Rewarding exploration

Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder
In a lot of mmorpgs, exploration is rewarded with achievements and/or titles that always seemed very arbitrary to me. They basically turn into tick-the-box activities of "go here" "now go there" "congrats, you've explored the world" when all you really did was go from point A to point B to point C.

To me, this isn't exploration, especially when the world is basically the same no matter where you go. All the houses you go to look the same, all the creatures you find are at best re-colours of things you've seen in previous zones.

In order to truly reward exploration there needs to be interesting things to find, things that aren't found anywhere else, like a hidden waterfall in the middle of a jungle, or a unique creature that only lives in a specific part of the world, or a sunken ship that contains a little piece of lore.

TLDR: You don't need a tick-sheet or achievement to reward exploration, just give us interesting and unique things to find.

Question for you all: What kind of things would you like to find while exploring the world?
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Comments

  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    True Love
  • JirueJirue Member
    edited May 3
    Beautiful views, unknown dangers, and information about the lore of the world. Most recent experience I've had in a game where I truly enjoyed the exploring was Valheim. Whether it be the beautiful lighting and weather effects while exploring the Forest, the brown pants moment a Troll started coming at you from that Forest, or the hedge stones with details about the people who came to that land before you... all of that was some of the best feelings of exploration I'd had in a long time.
  • KeggerKegger Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    An abandoned still where I can gather some fermentables and make moonshine. hic
  • KhronusKhronus Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I personally don't mind the check box when it comes to exploration as long as it isn't like WOW where you have to explore boring areas by just running to that spot and then boom, miniscule amount of exp and part of your achievement is done.

    I would like to see special areas of interest as part of a quest chain to either assault these areas or do some form of recon mission. If this were tied into the story, it would add to the lore while we explore those points of interest. Some of these areas just simply deserve to be viewed and it is nice to be rewarded for doing so.
  • Kivek RhuKhanKivek RhuKhan Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited May 3
    tautau wrote: »
    True Love

    haha :)

    I want to find a player worth 3 million tree stumps.

    But seriously black deserts talk to everyone and go here and there for energy pts was the worst, at least it had autopathing.
  • VhaeyneVhaeyne Member
    I agree with your complaints about how other MMORPGs, and even a lot of game reward exploration. It is in fact just checking boxes. My big question about rewarding exploration in games is always this...

    Why reward exploration though?

    Exploration is its own reward. You learn how to better navigate the world. That is what is important about exploration in both the real world and fake worlds. Anything beyond that is just making exploration out to be more than it actually is.

    Back when I played Elite: Dangerous there was a guy who spent like 6 months going as far away from the starting area as possible. A lot of news was generated online about the guy who spent months exploring space that no one had ever seen before. People were excited and praising the game. None of the news about the guy really told the reality of the story. It is extremely repetitive gameplay. Warping... Scooping fuel... Scanning... Warping... Over and Over for months on end. No breaks from that loop, you are too far from any other content. It is about as boring as the Dessert Bus game from Penn and Teller. Yet, people were celebrating this game like it was some sort of explorers dream game. My point is that the act of exploring is over hyped.

    What is more important to me is that the landscape stays mostly the same so you are rewarded in learning to get around well, but the locations of creatures and resources change. Which is something I understand Ashes is doing with the hunting grounds and adaptive content. This means that you will always be exploring looking for the mobs you want to grind and the resources you want to gather. While it might seem like a pain in the ass if you are used to knowing where everything is like in other MMOs. I think the dynamic content will reward everyone that is willing to explore and it will make getting resources that much more valuable.

    To me just having the adaptive content is a way better exploration system than what most games do. It is part of the reason why Minecraft is so popular. Every time you leave an area and come back there are different mobs there. Anyone who has played modded Minecraft with a ton mobs in the game knows this to be true. Just having less things in the game be static is huge.
    CctsKnC.png Verra-similitude
  • George BlackGeorge Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    I think the less GPS we get on minimaps/maps and the less markers we have for Quests (obvisously we need a circle indicator for quest locations), the better the exploration will be
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    I agree with your complaints about how other MMORPGs, and even a lot of game reward exploration. It is in fact just checking boxes. My big question about rewarding exploration in games is always this...

    Why reward exploration though?

    Exploration is its own reward. You learn how to better navigate the world. That is what is important about exploration in both the real world and fake worlds. Anything beyond that is just making exploration out to be more than it actually is.

    Back when I played Elite: Dangerous there was a guy who spent like 6 months going as far away from the starting area as possible. A lot of news was generated online about the guy who spent months exploring space that no one had ever seen before. People were excited and praising the game. None of the news about the guy really told the reality of the story. It is extremely repetitive gameplay. Warping... Scooping fuel... Scanning... Warping... Over and Over for months on end. No breaks from that loop, you are too far from any other content. It is about as boring as the Dessert Bus game from Penn and Teller. Yet, people were celebrating this game like it was some sort of explorers dream game. My point is that the act of exploring is over hyped.

    What is more important to me is that the landscape stays mostly the same so you are rewarded in learning to get around well, but the locations of creatures and resources change. Which is something I understand Ashes is doing with the hunting grounds and adaptive content. This means that you will always be exploring looking for the mobs you want to grind and the resources you want to gather. While it might seem like a pain in the ass if you are used to knowing where everything is like in other MMOs. I think the dynamic content will reward everyone that is willing to explore and it will make getting resources that much more valuable.

    To me just having the adaptive content is a way better exploration system than what most games do. It is part of the reason why Minecraft is so popular. Every time you leave an area and come back there are different mobs there. Anyone who has played modded Minecraft with a ton mobs in the game knows this to be true. Just having less things in the game be static is huge.

    Exploration is indeed it's own reward, IF there are varied and interesting things to find. I never bothered to go exploring much in Elite Dangerous because 99% of the game looked exactly the same. Occasionally you'd find a different nebula visual, and it was cool going to the Sol system and seeing Earth from outer space, but that was about it.

    I agree that adaptive content is important which is why I love the dynamic world Ashes wishes to craft. One thing I read on the wiki recently was that entrances to the Underrealm will open and close based on happenings in the overworld. This alone will reward exploration more than most other mmorpgs.
    23in6tvjikn1.gif
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder
    I think the less GPS we get on minimaps/maps and the less markers we have for Quests (obvisously we need a circle indicator for quest locations), the better the exploration will be

    This was something I was thinking about recently. Remember in the old Zelda games when you went into a dungeon the first time you were essentially going in blind with no minimap to follow until you found the compass and map for that dungeon.

    I would like to see a similar system implemented for Ashes. There is no minimap at the start, just a compass on the UI. In order to get a map you had to buy one. You could buy a basic map from an NPC that would give a very basic lay of the land, only showing things like roads and settlements of the local area. However, you could freely annotate that map and sell your annotated maps to other players.
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Vhaeyne wrote: »
    I agree with your complaints about how other MMORPGs, and even a lot of game reward exploration. It is in fact just checking boxes. My big question about rewarding exploration in games is always this...

    Why reward exploration though?

    Exploration is its own reward. You learn how to better navigate the world. That is what is important about exploration in both the real world and fake worlds. Anything beyond that is just making exploration out to be more than it actually is.

    Back when I played Elite: Dangerous there was a guy who spent like 6 months going as far away from the starting area as possible. A lot of news was generated online about the guy who spent months exploring space that no one had ever seen before. People were excited and praising the game. None of the news about the guy really told the reality of the story. It is extremely repetitive gameplay. Warping... Scooping fuel... Scanning... Warping... Over and Over for months on end. No breaks from that loop, you are too far from any other content. It is about as boring as the Dessert Bus game from Penn and Teller. Yet, people were celebrating this game like it was some sort of explorers dream game. My point is that the act of exploring is over hyped.

    What is more important to me is that the landscape stays mostly the same so you are rewarded in learning to get around well, but the locations of creatures and resources change. Which is something I understand Ashes is doing with the hunting grounds and adaptive content. This means that you will always be exploring looking for the mobs you want to grind and the resources you want to gather. While it might seem like a pain in the ass if you are used to knowing where everything is like in other MMOs. I think the dynamic content will reward everyone that is willing to explore and it will make getting resources that much more valuable.

    To me just having the adaptive content is a way better exploration system than what most games do. It is part of the reason why Minecraft is so popular. Every time you leave an area and come back there are different mobs there. Anyone who has played modded Minecraft with a ton mobs in the game knows this to be true. Just having less things in the game be static is huge.

    Exploration is indeed it's own reward, IF there are varied and interesting things to find. I never bothered to go exploring much in Elite Dangerous because 99% of the game looked exactly the same. Occasionally you'd find a different nebula visual, and it was cool going to the Sol system and seeing Earth from outer space, but that was about it.

    I agree that adaptive content is important which is why I love the dynamic world Ashes wishes to craft. One thing I read on the wiki recently was that entrances to the Underrealm will open and close based on happenings in the overworld. This alone will reward exploration more than most other mmorpgs.

    This kind of exploration is the kind of thing I can see working in an MMO.

    Exploration where you get to a spot in the world, gain some advantage (experience, coin or an item - or even just achievement credit to those that think this important) will always be just a check list of points to go to when you have the time.

    However, if the reward for exploration is simply a better understanding of the world, that is likely to be more rewarding for players actually going out and looking at the world.
  • AsgerrAsgerr Member
    Does anybody know if the fog of war that covers the map is shared or individual to players?

    By that I mean, will the world map appear fogged if I don't leave my corner of the world? Or will the fog disperse with other players discovering more of the world?

    In the event that the fog of war is personal to your character, I would make it so you get an achievement and title for clearing 25-50-75-100% of it in those increments.

    Otherwise I wouldn't mind exploration be tied to series of specific interest points, or to having to visit all the nodes, rather than having to explore every square kilometer of the world (including the sea).
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  • RamirezRamirez Member
    edited May 3
    One of the best ways i saw a game rewarding for exploration was Lost ark with Adventure book that you need to fill to gain rewards per biome/area...

    Like in every area you have a page in you book, you need to discover and learn about all monster in that area , kill them a certain amount of times, you have always some hidden storys/quests and 2 mains quests about the region, dungeons, view points, type of collectable items and recipes from the region ... While you going filling you page to 100% you will get great rewards.

    Something like this lostark-wiki-sushire.jpg
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Moderator, Member, Founder
    Ramirez wrote: »
    One of the best ways i saw a game rewarding for exploration was Lost ark with Adventure book that you need to fill to gain rewards per biome/area

    How is that any different to the sightseeing log in FFXIV, or the map completion in GW2?
    23in6tvjikn1.gif
  • RamirezRamirez Member
    Ramirez wrote: »
    One of the best ways i saw a game rewarding for exploration was Lost ark with Adventure book that you need to fill to gain rewards per biome/area

    How is that any different to the sightseeing log in FFXIV, or the map completion in GW2?

    FFXIV never played, but in gw2 the exploration system never felt the rewards useful, and didn´t give me motivation to explore... The presentation of the books pages like sticker collector from lost ark was really appellative, is like filling a Page in your diary about the lore of that area, and the rewards you get are useful even in the endgame... But yes in general is similar to gw2
  • GoatrekGoatrek Member
    The concept of relevant items/rewards and/or cool experiences in the form of events or quests tied into exploration is very important to me so I would have to say that I want just that. Quest items/mobs placed in obscure locations that turn into quest chains with strong end rewards.
    Finding cool/important stuff that not everyone else has seen outside in the world and you know people could potentially find you and sabotage that quest or event or whatever just gets the adrenaline going and triggers all my reward systems in an mmo. :)
  • Yours truly will explore the entire world, but won't be in any rush to do it - since it's too early to know if future expansions will mean only more content, or also more map-areas; *Would* an expansion necessarily mean more land and more Nodes?

    The most useful thing about Fog-of-War and 'checklists' is that they let you know that you still haven't trod everywhere a toon can trod. Wouldn't mind it, if there was something like a sight-seeing log.



  • dewan58dewan58 Member

    TLDR: You don't need a tick-sheet or achievement to reward exploration, just give us interesting and unique things to find.

    A friend of mine convinced me to play an indie MMO with a more old-school feel to it called Projoect Gorgon. Originally I was apprehensive because it looked quite unpolished and rough around the edges but I love what they did with rewarding exploration.

    Not only are you encouraged to talk with everyone (there are no quest markers) but various NPC's and stuff you find around the world unlocks various new abilities or you can find crafting recipes you can't find anywhere else. Stuff like this is often entirely absent from MMOs now days and the genre has turned into nothing more than follow the linear quest arrow. I truly hope Ashes shy's away from this and incorporates stuff like this to encourage exploration.
  • godmilkgodmilk Member
    edited May 3
    This is a super important aspect of an MMO and the answer lies with value. There needs to be incentive to explore out into the corners of the world that main quest lines or pathing wouldn't normally take you.

    Maybe you have to journey for 20-30 minutes fighting your way through the wilds to get to a waterfall with a special type of collectable resource. Maybe there's a lone quest giver out by that waterfall that pushes you further into the wild but offers a unique quest reward item!

    It could be as simple as a small little village with a unique, charming culture where you can pickup some unique stat boosting recipes.

    Exploration needs to feel rewarding and the way you do that is by bringing value to the time you spent doing it. I'm not a big fan of rewards built into a game system, like an achievement system that pumps out rewards as you hit "100% explored for X area" It doesn't promote the feeling of being rewarded by the specific area you exploring, only that you're doing another go to x location, walk around, get your reward.
  • GoatrekGoatrek Member
    100% Agree, npc vendors with unique recipies/items or quests or perhaps even only an interesting lore snippet are great examples of satisfying and rewarding content when out exploring.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Ramirez wrote: »
    Ramirez wrote: »
    One of the best ways i saw a game rewarding for exploration was Lost ark with Adventure book that you need to fill to gain rewards per biome/area

    How is that any different to the sightseeing log in FFXIV, or the map completion in GW2?

    FFXIV never played, but in gw2 the exploration system never felt the rewards useful, and didn´t give me motivation to explore... The presentation of the books pages like sticker collector from lost ark was really appellative, is like filling a Page in your diary about the lore of that area, and the rewards you get are useful even in the endgame... But yes in general is similar to gw2

    While the style used to present t the tasks seems like an interesting idea, the tasks themselves are still just a check list of things to do. You are not exploring an area so much as going to an area and doing the same list of a limited number of things that everyone else is doing in the area.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited May 4
    godmilk wrote: »
    This is a super important aspect of an MMO and the answer lies with value. There needs to be incentive to explore out into the corners of the world that main quest lines or pathing wouldn't normally take you.

    Maybe you have to journey for 20-30 minutes fighting your way through the wilds to get to a waterfall with a special type of collectable resource. Maybe there's a lone quest giver out by that waterfall that pushes you further into the wild but offers a unique quest reward item!

    It could be as simple as a small little village with a unique, charming culture where you can pickup some unique stat boosting recipes.

    Exploration needs to feel rewarding and the way you do that is by bringing value to the time you spent doing it. I'm not a big fan of rewards built into a game system, like an achievement system that pumps out rewards as you hit "100% explored for X area" It doesn't promote the feeling of being rewarded by the specific area you exploring, only that you're doing another go to x location, walk around, get your reward.

    The issue with these things is that they reward the first person to go out and find them, and then after that everyone knows they are there.

    If there is a village with rare recipes, then the first person to find it (likely in beta) did the exploring, and everyone else just knows that is the village you go to if you want those recipes.

    This kind of thing is less about exploration and more about adding in a minimum amount of effort to get what ever is in that location.

    I do agree with you that the notion of an achievement system for exploration simply wouldn't work.
  • tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Unless the NPC who gives the recipe moves...'maybe the NPC recipe family' has 24 cousins, each with a different recipe, and they all walk around the world to visit each other. So there are 24 places to visit, though part of the time the NPCs are walking between them so there isn't anyone in the village, though you might meet him on the road.

    To add to it, don't have them walk a discoverable route. Have a RNG in their routing so each two days (or whatever the time is) they go somewhere, so there is a 1/24 possibility the cook with the great elk stew is going to actually be in Noaanitown on a given day. But another cook will be there with a cherry pie recipe. The cherry pie will buff your magic attack while the elk stew buffed physical attacks.

    Beware the egg salad recipe, it slows you for two hours to imitate giving you the runs. Serve that to your enemies! The recipe for Irish Coffee gives you a free 'drunken stumble' emote for a two hours and mis-spells words you type in chat.
  • godmilkgodmilk Member
    I love the ideas being floated around! I also agree with the point @Noaani brought up regarding it can feel like a early bird gets the worm situation but thinking through it a bit more, doesn't that kind of promote a cool multi-culture aspect to the world?

    In my mind, it makes me think of different areas around the world being hot spots for different professions or classes for these types of incentives. Maybe some village in the mountains has a master healer and you see classes with that discipline seeking them out for that specific value that he brings! Bonus points for this not being spoon fed to the player via quest line!

    Does this create a situation where a player could have an advantage over another player that hasn't yet located or made the trek yet? It absolutely does and I would argue that's a good thing! How rewarding and alive does the world feel when your exploration rewards you in that way! All of a sudden you have players actively seeking out and enjoying every inch the world has to offer!

    And I agree there are definitely ways to keep things more dynamic so it's not like a discovered and done type deal. The way the nodes evolve and develop can and should put changes into these types of area! Perhaps you can only learn from that healing master in the mountain village during a time of peace in the node.

    I'm just throwing out examples off the top of my head, but the way the world works in this game really allows for exploration to be one of the most exciting aspects to look forward to!
  • I think one of the keys to rewarding exploration is that the rewards / achievements must be HIDDEN. i.e. you only know it exists after you've attained it.

    Unlike in wow, where you can see the whole list of possible "exploration" achievements to get ...

    As soon as you get the "list of things to explore", it goes from an "exploration" game to an "achievement" game (ticking the checklist), which is a whole different thing ... (for some ppl, this means going from "exciting, inspiring experience" to "tedious chores").

    Say, if I have a special title attained through exploration, the reaction I'd love to see is:

    A: "Wow, how did you get that title?"
    Me: "haha you want to know? Well study the lore and GO FIND OUT YOURSELF. Hint: You can't even find it on the internet!"
  • daveywaveydaveywavey Member
    Question for you all: What kind of things would you like to find while exploring the world?

    A series of isolated statues scattered across Verra?
    Natural markers, such as lakes, mountain peaks, unusual trees, etc?
    Ancient monuments built by the previous inhabitants of Verra?
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  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Alpha One
    edited May 4
    APOC had a small grove with an effigy of a Wood God.
    I would definitely love to have ways to learn more about the lore of such Points of Interest.
    I don't think early-bird-gets-the worm is necessarily problematic because Points of Interest should also be tied to Node development, including Stage, Racial population, Social Org status, services built, etc... in addition to biome, geographical location and pre-exodus/post-exodus history.
  • BigRambleBigRamble Member
    For titles and the map, I have no issue with check point exploration. Exploration rewards should more be in finding pretty/interesting spots, odd caravan passes, and resource spawns. Especially as if the world doesn't change except by nodes, then the actual map isn't changing, just the specifics on it - so general area exploration only rewards those on day one.

    I would love to have some hidden dungeons and maybe a secret map system. I imagine markers or statues may be hidden on the world, and when found or interacted with, marked on your map. After long searching you start finding enough of ones with a theme (Birds, God symbols, whatever) to triangulate between them and when you search that point, find a hidden spot a dungeon has been spawned. Or if triangulation is too hard, a map with the symbols on it as land marks found as a drop, or instructions in lore of a library spawn the search.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    BigRamble wrote: »
    For titles and the map, I have no issue with check point exploration. Exploration rewards should more be in finding pretty/interesting spots, odd caravan passes, and resource spawns. Especially as if the world doesn't change except by nodes, then the actual map isn't changing, just the specifics on it - so general area exploration only rewards those on day one.

    I would love to have some hidden dungeons and maybe a secret map system. I imagine markers or statues may be hidden on the world, and when found or interacted with, marked on your map. After long searching you start finding enough of ones with a theme (Birds, God symbols, whatever) to triangulate between them and when you search that point, find a hidden spot a dungeon has been spawned. Or if triangulation is too hard, a map with the symbols on it as land marks found as a drop, or instructions in lore of a library spawn the search.
    This would very quickly be reduced by the general population to the fastest way to get from point to point in order to gain access to the dungeon.

    Basically, you are just talking about an access quest for a dungeon, not exploration.

  • AsgerrAsgerr Member
    BTW do we know if the nodes have specific names? Or are they just a Node?
    Please tell me they don't allow players to name them. Or we'll have the dumbest ones.

    Also I shall ask again: is the world map's fog of war shared between all players?
    Do I have to explore all the world for it clear? Or does other players exploring the world clear it for everyone?
    55bSigult2.png
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited May 4
    Asgerr wrote: »
    BTW do we know if the nodes have specific names? Or are they just a Node?
    Please tell me they don't allow players to name them. Or we'll have the dumbest ones.

    Also I shall ask again: is the world map's fog of war shared between all players?
    Do I have to explore all the world for it clear? Or does other players exploring the world clear it for everyone?

    They have already ruled out players naming the nodes.

    The most likely scenario is that there will be a list of names for players to select from.

    As to the fog of war thing, it wouldn't make sense for it to be one that is shared between all players. With 10k players on a server at a time, it wouldn't take long before it was all cleared.
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