We are happy to announce that starting August 20, 2019 at 11:00 AM PDT the Divine Gateways will open once more for limited Apocalypse testing sessions! For more information, check out our FAQ here: https://ashesofcreation.com/news/2019-08-14-steam-announce-and-play-test-faq-for-ashes-of-creation-apocalypse

Lore hunting in game

I want to be lied to. LIE TO ME.

Specifically, I want NPCs to tell me something about the world, an old rumor about an ancient place or item or creature in the world and leave it up to me to figure out if it exists or not. I don't want quests for this (it implies there is a truth somewhere), I want conversation and deduction. This game is the first MMO that really has the potential to pull this off because of it's actually dynamic nature.

A "rumor" that sends you off to find some place of interest that you find is cool but loses luster and gets put up on a wiki quickly. But given how dynamic the world is, and how content may be locked behind world events or node level, disproving a rumor and separating it from a lie will be fun and exciting. If you don't find the cave the old wizard told you about in the mountain, maybe he got the wrong mountain? Or maybe you need to reach node 3.

I think if NPCs have rumors for us, they should not be exclusively true or false. They may be very vague/ambiguous in their location like the treasure map system in a lot of other games. I think rumors should be both conflicting and build on each other. You may hear the tomb of Cecil the banker is in forest X while someone in another node is told Cecil's tomb is in the bottom of a river, you'll have to check out both. A third person hears the key found in Cecil's tomb can open a vault in the lost city of blah and a fourth hears you'll need item Z crafted to reveal the gate to the city. This way guilds and servers can collaborate and put together a puzzle from many different NPCs.

If the rumors aren't locked to quests, maybe we could have some option to jot them down in a "rumors" section of a quest journal? The world is big and beautiful, being sent to a mountain with the promise of a dungeon and riches that ends up being a lie will nonetheless likely be a grand adventure, this could be truly comparable to tabletop.

I for one can't imagine a more organic and intriguing adventure than a rumor at a tavern, with no quest markers, not even certainty of truth, just some friends and a whole dynamic world where pieces of some story slowly reveals itself.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edits based on conversation below:
  • PCs are already sanctioned to lie, it would be cool if NPCs did so too (source: https://www.ashesofcreation.com/the-mighty-beard/)
  • Once a rumor has been confirmed as true there should be mechanics that can explicitly start a quest. E.g. once you find Cecil's tomb and reveal the hidden entrance to the boss room, a quest is initiated.
  • Rumors should be instructional somehow about content that would otherwise be inaccessible. E.g. you need craftable item X in your inventory to reveal this hidden room; or you can only access some dialogue options once you've interacted with some writing on the wall in a hidden place. This may be different (layered) on top of dispel magic, tracking and other non-combat abilities.
  • Rumors should have a gating mechanism surrounding some combat and/or non-combat accomplishments. E.g. a rumor about a magic chalice that you find out has been stolen by a dragon will require the dragon to be killed and only those who have had the conversation (aka knowledge of the chalice) will be able to loot this otherwise normal looking chalice; or you need to reach some reputation threshold with the sorcerer's academy for the arch wizard to share a rumor with you about the location of some POI. This would essentially operate as skill checks/requirements/attunement for progression (like LazyPeon likes to advocate for haha).

Comments

  • Maybe Cecil the Banker is undead and likes having a job. He uses his salary to support his tomb restoration efforts.
  • Barkeeper at Tavern:
    "My wife told me that a friend of her told her, who is a friend of a friend of the cousin of the Smith across the Street from the Bank, that Cecil the Banker is a dragon in disguise"
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2018
    @UnknownSystemError
    Brilliant, so you find Cecil's tomb but it's empty, was the key a lie? Does the key sit in another tomb?
    Well at node level 5, if you dispel magic you reveal a room where he is a world boss with the key around his neck, truly a terrifying encounter. 
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2018
    @Augentier
    Lol :P it does not have to be like that at all. They will say things like there was an old story about so and so being in such a place. If players want to collaborate and tell each other what they learned from an NPC, they are free to lie just like we already know they are sanctioned to do as we saw in the blog "The Might Beard" (https://www.ashesofcreation.com/the-mighty-beard/).

    Players can already lie about points of interest, I just think if NPCs did so in an immersive lore driven way as well, it would add a lot to the game given how dynamic it is.
  • NeuroGuy said:
    @Augentier
    Lol :P it does not have to be like that at all. They will say things like there was an old story about so and so being in such a place. If players want to collaborate and tell each other what they learned from an NPC, they are free to lie just like we already know they are sanctioned to do as we saw in the blog "The Might Beard" (https://www.ashesofcreation.com/the-mighty-beard/).

    Players can already lie about points of interest, I just think if NPCs did so in an immersive lore driven way as well, it would add a lot to the game given how dynamic it is.
    I agree with you! Would be totally awesome.

    Its just that not every bartkeeper can give you the "There is is old legend about..." speech. This would get cheesy pretty fast.
    So the "Friend of a Friend told me..." Is just an alternative.
  • @Augentier
    Haha yes it would get old quickly. That would actually I think be the most challenging part of implementing something like this. Putting in the dialogue options and generating some lies and truths should be easy but having some system to gate/restrict/localize where rumors would be found is admittedly a challenge if this were to become reality.

    I would hate this to result in people running from node to node talking to NPCs and writing down info. It should have some progression of some sort. Any suggestions on this would be wonderful, I'll think more on it and post when I have an idea worth sharing.
  • an idea, maybe if you piece together say pieces from 5 nodes (say a merchant might stumble upon said rumors) and it describes a unique area in game, and if said player recalls the combined pieces, picks up an item that leads to a rare quest not normally found, that said quest starting piece can only be looted if you visited the 5 NPC's with 1/2 truth's and 1/2 lie as a key requirement.   How about this idea?

  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited October 2018
    Person 1:  Askes for Directions.

    Person 2:  "Well first you head 97 miles west, and then turn left onto county 3123 and head south for 97 miles.  Then you need to turn left, not right, just after the railroad tracks, and go east along that road for another 97 miles until you hit a tasty freeze.    Then you head on inside and ask the man at the counter, 'Where the hell am I?!'  "
  • Never enough lore
  • @Mindseye
    Yeah so I really like the idea of somehow merging quests into such rumors. In terms of the specific example you gave, I totally dig it but instead of making it that you need to talk to all 5 NPCs to get the item, it can be implemented a bit different I think.

    So I was thinking it would be cool if there was some gating mechanic that could only be overcome through the rumors. So you hear about some dungeon and end up finding it, but so have a lot of people that just happen to be at the nearby nodes. The only difference is that the rumor you were exposed to mentioned that if you're carrying a blessed torch of blahblah (craftable item), that you will be able to find that item that starts the quest, or can read the hidden writing on the wall that starts the quest.

    Similarly, you could find some writing in the dungeon which will unlock a conversation option with the old wizard at whatever node that will now remind him of this related rumor/book about a potential next piece of the puzzle.

    My whole gripe with the rumors being quest only is that it kind of confirms there is something to be found and people can go super hard on investing and finding it quickly. I'd prefer the slower pace of some uncertain rumor where it may take a while to figure out. But once you confirm a rumor to be true, it would be great if quests were handed out. Like in the example above, once you find the hidden entrance to Cecil the undead boss, there is some mechanism to start a quest to kill him.

    In general, I think having these rumors locked behind craftable items, or locking NPC conversations behind some experience or reputation (like the wizard will be a part of the sorcerer's academy and he will only tell you some rumor after you have hit some reputation). This will slow down people's ability to jump between and burning through the lore stuff. It also implicitly provides some skill checks (like the ones in runescape that LazyPeon is such a big advocate of). 

    I just love this whole idea because it is so easily scalable. From the development side, rumors can be made to chain together, be some convergent web, or just standalone things to discover. From a player perspective, rumors can be simple, short adventures spanning a single node or it can be a massive scale mystery that takes years and entire guilds to uncover and you don't know which one is which when you start.
  • This might tie in with players having cartography skills.  You catch a rumor of something from an NPC, and then talk to a player with the cartography skill, who thinks they know where the rumor leads.  Both head out and may or may not finds something.

    This might be a good mechanism for locating rare plants, materials or minerals as well.
  • @dmgavin
    Yeah, I thought about that too. Especially for like "rare tamable spawns" that was hinted at already. But for materials, I think I'm leaning towards a no. We already know they will have RNG spawn locations and quality for resources. I think leaving it to gatherers to find and discover them through un-guided exploration would be better.

    Is there indeed a cartography skill? I found no information on that, could you provide a link/reference?
  • NeuroGuy said:

    ...
    So I was thinking it would be cool if there was some gating mechanic that could only be overcome through the rumors. So you hear about some dungeon and end up finding it, but so have a lot of people that just happen to be at the nearby nodes. The only difference is that the rumor you were exposed to mentioned that if you're carrying a blessed torch of blahblah (craftable item), that you will be able to find that item that starts the quest, or can read the hidden writing on the wall that starts the quest.
    ....
    As far as we know at least some kind of gated content will exist. I'm talking about the utility skills. Ranger can uncover physical secrets, Mage can uncover magical secrets, cleric can get rid of enviromental hazards which are blocking the way (all shown in PAX gameplay) and we don't know yet what other possible utility skills are.

    So those rumors may me something like: "if you go into the terrible necromancer lair make sure to visit the room in northeast end of the dungeon and bring a rouge to this location."
    If a rouge then uses his utility skill in this location he may find a secret passage.
    I admit that this rumor would be a bit to obvious but i hope you get the idea.
  • NeuroGuy said:
    @dmgavin
    Yeah, I thought about that too. Especially for like "rare tamable spawns" that was hinted at already. But for materials, I think I'm leaning towards a no. We already know they will have RNG spawn locations and quality for resources. I think leaving it to gatherers to find and discover them through un-guided exploration would be better.

    Is there indeed a cartography skill? I found no information on that, could you provide a link/reference?
    It's been hinted at as on of the possible crafting tree's.

    https://forums.ashesofcreation.com/discussion/39774/cartography-perhaps
  • Augentier said:

    As far as we know at least some kind of gated content will exist. I'm talking about the utility skills. Ranger can uncover physical secrets, Mage can uncover magical secrets, cleric can get rid of enviromental hazards which are blocking the way (all shown in PAX gameplay) and we don't know yet what other possible utility skills are.

    So those rumors may me something like: "if you go into the terrible necromancer lair make sure to visit the room in northeast end of the dungeon and bring a rouge to this location."
    If a rouge then uses his utility skill in this location he may find a secret passage.
    I admit that this rumor would be a bit to obvious but i hope you get the idea.
    They have said that there won't be content locked behind the utility skills. While a rogue may be able to climb up to that chest easily, or a mage teleport to it, there will always be another way for others to get to it. They may just have to go the long way round requiring more mob clears or alternate jumping puzzle. The only content "locks" they have talked about is that some instanced raid content may have prereqs/unlocks before you can do them. Also things like sieges could be considered "gating" since crafting the declaration banners will require materials and input from master crafters. No master crafters in the beginning means no sieges being declared till people have the relevant recipes and levels.
  • @UnknownSystemError Didn't know that. Where can i find this information? Couldn't find it anywhere. Maybe im searching wrong...
    But what about the gameplay shown at PAX like the big magic door which could only be opened by the mage. I wonder how they would implement an alternative way for all other classes. I mean they would have to do it in a way so that the utility would't be useless. Like an really long alternative way.

    But to get back to topic. That doesn't change much about my post. You would have a roumor to get to some place. When your there you find a magic gate that can only be destroyed by a mage. If you not a mage you either have to find a mage or an alternative entrance. So it would be some kind of semi-gated content.
  • @Augentier Look to the early livestreams from last year. While the wiki people do a great job and we get transcripts of each livestream that comes out now, many of the early ones, especially the glut during the Kickstarter when they were doing one every couple days and interviews with different content creators often get missed by people. The statement about there being alternative means for a scenario come from before the first PAX and during it. The gas cloud that the cleric dispels could have been dealt with in other ways, and the path that the mage discovers was a shortcut to the boss fight. They could have just gone round the blockage, and there would have been further mobs fights, but in the interest of time that option was removed from the demo to keep people moving along through the "experience."
  • ArchivedUserArchivedUser Guest
    edited November 2018
    @Augentier
    Yeah I am aware of the utility skills, and am actually very happy that as @UnknownSystemError said, they will just provide a solution (amongst many) to pass some obstacles. I think utility skills and the gated progression I am advocating for here serve very different roles. Utility skills allow you to get more loot, bypass traps and environmental obstacles and essentially get the most out of your environment (i.e. dungeon). The gated progression should require directed & concerted effort with crafted items, exploration, deduction/problem solving (which may involve utility skills) etc. So essentially think of large, multi-phase quests like old WoW attunements or like runescape quests with pre-requisites, involving other-wise locked content, special items etc but without explicitly being quests (so you don't know if you're on the right track, have been misled somewhere along the line/have incomplete information or what you're looking for doesn't even exist). 
Sign In or Register to comment.