher at old age (int based).

This would mean for a warrior for example:
Young years, swordsmanship, dex, parry and a few more practical skills rise fast and high.
Reaching around 25-30 he would be at his physical peak. Str is its highest, he is still very skilled in swords etc but now also wise enough/ experienced enough to be a good tactician (i.e. higher Tactics), has a good knowledge in anatomy and so on.
Old age. Well, that sword is starting to become heavy. Swords skill is lower, but other more "int based" skills increase.

Essentialy. At young age, you fight with a quick style, more naive. You might hit a lot, but you do not have the experience to hit the right spots. As you grow, that fierce naivity of youth is transformed into a more adult way of fighting. You know when to waste energy and on what. Your blows are more precise and inflicted at the right time. As you grow old, battle becomes harder and harder. Keeping up with the pace of those younger is hard. This might be the time to put your sword on the shelf, take up a more scollary profession, or try your best in simply commanding the troops rather than fighting with them.


It has to be said again. 1 IG year = 4 RL weeks.
This means your character, granted a starting age of 16, would be 29 after 1 full RL year. That is, he would PEAK somewhere around a year after you have created him.
Two years after creation, he would be about 42 and rather old.
Year three, the character is 55 years old, an age most people during this era did not reach. It should still be possible on our server however.

Think of it. 3 RL years of possible gameplay with your character. That is most likely a LOT longer than we expect most people to stay on the server.
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PostSubject: Re: Death, Injuries and Heirs   Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:48 am

speaking in terms of automation it really depends on the how of the system we are putting in place and how difficult gui modification is these days. as of my pol days gui mod was a major pain in the ass mostly because it reaured a client side patch and it was difficult to program for (client side anything tended to be difficult as it screws with the origin servers if the player wanted to beable to play on both) it wouldnt be difficult to tag some property onto and account so say an integer used as an equation modified (a+b*x)*modint that would be used during creation of the next new character or something like that anyway. this property would have alter starting stats after the first login of the new character. if once we settle on the death side of the old one part of that death could include adding this property which should fairly automate things, ofcourse this doesnt help any with things like propertys but that sort of thing could be handled by the player themselfs before the death.
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