Gameplay and a life of consequence

I recently began following this game after noticing the hype level it's currently generating on mmorpg.com. I also became interested in the node system and its similarity to EverQuestNext's concepts presented especially well in 2013 by Dave Georgeson during an SOE event (https://youtu.be/1-RNx4bb5-Y). Dave introduced a number of innovative ideas (full destructability, rallying calls, etc.) and I can't help but compare those concepts to what this game promises to accomplish. This brings me to "A Life of Consequence" bit that Dave introduces at the 22 minute mark in that video. That title itself is almost verbatim to what this game promises on the main page: "Questlines will open and close based on the interactions of the players with their world, because this is a world where choice is consequential." So what exactly does this mean?

I don't want to compare EQ Next to AoC too much, since I truly hope that this game will see the light of day haha but I want to discuss that last sentence and what it means. Do we know much about how the players are expected to change the world? Is AI part of this equation? We don't have much to go on right now other than the Alpha Zero live stream released on December 15th and a few other videos, but I still want to start a discussion involving questing, gameplay, and AI. The 2 hr video they released showed monsters and quests that resemble the type of gameplay that essentially defines every other MMO out there at this point. What we saw is a very early stage of this game and we can't make too many judgments based on that, but it is also clear that they are already working on quests and NPCs. So do we know if this game will devolve into the typical grind fest that resembles the sort that come out of South Korea (Black Desert Online and ArcheAge) or do we think that this is really gonna be the "next gen" MMO? Are we doomed to spend our days planting, watering, and harvesting crops? Because I can easily imagine the caravan system turning into something that I leave on auto-run while catching up on the latest drama in the White House.

Comments

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited January 2018
    I for one hope that those who fail/abandon quest has an effect on the node. These effects could be as simple as npc leveling up over time like pcs do or maybe even that if you attempt and abandon a quest then it pushes npcs further down an experience line to a point in which the NPC's advance to the next part of their quest line. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited January 2018

    Anything to break the monotony of questing would be great, "go to location a and kill x things" model just doesn't work anymore. I am also not a huge fan of reading a page or more of instructions and lore behind each quest. Having context to the world is important and I don't have any issues with lore, but it would be better served if players could choose when and how to interact with lore. I am more in favor of having a dialogue (preferably in spoken form) with a quest NPC, choosing how much I want to engage in his/her particular situation, maybe starting a whole line of quests involving a specific NPC and his family if it interests me enough.

    I am definitely looking forward to the release of more info on AI and the PvE aspect of this game. I have been reading up on some posts in this form, but I am not sure how much discussion there has been of the interaction between PvE and PvP in the game. I don't have any issues with developers borrowing on EverQuest Next ideas, it would be awesome if a game similar to that ever comes out. I was really excited about Storybricks, the company originally behind EQN's AI. That system was supposed to create an "illusion of life" inside the game world. Here is a link to an article that explains how that platform was supposed to work: https://www.engadget.com/2012/12/27/exclusive-storybricks-dev-diary-expounds-on-bringing-npcs-to-li/.

    I will paste a few paragraphs from that article that kind of gets to the heart of what that system was meant to accomplish:

    "Interacting with NPCs could mean much more than just triggering the next chapter of a quest or accessing a vending-machine-shaped like a person. Important NPCs should have inner lives, complex relationships, and their own goals that they work toward. They should remember past interactions with your characters and adjust their behavior depending on whether they feel grateful, trusting, envious, betrayed, and they should be able to express these emotions in a convincing manner, each one coloring their day to day activities (e.g., a guard whose girlfriend just left him should act differently from one who was just dressed down by his captain).

    Player characters should also be able to communicate their feelings to NPCs. Imagine if you could share what you need or want -- and not just through canned emotes or quest dialogue -- and have NPCs react appropriately depending on their own emotional and mental states. The relationships your character has with NPCs would act as keys to new content: A trusting noble might ask you to help him topple a corrupt prince; a jealous husband might not like your friendship with his herbalist wife. Your interactions could give you more resources: Your friendship with the head of the trader's guild might grant you an audience with a local leader, belonging to a ranger faction might provide you with a companion when crossing savage lands, and so on.

    This goes beyond narrative. Access to these richly varied interactions and relationships helps you accomplish your own goals in the game. No more grinding repetitive quests to get faction with a group. Instead, giving a gift and talking to the princess could lead to courting and marriage down the line. Exposing a traitorous priest could lead to your becoming the head of a priesthood after building trust."

    I don't know much about financing when it comes to MMOs but I can't understand why something as brilliant as this has failed to enter its way into these games. I believe this alone would generate the kind of excitement (and revenues) that WoW became famous for since its release.

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